11 Things I Want From 2011

It’s a brand new year, and that means a full 52 weeks of new movies, television shows and all other goodies to look forward to… or feel worried about. Here are eleven things I want out of 2011′s best and brightest.

1. This Many Superhero Movies Not To Kill The Genre
Let’s start on a potential downer, shall we? I can’t be the only person who’s worried that Thor, Green Lantern and Captain America: The First Avenger opening within weeks of each other is a little… well, too much, can I? Sure, comic nerds like me can tell the difference between fictional universes, but will mainstream audiences who can’t tell their Green Lantern from their Green Hornet, never mind Green Arrow? And, if they can’t, will there be backlash from those who can’t understand why Robert Downey Jr. or Sam Jackson don’t turn up when Ryan Reynolds puts on his magical wishing ring for the first time? For all that I should be excited about seeing these characters debut on the big screen with all the care and attention that they’re getting, I can’t help but feel a little worried that it’ll be too much at the same time. Which reminds me…

2. Summer 2011 Not To Be Overkill
Ignoring the three big superhero movies, summer this year also has Cowboys & Aliens, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, X-Men: First Class, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, Super 8, Rise of The Apes and Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides appearing. We’ve become used to a lot of big movies dominating the summer multiplexes, but this really seems like a lot of big movies all happening a week or two apart. There’ll be winners and losers, sure, but how big the winners will be, and how badly the losers will fare remains to be seen. I’m worried that it’ll be carnage, to be honest.

3. New Ideas Would Be Nice, Too
Even though both 300 and Watchmen left me cold, I can’t help but be curious about Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch (out March 25), in part because it’s not a sequel or an adaptation or based on a toy the director grew up with thirty years ago. It’s the same reason I’m looking forward to Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s Paul (March 18) and whatever JJ Abrams’ Super 8 (June 10) turns out to be. 2010 saw Inception become a pretty sizable hit. Wouldn’t it be nice if the same happened over and over again this year?

4. An Alien Invasion That Sticks
Skyline didn’t really make a massive dent in the public consciousness last year, but this year brings more alien invasion fiction to our screens. ABC’s V returns for its belated, shortened second season this week, and the Steven Spielberg-produced Falling Skies debuts on TNT in the summer, by which point moviegoers might have recovered from March 11′s Battle: Los Angeles. Call me old-fashioned, but I’d love for at least one of these three to be successful and good. I like the ideas behind alien invasion stories, so having a good one (or three) sticking around would be really nice, thankyouverymuch.

5. Zombies To Shuffle Back To Our Screens, Better Than Before
They may have been controversial, but I’m hoping that the creative changes behind the scenes on AMC’s The Walking Dead make it a better show. I know this makes me the odd-man-out in fandom – and on this blog, too – but after a good pilot, I quickly lost interest in the first season. There’s so much potential in the show, and it’d be great if it fulfilled it second time around. After such success with the first season, hopefully it’ll be given the leeway to do things right.

(Also, doesn’t 28 Months Later come out this year? I’m looking forward to that one.)

6. The Tintin Movie Not To Suck
This one is pretty straightforward, right? I am really, really looking forward to The Adventures of Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn – It’s directed by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson from a script by Steven Moffat and Edgar Wright! – but all of the preview images of the CGI animation look a bit… well, Polar Express. So, finished film: Please don’t live down to my fears.

7. Steven Moffat To Do Whatever He Wants
I’ll admit it: The winner of 2010 for me? Steven Moffat. Say what you like, but between his first season as Doctor Who showrunner – including that wonderful Christmas Special – and his Sherlock season, he’s shown himself to be one of the most interesting writers working in genre television today. With more Sherlock en route for later in the year, and his second Who season (The first in the new split-season format), I honestly can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

8. Ridley Scott To Do What He Used To Do Best
Rumor has it that Ridley Scott’s mysterious prequel to Alien may appear before the end of the year. Add this to the “Please don’t suck” list, although I’ll admit that even at its suckiest, any Scott-directed Alien movie is at the very least likely to be an interesting failure.

