The Most Anticipated Movies of 2011: The next five!

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Car chases, Clash of the Titans Redux, conspiracy theories, werewolves and murderous employees! I've gone over my list a few times (I'm still re-writing my top 25 choices - it's too damn hard!) and I've noticed that only 17 movies in my Top 50 are sequels, remakes or franchise movies. Everything else is either original or comes from a book/source material. So whenever someone comes up to me and complains about how unoriginal Hollywood is, I just point out that first of all, nothing is original these days. And second, that's not the point of movies - it's how the story is told and what makes it exciting or fresh. Sure, there's lots of alien-themed movies next year and superhero movies, but most of them are interesting takes on the genre. Of course it remains to be seen if any of them will be any good, but I'm so excited. And I just can't hide it. Hence the blog.

Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker
Director: Justin Lin
Release Date: April 29
Some of you may be wondering why this isn't higher on the list and I questioned that myself. I just can't love this franchise. I like it and I'll probably see this in theaters, but I'm not going crazy thinking about how awesome it might be. The great thing about this movie is that it returns pretty much everyone from the last, including the director (who directed a few Community episodes, possibly the funniest show on television right now. He did that awesome paintball episode and I don't know why that didn't win an Emmy for Outstanding Kick Assery), so you can expect the same magic from the previous film. Let's hope Dwayne Johnson doesn't ruin the franchise. It's probably a good thing he's the FBI agent hunting them down, because I don't think I'd ever believe he could steal cars for a living.

Starring: Mickey Rourke, John Hurt, Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto
Director: Tarsem Singh
Release Date: November 11
AKA Dawn of War AKA War of the Gods, this film has been around Hollywood for a while. After the success of Clash of the Titans, this movie finally moved forward. And although the plot is very similar to Clash (one god gets angry at humans, human hero must stop said god with the aid of other good gods), I think it has a lot of potential. Tansem Singh, the director of The Cell and The Fall, has a unique visual flair and has talked about making the film more contemporary, much like Baz Lurhmann's Romeo + Juliet. Which I think sets this movie apart from the other riff raff. The cast looks fantastic and I'm sure this one is going to be a bit edgier than the PG-13 Clash.

Starring: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis
Director: Seth Gordon
Release Date: July 29
This movie has summer comedy blockbuster written all over it. First off: the cast. Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey, Julie Bowen and Donald Sutherland?!? Crazy! Did they draw names out of a hat? Second: the director - Seth Gordon. He did the phenomenal The King of Kong documentary and has directed episodes of The Office, Modern Family, Community and Parks and Rec. This guy knows comedy and I'm thinking he's taking this script and running with it. Third: John Frances Daley (Sam from Freaks and Geeks!) had a hand in the script and is also in the movie! Buckets of Awesome. The plot is fairly simple: three friends conspire to murder their bosses because they're horrible (uh-duh!). Of course things go wrong, hilarity ensues and New Line gets gobs of money. This really should be higher, but this 2011! It's going to be that crazy when a movie like this is only 38!

37. Apollo 18
Starring: ?
Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego
Release Date: March 4
This movie has the distinction of halting not one, but two other movies that were in production. Roland Emmerich's The Zone, a similar found-footage movie about alien invasion was canceled and then a movie titled Dark Moon was also dropped, but soon picked up by another studio. Dark Moon follows a black ops mission sent to explore previously classified lunar discoveries after Apollo 17. Whereas Apollo 18 follows the real canceled mission to space by NASA. If this were Mean Girls, Apollo 18 would be Regina George and Dark Moon would be Cady Heron. So with all this cat fighting (meow!), Apollo 18 may be the better movie, simply by being first. I like the idea - it could be another Cloverfield. Or this one could end up being like The Fourth Kind, a mess of a movie. Timur Bekmambetov is producing so you know it's gonna be at least decent.

36. Red Riding Hood
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Release Date: March 11
When the trailer showed up before Harry Potter and the words "From the director of Twilight" came up, there was a collective groan from the audience. I don't care what the haters say, I like Hardwicke and Twilight. I think Twilight was visually stunning (except for the whole, shiny-vampire thing - but that's budget restrictions and not necessarily her fault) and I can't wait to see her take on this old tale. The movie has potential - it looks more artistic and poetic than a period piece like this would be shot. And I really like Seyfried, too, she's a great actress. But the trailer is a little underwhelming. I still think this could be a great movie, despite it's obvious affinity towards the Twi-hards.

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