Looking Back, Looking Ahead; Pirates, Panic! to populate 2011

Jack Sparrow is returning for a fourth installment.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”

Is a fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie necessary? I say yes. Why? Because as far as I can tell, this

one is just about Jack Sparrow — a prequel if you will. No sob story about Will and Elizabeth, just the adventures of the cantankerous Captain. He was always the best part of the movies, so an entire movie about just him should be good. Caution: too much swishing and not enough action is a danger.

“Vices and Virtues” by Panic! at the Disco

It’s been a long time since Panic! at the Disco put out an album. The last time it happened, they no longer had the exclamation mark and were four members instead of two. But finally, Brendon Urie and Spencer Smith are releasing a new record, minus the members that were the main perpetrators of the inconsistent at best “Pretty. Odd.” The boys are going back to their dance rock “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” roots, so this one is definitely worth checking out.

“Thor”

Do we really need more superhero comic book movies? Yes, yes we do. Most of the movies in this genre made in the last 10 years have been pretty darn good. Or they’ve been bad enough to be entertaining (like “Superman Returns”). Thor is a lesser known Marvel hero, but he’s necessary to the Avengers franchise Marvel is building (all those little snippets in the Iron Man and Hulk movies with Nick Fury? Avengers references). The Avengers are the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. So we know another movie we have to look forward to soon.

“The Autobiography of Mark Twain Vol. 1”

Even though this came out last November, this is something everyone should read in the New Year. It’s Twain writing from the grave, literally, as he wouldn’t let the book be published until 100 years after his death. But it’s not a real autobiography — it’s short stories and essays and witticisms in Twain’s distinctive style. It’s not often (let’s face it, it’s practically never) that we get new material from long deceased masters, so this is a treat everyone should partake in.

My Chemical Romance’s First Tour Since 2008

My Chemical Romance is one of the best live bands in the world right now, so the fact that they not only have a new album (which is kickass, by the way), but are going to tour with it is cause for celebration. I expect the new show to either be an extreme production (a la the first “Black Parade” tour) or stripped down and raw (like the last “Black Parade” tour). Either way, it will be a feast for the ears and eyes and a definitely worthwhile experience.

Caroline Russomanno can be reached at russoma4@tcnj.edu.