Half Year Movie Roundup

In January I wrote a preview of what movies were coming in 2011, with a genre slant.  Quite what genre means is open to debate, but probably translates to ‘stuff that I think I might enjoy’.  We’re about to saunter into July so I thought I’d look back, see how we fared in the first six months and then in a later post, look at what the rest of the year has in store for us and how it’s changed from the January outlook.  Caveat: I have seen very few of these movies, and I’m basing these comments on reviews, reports, financial statements and stuff that I read elsewhere.

To be fair, although we’re half way through the year it’s likely that more movies will be released in the second half than than the first, so this might turn into an awfully short article.  So in no particular order (or rather, in the same order they showed up in the original post).

Sucker Punch – Miss

The critics hated it and the fans were pretty disinterested.  Rotten Tomatoes gave it a rotten 22% (fan rating 53%) while Metacritic gives it 33%.  In the US it only managed second place to Diary of a Wimpy Kid in its opening weekend (~$19m).  It’s grossed around $89m against an estimated $81m budget so with DVD/Blu-ray sales it will make a profit (that was probably never in doubt).  Much of the negative criticism revolved around the lack of characters and plot along with the misogynistic imagery.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – Hit

Critic proof and proving it.  Much of the critical response was highly negative – flabby, too long, lacklustre, and yet the fans flocked to it and drove it to a $90m opening weekend in America and £11.6m in the UK.  Worldwide it’s now taken $986m, putting it ahead of The Curse of the Black Pearl ($654m) and At World’s End ($963m).  RT (Rotten Tomatoes) gave it a rotten 33% (fans rated it 63%) and Metacritic 45%.  Despite being too long it looks like Johnny Depp saved this outing, and until he signs on to #5 we might still be saved from yet more buck swashling and rum jokes.

Fast Five – Hit

A clear surprise, Fast Five had the potential to be the worst sequel to date of any franchise but somehow it managed to dig deep and give audiences something worth getting behind.  Even the critics liked it with an (essentially) unbelievable fresh 78% on RT, 67% at Metacritic and an opening weekend in the US of $86m.  It’s now grossed over $590m worldwide, making it the most successful of the franchise to date by a significant margin.  Bucking the trend in the industry, Fast Five shows you can make a movie part of a franchise and still pull in people and give them something to enjoy.

Thor – Hit

I’ll be honest – I was dubious.  Doubtful.  Maybe even negative.  I was also dead wrong.  Delivering an entertaining and eye blisteringly impressive movie, Thor was proof that you can deliver dramatic action while dressed like a dork.  RT loved it (78% fresh), Metacritic thought it wasn’t bad (58%) and critical reception was generally positive.  Despite opening very early in the year Thor pulled in respectable box office cash ($64m opening weekend in the US, $436m to date worldwide against a budget of $150m estimated).  Get a quality director and a half decent script, and even super heroes can be believable.

The Green Hornet – Miss

It opened strongly ($33m in the US) and it’s easily covered its budget with a worldwide gross of $227m, but The Green Hornet is average at best.  Even the RT critics and RT fans agree giving it a rotten 44% and fan score of 49%.  The score seems to boil down to the movie not knowing what it was meant to be and falling squarely between serious and slapstick giving that terrible serious-stick kind of performance that makes us all cringe.

Drive Angry – Miss

Having made about $28m worldwide, I think we can safely say this movie flopped.  Although flopped suggests that it was alive with a chance in the first place, where-as we know better.  This fish was dead in the water at inception.  It garnered a surprising 45% on RT which I put down to excessive drug use to be frank, Metacritic gives it 44% based clearly on equally absurd chemically induced insanity.  Fans on RT were more sensible giving it only 40%.  If you need any more evidence, it opened with a $5m box office weekend in the US, dismal.

Hanna – Hit

I thought maybe the world wouldn’t quite be ready for 2 kick-ass kids so close together.  But apparently, they were.  Hanna did okay, not brilliantly, but definitely okay.  RT rated it fresh (71%), it opened in the US to a $12m weekend and has grossed $56m worldwide against what is probably quite a small budget (estimated $30m).  Although on average the movie scores well, it certainly wasn’t universally loved and many critics complained it was vacant, meaningless and without soul.  Since many critics are vacant, meaningless and without soul I’ll consider us even on that point.

