Top 20 picks of 2011

Top 20 picks of 2011

An array of expected blockbusters in the upcoming movie line-up of 2011 promises to deliver a much stronger impact compared to the lacklustre year of 2010. Marvel is packing up a double barrel shot in the form of "Thor" and "Captain America", in order to pave the route for a bigger ammo which happens to be Marvel's finest, "The Avengers", slated for 2012 release. While it's rival DC would not want to back down by sending out "Green Lantern" to secure one of the top spots in 2011. Beautiful, tough girls will also light up your screens in all year round with "Sucker Punch". Movie buffs can expect the return of Jack Black's Po, the loveable martial artist Panda and also anticipate not one but two of Johnny Depp's bankable movies as he returns as Captain Jack Sparrow and also making his first animated voice debut in "Rango".


The Green Hornet is an upcoming 2011 superhero film, based on the character of the same name that had originated in a 1930s radio program and has appeared in movie serials, a television series, comic books and other media. Britt Reid (Seth Rogen), son and heir to Los Angeles' largest newspaper fortune, is a rich, spoiled playboy who has been happy to maintain a direction-less existence. When his father James Reid (Tom Wilkinson) dies, Britt meets an impressive and resourceful company employee, Kato (Jay Chou). They realize that they have the resources to do something worthwhile with their lives and finally step out of James Reid's shadow. Featuring Cameron Diaz, Edward Furlong and Tom Wilkinson, this movie is coming out at the cinemas on 2 February 2011 while the 3D screening will start much earlier on 27 January.


This burlesque-themed movie will feature powerhouse singer Christina Aguilera in her first musical and movie debut as a small-town girl with a big voice who escapes hardship and an uncertain future to follow her dreams to Los Angeles. Her fate starts to take a turn when she stumbled upon a The Burlesque Lounge, a majestic but ailing theatre that is home to an inspired musical revue. If the trailer is any indication, topped by Christina's powerful vocals, "Burlesque" might just be the next best hit after Hollywood musicals, "Moulin Rouge" and "Chicago". Supported by legendary songbird, Cher and several other known actors such as Eric Dane, Cam Gigandet, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci and Dianna Agron, "Burlesque" will be a spectacular debut when it comes out at the cinemas on 17 February 2011. With Cher and Christina also singing the original soundtrack of this movie, (and an Oscar nominee on the way) "Burlesque" is now showing in Singapore.


Academy-Award winning actor Jeff Bridges is returning to the silver screen after his reprisal of Kevin Flynn in last year's "TRON Legacy" as a gun-toting, one-eyed U.S Marshall in this Coen Brothers production. Playing as Rooster Cogburn, he is the prime candidate to be hired by a young girl, Mattie to track down her father's murderer, Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps"). Matt Damon will join the wagon as a Texas Ranger, intending to assist Mattie to bring Chaney down to justice. Fresh newcomer, Hailee Steinfield's portrayal as Mattie in "True Grit" brought multiple award-nominees in 2011 for the 14 year old actress. "True Grit" is the chart-topper for North American box-office in early 2011 and will be shown at cinemas in Singapore and Malaysia on 24 February 2011.


A Darren Aronofsky psychological thriller starring Hollywood's stunning and talented actress, Natalie Portman as the lead role of Nina, an aspiring ballerina in a prestigious New York City ballet company. Nina discovers the darker side of herself, delving deeper into a web of psychological intrigue as she was caught in a manipulative relationship with a rival dancer, Lily. Supported by a bevy of renowned names of Hollywood such as Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder, Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel, this 2011 Academy- Award nominee promises to be a potential hit when it comes out at the cinemas 24 February 2011.


Johnny Depp will be making his animation debut as he lends his voice talent to "Rango", a chameleon with an identity crisis who never stops trying to 'blend in' with his surroundings up until one point in time some time in the movie, the pet chameleon starts to question himself. Directed by Gore Verbinski ("Pirates Of The Caribbean" trilogy) and featuring other famous Hollywood names such as Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Bill Nighy, Alfred Molina and Timothy Olyphant. "Rango" will be showing at the cinemas on 10 March 2011.


Brought from the amazing "300" and "Watchmen" director Zack Snyder, this film penned by the director himself is described briefly as 'Alice in Wonderland with machine guns, including dragons, B-52 bombers and brothels'. If the featurette of the movie's trailer is an indication of how the movie is going to be, "Sucker Punch" will surely deliver its title, literally. Who would not love smoking, beautiful girls in skimpy yet stylish costume designs, wielding firearms and riding on a giant mecha? Featuring young, aspiring actresses such as Emily Browning ("Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events"), Abbie Cornish ("Elizabeth: The Golden Age"), Jena Malone ("Pride & Prejudice"), Jamie Chung ("Dragonball Evolution") and Vanessa Hudgens ("Bandslam"), "Sucker Punch" will blow your mind away when it crashes into the cinemas 24 March 2011, also in 3D!


This movie adaptation intends to bring a much darker thriller that involves a teenage girl, a boy and a werewolf. From the director of "Twilight", Catherine Hardwicke brings horror and romance set in a medieval village, Daggerhorn where Valerie (Amanda Seyfried, "Mamma Mia") falls in love with an orphaned wood cutter as a village is haunted by a werewolf. The villagers of Daggerhohn seek the assistance of a hunter (Gary Oldman, "The Dark Knight") to fight the creature. A potential sleeper hit, "Red Riding Hood" is an adult fairy tale adaptation movie fans should never miss! A US-based Malaysian 3D company is also providing the visual effects for this movie, out due at the cinemas on 21 April 2011.


This fallen Viking deity has gathered a rather huge fanbase among Marvel comics fan and will finally receive the silver screen treatment. Having a small airtime of a sneak glimpse after the rolling credits in "Iron Man 2", this hammer-wielding thunder god will be materialized by Chris Hemworth (George Kirk of 2009's "Star Trek") and supported by a strong cast such as Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleton and Jaimie Alexander. This movie is due out at the cinemas on 28 April 2011.


Rejoice to the all fans of the Pirates Trilogy! Captain Jack Sparrow will finally return to the screen again with "On Stranger Tides". This time around, Jack will continue on his quest to find the infamous Fountain of Youth along with rival, Captain Hector Barbossa until he crosses paths with a long forgotten past. Mayhap without the handsome Will Turner or the beautiful Elizabeth Swann this time, "Pirates" fans can anticipate new characters such as Captain Blackbeard (played by Ian McShane) and his daughter, Angelica (played by latino bombshell, Penelope Cruz) who is also Jack's former flame. Captain Jack Sparrow returns to the cinemas with bigger and bolder adventure on 19 May 2011.


DreamWorks Animation and Pacific Data Images will continue the adventures of Hollywood's beloved panda named Po (Jack Black) and his friends known as the Furious Five – Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Crane (David Cross), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu) and Monkey (Jackie Chan). This time the story follows Po who, while in search of other pandas, happens to come across a group of bandits. They have to join forces with another group of kung fu masters-of Skunkman (James Woods), Thundering Rhino (Victor Garber), Soothsayer (Michelle Yeoh) and Croc (Jean-Claude Van Damme) in order to defeat Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), a peacock, and his Indian Flying Fox Henchmen, Flying Fist (Sorrell Booke). Lord Shen plans to use a secret weapon that can destroy kung fu forever and it is up to Po and friends to defeat Lord Shen in order to preserve the martial arts. "Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom Of Doom" will be kicking into cinemas (also available in 3D) on 26 May 2011.


Helmed by "Kick-Ass" director Matthew Vaughn, "X-Men First Class" will follow the classic Marvel mythology and charts the epic beginning of the X-Men saga. 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. This prequel to the "X-Men" trilogy will feature James Mc Avoy ("Wanted") as Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Erik Lensherr, Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy, Lucas Till as Alex Summers/Havok and Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw, among some others. This movie is also getting the touch of a US-based Malaysian 3D animation and visual effects company and will hit the theatres on 2 June 2011.

12. SUPER 8

This movie is kept so much under wraps that even the distributors barely get any material on it! It's "Cloverfield" all over again! J.J Abrams (2009's "Star Trek") will be directing this sci-fi thriller that takes place in 1979, after the Air Force closes a section of Area 51. All materials are transported to a secure facility in Ohio. A train carrying some of the materials derails during an accident and something escapes from one of the cargo cars. A group of kids making movies with their Super 8 cameras accidentally capture what escapes on film. Starring Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning and Ron Eldard, this movie predicts a sci-fi supernatural suspense like no one has ever seen before. "Super 8 will unveiled at the cinemas on 9 June 2011.


