Paddington 2 - January 12
I absolutely adored "Paddington" when it came out two years ago. I proudly own the movie on DVD. So I'd be excited for this movie even if I hadn't already known the reaction to this sequel. Being that this is a primarily British property, they got first crack at it as it was released in the U.K. in early November. And they all loved it. Some have told me that this "Paddington" franchise is quickly turning into one of the best family film franchises, so I have every reason to believe that I will also love this sequel.
Untitled Cloverfield Movie - February 2
The "Cloverfield" franchise has always been shrouded in secrecy when it comes to the making of the movies. I remember not including "10 Cloverfield Lane" in my 2016 yearly preview because I didn't know the movie existed when I typed that. And neither did anyone else until the trailer dropped in January. But that was a March release. This movie is scheduled for a month from now and we've not even heard anything. No poster. No trailer. No official title (even though it's been rumored for a while that this could be "Cloverfield: God Particle"). Either they're going to have to postpone it again or they're going to have to give us SOMETHING here soon. Right? They can't just drop this is in theaters without giving us any trailers. Or could they? That would totally be a "Cloverfield" thing to do. But whenever we get it, I'm excited.
The 15:17 to Paris - February 9
The movie about those three Americans a couple of years ago who stopped a terrorist attack on a Paris train. Starring the actual three Americans as themselves. Directed by Clint Eastwood. They've got my attention.
Black Panther - February 16
"Black Panther" has the opportunity to be as culturally significant to the superhero genre as "Wonder Woman" was last year. We've had black superheroes before and we've had huge blockbusters that have included black superheroes in them. But have we had a major superhero movie dedicated to a black superhero with a predominately black cast to go along with it? Certainly not to this scale. So that's significant. Even if this wasn't a potentially culturally significant movie and we had done that before, I'd still be super excited because Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther was amazing in "Civil War" and I've been highly anticipating his solo adventure ever since. And there's a pretty dang good supporting cast that includes Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Daniel Kaluuya, Forest Whitaker, Sterling K. Brown as well as our non-black characters played by Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis.
Annihilation - February 23
They had me at "from the writer and director of Ex Machina." If you haven't seen "Ex Machina," you need to because it's mind-blowing. I'm excited to see what this guy has up his sleeve next. Even without the connection, the trailers are really intriguing.
Pacific Rim Uprising - March 23
Listen. "Pacific Rim" is a really dumb movie. But it's also an amazing movie. Perhaps the best dumb movie that's ever been made. And they intentionally did it that way. Which is why is was so great. Just by watching the trailers for "Uprising," I'm extremely excited to again embrace my inner 9-year-old by watching more giant robots fight even bigger giant monsters. I'm ready to embrace the major stupidity of this franchise once again.
Isle of Dogs - March 23
It's Wes Anderson. Enough said. He's the director of "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "The Royal Tenenbaums" and "Moonrise Kingdom." Or in this case, "Fantastic Mr. Fox" because he's gone back to animation. If you think this looks weird and goofy, well, that's kinda the point. It's Wes Anderson. I could see this a serious contender to win the best animated feature at the Oscars in 2019. And that's with "Incredibles 2" and "Wreck-It Ralph 2" in the mix. I mean, they nominated "The Grand Budapest Hotel" for best picture. And it wasn't far off from winning.
Paul, Apostle of Christ - March 28
We have a handful of Easter movies on the schedule this year and most of them are showing up in different sections, because, well, I'll get to that. This one looks like the one worth seeing as it feels like it has a similar, serious tone to "The Bible" series. Even though this is separate from those people, who also put together "Son of God," it feels like it came from them. Who this does come from is Affirm Films, who notable did "Risen," "Heaven is for Real" and "Miracles from Heaven," all of which I really enjoyed. Paul's story is also one that's great for cinema as he was a great apostle who began a persecutor of Christians, thus is a more relatable to the general public than other prophets or apostles seem to always have been super holy and righteous. Based on trailers and other promotional videos, I have confident that they are doing his story justice.
