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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Part 2 - Interesting Movies, Coming Soon in 2011

Here are a few more movies, due to open in the next 2 to 4 months, that look and sound interesting. I'm judging them by their trailers and the general buzz surrounding their production. In each case, the proof will come out in the pudding, as they say. In other words, they may all look a whole lot different once we've had a chance to watch them in their entirety. But, for now, it's fun to try to predict where Hollywood will get it right this year.

My first impression when I saw the trailer was that it might truly be the next Twilight. Not as a cheap immitation or just because it's a successful series of novels (as far as I know, it's not.), but because it looks like it will be 50% romance and 50% horror, married together in an intriguing and mysterious story. It's even directed by Cathryn Hardwick who also directed the original Twilight. The other thing it has going for it is Amanda Seyfried. She is one of the hottest young actresses in Hollywood right now. In everything I've seen her in (Dear John & Letters To Juliet) she has shined with sophistication and innocence.

Will it be Family Friendly? Maybe. I'm hoping the horror is as tame as it is in Twilight. The trailer didn't suggest any hot and heavy sex scenes, only passionate kisses, etc.
Will it be Good? The production values look first class and the cast looks strong. My guess is yes. I think it will be one of the biggest of this Spring.

This is taken from a classic children's young reader book that my wife and I have read to all 4 of our kids when they were around 6 or 7 years old. It's a fun story that will hopefully translate well to the big screen. Jim Carrey stars which at least means it should be very funny. No trailer is available yet for this film.

Will it be family friendly? Most likely, yes.
Will it be Good? Without a trailer to watch, it's anybody's guess.

One of the great Marvel comic book characters of all time is finally getting the first class Hollywood treatment. There have been lesser, badly produced versions of Captain America in the past, but this one looks promising. I'm excited about this movie because I love comic book hero movies, for one thing. More importantly, though, because this one looks different from all recent heroes who have been translated into movies. Captain America is set during World War 2, a time when patriotism was at it's highest and nobody got upset if you said the U.S. is good and the communists are evil. The actor, Chris Evans looks sufficient for the part. His costume looks cool yet down to earth, and his shield is reported to be awesome.

Will it be family friendly? My gut feeling is, yes. Captain America has never been one of those heroes that pushes the line between good and evil. He's as good as they get, at least that's how he's been in the past. Of course, Hollywood could change things like they tend to do (The Dark Knight anyone?). I predict it will be at least as family friendly as the Spiderman movies were.
Will it be Good? There is a 50% chance. Alot depends on the director for a movie like this. Joe Johnston is taking the lead and his record is ok, not stellar. His most recent attempt was The Wolfman, one of the biggest dissapointments of last year. Hopefully he learned a few lessons from that movie.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

2011 Movies That I'm Looking Forward To

Movie ticket sales are down, but Hollywood magic is still on the upswing. 2010 gave us some of the best family flicks of all time with Toy Story 3, Alice and Wonderland, Despicable Me, Avatar (it started in '09 but most of it's run was in '10), and a few others. I'm anxious to see what's going to hit it big in 2011 and what's going to come and go with hardly a blip on the screen. Here is part 1 of my list of the stuff that sounds good at this point, judging by the descriptions and trailers that are available.

February 2011 - GNOMEO & JULIET

This looks cute and it's a classic love story set in the world of gnomes, you know, the little statues that people have in their gardens and other places. Red gnomes and blue gnomes hate each other. All except a young girl and a young man who fall in love. The trailer looks funny and charming, and it's rated G.
Family Friendly? Definitely Yes.
Will It Be Good? I give it a 50% chance. The production company is an unknown, so it's hard to say for sure.

March 2011 - RANGO

I'm excited about Rango because it looks different from any other animated movie I've seen so far. And the story is unusual. It's a western, done with lizards, snakes, birds, and various exotic creatures. It looks funny in a sublte way, not so much slapstick childish humor that's so common these days. Rango could possibly break new ground in humorous animation. Then again, it could also be boring and bland. My money's on the former. I'm always up for something fresh and creative.
Family Friendly? Most likely. It's rated PG so it may push the limits a little.
Will It Be Good? I'll say it's a 75% chance. The look and the feel of the trailers is one of high quality animation, good writing, and that old time western charm.

April 2011 - HOP

I'm including Hop in my picks for only one reason; it's made by the same people that made Despicable Me. I loved the humor and the style of that movie and I'm hoping it carries on into their newest release. The story is about a man who injures the Easter Bunny and brings him home while it recovers. The rabbit turns out to be a terrible house guest. In the process, the rabbit and the man learn to grow up. Honestly, that doesn't sound incredibly exciting, but I'm hoping it surprises me like Despicable Me did.
Family Friendly? As far as I can tell. There's no rating yet.
Will It Be Good? 50% chance is the best I can do at this point.

STAY TUNED FOR PART 2 OF THIS BLOG FOR MORE MOVIES I'M EXCITED ABOUT IN 2011. I promise they won't all be animated.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Cape

The Cape is a new series that began earlier this month on NBC. It's the story of a man who is forced to become a vigilante type superhero in order to clear his name and get his family back. With his new mysterious identity, The Cape, he fights the villain and his corrupt police force armed with a fist full of circus secrets that he gets from an underground band of circus thieves? You know those circus types that hide in sewers and rob banks? Never heard of them? Neither have I but that's beside the point. It works for the show and it provides a decent explanation for Vince's secret weapon; his cape. The cape is definitely cool as long as you don't think too hard about all the things he does with it.
Sure, it's all a little far fetched, but I'm not complaining. Superhero movies are all far-fetched if you think about it. Most are much more out there than The Cape. This show tries and succeeds in being a Batman type hero for the small screen.
I watched the first two episodes and my reaction is mostly positive. The show is fun and has enough heart to make me care about the hero and his family. Speaking of his family, I really liked the strong emphasis on Vince's family. One line says it all. Vince tells Max, "My family isn't my weakness, they're my strength."
It's no secret that The Watcher500 is a big fan of Superheroes. I tend to like a little more of the super in my superheroes than is present in The Cape. I prefer Spiderman over Batman because I like the campy spider abilities that Peter Parker has, as opposed to the wiz kid gadgets that Batman uses. My only problem with The Cape is I'd like to see more in the way of real super powers. However, that's more of a personal taste and not an actual critique of the show. Overall, I really liked The Cape. For a television superhero, it's actually one of the best I've ever seen. I think the series has great potential and I'll be watching to see what kind of story lines develop in the future.
My two scores on the Watcher500 scale of 1 to 250 are as follows: 190 for entertainment value, and 210 for moral value. Some of the fighting was a bit gruesome and bloody, but never over-the-top.