Wednesday, February 9, 2011

2011 Big-Ticket Movies

I know, I never did my 2nd Annual movie round-up for the coming year. But 2011 is shaping up to have some really fantastic-looking movies that are worth getting excited (and writing) about. Here are the ones I'm most looking forward to:

Battle: Los Angeles - Aliens invade and wipe out city after city around the globe. Humanity makes a last stand in LA, where a platoon of marines led by Aaron Eckhardt are mankind's only hope. It's pitched as a low-budget modern-day war movie and it sounds like it'll be terrific if they can pull it off. There's a trailer here. Due out March 11th.

Thor - part of Marvel Comics' massive movie crossover, this film introduces us to the Norse god of thunder. He gets up to some hijinks in the home of the gods, Asguard, and is cast out by his father, Odin, king of the gods. Separated from his powerful hammer, Mjolner, Thor must make his way in the world, regain his godly powers, and thwart the plans of his evil half-brother Loki. Thor will team up next year with Iron Man, Captain America, the Incredible Hulk and other heroes in the Marvel spectacular, The Avengers. Stars Star Trek's Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman. Directed by Kenneth Branagh. Check out a trailer here. Due to hit theaters on May 6th.

Priest - May's going to be a busy month, and I'm REALLY looking forward to Priest. The premise is that in the far future, the Earth has been decimated in a war between humans and vampires. Finally, the vampires were beaten, thanks mostly to an order of priests who wielded magical powers. The problem is that everyone thinks the vampires are destroyed except for one lone ex-priest. He wants his powers back to stop the vampires from making a comeback, and the ruling members of his old order just want to keep the status quo. So he must defy his own people and take on a horde of vampires with just a couple of friends to help him out. Stars Paul Bettany, Nikita's Maggie Q., and Karl Urban. Due May 13th. The trailer's here.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Okay, okay, I know - the last couple Pirates of the Caribbean movies were kind of crummy. I agree. But hey, Johnny Depp is always a blast in his Captain Jack Sparrow persona, so even if the rest of the movie sucks, just watching him prance around and say, "savvy?" for two hours is usually a decent way to spend an afternoon. Plus, this one has Penelope Cruz and premiers on May 20th, my anniversary! This movie lacks Kiera Knightly and Orlando Bloom, but they couldn't save the last two. The goal of the fourth film is to find the Fountain of Youth. Or something. Who cares? You're going to go see it, regardless. You can watch the trailer here.

X-Men: First Class - Probably the best news about this film is that it does not continue the truly awful storyline from the third and last X-Men movie. Man, that third film stunk up the place. Instead, this X-Men movie returns to the origins of the X-Men from their 1960s comic books. It has a wide array of different super-mutants all coming together to fight the bad guys and look cool in their yellow costumes. I have high hopes for this movie and am really looking forward to seeing it. It's out June 3rd and mostly stars a lot of people I've never heard of. And Kevin Bacon.

Super 8 - I actually don't know much about this movie, except that it's about a kid with a Super 8 camera (the film kind, I presume) and an alien invasion. But it's created by Stephen Spielberg and J.J. Abrams (the guy behind Alias, Lost and the Star Trek reboot) so that tends to make me believe it'll be pretty good. It's out on June 10th and the trailer is here.

Green Lantern - Yes, it's a tremendous summer for super-hero movies. Most of them are from Marvel comics - Thor, X-Men and Captain America - but DC Comics gets in on the action, too, with the hotly-anticipated Green Lantern. It's the story of Air Force test pilot Hal Jordan, played by Ryan Reynolds, who is selected by the alien Guardians of Oa to join their cadre of intergalactic peacekeepers, the Green Lantern Corps. Each of them is issued a ring of incredible power, one that lets them overwhelm the forces of evil and maintain peace throughout the universe. They each take an oath, and renew it each night as they recharge their power rings: "In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night, No Evil Shall Escape My Sight. Let those who Worship Evil's Might, Beware my Power, Green Lantern's Light!" Meet Hal Jordan as Green Lantern on June 17th. The trailer's at the movie's website.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2 - the eighth and final installment of the Harry Potter series is coming at the height of the summer movie series. See Harry finally face his nemesis Voldemort as the forces of evil descend on the worlds of wizards and muggles alike. See it in theaters July 15th. If there's a trailer out yet, I can't find it.

Captain America: The First Avenger - it's World War II, the "Great Crusade," and 100-pound weakling Steve Rogers just wants to do his part against the evil Axis forces. Sadly, he's 4-F, unfit to serve. Until he's injected with a revolutionary "super-serum," that turns him into a man among men. Outfitted with a bulletproof shield and his partner Bucky Barnes, Cap learns there are worse things loose in Europe than the Nazis. The third part of Marvel Comics' massive movie crossover, Cap will end up taking a 60-year siesta so he can join the Avengers (see Thor, above). Stars Chris Evans (from Star Trek) and Hugo Weaving (from the Matrix and Lord of the Rings series). See a trailer here. Opens July 22nd.

Cowboys and Aliens - Daniel Craig walks into an old west town wearing a mysterious gauntlet on his hand. The local toughs start to give him a hard time, but suddenly alien ships speed down out of the sky, blasting everything in sight. Craig calmly raises his gauntleted arm, and laser-blasts one of the mysterious craft out of the sky.  Also stars Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde and Sam Rockwell. It's out on July 29th. The trailer is here.

Rise of the Apes - a sort-of prequel to the Planet of the Apes movies, this film explores the way the apes were modified to speak and the war that erupts between men and their creations. Stars James James Franco and John Lithgow. Opens November 23rd.

So is there anything I missed that you're looking for? I just don't get very excited about dramas, comedies or chick-flicks, and I've never gotten too worked up about the Transformers movies (but if that's your thing, look for Transformers: Dark of the Moon on July 1st). There's also a new Three Musketeers coming out, but like a handful of others that might eventually grab my attention, I haven't heard anything about it. Besides, just the films on the list above already far exceed the actual amount of money I have to spend at the movies this year.

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