2016 was, arguably, one of the strangest movie years ever. A movie like Deadpool
had better critical success than Batman v Superman
. The part that people remember most about Captain America: Civil War
was that Spider-Man was in it. Independence Day: Resurgence
came and went so quick that I bet you forgot it existed till I just mentioned it! I mean . . . WHAT A YEAR! It's been a long, strange road in 2016. Personally, I was not a big fan of this year. Although I had fun, I think it's safe to say we've ended on a downer.
Shudder . . .
Regardless, I'm happy to say that I think we have a lot to look forward to next year. What with that guy's impeachment, great new movies to look forward to, and just the usual "new year, new me" crap that everyone tries. Today we're gonna focus on the upcoming movies for next year. As always there are quite a few, but I'd like to narrow it down to the ones I'm specifically excited for and what I'm hoping to get out of them. Here we go!
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
I can't even begin to describe how exciting this movie is for me. We'll start with the obvious - I love Batman and Batman's the best yadda yadda yadda. But seriously, he is.
I remember seeing the previews for The Lego Movie and thinking it looked so funny because it was the movie I had written in my head when I was a kid playing with Legos. The Lego Batman Movie is definitely an extension of that. Granted, there were no Batman Legos when I was a kid but I did play with my Batman action figures every day, coming up with new adventures for the Caped Crusader. I see these previews and I can't help but think that Hollywood was stalking my childhood (more on that later).
The Lego Movie was surprisingly a very deep movie with some interesting twists and turns in the plot. I'm hoping to see something similar in Batman. Given that, as per usual with a Batman film, there is a stellar cast involved, we'll get some great performances. I'm hoping that like the Lego Movie did a few years ago, this film will challenge its audience a little bit. Either way, it's going to be incredible to see such creative takes on Batman and his rogues and allies.
Wow. What a gorgeous trailer. I've said time and time again that I'm a sucker for a good trailer. Often, if a good song or score is put in the trailer it can really enhance the viewing experience of it. In this case, with Johnny Cash's "Hurt" playing in the background, it makes the whole film seem so sad. And let's face it, it is sad! It's going to be Hugh Jackman's last performance as Wolverine/Logan. He's been playing this character since 2000's X-Men. For many fans, like myself, we grew up on those films and he's been a mainstay for all of them.
Most of us were hoping for an Old Man Logan adaptation in this film. While it looks like we're getting a bit of that flavor with the post apocalyptic looking world, although that may not entirely be the case, we unfortunately won't get to see characters like Bruce Banner, Hawkeye, Spider-Girl, Red Skull, and the others that helped make that comic so memorable and, quite frankly, haunting.
I'm definitely excited for this film. It looks to have the bittersweet send off that I think Hugh Jackman deserves for Logan. Given that this will be the first Wolverine film that's rated R, I think we'll be in for a treat. Not that I'm a big fan of violence, blood, guts, and all that stuff, but I think a proper Old Man Logan story deserves a higher rating to ensure the action scenes aren't toned down. It doesn't have to be messy, but I do expect it to get just a wee bit uncomfortable. After all, Wolverine has never been one to shy away from violence.
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
Now this should be interesting! I remember seeing the trailers for Godzilla a few years ago and being so excited for that film. While I was only semi-disappointed with that movie, I have higher hopes for Kong. I think Godzilla delivered on some great imagery and really cool monster fights. I'm hoping that Kong will tackle a little more of the man vs nature story that was sort of glossed over in Godzilla.
Plus this cast has Loki, Captain Marvel, Nick Fury, Denarian Dey, and John Goodman (he doesn't have a cool Marvel name yet). In terms of acting, those are some heavy hitters, even if John C. Reilly lays on the comic relief a little too thick for my tastes. However, the movie itself looks fantastic and really intriguing.
I was a fan of Peter Jackson's King Kong from 2005. I've since changed my opinion on that, given that I rewatched it a few weeks ago and I found myself fast forwarding several times. I mean, the movie is WAY too long. I mean like WAY too long. Like I watched it and was late for my wedding, and I didn't even have a girlfriend when the film started. Ok, Ok! I'm done with that. (seriously though . . . too long).
