Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Movies of 2017: The Good, the Bad, and the Maybe

We've come to the end of another year. 2016 ended in a bit of a mean way as we had George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds added to the long list of beloved people taken away from us. 2016 also had a lot of big blockbusters disappoint. Some have called it one of the worst years for film that we've had in a long time. I disagree. If all you ever watch is the big blockbusters, then yeah sure. You probably walked out of the theater disappointed more often than you were entertained. But there were so many medium to low budget films that came out that blew me away. Many of which weren't even on my radar at the beginning of the year. And we also had big movies like "Deadpool," "Captain America: Civil War," "Doctor Strange," "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" that did pay off. So let's not get too carried in calling it the worst year ever. I'll get more into that in my end of year lists in few weeks, but before I get to that, the new year has begun and thus it's time to quickly look forward to what we have in store for us in 2017! There's a lot of movies on the schedule and thus this is not an all-encompassing list. These are just a few of the highlights of what we have to look forward to as well as what there is to dread. So let's begin!


The Founder - January 20
This was supposed to be one of the major Oscar contenders from last year that was going to get Michael Keaton his Oscar win. Then it kinda got lost in mix and ended up postponing from August to December and now to January. That lack of confidence is a little concerning, but I'm still excited to see Michael Keaton star in the movie about the founding of McDonald's. I was excited to see this in August and I was really upset when it got postponed for five months. 

Split - January 20
M. Night Shyamalan went from promising young director to everyone's favorite punchline over the course of his career after following some phenomenal movies with a long string of laughable duds. In 2015 he got back on track with "The Visit," which was a respectably decent thriller. Now he looks to go two in a row here with a movie about two girls trapped with a psychopath that has 24 distinct personalities. This has already had a few early screenings. Word from those screenings are that it's good.

John Wick: Chapter Two - February 10
I'm kinda on the cautiously optimistic side of the fence with this. I absolutely loved "John Wick." It was one of the major surprises from 2014. However, these last few months saw "Jason Bourne" underwhelm me a bit and "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" be flat out awful. But when push comes to shove, I watch this trailer and can still say I'm excited, so it barely made the good list as opposed to the maybe list. Let's hope this lives up to the first movie! 

The LEGO Batman Movie - February 10
"The LEGO Movie" was such a joy in 2014 and Batman was easily one of the best parts of that movie. So I'm ecstatic that this version of Batman is getting his own movie. It could be a situation where a side character proves to be better as a side dish as opposed to a main course, but based on early footage I think this is a movie that's going to be spending its entire run time poking fun at the long history of Batman and I can't wait to see that unfold.

Logan - March 1
It's the Wolverine movie that fans have been asking for for years. Here we have a gruff character with huge metal claws in his hands. Yet for some reason whenever he stabs people in the X-Men movies, no one ever bleeds. Strange. Well, that's because studios didn't think they could make big-budget R-rated superhero movies, so some characters, like Wolverine, got watered down to a PG-13 version of their character. Then "Deadpool" happened last year and suddenly studios realized they could make these movies. So now we finally get a Wolverine movie that does the character justice. And they're going for the "Old Man Logan" story arc. And it's Hugh Jackman's last time as the character. Yeah, this should be great!

The Wall - March 10
No, not "The Great Wall" movie that comes out in February. Just "The Wall." Funny how these two movies are coming out within a month of each other, but we'll get to "The Great Wall" in a bit. "The Wall" looks like an insanely intense war thriller with a showdown between an American sharp shooter and an Iraqi sniper. This is directed by Doug Liman ("The Bourne Identity," "The Edge of Tomorrow") and stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson hot of a phenomenal performance in "Nocturnal Animals."  

Beauty and the Beast - March 17
I revealed last year that my all-time favorite movie from Walt Disney Animation Studios is "Beauty and the Beast." I loved it as a child and when I watched it as an adult, it took on a whole new meaning for me. Watching it turns me into an emotional wreck for many different reasons. When the initial announcement of a live-action adaptation from Disney came out, I was intrigued and cautiously optimistic. I got chills from both the teaser and the full-length trailer. I hope that's indicative of the movie itself because if so, we're in for a real treat from Disney.

