Wizards, pirates and superheroes return in 2011


With the exceptions of this month’s The Green Hornet, there doesn’t seem to be much going on in the world of film this Spring. I’m looking forward to IT Crowd and The Mighty Boosh star Richard Ayoade’s directorial debut with his film Submarine released in March. April sees a film adaptation of Red Riding Hood, but it looks more Twilight than anything else, with a Robert Pattinson wannabe and werewolves being the key features.

The film season really starts to kick off in May with The Hangover 2 and Priest. Little more can be said about the sequel to 2009’s The Hangover, other than it’s set in Thailand and it’s another guy getting married. Sticking to the same formula could go either way for director Todd Phillips, but there seems little else in the way of comedy contenders this year. Priest, a post-apocolyptic sci-fi thriller (a bit of a mouthful already), could be worth a watch, with Paul Bettany as a legendary warrior caught in the war between man and vampire. Perhaps something a little more entertaining to watch than Edward Cullen’s mopey glare.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides hits the big screen on May 20, with Johnny Depp returning as Captain Jack Sparrow. The sequel is only loosely connected to the previous films, with Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly no where to be seen. Jack is searching for the Fountain of Youth and is joined by a female pirate played by Penelope Cruz.

Then come the Summer blockbusters, including the usual superhero flicks. Marvel are putting on quite a show, with Thor released in May and X-Men: First Class hitting us in June. The prequel focuses on the teenage years of the first series of X-Men, with an interesting cast including James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult and Michael Fassbender. However, the whole teenage superheros discovering their powers for the first time plot seems a little tired. DC fight back with Green Lantern later that month, with Ryan Reynolds in the lead. I’ve always been a Marvel fan but I think that DC might just win this battle. Marvel release yet another film, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, in July, but with the absense of Megan Fox, the series has probably lost half of it’s fanbase for the final installment.

Once the superhero season is out of the way, the final part of the Harry Potter series comes to cinemas on July 15, with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. I’ve never been much of a Potter fan, but I’m sure that the suspense of this release will have people squirming in their seats for the next six months.

Autumn sees the Halloween season begin, with a vast number of horrors and thrillers being released. First off is a fifth, yes – fifth, Final Destination. Another 3D flick, this time focusing on a suspension bridge accident. Sounds riveting, doesn’t it?  If it weren’t for the emergence of 3D, this franchise would have been killed off long ago. October’s a little more promising, with The Thing, a prequel to John Carpenter’s classic. Carpenter’s film is more comical than scary, but it’s still a classic horror film. Paranormal Activity 3 is also released in October, which is inevitable really after the success of the first two films. There’s little known about the sequel so far, so keep your eyes peeled – or rather, hidden under your duvet. So, as usual, the Halloween season is filled with sequels and remakes. With the Saw franchise finally over, Lionsgate release Dibbuk Box, in which a family finds a haunted box and struggles to face an evil curse. It doesn’t sound that exciting, but maybe it’s something to break the sequel cycle.

Along with all the horror of October, there’s a remake of Footloose which will probably fail terribly. Not to be a pessimist, but it’s more likely to follow the lines of awful dance flicks such as Step Up than be entered into the rather exclusive club of successful remakes.

Whilst October may not look promising at first glance, my most anticipated release of 2011 hits the screens. The Rum Diary, stars Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp, a young New Yorker working on a newspaper in the 1950s. The Rum Diary is adapted from the book by Hunter S. Thompson, much like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was. I’m a huge fan of Thompson’s work, and the film certainly looks promising.

The film adaptation of the final book in the Twilight series hits the screens on November 18 (cue masses of Twihards queuing up outside the cinema with I Heart Edward banners and such, fun times). Alas, for all you Twilight haters, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn is merely part one, with the final part being released a year later. How on earth they’ve managed to drag the book out into two films is beyond me, so prepare for neverending scenes of topless males and sulking glares.

There’s little info in the way of releases in December at the moment, but Sherlock Holmes 2 is set to be a big hit at the box office. Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law return as Holmes and Watson in this sequel, but there’s little information about the film’s plot as of yet. Definately one to watch out for.

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