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Upcoming Movies 2011

Looking ahead by following the trend set forth in 2009 and continued in 2010, let's take a look at the potential movies we'll be seeing this year.  As a point of reference, here's the complete listing of 2011 films scheduled.

Like last year, I've categorized mine into three separate tiers: "Must see", "Likely to see", and "Still undecided".

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MUST SEES:

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (5/20) - To cut and paste from the designated thread: My rabid fandom for the series has been lying dormant for a while, but I must admit it's stirring again.  The prospects are looking far more promising than they were a year or two ago.  It's great to see such mainstays as screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, cinematographer Dariusz Wolski, and composer Hans Zimmer making a return.  Despite that, I'm keeping things on a cautiously optimistic footing in light of new director Rob Marshall; let's hope he proves to be a worthy successor to Gore Verbinski.

Kung Fu Panda 2 (5/26) - DreamWorks has proven from time to time that they've got the competitive chops to go up against the likes of Pixar.  How To Train Your Dragon was proof-positive of that, but so too was the first Kung Fu Panda.  Jennifer Yuh Nelson, who directed that amazing hand-drawn animated sequence in the first movie, makes her full-length directorial debut here.  Let's hope she can deliver a film that's as funny and enjoyable as the first.

X-Men: First Class (6/3) - Pretty much the "Origins" film adaptation for Magneto and Xavier.  After the crazy good Kick-Ass, I'm excited to see that both director Matthew Vaughn and screenplay writer Jane Goldman are heading up this one, and their sensibilites could result in a killer X-Men adaptation.

Cars 2 (6/24) - I know, I know.  The first Cars tends to be looked down upon as lower-tier Pixar, and several have vehemently scoffed at the idea of a sequel.  I say, to hell with the haters - I dug the first one, and any chance to indulge in my moderate infatuation with this vehicular-driven world is fine by me.  After a five year hiatus, too, it'll be great to see another Lasseter-directed outing.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (7/15) - Not much needs to be said here.  Even if this last cinematic entry in the Potter saga ends up disappointing, I'm still planning on seeing it.  It's going to be a monster at the box office either way.

Sherlock Holmes 2 (12/16) - The more times I watched Guy Ritchie's first Sherlock Holmes, the more I ended up loving it.  I'm hoping the next one is as "fiercely intelligent", dense, and entertaining as its predecessor.  And hey, we're getting Mycroft and Moriarty!

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LIKELY TO SEE:

The Hangover: Part II (5/26) - Should be interesting to see if they can manage a continuing narrative here, but I always figured that a sequel could potentially work with Stu as the new character focus.  Gonna avoid all the trailers this time around; the first film managed to spoil all the really great moments.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (7/1) - After Revenge of the Fallen, will folks be marked as a pariah if they chose to see this?  I'm a hopeless optimist, so I believe that Bay may be able to learn from his mistakes.  Expecting improvements in character development may be too much to ask, but at the very least, tighten up the pacing, trim down on the action, and get rid of the idiotically puerile humor.

Cowboys & Aliens (7/29) - Despite the doofy name that guarantees an audience reaction every time, the trailer itself looks ridiculously badass.  Early test screenings allude that this could be an awesome summer blockbuster, and Jon Favreau's got a shot at redemption after last year's less-than-stellar Iron Man 2.  Both Craig and Ford look wicked in their roles.

Winnie The Pooh (7/15) - While my childhood wasn't exactly Pooh-centric, this is a traditional hand-drawn Disney animated feature.  Of course I'll be there.

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STILL UNDECIDED:

The Green Hornet (1/14) - Gonna hold out on the reviews for this one.  As I've said last year, I might see this just for Christoph Waltz alone.

Rango (3/4) - This one may or may not work.  Either way, I'm rather curious to see how Gore Verbinski's first animated feature will fare.

Sucker Punch (3/25) - Synder's interpretation of "girl power" (with guns and brothels), I'm sensing far more flash than substance.  Another one that may or may not work.

Thor (5/6) - I still don't know how to take to the whole "Marvel Cinematic Universe", but I figure I'm halfway committed after seeing the first two Iron Man flicks and 2008's Incredible Hulk.  I'm not really feeling the trailer, though, with the reliance of CG being particularly overbearing.

Super 8 (6/10) - J.J. Abrams' next big sci-fi outing.  We know practically nothing about the film, save that it'll be a "homage/tribute to Spielberg's '70s and '80s science fiction films with a mystery and supernatural feel".  Alrighty.  I guess we can expect a big viral push, a la Cloverfield.

