It's funny how all of the next movies on this list have some sort of magical or fantastical theme. I didn't pick it this way, it just happened! I love fairy tales - it probably stems from my childhood watching Nickelodeon's David the Gnome and Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics. Those were great shows, I'd spend Saturday mornings watching this stuff. I don't even know if there's such a thing as Saturday Morning Cartoons anymore. But Nickelodeon definitely had the best kids programming in the 90s. You couldn't beat all the young kids programs and if you were older, you'd watch Salute your Shorts or Hey Dude. I don't know if any of these movies will capture that same childhood nostalgia, but I can only hope.
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor
Director: Bryan Singer
Release Date: June 15
I'm not a really big Bryan Singer fan. I don't know why people love him so much. I thought The Usual Suspects was a good movie, not blow-your-mind amazing and the first two X-Men movies were solid and fun superhero movies, but nothing mind-blowing either. And let's not forget how awful Superman Returns was (although I really don't blame Singer for that turd. Superman is probably the most boring superheros of all time so it's really hard to make a compelling movie about him. I mean the dude can't die. And Lex Luthor is his boring villain counterpart: "I'm evil because I'm bald and rich! MWAHAHAHA!"). With all that in mind, I am a little weary of this re-telling of a classic fairy tale. The story goes that Jack, a young farmhand, unknowingly opens up our world to the land of giants, igniting a war against the humans because the giants were banished long ago. It's up to Jack to fight back and save a princess in the process. Isn't there always a princess involved in these stories? I love the cast - you have Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies, on the previous part of the list) playing Jack and Ewan McGregor, Ian McShane, Bill Nighy and Stanley Tucci play back up roles. (holy cow that's a lot of top notch actors! Hopefully the budget's big enough to accommodate all of them while delivering some good visual effects). This should be a fun adventure - as long as the effects are good, there should be some epic battle sequences. But it might come across as a family film first - the script could be full of bad puns and one-liners - "You know what they say the bigger they are, the harder they fall!" I'll have to wait and see the trailer before I make any more judgement.
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Release Date: March 2
Taking a more comic and darker turn on all the classic fairy-tale adventures, the movie unfolds 15 years after the events of the Gingerbread House incident from the original tale. You know, where the kids get stuffed into the oven so the witch can eat them! Now Hansel and Gretel are bounty hunters that unleash righteous vengeance upon any evil witches they come across. Although to be fair, all witches are evil. This includes a coven of witches who plan on sacrificing several children in the local village for some ritual and such and it's up to the formidable duo to take them down. Sounds like a fun movie and also like it isn't going to take itself too seriously. This is where I hope there's plenty of one liners where they replace the word bitch with witch. Let's hope this doesn't turn out to be like Your Highness - a terribly dumb and gross movie. Jeremy Renner has become the new hotness and he's turned himself into a complete badass. Also, Gemma Arterton is one of my freebies - she's not only extremely beautiful, but she can act, too! So naturally, this movie is on my radar. Another toss-up, really, and I'll reserve more judgement, once again, when the trailer pops up on the interwebs.
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron
Director: Rupert Sanders
Release Date: June 1
Funny thing, I was going to put both Snow White movies on this list, but after seeing the trailer to Mirror Mirror I decided to trash that idea. Haven't seen it yet? Go ahead, I'll wait. Yeah, now tell me that doesn't look truly awful - what's up with Julia Roberts hamming it up and Armie Hammer acting like a dog? Plus there's a Scarface reference in the movie! Well, I never thought I'd say this, but Kristen Stewart has trumped Julia Roberts. Not that I'm a big fan of Roberts (she seems so stuck up her own butt - half her movies she's starring as herself. Talk about narcissistic). This version of Snow White looks pretty epic and, well, awesome! I think having Snow White dressed up like Joan of Arc was a wise decision - the movie has me excited to see some great action and set pieces. And if I were a lady, I sure wouldn't mind Mr. Hemsworth hunting me down, Meow! While I'm not going to go out on a limb and call this a must see, it's certainly is one to look out for.
Voiced by: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson
Director: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Release Date: June 22
I was pretty excited about this movie when I first heard it announced. I love Irish/English folklore and Pixar really hasn't let me down (hell, even Cars 2 was good - color me surprised!). But after the teaser was released, I'm feeling a little let down. Don't get me wrong, I still think it looks good, just not great. Part of me feels like it's not taking itself too seriously, which isn't a bad thing, but for the purposes of this movie it just doesn't seem to fit. There was too much physical comedy in the trailer and not enough Pixar magic dust, you know the kind where it makes you want to see the movie really badly. Plus the story doesn't seem all that compelling - a young princess defies custom and unleashes chaos on her kingdom. I remember when word first got out on the movie that people were saying, "It's Pixar's first movie with a female heroine! Great job, Pixar!" like they've broken some barrier in family films (uhhhh Mulan and Coraline would like to object!). Pixar has always been extremely good at telling new tales and they haven't let me down yet, so here's to hoping for the best.
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane (voice)
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Release Date: July 13
I loved Family Guy. After Fox had cancelled the series, I went out and bought the DVDs. I probably watched at least one or two episodes a day for a good year. And then when Fox brought it back, I was suddenly disinterested. And then I slowly realized Family Guy was pretty much repeating the first three seasons over and over again. But I still believe Seth MacFarlane is a funny guy and his directorial debut sounds like it could be very funny and definitely quirky. I won't be surprised if this bombs big time and is an epic failure, but it could be a surprise hit. I'm guessing it will fall somewhere in between. The gist of the story is that John's childhood wish comes true - his Teddy bear (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) comes to life and his is constant companion. Which only interferes with John's life as he tries to grow up, where Ted refuses to. It's like The Odd Couple except with a creepily animated Teddy Bear! I have a feeling this movie is going to be a lot like Paul from this year - a solid comedy, but nothing I'd wanna watch again. The movie has tons of potential - I could see this being the stoner comedy of the year. Although depending on the animation, stoners might be totally freaked out by Ted's appearance in the movie. Oh well, the stoner audience has always been a fickle target audience.
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