1.) Transformers Dark of the Moon. Reason: No Megan fox
Transformers blew everyone away when the first film had breathtaking visuals and brought a childhood favorite alive before our eyes. We could write books on how many times Michal Bay took CGI to new levels, and how he honestly doesn’t care about the standards of movie making. Like it or not, the first Transformers also had a pretty good story behind it.
With Transformers 2, Michal Bay tried to experiment a little. He tried to add a bigger and more complex story, but missed out on a couple key elements (like being coherent). However, with Transformers 3 those experiments should be over and he should know what works by now. Since the recent trailer showed off robots in space and attacking Earth, it seems he’s even found a way to step up the already impressive visuals.
The biggest story behind this film, though? The lack of Megan Fox. It doesn’t matter if you think she can act or not, many men (perhaps some women) will admit she is fun to look at. Will the new girl be able to fill in those shoes? And will the story be able to cope with the new character?
Well lets start off with the good news for all the guys, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, currently ranks number one on Maxim’s Annual Hot List. Megan Fox currently sits at an impressive number 17, but still. She is also on many “Stars to Lookout For in 2011” lists, which is promising for those looking to see a little bit of acting for once. The last piece of the puzzle? Well she has also been confirmed to be playing the part of Carly. A brand new character for the movies, but a well known character to the fans of the cartoon series. Carly of course ends up marrying Shia Labeouf’s character (Sam) and plays a good part in the original series. This of course is a good sign for anyone wanting Michal Bay to keep true to his promise of sticking to the core original stories.
2.) Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Reason: New story, New cast
What can we say about Pirates of the Caribbean? It’s truly one of the most remarkable franchises out there. It was entirely based on a Disney ride and somehow managed to transform into a mega franchise chronicling the (mis)adventures of Jack Sparrow.
The nice thing about Jack Sparrow is he is Jack Sparrow. He is a character with an odd way of doing everything. This franchise is all about putting him in new situations and unique situations, just to see how he handles them. The great thing this time around is they’re adding in an entirely new cast (outside of Geoffrey Rush), so it’s going to be interesting to see how he interacts with them. One character, Angelica (Penelope Cruz), is from Jack’s past. This adds a whole new area of interest for many as Jack will actually have a love interest, or so it will seem. The character dynamics of Mr. Sparrow will be pushed further than ever as he tries to figure out if she is simply using him, or if its love.
In order to take Jack Sparrow on new adventures he needs to have new enemies. Appearing in this film will be Blackbeard ,(Ian McShane), and of course his ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, as it sets sail to find The Fountain of Youth. This is the first time the entire cast has been re-worked and the second time the entire story has changed for this franchise. So how will the new cast mates endure Jack’s antics? It seems to be an entire new movie simply by changing the environment around him.
While everything may be changing and nothing seems to be the same, Johnny Depp has found a way to give us promise. He recently declined to work on another Pirates of the Caribbean as the script was sent to him and further rejected until further notice. Which means Depp has an understanding of quality that he wants to keep with the franchise.
3.) Super 8. Reason: What The Hell is the Monster?
JJ Abrams is known for doing something people either love or hate. He hides things and he hides things well. He also knows the classic film/marketing trick of making you want to know more. He does this by barely showing you anything and starting a viral campaign that gives clues to a bigger picture. Of course by the time you connect all the dots the film is finally released and there is no point!
For all we know Super 8 is E.T. taking a poop on a toilet for two hours, but for some reason we are all interested. What the hell is on the train? How did it break out? Why are things floating in the air? Why is it scaring me but somehow still feels like a Disney movie! We’ll soon find out and Super 8 could possibly be the greatest and most unique experience we will see all year.
Super 8 is of course a production of JJ Abrams alongside Steven Spielberg as Producer. Many of his fans already know Spielberg is an absolute fan of sci-fi stories, but not your ordinary end the world stories. Instead he makes you feel like these creatures have hearts, or maybe the world is ending but there is something more to it. Combine that with the absolutely amazing writing of JJ Abrams and you have a brilliant movie, so why wouldn’t you be excited to see this?
It would also be interesting to note that Spielberg is also producing a short series on TNT called Fallen Skies which seems to follow a similar approach as Super 8. Perhaps its alongside the same timeline? Who knows, but if you are a sci-fi fan this is the team and the movie you should be excited about.
4.) The Amazing Spider-Man. Reason: Will the Changes Work?
