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A Trip through 2011’s Most Anticipated Movies
Fri, 11 Feb 2011 16:14:22
What will 2011 bring to the box office? Is it too much to hope for some blockbuster flicks that take us by surprise? We shall see. Even though it seems Hollywood is loading up this years cannon with some serious sequel ammo, there is still room for potential gems to emerge from seasoned directors and original scripts with the potential to please your palette. Returning to the ring in 2011 are some heavy hitters with new major films to debut. We can expect heavy hits from the likes of Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, Steven Soderbergh, Martin Scorsese and Cameron Crowe to name a few. It looks to be an exciting year, so here are 30 of the most anticipated films on the horizon to keep a watchful eye on.
30.) Hanna (April 8th) – Directed by Joe Wright and starring Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana. The tale is about a girl (Ronan) who has been raised and trained as an assassin her entire life by her father, an ex CIA agent (Bana). She is separated from him on a mission and forced to survive using these skills. She must blend in and elude the forces dispatched to kill her. The script, penned by David Farr, is fast-paced and promises to deliver a realistic, action- packed adventure.
29.) Immortals (Nov.11th) – Directed by Tarsem Singh and starring Mickey Rourke as the power hungry King Hyperion. The King declares war on humanity and amasses his own army of disfigured, bloodthirsty soldiers to find a weapon that will unleash the Titans and complete this task. Henry Cavill plays Theseus, a peasant chosen by Zeus himself to fight for the people of Hyperion against the king's hordes. Joined by Stephen Dorff and Freida Pinto, the story unfolds as the hero leads his band against the hordes to a hopeful victory or watches his city fall into ruin at the hands of the Gods. Visually, Singh has described the film as "Carvaggio meets Fight Club," an action film with the strokes of a Renaissance painting. Should be interesting.
28.) Paul (March 18th) – Directed by Greg Mottola and starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig and featuring the voice of Seth Rogan.
This sci-fi adventure puts us in the company of two geeks on their road trip across America. On their trip, they encounter an escaped alien named 'Paul' who they try and reunite with his lost mothership. Mottola, who directed Superbad and Adventureland, should have no problem bringing smiles to his audience with the likes of Pegg and Frost.
27.) Sherlock Holmes 2 (Dec 16th) – Directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Noomi Rapace and Stephen Fry. Ritchie returns with this sequel starring an edgier Holmes that falls in line with way Doyle originally wrote the character. Joining Downey and Law in this installment is Noomi Rapace from the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Mad Men's Jared Harris as Moriarty. Stephen Fry will appear as Holmes' lazier but wiser older brother. I'm curious to see if this sequel can live up to the first installment in the new vision of the Sherlock Holmes franchise.
26.) Mission Impossible- Ghost Protocol (Dec. 16th) – Directed by Brad Bird and starring Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, and Josh Holloway. The 4th installment to the Mission franchise will bring Oscar nominated newcomer Jeremy Renner to the big screen who has been rumored to be the next actor to anchor the series should more installments follow after Ghost Protocol. This feature was filmed on location in Dubai, Moscow, Prague and Vancouver to mention a few and will be the first installment for Bird who wrote and directed The Incredibles and Ratatouille.
25.) Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (May 20th) – Directed by Rob Marshall and starring Johnny Depp, Ian McShane, Penelope Cruz and Geoffrey Rush. In this harrowing tale of the sea, Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa attempt to find the legendary fountain of youth only to come up against Blackbeard (McShane) and his daughter (Cruz). It will be nice to have a fresh take on this franchise with newcomer Rob Marshall at the helm and without the same old characters reprised by Bloom and Knightley. I think we might be in for a pleasant surprise if they can keep up the pace set by the first two.
24.) Green Lantern (June 17th) – Directed by Martin Campbell and starring Ryan Reynolds, Mark Strong, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard and Tim Robbins. Ryan Reynolds returns to the superhero stage, this time as Hal Jordan, a test pilot bestowed with a mystical green ring that gives him otherworld powers as well as the responsibility as part of an intergalactic squadron to keep peace in the universe. Reynolds already tackled the origins of Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and will be returning to the big screen with that character to flesh out more adventures at a later date. Can he pull this one off? We shall see...