The Zookeeper's Wife - March 31
"Starring Jessica Chastain" is usually enough to get me into a theater. Add in zoos, animals and saving people from Nazis and it looks like we've got a winner. Directed by Niki Caro, director of "McFarland, USA," a criminally underrated movie from early last year. Daniel Bruhl co-starring is a nice cherry on top. 

The Fate of the Furious - April 14
If I hear any complaints about an eighth movie in the Fast and Furious franchise, I will immediately know that you skipped the last three movies and possibly have not seen any of them. This franchise successfully transitioned from a guilty pleasure franchise with the first four films into an absolutely phenomenal franchise with the last three. "Furious 7" made $1.5 billion worldwide, good enough for the sixth highest grossing movie ever on the worldwide charts. "The Fate of the Furious," a fantastically awesome punny title, looks like it has raised the stakes even more. They've even added Charlize Theron, Kurt Russell, Helen Mirren and Scott Eastwood to the cast. 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - May 5
I stated in my review of "Guardians of the Galaxy" that I think the sequel has potential to be a much better movie. And I loved "Guardians of the Galaxy." Just not quite as much as some as it didn't quite make my top five when I ranked Phase I and II of the MCU. I think it was plagued ever so slightly by origin-story-itis, as I call it. With the origin story of this crew out of the way, they can go bigger, better and funnier without having to focus on setting up this specific universe. And based on early footage, it looks like that's exactly what they've done!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - May 26
This might be my one controversial pick on this list. Although I fully realize that this has the huge chance of failure, I remain stubbornly excited about this franchise. Why? Because after a disappointing second movie and a horrific third movie, most people in the United States decided to skip the fourth one. Big mistake. While not as good as the first movie, the fourth Pirates movie was pretty good. Thus I have reason to believe that the fifth one will be good, too. So go watch the fourth movie and actually go see the fifth movie before you decide that this franchise is a lost cause that should just end.

Spider-Man: Homecoming - July 7
I liked the Amazing Spider-Man movies. I know that puts me in the minority, but I did. While Toby Maguire made a better Peter Parker, Andrew Garfield made for a better Spider-Man. And ain't no way in heck that I'd come close to agreeing that "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" was a worse movie than "Spider-Man 3." Thus I was the first to be upset and skeptic that we were rebooting Spider-Man for a third time. But holy cow did Tom Holland steal the show in "Captain America: Civil War" and holy cow was that trailer for "Spider-Man: Homecoming" dang good. Marvel has the Spider-Man rights back and it looks like they might deliver the best movie yet.

War for the Planet of the Apes - July 14
In the midst of a lot of awful sequels and remakes of our generation, this new Planet of the Apes franchise is one that has quietly done everything right. Or maybe not so quietly as I think most people would agree that "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" are phenomenal movies. If "War for the Planet of the Apes" lives up to those two, which trailers make me believe it will, this could go down in history as one of the best trilogies ever made.

Dunkirk - July 21
Christopher Nolan is back this year and this time he is doing a war movie. His previous outing, "Interstellar," pulled off a rather impressive feat. Not only did it manage to bitterly split fans, into either loving or hating the film, but I would argue that almost everyone on earth had a different opinion of the movie. I was more on the disappointed side. I thought the first two-thirds of the movie was great, but the last third was a disaster. And the movie has only soured on me over time. But hey, Nolan's other films are still so great that I can forgive one misstep and still be excited for a new Nolan film. I'm especially excited to see what he does with a war film. 

Blade Runner 2049 - October 6
I'm going to be honest, I'm not as heavily invested in the Blade Runner lore as most. Before this movie comes out, I'm going to be looking to change that. But I remain excited for this. Not only do we have an impressive cast led by Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, but this is directed by a man who can do no wrong right now. Denis Villeneuve, the director of "Prisoners," "Sicario" and "Arrival." I'll be excited for anything this man does until he proves me otherwise. Which has so far not been the case.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle - October 6
Man, what a pleasant surprise Kingsman: The Secret Service was. I went in not expecting much, but I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish. Definitely one of the funnest movies of 2014. I'm stoked for this sequel. I hope they can repeat what the first one started!

