So Long Summer of 2017. Hello Fall.
2017’s summer movie season has drawn to a close and both Hollywood and the box office couldn’t wish it a fonder farewell. Aside from a few bright spots, the summer of 2017 was a box office dud. Even a few of my ten most anticipated flicks fell flat (looking at you Dark Tower) but the summer is history and we have a busy fall ahead.
Hollywood looks like it’s going to do a lot more business this year than it did in the the fall of 2016 and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t more excited than I was this time last year. But while there will be plenty of new cinematic morsels to enjoy, these ten are the ones I’m looking forward to the most.
10. Blade Runner 2049 (Oct. 6th): Talk about having your fingers crossed. I’m fully aware that I may have to visit the burn unit after seeing Blade Runner because, let’s be honest, Hollywood has a horrible track record revisiting classics. But I’m banking (praying) on two things preventing Blade Runner from joining Hollywood’s growing club of nostalgia bombs. First, I’m hoping Warner Bros. realizes Blade Runner is sacred territory and handles the material appropriately. Second, I have faith that Ridley Scott (who is the Executive Producer) and Harrison Ford’s presence are good signs. While Scott did little for Alien Covenant, I’m hoping Ford only returned because of the script. After all, would he have returned if this movie threatened to tarnish one of the brightest spots of his career? And I’m not going to lie, I’m kind if interested to see how Jared Leto follows up his ill-fated turn as the Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad (you know, the performance we heard about for years but only got to see for five minutes).
9. Lego Ninjago (Sept. 22nd): I initially didn’t have much of an appetite for this movie (even after enjoying last February’s Lego Batman). But after seeing the trailer where the city is under siege by a real life cat chasing a laser dot, well I have to see A) how the plot explains that little nugget and B) does the cat go completely Biblical? And when you take a step back, how can you not want to see an animated movie about a handful of ninja super-heroes using martial arts, magic and some really cool looking weapons and vehicles to defend their city from an evil army? If that was the plot of the next Star Wars movie people would be lined up around the block.
8. The Snowman (Oct. 20th): So you may have guessed I’m a little bit of a horror fan. Not slasher flicks or torture porn mind you (mindless slasher flicks are perhaps the dumbest movies Hollywood has ever spit out), but genuine, fear inspiring, spine chilling scarefests. I’ll take a smart supernatural story or a psychological thriller over the latest Saw or Eli Roth movie any day of the week and twice on Sunday. And despite a few recent missteps by both, I’m also a fan of Micheal Fassbender and Elizabeth Ferguson. It’s almost like Hollywood took some of my favourite things, threw them in a blender, hit puree and The Snowman came out the other side. And if it’s only half as good as the trailers look, it will be worth the price of admission.
7. Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (Dec. 22nd): Ever since the world learned of this movie’s existence, people have been hating on it with a rabid passion. When Sony dropped the first trailer a few months ago, the entire Internet exploded with venomous hate. While I plan on going in with an open mind (for the record, I think making the Jumanji game a 90’s era video game system was a nice touch), I’m really going to see Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. I loved their 2016 action comedy Central Intelligence and I’ll be hoping they can recreate the on-screen chemistry that made it such a fun watch. Throw in Jack Black as the Jumanji avatar of a stuck up, teenage valley girl and the laughs almost write themselves.
6. Coco (Nov. 22nd): I have to admit, I didn’t expect Coco to make an appearance so high on this list. Yet the more I see the more I fall in love with Pixar’s next release. It’s colourful, vibrant and looks like it has just enough of Pixar’s trademark humour/pathos balance. I’m usually a big fan of Pixar’s stuff, but was a little underwhelmed by last June’s Cars 3 (and judging by that film’s very meh box office returns, I wasn’t the only one). I’m hoping that Coco, taking place in the afterlife on Dia de Muertos, will sate my appetite for all things Pixar until next summer’s Incredibles 2 (which I may already be drooling over). Initially I was a little nervous about how this movie would be received in some places south of the border (let’s be honest, neither Joe Arpaio nor the Fox News crowd will be lining up to to see an animated movie celebrating Mexican culture), so Disney will open Coco with a new Christmas themed Frozen mini starring Olaf (and let’s be honest, he was everyone’s favourite Frozen character). Frozen and Pixar during American Thanksgiving? Not even white nationalists can stand up to that one-two punch.
5. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Sept. 22nd): If this movie is anywhere near as fun as the last one was, this will be a good time. And so far, it looks like The Golden Circle captures the same irreverent spirit and duplicates the hyper-kinetic action that made the first Kingsman such a hit. Not only can I not wait to see what kind of crazy fights scenes and stunts the sequel pulls off, but also what kind of toys the Kingsman’s new braintrust comes up with and what their American counterparts the Statesman look like. Putting Jeff bridges in charge of that particular operation and having an operative wield a laser lasso look like pretty good starts. And while I’m also curious how they manage to resurrect Colin Firth’s character and what kind of menace Julianne Moore brings as the film’s big bad, I really want to see how they top the church scene from the original Kingsman. Judging by the headlines lately, I can think of a few groups I’d like to see in their crosshairs.
4. Justice League (Nov. 17th): To be honest, I’m more curious about Justice League than I am anticipating it. How Warner Bros. handles the DCEU after the critical and box office success of Wonder Woman may determine the long term success of this franchise. I’m also curious to see how the massive reshoots they did affects the final product. Will they give Princess Diana more face time based on her success? Will Joss Whedon (who handled the extensive reshoots after Zack Snyder had to step away because of family tragedy) be able to lighten the ominous tone? While Thor fills me with questions on how it will move Marvel’s block busting cinematic universe forward, Justice League has me wondering if the DCEU will survive.
3. Thor Ragnarok (Nov. 7th): While I’m not a big Thor fan, I’ve enjoyed the movies (yes, even Dark World) and really like what I’ve seen of the third and final stand alone film. Everything from the visual effects and world building to the promised rematch with the Hulk to how awesome Cate Blanchet looks as arch-villainess Hela makes Ragnarok look like pure, fun spectacle. And let’s be honest, that’s how Marvel and Disney have made their super hero billions. How will this tale set up next spring’s Avengers: Infinity Wars? What will Dr. Strange’s cameo look like? Does Loki bite the bullet? Will Blanchett break Marvel’s streak of mediocre villains? Something tells me I’m going to have a blast answering those questions.
2. IT (Sept. 8th): You can see my (admittedly jumbled thoughts) on IT here, but while I still have some reservations, this adaptation of one of my favourite books wasn’t anywhere near the disaster I was afraid it was going to be. Not only is IT perhaps my favourite book of all time (though long time King readers will know which scene left a bad taste in my mouth), it was also the first time I was completely absorbed by both the characters and world the book created. IT is one of the few books that genuinely scared me was the first book that actually made me jump (at two in the morning with nothing but a tired bedside lamp on in a farm house-you get the idea). I was nervous going in, but IT turned out to be decent enough.
1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Dec. 15th): Are you really shocked? I’ve never made a secret of my fan crush on Star Wars and the current films haven’t let me down. And until they do, new tales in the Galactic saga will always have me drooling all over myself. Star Wars has been in the news a lot lately, mostly for some very regrettable reasons. But so was Rogue One and that film delivered. And in just two years, Star Wars has become synonymous with Christmas movie going fun (Disney recently pushed episode nine-originally scheduled for May of 2019-back to that December of that year). I’ll be hoping that we see a more original tale than 2015’s The Force Awakens (which was really just A New Hope in some fresher, shinier clothes) and a darker, more menacing Kylo Ren (especially after his murderous betrayal in Awakens) but I’ll be in the Rebellion’s corner until it gives me a reason not to be.