2016 was a “so-so” year for big budgeted films. While movies like Captain America: Civil War and Deadpool were considered the greatest of the genre, there was also some huge disappointments…. (I’m looking at you Batman v Superman).
This year is looking to be a pretty interesting year in terms of tent pole franchise films. Here are my Top 10 Anticipated Movies….(WARNING: YES, most of them are indeed superhero films)
10. Blade Runner 2049
Admittedly, I am not fan of the original Blade Runner, quite slow for my taste. This long awaited sequel is directed by Dennis Villeneuve (Arrival) and stars Ryan Gosling (LaLa Land). My hope for this sequel is to be a bit faster paced than the original while still retaining the elements that made the original such a sci fi classic. Harrison Ford is also returning as the original character Rick Deckard, which is a good sign since he did an excellent job coming back as Han in Star Wars Force Awakens.
9. Get Out
A horror film about a black man feeling unwelcomed in an all -white rural town where the only black people act like zombies. This movie seems to be exactly what audiences are craving in a Post-Trump America. Directed by Jordan Peele from the Key and Peele comedic duo, this film looks creepy, thought provoking and eerily hilarious. Sign. Me. Up.
8. Thor Ragnarok
The third film in the Thor franchise, while I wasn’t a fan of the last one (Thor The Dark World), I have a lot of faith that Marvel Studios will knock this one out of the park. Chris Hemsworth, Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston and Anthony Hopkins return, along with newcomer Tessa Thompson (Creed) as Valkrie (another black actor playing a Viking, take that racist trolls). The best part is that Mark Ruffalo returns as the Hulk, and the film will surely draw inspiration from the Planet Hulk storyline (pretty much Gladiator, with the freaking Hulk). Did I mention Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban and Cate Blanchett play classic Marvel villains? Just about everything about this sounds wacky and awesome.
7. Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi
The only reason this isn’t higher on the list is because we know so little of the story. Rian Johnson (Looper) is in the directors chair and I have no doubt he’s going to bring some extra grit into the follow up to my second favorite Star Wars film (that’s right, I love Force Awakens). What I’m looking forward to the most is the development of Rey and Finn as characters of their own and how they fit into this grand universe.
6. Lego Batman
My prediction is that Lego Batman will be considered the second best Batman film of all time! From the trailers alone, it’s clear the creatives behind Lego Batman has a great love for Batman and his mythology. It’s also a spin off to one of my favorite animated films, The Lego Movie. This looks to be a really good time and it’s been a LONG time since I had fun in a Batman movie… speaking of which…
5. Justice League
I am one of the biggest critics of not just Batman v Superman but of the DC Extended Universe as a whole. Justice League, directed by Zack Synder (sigh), might very well be more of the same; paper thin characters, overtly dark visual aesthetic, muddled action, I could go on. However, I am looking forward to seeing more of Ben Affleck’s Batman and some interplay between him and the other Justice League characters, (I mean come on, look at Aquaman!) Does it bug me that Green Lantern isn’t there? Yes! Does it bug me that SteppenWolf, a C lister, is the main villain? Yes! Does it bug me that Synder is directing? YES!!! But it doesn’t hurt to be optimistic and we’ve ALL waited to see a Justice League film, so let’s just be thankful we’re finally getting one.
4. Kong Skull Island
Remember how Peter Jackson’s King Kong was good, but all the stuff on the island was BY FAR the best part? Well, this film is JUST about that island. Kong has a stellar cast; Samuel L Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, and Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton). Judging from the trailers alone, this film looks like a wild ride.
3. Fate of the Furious/War of the Planet of the Apes
That’s right! It’s a tie! Both films are widely anticipated sequels in a franchise. Dominic Toretto and Ceasar are both roguish bad asses who care about only one thing…. FAMILY. Okay, I know that’s a stretch. Apes definitely is a character and story driven series with top notch CGI while the Fast and Furious franchise are more or less driven by action and bad Tyrese jokes. These both look to be great times at the theater but for completely different reasons.
Loosely based on Old Man Logan, one of the best Wolverine comic books, Logan is the last Wolverine film where Hugh Jackman stars as the iconic anti hero. This film looks like a gritty “Westernized” take on the X-Men mythology that has potential to be more character driven and personal. Plus, it’s the first rated R Wolverine film (thanks Ryan Reynolds). Not only is this looking to be one of the best X-Men related movies, but also perhaps one of the best in the genre
Look, I know it is the second Spiderman reboot. But this is the Spiderman film we have ALL been waiting for. Finally, everyone’s favorite superhero is being made by the studio that actually appreciates and understands the character. It was a miracle that Sony was able to join forces with Marvel/Disney to give us perhaps the best Spiderman portrayal yet in Tom Holland in Captain America Civil War. Michael Keaton is playing the Vulture and he looks to be the most frightening Spiderman villain we’ve seen on screen. Even though another Spiderman film might seem redundant to the casual movie viewer, Spiderman: Homecoming is a movie that looks to definitely capture the true essence of Spiderman and bring him to the greater cinematic universe where he belongs.