As I mentioned in my last post when I was writing my list for my most anticipated films of 2016, I found myself more discouraged than not over the offerings of the year. The year's first major release out today is The Forest, which is already being torn apart by critics. I went in expecting to scoff at it the whole time and to find that it'd be a good candidate for 2016's worst list, but then... it actually surprised me in that I didn't *hate* it. In fact, it was just a couple tweaks away (ie: polish up that dialogue, lose some of the early jump scares, and minimize the use of CGI) from being kinda solid! So maybe I can't judge a book by its cover... but these are the films I can't help but judge. Oh and a special thanks to Amelia for helping me brainstorm some of these plots!
Gut Reaction: Oh great another Nicholas Sparks movie, when will they stop making these?
Prediction: Two 20-somethings meet in a sleepy beach town and within a few weeks fall madly in love. Two "choices" will be made in this film, the first will be the heroine Gabby choosing Travis over her abusive, alcoholic boyfriend. We'll all *think* that was the titular choice, but thennnnn Gabby will get in a car accident and go into a coma. Travis must then make a choice on whether or not to pull the plug, or believe in her (after some old person tells him to never stop believing.)
How it could surprise me: Well I already know from the trailer it won't deviate too much from the standard formula...but maybe if there was no death or manipulative twist? Maybe if it actually had a good script and acting? Maybe if there was actually something to the relationship that made you root for it? Likelihood of surprise: 20%
GODS OF EGYPT & WARCRAFT
Gut reaction: The trailer for both of these CGI slog fests played back to back, and they both look like pretty much the same awful movie.
Plot prediction: See Clash of the Titans for CGI mythology movie tropes both movies are likely to steal.
How it could surprise me: If somehow either of these movies had solid characters, humor and suspense. Likelihood of surprise: 10%
MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2 & BRIDGET JONES'S BABY
Gut reaction: Of all the things to make sequels to, WHYYYY romantic comedies? And WHY My Big Fat Greek Wedding and ANOTHER Bridget Jones? Ugggh!
Plot prediction: The family of MBFGW will come together to save prom for the daughter of Nia and Ian. There will also be wedding shenanigans of some kind for some other family member. The film will end in a reference to the daughter getting married or engaged, to set up a third film. Bridget Jones, on the other hand, will play out like a prequel to Mamma Mia--where due to a misunderstanding, she and Mark Darcy will break up and she'll sleep around. Then she won't have any idea WHO the father of her baby is.
How it could surprise me: My Big Fat Greek Wedding to many is a very pleasant rom-com, however, there really is barely any conflict and the whole thing is pointless. I'm not even sure how a sequel could build on that or be good in any way... but uhhh if I had to say SOMETHING... I guess maybe the daughter would be super likable and make the movie her own. If she is likable and the family plays second fiddle to her problems? Mayyyybe. Bridget Jones already went through an unnecessary sequel that ruined the central relationship... so to do it again? The only way it could surprise me is if they let Bridget be happy and continued strengthening her relationship with Mark. But that would make for a pretty boring movie wouldn't it? Likelihood of surprise: 5%
Plot prediction: Of course all of the storylines will intersect in *some* way, but here are some of the possible plot threads that could appear in Mother's Day. An adopted daughter seeks to find her real mother, a woman with mother issues hires a fake fiancee to spend Mother's Day with her overbearing mother, a young woman deals with an unwanted pregnancy and contemplates motherhood, a daughter visiting a mother in a nursing home contemplating life without her mother, an aunt inherits the children of her dead sister (Raising Helen 2.0,) someone coping with the loss of their dead mother, someone dealing with their stepmother... the list goes on and on really.
How it could surprise me: If somehow this is more Love Actually than New Year's Eve. Multiple storyline movies can work, but often seem kind of lazy. If a lot of heart is injected into each storyline then mayyyyybe it has a chance. Likelihood of surprise: 40%
Ps Hollywood: For more dumb holiday themed movies check out my post HERE.
Ps Hollywood: For more dumb holiday themed movies check out my post HERE.
Plot prediction: The stuffy business man will learn to appreciate life from behind the eyes of his cat. He'll find time for cuddling his wife (since cats are often sleepy little creatures) and playing around with his kids. Misadventures he'll find himself in are: having a craving for mice, and being chased by the neighbor's dog. The real question is, where did the soul of his cat go, and where is his body? Is this a Freaky Friday situation? Will the cat find himself meowing during business meetings and jumping on people's laptops? That part I am less certain of.
How it could surprise me: The film is directed by Barry Sonnenfield of Men In Black fame. If the film doesn't take itself too seriously and ups the quirk factor... *maybe* it could be fun. Likelihood of surprise: 50%
THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE
Gut reaction: A movie just has to be made about everything these days doesn't it? Anything that has a modicum of success on some other platform can easily find itself as a pitch for a movie.
Plot prediction: The group of birds must learn how to channel their anger in a healthy way in order to use it to defeat their pig headed enemies. They will fly in slingshots to destroy stuff.
How it could surprise me: Well I wasn't exactly looking forward to The Lego Movie either when I heard about that one... If it can somehow take the strengths of that movie (being creative and smart enough for the parents to enjoy too) maybe it could be decent. Likelihood of surprise: 40%
NOW YOU SEE ME 2
Gut reaction: Yes even the most mediocre of crowd pleasers will get a sequel nowadays.
Plot prediction: Another dumb magical heist with twists, THIS TIME WITH DANIEL RADCLIFFE WHO PLAYED HARRY POTTER OMG!! There will be many jokes that allude to the fact that he played with magic in another series. Expect lines like "You're a wizard!" and "You must be the chosen one"
How it could surprise me: Maybe Daniel Radcliffe will be charming and self-deprecating. Maybe its crowd-pleasingness will somehow extend to me this time. Likelihood of surprise: 35%
Gut reaction: From the title alone, "Wait, what? No. Surely they can't be serious..." The description on IMDb? "An animated movie about one sausage's quest to discover the truth about his existence."
Plot prediction: I see this going one of two ways, either this is a full-on R-rated comedy, incredibly crude adult swim style.. or it's one that tries to appeal to all and just has a lot of double entendres thrown in.
How it could surprise me: It could genuinely be funny. After all, it features quite the cast! Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd, James Franco, Salma Hayek, Bill Hader, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Edward Norton and more! Likelihood of surprise: 55%
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN & BEN-HUR
Gut reaction: Nooooo! Those are classics! Why does everything have to be remade? And that's not even mentioning the Jumanji remake later this year too!
Plot prediction: Erhm... a modern updating of Ben-Hur and The Magnificent Seven without the charm.
How it could surprise me: By doing something that doesn't make it feel unnecessary or pointless. Bringing something new to the story that is worthwhile. Likelihood of surprise: 20%
OUIJA 2 & THE STRANGERS 2
Plot prediction: The exact same plot of the first movie, this time with less famous people.
How it could surprise me: For Ouija, make it more about the game this time and how creepy it is. For The Strangers.... surprise us. Do something different. Likelihood of surprise: 5%
What do you guys think?? Does 2016 look awesome or what??? I'm glad Hollywood is making use of some of the finest and most creative minds out there to bring us this slate of films. Or am I being too harsh? You decide.