Ready Player One - March 30
All I'm looking for with this movie is a fun ride at the movies and I think I'm going to get that. Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest directors ever and even though he hasn't quite been on his game in recent years like he was in the 80's and 90's (with some major exceptions, of course), but this feels like classic Spielberg and that has me excited. I'm ready to experience a whole bunch of nostalgia vomit like I did with "Stranger Things," but I do think I'm also going to get more than that as this is based on a book that a lot of people love.
A Quiet Place - April 6
I underestimated "Get Out" on last year's list and that ended up being great, so I'm going to put my faith in John Krasinski and say that he's going to pull off a Jordan Peele by going from comedian/actor to excellent horror director. You wouldn't think that Jim from "The Office" would go from that to horror director, but it also seemed strange that one half of the Key & Peele duo would also do the same. "A Quiet Place" obviously won't have the social commentary that caused people to love "Get Out" so much, but I think this will continue our trend of solid horror films that we got from last year that included "Get Out," "It Comes at Night" and "It." At the very least this is a dang good trailer.
The New Mutants - April 16
Speaking of horror films, we're getting an X-Men horror film? When I initially saw this premise, I wanted to facepalm at the fact that we're getting yet another introduction to a group of new mutants because Fox seems more interested in interested in introducing new groups of X-Men than actually continuing their arcs. But then the trailer dropped and I was stunned. Because, yeah. This is a horror film. Thus Anya Taylor-Joy ("The Witch," "Split") and Charlie Heaton ("Stranger Things") are perfectly cast. I commend Fox for continually taking risks after "Deadpool" and "Logan" worked out beautifully. The mid-April release date here is a curious one as this doesn't look like it will be a money maker being so close to "Infinity War." But they'll get my opening weekend ticket.
Avengers: Infinity War - May 4
Speaking of "Infinity War," of course this is my most anticipated movie of 2018. This is what the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building towards ever since they dropped the Thanos tease during the credits of "The Avengers" in 2012. That's a five year build-up to one single story arc. And boy I can watch that trailer all day. I practically did when it first came out. Even if this movie ends up as another "Age of Ultron," which I don't think it will, I can at least commend them for making one of the best trailers in recent memory. What I'm most excited for is the epic scale of superhero movie that it looks like this movie has as well as the fact that I don't think this is going to end well. Remember that this was initially titled "Infinity Part 1." They smartly dropped the Part 1 and Part 2 from both films. But that now untitled fourth Avengers movie is still coming out May 2019 that I'm pretty sure will conclude this two part story. Thus I think with this movie, Thanos is going to come in and annihilate the Avengers, leaving us on a somber note that we rarely get in an MCU movie, before Adam Warlock (who was teased at the end of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2") comes in and saves the day in "Avengers 4" in 2019. Thus this could be "The Empire Strikes Back" of the Avengers movies.
Deadpool 2 - June 1
I unashamedly loved "Deadpool," which might be strange to some of you given that the raunchy comedy isn't usually my style. But it wasn't the raunchiness of "Deadpool" that I loved. It was the fourth-wall breaking humor and the absolutely hilarious portrayal of the our famous merc with the mouth by Ryan Reynolds who born to play this character and it was great that they got it right after botching the character in epically horrific fashion in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." I had some minor issues with "Deadpool" that I attribute to origin-story-itis, but now with the origin story out of the way, we have the ability to go all out in this sequel. I'm just mildly nervous that we have the director of "Atomic Blonde" on board here as he proved there that he was the lesser of the "John Wick" directors.
Incredibles 2 - June 15
The one sequel that everyone wanted from Pixar is finally here. Yes, Pixar normally does a lot better when they stick to originals, as they proved once again in 2017 when "Coco" astonished everyone soon after "Cars 3" became their second lowest grossing movie ever, ahead of only "The Good Dinosaur." But, I mean, come on. "The Incredibles" is the type of movie that leaves you wanting more, as is the case with most superhero movies. Yet it took 14 years for Pixar to FINALLY give us that second helping we've all been begging for? Yes, by the time this comes out in June it will have been that long since the original came in 2004. It's about time.