23.) Battle: Los Angeles (March 11th) – Directed by Jonathan Liebesman and starring Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodrquez, Michael Pena and Bridget Moynahan. This movie places us in Los Angeles with a marine platoon as they mount their defense against a hostile alien invasion. The movie is supposedly based on an actual incident that occurred with the US military during World War II where they led an hour-long anti-aircraft artillery bombardment over the city of Los Angeles that was later said to be a "false alarm". Another Independence Day-esque explosive military shit show. Sounds good to me!
22.) Captain America: The First Avenger (July 22nd) – Directed by Joe Johnston and starring Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci and Hugo Weaving. The film starts off in 1942, where Steve Rogers(Evans) is discharged from the army deemed physically unfit to fight Nazis. He volunteers instead for a secret military operation where he is transformed into a super- soldier and given the moniker Captain America. Although Chris Evans played a cocky ladies man as the Torch in Fantastic Four, I believe he will fit nicely into this franchise with a screenplay penned by Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely and Joss Whedon. Hugo Weaving plays The Red Skull, Hitler's head of advanced weaponry and with Hugo in that spot, things are looking pretty good.
21.) The Muppets (Oct. 21st) – Directed by James Bobin and starring Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifanakis, Emily Blunt, Jack Black and Danny Trejo. These are just a few amongst a myriad of faces rumored to pop up in this new Muppet Saga. In this latest installment, Kermit and the gang have to put on a show in order to save their old theater. Jason Segel wrote the screenplay along with fellow writer and director Nick Stoller(Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek), so with puppet antics in mind, this should be one hell of an epic puppet show.
20.) Thor (May 6th) – Directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson and Rene Russo.
This should be interesting with Branagh bringing the Norse God to the masses with the likes of Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman. Portman seems like an unlikely casting, and admitted that she signed on because she thought the idea of Kenneth Branagh directing Thor was so weird that she had to do it. Thor, for those who don't know, was a mighty warrior who actions ignite an ancient war. He is cast down to live on Earth with humans as punishment and on Earth he becomes a true hero and protector as the dark forces from his world invade. Anthony Hopkins will play Odin, the father of Thor and ruler of Asgard and his Shakespearean chops should fit well into this mythological tale.
19.) Contagion (Oct. 21st) – Directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Marion Cotillard and Laurence Fishburne.
Soderbergh is terrific at presenting riveting drama that feels real and with this powerhouse cast, I'm sure he will deliver once again. This thriller takes place around a threat posed from a deadly disease. A team of doctors are hired by the CDC to deal with the outbreak and as far as the outcome, your guess is as good as mine. Definitely not one to miss!
18.) Sucker Punch (March 25th) – Directed by Zack Snyder and starring Vanessa Hudgens, Carla Gugino, Jena Malone, Jon Hamm, Michael Jai White and Emily Browning. Emily Browning plays 'Baby Doll' who is put into a mental institution by her evil stepfather who has plans to lobotomize her in 5 days. In order to escape this fate, Baby Doll enters into an alternate reality where she must collect objects and is eventually joined by her inmates as she makes her way back to real life only to lose touch on what's real and what's in her mind. Snyder, who directed Watchmen, 300 and Dawn of the Dead, never fails to entertain with this effort being described by producers as 'Alice in Wonderland with machine guns.'
17.) Red Riding Hood (April 22nd) – Directed by Catherine Hardwicke and starring Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Shiloh Fernandez, Carmen Lavgne, and Jen Halley. Hardwicke is back after Twilight and directing Seyfried as Valerie, a beautiful girl who falls for a woodcutter against her family's wishes. She is forced to confront the terrifying reality of her sister being murdered by a werewolf that prowls the forests surrounding her village. Although there was a peace maintained by the villagers and the beast, it has been broken by the bloodshed and thirsty for revenge, they call upon the help of the famed werewolf hunter named Father Solomon played by Gary Oldman to deal with the beast. Gary Oldman as a werewolf hunter? I'm in.
