The Top 15 Movies I’m Looking Forward To In 2017
I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m ready to bid adieu to 2016. It’s been a horrible year politically, socially, and personally. From an entertainment standpoint it’s also been a pretty weak film year and the music, TV, and film industry deaths have been unending. Seriously, where is the justice when Prince and David Bowie bite the dust but Uwe Bol is still alive and kicking?
But as Alexander Pope once wrote, “Hope springs eternal.” 2017 is just around the corner and with it will come a bevy of new films. So what films am I looking forward to in 2017? Well a Top 10 list seems overplayed at this point so I decided to do a Top 15.
So without further ado…
#15 Spider-Man: Homecoming
I’m not a Spiderman fan and never have been. It’s not that I dislike him like say Green Hornet (snore), but he’s just never gotten me excited like Batman and Superman. And despite my love for Andrew Garfield, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was horrendous. However, after watching Tom Holland’s performance in Captain America: Civil War I’m all in. He has the potential to be the best Spider-Man ever and with an impressive cast like Marisa Tomei (still SMOKIN’ HOT at 52), Michael Keaton, and Robert Downey Jr., I’m positive Spider-Man: Homecoming with mark a fresh and exciting new era in the Spider-Man universe.
#14 John Wick: Chapter 2
The first John Wick I think took everyone by surprise. I don’t want to say that Keanu Reeves was washed up but let’s be honest, 47 Ronin and Deep Web weren’t exactly The Matrix and Speed. However, I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that the film threw him back into the limelight. John Wick was just a kick-ass, balls to the wall, 80s action thriller that delivered. It was well shot, impeccably choreographed, and was straightforward in a way that did not come across as pat. And surprisingly, there was some real pathos from Reeves. Thankfully it made four times its original budget which, naturally, resulted in a sequel. For chapter two we’re getting a blood oath, a shadowy assassins guild, and Laurence Fishburne. I’m there.
#13 Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Much like John Wick, Kingsman was a surprise action hit. It’s essentially an uber-violent James Bond film almost as if written by a spy/graphic novel fanboy only you know, good. I flat-out loved Samuel L. Jackson in that movie and also Colin Firth floored me. That sequence in the Church was the craziest action scene since the final act of Kill Bill Vol. 1. The sequel will find Eggsy/Galahad (Taron Egerton) heading to America to join forces with the Statesmen, the Kingsmen’s counterparts, after Kingsmen HQ is destroyed. Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, and Halle Berry will also join the fray. The only bad news is that the film recently got pushed to October 6 of next year.
#12 T2: Trainspotting 2
When I heard that they were making a sequel to Trainspotting I threw up a little in my mouth. The original Trainspotting is a classic film that put Danny Boyle and Ewan McGregor on the map. It’s a brilliant movie about addiction, friendship, and existentialism, and hilarious to boot. Why do a sequel? Even though all the principals were back I wasn’t convinced…until I saw the trailer. Not only was I relieved, I was excited. It looks like an extension of the first movie which to me was the only option.
#11 Kong: Skull Island
The more distance I get from Peter Jackson’s King Kong, the more I realize how bad a movie it was. Great visuals obviously but WAAAAY too long and Jack Black (among others) was completely miscast. Clearly Kong deserved better and the next film promises that. Although 2014’s Godzilla was much maligned, I rather enjoyed it. Kong will be set in the same universe with an eye on doing a Kong Vs Godzilla movie in a few years. Everything I’ve seen so far from this film looks great. The effects look amazing and I like how it’s set during the Vietnam Nam War era. Plus with Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Goodman it’s chocked with acting talent and at the worst will be entertaining if not necessarily mind-blowing.
#10 The Dark Tower
Not gonna lie, I’m as excited for this movie as I am nervous. That’s mostly because I’m such a huge fan of the series and I desperately want it to do well. The movie has spent so much time in Development Hell that it’s a miracle it’s even gotten to the screen. If you’re a fan of the books and you’ve followed the development of this film, you know it’s a different take on the novels and strangely, a sequel. The premise for The Dark Tower is too complicated to get into here. Suffice to say it’s a Western, mixed with horror, mixed with sci-fi, mixed with the Arthurian legend. This is one of those films that I’ll go into chanting “PLEASE BE GOOD, PLEASE BE GOOD, PLEASE BE GOOD.”
This might sound odd but I don’t think Hugh Jackman gets nearly enough credit for playing Wolverine. Think about it. When someone asks you, “What actor do you think has played the best superhero” a lot of people will say Michael Keaton, Christopher Reeves, etc. but it seems (at least in my experience) that Jackman as Wolverine doesn’t gets passed over. It’s a little bittersweet that Logan will be the last hurrah for Hugh Jackman. From a movie perspective, Logan looks unique, very scaled back, and dark. And, thankfully, not a “CG fuckathon” as director James Mangold said. I feel like this movie is going to be equal parts tragic and awesome.
