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A big lover of all types of media, from Movies to Video Games, Books to Music, Television to Stage.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Movies 2011, Part One - Bumper Crop Or Empty Fields?

Getting up this early in the morning when you have no good reason to do so should be outlawed.  Somebody get on that, would you?  Today I thought I'd take a look at the titles being released in the upcoming year.  I'm going to stick to movies that have studio release dates already planned, though be aware that some release dates may change.  As of this writing, however, all dates are accurate, and all are North American dates, what with me blogging from Canada and all.

Also, so that people aren't reading this all day long, I'm going to try and keep it to the bigger titles and ones I personally am more likely to view, whether in theatres or on disc/TMN (The Movie Network, Canada's Eastern equivalent of Superchannel, and our counterpart to all the channels HBO and others provide in the States).  Yeah, that biases things quite a bit, but it is my blog, and therefore my opinion.  Those wishing to argue the merits of my choices can do so below in the comment box, and I welcome the discussion.

Finally, the list is freaking huge, even pared down to what I personally want to see, and as a result I am breaking this down into multiple posts.  The first one covers to April, with more on the way.  Now, with no more further ado, my choices for 2011 and why:

"The Green Hornet" - Released January 14th, I'm looking forward to see how this one turns out.  Obviously the choice of Seth Rogan for the lead is going to be a hit-miss proposition, but from what I have heard, simply dismissing it due to his portraying the lead role would be a disservice to what is apparently a hilarious action adventure.  Needless to say, with my car still unavailable to me, this will end up being a disc/TMN viewing, and my personal review will have to await that date.

"No Strings Attached" - Release date January 21st.  Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman doing the casual sex with no relationship thing, which from personal experience either gets old fast, or becomes too involved for one of the individuals and therefore falls apart.  Kind of hoping it resembles another movie of the same sort from last year, "Love And Other Drugs," which I also have yet to see.  Good premise, good cast, not worth a large screen for the type of movie it is, awaiting TMN/disc release.

"Unknown" - Release date February 18th.  Liam Neeson did a wonderful job in "Taken," and this is looking to be on the same level as that title.  After being in a coma, he wakes to discover that someone has taken over his life, and not even his wife believes he is who he says he is.  Intriguing plot, good cast, looking forward to this one.  If the car is up and running by this point in time (I can't start looking for insurance solidly until February starts) I could be seeing this in theatres.

"Vanishing On 7th Street" - Release date February 18th, though only a limited release is scheduled at the moment, meaning if you are in a big city you might get lucky.  Not sure about the premise: Massive blackout causes population of city to vanish, except a chosen few.  Was more intrigued when the trailers suggested it was the population of the world that went missing, but by localizing it, it becomes more of a schlock horror flick in my eyes.  We'll know more as release date approaches, but I'm already assuming a TMN/disc release even if Toronto is one of the 'lucky' cities.

"Battle: Los Angeles" - Release date March 11th.  Destruction of a city by invading alien forces...aren't they ever going to make "Independence Day II?"  Popcorn flick, for obvious reasons, but I'm all for destruction, violence and mayhem, so bring it on.  Probable theatre viewing, since big explosions deserve a big screen.

"Red Riding Hood" - Release date March 11th.  Might have to make this day a double-bill.  Would be nice to see Amanda Seyfried in a movie she's not singing or naked in.  What am I saying, let the poor girl be naked, I'll watch!  Gothic horror done with a central love triangle, we'll see how it plays out.

"Limitless" - Release date March 18th.  Bradley Cooper gets hooked on a drug that enhances intellect and alters his life, but finds that people are trying to kill him for it.  Could end up being an adventure-based "Flowers For Algernon," and we know how THAT ended.  Not certain about seeing it in theatres, I'll be keeping my eye on this one.

"Paul" - Release date March 18th.  Love the duo at the centre of this flick, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, best known for their previous movies together, "Hot Fuzz" and "Shaun Of The Dead."  Pegg of course has a much wider audience in Britain, and a huge global following due to his role as 'Scotty' in the 2009 "Star Trek" movie, sequel announced for release 2012.  These two stumbling upon an alien having escaped from Area 51, and this becomes a must-see, though given the fact that it is a comedy, I will more than likely await the TMN/disc release.

"Sucker Punch" - Release date March 25th.  Girl thrown into an institution by her evil stepfather, she envisions an alternate reality which aids her in formulating an escape plan.  Emily Browning in the lead role is an inspired choice, as a lot of people still think of her as the cute little Australian girl who played 'Violet' in "Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events."  This might make her the woman on screen she needs to be to start competing with Dakota Fanning for some choice roles, once audiences see her as more of a grown-up for a change.  Likely a theatre-worthy flick.

"Arthur" - Release date April 8th.  Keeping in mind that this is a remake of the movie that made Dudley Moore a top name in North America, Russell Brand being cast in the titular role seems almost inspired.  Let's see if he can actually act, or if he is just a stand-up comic tripping into lucky casting.  TMN/disc release for this one, with a nice cuppa while I'm watching.

"Scream 4" - Release date April 15th.  Well I had to mention it, didn't I?  Personally, I'm not so much interested in the movie as I am in discerning what exactly the plot will be after all this time.  That, and watching Courtney Cox and David Arquette acting together for what may be the very last time, and I'll sit through it.  Not in theatres though; Even though I am a huge fan of big horror needing an audience to increase my enjoyment, watching the last "Scream" flick I actually fell asleep while in the movie house.  TMN/disc for this one.

"Apollo 18" - Release date April 22nd.  Found footage shows that when the moon landings occurred in the 60s, they filmed proof of alien lifeforms.  Shot in the viral form, this strangely echoes part of the plot for one of this year's major tent-pole pictures, though it will be nothing like it beyond the moon landings being a source of alien dread.  Herky-jerky motion of the camera relegates this to TMN/disc, just like "Cloverfield" before it..

"Fast Five" - Release date April 29th.  Even though it arrives the day after my birthday (take notice of that, would you all please?), I will be relegating this one to TMN/disc as well, as I've yet to have the slightest inclination to see any of this series on the big screen.  That being said, the movies have been somewhat enjoyable, so a free spin on TMN won't be out of the question.  No disc possibilities, unless this happens to turn out to be this generation's answer to "Bullitt," and I just don't see that happening.  Ever.

Okay folks, that's the end of Part The First.  I'll be back in a little while with Part The Second, by tomorrow at the latest.  The release dates get flimsy after the month of September, so it is possible that Part II will be the end of things until later in the year.  See you after the cigarette burn!

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