A new year is upon us once more. Before I finish up my lists from 2015, I feel that it's only right for my first post of 2016 to be about what the future has in store for us cinema-wise. I have to be honest, when I was looking up the movies slated to come out this year, I think I frowned more often than smiled and coming up with ten was honestly a chore! I had a few picks that could have possibly passed for my #10 spot. A live action Tarzan or Jungle Book? They don't look bad from their trailers but are they really among the ten most anticipated for me? Not really. For awhile my list included in the #10 spot the female-driven reboot of Ghostbusters...but while I certainly have an interest in how the movie has turned out, I'm not exactly excited it's being made. Next I almost gave it to Tim Burton's next film, and while I loved Big Eyes, he seems to more often than not lately make his work derivative lately and the description of Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiars sounds like more of the same. So trust me, this list wasn't easy to come up with...and might inspire a first ever "movies I'm dreading this year" so here's hoping that these ten make the ride worthwhile at least.
10. La La Land
Like I said, I scraped around to find this pick, but hear me out. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have always been the best part of any movie they're in. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie tends to be really mediocre. However, I think the third time will be the charm, and here's why: director Damien Chazelle of Whiplash fame is at the directors helm. Whiplash was one of the greatest movies of 2014, and as a result, Chazelle's sophomore effort is gonna be a must see just to find out what else he's got up his sleeve. The fact that this is a comedy/musical seems like a gamble, but it kind of makes it only more intriguing to me.
9. The BFG
Ten years ago or so, my friends and I organized a small book club. One of my favorite discoveries was diving into Roald Dahl's imaginative children's adventure The BFG. It seems like a long time indeed since Steven Spielberg has tackled childlike wonder (correct me if I'm wrong, but the only thing that comes to mind in his filmography is ET,) and as much as I loved Bridge of Spies, it will be nice to see something light from him again. There's so much potential with the story, I'm confident this can be very good.
8. Everybody Wants Some
You had me at Richard Linklater. Really, that is the reason this film is on the list. Richard Linklater is on an incredible roll. From Boyhood, the Before films and Bernie everything this man seems to touch lately turns into gold. As I loved the exploration of the teenage years from junior high and high school in Boyhood, I'd love to see what insights he has about college with Everybody Wants Some.
7. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Time to see if JK Rowling's world of wizard and witches has any magic left in it. Truth be told, my status as a Harry Potter fan has been ever so slightly fading with each and every interview Rowling gives to try and position herself back in the limelight. This movie might make or break my own fandom with the series.
6. The Conjuring 2:
The Enfield Poltergeist
I already know one great horror film is coming out this year with The Witch (which I saw at Sundance last year,) but I really hope that The Conjuring 2 delivers as well. While I'm in the minority that thought Annabelle was decent, The Conjuring 2 needs desperately to live up to its predecessor and cannot settle for "decent." Horror sequels are almost never a good idea (The Ring 2 anyone?) but with James Wan on board and the fact that there is likely a wealth of inspired true stories they can tell under this label, fills me with hope.
5. Suicide Squad
Suicide Squad could be really great, but it could also be really terrible. DC's fate hangs in the wings with this and some other movie that comes out this year. A film devoted only to baddies will definitely be interesting to see, but I wonder if it could backfire as well. With no heroes to cling to (beyond rumored cameos,) how will audiences react? If for no other reason, I'm interested to see how Jared Leto follows up Heath Ledger's legendary role as the joker and tries to make it his own.
4. Star Trek Beyond
Weirdly enough, I have a real soft spot for the Star Trek reboots. Never before was I a Star Trek fan, but once Abrams Star Warsed them, I really dug it. Now that he jumped ship, I am a little trepidatious, but still hope that Fast and the Furious director Justin Lin can seamlessly take control of the Enterprise. While people didn't respond very positively to the trailer, I still have hopes that this will be one of the franchises I enjoy returning to most in 2016.
3. X-men: Apocalypse
Like the Star Trek reboot, the X-men reboot (that later tied to all the other movies), is also one of my favorite franchises out there right now. Days of Future Past was one of the funnest blockbusters of 2014, and with the edition of Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse it can only get better right? Can't wait to see where Bryan Singer takes this franchise next.
2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
After my disappointment with The Force Awakens, Rogue One has a lot to live up to. But it also has a lot going in its favor that frees itself of expectations. The characters here are all new, and presumably not linked to anyone else in the existing franchise. There's so much freedom here that the movie can really be anything it wants to be. Plus it takes place right before the original trilogy began, which makes for the possibility of some pretty sweet characters making some cameos. The other thing that makes me really excited about this film is hearing that it's trying to be something different than we're accustomed to with Star Wars, yet remaining in that world. From all accounts I've heard, this is a War film that takes place within the Star Wars universe. I really hope it delivers.
1. Batman vs. Superman
Everything for DC hinges on this movie. Luckily for them, with three of the most iconic superheroes ever all in a movie together, they're bound to make a profit. But whether or not the movie will be good is another question altogether. I've been very nervous about this movie from the moment it was announced, but seeing these characters interact together on the big screen is just too exciting of a prospect not to have this movie be my #1 pick. Yes I did not think Man of Steel was perfect, and yes I worry about Zac Snyder's propensity for style over substance... but I'm putting all those fears aside because I can't help but look forward to this movie more than any other this year.
So that's all folks! Obviously, I missed some that others may be feverishly looking forward to (Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange, no doubt) but this list is meant to reflect my own taste only, and not the general public's. If there are any others you'd like to discuss in the comments, feel free!