The Hangover Part II – Hit

Fair to say the critics disliked it (RT 35%) but the fans came out, supported it and for the most part enjoyed it (RT Fans 62%).  The critics disliked that it was the first movie all over again while the fans seemed to be happy to accept exactly that.  Opened to another whopping $85m in the US (£10m in the UK), and has so far sucked in over $527m globally.  Undeniably financially sound, but not necessarily a winning movie.

Your Highness – Miss

I had high hopes but apparently, too high.  Looks like the puerile humour didn’t hold up in this gross out fantasy comedy.  With the notable exception of The Princess Bride, fantasy comedy never works – don’t they know that!  Murdered more thoroughly than a Dragon at a Knights and Wizards convention, Your Highness dredged up a terrible 26% at RT, with even the usually lenient fan reviews only getting up to 45%.  I’m sure it has moments of hilarity but the critics weren’t falling for it.  Opened to a semi respectable $9m in the US, but has grossed only $24m worldwide to date.  A royal flop.  Not even shots of Natalie Portman’s naked arse could save this script.

Limitless – Hit

Proving Bradley Cooper is hot property, Limitless did well enough with the critics and very well with the punters.  On a reasonably low key release it pulled in $18m in the US on it’s opening weekend and has grossed $145m to date.  RT gives is an impressive 70% (fans 74%) and Metacritic 59%.  In general it seems Bradley manages to smooth over some of the weaker elements of the script to give this franchise-free action-thriller a good run for your money.

X-Men: First Class – Hit

Another surprise in the first half of the year for me – X-Men: First Class had so much potential to fall flat on its face that it could have been known as the ‘flat on its face movie’.  Okay, that didn’t sound as smooth as I thought it might.  Despite the fears, the script (by the excellent Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn, Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz), the choice of time period and stand-out performances from McAvoy and Fassbender seem to have wowed crowds and critics alike.  RT gives it 87%, Metacritic 65% and it pulled in an impressive $55m on it’s US opening weekend (already up to $321m worldwide).

Paul – Hit

Well, I loved it.  Although it wasn’t trumpeted as an outstanding success, Paul is sucking in money, making people laugh and has more than easily covered it’s budget.  Despite some negative reviews, the overall RT score of 71% is solid, while the Metacritic score of 57% seems harsh.  In the US it only opened to $13m, ranking 5th that weekend (against Sucker Punch and Diary of a Wimpy Kid), but in the UK it pulled in a respectable £5.5m (~$8.9m).  Globally it’s now done okay at $94m, easily covering the estimated budget.  It’s a sleeper of a movie, and I’m hopeful DVD/Blu-ray sales will do it proud.

Green Lantern – Miss

I don’t think Rotten Tomatoes alone is a good measure of a film.  The rotten/fresh scores are sometimes out of kilter with the movie going public, and critic proof blockbusters can easily get 20% on RT and still make a billion dollars.  What I do think is an interesting measure is when the critics hate something (27% on RT in this case) and the fans don’t mind it so much (56% fan score on RT).  Despite that, I’m still rating Green Lantern as an overall miss.  That’s even with a friend saying she really enjoyed it – she was pretty much hypnotised by Ryan Reynolds’ ass, and so I’m discounting her view.  It’s early days, but Green Lantern opened to a decent $53m and has grossed $122m worldwide.  Why then a miss?  Because it could and should have been more.  It should be scoring like X-Men: First Class on RT, it should be raking in $80m on the opening weekend, and it should have grossed $300m worldwide by now.

I Am Number Four – Hit

Haven’t heard much about this, so basing this commentary solely on the numbers.  Disliked by critics but reasonably enjoyed by the target audience, I Am Number Four made a wedge of cash ($19m opening weekend, $144 globally) and probably kick started a franchise.

