Posted December 14, 2010 by Alex Moss Editor in Features
 
 

Get Excited For 2011


Next year could be great, whet the appetite with this lot.

January is always a depressing month. Thankfully it’s also the beginning of a year that promises to have something for everyone in cinemas. Here is a look at some of the films to get truly excited about.

127 Hours

Danny Boyle is never anything other than
one of cinemas most interesting filmmakers. After Slumdog Millionaire (2008) he
had his pick of scripts, including rumours of a Bond film, but plumped for this
true life story of a man trapped for 127 Hours under a rock, before cutting
through his own arm. Expect James Franco
to knock it out of the park based on the trailer.

The Tree Of Life

Terrence Malick is a director who likes to
bide his time over projects. So this one comes remarkably soon after 2005’s The
New World. Little is known about this film other than it stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn as a father and son spanning two generations and the loss
of the son’s innocence. If his previous works are anything to go by this will
be a lesson is stunning visuals and heartbreaking drama.

Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky brings his unique styling’s
to the world of ballet as Natalie
Portman
slowly loses her mind in the lead role of Swan Lake. Portman is
rightly gaining awards season buzz as is co-star Mila Kunis. Some of us here at Filmjuice HQ were lucky enough to
see this at The London Film Festival and it is a truly striking and stunning
film.

The Green Lantern

Super
heroes will continue to dominate the cinematic horizon but The Green Lantern is
one of those fan favourites for it’s cocky protagonist Hal Jordon. With current
Hollywood heartthrob Ryan Reynolds
as Jordon and Casino Royale director Martin
Campbell
on board this could be a thrill ride to truly revel in.

Captain America; The First
Avenger

Early
shots from Marvel’s flagship super hero imply this could be a retro adventure
in the style of an Indiana Jones. The casting of The Fantastic Four’s Chris Evans (no not that one), as
Captain America aka Steve Rogers, certainly supports the tongue in cheek
mentality. If director Joe Johnston
can bring some of his 40s styling from The Rocketeer (1991) to this film then
it should be a blast.

Sucker Punch

The
trailer for Sucker Punch highlights director Zack Synder at his visually berserk best. The man behind 300 (2006)
and Watchmen (2009) has created a Shutter Island like premise on crack which
sees a girl, Baby Doll (Emily Brown),
enter her own sub-conscious to escape a mental asylum. Cue samurais, dragons
and Nazis while supported by her merry band of inmates including High School
Musical’s Vanessa Hudgens and Abbie Cornish.

Conviction

Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell in a film together screams of powerhouse acting and
the premise certainly supports that theory. Swank plays a woman putting herself
through law school in order to help free her wrongfully imprisoned brother
Rockwell on death row. Oh, and just to top it off it is based on a true story.
Could be next year’s Erin Brockovich.

The King’s Speech

Another
one that is rightly gaining award buzz sees Colin Firth as King George VI who is forced to take speech therapy
from Geoffrey Rush as Britain finds
itself on the brink of World War II. Helena
Bonham Carter
, Firth and Rush are all likely to be nominated, as is
director Tom Hooper, the man behind
The Damned United (2009).

True Grit

The
last time the Coen Brothers ventured
into the Western they gave us the sublime No Country For Old Men (2007). This
time they re-unite with The Big Lebowski, The Dude himself, Jeff Bridges in the role that won John Wayne his only Oscar for Rooster
Cogburn. Based on Charles Portis’
novel, the Coen’s have stuck closer to the source material than the Wayne
version and the thought of the Coens using Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin
as well as new comer Hailee Steinfeld
is nothing short of mouth-watering.

Blue Valentine


Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, two of the finest young actors working at the
moment, unite for this romantic drama that charts a relationship by jumping to
various points in time. Frankly these two chew up the screen on their own,
together they’re likely to burn a hole in it.

Hereafter


A
drama from director Clint Eastwood
centring on the ways in which death affects us all, is likely to be something
of an emotional punch to the gut. With Matt
Damon
playing a medium who can supposedly communicate with the dead and a
plot involving the Tsunami in Thailand this has the potential to pack some
serious clout.

Sanctum

A 3D
film produced by James Cameron. Need
we say more? Ok, it’s the true-life story of a group of cave divers who find
themselves trapped, thanks to an Australian flash flood, in an unmapped cave
system. Imagine The Descent without monsters and with lots of water gushing at
you. Potentially a thrill ride worth taking.