16.) Your Highness (April 8th) – Directed by David Gordon Green and starring Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschnel, James Franco and Danny McBride. Franco and McBride combine forces in this epic comedy as princes on a mission to save their land and rescue the heir apparent's fiancée before their kingdom is destroyed. While the older brother Fabious(Franco) is renowned for his bravery and valiant behavior, Thadeous(McBride) has lived a life filled with loose maidens, hard liquor and wizard's weed. When the king threatens to cut him off if he doesn't deliver the kidnapped bride, he teams up with his brother to free her and regain his honor. Portman joins them on their quest as a secretive warrior with her own dangerous agenda. If this movie is anything like Gordon's Pineapple express, we're in for one midevil treat.
15.) X-Men: First Class (June 3rd) – Directed by Matthew Vaughn and starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence. Taking a break from his Kick-Ass franchise, Vaughn tackles the mutant phenomena this time covering Xavier and Magneto as young men discovering their powers and forging a strong friendship. This story will chronicle the dissolution of their close friendship and elaborate on the rift that comes between two of the most powerful mutants on earth. We can only hope this will be better than Wolverine's origin story.
14.) Transformers: The Dark Of The Moon (July 1st) – Directed by Michael Bay and starring Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, John Malkovich, Patrick Dempsey and Tyrese Gibson. Say goodbye to Megan Fox, say hello to Victoria Secret newcomer Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. In this 3rd installment of the series, Bay takes us back to the 60's and the space race. The Autobots discover a spacecraft from their home planet of Cybertron hidden on the moon and race against the Decepticons to reach it and learn it's secrets. Personally, I thought the last movie was kind of lame and I'm hoping this new story breathes some life into the Transformers universe.
13.) War Horse (December 28th) – Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, David Thewlis, Emly Watson and Jeremy Irvine. Steven Spielberg is making 2011 his year. He's producing and directing multiple projects and War Horse looks to be a new Spielberg war saga with a different twist to it. The story centers around a young man named Albert and his horse Joey. When Joey is sold to the cavalry and sent into the trenches of World War One, Joey, too young to enlist, heads off to France to reunite with his friend and save him.
12.) The Raven (TBA) – Directed by James McTeigue and starring John Cusack, Alice Eve and Luke Evans. Cusack returns as Edgar Allen Poe in this fictionalized account of his last days. McTeigue(V for Vendetta, Ninja Assassin) returns to bring us this story about the pursuit of a serial killer whose murders mirror the murders found in Poe's stories. Cusack and McTeigue sounds like it could be a good combo for 2011, time will tell.
11.) Red State (Oct. 19th) – Directed by Kevin Smith and starring Melissa Leo, Kevin Alejandro and John Goodman. The story, set in Middle America is about a group of teenagers who receive an online invitation for sex, but encounter fundamentalists with sinister agendas. This is new territory for Smith, dipping into the horror genre and if the tale is as chaotic as the teaser trailer, this could be a whole new look for Silent Bob.
10.) Rango (March 4th) – Directed by Gore Verbinski and featuring the voices of Johnny Depp, Timothy Olyphant and Isla Fisher. The story is about a chameleon that loves wearing Hawaiian shirts who aspires to be a swashbuckling hero. When he gets trapped in a town overrun by bandits, he must play the role of a hero in order to protect it. The animation looks awesome, we love Depp and Verbinski and this looks like it could be the best animated film of 2011. Very cool.
9.) Cowboys and Aliens (July 29th) – Directed by Jon Favreau and starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell and Olivia Wilde. The classic gunslinger story with a twist. What happens to a terrified western town when a stranger with amnesia wanders into their midst with a strange shackle around his wrist. The unwelcoming town is soon brought to it's knees when monsters from the sky start attacking the residents and this gunslinger appears to be their only hope. This has blockbuster potential written all over it and the all star cast includes a little Indiana Jones and a little James Bond all mixed together with the smoking hotness of Olivia Wilde. We can't wait.
