Exciting weekend of new movies ahead

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Updated: 9/18/2012 11:54 am

On Twitter: @JamesEppler

After a month at the movies that felt like trudging through a desert, we finally have something refreshing to look forward to. Six new movies open in Lubbock this weekend and most of them at least look interesting. Some look fantastic and come with great early reviews.

1. "The Master"
Paul Thomas Anderson is already one of the best directors and storytellers of his generation. This is his follow-up to "There Will Be Blood." "The Master" tells the story of a religious sect leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and an impressionable outsider (Joaquin Phoenix) who desperately wants a family to make him feel like he belongs. Anderson has said the early days of Scientology served as his inspiration. Expect this to be a major Oscar contender.
**Opening only at Movies 16

2. "Trouble with the Curve"
It'll be nice to see Clint Eastwood talking to actual people again. This is the first movie since "In the Line of Fire" in 1993 where he stars but doesn't direct. In "Curve," he's an ailing baseball scout who takes his daughter (Amy Adams) with him on one more trip. Early reviews have been excellent.

3. "End of Watch"
This is a movie from David Ayer, who wrote "Training Day" and "Dark Blue." He tells good stories about bad cops. This one finds partners Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena targeted by the drug cartels.

4. "Dredd 3D"
I'd originally written this one off, but the more I read about it, I wonder if it might be some bloody fun. I'll try to forget about the Sylvester Stallone version of this graphic novel, and I'm sure that's what the filmmakers behind this new one want us to do. Karl Urban (so good as McCoy in the "Star Trek reboot) stars as the brutal law enforcement officer who never takes off his helmet. Ever. Expect tons of blood spatter in 3D.

5. "House at the End of the Street"
I wonder if Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence ("Winter's Bone," "The Hunger Games") knows she too good to make these kinds of movies anymore. She's the only interesting aspect of this horror movie to me, which finds her starting a relationship with a young man who is the sole survivor of a family who was murdered in the house... well, you know where.

6. "Unconditional"
Lubbock is a prime market for "inspirational" or "faith-based" movies (i.e. Christian movies). This is the first release from a media company called Harbinger which, according to its mission statement, "produces high-quality theatrical films that honor God." It's the story of a widow crushed with the loss of her husband, who reunites with an old friend and finds her faith again. This movie might pair nicely with "Last Ounce of Courage," another faith-based movie also playing only at Movies 16.

Which of these choices pique your interest?

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