Untitled Cloverfield Movie - October 27
I'm almost kinda bummed that we know about this movie this early. Last year when I was writing this preview, know one even knew "10 Cloverfield Lane" existed. And that movie came out in March. They managed to make a movie without anyone not attached to the project knowing about it. That's impressive. But now we know about this one nearly a year in advance. Oh well. I loved "Cloverfield" and I loved "10 Cloverfield Lane." Whatever they plan on doing this with movie, I'm on board!

Thor: Ragnarok - November 3
A third Thor movie wasn't exactly the Marvel movie I was hoping for after the near disaster that was "Thor: The Dark World." Had it not been for Loki's phenomenal arc in that movie, that would've been the first bad movie in the MCU. A year ago, I remained neutral about this third movie because of that. In Marvel we trust, but a third Thor movie? Well, the more information that comes out about Ragnarok, the more excited I get. They have a lot of new characters played by fantastic actors that gets me excited. And the have Mark Ruffalo on board as The Hulk. And they might have a little bit of Planet Hulk mixed in. Looks like yet another win for Marvel.

Coco - November 22 
Pixar has two movies this year. We'll get to "Cars 3" a bit later, but first we tackle "Coco." Where Pixar is best is when they are pumping out new, original movies. And that's what "Coco" is. An original Pixar movie. That alone is worth being excited for. But when you learn that this is a movie about the Day of the Dead. Aka Dia de los Muertos. In other words, this looks like an animated movie that will do the holiday, unlike that 2014 disappointment that was "The Book of Life."

Star Wars: Episode VIII - December 15
Need I even say anything here? The saga continues! We will all get to see what happens next to Finn, Rey, Poe, Kylo Ren and company. Is Luke the father of Rey like we all expect? What is the true identity of Supreme Leader Snoke? Will we get more of Captain Phasma and Poe after both characters surprised the writers by being more popular among fans than the writers initially expected? What roles will new cast members Benecio Del Toro and Laura Dern play? What will we learn about why Luke decided to go in hiding? So many questions need to be answered, but that's the beauty of it all! Keep us guessing! Keep us wanting more! Just make sure actual reveals make sense when we get them. Most importantly, what is this movie going to be titled and when is a trailer going to come out?

Downsizing - December 22 
Oscar season will always bring a whole bunch of surprises that none of us saw coming. That's one reason why I love this season so much. While I did anticipate "La La Land" at this point last year, I had no idea about movies such as "Manchester by the Sea," "Loving," "Nocturnal Animals," "Lion," "Jackie" and more. While I'm sure 2018 will bring plenty of surprises like this, "Downsizing" will represent this genre on this list. This movie is directed by Alexander Payne, who directed "Nebraska," a movie that got six Oscar nominations and was one of my favorite movies from 2013. "Downsizing" stars Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Christoph Waltz, Jason Sudeikis, Alec Baldwin and Margo Martindale and is a social satire about a guy who decides life will be better if he shrinks himself.


Monster Trucks - January 13
The beginning of the year always brings us a lot of stinkers as January and February are partially seen as a dumping ground for films. Studios want to save their bigger projects for summer season, holiday season or Oscar season and thus often the movies they are less excited about get thrown into months that are less common for movie goers. Like this movie. I mean, I know this is supposed to be a kid's film, but man does this look cringe-worthy.

Rings - February 3
Another huge red flag for me are new horror sequels or reboots from franchises that should've died a long time ago. But because it's dirt cheap to make a horror film, horror franchises often overstay their welcome. Plenty of examples on this list. First up is the Rings franchise being brought back. Not only is this an attempted horror reboot, but this was scheduled for October, Halloween season, but chickened out because of "Ouija: Origin of Evil" was on the schedule and rescheduled for February. That shows an extreme lack of confidence here.

Fifty Shades Darker - February 10
Ain't no way in heck that I am seeing this movie. But it's still worth putting on this list. I actually watched "Fifty Shades of Grey" for the first 30-45 minutes or so on my computer at home just to see how awful the story and acting are before it becomes an all-out porn film. Because, yeah, that much time passes in the movie before has any sex or nude scenes. And yes, the story and characters ARE really that bad. One can only hope that this sequel flops, but there are enough sick weirdos (middle-aged ladies are the majority of the audience in this case, strangely) that this will probably be another huge success. Shame. 

The Great Wall - February 17
And here is where this movie belongs. As I mentioned, "The Wall," released in March, looks great. "The Great Wall," released in February, does not look great. After last year was a wickedly awful year for giant blockbusters, I am lowering my expectations for many of these going into 2017 and I hope a few actually surprise me. But I'm calling flop here on "The Great Wall." In the U.S., anyways. This could be big in China. This is a big-budget action movie about the Great Wall of China that looks like it could be laughably bad.

Get Out - February 24
When I watched the trailer for this movie, my jaw was dropped. And not for good reasons. This looks like one of the worst horror movies ever made. Then you get the line, "from the mind of Jordan Peele." Yes, that Jordan Peele. I have no idea where his mind was when he thought up this movie, but I think he should get back to comedies and not do horror movies.

Rock Dog - February 24
We've had an annoying tradition in the beginning of the year the last few years to have a wretchedly awful, independently released animated movie. Last year we had "Norm of the North." Two years ago we had "Strange Magic." This year it looks like we get "Rock Dog." I watch the trailers for this movie and I get the vibe that those under the age of three might be entertained by this movie. But no one else. Not only does the animation itself look bad, but the movie itself just looks ridiculous. The last weekend of February might be a scary weekend.

The Belko Experiment - March 17
Here's a movie I've seen come up in a facebook meme that I've been tagged in a couple of times that says something to the effect of "This looks like the most insane movie of 2017." No. It actually doesn't. A computer voice comes on that tells an office that they need to start killing each other or else an even higher percentage of them will end up dead. The movie is directed by the guy who brought us "Wolf Creek," "Rogue" and "The Darkness," a trio of really bad, gratuitously violent horror films. If you need your fix of mindless, over the top gore with no substance or story, then give this a shot, I guess. 

Power Rangers - March 24
You know, if we get a "Power Rangers" movie that brings back the magic of "Power Rangers," then I might be happy. Cheesy, dumb, yet awesome. And a series that knows what it is and who the audience is. I don't think that's what this movie will be, though. It looks way too serious and way too stupid with none of the fun or campiness that every 8-year-old boy loves. I can't help thinking "Transformers" here. I hope they prove me wrong.

The Boss Baby - March 31
Remember that movie from back in the day called "Baby Geniuses"? Or the sequel that is No. 3 on IMDb's list of lowest rated movies? Did DreamWorks really think it was a good idea to do an animated version of that? I mean, DreamWorks is doing bad enough. Don't they want intelligent ideas to get them back on track? Granted, the second trailer looked slightly better than the first, but this just looks stupid. DreamWorks has had a habit of having awful trailers for good movies, but that doesn't mean this doesn't belong here.

Smurfs: The Lost Village - April 7
Speaking of bad animated movies, is there anyone living on planet earth that wanted another Smurfs movie? Like, I doubt even little kids are excited for this movie after how bad the first movie is. Need I say more?

Snatched - May 12
I was tempted to put a whole bunch of these awful raunchy comedies on this list, but I decided to instead put this one to represent them because while watching the trailer it just looked like whoever wrote the script was drunk the whole time because this looks ridiculous. Plus it stars Amy Schumer, a woman who thinks she is a whole heck of a lot funnier than she actually is. Kinda like that young kid at a scout camp that's always laughing at all his own jokes even though none of his jokes are actually funny.

Baywatch - May 26
Why are we rebooting "Baywatch"? Like, who woke up and thought that this was a good idea? I mean, this was a show for teenage boys to turn on and look at all the hot lifeguards. That's, like, the only point of the show. Sorry to those who are actual "Baywatch" fans. But even if you are going to reboot "Baywatch," can you really replace David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson? I mean, everyone loves Dwayne Johnson, but Zac Efron?

