What We're Looking Forward To In 2011 - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

What We’re Looking Forward To In 2011

Andrew COMMENTARYThe last thing any of us expected today was for the sun to turn into a gummi worm and descend upon us in a strange bout of reverse consumption.  It's probably a good thing that was the last thing we were expecting, because it made the myriad of technical problems we were experiencing while attempting to record our podcast seem mild by comparison.

So Ryan and Andrew decided to showcase the movies we are looking forward to most for 2011.  Danny has mercifully abstained as there is not a single film planned that has risen his desire beyond "lukewarm".  So we present to you in this hopefully first and only edition of You Can't Stop The...Blog...cast.

Strap yourselves in, there are already some intriguing films coming out.

Ryan's Picks

Fast 5: I know, of all the movies that will come out this year, I pick this one to start off my list with.  Let me tell you this - I have enjoyed most of this series (except for Tokyo Drift) and these movies always give you what you were expecting.  Having the cast from all the movies come together and adding Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to the mix gets my action movie juices flowing. If people were honest with themselves, they would come to the realization that having Vin Diesel and The Rock in a movie together is what can fill that empty void they feel.

We Bought A Zoo:  All I know of this movie I can get from the title,  I assume there will be a zoo and somebody will buy it.  The reason that this is on my list is because it is written by Cameron Freaking Crowe.  His last two movies have not really done much for me, but the cast (Matt Damon, Scarlett Johanson) and the fact it is made by the guy responsible for Almost Famous, Say Anything and Jerry Maguire is all that I need to know.

Captain America:  I am a movie geek and am fast becoming a comic geek, so this will not be the only comic book movie I will see in the summer (I am also dying to see Green Lantern and Thor intrigues me); but it is the one I want to see the most.  I think the WWII setting could be interesting and if the director, Joe Johnson, can get the same kind of fun from that period as he did from a previous movie The Rocketeer it might be as much fun as Iron Man.

Cowboys and Aliens:  As you may have guessed from my Captain America blurb, I love comic movies and it doesn't feel like the summer movie season without a few.  But the greatest things you can find in the popcorn movie season is a unique idea done well with a huge budget.  Again, I think the title says all that needs to be said to get my butt in the seat.  It is about Cowboys vs Aliens and stars James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford).  I expect this to be one of if not the most entertaining films of the summer and I actually feel for once my high expectations will be met.

Source Code:  A few years ago, first time director Duncan Jones created the low budget sci-fi film Moon and I watched the film from beginning to end mesmerized.  I loved the ideas, I loved the acting and I loved the pacing.  Now, he is back with another intriguing sci fi idea in Source Code.  It stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a man who can relive a victims last few minutes of life to try to see how and why the person was killed.  On one such case, he falls for a fellow victim and tries to save her, even though the event is in the past.   I am a sucker for movies with this type of story and with a exciting young director, I am hoping that this movie will be as entertaing as Moon turned out to be.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows Part II:  I hate that they split this movie up in to two parts but I was pleasantly surprised on how much I liked the first part.  It probably will end up being my favorite or 2nd favorite movie of the series and we haven’t even gotten to the “good stuff” from the book yet.  I am dying to see the Battle of Hogwarts, the emotional final confrontation and the movie series that has been around for 10 years come to a gracious close.

Battle: Los Angeles:  Alien invasion stories have been done to death and you would think there would be nothing left to mine in that genre (except, of course, to throw cowboys into the mix).  So I heard about this filmand had no desire to see this movie.  Then I saw the preview.  Now I want to see it bad.  It could be that it was just a well-made trailer, but it did its job and will get me to see it, probably first weekend.

Sucker Punch:  I still am a fan of Zach Snyder and think he is a very visual director.  Sure he loves slow motion and hyper realism a bit too much, but I never held John Woo and his love of doves against him.  This movie looks like it will be another visual feast and that alone would be worth the price of admission.

Scream 4: Chances are this movie will suck, but I have a special place in my geek heart for Scream.  In high school, that was the movie everyone talked about and I would love to see the series become relevant again.  I will go see it, but I am not expecting much out of it.

Hugo Cabaret:  Martin Scorsese is not a director that stays within the limits of one genre.  He has done gangster pictures, period pieces, musicals, sports pics, thrillers and religions films, but this fall, he will tackle something brand new, a kids film…in 3-D.  I have faith that Scorsese will make an awesome kids movie and a beautiful example of 3-D done right, but I can’t say I wasn’t surprised when I heard he was making this.