9. More Episodes From Favorite TV Shows
It’s not enough that NBC is finally bringing Parks & Recreation back from purgatory after far too long, I’m hoping for a fourth season renewal – as well as a third season for both Community and Parenthood, both rumored to be close to cancellation. I’d hope for some more Stargate Universe, but I think that ship may have already sailed.

10. Netflix Instant To Increase Its Offerings
Netflix Instant is a wonderful thing – Or, at least, it has the potential to be, but its offerings update on what seems like an irregular basis, and seems trapped between some TV shows worth revisiting, old movies that few would be interested in and whatever Starz is sharing that month. I understand that movie studios and television companies are cautious when it comes to licensing content that could reduce their own profits, but still: If I don’t watch When In Rome on Netflix because I’m really, really bored, it’s really unlikely that I’m going to go out and buy the damn thing. Follow your audience, people.

11. Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark To Stop Being A Disaster
Oh, it sounds like a joke, but I’m entirely serious: The long, sad saga of the Spider-Man musical has long since stopped being funny. At this point I don’t even care if it’s a bad show, I just would like 2011 to go by without any more stories of accidents, injuries or people quitting because it’s unsafe. As wrong-headed as it is, I’d like this year to be safe and happy for everyone, even people who sing U2 songs every night for a living.

…Well, that’s my list of 11 wishes for the new year off the top of my head. But what do you want to see in the next twelve months? Those comment sections are there for a reason, you know…

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Comments

  • Zor-El of Argo

    I suspect Green Lantern will be one of the flops. Too many big superhero flicks with GL being the one previously untested in the movies. It would have a better chance if they had used John Stewart, who is more familiar to mainstream audiences, but that would probably fail in the face of so much competition, too.

    I’ll be there to see Green Lantern’s big screen debut, but I and the handful of comic fans who have heard of him will not be enough to let a big-budget action film suceed.

    If they had done Green Lantern ten years ago and had Tom Cruise play him things might have been different…

  • Ortiz

    A really hope Thor, Cap and Green Lantern won’t flop, they are really close to each other, but let’s wait for the best.

    Also hope the next Alien movie won’t suck, since Aliens, haven’t seen a good film.

    Peace.

  • Jeff Frost

    This isn’t so much an original list of what he wants as a list of what he doesn’t want. Doesn’t want to fail, doesn’t want to suck, and doesn’t want to like (apparently). Had this list adhered to the topic instead of being another pointless Spinoff exercise in thinly veiled complainery, I might not be thinking twice the next time the RSS looks worth my time to click.

  • Mr. M

    So, Mr. McMillan, you’re the other person who didn’t think The Walking Dead was all that it was cracked up to be! I thought the pilot was great, and the series is definitely well-made, but it lost my interest somewhere during the third episode. Someday I may get around to watching (or re-watching) Season One, but it just didn’t do it for me. Not a “hater”, though.

  • DF

    Pretty good list. I agree with most of it, expect I’m not interested in Parks and Community is ok. I’d much rather see Stargate Universe get another season somehow. And FRINGE. Man, I’m worried about the Friday night switch…

    Disagree about Walking Dead though: the pilot was good, but it just got better & better after that. The season final was brillant imo. Here’s hoping the second season is even better! Oh and here’s hoping that it comes back BEFORE October 2011. lol.

    Also: Don’t have any attachment to Tintin, so hoping its good, but if its not….

    And I don’t think Spidey should even be a musical…

    But I agree with most of the list. Here’s hoping for some cool Superhero movies, maybe a good Aliens movie and I totally agree about Moffat and Netflix.

  • Deanjsimons

    i don’t care about flop or not but as long as they are quality movies, i’ll be happy.

  • demoncat_4

    i agree with hoping number one does not kill the superhero movie and summer with all the films it has doe snot get bogged down. plus would add that holly wood gets off of 3d and remakes. and tries something original. my biggest wish for the new year. some one in charge finaly pulls the plug on spider man turn of the dark and puts the thing out of its misery before it takes a death to do so.