The Green Lantern (6/17) - My interest for this one shot up on the basis that it's being directed by Martin Campbell (GoldenEye, Casino Royale), and headed up by a strong cast which includes Reynolds, Lively, Bassett, Robbins, and, best of all, Mark Strong, who ended up being my favorite actor in 2010 for his kick-ass performance in, well, "Kick-Ass".

Captain America: The First Avenger (7/22) - See above with Thor.  We've yet to see a trailer or even much in the way of footage, but I've always liked Cap as a comic character more than Thor.  The World War II setting seems like a cooler cinematic setting than the latter's Asgard and modern-day Earth.

The Smurfs (8/3) - The recently released Yogi Bear has taught us that digging up 50s-60s cartoon classics and giving them the live-action CG makeover may not be the best of ideas.  But hey, the setting for Smurfs is NYC - and as I've said in The Sorcerer's Apprentice, we New Yorkers have this strange impulse to see any film that's based in our city.  And Hank Azaria could make for a hilarious Gargamel.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol (12/16) - Too little is known on this one, but the prospect of Brad Bird (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille) in the director's chair, and J.J. Abrams having a hand in the writing could mean great things.  Love that subtitle, too.

Last edited by Angela (Jan 7, 2011)

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Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

Dark Horizons also have their extensive Notable Films of 2011 guide up (half of it, currently) with some detailed analysis of the upcoming slate.  As for my own picks:

Excited to see:

Battle: Los Angeles - The trailer for this alien invasion film looks fantastic, with a gritty look akin to District 9 (here's hoping the remaining elements turn out better) and some nice suspense.

X-Men: First Class - Still have yet to see Kick-Ass (it just recently came to Japan) but I love the characters and concept of the X-Men and am glad it's gone to a respectable filmmaker.  Hopefully Vaughn can take the series back to its more esteemable roots following the campfest that was X3.

Cowboys & Aliens - Excellent trailer and you can't go wrong with the combination of cast (Daniel Craig is so bad-ass) and director.  I think Favreau will come through now that Marvel suits aren't around interfering.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Revenge of the Fallen was awful but unless reviews say this one is worse I'll go see it.  I expect it'll be better than 2 but not as good as 1, and with signs thus far being positive I have to admit I'm excited.

Interested:

Super 8 - Doesn't matter how little I know about it, every movie J.J. Abrams touches is gold.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - Still haven't seen part 1 but since this is the one that'll have all "the good stuff", I'm sure I'll wind up seeing it in the cinema.

The Hangover: Part II - If they can match the first one I'll be impressed.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol  - Will see this one based on the strength of the third movie, which was by far the best in the series.

Curious:

Water for Elephants - The trailer had a Big Fish quality and I have to admit that Twilight guy looks a much better leading role when he isn't pasty white.  Could make for a good date movie.

Rise of the Apes - Burton's Planet of the Apes was pretty bad but if they take the right direction with this one it could work.  Yea for James Franco in the lead.

Friends with Benefits - I like the premise; it could make for the all-so-rare young but mature romantic comedy (along the lines of the superb 500 Days of Summer perhaps).

Captain America - Very skeptical on this one; Chris Evans doesn't seem like a good fit for the role but maybe it'll turn out.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - The trailer looks like more of the same, of which I had my fill after the first film, but still may go see it.  Penelope Cruz ups the appeal ten fold.

Cars 2 - The first was entirely forgettable but if I'm gonna see it eventually anyway I suppose the races would be more enjoyable in the cinema.

Thor - I'm a sucker for comic book movies but this one is pushing it.  The early images looked as cheesy as you'd expect; the trailer was actually fairly decent until that awful-looking action scene in the desert.  If they give an award for most insane biceps Hemsworth's got that one wrapped up though!

Conan 3D - If they make it dark and gory it could turn out alright, despite the inevitable bad acting.  Not happy about the 3D in the title though.

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never - I kid.

Also curious about:

The Green Hornet
Sherlock Holmes 2
The Muppets
I Am Number Four
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Last edited by Adam Corn (Feb 20, 2011)

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Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

Will Definitely See:

-Harry Potter 7-2
-Girl With the Dragon Tattoo


Will Likely See:

-Transformers 3
-Source Code
-Sherlock Holmes 2


Might See if Nagged Enough:

-The Adjustment Bureau
-Cowboys & Aliens


Also, special note to Angela: The Green Lantern, really?  You know I love Martin Campbell for GoldenEye and Casino Royale, but did you see the trailer?  It's been ages since I had such an immediate negative reaction to a trailer.  To give you an idea of just how awful I thought the trailer was, consider this: I thought the Red Riding Hood trailer was better.  The Catherine Hardwicke Red Riding Hood trailer.