Red Riding Hood – Miss

At 11% on RT and 29% on Metacritic, Red Riding Hood is the worst performing movie out of the bunch this year.  It’s empty, vacant, banal and a failure according to the critics.  The potential fans weren’t wowed either with a 44% fan score on RT.  Financially it didn’t do too badly, a half decent opening weekend of $14m in the States and $89m worldwide so far mean it’s paid for itself, but I think it would be disingenuous to describe it as anything other than a miss.

Battle: Los Angeles – Miss

Title confusions aside (was it ever called World Invasion: Battle LA?), it appears as though Battle: Los Angeles was a missed opportunity.  Rotten at RT (35%) and equally weak at Metacritic (37%), reviews suggest the movie could have delivered much more than it did.  On the other hand, it apparently appeals to fans of Killzone, Crysis and other similar games and may just be too narrow for a general audience to appreciate.  Opened to a good $35m, and has easily earned back the budget with $202m worldwide so it can’t be considered anything other than a critical failure but a financial success.

Source Code – Hit

A half decent year for original thrillers with a near-future theme, Source Code impressed the critics and entertained people who actually pay for their tickets.  An out of this world 91% at RT puts this near the top of this years genre movies to date, and with fans agreeing (82% on RT) and the box office backing it up ($14m opening weekend, $112m worldwide vs. a low $32m budget).

Unknown – Hit

Although it just barely scrapes in, Unknown was probably a hit.  Average scores on RT and Metacritic, and an okay performance in the box office mean we probably won’t see a sequel (Also Unknown, Mostly Unknown, What do I know Unknown) but it won’t offend and it might just pass the 113 minutes in a sort of enjoyable haze.  Another soft script saved by a hard Neeson performance.

Priest – Miss

The critics were never going to love it were they?  It’s not their thing.  But the studio never gave me a chance to like it either because they only opened it in 3D.  No 2D showings anywhere near me (where there any at all)?  As expected it got panned (17% on RT), and the fans didn’t like it that much better (40%).  It opened reasonably well ($14m in the US) but is only just beginning to struggle past its budget (only $75m worldwide so far).  The editing seems to be the biggest issue and the movie is very short (these days) at 87 minutes.  Many people wonder what’s on the floor and if it could have been even better with a little more work.

The Adjustment Bureau – Hit

Turning Philip K. Dick stories into movies is notoriously hit and miss, but this effort seems to have found the right audience.  Described as intelligent, romantic and imaginative, the movie scores 72% fresh at RT (although fans gave it 68%).  Considering the budget (estimated $50) the $21m opening weekend was very healthy and the worldwide gross of $123m assures us that in 15 years someone will try a remake.  Matt Damon will have been a big draw, but people must have found something enjoyable once they arrived.

Overall then, a bit of a mixed bag.  The stand out winners so far are Fast Five and X-Men: First Class.  Thor and Paul get honourable mentions, while Drive Angry and Red Riding Hood take home wooden spoons.  Seriously, did any of you think Drive Angry would be good?  Really?

What’s coming in 2011?

Here’s my quick list of genre, almost genre, geek or action movies that I’m aware of coming up in 2011 or 2012.  A few times during the year I’ll have a scour through IMDB, Empire Online, Den of Geek, and see what’s coming up.  I mail the list out to a few people.  I’m sticking it here as well in case they can’t be bothered to read the mail.

Sucker Punch (April 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0978764/
* http://suckerpunchmovie.warnerbros.com/

Steampunk, guns, dragons, robots, hot women, giant samurai, zombie nazi’s.  What’s not to love?  From Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen, Dawn of the Dead) it’s super glossy and super stylised.  I just hope the deep dramatic plot and character development shine through.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (May 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1298650/
* http://disney.go.com/pirates/index-on-stranger-tides.html

Well, it’s Pirates 4, no Orlando Bloom, and we have Penelope Cruz. But, we also have Ian McShane!  If they can get a tight story and wrap Johny Depp’s performance around it, like they did in the 1st one, we might have something worth watching.  If it is as loose and flabby as the third one, then we’re in trouble.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1399103/
* http://www.transformersmovie.com/

Optimus gets a trailer!  Bay promises that this time there’ll be more robots fighting robots, rather than robots sinking aircraft carriers and destroying pyramids.  I suspect there’ll be plenty of US Marine Heroic Man Vs Robot action as well.  Megan Fox (Mikaela) is out and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (Carley) is in.  No doubt there’ll be some deep and meaningful storyline to cover the Sam – Mikaela relationship breakdown and the arrival of Carley.  I’m personally hoping that takes up the first 90 minutes with the last 20 focussing on the robots blowing up something big.

