2011: The Year of Remakes and Sequels? Part 4: New Stuff!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 (here)” part, and with “it’s always fun watching Nazis get killed” instead.

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,