Cars 3 - June 16
I considered putting this in the maybe section after that teaser, but I decided it's still guilty till proven innocent with this franchise. "Cars" wasn't bad at all. It's a decent Pixar movie. But "Cars 2" was a mess. Why are we getting a "Cars 3"? Yes, that teaser was intriguing, but it's only a teaser. If you think about it, there's not going to be anything special about this movie. Lightning McQueen is going to lose a race and crash, get fixed up, be humbled and learn a good lesson, then finish the movie with a final race where he either wins or loses while winning a valuable lesson. Meanwhile Pixar will include as many different new vehicles as the can in order to sell more toys. Because the real reason for this existing. It's the only reason why the second one existed. Toy sales.

Transformers: The Last Knight - June 23
Here in the U.S., we are finally souring on this franchise. The fourth made a lot less money here than the first three. But that doesn't matter. The fourth was the Chinese's favorite movie as it made way more money over there than it did here and thus hit over $1 billion worldwide. That's why we have the fifth, sixth and seventh movies scheduled for 2017, 2018 and 2019. That means we're getting Transformers movies until we die, doesn't it? Oh joy. And if you thought this trailer looked good, go watch the other trailers. They all made their movies look good. But they were still crap. So don't believe the boy who cries wolf this time.

Amityville: The Awakening - June 30
I actually included this movie in my list of bad movies last year. But it got postponed for 14 months. That alone is not a good sign. Bringing back the Amityville Horror franchise is bad enough. A postponed Amityville Horror reboot, or whatever this is, is even worse.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets - July 21
I love Cara Delevingne. She is such a classy actress and model. But what in the heck is this? After being the worst part of "Suicide Squad," her follow-up is a movie that reminded me of "Jupiter Ascending" when I watched the trailer? Is she trying to become a laughing stalk? I read the plot for this movie and watched the trailer, and I still have no idea what's going on. And the CGI in the movie looks horrendous.

The Emoji Movie - August 4
This. You thought "The Angry Birds Movie" movie was a bad idea. You know Hollywood has gone to a new low when emojis get their own movie. What's next? The facebook messenger movie? The text message movie? Like seriously. This is getting ridiculous.

Anabelle 2 - August 11
I'm not even really a big fan of "The Conjuring" movies. They try too hard to persuade us that the supernatural occurrences that they are telling actually happened when it was obviously bogus. But even those who love these two movies hated that "Anabelle" prequel. So why are we getting "Anabelle 2"? Oh yeah. "Anabelle" made money. And that's all we care about sometimes in Hollywood. Especially when it comes to horror movies. Screw the public. Who cares about them. Just find a way to take their money.

My Little Pony - October 6
I almost feel bad for including this one on the list. I'm sure 5-year-old girls are ecstatic that we're getting a "My Little Pony" movie. But can't we just make it a straight to DVD movie? I was looking through the schedule and this one just made me laugh out loud. I mean, we're getting "The Emoji Movie" and "My Little Pony" in the same year. It would've been even funnier if the live-action Barbie movie hadn't just been rescheduled to 2018. Oh well, that gives me more things to make fun of next year.

Friday the 13th - October 13
Speaking of horror franchises that they just need to let go of. This will be the 13th movie in the franchise! Oh my goodness, that's kinda creepy. The 13th movie in the "Friday the 13th" franchise. And it's getting released on Friday the 13th. In October. Oddly enough, this is actually the first movie in the franchise to be released on Friday, October 13. But still. Despite the coincidence, a 13th movie in a horror franchise should never be a thing. Is Jason even a scary character anymore? 

Insidious: Chapter 4 - October 20
Don't look now, but the Insidious franchise is probably looking to keep pace with the Friday the 13th franchise. I don't care if the Insidious movies are the most hated horror movies. Are we really excited for a fourth one?

Untitled Saw Movie - October 27
I told you there's a lot of these. And just when you thought we were done with "Saw" movies. In case you missed it, we had seven saw movies in seven years from 2004-2010. Take a seven year break and bring it back. Another seven year run perhaps? Let's hope not. And with "Friday the 13th," "Insidious: Chapter 4" and an untitled "Saw" movie in consecutive weeks, I'm predicting that one of them chickens out and switches dates. If not, they are all going to self-destruct each other. Which I would not be opposed to.

Jumanji - December 22
Another movie I included on last year. But it got postponed from this past Christmas to this upcoming summer to next Christmas. I was half tempted to move this up to the maybe category with the announcement of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black being cast in the movie. Johnson and Hart were hilarious together in "Central Intelligence." Adding Jack Black is even more of a win. But I'm not falling for it. This is still a "Jumaji" reboot. Or sequel. Or something. Either way, that's blasphemous. And it's from the director of "Bad Teacher" and "Sex Tape." Ouch. Who hired him?

Pitch Perfect 3 - December 22
I hated "Pitch Perfect" so much that the friend I was watching it with on DVD saw how much pain I was in and turned it off before it finished. And I had no desire to ever go finish it. And I avoided "Pitch Perfect 2" like plague. Ain't no way you're going to convince we to watch one more second of this absolute piece of garbage franchise. I'd almost be more willing to go finish "Fifty Shades of Grey." That's how much I hate this. I'm not watching this movie. You can't make me. But I'm still stubbornly putting this up here just like I am the "Fifty Shades of Grey" sequels.


xXx: The Return of Xander Cage - January 20
I was so tempted to put this on the good list. It made me smile like a little school boy when I saw this trailer. I didn't watch "xXx" in theaters. But my brother owned the DVD of it and the sequel. And for the heck of it, I put them in one day and watched them. And "xXx" was really dumb. But for some reason it made me smile like the original "The Fast and the Furious." Both movies actually came out around the same time. 2001 for "The Fast and the Furious" and 2002 for "xXx." Both movies starred Vin Diesl. Then in 2005, they did a xXx sequel with Ice Cube instead of Vin Diesl. Worst. Decision. Ever. Ever since they've been promising a third movie with Vin Diesl back. It took them 12 years, but they finally did it. And I'm a lot more excited than I probably should be.

A Dog's Purpose - January 27
I can't decide if this is a really dumb idea or a really brilliant idea. It's a movie from the perspective of a dog. And narrated by said dog. And apparently that dog keeps getting reincarnated, but always remembers his previous lives. One day he gets reincarnated into the new dog of his former owner. But like, many years later when that owner is much older. This could be really touching. Or not. It is a January release after all. 

Gold - January 27
This was going to be released in late December and was trying to be the next "The Wolf of Wall Street" or "The Big Short." But for one reason or another, it lost all its Oscar buzz and moved to January. Bad sign? 

The Space Between Us - February 3
I was close to putting this on the bad list. And maybe I should've. Boy who grew up on Mars comes to live on Earth for the first time. They shoved this trailer at the beginning of like every movie this past fall, then chickened out from their December release date and moved to February. It looked kinda dumb and predictable. And I don't think it's making any money. But I don't know. Maybe it might be decent?

Same Kind of Different as Me - February 3
This trailer looks super good. Based on a true story that was turned into a book and now a movie of a wife who dreams that they need befriend a crazy homeless man who then shows up shortly after and a husband who needs to put his prejudices aside and also become friends with this homeless man. Starring Renee Zellweger, Greg Kinnear and Djimon Hounsou. Could be a nice little inspirational film.

Kong: Skull Island - March 10
I was actually on the side of people who enjoyed the 2014 "Godzilla" movie. And now the same team has rebooted King Kong. There will be a "Godzilla 2" in 2019 followed by "Godzilla vs. Kong" in 2020. Sounds fun, right? And I hope it is. The first trailer for this movie was super good. But the second trailer didn't get me. It felt like they were trying to include too much forced humor in order to not be too serious of a movie. The tone of the trailer felt very conflicting and messy. I hope the movie isn't the same way because I want "Godzilla vs. Kong" to be epic.

Life - March 24
I saw the trailer for this movie for the first time and was blown away. Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Fergusen and more in a crazy space adventure where they find life on Mars. But I don't know, I just got done being slapped in the face by "Passengers," so I suppose I'm tempering my expectations here.

Ghost in the Shell - March 31
If I were to judge this movie based on the trailers and the trailers only, I would say this looks like a very intriguing sci-fi movie. And Scarlett Johansson is my favorite actress. But it would be foolish of me to ignore the elephant in the room. This movie has received a whole lot of controversy for casting a Scarlett Jo, a white American woman, in a role that should be played by a Japanese woman. I'm not one to be super politically correct, but could we really not find a Japanese girl to play the role? The other thing is that I still have nightmares of "Transcendence." Sometimes intriguing sci-fi movies turn into disasters.

