2016's Most Anticipated Runner-Ups Part 2: Potential

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

There's just too many movies to cram into a top 50
Sometimes studios make bad choices. I'm talking about titles of movies. Like this year's Spy, what a funny film but why in the hell did they choose such a terrible, generic name? If it had a more endearing title, you know it would be remember more fondly. Oh well, studios play it safe way too much, so what can we do?

Starring: Stephan James, Jason Sudeikis, William Hurt, Jeremy Irons
Director: Stephen Hopkins
Writers: Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse
Release Date: February 19
Usually the best biopics are the ones that are focused on a singular even that encapsulates that larger-than-life figure - Capote, The King's Speech, etc. So Race looks like a contender to be a good look into the legend of Jesse Owens and his faceoff with the Nazis at the Olympics. The film looks like it's in capable hands with a veteran director, but the trailer leaves me wondering if the film is looking to play off the whole world-beating angle, rather than delve into a character study of how Owens dealt with everything thrown at him. So I'm a little weary the story/setting might overtake the characters written here. Plus the title is so awful and the release date makes it seem like the studio has conceded it's not worthy of an Oscar push (or any push really), so I'm hesitant to get too excited about this film. Still, kicking Nazi butt is always worth a look.

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley
Director: Oliver Stone
Writers: Kieran Fitzgerald, Oliver Stone
Release Date: May 13
God, can you feel the heavy-handedness in this trailer? We don't even get any footage, but already this teaser is setting us up for what will more than likely be an over-dramatic tale of whistleblowing/treason depending on who you ask. Oliver Stone is hit or miss - he's written and directed some amazing movies - Born on the 4th of July, Platoon, Natural Born Killers. But he's also made some really awful movies, like World Trade Center and his latest - Savages, which was such mess it's hard to tell what the hell is going on half the time. The other problem I have about a movie like this is that it feels like it's too soon to make a rational film about this subject. Snowden is still hiding abroad in Russia and we haven't even come close to doing anything about our privacy concerns in the United States. So color me a little skeptical about how this all plays out. If anything, this should be an interesting movie for about half the time and if Stone returns to form, this could be pretty great.

Triple 9
Starring: Casey Affleck, Teresa Palmer, Woody Harrelson, Kate Winslet
Director: John Hillcoat
Writer: Matt Cook
Release Date: February 26
Here's my quote from last year's take on the movie:
A group of corrupt police officer are blackmailed into killing a rookie cop so they can set off 999, "officer down" in order to orchestrate a heist. This sounds fantastic - I like the idea of crooked cops getting their comeuppance but also being anti-heroes. However, it's still one of those cop dramas that could end up being really dull and boring. Remember Broken City with Mark Wahlberg? What a mess that movie was! So hopefully John Hillcoat (The Proposition, The Road) can make this a thrilling heist film. His last movie, Lawless, was pretty boring even though it had all the right ingredients (cast, true story plot, heavy drinking). And this movie doesn't have the benefit of having Tom Hardy. This is the main reason why I can't put it in my top ten - it just seems like this could end up being a messy, slow moving affair.
The trailer kind of confirms my suspicions from last year and the fact that it got bumped back 6 months doesn't bode well. Still, it could be an interesting movie if it's properly paced and shot. Otherwise, it could get messy.

The Witch
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie
Director: Robert Eggers
Writer: Robert Eggers

Release Date: February 26
This film won over audiences last year at the film festivals and it look extremely, deeply disturbing. This might be what people were hoping for with M. Night Shymalan's The Village (even if I found the movie to be pretty good). It looks visually fantastic and I don't know if I can muster up the courage to actually see this in the theaters, but it would definitely be a movie I could sit down on my couch an watch in the daytime, with the blinds up.

Zoolander 2
Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson
Director: Ben Stiller
Writers: Justin Theroux, Ben Stiller, Nicholas Stoller, John Hamburg
Release Date: February 12
I don't know about this. It feels like last year's Dumb and Dumber To. Comedy sequels are hard. Comedy sequels to beloved classics are pretty much non-existent. The aforementioned Dumb and Dumber sequel, Anchorman 2, Blues Brothers 2000, etc. It's like no one realizes that what made those movies great is that they were anomalies - they just happened to hit the zeitgeist at the right time and became cult classics. Most of the time the sequels try too hard to reference jokes from the first movie instead of trying to mine new territory. So I'm a bit skeptical with this one but the trailer has piqued my curiosity enough to put it on my list.

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

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