NEW YORK – So many films, so little time.
This time of year brings an avalanche of options to a theater near you, some big budget blockbusters and a few low end independents, all hoping to get your $8.50.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the most expensive movie ever made, $250 million. For all three parts, shot in New Zealand more than 15 months.
The Fellowship of the Ring is the first to hit theaters, certain to capture it's fan base, capitalizing on the books popularity and the curious at heart.
Ridley Scott takes the fight from the Coliseum to Somalia, telling the true story of a 1992 U.S. military raid gone bad in Black Hawk Down.
Russell Crowe trades a sword for a calculator, playing real life math genius John Nash in A Beautiful Mind, who eventually won a Nobel prize after spending 40 years dealing with paranoid schizophrenia.
Expect Crowe and fellow actor Sean Penn, who stars as a mentally retarded father trying to retain custody of his 7 year old in I Am Sam to garner Golden Globe and Oscar nods.
Other standout performances include Kevin Spacey playing a struggling newspaper reporter returning to his families small Newfoundland fishing village in The Shipping News.
And Pinero, starring Benjamin Bratt as the troubled Latin American poet Miguel Pinero.
On the lighter side, Meg Ryan plays a 21st century ad researcher, falling for a 19th century nobleman transported to present day New York in Kate & Leopold.
And saving funny man Jim Carrey for last, The Majestic has him playing a blacklisted writer, mistaken for a World War II hero in small town America.