Maybe I'm being too optimistic here, but I really felt like 2015's The Visit was a step in the right direction for down and out director M. Night Shyamalan and I'm really hoping that Split which features the always wonderful James McAvoy will be a true return to form for the filmmaker. I can't help it, I loved his first four movies so much that I'm always hoping for redemption for this guy to recapture the magic that made his first films wonderful. Early reviews seem positive, but you never know...so PLEASE BE GOOD!
9. THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
2014's The Lego Movie was one of the biggest surprises of the year for me when it came out. I was stunned that I thought it was so much fun and so downright enjoyable. One of the scene stealers of the film was absolutely Will Arnett's version of Batman. Giving his own movie might be a little risky in that he could wear out his welcome...but giving him a Michael Cera Robin makes me kind of happy. I hope this is as delightful as the last Lego movie!
Almost every year I pick some movie that no one has ever heard of because it has some sort of (500) Days of Summer connection, and this year Gifted is that film! Poor Marc Webb got the Spider-man films taken away from him, and the only upside for me is getting to see him direct original content again with hopefully MUCH LESS studio interference. Marc Webb has such a great emotional touch and can elevate any material, and here he's got a great cast to work with. I honestly can't wait to see what he does with this film.
I'm not totally cool with the track record of solo Wolverine films, but this one does look pretty good. Plus, I'm always happy to see Hugh Jackman play this character...and this time it looks like it's going to be different and fresh.
6. ALIEN: COVENANT
Note: The trailer below is a red-band trailer!
5. WONDER WOMAN
Wonder Woman happened to be one of my favorite parts of Batman v Superman, and as such I'm pretty excited to see her solo adventure. It will be great to see a powerful heroine lead a film and I hope it's great and successful. I'm excited and hope Gal Gadot can carry the film. Adding Chris Pine is never a bad thing.
4. JUSTICE LEAGUE
Please be good. Pleaaaaase be good. Now, I'm not one of those BvS haters, in fact...quite the contrary. I'm an apologist who very much looks forward to seeing where the journey goes next. But it would be nice if it didn't get crucified by reviews again.
3. WAR OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
2. STAR WARS EPISODE VIII
Had The Force Awakens not disappointed me so much, there's no doubt this movie would have taken the #1 spot (and still, almost did...) The stakes are incredibly high for me on this one, as this might be the film that makes or breaks my love for what the Disney-owned Lucasfilm is doing to my beloved franchise. I know I've basically said on each entry that I want these films to be good, but I REALLY want to love this one. With Rian Johnson at the wheel this time I feel more confident, but am still trying to keep my expectations in check.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: The Mummy - This reboot starring Tom Cruise intrigues me...it could go either way, I just hope it's fun to watch, Kingsman: The Golden Circle - Kingsman was one of my favorite movies of 2015, I'm wary of a sequel but with most of the same players involved I think it could be just as fun (hopefully!!), Blade Runner 2049 - Denis Villenuve directing a sequel to a sci-fi classic...after his tremendous work in Arrival, you can definitely count me in, Beauty and the Beast - I fear that there will be little originality in this remake which I think is a huge mistake, but I'm excited to see it nonetheless, A Cure For Wellness - The trailer for this is sooooo creepy and good. It looks like Shutter Island meets The Ring; be still my horror loving heart, Kong: Skull Island - like the Mummy reboot, this remake of Kong looks like it could go either way, but will hopefully be entertaining, The Autopsy of Jane Doe - One reviewer claimed this was one of the scariest movies he'd ever seen so....naturally I'm dying to see it, Life - in a year where an Alien sequel is coming out, it's unfortunate Life has to compete with that. But the trailer looked pretty cool! It - everyone's favorite childhood nightmare is being remade too. We'll see how it goes! Coco - An original Pixar film. I much prefer those to the endless sequels.
And that's a wrap! But don't worry, you'll be hearing a lot from me the next month. I've got all my 2016 recaps to do as well as all the Sundance posts that are coming your way. So stay tuned!!!