Ant-Man and the Wasp - July 6
I think I was the one person that was on board with "Ant-Man" from day one. Everyone else thought it was a stupid idea, especially when they saw the trailer. I was different. I thought it was a great idea, especially since Ant-Man was one of the founding members of the Avengers. And I thought the trailers were brilliant. People finally jumped on board with me when they went to the movie and found out that it was one of Marvel's funniest films. It was also a low-scale heist film, which was unique for Marvel. And now I hear "Ant-Man and the Wasp" might be a romcom? That's a gutsy move. But I'm excited for it. I'm guessing we'll get our first teaser during the Super Bowl or in front of "Black Panther."
Mission: Impossible 6 - July 27
Sometimes when you get to a sixth film in a franchise, you have franchise fatigue and the quality starts going down. Not here. They keeping upping their game with the M:I franchise and Tom Cruise keeps proving he's ageless as he gets crazier and crazier with these films and the stunts that he does all himself. This was proven in "Rogue Nation" when he ACTUALLY hung off the side of that airplane when it took off. Speaking of "Rogue Nation," which I think was the best film of the franchise - I don't often say that for a fifth film, Christopher McQuarrie from that movie is back on to direct M:I 6, so I have all the confidence in the world for this film. I'm also guessing that this is another Super Bowl trailer that we'll get.
Christopher Robin - August 3
I'm not sure if this will be the official title of this movie, but this seems like the most logical one. Disney has a lot of unique movies coming out this year and I'm not 100 percent confident in all of them, but this one seems like a huge winner. Ewan McGregor will be playing an adult Christopher Robin with Hayley Atwell as his wife. And this kinda sounds like "Hook" in the sense that he's grown up and lost all of his imagination. But then he meets Winnie the Pooh again who will help him rediscover the joy in life. Doesn't that just sound like a huge winner?
Goosebumps 2 - September 21
I was rather entertained by our first "Goosebumps" movie. It was a fun, nostalgic trip that brought the "Goosebumps" franchise back to the modern day. Given how many books there are, there's a lot of directions they can take this sequel. I'm excited to see which one they take. I just hope they can improve upon the CGI in the first film.
First Man - October 12
I might be biased here because I interviewed Damien Chazelle during my Deseret News internship while they were promoting "La La Land" to the world. But this guy has now made two movies in "Whiplash" and "La La Land" that I own and love that I would confidently declare as masterpieces. It's unfair to expect perfection from every movie Chazelle directs, but I have enough confidence in his abilities as a filmmaker to say that this Neil Armstrong biopic is probably going to turn out to be a good movie. He's got Ryan Gosling with him again playing Neil Armstrong with Corey Stoll as Buzz Aldrin. That's solid casting there. And we also have Claire Foy, Jon Bernthal and Jason Clarke along for the ride, too.
Mowgli - October 19
I know a lot of people are going to be confused as to why we're getting another "Jungle Book" movie when this movie starts being advertised, which makes me feel really bad for Andy Serkis because he had great ideas for a groundbreaking film in terms of motion capture and visual effects that make you excited coming from the master of motion capture himself. But then Disney stole his thunder with Jon Favreau's live-action remake of "The Jungle Book," which was both very good AND made nearly $1 billion worldwide. Yet I'm still curious as to what Andy Serkis has up his sleeve and I also think it was smart for Warner Bros. to rename this movie "Mowgli" instead of "Jungle Book" or "Jungle Book: Origins" because at least that sets itself aside when it comes to the title. As far as cast goes, we have Christian Bale as Bagheera, Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan, Andy Serkis as Baloo and Cate Blanchett as Kaa. That should get people excited, right?