I Am Number Four

From
the director of Distubia (2007) and Eagle Eye (2008) comes an action adventure
to potentially topple Twilight off its perch. Alex Pettyfer plays Number Four, a member of an Alien race living
in secrecy on Earth. The problem is Numbers One to Three have just been killed
and he is next on the list. Glee’s Dianna
Agron
is along for the ride as his potential love interest. Expect teen
angst and action to ensue.

Rango

From
Pirates Of The Caribbean director Gore
Virbinski
comes a stunning digi-mation offering with Johnny Depp as the voice of titular character Rango. Rango is an
adventure seeking Chameleon who stumbles into the town of Dirt and finds
himself involved in an animal spaghetti western. The trailer offers up some
stunning visuals and loveable characters akin to something Pixar would dream
up.

The Adjustment Bureau

Matt Damon (again, he is getting around
next year) stars alongside Emily Blunt in
this sc-fi thriller come love story. Damon plays a politician who falls for Blunt’s
ballerina (apparently they are in this year) that threatens to throw his fate
off course. Enter the mysterious Adjustment Bureau, an organisation whose role
is to ensure fate runs its course. With supporting cast including The Hurt
Locker’s (2008) Anthony Mackie and
Mad Men’s brilliant John Slattery
this one could cater for the Inception crowd.

World Invasion; Battle LA

This
years Skyline was something of a damp squid on a small budget, next years
Battle LA, which was embroiled in a lawsuit with that film, promises to be
something closer to the Independence Day like film we were hoping for. The US
military wage war on an alien race determined to wipe out us pesky humans.
Expect massive set-pieces and the chance to see Hollywood reduced to rubble,
again.

The Cabin In The Woods

This
one has been wetting our appetites for a while but due to studio problems has
been sitting on the shelf. Written by Buffy and Firefly creator Joss Whedon and Lost and Alias producer
Drew Goddard this film promises to
be a refreshing look at the horror genre of an isolated house in the woods.
That it stars The West Wing’s Bradley
Whitford
and the always-brilliant Richard
Jenkins
just makes this tasty enough to eat.

Paul


Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are back this time teaming up with Adventureland
Director Gregg Mottola to tell the
tale of Paul. Paul is an alien who has lived on earth for years and recruits
two comic book fans to help him return home. The problem is that a ruthless FBI
Agent, in the form of Jason Bateman,
is on their tail. The trailer promises a fun blend of action comedy and endless
geek references.

Contagion

Steven Soderbergh is a director with the
unique ability to assemble the best casts known to man, just look at the Ocean
Eleven films. For this thriller about a team of doctors trying to cure a deadly
virus he has the following on board; Matt
Damon
(seriously does he ever sleep?), Jude
Law
, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hawkes,
Laurence Fishburne and god knows who
else. If Soderbergh can inject half the amount of tension he did with Traffic
then this should be seriously contagious. Seriously though is there a law as to
how many Oscar winners you can have involved in one film?

X-Men; First Class

Matthew Vaughn takes over the reigns of the
X-Men franchise with the origin story of how Professor Charles Xavier and
Magneto formed a close friendship, set up their school for the gifted, and
ultimately became sworn enemies. After the hit of Kick Ass Vaughn has put
together great actors to fill those now famous boots. James Macavoy will be Xavier,
Michael Fassbender
will be Magneto with Kevin Bacon, Jennifer
Lawrence
, Rose Byrne, Mad Mens’s
January Jones and Nicholas Hoult rounding off the team.

Sherlock Holmes 2

After
the hugely enjoyable first outing for the super sleuth it was only a matter of
time before he got a second run. Downey
Jnr
and Law return as Holmes and
Watson and are joined by Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’s Noomi Rapace to help them track down the evil Moriaty. Expect more
of the fun bickering and action that made the first one so much fun.

Source Code

From
Duncan Jones, the man who gave us
the breathtaking Moon (2009), comes another Sci-fi head scratcher. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a solider who
finds himself in another man’s body re-living the last eight minutes before a
train explodes. If Jones can bring his subtle manners to a truly gripping
script this will cement him as the go to guy for thinking genre pieces.

Hanna

When
his planned epic Indian Summer lost its funding Atonement director Joe Wright turned to this tale of a
young girl raised by her on the run father (Eric Bana) to be a deadly assassin. Atonement and The Lovely Bones’
Saoirse Ronan will take the titular lead with Cate Blanchett trying to hunt her down. With Wright’s David Lean like visuals this could be a
heart-melting epic. Imagine Hit Girl from Kick Ass played for tears rather than
profanity.