  • Sugargl1der

    I guess you mean that John Stewart is more familiar to mainstream audiences because of his appearances on the Justice League cartoon, but honestly, is THAT audience really considered “mainstream”?

    I share your concern over the film’s fate, though. It looks…OK at best to me, and it’s up against some pretty strong competition. But I’m VERY glad that no one cast Cruise as Hal Jordan…Hal might be cocky at times, but he’s not insufferable.

  • the Kryptonian Joker

    Captain America could be in trouble because Thor and Green Lantern are epic scale, CGI heavy films in 3D. Cap will come 3rd and will probably have the least buzz. Hopefully, the first trailer will be amazing.

    It’s January 2011 and the film comes out July 2011, I wonder when the trailer will come out. They need to release it soon if they want to get people excited. Right now the film’s buzz is almost non-existent.

  • Joeymax8

    AS you said, you are probably odd-man out when it comes to your view of The Walking Dead’s first season..beyond the pilot. That’s fine. But, what I’d like to see from people who make these kinds of comments (particularly, full-fledged critics), is to not just state what they didn’t like or they hope things get better but, to actually put your bright ideas down on “paper” as to how YOU could make it better. Give us some idea as to why your interest faded…and what you thought was wrong with the remaining episodes. Personally, this first season of TWD reminded me so much of the first, TERRIFIC season of Heroes…every episode left me wanting MORE…I wanted to see the next episode NOW and not have to wait another week.

  • Qwertyuil

    28 Months later comes out this year?

  • Anonymous

    You said, “doe snot”! ~snicker snicker~

  • 2000filmfan

    What’s strange is boring Hal Jordan had his comic book canceled one major time in his history after years of struggling. They wheeled him out as a villain and eventually killed him as Parallax. DC even brought in his replacement Kyle Rayner until he didn’t appear strong enough to keep the character alive.

    People who hate Ryan Reynolds’s casting are really angry that they aren’t getting boring Hal. I’m ready for comics to take popular culture on a ride, yet I wonder whether that’s possible with so many comic fans that still don’t understand what Geoff Johns did for the character.

  • Bret

    Green Lantern & Thor look GAY as it is…
    so lets hope that Captain America looks at least better than those.

    ps: logging in with facebook never f’n works, fix that!

  • Zach

    Because Iron Man had massive mainstream appeal before the Robert Downey Jr. movie?

    I really hate this attitude that only Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and the X-men can be successful outside of comics. Remember how successful the Blade movie was? How it spawned 2 sequels and a TV show? And 3 failed attempts at a comic book? There are still thousands of people out there who have never walked into a comic shop who remember Blade, precisely because the Blade movie was good. See also the highly well regarded Teen Titans cartoon featuring such big names as Starfire, Raven, Cyborg, and Beast Boy.

    Movies and TV shows based on unknown characters come out all the time, and frequently do well based on how the movie is made, not anything known by the audience beforehand. Who were Jake Sully and the Na’vi before Avatar came out? Who was Jack Sparrow before Pirates of the Carribean? Wall-E? Shrek? Kung Fu Panda? All of them successful movies, none of them known quantities before their first movie came out.

  • Zor-El of Argo

    I did say that a John Stewart GL film would probably fail, too. It’s a shame they couldn’t get GL out last year when he wouldn’t have had so much competition. It’ll mostly be a battle between GL and Thor, I think. Captain America has a pretty much guaranteed audience but Thor’s only advantage over GL is the lead-in he got in Iron Man 2.

  • 2011

    while 2010 is probably THE worst year EVER in terms of EVENT films.
    ( im 37 yrsold so i think ive seen my share of blockbusters)
    2011 is going to be THE BIGGEST YEAR in EVENT MOVIES — E V E R !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    COMICS: move it all to 99 cent dgiital downloads and just do $20 thick graphic novels for print.
    any IDIOT who pays 4- 5$ per comic on a monthly basis–IS the problem with our economy.