#8 Justice League
So BvS was…divisive. That’s probably the understatement of the film year. Seems like you either loved it or hated it. Unless you’re me. I thought it was mediocre but the Ultimate Cut was MUCH better. Warner Bros. took a lot of shit for the film being too grim and dark and it seems like they’ve listened to the critics and are lightening up the film. The fact that they allowed multiple critics to attend a set visit AND talk about what they saw over a year before the release, speaks volumes. I’m not completely sold on Steppenwolf as the main villain but I am sold on this movie. I mean come on! Flash, Cyborg, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman in the same movie? Like I’m not going to be there.
#7 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
When I saw the first preview for Guardians of the Galaxy in early 2014 I groaned out loud. Really Marvel? A fucking talking racoon? I thought they’d lost their minds. I was never happier to be so wrong about a movie. From start to finish it was just a freakin’ blast. And who knew Dave Bautista could act? (Well sort of.) Plus the film made Chris Pratt a household name. (Sidebar: I honestly think Chris Pratt has an Oscar worthy performance somewhere inside him. I really do.) Although we’ve only seen a teaser trailer, the second volume looks just as good. So bring on Kurt Russell and more Blue Swede!
#6 War for the Planet of the Apes
When 20th Century Fox decided to reboot the Planet of the Apes franchise I was perfectly fine with it. I’ve never felt any real attachment to the originals and after Tim Burton’s 2001 debacle, anything had to be better. However, I was astounded at how amazing Rise of the Planet of the Apes was. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was equally fantastic. My expectations for War are through the roof and I can’t wait to see the further adventures of Caesar and company. Obviously nothing can be better than Homer Simpson’s Apes A Poppin’ film though.
There’s very few directors that I will watch whatever they put out. Reason being that they have a proven track record of quality films. Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese both fall into that category. Christopher Nolan does as well and his upcoming Dunkirk, will be no exception. It centers around the Dunkirk evacuation during WWII and was shot in atypical 65mm format. The movie also stars Tom Hardy. WWII+Christopher Nolan+Tom Hardy+unique film format=My Ass in the Seat.
#4 Alien: Covenant
Prometheus has it’s share of detractors. I’m not one of them. I thought Ridley Scott’s 2012 film rocked and since it more than doubled its budget, a sequel was inevitable. Hence Alien: Covenant. The teaser poster (shown above) gave me goosebumps. It looks like they are giving audiences what was sorely lacking in Prometheus, which are xenomorphs. Scott also promises that Covenant will be much more in line with the original film. The film is set ten years after the events of Prometheus where the colony ship Covenant stumbles upon what they believe is an uncharted paradise. However, they soon find the planet is dark and dangerous with the sole inhabitant the android David from the doomed Prometheus mission. SO PUMPED.
#3 Blade Runner 2049
Much like Trainspotting, when I first heard about a sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic I had my doubts. However as the list of talent was added to the film including Ryan Gosling and Arrival director Denis Villeneuve, my doubts went the way of Roy Batty at the end of the first film. What’s great is that there’s virtually nothing known about the film other than it’s set 30 years after the events of the original. I hope they keep that air of mystery. Villeneuve certainly has his work cut out for him and my biggest concern is if he will be able to recapture the atmosphere of Blade Runner world. It’s too bad Vangelis isn’t back to score the film, however at least original screenwriter Hampton Fancher is back.
My #2 might come as a shocker to some of my readers with all the great films set to hit theaters in 2017, but I’m super stoked for the big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s seminal work. The 1986 novel is one of my top five books of all time and I just finished reading it again for about the 15th go-round. Although I have a soft spot for the 1990 mini-series, the movie was limited by being on network television. Not so with this version as all signs point to a hard “R” rating. The children’s portion (the novel is set in two time periods) has been updated from 1958 to 1989 which I’m actually fine with because ironically, I was the same age as the Loser’s Club at that time. Consequently it will probably resonate even more with me. Part II (please let there be a part II!) will be set in present day presumably. IT‘s cast is full of virtual unknowns as well, something I really like.
#1 Star Wars Episode VIII
As if there was any doubt! The Force Awakens proved that the Star Wars universe is still alive and well and (clearly) viable at the box office. While the film was sort of a soft reboot, it was nonetheless awesome. I honestly believe in my heart that Episode VIII has the potential to be the best Star Wars film yet. There’s so many things to look forward to possibly finding out. Who is Snoke? What’s Luke been up to all these years? What’s the Jedi Temple look like? What happened to the Knights of Ren? What’s the New Order’s next move? What is Rey’s parentage? Will Mark Hamill actually talk? Unlike the line that’s uttered in every Star Wars movie, I have a good feeling about this.
So there you have it. My thoughts on the upcoming movie year. Hopefully it will better than this year’s underwhelming allotment of films. Barring nuclear war, I look forward to seeing all these movies at the multiplex.
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