The Most Anticipated Movies of 2011: Keeping things in perspective.

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I know this sounds ridiculous coming from the guy who's writing about upcoming movies and how excited I am, but I always have to keep my expectations in check. Sure, I'm excited for these movies, but when expectations are so high, it's easy to be let down by a movie that's really good. People expect big things out of blockbuster movies - especially those that are sequels. Take for example, Iron Man 2. The movie was quite good, but I think a lot of people, myself included, got caught up in how great it was going to be. The expectations were near impossible to live up to. I'm trying to keep that mindset in perspective as I count down, because you'll start to notice that a lot of movies that people are drooling over, I don't have that high on my list. It's more a reality of keeping my expectations somewhat low so that I don't feel disappointed when I go check out these movies. Okay, seriously, that was long and obnoxious - here's the next five!

20. The Green Hornet
Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz
Director: Michel Gondry
Release Date: January 14
At first when this trailer hit, I wasn't so impressed. Looking back at it one more time, I can't help but get more amped up. I really think Gondry as the director is going to take this movie to a whole other level. He's so wildly inventive and I'm sure he's making this big-budget superhero movie as quirky as possible. And you know what? I like Seth Rogen - he is going to be great in this role (who knew he could be an action star?) and along with the rest of the cast, you can't help but get a little giddy. Christoph Waltz as the villain is perfect and Tom Wilkinson as his father is another great matchup. I like where this movie is headed and I'm sure it's going to end up being a fun summer blockbuster in January.

19. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg
Director: Brad Bird
Release Date: December 16
Aside from the atrociously video game-themed title, the new M:I is looking to be a sweet holiday treat at the end of next year. I think it's one of the smartest moves Paramount has done - instead of competing with the crowded summer market, take this action epic to the holidays and I'm sure it's going to do gangbusters. But aside from the release date, you got some great people lined up for this movie. Brad Bird, in his first live-action directorial debut, will be making this one special. He's best known for the Pixar movies, The Incredibles and Ratatouille, so it's going to be interesting to see how he will fare with a big time action movie. I have no doubts he's going to reinvigorate this franchise. Which is sad, because I think M:I 3 was really good and J.J. Abrams had already reinvigorated it, but apparently, audiences and the studio don't agree with me. Also, along with Simon Pegg returning as the techy assistant, Jeremy Renner, Josh Holloway (Sawyer from Lost!) and Michael Nyqvist (from Sweden's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) round out the rest of the cast. I really like everyone that's involved in this movie and hopefully Cruise will get back to his big-time action star days. I think Knight & Day was really fun and I can't wait to see what he does in this movie - scaling the world's tallest building is no doubt going to be epic.

18. Super 8
Starring: Elle Fanning, Elle Michalka and Kyle Chandler
Director: J.J. Abrams
Release Date: June 10
Not much is known about this movie and most people at first thought this was a follow up to Abrams' Cloverfield, but this is an entirely different beast (quite literally). Abrams knows how to keep a film under wraps and works well with sci-fi mysteries, so you can expect very little to come out about this movie until it hits theaters. It could be a movie filmed Cloverfield-style or it could not. It could be about aliens or it could be about government experiments gone wrong. Who the hell knows? But this is such a good tease for sci-fi geeks that I can't wait to see it this summer. While I did enjoy Cloverfield, I don't really think it was spectacular and worth watching again. I hope that this will be as epic as it portends to be. Plus Kyle Chandler, or as most people know him, Coach Taylor, is in this one and that can only mean good things.

17. Battle: Los Angeles
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan
Director: Johnathan Liebesman
Release Date: March 11
Another alien-themed movie, this one has way more potential than the DOA Skyline. First of all, the movie takes a viewpoint from a soldier's perspective, so already it has an interesting vision to it. I think the last movie to take on this vibe was Starship Troopers, an extremely entertaining and campy us vs. them alien movie. Great stuff, but I think this one is more serious and somber. Think of it as War of the Worlds, but instead of trying to survive, we see us fighting back. The only thing that bugs me about this movie is the total lack of originality with the alien designs. It's like everyone thinks that Independence Day's alien ships set the benchmark for how they should be designed, but that movie, I think, was pretty lame. Remember when people got so excited about them blowing up the White House? There were at least ten TV shows that revealed how they did it: "Ummm, yeah, we took a model White House and blew it up. Then we enhanced it with Adobe Photoshop." So why do the ships have to be these monstrosities of metal with blinking lights all over them? I'm starting to think the 50s versions of alien's transportation might start to look refreshing, with big ass bubbles and flying saucers all over the place. Get on this, Hollywood!

16. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Starring: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Ian McShane
Director: Rob Marshall
Release Date: May 20
I really, really loved the entire Pirates trilogy. That said, I'm a little hesitant about this new one. I'm glad they're starting fresh with a whole new cast, save Depp's Jack Sparrow. But you can only take Jack Sparrow so far; I'm hoping he is not the main focus of the movie. And then there's Rob Marshall as the director. I really hope he proves me wrong, but I just can't see him taking on this franchise and making it better. He's best known for Chicago, a musical that I enjoyed and that one best picture back in 2002. But that's a far different movie than Pirates. And although I have trepidation for the new one, I'm still going to see this day one. I think they've also lined up a great cast around Depp, so this should be a solid movie. I mean, it would be hard to really mess this movie up. Michael Bay isn't behind the camera for this one! So I know it's going to be good, I just hope it's great.

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