Mulan - November 2
Disney is going to be doing live-action remakes of everything until they stop making money. Being that "Beauty and the Beast" made $1.2 billion worldwide in 2017 after "The Jungle Book" made $966 million in 2016, they're not going to slow down anytime soon, so we might as well brace for it and hope they do well. "Aladdin," "The Lion King" and "Dumbo" are all coming in 2019 after Disney's interesting slate in 2018. Out of all of these announcements of live action remakes of their classic animated films, "Mulan" is the one that makes the most sense because the whole point of her character was to prove that a society can break tradition and culture by giving females the empowerment they deserve. That was a powerful message back in 1998 that I think will be even more powerful 20 years later as "Mulan" stands the test of time as one of Disney's most relevant films. And it looks like Disney is planning on doing this right by casting Chinese actress Yifei Liu as Mulan. We also have Niki Caro, director of "McFarfland, USA" and "The Zookeeper's Wife," two very underrated films, on to direct.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - November 16
What I love most about the "Fantastic Beasts" movie franchise is that there's no source material for Harry Potter fans to compare it to. I think the Harry Potter movies were mostly all really good, but they were heavily criticized by many who upset that the movies didn't play out quite like they had imagined in their heads. Now all of that is off the table as there's nothing to compare this to, meaning they have the freedom to do what they wish. It's like reading the books all over again because we don't know what's coming next. The first "Fantastic Beasts" was a solid intro to this new spin-off universe and this sequel has a title that just sounds awesome. I'm excited to see Jude Law as our young Dumbledore and I have confidence in Johnny Depp as Grindelwald.
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 - November 21
Did you know that Disney's main branch of animation is fairly new to the game when it comes to sequels of their classic films? And before you freak out at me and name off the thousands of horrible sequels that they've come up with, those were all DisneyToon, their straight-to-DVD branch. The only real sequel that their main branch of animation has done (not counting "Fantasia 2000" or the 2011 "Winnie the Pooh" because those weren't really sequels) was "Rescuers Down Under," which was arguably better than the original. So breathe easy. Disney has this under control. As a fan of the old arcade-style of video games, I thought "Wreck-It Ralph" was genius. Having him run around the internet in the sequel also sounds genius. And if that isn't a good enough selling point, this movie will include every single Disney princess in it, from Snow White to Moana, with most of the original voice actresses who are alive and able to reprise their role. If that doesn't at least have you intrigued, you might be a lost cause.
Aquaman - December 21
I'm giving DC the benefit of the doubt here. With how big of a financial disappointment "Justice League" was, they are in all-out panic mode right now and I don't even think they know what the future of the DCEU looks like, which is why they really need a win for "Aquaman" like they got in 2017 with "Wonder Woman" before "Justice League" blew up in their face. But do you know what? I enjoyed "Justice League." It was a solidly entertaining movie with great character moments and fun action sequences, despite its lack of an interesting story. "Justice League" also introduced us to Jason Momoa's Aquaman and I think Momoa blew it out of the park. I'm excited to see what they have in store. And I think James Wan is a more than capable director who proved with "Furious 7" that he's more than just a horror director as he has the versatility to pull something like this off.
Bohemian Rhapsody - December 25
We don't know what Oscar season is going to look like in 2018. We get a taste with the Sundance Film Festival in January and the Cannes Film Festival in May as to what might be contenders, but it's really not until the major festival season in September and October that we get to see what the real contenders are. I had no idea last year at this time that "Three Billboards," "Lady Bird" or "The Shape of Water" were even a thing. But I'd say there's a decent chance that this Freddie Mercury biopic is a player. And if not, I'm sure that general audiences who are fans of Freddie Mercury and Queen will at least be stoked. I know I'll be one of the first in line to see this. If not on Christmas itself, then shortly thereafter. And if you don't know Rami Malek's name at this point from the acclaimed TV series "Mr. Robot," you'll know his name next Christmas as he's the one playing Mercury.
Insidious: The Last Key - January 5
I watched the first "Insidious" movie a couple of months ago for the first time. I thought it was a really entertaining comedy. The problem is that it was supposed to be a horror film, not a comedy. I have not cared to check out either of the two sequels that have an even worse critic score than that awful original. So why would I be excited about a fourth film that is in the January slot? We're going to find out awfully quick here if I'm right, but I'm predicting that this movie gets universally panned as the trailers make it look awful.
Proud Mary - January 12
Listen, I'm not opposed to a female-led action movie. I embrace that as I really enjoyed "Lucy" and I tried my hardest to enjoy "Atomic Blonde," even though the latter failed miserably. And I like Taraji P. Henson, so I would love it if I was wrong and this movie was epic. But the trailers for this movie make it look like a train wreck. And it has the January release date that gives me no confidence. There's a couple of movies in January that I have hope for, but a lot more that look like they were dumping ground candidates. You hope for the best, but when in doubt just assume a January release is going to be bad. And this coming from the director of "London Has Fallen" gives me even less confidence.
