The Most Anticipated Movies of 2011: New franchises!

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We're nearing the top 10 and these next five movies are all based on existing books/comic books, none of which have ever been adapted to the screen. Exciting new franchises are what 2011 is all about! All five have potential to make big money at the box office and if that happens, there's going to be sequels to four of those movies. Which is great, because who can't get enough of the same stuff? I really don't mind sequels and in fact, sometimes the sequels are better than the original. The Dark Knight, The Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, Terminator 2. There's at least ten more that I can think of, but you get the idea. All of these movies took the original and either reworked the setting and plot or just made the same movie again, only more perfectly. So if any of these movies enjoy box office success, here's to hoping they end up in that same list and not like the Matrix Reloaded.

Starring: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Joe Johnston
Release Date: July 22
I will be the first to admit I am not a comic book guy. I've never really gotten into them and they're not my kind of entertainment. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed the past ten years because there has been a lot of great comic book movies. And it's all going to culminate in one big fanboy orgasm next year with the Avengers movie. But before we get to that, Marvel has been laying groundwork in most of their movies these past few years. Captain America is just another step towards comic book movie history. I don't know much about the comic book, but that hasn't stopped me from getting excited. Most people I know think Chris Evans as the Captain is wrong, some even think it's blasphemous. But ya know what? I like Evans. I haven't seen the Fantastic Four movies, but I heard he was decent. He's been pretty good in the movies I've seen him in and I think he can handle a role like this. It's not like he's going for an Oscar or anything, so people should just calm down. I think Marvel is doing something brilliant by tying all their movies together. It makes me want to see all of them so I can catch everything! It's exciting and they are building up that excitement with more movies! Oh joy! But besides Evans, you've got Hugo Weaving, Samuel L. Jackson, Stanley Tucci, Tommy Lee Jones, Toby Jones and Dominic Cooper all on board. It's an astounding cast and the only thing that bothers me is the fact that women seem to be virtually non-existent in the movie - there's only two actresses listed on IMDb. Kinda weird, but you got Joe Johnston directing, who did another American pride movie, The Rocketeer. So of course you have to see this, if you want to still be called an American! BTW, why isn't this opening on July 4?! Synergy is what America is all about! C'mon Marvel, get your act together!

14. Thor
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Release Date: May 6
This is going to be an interesting superhero movie. While everyone can get behind Captain America and Spider-Man and Superman, Thor is a different type of superhero, he's a god for cryin' out loud and he's not really sent to Earth to protect us, it's his punishment. This premise alone makes the film unique and I'm really interested to see famed thespian Kenneth Branagh tackle a big-budget action flick like this. It's only fitting, because it happens to be so out-there for a comic book movie. It was also smart to cast Hemsworth, a relative unknown, into the main role and surround him with a cast of established actors. This will be Natalie Portman's third movie this year (holy cow!) and Hopkins as Odin should be fantastic. It's going to be a fun movie and it might also be poignant and somber, too. Who knows? It's the first movie to start the summer blockbuster season and I know I will be lined up to see this one!

13. Green Lantern
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard
Director: Martin Campbell
Release Date: June 17
This would be higher on my list, but the trailer is a bit underwhelming. I felt the same way about the first Iron Man movie when the trailer came out and I really loved that movie! So this could end up being the same way, but I'm not expecting greatness. Ryan Reynolds is the new hot thing, being named the sexiest man of the year and having a wealth of job offers. After so many years of making good and decent movies, he's finally hit the big time and this is his dream job right here. He's a great actor and from what I hear from fans of the series, he's a perfect fit for Hal Jordan. Martin Campbell, who successfully rebooted the Bond franchise is in the director's chair. I really, really loved Casino Royale and he should bring the same sort of gritty edge to Green Lantern. Once again, there's a good cast attached to the movie and sometimes the right cast can elevate a movie from good to great. If this does really well at the box office, expect at least one sequel and a possible DC mega-superhero movie with the Justice League of America to finally begin production.

Starring: Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, Jude Law
Director: Martin Scorsese
Release Date: December 9
Based on the best-selling book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the film follows the story of an orphan boy living in walls of a Paris train station. He encounters a strange girl and a broken machine and is taken on a fantastical voyage. The book is a work of historical fiction set in Victorian Europe, which is so in my wheelhouse that I'm already getting excited just thinking about the setting. Plus I love these kinds of stories with fantastical settings and characters. Movies like Stardust, Pan's Labyrinth and The Princess Bride are all movies that I love. Plus! This movie has my new favorite actress, Chloe Moretz. She stole all the scenes in Kick-Ass and she's going to be great in this movie, too. Plus! You have Martin Scorsese working on his first family-friendly movie. This is going to be a fantastic movie and I am really super excited for the holiday season next year. Good times, people.

Starring: Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin, John Krasinski
Director: Luke Greenfield
Release Date: June 10
I'm sure this movie is not on a lot of people's radar, but I can't help myself. I'm a sucker for a good romantic comedy and this fits the bill. I've actually read the sequel to book this is based on and I'm working through the first one right now. I really love the characters and the story is not breaking any new ground - Rachel falls for her best friend's fiancé and drama ensues. But the book is so well done and it would work perfectly for a film that you can't help but get excited if you're a fan of rom-coms or the book. Kate Hudson is perfect as Darcy, the high maintenance and selfish go-getter. Ginnifer Goodwin, despite spelling her name all kinds of wrong, is one of my favorite girl-next-door actresses and she plays Darcy's best friend, Rachel. It's a great fit. John Krasinski plays a smaller role in this movie, but has a much larger part in the sequel (if they do make one!). The fiancé, Dex is played by Colin Egglesfield, in his first major role in a major motion picture. He's the mystery equation to this movie and that works in the movie's favor, in my humble opinion. This is one of the big date movies of the summer and you can bet Mags and I will be there opening weekend!

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