Thor

Another
year another Super Hero. But Thor has that epic back-story of being a Norse God
cast down to Earth to contend with. Star Trek’s Chris Hemsworth takes the lead role with Natalie Portman as the love interest and Anthony Hopkins the disappointed father. Just to make sure it
remains appropriately grand Kenneth
Branagh
will bring his Shakespearian musings to the director’s chair.

Harry Potter And The Deathly
Hallows Part 2

If
part one left you wanting more, or just plain frustrated, then Part 2 will wrap
up Harry Potter for good. If nothing else we are guaranteed the battle of
Hogwarts and enough teen yearning to rival Twilight. Let the battle commence.

Cowboys And Aliens

This
one has summer smash written all over it. Iron
Man
director Jon Favreau injects
his trade mark tongue in cheek as Daniel
Craig
leads a band of cowboys, including Harrison Ford’s evil Sheriff, against a swarm of dastardly aliens.
The supporting cast also boasts the fantastic Sam Rockwell and the stunning Olivia
Wilde
. Something for everyone in other words.

The Adventures of Tintin: The
Secret Of The Unicorn

Not
to be upstaged by the likes of James
Cameron
, Steven Spielberg
directs, while Peter Jackson
produces, a fully motion capture adventure of Belgium’s favourite detective.
Billy Elliot’s Jamie Bell captures
Tintin with Daniel Craig, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis
as Captain Haddock rounding out the cast. Early screen shots show a perfectly
rendered interpretation of the original comic.

Hugo Cabret

And
just to further prove that the old guard can move with the times Martin Scorsese ventures into the
realms of 3D with his first kids movie. Based on a popular novel the film
follows the young boy Hugo, who lives in the walls of a Parisian train station,
as he unearths a mystery about his father. We recently spoke to someone from
the set of Hugo Cabret and were told that the 3D is stunning and that people
will be blown away by what Scorsese is doing. Consider the appetite
wetted.

Super 8


The
biggest selling point about Super 8 is that little is known about it. From
director JJ Abrams, who loves to
shroud things in mystery, with Lost
and Cloverfield, and produced by Steven Spielberg this could be very
exciting. The teaser trailer implies a found footage scenario revolving around
alien sightings in New Mexico, and a certain Area 51.

The Girl With The Dragon
Tattoo

The
best selling Millennium series gets the Hollywood treatment. Frankly after Se7en, Fight Club and The Social
Network
, director David Fincher
could film paint drying and we would still cue to see it. Casting Daniel Craig as the reporter on a
mission and The Social Network’s Rooney
Mara
as the now infamous Lisbeth Salander this could be a trip back to
Fincher’s darkly brooding killer ways.

War Horse

Based
on the hugely popular book and stage play Steven
Spielberg
will bring the story of Albert and his horse as they are
separated and fight to be reunited in World War I. With the grand scale on
offer and Spielberg re-visiting a genre that he has always excelled at War
Horse could easily be an Oscar contender for 2012.

Haywire


Steven Soderbergh conjured up this film as a
pet project for mixed martial artist Gina
Carano
. She’ll play Mallory Kane, a Black-Ops super soldier betrayed by her
superiors. With a typically stellar supporting cast from Soderbergh including; Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas and Antonio
Banderas
this could very well be a female Jason Bourne thrill ride
(apparently Matt Damon was busy!).

We Bought A Zoo

Cameron Crowe has been away since the dire
Elizabeth Town in 2005 but this could be a project to rekindle his Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous magic. Based on the true-life novel it sees Matt Damon’s (seriously this is just
silly now) Benjamin Mee relocate his family to the English countryside in order
to restore a flailing zoo. The drama thickens when his wife, played by Scarlett Johansson is diagnosed with
terminal cancer. Crowe has always excelled at finding humour laced with tragedy
and this will hopefully see him return to the big time.

The Hangover Part II

The
boys are back for a second helping of drinking and debauchery as they jet off
to Thailand. All the original cast are back with Liam Neeson cropping up for a Mike Tyson style cameo as a tattoo
artist. If it manages to create the laughs from the first film we will be more
than happy.