8.) The Adjustment Bureau (March 4th) – Directed by George Nolfi and starring Matt Damon, Emily Blunt and John Slattery. This story centers around a senatorial candidate David Norris(Damon) who falls for a a ballerina named Elise Sellas(Blunt) but just as he's falling for her, mysterious men appear to keep them apart. David finds out he is up against fate and the men who enforce if from an agency called the Adjustment Bureau who will do whatever it takes to keep individuals on their pre-determined paths. Now he must fight against all odds to win the future that was never meant to be. Nolfi, who directed The Bourne Ultimatum and Oceans Twelve, returns to bring us this story, which is loosely based on a Philip K Dick short story and looks to be quite a gripping thrill ride. This has blockbuster potential written all over it.
7.) We Bought A Zoo (December 23rd) – Directed by Cameron Crowe and starring Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Elle Fanning, Thomas Haden Church, Patrick Fugit and Angus Macfadyen. This story may have the redemptive qualities that can restore Crowe's status back in tinseltown after Elizabethtown buried him up to his neck in crap. It follows a man as he moves his family into a community and buys a struggling zoo with plans to renovate and re-open it. I'm curious to see where this stands at the end of the year, but I'm rooting for Cameron Crowe all the way. Based on the book by Benjamin Mee.
6.) Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (July 15th) – Directed by David Yates and starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. The final installment of the epic series is finally here as Harry, Ron and Hermione return to the legendary Hogwarts to find and destroy all of Voldemorts horcruxes. When the Dark Lord finds out about their mission, he brings the biggest battle his dark wizardry can conjure up and the war between good and evil finally comes to it's conclusion. This has been one of the most epic film series ever created and no doubt, the writers and producers won't fail us on this final bout.
5.) The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (Dec 28th) – Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis and Daniel Craig. Using the amazing performance capture technology that brought us Avatar, Spielberg and company bring the comic book adventures of Tintin to life in 2011 based on the beloved stories of Herge. In this tale, Tintin and friends discover a map to a sunken ship and go off on a treasure hunt. You've got the technology, you've got Spielberg and you've got a classic story, what's not to look forward to?
4.) The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Dec. 21st) – Directed by David Fincher and starring Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig and Stellan Skarsgard. Following his well received The Social Network, Fincher takes Rooney Mara along with him in this first remake of the Swedish Classic detective trilogy. The films have a huge cult following and with Fincher at the helm, this story promises to deliver to US audiences what the Swedish films established early on.
3.) Super 8 (June 10th) – Directed by J.J. Abrams, produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Elle Fanning, Amanda Michalka and Kyle Chandler. This movie has a lot of buzz surrounding it after the trailer was unveiled during the Iron Man 2 release. It shows a train crashing and something trying to emerge from one of the wrecked cars, presumably from Area 51. The plot is being kept super secret and the trailer is the only thing floating around to tickle our senses. The title may be a homage to the type of camera Spielberg used as a child. This will be one we won't miss either way.
2.) Hugo Cabret (December 9th) – Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Chloe Moretz, Emily Mortimer and Jude Law. Scorsese's first foray into the 3-D world should be quite fantastic as he adopts the classic illustrated novel onto the big screen. The story is set in Paris during the 1930's and centers around and orphan who lives in the walls of a train station and who is wrapped up in a mystery concerning his father and a robot automaton. Scorsese rarely lets us down and I'm sure this will be no exception.
1.) The Hangover Part II (May 26th) – Directed by Todd Phillips and starring Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms and Justin Bartha. What can we say? We absolutely loved the timeless comedy classic that Todd Phillips slapped us with the first time around. This time Phil, Stu, Alan and Doug are traveling to Bangkok for Stu's wedding. Liam Neeson appears in this installment as well as the return of the classic Mr. Chow played by Ken Jeong and of course Mike Tyson. Bill Clinton plays himself and we are not gonna miss the former President's possible involvement with 'floories'or 'rapies'. This will be one to mark the calendars for folks, be sure and be there.
What 2011 movie are you has you excited?
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