I don't think this film will suffer the same ridiculous run time. I'm excited to see what happens and what teases we'll get for the eventual Kong v Godzilla: Dawn of Monsters we're supposed to get in 2020. That will definitely be a fun movie!
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Remember how I said that Hollywood was stalking my childhood? I mean . . . there's plenty of proof! Beauty and the Beast is one of my all time favorite animated movies and stage musicals. I remember seeing it on Broadway with my family when it was first produced and being totally blown away. I saw it a couple more times over the years at various venues. I never got tired of it. Even now, as an adult, I watch the animated film and I ugly cry throughout the whole thing. When I heard they were making a live action film AND it was going to be a musical, I couldn't contain my excitement. I'm not a super Broadway buff or anything, but I do love seeing musicals on stage. Of course it's different on film, but if it's done right then it can be a magical experience all the same.
And that cast! Oh my gosh! Emma Watson, Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellan, Josh Gad, oh my word . . . it's enough to make a man cry! And I will. On March 17, I will be crying. I'm secure enough in my masculinity where I can say that!
I will say that I don't think the Beast's look is as scary as it was in the animated version, but I think it won't matter once I'm watching the film. I love that Disney is bringing these old classics to life. Some (ok most) will say that it's clearly Hollywood running out of ideas. I won't disagree but at the same time, I look at my nephews and my friends' children and I love the idea that they get to grow up with these movies just like I did, albeit in a different way. And this one is very special to me.
March is going to be a very busy month for me! I mean there are four movies in a row that I can't wait to see! I've previously said how excited I was for Power Rangers, so there's no need for me to reiterate that here. I will however say that I am very excited . . . Ok so I did reiterate that . . . What more do you want?
I'm really loving the slow burn of information we're getting about the film. Like the poster above shows us the Zords but only a little. As of this writing, we still don't know what Zordon looks like, we know what Alpha 5 looks like but not how Bill Hader's voice sounds with the character. We know that Goldar and the Putties are in the film but not what they look like either. All we know for sure is that there are 5 teenagers, Rita, and Angel Grove. I'm excited to see this movie and my imagination is running wild as of right now.
Oh and that! That's the toy version of the Megazord. It's what you're getting me for Christmas. Thank you in advance.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2
Guardians of the Galaxy was definitely one of Marvel's best films. It was great because, let's face it, it kind of wasn't supposed to be. It looked weird, its two most famous actors were voice overs, and it was headlined by a supporting actor from an NBC sitcom.
The chubby idiot as Honest Trailers called him . . .
Against all odds, audiences were "hooked on a feeling" with the first film and it became a smash hit. I saw it and was blown away. I was laughing, cheering, and tearing up. It did everything it was supposed to do. The funny thing is that it felt like such a big movie and the second one looks even bigger judging by this trailer and the teaser that James Gunn released previously. Luckily, we still don't know that much about the movie. We know we'll meet Peter Quill's real father and that Groot is a youngling. That's . . . about it. I love that. I also love that the film is largely removed from the rest of the Marvel Universe. We don't need any more set ups for Infinity War. Of course, they will probably allude to or possibly even include Thanos in some fashion in this film, but I don't think it's necessary and I don't think anyone will miss it if that stuff is excluded this time around.
Either way, I'm very excited to see what happens in this film. Guardians is one of my favorite Marvel films and I have high hopes for the second one.
Man . . . Prometheus was so disappointing. I mean it was not that great. And there's like no reason for that. It had a great cast, great director, great concept . . . It just got all muddled up somewhere. I don't even know how to explain it. But that's all behind us now! We've got a new Alien movie to look forward to and it actually will have the Aliens in it!
Although I do hope we see more of this guy! He's creepy af!
As of this writing we do not have a trailer for the movie so I've included the trailer to the original Alien from 1979. It still holds up in my opinion. I'm hoping if Covenant is scaled back then we will get a truly terrifying Alien film again. The Alien films were some of the first horror films I ever really loved as a kid. They terrified me but also fascinated me. I wanted to see more aliens and learn more about them. I hope that Covenant actually gives more backstory and explains them a bit more. Like, do they have a life stage that we haven't seen between chestburster and adult? Is there a stage after adult? These are the things I think about while you're at work all day!