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#4 Bernhardt Jan 8, 2011

Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

If there's only one I'd see out of that entire line-up, it'd be Cowboys & Aliens.

Most of that other stuff is sequels to series or franchises I don't even care about.

C&A looks like the only thing that's trying to be original...and it's the only one I'd PAY in theaters to see.

When your local library has a vast collection of DVD movies, and lends them for FREE, it's hard trying to justify paying to see a movie, unless it's something that REALLY deserves it.

Last edited by Bernhardt (Jan 8, 2011)

Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

XLord007 wrote:

Also, special note to Angela: The Green Lantern, really?  You know I love Martin Campbell for GoldenEye and Casino Royale, but did you see the trailer?

I did.  And while I admit there was a cringe-worthy moment or two, I believe the potential's there.  Again, I'm going strictly by Campbell's pedigree and the star-studded cast.  Who knows, it may still end up a stinker.

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Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

Angela wrote:

I did.  And while I admit there was a cringe-worthy moment or two, I believe the potential's there.  Again, I'm going strictly by Campbell's pedigree and the star-studded cast.  Who knows, it may still end up a stinker.

I have a hard time seeing how anyone could use the word "star-studded" to describe a movie that stars Seth Rogen; and people complained Chris Farley was one-dimensional.

God, sometimes I miss the 90's.

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Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

Ashley Winchester wrote:
Angela wrote:

I did.  And while I admit there was a cringe-worthy moment or two, I believe the potential's there.  Again, I'm going strictly by Campbell's pedigree and the star-studded cast.  Who knows, it may still end up a stinker.

I have a hard time seeing how anyone could use the word "star-studded" to describe a movie that stars Seth Rogen; and people complained Chris Farley was one-dimensional.

God, sometimes I miss the 90's.

You're not talking about the same movie.

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Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

I'm very interested in Cowboys and Aliens. The trailer looks excellent. Also Apoo 18 - love the idea behind that one.

And, lastly, Winnie the Pooh, which looks remarkably true to the older Disney Pooh. I'll bring my girls to that one.

I'll keep an eye on Captain America but I think I have superhero fatigue.

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Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

Ashley Winchester wrote:

I have a hard time seeing how anyone could use the word "star-studded" to describe a movie that stars Seth Rogen; and people complained Chris Farley was one-dimensional.

Uh, yeah, it's as Smeg says.  You're calling me out on the wrong 'Green', guy.

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Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

This year's Super Bowl offered first looks at a few upcoming movies, including:

-Kung Fu Panda 2
-Super 8
-Transformers: Dark of the Moon
-Captain America: The First Avenger

In addition, we get a second glimpse at:

-Rango
-Battle: Los Angeles
-Thor
-Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
-Cowboys & Aliens

I'm completely sold on Battle: Los Angeles now.  Captain America looks like it's on the right track, and I think Kung Fu Panda 2's going to be a lot of fun.  And yes, Transformers already looks like a vapid SFX orgy-fest..... but damned if it doesn't make me want to see more of it. :)

Last edited by Angela (Feb 8, 2011)

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Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

Funny, I had just posted about these elsewhere.  I love me some movie trailers but didn't enjoy the Superbowl TV spots at all.  2 hour movies condensed into 30 second blips to the most MTV extreme. Super 8 was the only one that managed to impress.  Looking forward to the full trailers though.

If you liked the Battle: Los Angeles spot I hope you've seen the proper theatrical teaser trailer, which is far more intriguing.  That they haven't released a second trailer has me a wee bit skeptical but I'm hoping for the best.

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Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

Looks like we've got the first official trailer for X-Men: First Class.  What think?

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Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

The early production stills looked a bit hokey so it's nice to see that everything looks much better in motion.  Certainly looks to be more in line with Singer's take on the material than Ratner's.

Can't say anything in the teaser wowed me but I'm cautiously optimistic.

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Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

Even with a whole new cast, it looks remarkably similar to the other X-Men movies. Doesn't look bad, though the Phantom Menace-rendered CG outdoor shots look like they came out of, well, Phantom Menace. I just don't know if I really want to 'witness the beginning'. Having a hard time seeing what I'd get from it other than killing a couple of hours.

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Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

I've finally watched some 2011 movies: Adjustment Bureau, Battle: Los Angeles and Sucker Punch.

