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2011: A year of big films ahead

Published:Sunday | January 23, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Shia LaBeouf in 'Transformers'. - Contributed

LOS ANGELES (AP):

A momentous finale lies ahead for Hollywood this year. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is the biggest screen farewell since the final Star Wars movie as it closes out a decade of adventures for the young wizard.

Then there is that vampire-werewolf-schoolgirl love triangle. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 is the next-to-last instalment in that series, with the finale due out in 2012.

As those franchises wind down, others are recharging. The original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy sailed into the sunset, but a new voyage now looms. The Shrek series has finished, but feline hero Puss in Boots sets out on his own in a spin-off.

And plenty of other big-screen regulars are coming back throughout 2011.

There are action follow-ups with sequels to Transformers, Mission: Impossible, Sherlock Holmes and The Fast and the Furious, plus prequels to X-Men and Planet of the Apes. Comedy revisitations with sequels to The Hangover and Big Momma's House. A family film mother lode with continuations of the Cars, Kung Fu Panda, Happy Feet and Alvin and the Chipmunks stories, along with new takes on The Muppets, The Smurfs and Winnie the Pooh. Reboots with an English-language version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and remakes of Arthur, The Three Musketeers, The Thing and Footloose.

For Harry Potter, Deathly Hallows: Part 2 picks up where the first chapter ended, with evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) hurtling toward a final showdown with the teen wizard.

Daniel Radcliffe, who has played Harry through the eight-film saga, figures that much as the young hero wants to defeat Voldemort, he also has a bit of a martyrdom fixation, maybe even a death wish.

Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling has said "the difference between Voldemort and Harry is that Voldemort is terrified of death, and Harry is not afraid of it," Radcliffe said.

"I actually go on further than that. I think Harry has kind of been seeking death for quite a long time just to get him out of the unending tragedy that his life has become.

"It's his friends in this film that kind of manage to pull him out of that self-centred, burning, martyr arena."