Not wanting to be left behind, DC (which is also Marvels' long-time competitor in the American comics industry) is also pushing one of its major Leaguers, "Green Lantern" into the movie spotlight. The movie will focus on Hal Jordan, one of the original members of the early Justice League of America and his fight towards discovering his powers that could save the universe and mankind. One of Marvel's movie stars, Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool of "Wolverine: Origins") will don the green and black spandex suit of the Green Lantern Corps and use the power ring to protect the universe, finding a mentor-turned-rival in Sinestro (Mark Strong, "Sherlock Holmes") as well as weaving some romance with his on-screen long-time love interest, Carol Ferris (Blake Lively, "The Town"). "The Green Lantern" will be shown at the cinemas on 16 June 2011 and also available in 3D.


Michael Bay and the rest of his crew will return for the third instalment of "Transformers", completing the long-awaited trilogy with "Dark Of The Moon". Shia LaBeouf will reprise his role as Sam Witwicky who in this movie will be taking his first tenuous steps into adulthood while remaining a reluctant human ally of Optimus Prime. The film centres on the space race between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R) and the United States of America, suggesting there was a hidden Transformers role in it all that remains one of the planet's most dangerous secrets. It is confirmed by Michael Bay through USA Today that the main antagonist of this third film will be Shockwave, the Decepticon's military operations commander in the original comics. Until then, all is left to be revealed when the movie comes out on 30 June 2011.


The long-awaited movie finale of the "Harry Potter" series, based on J.K Rowling's novels about a young wizard boy's adventure who has to continually fight his nemesis, Lord Voldemort with the helps of his best friends and allies will finally be unveiled. Daniel Radcliffe will be reprising the titular character, Harry Potter for one last time alongside supporting casts such as Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter and David Thewlis when "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2" hits the theatres on 14 July 2011.


This iconic superhero of all times will be gracing the cinemas when it comes out in August. Fans will be able to see the origins of the (honorary) founding member of "The Avengers" from a sickly U.S Army drop-out to a super soldier, following his volunteering for a secret military operation codenamed Project: Rebirth. With Chris Evans ("Fantastic Four") saddling the shield of Captain America and supported by Hollywood's big names such as Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson, this long-awaited superhero will be one of Marvel's top guns at the box-office for 2011 before paving a huge route for "The Avengers" in 2012. The long-celebrated American superhero will be hitting the theatres on 4 August 2011.


As opposed to a previous 'odd' fusion in last year's "Warrior's Way", this novel-graphic based western meets supernatural science fiction movie will bring forward the scenario of 'if aliens existed a long time ago and tries to invade the cowboys?' How can buffalo rifles, machetes and shotguns take down laser ray-equipped extra-terrestrial beings with giant cybernetics life forms? When a loner awakens with no memories of his past and with a mysterious shackle on his wrists, he went into a town that will soon face mysterious attacks from the skies. Featuring exceptional casts in particular Daniel Craig ("Quantum Of Solace"), Harrison Ford ("Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal") and Olivia Wilde ("TRON Legacy"), this cowboy versus aliens flick will be a sure hit when it hits the theatres on 18 August 2011.


This movie will feature a modernised reimagining of the classic novels written by Alexandre Dumas that follow the story of a young d'Artagnan, who longs to become a great musketeer - one of the personal guards of the French crown. He encounters and befriends the contentious Athos, Porthos and Aramis - three musketeers of legend and folly. Directed by "Resident Evil" director, Paul W.S Anderson, "The Three Muusketeers" will feature actors such as Logan Lerman, Ray Stevenson, Luke Evans, Matthew Macfadyen, Christoph Waltz and Milla Jovovich. It is expected to be released on October for Malaysia and November for Singapore.


The most loveable furry companion in the "Shrek" franchise will finally be getting his very own feature film. "Puss in Boots" will star Antonio Banderas as Puss In Boots and Salma Hayek as Kitty, Puss' love interest. Swords will cross and hearts will be broken in this adventure starring one of the most beloved characters of the Shrek universe - Puss In Boots. It will tell the swashbuckling tale through Puss's early years as he teams with mastermind Humpty Dumpty and the street-savvy Kitty to steal the famed Goose that lays the Golden Eggs. This hairball of adventure will crash the cinemas on 24 November 2011.


This is one expensive movie, isn't it! Under the direction of Yusry Halim and the production of KRU Studios ("Magika"), the ancient Malay literature that chronicles "Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa" will be adapated onto the silver screen. This historical piece chronicled the bloodline of Merong Mahawangsa and the foundation of the Kedah, a state in Malaysia. Also internationally known as "The Malay Chronicles: Bloodlines", this Malaysian epic action adventure will be showing in cinemas on 10 March 2011.

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