    In an economic crisis like this – HOW DARE you charge me MORE money than ever before on a product. FUCK YOU MARVEL! I will STEAL your product online or just read it and leave it at the book store. and months or a year later get the collected volumes for a quarter of the listed price.

  • Green Lantern WILL fail

    Green Lantern could have been a serious EPIC of gigantic proportions. Instead they went the GREEN HORNET route with it.
    I pray its is a monsterous FLOP.

  • Robvandam252002

    How about a live action Zelda movie? everybody knows Zelda!

  • http://www.facebook.com/strivearth Zen Strive

    GL needs MASSIVE hype-machine to be succesful. WB has not done that. Marvel’s movies, on the other hands, looks to be ready to be major flops over and over again. An oldtimer american soldier? A foreign god? young x-men with not bald Xavier?

  • http://www.facebook.com/strivearth Zen Strive

    and let’s kill your local comic shops while we at it, shall we?

  • Anonymous

    …because comic shops are people too!!!!!!!

    :)

  • Anonymous

    Add me and my friends to that list. Pilot was FANTASTIC but it never saw those heights again. Instead, it just got more and more ridiculous even.

  • speshalmon

    Not everybody. I once played the chime that plays when you open a chest and someone thought it was from Mario…

  • David Scholes

    You do wonder if a “saturation” point could be reached with the release of too many super hero movies at the same time.

    Though not I think just yet. It could come furtherdown the track though.

    If you are looking for something maybe a little different, why not check out the “Alien Hunter” series that I am writing for Golden Visions sci-fi magazine? http://www.goldenvisionsmagazine.biz/AlienHunter.html

    Cheers

  • Grant

    It’ll be interesting if this is the year Superhero movies “die” (which they won’t since we’ve getting Batman, Superman, Spider-man movies in 2012 in addition to the Avengers).

    I say most of them will do all right though. Thor is the first big movie of the summer and won’t have any major competition until Pirates of the Caribean 4 comes out 2 weeks later (unless Priest turns out to be a hit). Also I know this sounds strange but Thor has a potentially strong female lead with Natalie Portman (who may win an Oscar this year) and that might get more women in the theater. The trailer is goofy though (but I kind of like it myself).

    X-Men: First Class will probably have an insane marketing push from Fox but it will be a tougher sell since Hugh Jackman/Wolverine isn’t in it and the fact it takes place in the 60s might be a little weird for audiences. But if it’s got a cool trailer then that might not matter. Fox knows how to market even the crappiest movies and people do like the X-Men.

    Green Lantern looks kind of goofy to me. But so did Avatar. I know people like Ryan Reynolds and this one has the most epic feel of all the superhero movies this year with all the aliens and such. It is following Super 8 which could be a pretty big hit with Abrams and Spielberg. And Cars 2 is coming out the following week so it’s got Pixar to contend with (but then again do people really love Cars as much as Toy Story?).

    Captain America doesn’t have a great spot. It’s following Transformers 3 and the LAST Harry Potter. Then again I’m thinking those two movies will drop 50% in their second weeks after making a shitload on their opening weekends.

    Also the week after Cowboys and Aliens is coming out the week after (and that had a pretty awesome trailer). It’s the one I’m most rooting for but the character is going to be a tough sell. It’s going to need an awesome trailer for sure.

    I say box office ranking will be…

    Thor
    Green Lantern
    X-Men: First Class
    Captain America

  • Conjal

    I love “Stargate: Universe” I hope they don’t cancel it… Unless they do to bring back SG1. I Would allow that :D

  • Jcupach

    How can Community be close to cancelatiion? That show is awesome.

    I kind of agree with you about the super-hero movies coming one right after another, but more than that is if Thor and Cap bomb will that nix the Avengers? I grew up with that as my favorite and it would stink if they didn’t get their movie.