2011: The Year of Re-Makes and Sequels?

By Dianthrax It seems like every major movie coming out from now until 2012 is either a remake of an old (or not so old) classic or a sequel/part of a series. With a few choice exceptions, a lot of the flicks making the biggest buzz among the fans this year seem oddly familiar; as if we’ve seen them before somewhere… There are, in my opinion, basically three categories these déjà vu movies fall into: Looks Excellent, Might Be Ok, and Should Never Have Been Attempted. I’m going to give a brief runthrough of the list so that you moviegoers will know what you will have to look forward to in the coming months. Since I don’t want to be too depressing I’ll start off with the select few that I’m looking forward to myself. --Looks Excellent Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Release Date: 7/15/11 Genre: Fantasy, Adventure “After a decade-long magical franchise, the war in the wizarding world reaches its epic climax. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) must find and destroy Horcruxes to make the Dark Lord mortal before the final showdown at Hogwarts.” These movies, much like the books, have gotten progressively darker and more intense. I think even people who aren’t all that big of fans would enjoy “Deathly Hallows 1 and 2” simply because it’s interesting storytelling and wildly unpredictable. But then I’m also a huge nerd who just likes Harry Potter. But giant man-eating snakes, torture and death everywhere you turn- this isn’t for the kiddies anymore. Sherlock Holmes 2 (title unknown) Release Date: 12/16/11 Genre: Mystery, Adventure “Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law return as Sherlock and Watson in the sequel that picks up where the 2009 movie left off. The duo must outwit and bring down their fiercest adversary, Professor Moriarty. Noomi Rapace co-stars.” I thoroughly enjoyed the first “Sherlock Holmes” and not because I find Robert Downey Jr. to be exceedingly yummy. Or not just because he is exceedingly yummy (especially in that shirtless boxing match scene) but because I liked the chemistry between him and Jude Law, the parts that were supposed to be funny made me laugh, and the fight scenes were pretty damn sweet. I also like the notion of watching them track down the infamous Professor Moriarty- the Napoleon of Crime. (Hopefully they won’t wear shirts) Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol Release Date: 12/16/11 Genre: Action, Adventure

“Tom Cruise + Jeremy Renner + Simon Pegg and Paula Patton = the fourth installment of the lucrative Impossible series. For this episode, frequent Pixar collaborator Brad Bird (Ratatouille, The Incredibles) directs with a story by J.J. Abrams.” Two things make this movie sound awesome to me: Brad Bird and J.J. Abrams. Those two under a “Mission: Impossible” title mean a film worth spending my $10.50 on to see on a big screen. Gadgets, fights, bombs, guns, cars- last time they had Ethan jumping off buildings and explosive devices implanted in his head. I can’t wait to see what J.J. Abrams and Brad Bird do to him this time. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Release Date: 12/21/11 Genre: Drama, Thriller “Rooney Mara stars as Lisbeth Salander in the Hollywood adaptation of the Steig Larson novel and Swedish movie starring Noomi Rapace. Directed by David Fincher and co-starring Daniel Craig, it tells the story of a journalist who is searching for a woman who may be missing or dead. He's assisted by a beautiful, punk computer hacker.” I put this film in the re-make category, though I’m sure there will be a ton of people who vehemently disagree with me. Supposedly this is a re-invention by David Fincher and not a remake. It’s a TOTALLY different film from the first movie adaptation of the book, which was made in Sweden in 2009 but also shown in US theatres across the country. How do I know this? Because I went and saw it in one. It’s like Hollywood and David Fincher are counting on the fact that Americans don’t watch foreign films! Sorry to disappoint but there are still a few of us who don’t mind reading subtitles and will know when something is ripped off (I’m looking at YOU when I say that Paul Scheuring! The original “Das Experiment” did not need your more violent, extra rape-y “re-invention”) Furthermore, the main female character is described as “a beautiful, punk computer hacker”? Yeah. In the book Lisbeth is under-developed with no breasts and a body like a 10yr old boy, close-cropped bleached blonde hair, tattoos and piercings all over, and a personality that’s so anti-social she makes Helen Keller seem like the life of the party. But its Hollywood right? Gotta pretty her up and add some sex! Still, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a tad excited to see this and would recommend it because I’m a fan of the author and as long as they tell his story it’ll still be a kickass movie. Then if it does well we’ll have two sequels to look forward to! --Now comes the list of movies that look like they could be ok, but let’s just say that I’m not holding my breath. I put most of the kid’s movies in here because they’ll probably get the job done and entertain the wee ones; the deciding factor is exactly how annoying they will be for the parents and guardians and Super-Cool Aunties like me who will have to watch them along with those kiddies, probably over and over. Might Be Ok

