I think part of the reason I watch so many movies is so I’ll have an opinion to contribute just in case a film comes up in conversation. I find having a well-researched opinion backed up by facts and personal experiences goes a long way towards impressing people and tricking them into thinking you know what you’re talking about. It’s a satisfying feeling and has led to some really rewarding debate and discussion with my friends and coworkers.
Sometimes, though, you just have to go with your gut. And by “go with your gut,” I mean “make sweeping judgments based on two-minute trailers, personal beefs with the actors, and occasionally just disliking the movie poster.” Lucky for me, MRFH is the kind of environment where this can get you a promotion.
So join myself and Mutant Heather as we take a glimpse at the movies of 2011 and give you our fully formed, totally accurate and 100% trustworthy feelings about the upcoming year in film!
1) The Green Hornet
Al: Oh, this is going to suck so hard. I got to see the car at Comicon this year and it was suitably bad ass, but everything about this movie just looks terrible. Let’s hope it’s secretly brilliant and poorly marketed, Dogma-style.
Heather: I saw the car, as well as the “Hornet Girls” (or whatever they were called) prancing around in front while a huge screen played stuff exploding in the background. I assume that was the movie, and though it looked unimpressive, I’d go see it if someone begged me hard enough. There’s plenty of stuff coming out this year that looks a lot worse.
2) Red State
Release: 1/30/2011 (Sundancel)
Heather: I hadn’t heard of this movie before we started looking at the list of 2011’s films. My initial reaction of apathy is typical of my feelings about most horror movies these days, but after digging deeper I see Kevin Smith is directing this film, loosely based on the Westboro Baptist Church. I’m not sold on it, but I’m intrigued.
Al: I’m excited about this one. I’m a big fan of Kevin Smith’s Smodcast Podcast Network and he’s been talking up Red State pretty fiercely for months now. Plus, Neil Gaiman saw it and said “Best thing he’s ever done. Left me shaken & grateful & wanting to make art.” That’s a heck of a recommendation.
3) Justin Beiber: Never Say Never
Al: How can anyone not want to relive the inspiring true story of how one boy’s never-say-die attitude helped him achieve his lifelong dream of being discovered on Youtube and handed gajillions of dollars? His struggle to overcome the horrors of domestic suburbia is the stuff of legends and I’m thankful it will finally be immortalized on the silver screen.
Heather: You fail to mention his iconic hairstyle, which has spawned a hot new trend like this nation hasn’t seen since someone took a box cutter to Jennifer Aniston’s hair. I hear his mop-top meets emo flop is insured for unholy amounts of money and has plans for a solo career when (if) Bieber starts going through puberty.
Al: Oh, come on! I think this looks fun! If nothing else, it’s got a badass trailer. I suppose it *could* just be another Skyline, but I have hope it’ll be something more.
Heather: This is the second most anticipated movie for me this year. I LURVE Pegg and Frost, and it’s great to see them teaming back up again. Here lies the potential to be the best thing I’ll see this year, or my biggest disappointment.
6) Sucker Punch
Heather: After watching the trailer, this thing looks gorgeous and has a great soundtrack. Toss in a plot that’s got hints of Cinderella, The Matrix, and Kill Bill, add an obligatory dash of school uniforms and weapons and it’s dinner time! Which is to say “I’ll watch this”.
Al: Agreed. They’re hyping it up as “Alice in Wonderland with machine guns,” but all they really had to do was tell me it was directed by Zack Snyder and I’d be onboard. I also haven’t seen Emily Browning in anything since Lemony Snickett, but I liked her in that and I’m interested to see her all grown up.
7) Hobo with a Shotgun
Release: Spring 2011
Al: Okay, I know nothing about this movie beyond the fake trailer I saw with Grindhouse a few years ago. I suppose I’m in as long as it stays true to the source material. By which I mean Rutger Hauer dressed like a homeless person, shooting crooked cops and pedophiles with a shotgun.
Heather: I know nothing about this movie beyond what you just said. The title is enough to get my interest, and if you’re on the money about the rest then I could definitely give this a shot.
8 ) Scream 4
Heather: I liked the first two, but I can’t even remember the third. I’m not impressed by the whole “Ooh the killer is back a decade later” shtick but I guess I’ll watch it when it comes out on DVD.
Al: Yeah, I kind of agree. I like Wes Craven, though, and I’ve always had a thing for Neve Campbell. I may check it out on Cheap Movie Tuesday, but I won’t be heartbroken if I miss this in theaters.
Release: May 6, 2011
Al: Is it possible to feel both pumped and hesitant at the same time? I like the look of the Thor trailer, I think the director is a great choice, and I love the casting, but I can’t get 100% behind this one. It may be the whole Avengers thing: meshing a guy in a suit and a guy with a shield and a guy with an eyepatch with the actual, real life God of Thunder feels like it stretches credibility just a tad too far.
Heather: I’m completely with you there. When I first heard about this movie I actually laughed out loud, because just imagining the character of Thor in real life is freaking hilarious. I felt the same about Hulk, though, and that turned out to be decent (The Incredible Hulk, I mean. I’m pretending that abomination in 2003 never happened).
10) Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Release: May 20, 2011
Heather: It’s no small secret that I’m kind of in love with Johnny Depp, especially his Captain Sparrow character in what was a decent trilogy. That doesn’t mean that I expect this to be a great movie, but I expect to be entertained when I inevitably go to see it opening weekend.
Al: I’ll probably be there opening weekend, too. I’m not sold on the story or the viability of Captain Jack as a character without Will Turner or Elisabeth Swan for him to bounce off of, but the casting of Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane (Swedgin!) has gone a long way towards keeping my attention.
11) The Hangover: Part II
Release: May 26, 2011
Al: The first Hangover was absolutely hysterical and I doubt a sequel is going to recapture the magic. That said, if I’m going to see it at all, it may as well be with a good-sized crowed. Of course, that *also* being said, there are few things more awkward than watching an unfunny comedy in a packed theater. I have a feeling this one will wind up depending on the size of my billfold that weekend.
Heather: I share your trepidation. Comedy sequels have a way of being terrible like nothing has business being. I think this is another one that I’ll be waiting for it to come out on DVD unless, like you, I have a large crowd of people that really want me to see it with them.
12) X-Men: First Class
Release: June 3, 2011
Heather: Tired of continually resuscitating this dead horse, Fox has now decided to just string it up like a party favor and beg the audience to take a whack at it instead.
Al: I’m interested if for no other reason than I had no idea it was being made until a few weeks ago. An X-Men movie with no Wolverine? And January Jones as The White Queen? And directed by the Kick Ass guy? Okay, they got me.
13) Super 8
Release: June 10, 2011
Al: Didn’t we already see this one? I love JJ Abrams and I loved Cloverfield, but did he have to run out and make the same damn thing again? I suppose I don’t know enough about it to make a real judgment, but everything I’ve seen so far is leaving me cold.
Heather: Apparently trailers first screened before Iron Man 2, but I don’t remember them. The only thing that interests me about this movie is the title, which reminds me of Bruce Campbell’s biography where he talks about doing Super 8 films with Sam Raimi. Anything that reminds me of Bruce Campbell gets a few points.
14) Green Lantern
Release: June 17, 2011
Heather: As a comic book fan and not a comic book nerd, I have to admit I don’t know much about GL. I’m gonna be at the theater with bells on, though, because RYAN REYNOLDS! That Deadpool movie has to happen. It just has to.
Al: Eh. I liked Ryan Reynolds okay in Blade Trinity and X-Men Origins, but Green Lantern was my first comic book *ever* (Emerald Dawn #6—the first time Hal goes into the main battery and comes back all super charged) and I don’t think I trust Van Wilder to do it right. Tomar-Re and Kilowog look cool, though.
Heather: I like James Franco, and my husband really likes Planet of the Apes, so this….this might happen on one of our DVD nights. No way I’m getting stuck with this in a theater, though. Those seats aren’t very comfortable for napping.
16) Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Release: July 1, 2011
Heather: “And I say unto you, that Michael Bay shall rise from the bowels of Hell, and shall sit down with Shia, and Megan, and Optimus, in the kingdom of Hollywood. But the children of the kingdom shall have their memories drowned in Bumblebee urine, and there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.
Al: I realize I should be shouting “NO NO NO NO NO!” at the top of my lungs, but I can’t live a lie. The teaser trailer for Transformers 3 is one of my favorites in recent memory and Revenge of the Fallen—despite all its big, dumb, infantile tendencies—kept me entertained the entire two and a half hours. And, hey, if you’re going to see a Transformers movie, it may as well be on the big screen.
17) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
Release: July 15, 2011
Al: This is a no brainer. I was a big fan of Harry Potter 7.1 (so much so that it ranked #7 on my top ten list) and 7.2 has got plenty of big moments from the book that I can’t wait to see played out on film. Out of everything on this list, I think Deathly Hallows Part II is my only definite must-see of 2011. There’s no way I’m missing it.
Heather: I’m still in shock that I missed 7.1 in theaters. If I can kick my butt enough to rent Part I, I’d love to go see Part II. I’m not a Harry Potter fanatic but I do really like the movies, I’m enjoying the books, and the theater is the best place to watch these films.
18) Captain America: The First Avenger
Release: July 22, 2011
Heather: Captain America is my least favorite well-known superhero. I’m gonna ignore this movie so hard it’ll start shopping at Hot Topic.
Al: No love for Cap? Say it ain’t so! I hope, hope, hope this is good. I really do. Captain America is probably my all-time favorite superhero and absolutely nothing about this film has me excited. The costumes, the casting, the decision to set it in the 1940s–it all just screams “Run Away!”
19) Cowboys Vs Aliens
Release: July 29, 2011
Al: It seems like everyone I know already has their pumps primed for this movie and I don’t blame them: it’s Indiana Jones and James Bond fighting aliens in the old west! My only fear is that all the early hype is going to wind up disappointing a lot of people. It’s a funny concept, but it could lose steam when it’s stretched out over ninety minutes.