The Circle - April 28
Speaking of the devil, that last point on "Ghost in the Shell" also applies here. "The Circle" looks like a very intriguing sci-fi film and even stars John Boyega, Emma Watson and Tom Hanks. But they chose a late April release date for this. The weekend before "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" comes out. If EuroCorp was confident that they had a good movie on their hands, why April 28? That's almost the same weekend that the aforementioned "Transcendence" came out. And speaking of EuroCorp, the last four movies they distributed were  "The Transporter Refueled," "Nine Lives," "Shut In" and "Miss Sloane." Ouch.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword - May 12
Much like "The Great Wall" and "Kong: Skull Island," I'm tempering my expectations on big blockbusters that I think could easily have flop potential. Did anyone really ask for another King Arthur movie? And how many people are going to go see this with "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," "Alien: Covenant" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" all in the same month? That's not even counting our busy June and July. Last year also taught us that when you have too many blockbusters crowded into one month, some of them get left behind. I could see no one caring about this. I just didn't put it in bad because it doesn't look completely awful.

Alien: Covenant - May 19
Oh hey. Speaking of "Alien: Covenant." I do have a lot more confidence in this movie than "King Arthur," which will be released the previous weekend. Plus with an R rating here, this has the potential to attract a slightly different crowd than our other blockbusters in May. I think all Alien fans want this to be good, but "Prometheus" did split people and that also was directed by Ridley Scott, director of the original "Alien," so I don't think this is a guaranteed home run.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul - May 19
I'm not one that has ever gotten into the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books or movies. But I know a lot of people have. So throwing this in the maybe category seemed appropriate. Maybe you'll be excited for this movie.

Captain Underpants - June 2
This also made me chuckle when I heard of it. DreamWorks second movie of the year. The "Captain Underpants" books were my favorite in fourth grade. The guide to what your name would be was great! I still remember that my Elementary School's name would be the Cheeseball Wafflebutts. And the name of Pippy Pee-pee Poopypants is still funny. The type of innocent-ish toilet humor that 10-year-old boys find hilarious. Not so sure this was the best idea to bring to the big screen, though.

Wonder Woman - June 2
I actually liked "Suicide Squad" more than most people. I thought some people were way too harsh just because it was another sub-par DC movie and it's easy to hate on them right now. But I will admit that it wasn't as good as it could've been. So until DC officially gets themselves out of this slump, their movies belong in the maybe category, not the good category. Wonder Woman was definitely the best part of "Batman v. Superman," so I'm rooting for this movie. I want it to be DC's first true win. It does give off "Captain America: The First Avenger" vibes, though, which isn't the best Marvel movie if I'm being honest.

The Mummy - June 9
The negative consequences to the MCU being such a major success is now everyone wants to have their own cinematic, shared universes. Universal has decided that they are going forward with a planned shared universe of all the classic Universal monster movies. These plans include, but are not limited to, the Mummy, Count Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, Wolf Man, Gill-Man, The Invisible Man and Bride of Frankenstein. They have a whole bunch of release dates scheduled out for this universe, but "The Mummy" is the only one with a specific release date. So a lot is riding on this movie succeeding. Let's hope it does because this could be fun.

Despicable Me 3 - June 30
I don't really know why I'm putting this is the maybe category. I loved "Despicable Me" and enjoyed "Despicable Me 2." But I'm not really jumping for joy when I think about "Despicable Me 3" and while the trailer looked fun, it also didn't give off the "must-see" vibe here. I do think it's interesting that there were almost no minions in the trailer. The focus was all on Gru and this new villain. As if they're self aware that they pissed off many people with that "Minions" movie. 

The Dark Tower - July 28
This highly anticipated Stephen King adaptation has been stuck in developmental hell for a long time now and will finally get to see the light of day this summer. I think discussions have been in place for like 10 years. We do get quite a bit of Stephen King movie adaptations and not all of them are home runs. I'm rooting for this one, but I can't say I know a ton about "The Dark Tower," so this goes in the maybe section.

