We're on to the top 10 finally! Just to recap - there were only 20 sequels/remakes/reboots on my list this year (that includes my 10 runner-ups). So roughly 1/3 of my movies are of that variety. That's not to say there won't be more like that - it's just I'm not particularly excited for Alice Through the Looking Glass or God's Not Dead 2. So of course this list is way biased but I have a dumb blog on the internet and I have decent writing skills that everyone should hear my opinion. I do try put as much original movies as I can in the top 10. I think it's fair to get excited about sequels and sometimes they're great - but usually those movies don't end up in my top 10 list at the end of the year.
Starring: George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum
Director: Joel and Ethan Coen
Writers: Joel and Ethan Coen
Release Date: February 5
The Coen brothers have been laying low for a while now. Their last movie, Inside Llewyn Davis, from 2013, got a modest release and nice reviews, but it didn't set the awards shows on fire like their previous films have. But it seems like they're getting back to doing a more straight-up comedy here akin to O Brother Where Art Thou? and Burn After Reading. This time, they're tackling old-school Hollywood and I'm super stoked to see what hijinks they can conjure up. I really don't care too much about movies that involve making movies like The Artist - gawd what a pretentious piece of work that was. But I'll give the benefit of the doubt to the Coen brothers. The cast looks stellar - it's nothing but A-list stars and the only thing I'm hesitant about is how many characters can they shove in this movie? But the Coen brothers are adept at large ensembles and frantic, quick, witty dialogue so I'm not too worried. I think this might end up being a lot like Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel - where everyone's got their moment to shine and it moves gloriously. I'm surprised this isn't getting a better release date - February isn't exactly Oscar season, but maybe the studio knows this won't play well with the awards crowd because it is a broad comedy? I don't know, but I do know this should be highly entertaining with all the talent involved.
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg
Director: Justin Lin
Writers: Simon Pegg, Doug Jung, Robert Orci, John D. Payne, Patrick McKay
Release Date: July 22
Wow, who knew that a Star Trek movie could court such controversy? First, the production has had some drama - Robert Orci, the writer of the previous two Star Treks, was set to direct, but was kicked out of the director's chair for who knows what reason. Simon Pegg and Doug Jung were brought in to re-write the script:
Pegg had been asked to make this new film "more inclusive", stating that the solution was to "make a western or a thriller or a heist movie, then populate that with Star Trek characters so it's more inclusive to an audience that might be a little bit reticent." Orci, Payne and McKay are given official "written by" credit alongside Pegg and Jung, although Pegg clarified that neither he nor Jung had read the existing script before crafting their own for the film.I'm probably one of the few who really enjoyed Into Darkness and was pretty pumped for the new trailer. A LOT of Star Trek fans were upset over the new trailer - they feel it's going to be Fast and Furious in space and not stay true to the spirit of exploration from the other movies/shows. I understand the complaints, but how can you make a broad science fiction action adventure film that has the same tone and vibe of the original movies or tv shows? It just wouldn't work today and frankly, the movies need to find an audience beyond (pun not intended, but enjoyed!) just the Trekkies. Plus a two-minute trailer focused on generating excitement for the widest possible audience doesn't mean the movie will not live up to the spirit of Star Trek. I think Simon Pegg will make sure that the script is worthy of a Star Trek film and I think the Fast and Furious director Justin Lin will bring a healthy dose of action and fun into the film. I'm super excited about this film because the franchise now doesn't have to live in the shadow of Khan and that legacy. It can be something new and refreshing and I hope they just make a fun adventure movie that doesn't have the 'epic' feeling of a lot of these summer blockbusters. You know, like the whole human race will die if the Star Trek crew doesn't save the day.
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Jesse Eisenberg
Director: Zack Snyder
Writers: Christ Terrio, David S. Goyer
Release Date: March 25
Every new trailer they pop out into the internet for this mega-blockbuster, I kind of lose interest a little bit. Don't get me wrong - there's a reason it's number 8 on my list. But I'm getting a little bit worried this might just be one hot mess. I enjoyed Man of Steel a lot and thought Zack Snyder was a good fit for the reboot. I'm pretty much the only one who's enjoyed all of his movies, yes including Sucker Punch. Snyder is back and whether or not this is a direct sequel to Man of Steel is still up for debate. Although there are images from Man of Steel in almost all the trailers that recall that movie, And I think Affleck and Eisenberg were brilliant choices for Batman and Lex Luthor. It's just that the film, from what I gather in the trailers, feels like it's poking you in the ribs, like "HEY! See these two iconic characters? They're in a movie. TOGETHER. And they're FIGHTING EACH OTHER! How cool is that?" Maybe that's just the trailer, but if the movie kind of has that same vibe where the whole it is just building to an epic fight, then I will be disappointed. I think the best part about these kinds of movies - where you're anticipating a showdown or climax - is the buildup and if it's not carefully executed and there aren't enough reasons to enjoy the characters, then it's a failure. I certainly hope Snyder can pull this off because DC comics needs this to work in order for their master plan of a Justice League franchise is kaput. I think if you would've asked me two years ago or longer, this would have been number one by far on my list. But times have changed and Marvel is the king of good superhero movies and I think this is DC's chance to prove themselves.
Starring: Will Forte, Luis Guzmán, Keegan-Michael Key
Director: Peter Atencio
Writers: Jordan Peele, Alex Rubens
Release Date: April 22
Key and Peele are one of the more clever and funnier comediens out there and after they finished up their Comedy Central show, they decide to make a movie. It sounds pretty amazing:
More specifically, EW says that Keanu tells the story of two "blerds" ("black nerds") who impersonate gangsters in order to infiltrate a drug cartel, which - for reasons unknown - is in possession of their stolen cat, Keanu. So it's probably safe to assume that that's Keanu in the photo above, then, and not some evil kitten who's taken two blerds hostage.
This entire movie was basically the most expensive adorable-kitten video of all time...Overall it’s meant to satirize how pop culture paints masculinity and what it means to be African-American — and how many of us don’t fit into the mold expected of us.Yes, I'm excited. There doesn't seem to be a lot of comedies coming out next year (granted, this year was full of a lot of fun comedies), so I'm even more excited about what Key & Peele can bring to the big screen.
Starring: Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Will Smith
Director: David Ayer
Writer: David Ayer
Release Date: August 5
Probably the more promising DC comics movie, Suicide Squad just seems to be taking a bigger risk and making sure creativity wins out over playing it safe. I mean, David Ayer, the writer of Training Day and the director behind some truly gritty films like End of Watch and Fury, is behind the camera and I think his unique vision and gritty demeanor are a perfect fit for the story of a bunch of villains donning the hero mask. And the cast looks fantastic, I think Jared Leto will leave his own mark on the iconic Joker and Margot Robbie looks to be the standout among the whole cast. It just looks sadistic and perfect. I think calling this a superhero movie is disingenuous, this is something altogether unique and hopefully the movie hits the right notes. Judging by the trailer, this movie should be a perfect end to the summer.