11 Movies to Look Forward to in 2011

As a film critic, you learn to keep your expectations to a minimum, because more often than not, the movie in question is never as good as you hoped. That doesn’t change the fact that there are still some movies that you want to see more than others, and as long as you don’t mind the possibility of disappointment, it’s okay to let your inner fanboy out every once in a while. This year certainly has plenty of movies to get excited about – at least, that’s what Hollywood is banking on with an upcoming slate that includes “Pirates of the Caribbean 4,” “Cars 2,” “Green Lantern,” “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Thor” – but there’s a lot more great stuff out there than just the usual summer tentpole films. To give you a better idea of what’s coming to theaters this year, I’ve assembled my 11 most anticipated movies of 2011 with the hope that you might discover one or two titles to add to your own must-see list.

“PAUL”

Who: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig and Jason Bateman
What: Two British sci-fi geeks on a cross-country road trip through the U.S. encounter a real-life alien named Paul who needs help getting back to his home planet.
When: March 18th
Why: The trailer may not instill a whole lot of confidence with its heavy dose of juvenile humor, but as a fan of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (who also co-wrote the film), it’s hard to imagine them disappointing their fanbase. I wouldn’t necessarily expect anything as great as “Shaun of the Dead” or “Hot Fuzz,” but between all the geeky sci-fi references and the awesome supporting cast (including Jason Bateman as the FBI agent on their trail and Seth Rogen as the voice of the titular alien), it’s safe to say that “Paul” will be every bit as funny as it sounds.

“HANNA”

Who: Saorsie Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett and Olivia Williams
What: A girl raised by her father to be the perfect assassin is sent on a mission across Europe while eluding operatives under the command of a ruthless CIA agent.
When: April 8th
Why: Director Joe Wright may be best known for sappy period dramas like “Pride and Prejudice” and “Atonement,” but I can’t wait to see what he can do in a completely different genre – especially one that provides him with a bigger playground to work within. The trailer seems to suggest that “Hanna” will be more than just your average action-thriller, with Wright aiming for something a little more thought provoking. And with a cast that includes Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, and one of the best young actresses in the business in Saorsie Ronan, this could be the surprise hit of the season.

“X-MEN: FIRST CLASS”

Who: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne, January Jones, Nicholas Hoult, Lucas Till and Jason Flemyng
What: The story of Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) as young men learning to control their powers, and how they worked together with a band of mutants to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known.
When: June 3rd
Why: Apart from the fact that it takes place in the 1960s and serves as a prequel to the original trilogy, details on “X-Men: First Class” are pretty scarce. But after walking away from the directing gig on the last “X-Men” film, I think that most fans are curious to see what Matthew Vaughn can do with the franchise. The retro setting definitely has my interest piqued, and using the relationship between Xavier and Lehnsherr as a parallel to Martin Luther King and Malcolm X is brilliant. That hasn’t stopped Internet forums from stirring up bad buzz in response to the recently leaked photos and rumors that Vaughn is feeling pressed for time, but he doesn’t have a bad movie to his name yet, so it’s probably better to just let the film speak for itself.

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART TWO

Who: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman and Ralph Fiennes
What: Harry returns to Hogwarts with Ron and Hermione to find and destroy Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes, leading to the inevitable battle between the Boy Who Lived and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
When: July 15th
Why: The real question is, who isn’t looking forward to this movie? The previous seven films have grossed over $6 billion worldwide, and where most franchises tend to lose steam around the third installment, this series has only gotten better over time. They’ve also gotten progressively darker, and “Deathly Hallows: Part Two” promises to be the darkest yet, with the massive Battle of Hogwarts resulting in the death of several major players – some good, some bad, and some whose allegiance remains a secret. I’m still holding out hope that the movie will dive a little further into Dumbledore’s past, because “Part One” covered so much of the book that the only thing left is the battle.

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Friday Video – The Jayhawks, “Big Star”

When this piece goes live, we will be in the Ceres Cafe, housed in the Chicago Board of Trade, sharing drinks with coworkers from our previous life as white collar stiffs, in anticipation of seeing something we never thought we’d see in our lifetime: the definitive lineup of the Jayhawks, reunited and touring. It sickens us that these guys weren’t bigger, though at the same time, we’re selfishly glad to have them to ourselves…and a few thousand other equally devoted fans.

The band’s first two major label albums, Hollywood Town Hall and Tomorrow the Green Grass, just received the deluxe reissue treatment from Legacy, the kings of the reissue. Last night, they played Hollywood Town Hall in its entirety. Tonight, it’s Green Grass, bar none our favorite Jayhawks record and one of our favorite albums EVER. Sadly, they will probably not be playing the song that’s in this week’s Friday Video, as it was released after Tomorrow the Green Grass, and Jayhawks singer/guitarist Gary Louris told us that they would likely focus on the material that he and founder Mark Olson – who left the band shortly after they finished touring behind Green Grass – recorded together. But we couldn’t help but pick this video because it depicts the world in which we should be living. These guys should have been huge.

Then again, they have a new record on the horizon, one that’s supposed to be the logical follow-up to Tomorrow the Green Grass, so maybe this is the year. You hear that, people? This is their year. (*waves timepiece back and forth*) You will buy Jayhawks records, you will buy Jayhawks records…

  

A chat with Gossip Girl & SoBe Lifewater skinsuit series model Jessica Szohr

Actress Jessica Szohr is best known for her breakthrough role as Vanessa Abrams on The CW series “Gossip Girl.” But soon enough, she’ll also be recognized for the sultry photo spread she did for the SoBe Lifewater skinsuit series, which will appear exclusively in the iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition (on newsstands February 15).

Bullz-Eye.com caught up with Jessica to see what her experience was like shooting the SoBe Lifewater series in Costa Rica. The beautiful actress was also gracious enough to answer questions about her role on Gossip Girl, including whether or not she had read the “Gossip Girl” books before landing the role of Vanessa and what influences she’s brought to the character.


For more on Jessica and her photo shoot for SoBe Lifewater, click here!

  

The video portion of “A Chat with Diedrich Bader and Parvesh Cheena”

Remember last week when I posted my chat with Diedrich Bader and Parv Cheena of “Outsourced”, and how I was bummed when I thought I was going to be getting a video clip of their side of the conversation but didn’t? Well, the clip finally arrived. Enjoy!


  

King of Shaves delivers!

If your purchasing or just surfing for men’s shaving online most likely you’ve heard of King of Shaves. I exchanged some emails from their team and decided to review some of their products. I really liked how the shave gel, face balm and razor were packaged into a clear plastic container that is perfect for air travel.

We first tested the AphaGel Shave Gel for Sensitive Skin and we felt the quality in this product when first applied. The ShaveGel is Dermatologically tested without any fragrance. The company claims the low-foam formula helps protect, moisturize and lubricate your skin throughout the shave giving excellent razor performance and glide. Ideal for sensitive skin and we found that to be true.

Next up was the razor that came with the travel kit. The razor works like a charm and has the award winning Azor System Razor which features unique flexible hinges that allow the four long-lasting Endurium blades to follow every contour of your face whilst pressing the blades progressively closer onto the skin for a superbly comfortable yet close shave. I then went right to the King of Shaves Face Balm which employs a unique Skin Surface Enhancing technology, with Hydrocreatine to protect, moisturise and condition your skin leaving it non-greasy, supple and smooth. Formulated with menthol to give you a cool, refreshed feel. I foind this to be one of the better after shave balms I have tried and the price is very reasonable.

For my next shave I tried the King of Shaves Shave Oil which protects, moisturizes and lubricates your skin throughout the shave giving superlative razor performance and glide. Your face will be left smooth, supple and moisturized. Up to 100 shaves from one bottle is no joke for small a small travel friendly package. I really enjoyed this product and I’m using it today as it really soothes your face and delivers one of the best shaves you could image. Top notch!

Overall the products we tested from King of Shaves were of high quality, practical and packaged properly.

  

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