It has been announced that Sony is renaming Spider-Man….The Masked Spider! Okay they aren’t changing things that far, but it sure does feel like it. They are entirely rebooting everything we know about Spider-man, as far as the movie series goes. The truth is, the beef of most Spider-Man stories revolves around when Spidey/Peter Parker in high school. If you are fan of the comics or even the cartoon series, you will know this is where Spidey is more interesting. He is more outgoing in the high school stages, more nerdy, and has a closer relationship with Harry Osbourne, Mary Jane, and of course his love interest Gwen Stacey.
Spider-Man has been getting some hate mail since the first snapshots were released. People don’t like his sparkly new uniform and they are un-sure if the new star can pull off the teenager look and feel, especially in future films to follow.
There are some bright sides to all of this if the film does well however. Emma Stone is already getting noticed by many and is starting to get a fanbase. However a major Hollywood film like Spider-man could really launch her career and allow us to see her in more demanding roles. Of course Spider-man wise she also plays a big role. She plays Gwen Stacey, as noted Peter Parkers love interest. Her competition with M.J. allows for new character dynamics, and allows for a massive plot point in Spider-man’s comic book history. If you are not a Spider-man fan or reader, this is a spoiler. Gwen Stacey dies, and that is a big deal. If the film plays her character correctly this is a huge deal for all comic book films allowing them to dive deeper into the stories.
Of course if it isn’t done correctly, we just get another The Dark Knight sequence of events and the Superman Doomsday story may never come to the screen.
5.) Captain America. Reason: First Glimpse of the Avengers
Thor comes out this week and by Odin’s beard…it looks great. However the Marvel story of the year has to go to Captain America. As many know Captain America is the leader of the Avengers, so in simple terms, in order to have an interest in The Avengers you need to have an interest in Captain America.
He is the first Avenger, so we will get a glimpse of how The Avengers film will be done. Why do I say this? Simply because he is the leader. You might have 7 characters, you might have 50 characters, but anyone that watches film (or has an idea of basic principal rules for film) will know you focus your story on one protagonist. The rest are supporting characters. The comics have even done it this way, so there are no exceptions. Following any of the other heroes wouldn’t feel right at all, even if Iron Man is more popular right now. Why else would Marvel include “The First Avenger” in his movie title if it were to be done any other way?
In order for The Avengers film to work correctly, their models that were created in their own films need to carry over. So in the simplest of terms, the way Captain America builds himself in this film will be how he carries himself in The Avengers. If you hate it, you might lose interest in The Avengers and that multi-million dollar gamble might take a hit. However if its done correctly, it might add millions of fans to the upcoming blockbuster and make it a guaranteed success.
Along with that, Captain America is the most patriotic hero you will ever see. With the recent news about Osama Bin Laden who wouldn’t want to watch this movie? So not only do you get the final piece to the giant Avenger puzzle, but a patriotic ass kicking for several hours.
6.) The Dark Knight Rises. Reason: Can They Pull It Off?
A new Batman film…who doesn’t get excited after I say that? Well it is happening and all the fans are going nuts over every little bit of information we get. However in some cases it becomes a bit worrying. For starters they have confirmed Catwoman to an extent and she will be played by none other than Anne Hathaway. While she is a talented actress many doubt her in that role much like they doubted Heath Ledger as the Joker. Tom Hardy will also be playing the role of Bane. As many may know, Bane is well know for being the villain that breaks Batman’s back in the Knight Fall series (released in the early 90’s and gained media attention nationwide). Of course Joseph Gordon-Levitt will appear as Alberto Falcone, Josh Pence will be playing a young Ras Al Ghul, and many other major names are confirmed to be appearing as well.
This is where the worry seems to begin for me. You have several brilliant actors all lined up to appear in this film as different characters. Something we have seen before in a film called Spider-Man 3. A film that couldn’t handle the character development and star power it had. Will Nolan fail and do the same thing? Probably not, but there is reason to worry and an excitement to see how it turns out.
Plus I really want to see how the franchise does without Heath Ledger or controversy surrounding it.
As you can see all these films have very familiar names with them, with the exception of Super 8. Each one is taking a risk in its own way, but this is the glory of Hollywood films. Changing the way things are, seeing if it works, and creating something new. It’s nice to see these films giving us new experiences, but at the same time namebrands we have grown to love could easily be tarnished. Some movies like Captain America could even damage future titles if things do not turn out properly. Do we have faith things will be okay? Of course, but its interesting to at least note what these amazing film makers are doing with these franchises.