Fifty Shades Freed - February 9
There is one good thing about this movie being released. Once we officially have this out of the way, the "Fifty Shades" trilogy will be officially in the rear view mirror. I know I haven't seen the previous two movies and I'm not planning on seeing this final chapter, so maybe it sounds like I'm ignorantly bashing something I haven't seen, but it's OK to use common sense in certain areas, I think. And I did watch the first 30 minutes of the first movie online before we got to all the sex and nudity, which apparently isn't the least bit sexy, and I already had a really awful taste in my mouth with how horrible the premise, the setup, the acting and the characters all were. And I've read and watched plenty of reviews on both movies to know that those 30 minutes were plenty for me as it apparently only got worse. So let's make this franchise die and burn in Hades.
Peter Rabbit - February 9
From the animation team that brought us "Smurfs: The Lost Village," "The Emoji Movie" and "The Star" in 2017 comes a live action adaptation of something that shares the name with a popular property, but looks like Sony Animation has no idea what or who Peter Rabbit is. I don't even have a strong childhood attachment to this character, but those trailers make me want to get up and take a bathroom break every time they show up in theaters. I feel really bad for those who actually do care about this character.
Tomb Raider - March 16
I want to be excited for this movie and I love Alicia Vikander. But my first thought when I heard about this movie was why are we getting another "Tomb Raider" movie? Video game movies never work anyways and this didn't work the first time around. So why try again? But I did my due diligence and waited for the trailer. And when it came, it did absolutely nothing for me. So again, why are we getting this movie? Are we just planning on turning Alicia Vikander into eye candy like we did for Angelina Jolie? Because my girl Alicia deserves a lot better than that.
Sherlock Gnomes - March 23
The lowest form of humor when it comes to kids movies, or any movie in general, are the poop, butt and fart jokes. It'll make your three-year-old laugh and that's it. And we really should have more wholesome humor for those young kids to laugh at. Yet I watch this trailer and that's literally all this movie has in terms of humor. Endless butt and fart jokes. It makes me cringe. I already want to erase this movie from existence and it hasn't even been released yet. Which is a shame because a Sherlock Holmes movie for kids is a great idea that SHOULD be a lot of fun. This instead looks like a bit disaster.
God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness - March 30
I promise I'm not a grumpy anti-Christian. But I HATED both of these movies with a fiery passion. "God's Not Dead 2" topped my list of worst movies of 2016. Why? Because they're offensively bad. They portray every non-Christian as an evil human being that is going straight to Hell. It's the type of frustratingly horrific arrogance that will and has pushed away non-Christians. Because why in the name of everything good and holy would you want to join a religion full of arrogant idiots who are that hateful towards non-believers? As a strong Christian myself, I hide in shame when it comes to these movies while begging everyone, Christian or not, to avoid these movies like the plague because true Christians do not, I repeat, DO NOT, or at least SHOULD NOT, act the way that they do in these movies or the way that these filmmakers apparently do. These movies are an outright atrocious embarrassment to Christianity and all involved should be ashamed of themselves. That and their storytelling ability is really embarrassing. But that's beside the point.
Mary Magdalene - March 30
On the flip side of things, here's a movie on the opposite side of the spectrum that looks like it comes from a Hollywood director trying to take a Biblical story and turning it into a Hollywood drama that throws all religious elements out the window. I got a "Noah" vibe or even "The Da Vinci Code" vibe. Hollywood productions touching religious subjects that are just off. I hope I'm wrong, but the trailers promised "the untold story of Mary Magdalene." I don't want the "untold" story of Mary Magdalene. I'd rather have the real one. And I don't want Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus. That's just weird. This comes from the director of "Lion," though, which I really loved. So I'm hoping it was just a really bad trailer.