Honorary non-Genre inclusion: Fast Five (April 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1596343/
* http://www.fastfivemovie.com/

Follow-on to Fast & Furious, which was the follow-on to The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift which in turn was the follow-on from 2 Fast 2 Furious which was a follow-on to the original The Fast and the Furious.  Cars! Men! Women! Thievery! Mad Driving Skillz! Rubber! And it’s number 5, see what they did there?

Thor (April 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0800369/
* http://thor.marvel.com/

Natalie Portman gets top billing – that can only be bad.  Giant hammers, mythology, white supremacist storyline, giant blonde heroes, smashing and bashing!  Biceps!

The Green Hornet (January 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0990407/
* http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/thegreenhornet/

Voted most unlikely super hero ever, Seth Rogan stars as The Green Hornet.  He’s lost some weight and gained some gravitas, but will he be the first dope smoking green hornet?  Surely it should be “Seth Rogan stars as the Purple Haze Hornet”.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (November 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1324999/

Because it’s in vogue to split your book movies into 2 now.  You might as well – doubles your income but only costs you a single movie option in the negotiations.  With a built-in audience this will do well, despite the writing being as anaemic as the main stars.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (July 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1201607/

The end – the finale – the last one – there will be no more (maybe).  This is it – Harry vs. the World.  It’s everything you’ve been waiting for if you’re 14 and read the books while you were about 7.  I kind of got bored after the one before the one before this one (keep up at the back) but I’m sure we’ll end up with them all on DVD.  Voldemort meets his match.

Drive Angry (February 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1502404/

Nic Cage, in a genre action movie.  This can only mean one of two things.

1. it will be awesome beyond your understanding
2. it will suck like an open chest wound (thanks Bin for that, I still love it)

There will be no middle ground of mediocre, or average, or okay.  Either your eyes will burn from hatred or burst with love.

“A vengeful father chases after the men who killed his daughter.”

Captain America: The First Avenger (July 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0458339/
* http://captainamerica.marvel.com/

Adding to the stable of movies that make up The Avengers, Marvel bring us Captain America.  Personally, I’m dubious.  Thor I can almost buy, but Captain America?  It’s a guy with a shield?  I suspect this is one for the comic fans mainly, and patriotic American types.  Maybe Sarah Palin will endorse it.  But it’s necessary if Marvel are going to deliver their Visionary Avengers Movie.

Hanna (April 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0993842/

So if you felt really uncomfortable watching Hit Girl shoot people in Kick-Ass you’ll want to give this a miss.  14 year old Hanna turns out to be an assassin, raised by her CIA father and sent on a critical mission.  She kicks ass (see what I did there?) while being hunted by people with their own agendas.  It’s like Leon but in reverse.

Additional Honorary Non-Genre Comedy: The Hangover Part II (May 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1411697/

Because who didn’t love the odd paced, odd placed, original?  The boys travel to Thailand for a quiet pre-wedding brunch, hilarity ensues.

Your Highness (May 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1240982/

Trying to do comic fantasy movies is doomed to ultimate failure, for thou canst never beat The Princess Bride (inconceivable!)  However, some shmuck is going to have another go.  Danny McBride co-stars, Natalie Portman (she’s getting around) is seen wearing a thong in the red-band trailer (or big knickers in the non-red-band trailer) and it doesn’t look *too* bad.  But, the jury will be out and it’s got big shoes to fit in.