Untitled Live Action Disney Fairy-Tale - July 28?
Well this is embarrassing. Here is me including a movie without a title and without a solid release date. Disney has announced a whole host of more live action reboots following the major success of "The Jungle Book" last year. They have a slot scheduled for one this year, but they haven't revealed which one it is. Box Office Mojo currently states July. Wikipedia claims December. Maybe we don't get it at all this year. But if we do, which one will it be? It's not "A Wrinkle in Time," "Mulan" or "Mary Poppins Returns." Those are all next year. Announced without a release date are "Cruella," "Dumbo," "Prince Charming," "The Sword in the Stone," "Tink," "Maleficent 2," "Pinocchio," "The Little Mermaid," "Night on Bald Mountain," "Christopher Robin," "Genies," "Rose Red," "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "The Jungle Book 2," "The Lion King," "Aladdin," "Peter Pan" and "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms." Yup. All those are happening eventually. Which one do we get this year?

It - September 8
Speaking of Stephen King movies, "It" may be one of his most classic stories as that early 90's TV mini-series with Tim Curry as Pennywise made a lot of people permanently hate clowns. And for good reason. Now Bill Skarsgard gets to take on the iconic character with Andres Muschietti set to direct. Could be a hit. But why in the heck did they select the year's worst weekend for the box office to release this movie? Why not put this around Halloween and make the other dumb horror movies move elsewhere?

Granite Mountain - September 22
Movies based on recent national news stories are a really big thing right now. Peter Berg has made a whole bunch of them. This movie is not Peter Berg, though. It's Joseph Kosinski, director of "Tron: Legacy" and "Oblivion." This is the true story of the 2013 wildfire in Prescott, Arizona that took the lives of 19 crew members. While Peter Berg does a great job with these movies, I don't necessarily think is a trend that needs to continue. We all remember these stories on the news. Why does every major news story need to be a movie?

Ninjago - September 22
I loved "The LEGO Movie." I'm really excited for "The LEGO Batman Movie" and eventually "The LEGO Movie 2." Out of all the things they could've done, I will admit that I'm not so sure if Ninjago really needed to be the next big thing from the LEGO universe to be made. But we'll see if it holds up.

The Snowman - October 13
A horror/thriller about an evil snowman haunting people seems like a genius idea. Although that's not what this is. This is a movie based on the seventh book in the Harry Hole series, of which I know close to nothing about. I just know it's a crime drama series and that's right down my alley. This movie stars Michael Fassbender as Harry Hole and co-stars Rebecca Fergusen. The investigation follows a missing woman whose scarf shows up on an ominous looking snowman. Now let's just hope they don't screw this up like they did the Jack Reacher series a few months ago.

Justice League - November 17 
Again, DC goes on the maybe list until they prove otherwise. A Zack Snyder directed DCEU movie especially belongs here as the man still hasn't proved to me that he knows how to direct a movie. I want "Justice League" to be as epic as "The Avengers." I really do. The initial comic con trailer was super promising, hopefully showing DC has listened to the fans and are working on giving us a "Justice League" movie that we've been asking for. But they need to prove themselves first.

Murder on the Orient Express - November 22
Another murder mystery movie. If the movie gods shine on me, this could be a fun couple of months for me. This one follows a murder of a wealthy American travelling on the Orient Express, the most famous train in the world. It is based on an Agatha Christie novel, is directed by Kenneth Branagh and stars Daisy Ridley, Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer. Let's just hope it doesn't follow in the footsteps of our most recent train-centered murder mystery, "The Girl on the Train." That would be sad.

Ferdinand - December 22
This is probably the movie I'll be seeing on Christmas Eve with nieces and nephews unless something else presents itself. This is an animated movie from Blue Sky, the studio that has done all those "Ice Age" movies as well as "The Peanuts Movie." Blue Sky does seem to be more miss than hit recently, with "The Peanuts Movie" being the major exception. So I can't get myself too excited. But this is a movie about a bull who doesn't want to do things normal bulls do. Could be fun. But it's also too far in the future to perfectly predict the outcome of this.

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