Cory posted his top ten most anticipated of the year yesterday, and here are mine:
10) First Man (10/12)
If you know me, you know I love astronaut stories. Apollo 13 stands as one of the best films from the ’90s and I raved about last year’s Eugene Cernan documentary The Last Man on the Moon. So when they announced that this biopic would be directed by Damien Chazelle, fresh off the success of La La Land, I was already sold. Throw in his new muse Ryan Gosling as the titular moon lander Neil Armstrong and I’m there on opening night. This could be dry, as many historical dramas are, but I’m a sucker for this stuff. Besides, Corey Stoll as Buzz Aldrin could steal the show.
9) Tag (6/15)
Last July, Jeremy Renner broke his arms during a stunt shooting a new film. It must have been something involving the Avengers, no? Well, guess again – it was this strange comedy from newcomer director Jeff Tomsic and featuring an all-star cast including Rashida Jones, Isla Fisher, Ed Helms, Hannibel Burress, Jake Johnson, Leslie Bibb and Jon Hamm. If you’re excited about the impending Game Night, I’m pretty sure this has the same tone. All that’s known so far of the plot is that a group of old classmate friends get together once a year for a massive game of tag that continually escalates, so much so that this edition has them traveling cross-country in a mad, mad, mad, mad rush to win. This could be a lot of fun, though I tend to have a bad nose for comedy, so we’ll see.
8) The New Mutants (4/13)
You liked your X-Men existential? Logan twisted the superhero group’s storyline into a strange coda by featuring an Alzheimer’s-ridden Professor X and a Wolverine on his last legs. As we evolve with the crew into their next phase (which in November will include a new version of Dark Phoenix) we first take a step inside a mental asylum for the ‘horror’ X-Men movie. Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) lays his deft young-adult helming hands on this iteration of mutants by forming a great cast including Anya Taylor-Joy (Split), Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things) and Alice Braga (City of God). I don’t want to delve in to the plot too much, for fear of spoiling anything for myself, but I was there because of the impressive trailer above.
7) Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (6/22)
Yes, this is in here despite the strange direction the franchise seems to be going in. I could write a whole piece on what I had once expected from the Jurassic Park storyline, and we could go in to why all of this is still worth it because of B-movie qualities in later films that hold up to Michael Crichton standards, even if they were so far surpassed by the first blockbuster film that anything subsequent couldn’t hold a candle. I digress, and I’d rather talk about this actual film. Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) are back to save Isla Nublar’s inhabitants from an imminent volcano, remeniscent of the mission in 1997’s The Lost World heading off to protect Isla Sorna’s creatures. I think the above trailer is only the beginning and we’ll be seeing dinosaurs sent out into our world in new and exciting ways, as Colin Treverrow has mentioned in the past. He’s not back this time, as A Monster Calls director JA Bayona will be putting his own mark on the series. Whatever happens, life will find a way, and I will find a way to be there.
6) Ant-Man and the Wasp (7/6)
I’m still disappointed that Edgar Wright didn’t get to inject his own style into the Marvel universe in the same way James Gunn has with Guardians of the Galaxy. I am glad that Peyton Reed turned out have a successful film on his hands, even if it’s a bit slighter than other recent Marvel entries. Paul Rudd is definitive as the diminuitive defender, and he’ll return this year with an addition to his title – Evageline Lilly’s Wasp. I’m excited to see her in action, as she was dull in The Hobbit films to no fault of her own, and the writers of Lost had no clue how to make her interesting after her fascinating first flashback. Reports place Michelle Pfeiffer in as Michael Douglas’ counterpart, and I’m sure they can build even further on the first film like Guardians did this year with its sequel. Plus this will be my birthday movie!
5) Isle of Dogs (3/23)
Wes Anderson has to know he’s an even better animator than filmmaker. His quirky art direction stylings fit better in a diorama shoebox than a film, although I love his whole oeuvre, even when it borders on parody in Moonrise Kingdom. This year he returns to the Fantastic Mr. Fox well, crafting his first original stop-motion piece – about a dystopian Japanese island inhabited by canines quarantined due to a mysterious flu. A boy arrives on their isolated atoll searching for his missing best friend and our heroes – voiced by Anderson’s usual suspects like Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel and Jeff Goldblum – assist him in his venture. Expect adorable antics to ensue.
4) Thoroughbreds (3/9)
We all miss Anton Yelchin, who was tragically killed by his own vehicle in June 2016. Lucky for us, he had five posthumous releases, including his final Star Trek appearance as Pavel Chekov a week after his death. This film, coming just two months from now, looks to be the most interesting – Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch) and Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel) star as two girls who plot to kill the former’s stepfather, played with grim bewilderment by Paul Sparks (Boardwalk Empire). The odd editing and cinematography in the trailer remind one of plenty of oddball murder mysteries, and they even namedrop the American Psycho meets Heathers tone. You can be rest assured that worked on me, but I’m expecting the perormances to shine here.
3) The Happytime Murders (8/17)
Cory has endured in his hope over the past decade that this would finally see the light of day – and it just seems like 2018 might be the year it finally comes to fruition. Bill Barretta and Brian Henson bring us this gruesome noir tale – part Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, part Death to Smoochy – where a puppet (Barretta) detective must track down a serial killer who’s stalking the members of an famous 80s television show called The Happytime Gang. Along for the ride are former flame Elizabeth Banks and ex-partner on the force Melissa McCarthy. As Cory’s excitement bolstered me over the years, it’s peaking for both of us just as it’s finally getting released.
2) A Quiet Place (4/6)
The less known about this, the better. Here’s what we do know: It stars husband and wife Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, who also directed and wrote the film. Along with some children, they seem to be living in some sort of post-apocalyptic world similar to It Comes at Night. Within that world, it appears that there are some sort of creatures that will hunt them down and kill them if it hears any sort of sound. All this peaceful silence goes awry one bad night. As far as I’m concerned, I was sold before you could whisper the film’s title.
1) Black Panther (2/16)
To say this is my most anticipated film of the year is an understatement. It may be my most anticipated film of the decade. You see, when I was a child, I went out to the store with a family member who told me I could pick out a new toy – any action figure in the aisle we were in. Several Marvel characters populated the shelves, with Spider-Man and X-Men having popular animated programs at that point. The one that caught my eye was the Black Panther, and from there grew a steady interest in his character getting a chance to shine. The fact that his prominence brings to light a major film character more of our society can relate to than usual is alos a huge deal to me, so this is going to be a treat if the film pulls off a quality production this late in the game through Marvel’s process. We already know Chadwick Boseman is stellar as the titular T’Challa, and he’s joined by Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya, Danai Gurira and Michael B. Jordan. If you’re not excited to see the African king in action, then you’re going to get your mind blown.
That’s it! In past years, we’ve gotten into a bit of trouble, assuming stuff like Kong: Skull Island would be quality…so here’s to a great cinematic year instead!