Well, for my 2011 certainly seems like it will be a great year for movies. These are the movies that are peaking my interest; listed in order of release...(the good stuff is at the back of the list) February I AM NUMBER FOUR Director: D.J Caruso (Previous works are Eagle Eye and Disturbia - also directed The Shield (TV)) Starring: Timothy Olyphant and...he's about as famous as the cast gets. The Premise: John is an extraordinary teen, masking his true identity and passing as a typical high school student to elude a deadly enemy seeking to destroy him. Three like him have already been killed ... he is Number Four. Trailer: Ichibans verdict: Looks like a train wreck to me. Reminds me of those God awful Twighlight movies and frankly that slight association is enough to put me off. However, there are some murmers on some movie sites that the movie isn't half bad. The director is most famous for making two rather awful Shia LeBouef movies but on the other hand, he also directed some of my favourite episodes of The Shield. However, I've mentioned Twightlight now so I won't go see it but I'm sure it'll do well with teen/tween girls, emos and Chi. VANISHING ON SEVENTH STREET Director:Brad Anderson (The Machinist, Transsiberian) Starring:Hayden Christiansen, Thandie Newton and John Leguizamo The Premise:When a massive power outage plunges the city of Detroit into total darkness, a desparate group of individuals find themselves alone. The entire city's population has vanished into thin air, leaving behind heaps of empty clothing, abandoned cars and lengthening shadows. Soon the daylight begins to disappear completely, and as the survivors gather in an abandoned tavern, they realize the darkness is out to get them, and only their rapidly diminishing light sources can keep them safe Trailer: Ichibans Verdict:This has the potential to be decent. I mean, the cast isn't the greatest but I put Hayden Christiansen's awful Star Wars performance down to the director since I know Ewan McGreggor is actually a good actor and he was awful as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequels too. Thandie Newton isn't bad either and John Leguizamo seems to be typecast in one kind of role these days but he generally does a good job in them. The director has made two, (imo), very good movies and has also directed an ep of The Shield so I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. It actually looks a little frightening too and the trailer has teased me enough to make sure I definately want to check it out. Strangely, it reminds me of an Australian or New Zealand film where people wake up and find everyone in the world gone; can't remember the name though. Looks like a decent effort though. BATTLE: LOS ANGELES Director: Jonathan Liebesman (Texas Chainsaw Prequel, Darkness Falls, Killing Room) Starring:Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez The Premise: Very Simple: A Marine platoon faces off against an alien invasion in Los Angeles. (Although it's worth noting it's a world invasion, the film just takes place in L.A) Trailer: Ichibans Verdict: Despite the abysmal record of the director, I'm really looking forward to this. It looks somewhere between Black Hawk Down and Independance Day (minus the cheese) and I kind of like movies that attempt to show how we'd react in certain circumstances; alien invasions especially. I really like Aaron Eckhart, who was the awesome Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight and I've grown fond of Michelle Rodriguez since someone at work told me she was a lesbian...er..where was I? Oh yes, anyway this movie looks really cool and it's one I'm definately looking forward to. I think this will be a surprise hit. SUCKER PUNCH Director: Zack Snyder (300, Dawn of the Dead, Watchmen) Starring: Emily Browing, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone The Premise:A young girl is institutionalized by her wicked stepfather. Retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the facility. Trailer: Ichibans Verdict: I like Zack Snyders work in general although I wasn't keen on Watchmen; I really like the comic and I thought the weird ending of the book would have been better on screen and was sorry that a movie that delivered such a close adaption could bottle it at the end....oh well. Otherwise though I like 300 and I really like the Dawn of the Dead remake; Snyder is definately a solid director given the right material. That said, something about this movie feels a little off. The trailers show that everything going on is technically happening inside a girls mind but even so it looks a bit weird. However, it's full of hot women and that is always a plus point, (unless it's Dead or Alive the movie), and it's got giant robot samurai's with mini-guns; 10 out of 10 for weird