I haven't read the PKD short "Adjustment Team", so I can't say how it compares. In fact, I don't even have it, since I decided to wait for the reprint: http://www.subterraneanpress.com/Mercha … t_Count=43

Adjustment Bureau is story oriented, rather than special effects oriented. I wasn't confused, but I was intrigued.

I have extreme trouble saying anything good about Battle: L.A. The only good thing I can say is that it explores the possibility of nearly evenly matched aliens attacking us, which is rare. Usually they seem formidable beyond hope. (Note: Skyline was much better than this.)

Sucker Punch is my favorite so far. It has an intriguing story backed by visual treats that I am still savoring. In Zack Snyder's other efforts: 300 focused on a large group of people, as well as Watchmen. They were globally oriented movies, in which the scope was beyond the lives of a select few. Sucker Punch was a localized effort, focusing on a very small group of people. In fact, I would go so far to say that Sucker Punch was purely a psychological movie, focusing on the mind of one human (extremely localized).

Of the above 3, the only one that I watched the trailer for was Battle: L.A. I think it's very important to not watch trailers, since they are deceptive. As one of my friends stated, "Hollywood is not getting better at making movies; they are getting better at making trailers."

Last edited by Jodo Kast (Mar 26, 2011)

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#16 Bernhardt Mar 27, 2011

Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

Don't really care for the lead blonde in Sucker Punch; isn't / wasn't she a Playboy Bunny, or something? She looks like it...

The trailers and posters have intrigued me enough, I'll probably go see it at some point, but I'll be there mainly for the pyrotechnics; not expecting grandiose plot, scripting, characterization, or acting, for that matter. Fight choreography BETTER be something!

Don't really care for any of the actresses in it, and...Vanessa Hudgens?! What the hell's with all these kosher female personalities going prostitute?! First was Alexis Bledel in Sin City (bit Part), and plenty of other instances...

Last edited by Bernhardt (Mar 27, 2011)

Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

Bernhardt wrote:

Don't really care for the lead blonde in Sucker Punch; isn't / wasn't she a Playboy Bunny, or something? She looks like it...

Don't really care for any of the actresses in it, and...Vanessa Hudgens?! What the hell's with all these kosher female personalities going prostitute?! First was Alexis Bledel in Sin City (bit Part), and plenty of other instances...

Why are you such a troll? It would have taken you five seconds on Wikipedia to determine that no, Emily Browning is not associated with Playboy - although I don't understand the relevance that has to her acting performance either way.

And criticizing actresses for portraying characters who are prostitutes? You are able to distinguish fantasy from reality, I hope? Make sure you damn Jodie Foster and Julia Roberts while you're at it.

With all of the issues the film has with its ridiculous, over-the-top premise, you choose to attack the actresses? Really?

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Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

Bernhardt wrote:

Don't really care for the lead blonde in Sucker Punch; isn't / wasn't she a Playboy Bunny, or something? She looks like it...

The trailers and posters have intrigued me enough, I'll probably go see it at some point, but I'll be there mainly for the pyrotechnics; not expecting grandiose plot, scripting, characterization, or acting, for that matter. Fight choreography BETTER be something!

Don't really care for any of the actresses in it, and...Vanessa Hudgens?! What the hell's with all these kosher female personalities going prostitute?! First was Alexis Bledel in Sin City (bit Part), and plenty of other instances...

I can understand complaining before having watched it if you particularly disliked Snyder's other works. In my honest opinion, though, if this movie causes this much agonizing irritation without having watched it, then you should probably not watch it.

I don't expect you or anyone to adopt my strategy of information reduction, since the zeitgeist is continuous information saturation. (I saw the movie right before I had to be in work and several co-workers, that had not seen it, had definitive titanium-clad opinions already well-formed based on snippets and snips of text and videos.)

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#19 Bernhardt Mar 28, 2011

Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

Smeg wrote:
Bernhardt wrote:

Don't really care for the lead blonde in Sucker Punch; isn't / wasn't she a Playboy Bunny, or something? She looks like it...

Don't really care for any of the actresses in it, and...Vanessa Hudgens?! What the hell's with all these kosher female personalities going prostitute?! First was Alexis Bledel in Sin City (bit Part), and plenty of other instances...

Why are you such a troll? It would have taken you five seconds on Wikipedia to determine that no, Emily Browning is not associated with Playboy - although I don't understand the relevance that has to her acting performance either way.

No need to fly off the handle at me; I just said she LOOKS like someone who works for Playboy. Either way, I don't find her a particularly stellar actress.

I don't READ or LOOK AT any of their publications, but I've seen enough ads to know that kind of girls they like to hire. Just sayin'

And criticizing actresses for portraying characters who are prostitutes? You are able to distinguish fantasy from reality, I hope?