Kung Fu Panda 2 Release Date: 5/26/11 Genre: Family, Animation, Comedy “Jack Black, fresh off the ill-fated Gulliver's Travels, will skadoosh right back into audiences' favor with the latest animated hijinx of everyone's favorite panda bear. In his latest epic, Po and The Furious Five must travel across China to vanquish a new villain who's determined to use a secret weapon to conquer their homeland.” It’s Jack Black as a Panda- how bad could it be? Puss in Boots Release Date: 11/4/11 Genre: Family, Animation, Comedy “A spin-off from the lucrative Shrek franchise tells the tale of Antonio Banderas' Puss in Boots before he met up with Shrek and friends. Salma Hayek and Zack Galifianakis co-star.” Ok, I am seriously tired of all things “Shrek” and the million sequels and specials and crap that ruined a movie I once thought was pretty cute. The only reason this movie isn’t under the “Should Never Have Been Attempted” category is because of Antonio Banderas and the fact that it’s about a kitty. I like kitties. Happy Feet 2 Release Date: 11/18/11 Genre: Family, Animation “Warner Bros. gets into the animated sequel game with a follow-up to their 2006 penguin-fest. Elijah Wood and Robin Williams lend their voices in this 3D adventure, which will hope to steal some of Breaking Dawn's thunder.” Yay, dancing CG penguins in 3D!! Hey, anything that can take away some of the box office bucks from “Breaking Dawn.” Cars 2 Release Date: 6/24/11 Genre: Family, Animation “Kaa-chow! Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy are back as Speed McQueen and Tow-Mater in Pixar's sequel to their 2006 animated hit. This time, the duo travel to the World Grand Prix and end up in the middle of an international espionage plot.” The first “Cars” movie was a huge hit and a must-have in a lot of parents DVD collections. I’m guessing that it’s follow up by Pixar is going to be just as big of a success. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Release Date: 5/20/11 Genre: Adventure, Comedy “Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is back with his swagger, this time in search of the Fountain of Youth. The seas are adventurous and a little crowded with a former love (Penelope

Cruz), formidable pirate Captain Blackbeard (Ian McShane), and Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) all on board for the fun.” How will Captain Jack fare without the lovely Keira Knightley and the even lovelier Orlando Bloom? I suppose we will find out if Johnny Depp is man enough to captain his own movie with new players along or if this movie, now the 4th in the series, will end up sinking faster than the Titanic. Uh, the actual ship Titanic, not the movie obviously. The Hangover Part 2 Release Date: 5/26/11 Genre: Comedy “The lovable foursome of Phil, Stu, Alan and Doug (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bartha) are back and this time they're headed to Thailand for Stu's wedding. What possibly could go wrong?!” I thought “The Hangover” was totally hilarious. Anytime you have a comedy that good and you decide to go for a sequel it almost always ends badly and with metaphorical tears of disappointment. In order for this movie not to be a let-down it’s going to have to be really, really damn funny. I’m trying to stay positive but most of my optimism is currently locked in the trunk of a car along with some random naked guy. X-Men: First Class Release Date: 6/3/11 Genre: Sci-Fi, Action “Once upon a time, Professor X and Magneto were allies who combined forces to create the Mutant School for Gifted Youngsters. That tale is writ large in this installment, which covers their early friendship, and the tensions that would lead to their eventual rivalry.” I would really like this movie to be good. It would be a personal victory for me and offer relief after the pain I suffered that was “X-Men: The Last Stand.” I feel like my favorite comic book team has been made into something that just seems so lame, which is grossly unfair given the potential awesomeness within these characters and storylines. “First Class” is supposed to be a fresh, new take with new faces telling the story of some very well-known characters back at their beginnings. Most arch enemies start off as friends. By the way, you will not be seeing Hugh Jackman or anyone else as Wolverine in this flick so don’t expect it and don’t bitch about it. Wolverine didn’t join up with the X-Men until much later on and long after Magneto was an established villain. You want Wolverine, you’ll have to wait until 2012 and the release of his own movie “The Wolverine,” directed by the currentlynominated-possibly-Oscar-winning Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan, The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream”) just like the rest of us! The Three Musketeers Release Date: 10/14/11 Genre: Action, Adventure

