Fast Forward: The most anticipated movies of 2011

by Ore Fakorede

In 2011, several long-running movie franchises will be re-booted with new installments while some blockbusters will get a deserved second take with reloaded sequels. Here are some that will easily make spines tingle with excitement.

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Opening: May 20

Rating: Unrated

Genre: Action/Adventure

Who’s In It: Johnny Depp, Ian McShane, Geoffrey Rush, Penelope Cruz.

Buzz Factor: Reprising his most popular role yet, Johnny Depp brings the swashbuckling and infamous Captain Jack Sparrow back to life on the big screen this year. In the fourth installment in Disney’s money-spinning ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ series, ‘On Stranger Tides’, Jack Sparrow teams up with his old nemesis Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and his old flame Angelica, played by the irresistible Penelope Cruz, to find the elusive Fountain Of Youth. The obstacles along the way include the notorious and rightly-feared tyrant of the seas, Blackbeard (Ian McShane), mermaids and zombies. Big-name actors, incredible special effects on 3D screens and a massive following of the series combine to guarantee smooth-sailing towards sold-out cinemas.

Trivia: Edward Teach (c. 1680 – 1718), better known as Blackbeard, was a real-life English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American colonies during the early 1700s.

Watch The Trailer Here

Click Here To Visit The Official Pirates Of The Caribbean Website

The Hangover 2

Opening: May 26

Rating: R

Genre: Comedy

Who’s In It: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Liam Neeson.

Buzz Factor: A comedy gone totally wild is a perfect recipe for box office success and that’s exactly what the first ‘Hangover’ movie was, grossing over $270,000,000 in the United States alone. The mad bunch from the first movie return with more star power in this highly anticipated sequel that features a cameo from former U.S president Bill Clinton. Even crazier than Las Vegas, Phil (Cooper) and Alan (Galifianakis) head to Thailand for Stu’s (Helms) bachelor party. Rib-cracking disaster should be expected as the friends drive (and run) around some of Asia’s most notorious red-light districts.

Trivia: According to a 2003 estimate, prostitution in Thailand contributes about $4.3 billion to the Thai economy. Apparently, ‘sex business’ is great business.

Trailer Not Yet Available.

Transformers: Dark Of The Moon

Opening: July 1

Rating: Unrated

Genre: Sci-fi/Action

Who’s In It: Shia LeBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel.

Buzz Factor: Really big robots, really big angry robots, one young man with a massive hero-complex and two competing world powers… what won’t go wrong? Led by the charismatic Optimus Prime, the Earth-saving Autobots transform back into action heroes to battle the ever-vengeful Decepticons. In ‘Dark Of The Moon’, the machines are drawn into a perilous space race between the US and Russia. Sam Witwicky, played by Shia LeBeouf, once again comes to the aid of the Autobots. New characters include Shockwave, a new villain who rules Cybertron while the Autobots and Decepticons duke it out on Earth, and Carly, Sam’s new love interest played by stunningly-beautiful newcomer Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Huntington-Whiteley is an English model best known for her work with Victoria’s Secret. Get ready! A cutting-edge epic battle is coming soon to a theatre near you.

Trivia: The most advanced robots in the world are those used by the U.S military. The SWORDS robot, a tracked recon/combat robot has been used for military operations in Iraq, and its cost is declining to the cost of training a soldier, suggesting that in the not-too-distant future, robots may replace humans for tasks not requiring human intelligence or interactions. Warning: Robocalypse ahead!

Watch The Trailer Here

Click Here To Visit The Official Transformers Movie Website

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Opening: July 15

Rating: Unrated

Genre: Action/Adventure/Fantasy

Who’s In It: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman.

Buzz Factor: The epic, dramatic and potentially-tragic finale of the Harry Potter saga was split into two parts, with the story following Harry Potter on his quest to destroy Lord Voldermort’s secret to immortality: the Horcruxes. The first part opened internationally on November 18, 2009 and has grossed $902,767,896 worldwide. The end begins with Harry (Radcliffe), Hermoine (Watson) and Ron (Grint) returning to Hogwarts, after their exile in Part 1, to find Voldermort’s remaining Horcruxes. The plot twists and winds its way to the climatic battle between the forces of good and evil, with J.K. Rowling’s characters recreated in stunning visuals on the silver screen. Harry is casting a spell on everyone, eighth time around.

Trivia: Joanne “Jo” Rowling (born July 31, 1965) conceived the idea for the Harry Potter fantasy series on a train ride from Manchester to London in 1990. The books have since gone on to win multiple awards, sold more than 400,000,000 copies worldwide and spawned a multi-billion dollar movie franchise. J.K. Rowling, as she is now more popularly known, was estimated by Forbes in 2010 to have a net worth of $1,000,000,000. Even she didn’t know what she was thinking in that train back in 1990.

Extra: According to Ms. Rowling, another Potter book is in the works. #okbye

Watch The Trailer Here

Click Here To Visit The Official Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Movie Website

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1

Opening: November 18

Rating: Unrated

Genre: Romance/Thriller/Fantasy

Who’s In It: Robert Pattinson, Kirsten Stewart, Taylor Lautner.

Buzz Factor: Edward and Bella, everyone’s favorite vampire-human couple (is there any other?) return in the first part of the movie adaptation of  ‘Breaking Dawn’, the final book in Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling novel series, ‘The Twilight Saga’. In this movie, the newlyweds take a trip to Brazil’s Rio De Janeiro for their honeymoon, where they finally give in to their long-burning passions. Unimaginable consequences follow as Bella becomes pregnant and Edward is forced to grant her wish for immortality during a near-fatal childbirth. The arrival of their remarkable daughter, Renesmee, sets in motion a dangerous chain of events that pits the Cullens and their similarly gifted allies from across the world against the fearsome Volturi. With the critically acclaimed Bill Condon (Chicago, Dreamgirls) at the helm and rumored eye-popping CGI littered across the movie’s frames, ‘Breaking Dawn’ will be breaking new ground for the franchise.

Trivia: The most popular movie adaptation of vampire fiction has been from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with over 170 versions to date. Top that Twilight!

Trailer Not Yet Available.

Click Here To Visit The Official Twilight Saga Website

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