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“Harry Potter,” “Twilight” sequels lead list of anticipated 2011 releases

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: As soon as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One” ended, I wanted to see the finale … so it’s no surprise that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two” leads a list of the Most Anticipated Movies for 2011 in a poll conducted by Fandango.com.

More than 1,000 people surveyed over the Christmas holiday chose the last “Harry Potter” as the film they can’t wait to see next year. Fans of the boy wizard will have to wait until July 15, which is when Warner Bros.’ series finally concludes.

Coming in second place in the poll was yet another sequel: “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1,” which is due in theaters on Nov. 18. Guys, meanwhile, said they are most looking forward to the second “Hangover,” which will be in theaters on May 26.

So 2011 looks sequel-heavy, and Marvel has to be a little bit disappointed that their summer blockbusters “Thor” and “Captain America” went unmentioned. But if I had to pick the five films I’m most looking forward to in 2011, I’d go with:

5. The Beaver – Mel Gibson hopefully being recognized for his acting abilities, and not for the poor choices he makes in his private life.

4. Captain America – Of the two Marvel properties opening this summer, the World War II setting and casting of Hugo Weaving as Red Skull have me anticipating Cap over Thor.

3. X-Men: First Class – Far be it from me to lean too heavily on the comic-book genre, but Matthew Vaughn is a terrific storyteller, and the casting for this “X-Men” prequel has been first rate.

2. Larry Crowne – Tom Hanks’ second directorial debut has massive shoes to fill. “That Thing You Do!” remains one of my all-time favorite films, and the premise behind Hanks’ next picture sounds modern, relevant and compelling.

1. We Bought a Zoo – Cameron Crowe has to rebound after the mediocre “Elizabethtown,” and teaming with Matt Damon to tell the story of a man who moves his family to rural England to run a zoo sounds like a step in the right direction.

And that doesn’t even touch on “Cowboys & Aliens,” “Cars 2,” the “Harry Potter” conclusion, Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life,” “Moneyball,” Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo Cabret” in 3D, Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” … yeah, 2011 sounds like it’s going to be an exciting year.
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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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One Comment

  • December 29, 2010 | Permalink |

    I’m looking forward to “Machine Gun Preacher.” Sam Childers is in South Sudan now rescuing children who are the victim’s of North Sudan’s President al Bashir who backs that butcher Josephy Kony who leads the “Lord’s Resistance Army.”

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