I just want it to be good. It's been so long since we've had a good Alien movie.
Preach it, sister!
Almost every time someone is cast in a DC role, the "fans" get all riled up. And almost every time once they see the film they say, "Oh yeah they're great!" Gal Gadot was once one of those cast members that received unnecessary hate from fans and for dumb reasons (she's a woman and her boobs weren't big enough . . . seriously, I hate the fans sometimes). However, Gadot gave an awesome and memorable performance in Batman v Superman. She proved herself an equal to Bruce's ingenuity and an equal to Clark's strength. After her scenes, I genuinely couldn't wait to see her in a solo Wonder Woman film.
So we'll get to the obvious point - this film is long overdue! Even if you don't know much about comic books, Wonder Woman is still easily recognizable and known to casual audiences. Whether it's the Lynda Carter series from the 70s, the merchandise, or even her appearances on Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. People know her. She's kind of a big deal. I love that we're finally getting a proper Wonder Woman film. I'm hoping that this film will stand on its own two feet as opposed to needing cameos from Batman or Superman to give it credibility. I think audiences, male and female alike, are more than ready for a bad ass Wonder Woman film. I know I am!
And darn it . . . She's so dang beautiful. I literally can't even right now!
This may surprise you, but one of my favorite movies as a kid was The Mummy with Brendan Fraser. I thought it was funny, fun, scary, and really exciting to watch. Plus, I had only known Fraser from George of the Jungle so I was surprised to see him as a swashbuckling hero. I thought he was awesome in the role (still do). I loved the 30s setting, Arnold Vosloo and the special effects on him, and I developed an everlasting crush on Rachel Weisz. It was a good time. Needless to say when I heard Universal wanted to make a "shared universe" for their movie monsters I was skeptical. Shared universes are the name of the game since The Avengers did it so successfully.
However, my fears were put to rest, mummified if you will, when I heard that Tom Cruise was going to be in the film. I love Tom Cruise. He's one of my favorite actors. I will admit that he's done the occasional bad film, but for the most part I think he gives great performances in all of his movies. I think the fact that he's in this film and is giving it his recommendation is good enough for me. Plus, Russell Crowe is playing Dr. Jekyll. I mean . . . how awesome is that?
More than anything, I want the film to be scary. I want it to be exciting. I want it to be engaging. Those are the things I'm looking for when these properties are rebooted. If you're going to bring back The Mummy, you better have a damn good reason to do it!
This movie comes out on my 30th birthday. How cool is that? Have I said that before? I probably have. Anyway, it's Spider-Man's first official solo film within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is definitely a big deal. While I am bummed that Andrew Garfield is no longer playing Peter, I'm willing to see what Tom Holland does with the character.
What makes this exciting for me is that it looks to be more like the Ultimate Spider-Man comics I loved so much. Those were the Spider-Man comics that I "grew up with" despite reading all of them as an adult (early 20s). Those were the ones that I wanted to see adapted to film. If that's the direction that Marvel goes in then I'm definitely on board.
What I'm really excited about is that this film feels a lot smaller in comparison to the other Marvel films. For the most part, it's just Spider-Man flying around. Sure he wants to be a big time superhero but I think he's good staying in New York dealing with smaller threats like the Vulture and those guys. Then he can take on Thanos in 2018 with the rest of the Avengers. For now, I'm looking forward to a smaller superhero film that leads to something bigger.
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
I talked about how Hollywood is seemingly bringing my childhood dreams to life with a lot of these 2017 movies. Well . . . this is the exception. Planet of the Apes is a relatively new love for me. I saw the original film and didn't really care for it as a kid. I saw the Tim Burton Planet of the Apes and thought it was OK. As time has gone on, I've liked it less and less. So when Rise of the Planet of the Apes was announced I didn't care about it. I watched the preview and thought, "Eh, it looks alright. I'll wait for it to rent." Much to my surprise, everyone was praising the film! They all loved it!