Rampage - April 20
Dwayne Johnson fighting giant gorillas, giant wolves and giant crocodiles in a movie based on an 80's arcade game with those giant monsters attacking buildings. From the director of "San Andreas," a movie that I thought was fun because it really didn't take itself too seriously and was amazing in IMAX. This movie looks like it's taking itself way too seriously, especially for a movie based on a silly arcade game with little plot. I want to be excited for this in the same way I'm excited for "Pacific Rim Uprising." But I'm not. And the late April release date says to me that the studio has no confidence in this movie. So why should I have confidence?
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - June 22
"Jurassic Park" is one of my favorite childhood movies that got even better when the older I got. I need to refresh myself on "Lost World" and "Jurassic Park III," but I remember enjoying the former and hating the latter. "Jurassic World," though, was a movie that I thought was entertaining, but was more of a dumb action movie with dumb humans doing dumb things in order for us to get mindless dinosaur action. "Mindless" isn't an adjective that should describe the "Jurassic" franchise. And the movie made about $1 billion more than it deserved. Like, seriously. The movie made $650 million domestically and $1.6 billion worldwide. Based on quality, it deserved about $200 million domestically and $500 million worldwide. And that's me feeling generous. Thus I naturally came in skeptic about "Fallen Kingdom." And I'm sorry, I watched the trailer and it did nothing for me. My excitement level for this is at zero. I think it's a giant cash grab that will probably be another dumb, mindless dinosaur movie.
The Purge: The Island - July 4
We didn't get our annual "Purge" movie in 2017 and I wasn't upset at that. When they start reeling out low-budget horror movies likes this on a nearly yearly basis, that's a bad idea that shows their only motivation here is to earn a quick buck rather than make a movie that people might actually care about.
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation - July 13
This is a popular franchise for many and I hate to be a downer, but I thought the first movie was very juvenile and uninteresting. If you are an adult and you enjoyed it, I honestly mean no offense. But I felt like it was a movie geared only to kids that I just didn't get. But it's the sequel that really bothered me. It started off with a fantastic message that was very relevant to today, but didn't have the guts to follow through and completely botched it, making me angry. And it also become a cheap copy of "The Incredibles." Enter movie three. And this just looks dumb. Does Sony Animation even have the ability to make a good animated movie anymore?
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again - July 20
I know fans of "Mamma Mia!" that are even confused about this sequel. But it'll take you a bit of searching to actually find those fans because it seemed like most people were disappointed in the movie adaptation. So it totally makes sense to give us a sequel a decade later that no one wanted in the first place. At least the original movie was based on something. A really popular Broadway musical. There is no second Broadway musical, so this movie is based on, well, nothing. And that's one of the many major red flags here.
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies - July 27
This title alone makes me want to punch someone in the face. Title aside, I really don't know why we need a theatrical movie of this. The animated "Teen Titans Go!" is popular enough among it's target audience. Can't we just keep it that?
The Equalizer 2 - August 3
Maybe it's a bit harsh of me to include this sequel in this section. "The Equalizer" is an action movie that a lot of people enjoyed and we have the same cast and crew back for this sequel. So maybe this is an action movie that fans of the original will enjoy. But I'm naturally skeptic about sequels these days, especially ones that I'm not sure the world really needed.
The Predator - August 3
I'm mildly intrigued by the fact that Shane Black is directing this remake. He generally makes good movies. But I was also mildly intrigued at Ridley Scott returning to make a couple more "Alien" movies and we all know how that turned out. "Prometheus" was pretty bad and "Alien: Covenant" wasn't that much better. So after failing to milk the "Alien" franchise, Hollywood is returning to "The Predator" franchise. Because we can't just come up with new ideas.
Barbie - August 8
Do I need to even say anything here? They've been trying to do this movie for quite some time now and I have no idea why. And in case you didn't know, this is indeed a live-action "Barbie" movie. It got all sorts of negative controversy when Amy Schumer almost played the lead role. Now we have Anne Hathaway as Barbie and even though that's better, I still think this is a movie that they should just give up on and drop.
Scarface - August 10
I know the popular 1983 "Scarface" was also a remake. But why can't we be satisfied with the movies we have? We do we have to remake everything? Let's leave "Scarface" alone. As well as everything else in the 80's.
