The Visitor posterIf you are considering going to the cinema this weekend, and you’ve already seen Bond and the other 21 films currently playing in Wellington, here’s a quick guide to the new releases.

Cinema owners all over the city are breathing a little easier now that two of the biggest box office releases from the States have opened at the same time. High School Musical 3: Senior Year is the third in the trilogy and the first to get a full cinema release: Readings, Empire, Sky City Queensgate. I saw it tonight at the Empire and my eyes and ears are still hurting.

Knocking Bond off his perch last weekend in the US was the Christmas rom-com Four Holidays starring  Vince Vaughan and Reese Witherspoon. I believe I am out of step with most critics but I actually quite enjoyed it – and so did US$31m worth of other people. Readings, Empire, Sky City Queensgate.

Quarantine is a very quick-out-of-the-blocks Hollywood remake of the Spanish horror film [REC] that Ant Timpson was promoting earlier this year. It’s a Readings exclusive. Might be worth a look if, like me, you found it hard to read the subtitles in the original with your hands over your eyes.

The Visitor is going to be popular, mark my words. From Thomas McCarthy, writer-director of The Station Agent (which did more business per capita here than anywhere else in the world), this one is about a depressed middle-aged economics professor who rediscovers life when he meets an illegal immigrant couple in New York City. Oh man, it is so much better than I just made it sound. Penthouse, Paramount, Lighthouse Petone.

The acclaimed documentary The Survivors (about the final year of the Holocaust) gets two screenings at the Film Archive on Friday and Saturday respectively as part of their Human Rights series and finally, a Penthouse exclusive: Suddenly, a Swedish drama about a man and his son recovering from the death of the mother and brother. "A quiet and beautiful film," says IMDb.

The Visitor has already been reviewed at Funerals & Snakes, with the others following next week (and in the Capital Times next Wednesday).

UPDATE: My interview with The Visitor star Richard Jenkins is up at F&S