Yes, I can differentiate between fantasy and reality quite well.

Make sure you damn Jodie Foster and Julia Roberts while you're at it.

Jodie Foster has made/been in some good movies, but I find Julia Roberts absolutely insipid, between her choice of roles and movies, and the way she portrays them.

With all of the issues the film has with its ridiculous, over-the-top premise, you choose to attack the actresses? Really?

Yes, I just think they made a poor choice of actresses for this movie.

Jodo Kast wrote:

I can understand complaining before having watched it if you particularly disliked Snyder's other works...

That's just the thing - I rather enjoyed 300 and Watchmen.

And I'll probably watch this and enjoy it - I just don't think they cast very good actresses, and I'll mainly be seeing this just for the action, CG, and choreography.

Man, you all interpret me as complaining more than I really am...

Kind of unfair, y'know?

P.S. You think I'm being insulting, have a look at this review here: http://blip.tv/file/4930823?utm_source= … g_featured

Last edited by Bernhardt (Mar 28, 2011)

Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

I just got back from Source Code and it has naturally surpassed Sucker Punch as my favorite of the year (so far). Just like his last movie (Moon), the theme I derived was exploitation, although it is concealed by other things. For example, the theme of Moon appeared to be cloning, but I felt it was exploitation.

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Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

Jodo Kast wrote:

I just got back from Source Code and it has naturally surpassed Sucker Punch as my favorite of the year (so far). Just like his last movie (Moon), the theme I derived was exploitation, although it is concealed by other things. For example, the theme of Moon appeared to be cloning, but I felt it was exploitation.

I'm looking forward to seeing Source Code next week.  Also need to play catch up with Battle: Los Angeles and Sucker Punch.  Anyone else but Jodo see the former?  Thoughts?

Angela wrote:
XLord007 wrote:

Also, special note to Angela: The Green Lantern, really?  You know I love Martin Campbell for GoldenEye and Casino Royale, but did you see the trailer?

I did.  And while I admit there was a cringe-worthy moment or two, I believe the potential's there.  Again, I'm going strictly by Campbell's pedigree and the star-studded cast.  Who knows, it may still end up a stinker.

Wondercon's got a new trailer up.  Change your mind any, XLord?

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Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

Angela wrote:

I'm looking forward to seeing Source Code next week.  Also need to play catch up with Battle: Los Angeles and Sucker Punch.  Anyone else but Jodo see the former?  Thoughts?

I thought Battle: Los Angeles was ok, but not great. Based on the trailers I was expecting a typical action film, but it was really more of a military drama with some action thrown in. Visually the movie looked good both in terms of special effects and direction. Combat / action scenes were ok, but didn't really keep me on the edge of my seat. Story wise, the premise worked overall, but the balance of power between the humans and the aliens seemed to waffle back and forth a little too conveniently for me. Characters were generally weak and I didn't feel any connection to them. To be fair, I wasn't really expecting strong characters, so I suppose that's not much of a complaint.

In the end I enjoyed seeing it, but I think in hindsight I should have waited for matinee or even a rental. Personally, I was much more impressed by Sucker Punch. The story was simple and coherent, the action was over the top, and it was fun; basically, it was a motion picture! Easily worth the IMAX admission price and I'll be picking it up on Blu-ray too. big_smile

Everyone else seemed to hate it though. Still can't figure out why. Zack Snyder + girls + ridiculous action seems like a winning equation to me.

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Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

Angela wrote:

Wondercon's got a new trailer up.  Change your mind any, XLord?

Thanks for the link.  This is a far better trailer than the first one.  While it does nothing to make me want to see the movie, it has succeeded in removing my previously strong desire to badmouth it. smile

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Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

The Wondercon footage for Green Lantern certainly does look better than the teaser trailer but I still wouldn't say it looks good.  It starts out looking like a promising, full-on sci-fi comic book flick but just gets cheesier and cheesier from there (the machine gun perhaps being the pinnacle though it's hard to say).  Also I get a very Star Wars Episode I impression from the alien effects and that is not a good thing.

This along with the perpetually thirteen-year-old Zack Snyder helming Superman and Chris Nolan soon ending his run with Batman does not bode well for DC comics' adaptation prospects.

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Re: Upcoming Movies 2011

I find it fascinating that The Fast and the Furious 5 is receiving mostly favorable reviews.  I am aware of no precedent for the fifth entry in a series being met with critical approval after the first four installments had been critically panned.

I wonder if this is due in part to an erosion of expectations as movies become ever louder and furious-er.

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