“Hollywood returns to re-tell the story of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis yet again. This time, Luke Evans, Ray Stevenson and Matthew Macfayden must unite and defeat a beautiful double agent (Milla Jovovich) and her villainous employer from seizing the French throne and engulfing Europe in war.” I’m a total sucker for movies about the Three Musketeers, even if we’ve already seen a ton of them. The swords and guns and giant feathers in hats with ugly, sculpted facial hair? Love it. I also love watching Milla Jovovich in movies: she’s super-sexy and usually kicking someone’s ass and I’m tired of seeing her only as Alice and ready for a change. I’m remaining hopeful and putting this one under “Might Be Ok.” The Thing Release Date: 10/14/11 Genre: Sci-Fi, Horror, Action “In what serves as a prequel to John Carpenter's 1982 sci-fi horror classic, Mary Elizabeth Winstead of Scott Pilgrim fame and Eric Christian Olsen try to outwit a parasite that can mimic anything it touches.” I love good horror, the problem is that good horror seems to be so hard to find. I’d love for this prequel to a total classic to be good; I’m just not convinced that it will be. Scream 4 Release Date: 4/15/11 Genre: Horror “Not much is known yet about the plot, but if original director Wes Craven, screenwriter Kevin Williamson and stars Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette are all back for the popular franchise that kick started the horror genre back in the '90s, than so are we…bring on Mr. Ghostface! We've got Sidney Prescott's back.” On that same note is this little potential-disaster. But it has the three stars back in it that I care about and I do love me some Wes Craven so I’m going to try to give it a fair shake, cross my finger, and hope for the best. --This brings us to the bottom of the entertainment barrel- a list of movie remakes and sequels that personally, I don’t think should even have been made in the first place. Many of these need no explanation as to why they made this list of mine, though they make me feel like the producers, writers, actors, and directors owe me an explanation as to what exactly the Hell they were thinking! Should Never Have Been Attempted Transformers: Dark of the Moon Release Date: 7/1/11 Genre: Sci-Fi, Action

“Michael Bay returns with the third installment of lucrative CGI-crazy franchise. This time, 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.” Because the second “Transformers” movie was just so amazing we needed a third. Right. Conan the Barbarian Release Date: 8/19/11 Genre: Action “Jason Momoa stars in the tale of Conan the Cimmerian, and his adventures across the continent of Hyboria on a quest to avenge the murder of his father and the slaughter of his village.” The original may not have been that good but it’s still a classic, and anytime you mess with a classic you’re treading on dangerous ground. Fright Night Release Date: 8/19/11 Genre: Horror “Colin Farrell stars in Fright Night, a remake of the infamous '80s comedy-horror about a teenager and his vampire neighbor.” (See above re: classics) Final Destination 5 Release Date: 8/26/11 Genre: Horror “Sam Lawton (Nicholas D'Agosto) has a premonition about the bridge he is on collapsing, killing him and many around him. As the vision becomes reality, Sam manages to save himself and a few others... all in glorious 3D!” It’s “Final Destination 5”- the name pretty much says it all. Piranha 3DD Release Date: 9/16/11 Genre: Horror “Last summer's breakout critical and commercial horror hit Piranha 3D spawns this sequel which returns Ving Rhames as Deputy Fallon for more bloody mayhem.” This may end up being gory, sexy, fun-time like the first one or the original but I still have to put it in this category in order to be technically accurate, but movies that suck can still be fun! Footloose Release Date: 10/14/11 Genre: Musical, Drama