Heather: I had a grin on my face all the way through the trailer, but sadly I think you could be right; this might not work as a full length film. I like the idea, though, and the people involved. I’ll watch this if funds are high and other viable options are low.
20) Conan the Barbarian
Release: August 19, 2011
Heather: The original worked because back then America had a thing for sweaty, oily bodybuilders in our movies. There’s no need for a remake, mostly because I’m not interested, but the opposite is rarely ever true and yet here we are with more of them every year.
Al: A new Conan the Barbarian? Sure, why not. The original 1982 film feels like the books but the story kinda blows. The 1984 sequel has a story ripped right from the books but feels like amateur hour. Maybe this time they’ll get it right, with or without Arnold.
21) Final Destination 5
Release: August 26, 2011
Al: I’m a big proponent of the Final Destination movies. They make me laugh. Five entries into the franchise, though, I’m not sure I’m still willing to pay movie theater prices for them.
Heather: I really liked the first one, but I was a just a kid in high school. My more mature tastes say….well if I had more mature tastes I think they would be appalled that, for my 10 year reunion, I could see the same series of films with the same people I first watched it with in Sophomore year. I am completely uninterested.
22) Piranha 3DD
Release: September 16, 2011
Heather: Haha! They made a joke about breasts! Everyone thought the first one was great schlocky fun, and I regret missing it, so I’ll probably end up checking this one out.
Al: I never got to the first one, either, and I consider it one of my big misses in 2010. There’s no way I’m letting this one get under my radar.
Release: October 14, 2011
Al: I’d be amused and intrigued by a remake of Footloose if I wasn’t positive it was going to be a new High School Musical. Then again, I was shocked how much I enjoyed The Karate Kid remake last year. Eh, I still think I’ll pass.
Heather: Dirty secret about me: I never saw the original. Well I kind of did, but it was at a party and I wasn’t paying attention to the movie playing. I never saw it because I’ve never cared, and I still don’t care.
24) The Thing
Release: October 14, 2011
Heather: Hollywood never wavers in its insistence on puking up the same movies every few years, devouring them and then regurgitating them all over audiences, just to lap them back up again and repeat the process. I’m sorry, that’s a lame joke about how Hollywood is like a dog; just be glad I didn’t reference coprophagia.
Al: Gee, Heather, thanks for making me look up coprophagia. Actually, I would have totally agreed with you, except I saw the filmmaker’s panel on this at Comicon and thought the sneak preview they showed looked pretty badass. I’ll be in line for this.
Heather: I don’t remember why I saw the third one, but I’ll always regret it. What a terrible, drawn-out death for what was a great couple of movies. Even my love of hearing Banderas say “I am Puss!…..in boots.” can’t make me watch this.
26) Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1
Release: November 18, 2011
Heather: I think this is great! I’m really excited about this movie because that means this is the beginning of the end, unless that crazy Mormon chick decides to come out with Mid-Day Snack and Afternoon Delight.
Al: I’m also really excited for this, mostly because I’m given to understand that it involves our heroine vomiting up blood and Edward chewing through his wife’s umbilical cord. What can I say? I like the simple things in life.
27) The Muppets
Release: November 23, 2011
Al: Did I say the Harry Potter was my only must-see movie this year? Scratch that. I could find very little that was certain about the new Muppets movie aside from a release date and a screenplay written by Jason Segel. I’ll totally be in line for it anyway (as long as Kermit doesn’t sing any more duets with Tiffany Thornton).
Heather: I haven’t been interested in any new Muppets releases since Muppet Treasure Island, but maybe I’ve been too hard-hearted. I’ll give this one a bit to see what audience reactions are, and then I just might check it out.
28) Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Release: December 16, 2011
Heather: I’m disgusted by how many times I looked at the next movie to talk about and thought “YAWN”. Maybe we’ll get lucky and the Xenu will tell Tom Cruise to destroy any evidence of this film so he can level up.
Al: Yeah, I’ve yet to see a Mission: Impossible film that I’ve really enjoyed. I haven’t actively disliked any of them (and I actually own all three), but I’m just not sure how many more chances this franchise gets.
29) Sherlock Holmes 2
Release: December 16, 2011
Al: Well, I haven’t seen the first Sherlock Holmes movie so getting excited about this one is hard. It was supposed to be good, though, so assuming I catch it in between now and next December, I’ll probably check this out.
Heather: I neglected the first one, too, with no real reason. Like Harry Potter 7.2 I’ll have to give the predecessor a rent and then make things right.
30) The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn
Release: December 23, 2011
Heather: I’ve never heard of Tintin and I care as much about his movie “adventures” as I do Archie’s or Marmaduke’s. At least it’s not another Garfield movie.
Al: I know who Tintin is (sorta) but the picture I get in my head is always Asterix from French class and sure that’s wrong. Anyway, this movie has crazy amounts of Hollywood muscle behind it, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why they think it needs to be made.
And there you have it!
It’s like you don’t even need to go to the theater, right? So I say let’s all forget about 2011 and move forward into the far-off future of 2012! Ghost Rider 2, here we come!