2010 wasn't exactly a banner year for movies. Don't get me wrong, I loved quite a few movies this year, but looking back, most of the year's releases were largely forgettable. I'm still looking forward to a few holiday releases, namely Tron: Legacy and True Grit, but other than that? Toy Story 3 and Harry Potter were the big franchise highlights that carried the year. There weren't any really big surprises (as far as the box office is concerned) and there were definitely more disappointments this year than I can remember. Iron Man 2, Salt, Robin Hood, The Sorcerer's Apprentice are just a few movies that I personally was looking forward to that ended up being just okay. I wouldn't say those were bad movies, just expectations were fairly high and they didn't deliver. Then when the movies sucked, they sucked so hard that they, ummm, just blew. Physically impossible? Not for Sex and the City 2, Grown Ups, Percy Jackson and Edge of Darkness.
This agonizingly slow year only has me salivating for 2011 already. I keep trying to read up on movies coming out next year, but sadly, the interwebs don't do justice to what is going to be, I think, a great, if not awesome year in movies. Sometimes the buildup to a movie is just as great as watching it. That's why I love movie trailers - they're little nuggets of joy that help build up that anticipation. Sometimes the trailers are so much better than the actual movie (Terminator: Salvation, anyone?). So, like a good striptease, I'm starting slow and building up to list the 50 MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIES OF 2011! Yes, I think there is a potential for 50 really good to great to mind-numbingly awesome movies that quite possibly will blow some socks and other garments off your face. Obviously some of these movies are going to be just guesses as we can only gather so much information about a movie until it's out - especially those that aren't coming out until later in the summer or next holiday. But I think all of these movies have a chance at greatness. I'm sure some will disappoint and hopefully there will be a bevy of surprises that won't even be on this list! Who knows? 2011 can, at it's worst, be better than this year.
50. I Am Number Four
Starring: Alex Pettyfer, Dianna Agron, Timothy Olyphant
Director: D.J. Caruso
Release Date: February 18
Another young adult novel series (surprise!) hits the big screen. The premise is pretty simple: an alien disguised as a teenager has to elude his enemy who has killed three of his alien bros. The trailer makes the movie look dark and mysterious. And D. J. Caruso (who's done the wonderful Disturbia and so-so Eagle Eye) is behind the camera so you can expect some sort of Shia LeBouf cameo. In all seriousness, he's a good director and this should be a good movie. But the reason it's only 50 is it could end up being a cheesy stinker like Percy Jackson. I think if the tone of the movie matches this trailer, it might end up being awesome.
49. Conan the Barbarian (2011)
Starring: Jason Momoa, Ron Perlman, Rose McGowan
Director: Michael Nispel
Release Date: August 19
I've actually never seen the original Conan (yes, it's on my list). I'm really not into big homoerotic action movies like these, but I can't help myself this time. Maybe it was because Clash of the Titans was pretty good and had me hankering for more mythological dudes battling crazy ass monsters. I hope this movie is lathered in cheese and relishes in it's ridiculousness, because that's probably the only way I could take a movie like this. If it tries too hard to be serious and insert some semblance of a plot, then I might vomit in my mouth. The director doesn't have a very good track record - two horror remakes and that viking movie Pathfinder don't necessarily sell me that this will be anything but bad. I will give the movie the benefit of the doubt because it's Conan. Uh-duh.
48. Fright Night (2011)
Starring: Colin Farrell, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Director: Craig Gillespie
Release Date: August 19
Another 80s remake and another original movie I have yet to see. But I'm excited for it - it's comedy-horror and when that's done right, it can be totally awesome (Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland). Story goes that the kid starts to think his neighbor is a vampire and well, uh-duh, he is! And all sorts of hilariousness ensues. I have high hopes because Colin Farrell is an all right dude and Mintz-Plasse I think deserves to be recognized more. A somewhat unknown director, Gillespie, is helming this one. He's done a good movie (Lars and the Real Girl) and a bad movie (Mr. Woodcock), so it's really a coin toss. I just hope this one doesn't fall flat like that Cirque du Freak movie. If this one ends up a PG-13 Disney-fied trot through wonderland, I'll just pass. Hopefully it will land on the harder side of the PG-13 rating. Listen, I'm not expecting boobs, but I am expecting blood and violence, ya know, because it's about vampires!
(My super cool version of the poster)
Starring: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Release Date: October 21
All kidding aside from the poster, I do not think this is going to be another Outbreak. First of all, it's Soderbergh. Dude knows how to make a movie. And this time, he's not going all artsy-fartsy on us, instead he's making a big-budget movie with a big-time cast. Seriously, Bryan "I like to be taken seriously now" Cranston and Marion "that French girl" Cotillard are in the movie, too! I know! If anything, it should be a fun suspense movie. I really hope we get to see some/all of the cast puking out their guts because they have the virus. Celebrity vomit is awesome.
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Orlando Bloom, Logan Lerman
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Release Date: October 14
I know you're thinking, dude, what's up with all the remakes on your list! Well, that's Hollywood and who the hell cares? If it's a good movie, despite it's origin, then it's still a good movie. I don't think I'm super excited to see this one, but I definitely am excited. Even though Paul W.S. Anderson is directing, I think the material and the cast will rise above the mediocrity that is the PWSA. First of all, you have Andrew Davies, who is British (check) and has adapted several other British novels to much success - Bridget Jones' Diary, the BBC Pride & Prejudice and most recently, Little Dorrit (check two). I can only imagine that he knows his literature and will only inject the movie with some great writing. Second, the cast looks pretty good - Christoph Waltz and Mad Mikkellsen are also in their to help lend a sense of European pompousness. Third, Orlando Bloom was pretty much born to play in these period pieces. It's destiny. I don't like that it's in 3D, but that's something I think most of us are going to have to get used to from now on. Plus, they'll show it in good ol' 2D anyway. The Three Musketeers may seem like a worn out story, but I think this will be the perfect time to revisit it.