Spring & Summer 2011 Movie Preview

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Spring & Summer 2011 Movie Preview

Wesley Emblidge

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2010 was a somewhat disappointing year for movies. In the first half of the year, many movies that looked good (such as “Iron Man 2”) were big disappointments, along with generally awful movies, like “The Last Airbender.” The year got better in the winter and fall, but it was still nowhere near the prestigious level 2009 had been. Thankfully, spring and summer 2011 look better. Here are some movies you’ll be able to look forward to in the coming months, but may not have heard of yet.Rubber
This is literally a movie about a tire that can explode things using its mind. Robert, the tire, lies abandoned in the desert, until it comes to life. It travels the dunes, blowing up everything in it’s path. As the most original idea ever for a movie, it’ll hopefully be the first good movie to save us from the January and February slump, a time when traditionally no good movies are released.

The Hangover: Part II
This could easily turn out awful, like most sequels, but it was also bound to happen. The first had no real stars, unless you count Mike Tyson, and made about $100 million more than “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” The only way to go with a sequel to a movie like “The Hangover” is to raise the stakes, and it looks like they’ve done just that. The movie takes place in Thailand, a monkey seems to be a prominent character, Alan’s head is shaved, and Stu has a Mike Tyson tattoo. Good or bad, this will still be the big comedy blockbuster to start off the summer.

Cars 2
This is the next Pixar film, and they haven’t made a bad movie yet. The original Cars wasn’t bad, but didn’t feel very Pixar. Popular music soundtrack and higher profile celebrity voices made it feel more like a Dreamworks pic, but in the end it was still good. Lightning McQueen and Mater are now secret agents shooting missiles around and going to Tokyo and stuff. However it is Pixar, and the trailers for Toy Story 3 didn’t look that amazing but that ended up being, well….a nominee for best picture at the Oscars. You probably shouldn’t expect something like TS3 from this, but do expect a solid movie.

Cowboys & Aliens
This film has a ridiculous concept, which is explained pretty well by its title: what if aliens came many years ago? If you take the concept and make it a traditional western, just with aliens, then it could be a fantastic action movie. According to director Jon Faverau, who directed the first two Iron Man films (he won’t be doing the third), they’re doing exactly that. Make a really great, straight western – but with the addition of aliens.

Battle: Los Angeles
This movie was originally described as “Black Hawk Down” with aliens. And that seems to be the plot. We follow a military team who has to react when aliens invade the world, including Los Angeles, where the team is stationed. That alone is enough to sell the movie. Yet when Aaron Eckhart (that guy whose face got burned off in “The Dark Knight”) was cast and the amazing trailers came out, the movie looked just like the insane, action thrill ride that it was billed as.

Your Highness
This title is really witty because it works in two ways. It refers to “your royal highness,” as the comedy is set in medieval times. Secondly, it is directed by David Gordon Green, who also directed “Pineapple Express,” and stars James Franco and Danny McBride as a hero and his stony brother, respectively. The dynamic duo journey to rescue Franco’s bride (Zooey Deschanel) from an evil wizard, they are high constantly and curse incessantly. As you’d expect from Green, it looks hilarious, action-packed, and boasts some awesome effects to boot. Not to mention it’s one of the four different movies that Natalie Portman is in before June this year…and she appears in a metal thong.

Super 8
This movie is so super-secret, even the main cast is not really confirmed. While an official trailer is out for “Real Steel,” a robot boxing movie coming out four months after it, “Super 8” barely has a full plot description. What we do know is that JJ Abrams (that guy who made Star Trek cool and created Lost) writes and directs a homage to old Spielburg alien films and sets it in the South. We can guess it has something to do with hotels, because “Super 8” is the name of some motel chain. [EDIT: Several days after this story was published, a TV spot aired for this film during the Superbowl]

X-Men: First Class
The X-Men movies have always had issues, and all these problems really showed in 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” While the new movie revisits the prequel idea of showing the young X-Men, this time it looks at Dr. Xavier and Magneto’s past. If this was the same team who had done any of the former X-Men films, there wouldn’t be much to look forward to, but with most of the creative team from “Kick Ass,” and a new younger cast, this could end up being the first redeeming film in the series.

Captain America: The First Avenger
This movie follows Captain America through his war adventures on a special military project. This could also easily be bad, as director Joe Johnston’s best movie so far would be a tie between “The Wolfman” and “Jurassic Park III.” That’s a nice definition of an awful director. However, the movie does have a great cast of people like Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones, and Chris Evans (who you might remember as the guy who “flames on” in The Fantastic Four) as the Captain himself. All the photos released so far look successful, so this could definitely end up being a great summer blockbuster. It certainly has the potential and the iconic character to make the money to warrant the upcoming “The Avengers” film.

Thor

Thor is the first of the many different superhero films this summer (others mentioned below). Thor is kind of a strange superhero though, as in, he really isn’t one. Rather he’s a Norse god, who gets banished from Norse-god-ville by his father and is forced to fight people on earth. The director Kenneth Branagh is a weird choice, since he usually makes Shakespeare movies. However, the trailer make it look like is has a shot at being good, with adequate effects, and somewhat compelling action.

30 Minutes or Less

No, this isn’t some Food Network show. It’s actually a comedy where Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride and Aziz Ansari are somehow involved in a bank robbery. Someone is kidnapped, and I think Eisenberg is a pizza delivery guy. Not all the details are clear; there’s only one image out, but with the cast, director Ruben Fleischer and the premise, this sounds like it could be an truly original comedy.

Source Code
One of the better independent movies from 2009 was a sci-fi thriller from a first-time director Duncan Jones, called “Moon.” His next film, “Source Code,” is the same genre but with a real budget this time. It explores one assignment in a military project called Source Code, where military officials control “a man’s identity for the last eight minutes of his life” in order to discover how he was killed. In the case of this assignment, a terrorist bombed a train, and Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) is assigned to figure out who the bomber was. It looks mind-bending and action-packed, with a great supporting cast. I’m not the biggest fan of Jake Gyllenhaal, something about his eyes seem kind of manufactured and scare me, but I can get past that for this.

Release Dates:

February
2/11 – Justin Bieber:
Never Say Never 3D
2/25 – Rubber
March
3/4 – The Adjustment Bureau
3/11 – Battle: Los Angeles
3/18 – Paul
3/25 – Sucker Punch
April
4/1 – Source Code
4/8 – Your Highness
May
5/6 – Thor
5/13 – Bridesmaids
5/20 – Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stanger Tides
5/26 – The Hangover: Part II
June
6/3 – X-Men: First Class
6/10 – Super 8
6/17 – Green Lantern
6/24 – Cars 2
July
7/1 – Transformers: Dark of the Moon
7/15 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
7/22 – Captain America
7/29 – Cowboys & Aliens
August
8/5 – The Sitter
8/12 – 30 Minutes or Less

1 Comment

One Response to “Spring & Summer 2011 Movie Preview”

  1. Sam Stecklow on March 3rd, 2011 5:18 am

    Kenneth Branagh is actually a brilliant and obvious choice for Thor.

    Thor’s storyline is nothing if not Shakesperian, albeit tied up in some action/adventure hogwash. Educate yourself, Sir.

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Spring & Summer 2011 Movie Preview