originality. I think this be massive with the geeks but a bit of a miss with the regular cinema crowd. I'll still see it though if only to gawk at some of the tasty crumpet on offer. April seems to be a totally uninspiring month so let's skip to May THOR Director: Kenneth Brannagh Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins The Premise: The powerful but arrogant warrior Thor is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders. Trailer: Ichibans Verdict:As a massive comic fan AND movie fan how can I not be looking forward to this? Kenneth Brannagh doing a comic movie? Awesome. From what I've seen in screen shots and and in the trailer he's done a great job in capturing the tone and mythos and modernising it for a new movie. The guy playing Thor is totally suited to the role and Natalie Portman is typically good. However the icing on the cake, for me, is Anthony Hopkins as Odin...FKN ODIN!! Great supporting cast and it will tie in nicely to the previous and upcoming marvel flix all culminating in the combined, Joss Whendon, The Avengers movie. Definately seeing this... PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES Director: Rob Marshall (Annie and Chicago?? Really??) Starring: Jonny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush and Ian McShane The Premise:Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too. Trailer: Ichibans Verdict:I'm only putting movies down that I will probably see but for this turd, I'll make an exception to make sure the anti-buzz gets out. I hate this friggin' franchise. It's done to death. The first one was quirky but the 2nd and 3rd were blatant cash-ins and the only, THE ONLY redeeming feature of those sequels was the stellar performance of Bill Nighy as Davy Jones...but even then, they were still crappy. Which leads onto the FOURTH movie, which seeks to scrape the barrel completely clean in its effort to squeeze the last money it can make. Put it this way, this is a franchise with which so few people have faith that the only director willing to make this steaming pile of shit is the guy who did Annie and the Chicago movie musical. They should just let it die, and frankly Jonny Depp always struck me as a guy with a shred of artistic integrity but they must have litterally gave him a blank cheque to come back for this. Lovejoy joins the series as blackbeard...blah blah blah. I won't see this; and neither should you just to tell movie studios that they really need to come up with better... X-MEN: FIRST CLASS Director: Matthew Vaughan (Layer Cake, Kick-Ass) Starring: Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Kevin Bacon, The Premise: Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto's Brotherhood and Professor X's X-MEN Trailer: No Trailer so below is a picture Ichibans Verdict: My feeling is this is going to be awful. As much as I like Matthew Vaughans previous movies, this flick has been developed and shot in under a year; never good. It's the same team that did Kick Ass, (which I enjoyed), but there seems to have been such a rush to get this to cinemas that I'm worried that the quality will be compromised. The cast seems solid-ish; Fassbender was great in Inglorious Basterds and James McAvoy was in Last King of Scotland...but still. Also, it's meant to be out in June, where the hell is the trailer?? And that cast screenshot, that's official and it looks like DTV crap, or worse, that godawful mutant-x TV show. I'd like it to be good and I'll no doubt go see it but I don't expect much beyond bitter disappointment. SUPER 8 Director: JJ Abrams (M:I3, LOST, CLOVERFIELD, THE NEW STAR TREK) Starring: No one particularly famous but probably famous enough you'd go, "hey that's the guy from...." The Premise: It's hard to write up because, well, no one seems to know for sure. It's a secret project and they've done a pretty good job of not spoiling it so far. Trailer: Ichibans Verdict: Hard to tell with this, the sheer fact that everything about this movie has managed stay under wraps only makes me want to see it more. I'm one of those who actually enjoyed Cloverfield so I have high hopes for this movie. I'd like to say that the attachment of Spielberg as producer meant something these days but he does also produce Transformers so it's not really that much of a powerful endorsement. Definately one to keep an eye out for though. GREEN LANTERN Director: Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, GoldenEye, Mask of Zorro) Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Mark Strong, Blake Lively The Premise: A test pilot is granted a mystical green ring that bestows him with otherworldly powers, as well as membership into an intergalactic squadron tasked with keeping peace within the universe. Trailer: Ichibans Verdict: "Hello? Martin Campbell? Go