Previously; The Hunger Games, The Avengers,Prometheus, Brave, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rose, Looper, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, Django Unchained. Now we move on to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey... Release Date: 14th December (UK) WHAT COULD BE AWESOME ABOUT IT: Well after giving us a lovely scenic tour of New Zealands green countryside, homely mountains and blood thirsty creatures of Middle-Earth who have a fetish for killing adults that look like children... Peter Jackson is returning with his widescreen camera and well-oiled helicopters to show us vast expanses of scenery and maybe put a story in there somewhere in his return to middle earth The Hobbit. What could be awesome about it? Well after stunning us with kick ass action (The Mines of Moria and the end of the Fellowship), wowing us with monster set pieces (Helms Deep and Minas Tirith), breaking our hearts with departures (Frodo) and then sending us to sleep (when Return of the King JUST. DOESNT. END.) Peter Jackson is bringing back all these magical abilities and emotions to try and recapture the magic of the original Lord of the Rings Trilogy with prequel The Hobbit. Which is without a doubt a way of completing and expanding the world of Middle Earth, not just an easy cash in. Honestly; its split into two films for creative integrity. HONESTLY. The first trailer shows promise with Martin Freeman an excellent choice as a younger Bilbo and the Lets all meet the gang! style of dwarf introduction showcasing a rich entourage of characters to enjoy the company of as we sweep across Middle Earth and wonder if we will ever get the feeling back in our buttocks for 3 hours in December. Furthermore the smaller scope of the narrative promises more intense action sequences and inherently, more of sense of desperation and character connection; because as big a wow as the action from the first three were (mainly the third), their scope and wide angle style of storytelling grated. Now dont get me wrong, I love looking at the tops of heads of CGI orcs as much as the next person, but theres only so much you can take before you detach from the action and start commenting on hair styles like a catty presenter on Americas Next Top Model. This more intense style (only seen in split seconds, but is still there) promises a greater level of threat which was lost in the epic scope of the original trilogy as we were treated to a plethora of awesome landscape shops, but too many to connect us to the threat to the characters and inevitably detached us from it. This is far more promising. Furthermore, for those who havent read the book, we will get a deeper look into how Bilbo came in possession of the Ring which certainly promises to be an exhilarating and satisfying sequence if its given the time on screen it deserves. Also, the nostalgic opening to the first trailer is something to get positive memories out of every one who were there to be stunned more than a decade ago by The Fellowship of the Ring; were returning to Middle-Earth, and I think its going to be a wonderful, if unexpected, journey. WHAT COULD SUCK ABOUT IT: Im not sure I can find anything! I mean the whole story is so enigmatic and unknowable that I am nothing but excited. The teasers of whether Bilbo survives the journey he is about to undertake or not is too powerful to resist. Im just glad this isnt following us already seeing how the story ends with Bilbo being present in the final 10 minutes of the end of the narrative, its really luck-Oh. Despite looking lovely and making me want to revisit the original trilogy, the first trailer for this film raises a very simple question; what is the point in what we are going to see? If the main threat of the story is whether Bilbo dies or not, I can spare you the suspense; he doesnt. Hes in the three films whose timelines follow that of The Hobbits. Its not Peter Jacksons fault that he is making these films after; but the fact remains how audiences are supposed to connect with a narrative where the principal threat is over and done with? Furthermore the origins of the Bilbos possession of the ring were already touched upon, although briefly, in Fellowship of the Ring and as excited as I am to see the section in more detail, there is no mystery or intrigue. That to me is what undermines The Hobbit as a truly epic cinematic journey this year; so far there has been little to convince audiences that this is a need to know story, it will be nice to revisit the world we became so connected with a decade ago, but if thats the case I would much rather watch the DVD I already own than pay inflated prices for it in a tad more detail. Predicted Star Rating: 4/5 Sure to be a well-made and beautiful film from one of the worlds best storytellers, yet hollowness of the narrative will invariably lead to a conclusion that we already know. Predicted Box Office Gross: $1.5 billion worldwide It has been nearly a decade since the Return of the King smashed a billion, price inflation will surely lead to this film out grossing it and then some. Will it beat The Dark Knight Rises? Who knows, but the battle will be interesting.