“In this re-make of the 1984 musical dramaedy, Julianne Hough, Kenny Wormald and Dennis Quaid take on the roles made famous by Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer and John Lithgow, respectively. Ready to cut loose?” Not only do I find this remake unnecessary but its very existence offends me. Now there will be entire generations of young movie-goers who will never see the original, superior version and come to appreciate the love we all have for Kevin Bacon! It hasn’t even been that long! So very, very, lame- right up there with “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.” Paranormal Activity 3 Release Date: 10/21/11 Genre: Horror “Expect more of the same scares from this horror franchise starring Katie Featherstone, which ousted Saw as the new go-to Halloween franchise.” A third “Paranormal Activity” movie?? What activity is even left!? Evil ghosts drink the last of the milk and put the empty carton back in the fridge? Repeatedly put the toilet seat up? Take ridiculously long showers that use up all the hot water then leave the wet towels on the floor?? Spy Kids 4 Release Date: 8/19/11 Genre: Family, Action, Fantasy “The latest entry in Robert Rodriguez's Spy Kids franchise adds Jessica Alba as a retired spy for the OSS (Organization of Super Spies) which has since become the world's top spy agency and former headquarters of the now-defunct Spy Kids division. When the world is threatened by Jeremy Piven, Alba is called back to lead the OSS and save the world.” I love Robert Rodriguez but any kids “franchise” that has a fourth installment seems questionable to me the same way that strait-to-DVD Disney movies are questionable; they usually suck. Alvin and the Chipmunks 3D Release Date: 12/16/11 Genre: Family, Animation “The third installment in the CGI chipmunks franchise finds Alvin and crew on vacation aboard a luxury cruise ship before they become 'chipwrecked' on a desert island. While stranded, they embark on an island adventure with their new friend – a castaway who's more than a match for Alvin and the Chipmunks... and this time, it's all in 3D!” This movie was made to personally torment me every time I have to baby-sit my cousins. Its purpose is to make my life a high-pitched living Hell- in 3D. I’m being punished for making my parents watch the cartoon when I was a kid and for giving a copy of the soundtrack to Jessie for her birthday, ignoring the obvious pain it would inflict upon her parents and anyone else who rides in the car with her. This is my Karma coming back to me. I apologize to everyone else who now has to suffer because of it too. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1

Release Date: 11/18/11 Genre: Fantasy, Romance “Bella's (Kristin Stewart) choice to become a vampire and spend eternity with Edward (Robert Pattinson) has some serious repercussions! After planning the most anticipated wedding in all of Forks, the couple has to deal with the Volturi, treaty complications with Jacob (Taylor Lautner) and starting a family of their own.” Last but certainly not least on my list is the unlikely selection “Breaking Dawn Pt. 1” of the socalled Twilight Saga. This goes on my list because I hate these movies almost as much as I hate the books and find both to be literally detrimental to the minds of young women as well as society as a whole. The story is poorly conceived with multiple plot-holes and messages to viewers that I find sickening. The acting is terrible- particularly Kristin Stewart. Ugh, I could go on but I think you get the picture. What’s more, this will probably be the biggest movie of the whole damn year thanks to all the millions of dedicated Twi-tards. From the obnoxious 12-year-old girls in their Team Jacob shirts, to the uber-creepy 30-year-old women who fantasize about a controlling psycho permanently trapped in the body of a 17-year-old boy, all the crazies will come out to play and throw their money at this franchise on November 18th. I pity anything else opening that weekend because there is nothing that could get me to go near a movie theatre and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who feels that way. --While it may seem like there is no imagination left in Hollywood at the moment there are still a few films coming out that are actual originals instead of prequels, sequels, remakes, trilogies, or part of a series (shocking, I know!) I thought I would share a few that I find interesting and look forward to seeing over the next several month. Hey Look: New Stuff! The Adjustment Bureau Release Date: 3/4/11 Genre: Sci-Fi, Action “Matt Damon finds out his fate rests in the hands of mysterious men in business suits. When he spontaneously decides to pursue a beautiful dancer (Emily Blunt) he meets by chance, the pair must evade the agents of fate to create their own destiny.” I like wrestling with the notion of fate and destiny vs. freewill. I’m like Neo; I don’t like the thought that I’m not in control of my own life. Yet at the same time most people prefer to think of themselves as part of something bigger. When a loved one dies they take comfort in the notion that “things happen for a reason.” So which is it? Well apparently its The Men’s Warehouse. Red Riding Hood Release Date: 3/11/11 Genre: Fantasy, Horror

