2016's Most Anticipated Runner-Ups Part 1: Just Missed the Mark

Runner-Ups 1 & 2 | 50-46 | 45-41 | 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1

I beg to differ, but whatevs

It's that time of year, folks. And I'm ready to dispense my ever-loving wisdom on what will most likely be our beloved cinematic treasures for next year. 2015 lived up to my hype - I'm having a hard time whittling down my top 10 list (I've immensely enjoyed 21 movies this year and that's not counting Star Wars!).

With that being said, there's a lot to love about 2016. Sure, there is sequels galore and superhero movies will always make for a majority of the conversation but over half the movies on my list are 'original' films. When I say original, I consider Suicide Squad or Doctor Strange an original movie simply because it's not a sequel to anything even though it is tied to a shared universe from other movies. But movies like The Jungle Book and Ghostbusters are clearly reboots or remakes.

So there's a lot of potentially great movies on the horizon and here are first five of the movies that didn't make the cut (in alphabetical order):

Arms and the Dudes
Starring: Jonah Hill, Miles Teller
Director: Todd Phillips
Writers: Stephen Chin, Todd Phillips, Jason Smilovic
Release Date: August 16
Based on an article in Rolling Stone about two kids who became arms dealers for US troops in Afghanistan. They received a $300 million contract from the Pentagon, but would soon see it all come crumbling down. Todd Phillips, the director behind The Hangover trilogy and Old School, is a comedy vet and this sounds like such an absurd story for him to tackle, but perfect for him. The first thing that comes to mind is 2013's Pain and Gain, the based-on-a-true-story film that Michael Bay brought to life through giddy enthusiasm. It's such a bizarre story that I'm excited to see the chemistry between Miles Teller, an up-and-coming young star and the two-time Oscar-nominated Jonah Hill (still so weird to write that).

Gods of Egypt
Starring: Gerard Butler, Rufus Sewell
Director: Alex Proyas
Writers: Matt Sazamas, Burk Sharpless
Release Date: February 26

If you're not careful, this trailer could burn your eyes. What a clusterfuck of a movie, but damn if it doesn't look insane just enough to pique my interest. The director, Alex Proyas has done some really interesting movies, including the underrated Dark City. But he's gone out of his way to apologize already for the 'whitewashing' of the movie. Namely there really isn't a lot of 'color' outside of the visual effects. Unfortunately, the movie has already been made, so that might just be a little too late to do anything. Despite all the terrible press, the movie does look insane and even though every GD movie about this period is too boring or too dumb (Clash of the Titans and Exodus, I'm looking squarely at you), I hope the general campiness and the cheesy and bonkers special effects make up for the rest of the movie.

The Great Wall
Starring: Matt Damon, Andy Lau, Willem Dafoe
Director: Yimou Zhang
Writers: Tony Gilroy, Carlo Bernard, Doug Miro
Release Date: November 23
A big-budget movie set in China, directed by a big-time Chinese director with his first English-language film. Yeah, the studio definitely is targeting the burgeoning Chinese box office with this movie, but we might all benefit from it if it turns out to be good. Zhang has been known for epic movies - Hero, House of Flying Daggers, so he should be able to handle this. There's a lot of mystery surrounding the film - but it's been described as science fantasy action adventure film that centers around the mysteries of the Great Wall of China. So who knows? Maybe Damon is an archaelogist who finds out that aliens built the wall as some sort of marker for them to come back and destroy the Earth. It sounds intriguing enough for me, whatever it turns out to be.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
Starring: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Writers: Andrew Jay Cohen, Evan Goldberg, Brendan O'Brien, Seth Rogen, Nicholas Stoller

Release Date: May 20
The original Neighbors was a nice little surprise from last year - it was pretty funny despite its attempts at turning into a dumb college/party movie. What saved the movie was some clever writing and a script that knew when to pull back on the dirty jokes when a more dramatic moment was needed. I'm not saying Neighbors was the greatest comedy, but it was fun and the characters are what made the movie great. Good comedy sequels are tough to come by, I can only think of a handful throughout film history where the second movie was either just as good or better (Ghostbusters II, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, errr that's it?). And while I'm anxious to see a trailer, throwing a bunch more people into the mix (look it's a Sorority now! Women empowerment?!?) might not make for a better movie. But everyone's back from the original, so we'll see.

The Nice Guys
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger
Director: Shane Black
Writers: Anthony Bagarozzi, Shane Black

Release Date: May 20
In direct competition with Neighbors 2 comes a mystery thriller from Shane Black, the director responsible for Iron Man 3 and more importantly, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. If the movie is half as good as the latter film, this should be a fun movie. Hopefully theirs a little bit of that dark humor and Gosling and Crowe could be fun matchup much like RDJ and Val Kilmer. The premise of the movie is that in the 70s, an aging private detective partners up with young rookie cop to investigate the apparent suicide of a fading porn star. Strong premise, great cast and a solid director should make this a sure-fire hit, but I'll reserve more judgement until I see a trailer.

Runner-Ups 1 & 2 | 50-46 | 45-41 | 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1

No comments: