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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Aaron’s Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of Spring 2011

Here is a list of some upcoming releases that I am looking forward to the most.  While the opening beginning months of 2011 will be a bit slow, theatrically speaking, worthwhile new releases will soon pick up for the better.  I have put “spring” in the title, but let me clarify:  I am counting all movies that fall between February and up to the end of April.  The summer may start in June, but the beginning of May is when the summer movies start happening.  As far as these choices go, the dates are subject to change, but at this point, they should all be sticking to these release dates.  So with all of that out of the way, let’s get to the flicks:


10.  Drive Angry 3D – February 25th
C’mon now, this movie looks amazing.  Nic Cage stars as a vengeful father who has escaped Hell to find the men that have killed his daughter.  A mix of racing action with some supernatural twists, this could be one amazing cheese-fest.  Directed by the man behind My Bloody Valentine 3D, this film is also shot in 3D and looks all the better for it.  It’s going to be a crazy, over-the-top mess and I bet I will enjoy all of it.


9.  Water for Elephants – April 22nd
Based on a popular novel, this film intrigues me for a number of reasons.  Firstly, director Francis Lawrence has attempted sci-fi a couple times with Constantine and I Am Legend, but seems to be going for something new this time.  As I have problems with both of those films, I still think he has talent visually and am excited to see what he can do in this period drama.  The other reason for my anticipation is that I get a strong Big Fish feel from the trailer, and that is a very good thing in my opinion, so I am hoping to enjoy this film quite a bit.  The story is simple enough:  A veterinary student abandons his studies after his parents are killed and joins a traveling circus as their vet; and the film also stars Christoph Walz, among others.  Count me in.

8.  Source Code – April 1st
This is director Duncan Jones’ follow up to his fantastic 2009, debut film, Moon.  This time, Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown man and discovers he's part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train.  While the trailer may have given this time/reality-bending film a conventional sort of look, I am hoping to be drawn into whatever it is that this film tries to create.  It has an intriguing enough premise, a good supporting cast as well, and could be enough to get Jones the chance to write another original story that could be turned into a major release.

7.  Rango – March 4th
There are some weird movies on this list, but Rango may be one of the weirdest.  Johnny Depp stars in an animated comedy directed by Pirates director Gore Verbinski.  This computer animated, Nickelodeon film centers around a chameleon who aspires to be a swashbuckling hero and finds himself in a Western town plagued by bandits and is forced to literally play the role in order to protect it.  It is strange, but intriguing, with some nice animation and character designs, and the trailers continue to convince me to want to see this flick.

6.  Paul – March 18th
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) have written a sci-fi comedy about to British comic book geeks traveling across America and encountering an alien (voiced by Seth Rogen) outside of Area 51.  The first three words of that last sentence already had me.  Boasting a stellar supporting cast as well, which includes Jason Batemen, Sigourney Weaver, Kristen Wiig, Jane Lynch, Bill Hader, and many others, this film is primed to make me laugh very, very hard.


5.  Sucker Punch – March 25th
Zack Snyder returns to live action filmmaking after a brief stint directing that CG Owl movie, Legends of the Australians Speaking in G’Hooleese of Owls and the Lightening Thief.  However, after adapting 300 and Watchmen, this time around, Snyder is creating something entirely original.  The story involves several young girls attempting to break out of a mental institution, using their imaginations to create an alternate reality that can help them learn how.  Basically, using their minds serves as an excuse for Snyder to put a lot of cool looking shit all over the place and film it in his trademark slo-mo-speedup style.  And hey, I’m all for it, if he pulls it off, the man has actually not let me down yet.


4.  Fast Five – April 29th
Yes, Fast Five beats out Sucker Punch for a simple reason – there is less risk involved in knowing how much I will enjoy this movie.  I have had a strange weakness for these ridiculous movies in the Fast and Furious franchise.  Be it the car racing action, the terrible dialogue, Paul Walker “acting”, or the motivation to make each title more ridiculous than the last, I really enjoy watching these movies.  Added to that is the fact that almost every character from the previous films is returning for this one and they have even gone and brought in Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in on the fun as well.  Vin Diesel and The Rock in the same movie!  I call that solid gold entertainment. (Anticipated review quote: “solid gold crap”)



3.  Your Highness – April 8th
From the director of Pineapple Express and the writers behind the hilarious HBO series Eastbound & Down, comes this very funny looking medieval film that seems to be going for an R-rated comedy take on films like Beastmaster or Excalibur.  The film stars James Franco and Kenny “F-ing” Powers himself, Danny McBride, alongside Natalie Portman and Zooey Deschanel.  It involves a quest to find a lost princess, battles with dragons and other creatures, as well as facing off against foul-mouthed sorcerers and others in a fantastical world.  I was sold on this concept pretty quickly after seeing this red-band trailer.




2.  Battle:  Los Angeles – Marth 11th
While last year’s Skyline may have left a pretty bad taste in many people’s mouths (#8 on my worst of 2010 list), I have a whole lot more faith and anticipation riding on Battle:  Los Angeles.  Along with the very cool trailers, I have seen footage of this film at last year’s San Diego Comic Con, and there are plenty of great looking things about this movie.  Basically a mix of Black Hawk Down and Independence Day, with a little Call of Duty thrown in there, the film seems to be following a platoon, headed by Harvey Dent himself, Aaron Eckhart, as they fight off an alien invasion of Los Angeles.  While the film doesn’t need to be perfect, I can at least hope for some fun and better results than the stupefying feature that was the previous alien invasion movie event.  However, if what I have seen is any indication of the final results, it should be exciting, tense, and very satisfying.


1.  Red State – March
 As much as I still love to listen to Kevin Smith talk on all his various podcasts and just in general (the dude is very funny to me), after Cop Out (granted he did not write it, only directed), I was starting to think that a new “Kevin Smith movie” was meaning less and less to me.  Then the teaser trailer for this flick hit.  Red State is Smith’s attempt at a horror movie, and he has done so in the cheap and gritty way.  Having been talking about it for years, he has finally gone and got it made.  Judging by some of the images that have come about, the casting, and said teaser, let alone the amount of enthusiasm he has about doing something completely different, I am incredibly curious to see what Smith can pull off here.  From what I can tell, it looks like he is channeling the hardcore 70s horror flicks that were made in equally cheap and gritty ways.  I can only hope he pulls this off well.  (Note:  The March date for this release is the only one that is not quite solid, as Smith does not even have a distributor for the film yet, until he finds one at Sundance)




Others:
The Adjustment Bureau, Apollo 18, Hanna, The Mechanic

So that is what has me pumped and ready for the spring.  Sure, there are plenty of other films I will probably see, let alone a lot more films that will not see wide release, but these more notable flicks are the ones I think should be looked out for, and I can only hope they deliver

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