Andrew's Picks

Atlas Shrugged - Part One: This movie is included on my list because of pure, unbridled curiosity at the potential for genius or unfathomably potent failure.  The movie is adapted from Ayn Rand's seminal work (seminal by many of her fans, I prefer The Fountainhead), directed by Paul Johansson (known best for his work in the Highlander TV series and it's spin off) and starring two relatively unknowns in Taylor Schilling (the TV series Mercy) and Grant Bowler (the HBO series True Blood). This movie has my attention much like a snake watching a mouse and I am most intrigued at the path this film has taken and who has finally assumed the reins of production.  Rest assured, I'll be there opening day for this project.

Bernie: Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, School of Rock) has been operating out of the spotlight in the last few years and churning out some good but not quite great films (Me and Orson Welles, Fast Food Nation, Bad News Bears).  Now he's reteaming with Jack Black for a black comedy wherein a mortician befriends an aging wealthy debutante (Shirley MacLaine)  and murders her for her money.  He then covers up her death and makes it seem as though she is still alive, which keeps everyone nice and fooled until the district attorney (Matthew McConaughey) comes investigating.  The premise has me grinning, and Linklater knows how to temper Black into a more palatable screen presence much like he can draw on McConaughey's charms to a more substantial whole.  MacLaine is just a nice touch to a film that looks like an entertaining reentry for Linklater into the public eye.

Damsels in Distress: The films of Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, The Last Days of Disco) paved the way for his modern contemporaries Noah Baumbach and Wes Anderson.  While I treasure their films, Stillman's movies have a wistful playfulness that is lacking in the cynical approach of Baumbach or the fanciful storytelling of Anderson.  Not much is known about Stillman's latest film after several attempts to get any project off the ground, but it has wrapped up and set for release in 2011.  If you haven't taken the Stillman plunge, now's the time to get caught up with his style (I'm particularly fond of Disco).  He's an uncommonly intelligent writer and his decade plus absence has been sorely missed...now I've just got to hope the bloody thing gets picked up.

Drive:  Nicolas Winding Refn has been building up a name for himself as a director of intelligent and stylish films with a fairly hard edge (The Pusher Trilogy, Valhalla Rising).  I haven't been completely sold on his movies, but this one looks just ridiculous enough to push me over the edge.  Drive stars Ryan Gosling as a stunt man that serves as a getaway driver for bank robberies between jobs.  Ridiculous premise?  Sure, but Gosling is one of the best actors of our generation and he's joined by Carey Mulligan (An Education) and Bryan Cranston (TV's Breaking Bad), two amazingly talented actors who have been working at the top of their game.  Here's to hoping that this is the project that tempers Refn's somewhat rambling story structures into the potent force he's capable of.

The Future: I am prepared to gush over this film sight unseen and I need to reel that feeling in a bit.  It's because Miranda July, the director, made one of my favorite films of all time Me, You and Everyone We Know.  She has a magical sense of romance that approaches otherworldly but stops just short of going overboard into intolerable whimsy.  That movie is impossibly perfect and her follow up about a young couple (July and Hamish Linklater) putting their relationship to test by adopting a cat looks to be along those same lines of delightful.  This one has been a long time coming (since 2009) but it's finally here, and I'm set to beam with happiness for weeks if this is even half as a good as Me, You.  She's a wonderful artist and writer being who deserves any recognition we can drum up - so watch it please.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: "Wait a minute" (you might ask), "didn't Andrew hate both of the Swedish films he watched in this series?"  Most definitely.  They wasted Noomi Repace and drowned her in thrillers so dull that they're ripe for riffing from the MST3K crew.  But this new set has Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara and it's most potent weapon in David Fincher's direction.  Lisbeth Salander is one of the most intriguing and original characters to come out of fiction and the earlier Swedish films did not do her justice.  It's unknown if Fincher's sensibilities work well with the remarkable feminist undertones of Stieg Larsson's original text, but Fincher is definitely the best person to try and get it right.  This is one remake that I'm more than happy to compare with the original.

Immortals: Directors that strive to give us new images are hard to come by.  Those that are obsessed with that quest are as rare as a unicorn being ridden by Pac-Man.  Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall) is one of those directors who approaches film with a lust for images that express the giant well of emotion that we each carry around.  Now he's making a film that deals expressly with Zeus and the Titans in ways that the recent Clash of remake could only cry itself to sleep thinking about.  If anything, Immortals is ambitious to the extreme and well worth my eventual trip to the theater.

The Tree of Life:  Well, it looks like 2011 will be a year for two Pac-Man ridden unicorns to come striding into the cinema.  It seemed for a long time like Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life would never see the light of day.  His kind of contemplative style isn't for everyone, and for that I am sorry.  One look at the soaring visuals in the trailer is enough to convince me that cinema is still capable of spiritual highs that have been absent in movies for years.

Those are the films that we're looking forward to the most.  How about you?

Posted by Andrew

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