Monday, January 2, 2017

Most Anticipated Films of 2017

It's a new year, which means we have a whole bunch of exciting new movies to look forward to over the next twelve months! As with all years, I can't include all of the films I'm anticipating on this list. For example, I've had to exclude the new Mummy remake with Tom Cruise (even though it looks pretty intriguing), Stephen King's Dark Tower adaptation starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, and original films like The Circle, starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. So which movies did make the list? You'll get my top 10 list in a second, but first here are some honorable mentions.

Honorable Mentions

Power Rangers (3/24/2017)

I know, it's sort of goofy... but this hits a major area of nostalgia for me. As a kid in elementary school, I used to rush home every day so I could watch the Power Rangers on TV in my Red Ranger outfit. Yeah, I was that kid. I had friends who had massive toys of the Zords, and story arcs like the Green Ranger turning evil and then coming back as the White Ranger were legendary to me. I'm not sure how this adaptation will do, but I like what I see so far from this teaser trailer. Color me hopeful that we'll finally get a decent Power Rangers film on the big screen.

Alien: Covenant (5/19/2017)

Beware, this trailer contains horrific violence... If you've seen any of the previous Alien movies or Prometheus, then you should know more or less what you're in for, but don't click the play button on this trailer lightly. As a fan of the first two Alien films as well as Prometheus, I was excited to see where they would take the future story lines (even if I was disappointed by Neill Blomkamp's sequel story getting nixed). This looks like we're getting some truly horrific stuff with the Xenomorph back in all its glory. Hopefully this continues the upward trend for Ridley Scott. It may even be too intense for me, but it definitely looks intriguing.

Kong: Skull Island (3/10/2017)

I was a HUGE fan of 2014's Godzilla film, and after hearing that Kong: Skull Island was in the same universe was enough on its own to get me excited to see it. Throw in the talents of Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, John Goodman, and the rest of the star-studded cast, and this promises to be an incredibly fun and exciting adventure. Luckily we only have to wait until March to get this film, so be sure to mark it on your calendars.

The LEGO Batman Movie (2/10/2017)

After absolutely loving the original LEGO movie, I was on board for whatever they were going to come out with next. Admittedly, I was hoping it would be a straight sequel to that movie instead of a spin-off. However, the trailers instantly reassured me that this would have the same witty humor and clever self-awareness that the original movie had, while focusing on one of the standouts from that film. As long as the film delivers what is promised in the trailer, I'm sure no one will be disappointed.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (7/7/2017)

I know, I can't believe it didn't make the top 10 list either. The thing is, I've already seen a lot of Spider-Man films at this point, and while I can't wait to see his first standalone as an official part of the MCU, it's slightly less exciting than what some of the other films this year are offering. Still, the trailer for this movie was fantastic, and Tony Stark's inclusion is already proving to be a stroke of genius. Plus, I think Michael Keaton's addition may be the biggest up-side this movie has, which is saying something. Do I expect this film to be better than some of the others on my list? Absolutely. I'm just a little more excited for those ones at the moment. This still looks terrific, though!

Most Anticipated Films of 2017

#10   Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (5/26/2017)

I know, the Pirates series hasn't been on a great streak lately... however the new directors have some indie credit and experience working in ocean-centric stories. To be honest, I've always had a bit of a soft spot for this franchise (At World's End may be my favorite of all of them), but there are certainly things to be excited about here. For one thing, we're getting Will Turner and potentially Elizabeth Swan back in the story, as well as presumably their son. It's been ten years since the third film was released, which is significant if you remember how that movie ended. Not only that, but we also get another villainous turn from the extremely talented Javier Bardem. And come on, that trailer looks really good, you can admit it.

#9   Thor: Ragnarok (11/3/2017)

This is the first film on this list without a trailer released (but not the only one, of course), and it may be hindering some of my excitement for the movie. Marvel seems to be knowing what they're doing, however, and I'm sure I'll be dying to see this film once we get a little closer to the release date. Thor has had the most problematic sequel of all of the Avengers, so hopefully they can right the ship with Ragnarok. According to the cast (Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, etc.) and the potential inclusion of the Planet Hulk story, it appears they're looking to do just that. 

#8   Blade Runner 2049 (10/6/2017)

Blade Runner was a highly influential film, despite being a bit of a flop at the time of its release back in 1982. Given that this sequel is brought to us by the director of Arrival (which I still can't wait to finally see), I've got a lot of hope that this can be the rare 20+ year-old sequel that actually delivers. It doesn't hurt that Ryan Gosling is in the starring role and that Harrison Ford is reprising the Decard character from the original film. This has the potential to be something truly special, and based on the teaser trailer I think there's a good chance it could live up to that potential.