Limitless (March 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219289/

Copywriter turns into superhero – sounds like a script writer’s wet dream (search replace script writer with copywriter to make sure it doesn’t sound like I wrote it, mwahahahaha, mwahahahah).  Looks high-brow, we’ll see if it turns out to be high-frown (!?)  It’s got Robert De Niro but sadly that’s no longer the marker of a good film.  Bradley Cooper is having a good few years as well (Hangover, A-Team, this).

X-Men: First Class (June 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1270798/

Meh, another super hero origins movie.  The film industry is doing what the comic industry has done for years – take the same old super-heroes and regurgitate them over and over in slightly different latex outfits to shore up sales.  We’ll see if the public buy it.  I’m not interested.  It does have Kevin Bacon in it though, making Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon even easier to play.

Paul (February 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1092026/

Nick Frost and Simon Pegg’s latest effort, Paul is the endearing story of two comic book geeks who travel across America only to run into an alien at Area 51.  With comedy.  Like E.T. only funnier.  Hopefully.

Cowboys & Aliens (August 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0409847/

I think the title really gives the whole thing away.  From Jon Favreau (Iron Man/Iron Man 2, Elf!) and a personal project of his, this comic book adaptation brings together Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig in what fanboys are referring to as ‘Indiana Jones meets James Bond’, for some reason.  Also has Sam Rockwell, and the elf-like, ethereally beautiful Olivia Wilde (Thirteen from House).  Oh, it’s about aliens invading, and being fought off by cowboys, with the help of an alien.  So basically, like Outlander, but in the West rather than Norse.

Green Lantern (June 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1133985/

If you thought 2010, or 2009, or 2008 were the year of the Super Hero movie, you were wrong.  2001 to 2020 are going to be remembered as the 20 years of the Super Hero movie.  The Green Lantern stars Ryan Reynolds as, erm, The Green Lantern, who gains a mystical green ring that gives him super powers and makes him one of an elite group of protectors of something critically important which must not be discussed.  And he then does Good Things[tm] for the benefit of all mankind.

I Am Number Four (Feburary 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1464540/

Some teen flick about some hot kid who turns out to Be Different while also Being Awesome and proves that you can Be Different and still Be Liked, teaching all kids an important lesson while glossing over the deep prejudice towards Good Looking People.  Or something.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (December 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1229238/

A lot could change before the end of 2011, but at present, this is the fourth MI movie, it does star Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, but so far only has Simon Pegg returning from any of the previous movies (that I can see).  No real plot details yet, rumours are a ‘handing over’ of the role from Cruise to to someone else.  But who knows.  Maybe by the time we get to December it’ll all be different.  I bet though, there’s some secret mission to retrieve someone/something that involves jumping out of tall buildings.  So, I’m in.

The Wolverine (April 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1430132/

It’s not a sequel to Wolverine, oh no, it’s just another part of the story, we promise.  Hugh Jackman getting his jacket off and cutting holes in things with his finger nails.  Hopefully it’ll have more jeopardy than the first one and so be worth watching.  Oh you want the plot?  “Wolverine travels to Japan to train with a samurai warrior.”  So like the Karate Kid, but with more Adamantium.

Red State (March 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0873886/

A Kevin Smith horror movie, low budget, high production values.  It’s Kevin Smith, there’ll be bad language and witty one liners, but a horror movie should be an interesting stretch.  I don’t do horror – but I’ll make an exception in this case.  Kevin wrote the script for this, unlike Cop Out for which he was just director.  Reviews look good so far.  Edit (4/1/2011) : Bad choice of word – there are no reviews, since it’s clearly not been shown (it’s due to show at Sundance at the end of January).  Feedback / comments / previews / choose a word that works better.

Sherlock Holmes (no title yet) (December 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1515091/

Robert and Jude are back in the sequel, and I hope it’s better than the first, which was good, but there was room for improvement.  I love the mix of modern and historical, loved the banter, and loved the story.  Fingers crossed this is worth seeing.

Red Riding Hood (April 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1486185/

Girl meets boy, girl’s family disapprove, boy might turn out to be werewolf, hilarity and complications ensue.  Anyway, two words – Gary Fucking Oldman.  Worth watching it just to watch him at work.