take a look at the Thor trailer... you lose". OK. I'm only putting this up here because on the old forum it sounded like some people thought this might be OK. For my money though, it looks pants...mainly because of Ryan Reynolds; he's an enormous douche who ruins the movies he's in. For me, Green Lantern was meant to be semi-serious, (as far as a comic adaption can be) and this looks like it's a joke. It's full of Reynolds one lining and hamming it up. Any guy that doesn't want to be married to Scarlett Johansen anymore also deserves my contempt. This for me will be a DVD watch unless the reviews are absolutely glowing... TRANSFORMERS 3: DARK OF THE MOON Director: Michael Bay Starring: Shia LeDouche, Hugo Weaving and lots of other actors who will do anything for money... The Premise: The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and learn its secrets, which could turn the tide in the Transformers' final battle. Trailer: Ichibans Verdict: When a movie franchise is so bad that even Megan Fox develops a shred of artisitic integrity and leaps from the bow you know it's bad. The annoying thing about Transformers to me is that the writers and directors had such a massive wealth of work to draw inspiration from in the form of the comics and books that it just seemed a huge slap in the face for the people who'd spent nearly 2 decades crafting it. Instead they opted for big dum "fun" with little to no story and the entire movie turned into a giant GM commercial (which is kinda ironic since the kids cartoon in the 80's was a giant toy commercial but hey, at least kids could buy toys; I don't see many 10 year olds driving Camaros). This movie should be no exception to the rules thus laid down by Michael Bay so far: lots of fast camera shots, quick cuts and shit blowing up. I don't even have Megan Fox's fantastic ass to look at no more.... HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS Pt 2 Director: David Yates (Some other Harry Potter movies) Starring: The horrid kid in the glasses, the ginger one who does no other movies and Emma Watson The Premise: The end begins as Harry, Ron, and Hermione go back to Hogwarts to find and destroy Voldemorts final horcruxes, but when Voldemort finds out about their mission, the biggest battle begins and life as they know it will never be the same again Trailer: Ichibans Verdict: Included because other people will probably enjoy it, I have no real opinion on this or the franchise in general. Kids like it and I'm sure fans of the book like seeing the stuff on screen but I could take it or leave it. I do think it's a bit of a cop out that they made this a two part movie and in my eyes it's a dead cert that Warners will just create more of these movies beyond after this; HOGWARTS THE MOVIE up next. Telling you, this is the new Pirates of the Caribbean. Also, Emma Watson has turned into a total hottie.... CAPTAIN AMERICA No official poster yet... Director: Joe Johnston (The Wolfman 2009) Starring: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci The Premise: After being deemed unfit for military service, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America's ideals Trailer: No Trailer Ichibans Verdict: What I've seen in pictures certainly seems to capture the tone of what Cpt.America should be all about; WW2 and kicking ass. The casting certainly seems to show that they went after some decent movie acting chops as opposed to flavour of the month actors. I'll have to wait and see the final trailer when it comes out, (which should be soon, I'm guessing front of Thor), but reports from people who've seen some advanced footage suggest its very good. My only concern is Joe Johnson who is a bit of a lightweight; moderate success but nothing that makes me go "oh, that guy!!". It should still be good I think if what I hear about Weaving's Red Skull are true...oh and Chris Evans has clearly been doing the Human Growth Hormone; he's friggin' huge!!! COWBOYS AND ALIENS Director: Jon Favreau (Iron Man 1 and 2) Starring: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and (swoon) Olivia Wilde The Premise: A spaceship arrives in Arizona, 1873, to take over the Earth, starting with the Wild West region. A posse of cowboys are all that stand in their way. Trailer: Ichibans Verdict: I like Favreau's work with Iron Man so he INSTANTLY gets the benefit of the doubt. The trailer looks interesting, albeit for a teaser, giving me just enough info to make me want to see it; I've never read the comic on which it's based to give judgment on that either. I think it's one I'll definately see, if only just for the perfection of Olivia Wilde on screen. OK. That's everything up to September - I'll check the listings after that. Have I missed anything? Am I wrong about something? Tell me...argue damn you!!