Okay… after a brief intermission, I’m back with the rest of the known 2011 movie schedule.
What do I mean known? Well, there are a lot of Hollywood projects in the pipe… and each of those are expected to finish at certain time.
Sometimes movies finish earlier than expected, or it’s the opposite and a movie’s release date is pushed back – sometimes many months in order for the studio to place it in an appropriate viewing season.
From here on out, movie dates are somewhat speculative but should be strongly indicative of when you should expect to see it.
August 3rd: What’s, blue, white, and short all over?
That’s right… the 80’s cartoon icons have been resurrected for a live action/CGI hybrid in hopes of finding some new junior fans – which naturally means new revenue for Sony and for the Peyo (creator of The Smurfs) estate.
I’m a bit torn on this one since I was a Smurfs fan when I was a kid, and the new Smurf designs seem a bit retarded to me – but who knows?
Your kids might love them!
And now… a word from NPH.
August 19th: Time for another double bill!
First up, we have a reboot/remake/re-imagining of a classic Schwarzenegger series – with an unrecognizable Jason Momoa stepping into the Nietzschean sandals and fur undies of Conan The Barbarian.
Conan seeks to refresh the brand for the current swords and sandals crowd and maybe reach out to the basement-bound World Of Warcraft players – and of course, make a new franchise for Lionsgate.
Last time the mass public saw Jason, he looked like this:
But… in Conan, Jason looks like this:
The movie also stars oversized regular badass Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Blade II), relative newcomer Stephen Lang (Avatar), and both Rachel Nichols and Rose McGowan to dress up in leather bikinis.
Okay… on we go.
The second flick of this double bill is the return of Robert Rodriguez to his more kid friendly territory.
Spy Kids 4: All The Time In The World (or Armageddon, depending on who you ask) is bring back the past heroes all grown up and throwing in a sleekly-clad Jessica Alba for effect – what that effect is depends on the viewer’s age, I suppose.
The plot is light on details at this point, but we do know that Jeremy Piven is going to be a villain called Timekeeper… and Jessica Alba is possibly playing the disliked stepmother to the titular spy kids from eight years prior.
At this point in time, September is generally a wash – mainly because it’s a dumping ground for the studio’s crappiest efforts generally.
October 7th: How about a punch in the face?
No? Too fragile for a little pugilism?
That’s generally the idea behind 2011’s big Hugh Jackman effort Real Steel: human boxing has fallen out of fashion, and the sport is now conducted with giant robots who pound each other into scrap – somewhat like the old Rock’ Em Sock ‘Em Robot games we had as kids (which, incidentally, is also being developed as a separate cinematic feature by Hasbro and partners).
Jackman stars as a washed-up fighter who’s looking for his next big chance… putting aside his bitterness at being replaced by machines and getting behind the metal-pounders with his son and makes a play for the championship.
October 14th: Two movies to get to…
The first is a prequel to a classic 80’s movie, and the second is a remake of another beloved 80’s classic.
#1 – The Thing tells the story of what happened prior to the events of the 1982 flick of the same name.
The setting is Antarctica, and we have a group of international scientists ( Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and others) encounter a monstrous entity trapped in the ice, which has the ability to take on the appearance of anyone it comes into contact with – making it impossible to tell friend from foe.
Drama and terror unfolds in the unforgiving deep freeze at the bottom of the world
…for a different kind of terror!
#2 does away with Kevin Bacon and John Lithgow, and brings on Kenny Wormald and Dennis Quaid.
For what? A Footloose remake, of course!
Another group of teens rebel against the local anti-dance pastor, led by a newcomer from the city.
Or something like that… an official plot really hasn’t been put forward, but the project seems to be the same story more or less from studio indications.
October 21st: I’m not really endorsing the film, but it should be noted that you can flock the theaters for the third installment of the Paranormal Activity franchise if you’re so inclined – but I’m fearing it could turn into the next Saw with new and subsequently crappier installments every October.
November 18th: Summit Entertainment cordially invites you to the first part of a two movie coupling…
…in which a teen male werewolf falls in love with a baby after the baby’s father delivers it via a C-section cut with his teeth.
Oh… and it’s long after the father turbo-fucked the mother into unconsciousness, and a little bit after the unborn child breaks the mother’s spine with an ill-placed kick.
Yes… November brings the filmed edition of the generally unfilmable Twilight: Breaking Dawn – the last of the moronic masterpieces from Stephanie Meyer (the worst Mormon fiction since the Book Of Mormon).
November 23rd: Hi ho!
Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzy, Gonzo, Animal, Beaker, Sam, and all the rest of the gang return to the big screen after a lengthy absence (last feature film was 1999’s Muppets From Space).
This time out, the gang is supported by the Disney marketing machine, so expect the marketing for The Muppets to really kick into full gear mid to late spring 2011.
All that is known right about the movie’s story is that the Muppet Studio is about to be foreclosed on after years of neglect, so the gang and their pal Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother, Forgetting Sara Marshall) hit the road in hopes of gaining some celebrity support to keep the dream alive.
Look for starring roles and cameos from Amy Adams, Zach Galifianakis, Emily Blunt, Mickey Rooney, Billy Crystal, Ricky Gervais, and a whole host of others.
Okay… now for the last weekend I’ll mention at this point…
December 16th: The final double bill of 2011!
And both are oozing star power and brand identification!
First, we’ll have Tom Cruise (Top Gun, Collateral, Valkyrie) and Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) staring in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol – the fourth outing of the veteran spy franchise, and at one point was rumored to be the last turn by Cruise as Ethan Hunt.
Virtually nothing is known about the story, other than it was penned in part by J.J. Abrams – who directed the stellar Mission Impossible 3… which – criminally – was a lukewarm success due to Cruise’s couch jumping phase, despite it being the best of the series to date.
This time around, the action is being directed by Brad Bird – who’s best known thus far for directing animated fare like The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille.
However, it looks like the action is going to be insane.
See below Tom Cruise running around on the outside of the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building – 100+ stories off the ground.
And finally, we have…
Sherlock Holmes 2: Victorian Bugaloo! (subtitle not included… your actual mileage may vary).
Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law return for more sleuthing and fisticuffs as Holmes and Watson respectively – this time matching wits with their long time nemesis, Moriarty (played by Jared Harris). The movie will also feature Stephen Fry (Gosford Park) as Sherlock’s brother, and Noomi Rapace (from the European The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) as a character named Sim.
I rather enjoyed 2009’s Sherlock Holmes, so I’m more than happy to look forward to this edition.
And there you have it, kids.
That’s what’s coming for your viewing pleasure in 2011 – though I’m sure more movies will be squeezed into the later half of 2011, so don’t hold me to these precise offerings any longer than April 2011.
Until we chat again…
…the balcony is closed for business.