22. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitrage, Graham McTavish, Ken Stott, Aidan Turner, Mark Hadlow, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Benedict Cumberbatch, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Bret McKenzie
Release date: December 14
Ready to head back to Middle Earth? One look at the official stills from Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey should be all it takes to reinvigorate one's giddiness for all things J.R.R. Tolkien created. The first of three Hobbit films, Jackson's new fantastical trilogy is, for those who aren't schooled in Tolkien's literature, the prequel to The Lords of the Rings series, this time centering on Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and his band of brave dwarf buddies as they venture to Lonely Mountain to retrieve a bounty and battle against a massive dragon named Smaug.
If that sounds like a bunch of nerdy hogwash to you, there's always Django Unchained in December. For the rest of us, though, The Hobbit is one of the fall movie season's biggest attractions. In one particular way, it's just as historic as James Cameron's technologically forward-thinking Avatar; Jackson filmed The Hobbit at 48 frames-per-second, meaning that, in select theaters, it'll look like your living room's HD television's screen on an excessive amount of visual-realism steroids. At least that's Jackson's hope, though many industry folks who saw 48 fps footage in April reacted negatively. Prepare for heated tech geek debates.