World Invasion: Battle LA (March 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1217613/

Renamed movie (was Battle: Los Angeles) can be described in only one line (from IMDB) which both tells you everything you need to know, and why you should watch –

A Marine platoon faces off against an alien invasion in Los Angeles.

Marines – check.
Aliens – check.
LA backdrop – check.


Source Code (April 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0945513/

Interesting premise – a soldier wakes up in the body of an unknown man, and has to work out who is *about to* bomb a train.  If you watch the trailer you see him waking up again and again ala Sam in Quantum Leap, each time remembering a bit more and having to work harder to find out who does it before it happens.  Like Groundhog day married Quantum Leap and had Deja Vu flavoured babies.

Super 8 (August 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1650062/

JJ Abrams top-sekrit not-Cloverfield movie.  Train wrecks, nasty monsters, and TOP SEKRIT PLOT.  Here’s the IMDB overview “Next Summer, It Arrives.”

See, capital I in It.  Clever JJ.

The Apparition (September 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1433822/

College kids release evil spirit who then haunts them.  No gin involved.  But, looks like some skimpy underwear involved so that’s okay.

The Smurfs (August 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0472181/

Blue! Smurf-tastic.  Coming next smurf, this smurf movie of smurf is smurftastic in all smurf ways, and will smurf your smurf more than ever before.  Smurf.

Kung Fu Panda 2 (June 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1302011/

Fat is Back!  All the fun of Jack Black without having to look at his ugly face.

Unknown (February 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1401152/

Liam Neeson gets to play another brooding man in a suit in this thriller.  He’s been in a coma, someone else is pretending to be him, no one believes him, confides in a woman, sets out to prove he is who he says he is.  Top man.

The Three Musketeers (October 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1509767/

Milla Jovovich in a corset.  Sold?  I was.  Also, men with swords, buckling swashes and doffing hats.  Periodtastic action.

Sadly, has Orlando Bloom in it.

Priest (May 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0822847/

Didn’t I already send an e-mail about this?  Paul Bettany (who is a king among men) plays a priest, in some weird future society with vampires, who sets out to rescue someone.  But who cares why, did you see the bit about FUTURE APOCALYPTICAL SOCIETY WITH VAMPIRES?

Rise of the Apes (August 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1318514/

Since it’s technically impossible to ruin a movie as efficiently as Tim Burton ruined Planet of the Apes in 2001, for which I’m still refusing to forgive him, this ‘how they became the talking apes we know and love’ prequel must theoretically be worth watching.

Also, Tim Burton had fucking nothing to do with it – so that’s good.  Andy Serkis gets to play a hunched humanoid with dodgy interpersonal skills.  Again.  Typecast much?

Anyway, I actually quite like the premise, “An origin story set in present day San Francisco, where man’s own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.”

Real Steel (October 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0433035/

Sci-Fi Boxing Drama – Transformers meets Rocky.  With family relationship issues thrown in for free.

Now (September 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1637688/

I like this one – it sounds original.  Everyone lives to 25, after which you can live for ever, as long as you can pay to remain 25.  The rich are immortal, the poor have to beg, borrow and steal to make it through another day.  I’m not even biased that it stars Olivia Wilde (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1312575/), although that certainly helps.

Conan the Barbarian (August 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0816462/

If I have to describe this, then I clearly didn’t mean to include you in the distribution of this e-mail, forgive me.  For everyone else – CONAN!  With RON PERLMAN! And staring Jason Momoa as Conan (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0597388/).


Stop drooling at the back.

The Adjustment Bureau (March 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1385826/

With any adaptation of a P.K. Dick story you can be sure of two things,

1. it will involve paranoia
2. it will be confusing

Let’s hope Matt Damon can keep our interest during this latest adaptation of the master of paranoia’s work – “David learns he is up against the agents of Fate itself-the men of The Adjustment Bureau-who will do everything in their considerable power to prevent David and Elise from being together.”