Mission Impossible; Ghost
Protocol

Little
is known plot wise other than this could potentially be Tom Cruise’s last Impossible Mission as he passes the torch onto
new recruit Jeremy Renner. With
Pixar’s Brad Bird, the man behind
The Incredibles, directing his first live action movie and now series producer JJ Abrams onboard this should be an
explosive farewell to Ethan Hunt.

The Twilight Saga; Breaking
Dawn Part 1

Call
it making the most of a big story or simply milking the franchise for all it is
worth, Twilight will divide the final book in two parts, ala Harry Potter.
Nonetheless this should prove to be a fairly twisted instalment to the saga as Stephenie Meyer’s book takes all manner
of strange turns. All the cast return as the werewolves, vampires and pouting
Bella face ever increasing dangers, and babies.

Margin Call


A
film set in an investment bank 24 hours before the credit crunch hit might be a
tough sell with the event still fresh in the mind. But, with a cast that
includes Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Paul Bettany, Heroes’ Zachary
Quinto
and The Mentalist’s Simon
Baker
this could prove to be something of a contemporary Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark

Written
and produced by the fantasy horror maestro Guillermo
Del Toro
this should be a nightmare inducing slice of gleeful delight.
Following a young girl who moves in with her father (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend (Katie Holmes) only to discover there are creatures lurking in the
new house who want her for their own. The trailer brings typically creepy
gothic musings that Del Toro has made his trade mark. If it is anything like
The Orphanage (2007) we are already hiding behind the cushions.

The Thing

This
is dangerous considering how John Carpenter’s 1982 version is one of the
greatest horror films ever made. However, this film promises to act as a
prequel to Carpenter’s film as we follow the Antarctic research team who unearth
the shape shifting alien. Scott Pilgrim’s Mary Elizabeth Winstead takes the
lead, which will mean less facial hair than Kurt Russell. We are undecided if
this is a good thing or not.

Moneyball


This
is a film that has gone through the wringer a few times but when you consider
that Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) and Steven Zaillian (Gangs Of New York)
have both had a crack at the script this could be compulsive viewing. Brad Pitt
plays Billy Beane, a real life baseball coach who assembles a team on the cheap
and used revolutionary statistics to get them into that winning habit. Could be
three strikes and out but with any luck it will be a home run.


Now


Andrew
Niccol
, the writer director of Gattaca (1997), brings the story of a future
where time has become the most valuable commodity thanks to the ageing gene
being removed. Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Alex Pettyfer and Olivia
Wilde
are the wise heads on young bodies desperate to draw out their lives for
as long as possible. If done right this could be a striking update to the
Logan’s Run (1976) mythology.

Scream 4


When
you thought old Ghost Face was long gone he returns for more slashing. The
original Scream was a wonderful satire of modern day horrors. It has been
almost 15 years and the genre has moved on so this is ripe for the ripping. All
the original cast return, Neve Campbell Courtney Cox, David Arquette as well as
new blood Emma Roberts, Adam Brody, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin and Anna
Paquin
. Most crucial of all though original creators, writer Kevin Williamson
and Director Wes Craven are back to slice and dice.


The Wolverine

After
the farce that was X-Men Origins; Wolverine you would be forgiven for not
getting excited about this one. BUT, it boasts the dark broodings of Darren
Aronofsky
as director and frankly the thought of him bringing his unique obsessions
to Wolverine’s already bleak outlook on life is too good to miss out on.
Furthermore, The Usual Suspects writer Christopher McQuarrie is on scribing
duties as Hugh Jackman dons the claws again.

Never Let Me Go


Based
on Kazuo Ishiguro’s breathtaking novel and a script adapted by 28 Days Later
scribe Alex Garland Never Let Me Go, from what we have seen and read, will be
stunning. Shot by One Hour Photo’s Mark Romanek and starring the cream of young
British talent in the shape of Keira Knightley, Carrey Mulligan and Andrew
Garfield
it is a bitter love story that charts the lives of three friends who
grew up in a mysterious boarding school. Expect intrigue and tears aplenty, if
the book and script are anything to go by.

The Fighter


Something
of a pet project for star Mark Wahlberg this has gone through numerous actors
and directors before finally making it to the screen. Fate seems to have
intervened in this case bagging David O Russel, he of Three Kings fame, as well
as Christian Bale and Amy Adams. It tells the story of Mickey Ward, a down on
his luck boxer, who gets a shot at the big time and recruits his older brother
to help him train. The trailer manages to be both heartfelt, dramatic and
powerful so if the film can capture any of that it will be a treat.


Alex Moss Editor

 
Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com