#7   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (5/5/2017)

Obviously this was going to make an appearance on my list. Both of the trailers we've had for this film so far have been exceptional, showing that we're still getting the same entertaining space-travelling action film as before, but with some new dynamics for the characters to play off of. I'm also really excited to finally get some answers about Star Lord's dad (being played by the terrific Kurt Russell). The reason this isn't higher up on the list is that we haven't really seen how this will be that different from the first one yet, but I'm sure we will in future trailers.

#6   War for the Planet of the Apes (7/14/2017)

This is a film I've been craving ever since I got out of the theater where Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was playing in 2014. We've got Matt Reeves back directing this film, and from the trailer it looks like it's going to be an all out war (which is fitting, given the title) between the humans and apes. I'm not sure what the plans are for future films either, so anything is possible here. Are they going to follow the trajectory of making this a build-up to the original Planet of the Apes, or will they give us some crazy twist? Probably the former, but I wouldn't put anything past this series. Can't wait to see what happens with Caesar and the rest of the apes we love this summer!

#5   Wonder Woman (6/2/2017)

You know, in almost any other year this would be either number one or two on my list. The trailer to this looks so incredible that it almost brings tears to my eyes when I watch it. About freakin' time that we got a Wonder Woman movie! The action looks incredible, and I love the World War I setting. It looks like a combination of Marvel's Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, which I think will take the best aspects of each of those films and put it into something totally new and even more iconic. I wish this was coming out sooner than June, but I daresay the wait will totally be worth it!

#4   Beauty and the Beast (3/17/2017)

I know this looks like a shot-for-shot remake of the 1991 animated film... but what's wrong with that? Besides, I think there are going to be new elements introduced in this film that we haven't dealt with before. For example, where are his parents? What do the townspeople think of this decrepit castle? I can't wait to see this story brought to life in live-action form, and the cast they've chosen seem born to play their respective roles. I would have been worried about this film before seeing what Disney did with Cinderella and to a lesser extent The Jungle Book, but they've proven that they can reimagine a beloved animated classic while giving it an extra dose of their patented magic. Can't wait for this! 

#3   Dunkirk (7/21/2017)

Talk about movies that would normally get the top spot in any other year. Christopher Nolan is my favorite director working today, so I would see anything he decided to make. However, the fact that he chose to tell this powerful story makes it somehow even more special. I'm sure it will garner a significant number of awards attention, despite its unorthodox summer release, but that doesn't really matter that much to me. I just can't wait to see how Nolan will portray this significant event that most of us Yanks aren't that familiar with. The imagery looks beautiful and yet dreadful (in a good way), and one can only guess what his frequent collaborator Hans Zimmer will add with his score.

#2   Justice League (11/17/2017)

Yet again, this would definitely have taken the top spot in any other year. 2017 is just that exciting! I was a much bigger fan of Batman v Superman than most people, so the idea of having to wait a year and a half to see how Zack Snyder would follow up that story was almost too much for me to handle. The teaser trailer is certainly promising, even given the conspicuous absence of The Man of Steel. I have a really good feeling that Warner Bros is going to make some serious noise this year, and the inclusion of Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg into this team up is surely going to result in standalone films for each of them as well. I seriously cannot wait for this movie!

#1   Star Wars: Episode VIII (12/15/2017)

Was there any doubt? I don't think there is another film I'm looking forward to more in the next three years than Episode VIII. After The Force Awakens completely knocked it out of the park, I remember wishing I could go directly out of that theater and into the sequel. We haven't had an official trailer yet, and we don't even know what the title of the film is... but this is Star Wars! There are so many things I want to know, and the last year of speculation has been killing me! Where did Rey come from? What has Luke been up to? Who is Supreme Leader Snoke? Will Kylo Ren get his revenge? So much to look forward to here, and it's still a whole year away.... that's kind of depressing. Still, this is far and away the movie I'm looking forward to most in 2017, and I doubt I'm alone in that. It's probably the last time we'll see Carrie Fisher as General Leia, and while that does put a damper on things, I'm sure they'll give the character a noble send off, either here or in Episode IX. John Williams is returning to score the film as well, which may be the thing I'm looking forward to most, believe it or not. December might as well be a galaxy far far away at this point, but at least I've got the rest of this list to tide me over until then.

So there you have it! What are the films you're looking forward to most in 2017! Let me know in the comments, and don't forget to follow my blog so you get notified of all my reviews in the future. 

Thanks for reading and have a great new year!