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage (2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1293847/

They should have called this xXx 3 Dropping Vin was Stupid.  Vin tried to distance himself from each of the movies he starred in, instead going on to produce their sequels (The Fast and Furious, xXx, etc.) and the sequels tanked.  So he’s decided if he wants to make money, he should maybe continue doing the thing that made him money in the first place.  So he’s back in both his major franchises, and you can bet there’s a third Pitch Black coming soon with him in it.  In xXx Vin is back as Xander Cage, and he’ll do silly stunts in order to achieve impossible goals.  Yay.  Also, he plays D&D so we need to support him.  Also, is Samuel L. Jackson up for the ‘most supporting actor roles in history’ Oscar?

Contagion (October 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1598778/

Matt Damon (again) in a remake by any other name of Outbreak.

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (October 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0983193/

Tintin!  The Thompson Twins!  Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg (hardest working British actor OF ALL TIME).  Tintin!

The Eagle (March 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1034389/

Roman soldier seeks golden emblem – please send contact information if you have located it.  Honour at stake.

Red Dawn (2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1234719/

Chinese and Russian soldiers invade a town and are repelled (we presume) by some local teenagers.  Like ‘home alone’ the party version.

Immortals (November 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1253864/

Clash of the Titans, without the Titans, and with different Gods, but otherwise, the same, but hopefully better, but then it does star Mickey Rourke so it could go either way.

The Thing (October 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0905372/

Prequel to The Thing.  I still think they should have called it ‘The Other Thing’, or ‘The Second Thing’ or ‘Another Thing’.

National Treasure 3 (2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1197627/

Not much detail yet – but yes, apparently, they do think they can make another one.

The Killer Elite (2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1448755/

Assassin movie – with Clive Owen.  And De Niro.  AND JASON STATHAM!!!  I’m buying my tickets RIGHT NOW!

I don’t know the plot, I don’t care, it’s got The Stath.

The Witches of Oz (2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1592287/

If I told you almost anything about this movie, you wouldn’t be interested.  But I can tell you one thing that ensures you’ll see it.  The single most important thing.  The critical thing.  The One Thing.

The Wizard of Oz is played by – Christopher Lloyd.

See, told you.  See you there.

Wanted 2 (2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1262421/

James McAvoy is back – but we’re not sure if anyone else is and so we’re not sure if it’ll be worth seeing.  All the best characters died.  To be fair, ALL the characters died.

Fright Night (October 2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1438176/

Yes, they remade it.  With fucking Colin Farrell. And David Frigging Tennant.    I refuse to watch it.  I will watch the original 20 times before I watch this steaming pile of childhood memory robbing garbage.

I’ll probably buy the DVD though.

Zombieland 2 (2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1560220/

Still in development, so late 2011 or early 2012.  I’ll be there though.  Who wouldn’t?

Red Sonja (2011)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0800175/

The girls get Conan and the boys get Red Sonja.  Sadly, she’s played by Rose McGowan so it would be like having a fantasy involving your frumpy ugly maths teacher – in other words, pointless.

The Avengers (May 2012)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0848228/

The ensemble Super Hero movie Marvel always wanted to make will finally arrive.  Maybe.  Finally.  Perhaps, in 2012.  Iron Man! Thor! Captain America! The Hulk! Black Widow! Hawkeye! War Machine!   All together, on the big screen, at once!  Because you know, we love movies with so little focus on one character that they turn into a soup of explosions and shitty dialog.

Other 2012 highlights,

The Dark Knight Rises (i.e. Batman 3)
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1345836/

Not much detail yet.  I hope Bale drops the STUPID voice.

* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1440129/

A fleet of ships is forced to do battle with an armada of unknown origins in order to discover and thwart their destructive goals.

This can only be so terrible as to be awesome (it’s ‘inspired’ by the game, in case you’re wondering).

Star Trek 2
* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1408101/

No title, but the whole cast is back, let’s just hope they drop the red matter bullshit.  We don’t need any origin story, so I’m hoping for 90 minutes+ of tachyon beam based fun.

Spider-Man reboot

Meh.  Why?

Superman re-reboot

Meh.  Why?