“Amanda Seyfried dons the scarlet-hooded cloak in this sensual fantasy thriller. Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke turns the widely known tale into an edgy romance of a young woman torn between two men – one of whom could be a werewolf.” I know this isn’t exactly a new story, and I’m actively ignoring the part about the director of Twilight because I think the imagery from this movie is gorgeous, I like Amanda Seyfried and I dig the concept of mixing fantasy, horror, and romance. Fantasy, horror, and romance; if you threw in “anger, despair,” and “monetary expense” it sounds a lot like love! Sucker Punch Release Date: 3/25/11 Genre: Action, Fantasy “Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) directs this visual stunner about a group of beautiful, bad-ass women played by Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Chung, all trying to escape from a mental institution.” This little blurb of a synopsis tells nothing about how crazy-good I think the film is actually going to be. I suggest looking it up and checking it out yourselves because I really don’t even know where to begin to attempt to describe it and I know I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. Hanna Release Date: 4/8/11 Genre: Action, Thriller “Saoirse Ronan takes a detour from period pieces and moody dramas to take on the role of the young daughter of an ex-CIA agent (Eric Bana), who's raised by dear dad in the wilds of Finland to be an ace killer. When her father sends her out on a dangerous mission across Europe, with enemy operatives in pursuit, things get interesting.” I see “Eric Bana” and I see “raised to be an ace killer” and I’m in. Actually, I’d be in even without Eric Bana because there is just something awesome to me about female assassins! I don’t know what it is but for some reason they’re so much cooler than the guys. Maybe it’s because they look so pretty while doing it. Thor Release Date: 5/6/11 Genre: Action “With the power of Asgard in his hammer, Marvel Comic's latest movie star will likely crush the competition on opening weekend of summer 2011. And with Natalie Portman on hand to coax out his humanity and villains on the way from his homeland, Thor could be an excellent new defender of our planet, and a champion of big-budgeted action.” Because it’s based on both comic books and ancient Norse mythology calling “Thor” an original film might be considered questionable. However the story is unique and while Thor is not necessarily one of my favorite characters, he is a Marvel superhero, which means I’ll be seeing him opening weekend. Plus I’ve checked out the trailer, read some things Joe Quesada (the

Editor In Chief of Marvel Comics for those of you who don’t know) has said about it, & seen some of the still photos and I’m starting to think it’ll be pretty sweet. Green Lantern Release Date: 6/17/11 Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Adventure “Ryan Reynolds suits up as Hal Jordan aka The Green Lantern in DC Comics' latest big screen adaptation. Blake Lively and Peter Sarsgaard co-star.” Green Lantern may be a DC character but he’s still a comic book superhero who isn’t being played by Nicholas Cage, thus I will go see it. The fact that I love Ryan Reynolds (who will be in a skintight, painted on suit) and Peter Sarsgaard might have something to do with it too. Captain America: The First Avenger Release Date: 7/22/11 Genre: Action “Chris Evans takes on the role of Steve Rogers/Captain America in the latest superhero adaptation from Marvel Comics. Hugo Weaving plays villain Red Skull while Hayley Atwell plays love interest Peggy Carter.” This is pretty much the same reasoning as Thor, only without the “Joe Quesada” and the “I saw the trailer” part, and with “it’s always fun watching Nazis get killed” instead. Cowboys and Aliens Release Date: 7/29/11 Genre: Sci-fi, Western, Action, Adventure “Daniel Craig plays a stranger with no memory who stumbles into the desert town of Absolution, policed by a hardened Harrison Ford. And then Jon Favreau's western adventure takes a turn for the sci-fi as an alien force attacks! Olivia Wilde co-stars” I love Jon Favreau. I really, really do. But I have a tiny bit of a problem with this movie being called his western adventure turned sci-fi. Yes, he is the director and executive producer. However the movie is a film adaptation of a 100 page graphic novel created by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg- who is also one of the film’s producers- and written by Fred Van Lente & Andrew Foley. That’s right folks- it’s another comic book movie. This one was all sneaky and badass looking so it almost made everyone forget what it really was! That’s why I’m here; so viewers know exactly what it is they end up liking so much and making sure comic books and their writers/creators/artists get the respect and kudos they deserve. Columbiana Release Date: 9/2/11 Genre: Action, Drama “The talented Zoe Saldana returns to the big screen in the action-drama Colombiana. Saldana plays a young woman who witnesses her parents' murder in Bogota, and then grows up to be a stone-cold assassin.”

Another female assassin movie; I just can’t resist them! Real Steel Release Date: 10/7/11 Genre: Action, Sci-Fi “Hugh Jackman + 2,000 pound boxing robots duel in Shawn Levy's (Date Night, Night at the Museum) sci-fi action flick. Jackman is a struggling promoter who thinks he's found a champion in a discarded robot but during his hopeful rise to the top, he also discovers he has an 11-year-old son who wants to know his father.” Do you really need to know anything more than “boxing robots”?!? I didn’t think so. --Well that wraps up my summary of the many re-makes of 2011. Overall I don’t think the year will end up being so bad in terms of the happenings at the cinema: there are just enough blockbusters to make up for the entertainment flops and keep you looking forward to what’s coming up next. But if it turns out I’m wrong you could always go buy some comics or a graphic novel to read, pick up a book, get caught up on season 1 of Archer or The Walking Dead, or watch those movies from 2010 you meant to go see but never got around to. Just be sure you don’t go outside or do any kind of physical activity. Till next time, Dianthrax

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