The Hobbit (PG-13) Director Peter Jackson ( The Lord of the Rings) returns to Middle Earth with this first installment in a $500 million trilogy of films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel. Martin Freeman is the young Bilbo Baggins who accompanies the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a gang of dwarves on a series of adventures. Shot in 3D and 48 fps, which essentially doubles the resolution of normal 35mm film.
Miracle on 34th Street (8 p.m. Sunday, AMC) Edmund Gwenn as a department-store Santa. Natalie Wood as the little girl who doesn’t believe in him. And Maureen O’Hara as the mom who counsels her, “Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.” If you can watch this lovely 1947 film without crying, you really should try out for a role as one of The Walking Dead’s zombies.
Mel Brooks Strikes Back! (9 p.m. Monday, HBO) A cross between a one-man stage show and a documentary, with comic genius Brooks looking back on pee-your-pants-funny films like Blazing Saddles and The Producers.
White Christmas (8 p.m. Saturday, AMC) For decades, the annual NBC telecast of this 1954 Johnny-comes-marching-home romantic comedy was the event of the TV Christmas season. In a world where a lot of Johnnys — and Janies, too — will spend their Christmas in Afghanistan, it still resonates. Funny, sentimental and tuneful — and, yeah, Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney sing that song.
Let Miami Herald TV critic Glenn Garvin program your TiVo! Just click on his best bets for the week at http://www3.tivo.com/tivo-tco/mix/index.do