Film Feature: Summer 2011’s 10 Most Anticipated Movie Moments

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
No votes yet

CHICAGO – Every summer movie season aims to be one thing above anything else – BIG. Summer movies are supposed to be spectacles, larger-than-life, they are specifically designed to overwhelm.

And while that can be a whole lot of fun, there are moments where we get so caught up in counting the sequels and the counter-programming vehicles that we lose the forest for the trees.

This year, for the 2011 Summer Movie Season, we invite you, in the immortal words of Steve Martin, to “get small.” Let’s stop looking at the final movie counts, the budgets, the pre-marketing buzz, and let’s focus on the little things. Identify the true tiny nuggets of goodness that you’re REALLY looking forward to this summer movie season. Are you actually excited about “Transformers 3” or are you mostly just interested in seeing if Michael Bay’s new lingerie model can act better than the last one? Are you really nervously waiting to see “Thor,” praying that it fits thematically with the rest of Kenneth Branagh’s oeuvre, or are you really just jonesing to hear Chris Hemsworth try to say “By Odin’s Beard!” without laughing?

Go ahead and pre-plan your list of summertime hits and flops later, but, meanwhile, here are our picks for the ten very-specific things we’re most looking forward to from the 2011 summer movie season, in chronological order.

Diesel vs. Dwayne in “Fast Five” (April 29)

Fast Five
Fast Five
Photo credit: Universal

There’s been a script floating around Hollywood for years called “Van Damme vs. Seagal,” which is, allegedly, a hilarious “Grumpy Old Men”-esque action comedy about ‘80s kickboxing stars Jean Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal playing themselves as washed-up bitter rivals and next-door neighbors. The premise alone makes you want to see that movie, doesn’t it? (It’d be better than anything either “actor” has done for the past twenty years EASILY.)

Who doesn’t want to see two former action icons going at it toe-to-toe? Stallone vs. Schwarzenegger? Willis vs. Snipes? Chan vs. Li? Heck, that was the whole premise of “The Expendables,” and it’s a big reason why it was a hit. And, this summer, we get a mano-a-mano showdown between two “not-quite out to pasture, but almost” action stars – Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson.

It might sound a bit mean to call two guys as young as Diesel and Johnson over-the-hill, but let’s be frank, neither has lived up to their action potential lately. Diesel has completely fallen off the map, thanks to garbage like “A Man Apart” and “Babylon A.D.,” and Johnson, while admittedly a much bigger name than Diesel, hasn’t front-lined a kick-ass action flick in a long while.

“Fast Five” might be exactly what these two hulking powerhouses need to reboot their action street cred. Forget about the sexy girls, car wrecks, and Paul Walker (please forget Paul Walker). The part that really got us pumped in the last “Fast Five” trailer was the footage from the knockdown, drag-out Diesel vs. Dwayne deathmatch in an abandoned warehouse. Car chases are a-dime-a-dozen, but two men – who were both once hoped to be the new face of the modern action movie – beating each other senseless in a fight to reclaim their glory as the king of the ass-kicking heap? THAT will make us ignore crap like “2 Fast 2 Furious” and get us into that movie theatre FAST.

Hans Zimmer’s Score to “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (May 20)

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Photo credit: Disney

Yes, yes, we know. There’s a running debate about how much of the bombastic score for the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” can be attributed to the listed composer, Klaus Badelt, and how much can be attributed to his mentor, the great Hans Zimmer, who credits himself as “overproducing” the original score. But it’s safe to say that the soundtrack was definitely inspired and enhanced by Zimmer, which is still saying a lot. The themes running throughout the “Curse of the Black Pearl” score remain some of the most iconic, over-the-top movie adventure music of the past decade, and Zimmer’s contributions to the two “Pirates” sequels, “Dead Man’s Chest” and “At World’s End,” are often overshadowed by the simple fact that most people we know didn’t really care for either movie. Sure, there are cool bits in each, but Johnny Depp and Bill Nighy’s squid face get all the credit, while Zimmer’s score is the true unheralded hero of both films.

Zimmer took Badelt’s piercing bombast from the original and refined and expanded on it throughout the “Pirates” sequels, creating something that was, at once, rousing, beautiful, and uniquely complex. The soundtrack for “Dead Man’s Chest” was a particularly fun bit of swashbuckling goodness – our personal favorite moment is the stirring end credits suite (which, sadly, has yet to appear on a soundtrack CD). People either love or hate Zimmer, which we get, but he really has done some superior work throughout the “Pirates” movies, which often gets overlooked. That’s why, despite our many reservations about “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” — Has the well run dry? Are we getting tired of Jack Sparrow? Can Rob Marshall direct action? — the one (almost) sure thing is that Zimmer’s contributions to the score will be something to remember.

Waleed Al-Telbany's picture

Not funny!

You know, to whomever wrote this article, I tried my best to smile at the line where it says that Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal are kickboxers from the 80’s!
Well, first of all, Seagal is not a kickboxer. As for the number 1 action superstar of the world, Jean-Claude Van Damme, he is still the same hero as he used to be in the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s. I guess when a man takes a real kickboxing fight at the age of 50 as JCVD will do…it makes him a walking & an immortal legend for life.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing


Advertisement on Twitter

archive Top Ten Discussions