True to my word, I waited for it come on DVD and I rented it. My town still had a Blockbuster! Can you believe that? Haha! Anyway, I watched it and I was in awe. The film was beautiful. I couldn't believe how toned down it was. The movie was all about Caesar and his conflict. Is he human? Is he ape? What is he? I was genuinely surprised. I expected a dumb action movie where apes suddenly become intelligent and rebel against humans. While that does happen in the movie, it happens much later after it's been earned. The build up is perfect and the ending made me smile, even though I knew that humanity was ultimately doomed.
When Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was announced I was so excited. They said it was going to be 8 years later, which I didn't like at first, but I was still willing to give it a shot. And boy oh boy was it worth it. The movie had a great progression, great characters, great conflict, and felt like a true sequel. The 8 year gap that I thought would hurt the film actually helped it. I think it sets up this War perfectly.
I love Andy Serkis's work as Caesar. It's a testament to great acting and I'm so mad that he may never be nominated for an Oscar for his work in these films. Caesar has become one of my favorite film characters. A lesser actor would have just tried to make the character some sort of human/ape hybrid, but not Serkis. He let the more human aspects of Caesar be developed over these movies. Already I can tell we'll see less Ape in Caesar in this film and that's how it should be. I can't wait!
Again, this is a very new love for me. I only recently got into It about a year and a half ago. I watched the Tim Curry TV movie and really enjoyed it. True it may be severely dated and it's clear that there were limits with the TV budget but man oh man! They did some great stuff with what little they had. Curry's performance will be hard to top. Just watch the scene I included and you'll see for yourself.
I have high hopes for what can be done with a big budget adaptation of the novel. I've read the book and fell in love with it. And hated it. It's terrifying. But that's the point! The movie is supposedly split into two parts with the first part taking place in the past with the children and then part two will be their encounter with Pennywise as adults. That's definitely the way to go, although I was hoping for a limited series but this will probably work too.
And look at that image! Bill Skarsgard looks terrifying, I'm definitely hoping we'll get a trailer to see what the film has in store. For now though, I'm going to change my shorts cuz that clown is creepy af!
We do not have a trailer yet, but I wanted to include something so here's the Hulk vs Thor fight from the first Avengers film. Because it's awesome and I was cheering during that fight in the movie theater. I'm personally loving that the more recent Marvel films, with the exception of Doctor Strange, aren't afraid to pair up (or more) the heroes. I mean it's one thing to get an Avengers film every couple of years but having Iron Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Falcon in Ant-Man, and just about everybody in Captain America: Civil War makes these movies feel more like the comic books. Plus this film will finally shut all those people up that want to see a Planet Hulk movie. I do not want to see that. I was not a fan of the comic. I did like World War Hulk though . . . that was cool. But I digress . . .
The other thing that's exciting about this movie is the cast! Jeff Goldblum, Cate Blanchett, Sam Neill, Karl Urban, and of course, as evidenced by the mid credit scene in his film, Benedict Cumberbatch! If it were any other movie that cast would be exciting but the fact that it's a Thor
movie makes it even better! I loved the first Thor
film. I didn't care for the second one, but his appearances in the Avengers
were always awesome and fun to watch. And so far Mark Ruffalo's performance as Bruce Banner and the mo cap work on the Hulk has been phenomenal. Seeing those two characters on a "buddy cop cosmic quest" will be a lot of fun. I can't wait to see what this movie looks like and how it will set up Avengers: Infinity War
and future Thor and Hulk adventures.
Now this . . . This is the one! I don't care what anyone says I loved Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The Ultimate Edition was the movie that I wanted to see and I was so happy that I got the movie I wanted. I really can't wait to see what happens with Justice League. This is definitely the ultimate movie for me. I've always wanted to see a live action Justice League film. I loved the Justice League animated series when I was growing up. Even now I watch it on Netflix and it still holds up. It's such a fun series but there are very deep, complex themes that adults can really latch onto. That's what I think the live action film needs to capture.
Yes, we all want to see all the League members shine and have their moment to kick ass. But we also need to see them together learning to work together and be a family. I'm definitely excited to see the team interact just based on that little bit of footage from Comic Con. We still don't know what will happen when Superman returns (no pun intended). We don't know what exactly Steppenwolf, Darkseid, or whatever is planning. All we know is that Bruce Wayne is trying to form the Justice League and it's not going so well. I can't wait to see what happens with this movie. I think given that the producers have promised a "lighter tone" than the previous films that we'll see a more traditional Justice League story. It will be exciting, fun, scary, and have good amounts of humor laced throughout it. That's what I'm hoping for! Also . . . IT'S THE FREAKING JUSTICE LEAGUE!!!
STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII
Oh my goodness! Where do we even begin? The Force Awakens
was one of the best movie experiences I've ever had. I knew just about nothing about the film, it was an old favorite from my childhood, and to top it off - the movie was actually really, really good. How often does that happen? I think Rian Johnson and the cast and crew of Episode VIII
have their work cut out for them. Not only do they have to make a great film but they have to make a great Star Wars
film. As we've seen, that is not easy to do. The films are either really great and beloved by all or universally panned forever. I do have high hopes for this one though. Luke Skywalker is my favorite Star Wars character. I thought Mark Hamill made a great transition from boy to man in the original films. I'd love to see where his character is at now.
Has he lost confidence? Is he trying to find a way to redeem himself or Kylo? He kept the map a secret but not impossible to find. Perhaps he knew someone would find him! And what is his connection to Rey? Is he her father or is he something else? I can't wait to find out!
Holy shit, guys! Remember Jumanji? What a weird movie. I mean it's pretty awesome. After Robin Williams died, I watched a bunch of his movies again. So much of his stuff was a part of my childhoood. There was Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire, Aladdin, and of course Jumanji. I remember reading the book as a kid and really liking it. When they announced a movie version starring him I was very excited. I remember the movie really freaking me out as a kid. I mean, it's kinda scary! All those creatures coming out of the game and how do you get them back in the game when all that stuff is trying to kill you! It was trippy man! Having rewatched it as an adult I can safely say that I do still love that movie. There are some good lessons in there about standing up for yourself, family, and second chances. It's a pretty great movie. I'm tearing up a bit . . .
So what's going on with the second one? Well, we don't really know that much about it. It looks like the majority of the film takes place in the game itself but rumor has it that it's now a video game some kids get trapped in. And the Rock is there! So . . . it should be OK. Kevin Hart is pretty funny, Jack Black has his moments (I liked him in Goosebumps), and Karen Gillan is just . . . wow! So the cast looks cool. Plus, Dwayne Johnson has said that this film will honor the film before it as a tribute to Robin Williams. So far, so good. We probably won't get a trailer for a few more months seeing as how it's not due till Christmas 2017. Bummer . . .
As a side note I want to confess something - I've got a bit of a man crush on Dwayne Johnson. I mean, yeah the dude is good looking, but he seems like a genuinely awesome guy. I see his posts on Instagram and Snapchat and I really admire the kind of celebrity he is. He's very gracious to his fans, he's always up front with his feelings, he does a lot of charity work, he really just doesn't seem like a cheesy, flashy guy. He seems like a real person, despite looking like he's made of pure concrete. Maybe that's why they call him the Rock . . . Hmmm . . . Seriously though, I admire this guy. He puts his heart and soul into all his films and promotes them all with so much passion and it doesn't seem like he does it because he's getting pressure from the studio executives. He seems to genuinely be excited about all his projects. If I ever become famous, I would want to be that type of celebrity. He's the primary reason I'm excited for a Jumanji follow up. I have high hopes for it after seeing his funny Instagram videos like the one I shared above. I can't wait to see what it looks like!
Now you may have noticed I left off The Fate of the Furious and Transformers: the Last Knight. I did that deliberately because believe it or not I'm not a big fan of those franchises. The Fast and Furious movies have never really done it for me. Although I loved the first Transformers film I've hated the sequels more and more as they've come out. They had some great trailers, great posters, awesome visuals, but the films have been utterly terrible. And I'm not seeing this new one! You won't trick me again, Michael Bay! You won't!
Oh man . . . That looks so cool . . .
I'm very much looking forward to all these films this year. It's going to be the year that my childhood came back. Which I've been saying for 3 years now . . . But whatever! I'm gonna be 30! I'm feeling old! Don't judge me!
Till Next Time!
JJ - The Comic Junkie!