The House with a Clock in Its Walls - September 21
What in the heck is this, you might ask? It's definitely a title that grabs your attention. But I'm putting this on here because it's Eli Roth directing. He's obsessed with his gross, unnecessary gore-fests. Eli Roth should just stop directing movies.
Robin Hood - September 21
No one cares about Robin Hood anymore, just like no one cared when Guy Ritchie tried to make King Arthur a thing in 2017. We have too many versions of Robin Hood and we don't need anymore. I don't even care that Taron Edgerton is starring. He's a great actor who should make better decisions than agreeing to be in our upteenth Robin Hood movie.
Smallfoot - September 28
2017 was a really bad year for animated movies. Sure, we did get "Coco" and "The LEGO Batman Movie," but for every one good animated movie in 2017, we seemed to get three more that were trash. So excuse me for being bitter towards these animated movies where I watch the trailer and it just looks like it is only capable of being enjoyed by a 3-year-old.
Halloween - October 19
I actually reviewed the original "Halloween" on my blog in 2017. It's a solidly entertaining horror film that creeps me out more than most horror films. But the franchise as a whole was partially responsible for the annoying trend of making endless horror sequels even when people stopped caring. And with this franchise, people haven't given a crap for nearly 30 years, but for some reason Hollywood keeps going. Because it's easy to make a few quick bucks by making a horror movie with a title people recognize. Now I'm sure this remake will do a better job than Rob Zombie's unwatchable remake, but that's not saying much. I wish this franchise could die and that we could instead come up with more original horror movies.
Dr. Seuss' The Grinch - November 9
I'm sure this will be another wtf moment of 2018. Everyone loves the story of the Grinch. Classic Christmas tale from Dr. Seuss that became a great little animated special back in the day. And on record, Ron Howard's 2000 live action movie starring Jim Carrey has always been a personal favorite. I watched it on Netflix on Christmas this year and again loved it. It totally holds up as not only a hilarious Grinch movie, but also has a lot of heart and depth to it with a powerful Christmas message. So why can't we be happy with what we have? Illumination is on a solid streak financially, but their quality of film is extremely spotty, thus I'm going to be the Grinch when it comes to this latest remake of this story unless they can somehow justify this movie's existence. Because at this point I seen no reason for this movie.
Holmes & Watson - November 9
This is the second Sherlock Holmes movie that has found its way on this portion of this list. This time around it's because we have Will Ferrell playing Sherlock Holmes and John C. Reilly playing Watson. What in the frack are they planning here? This just sounds like a bad Sherlock comedy that should never happen. But maybe with the right director? Yeah, looking up the director is what convinced me to move this from the maybe section to the bad section. This comes from Etan Cohen. No, not Ethan Coen from the Coen Brothers. Etan Cohen. The director of the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart comedy "Get Hard" that absolutely no one liked.
Bumblebee - December 21
One of the things that made me really happy about 2017 was that we collectively rejected the "Transformers" franchise. The second "Transformers" movie, "Revenge of the Fallen," made $402 million domestically. Even though three and four digressed in the U.S., they still made over $1 billion worldwide. The most recent one from 2017, "The Last Knight"? It only made $130 million domestically and $605 million worldwide. That proves to Michael Bay that the world actually can reject this franchise if no effort is made into putting together a decent movie. But Paramount is going to keep trying, anyways. I say Paramount in this instance because this "Bumblebee" spin-off will be the first of the recent "Transformers" movie NOT directed by Michael Bay. It's directed by the dude who did "Kubo and the Two Strings." So maybe this can be good? I'm not crossing my fingers, though. Until proven otherwise, all "Transformers" movies go in this section.
The Commuter - January 12
We have an odd trend recently where train movies are becoming popular. In 2016 we had "The Girl on the Train" and in 2017 we had "Murder on the Orient Express." In 2018, we start out with two train movies at the beginning of the year. "The 15:17 to Paris" in February and "The Commuter" in a week. "The Commuter" stars Liam Neeson trying to deal with some conflict on a train. Immediately my brain went to "Taken" and I was nervous. But then my brain corrected itself. This is from the director of "Non-Stop," the 2014 Liam Neeson whodunit mystery movie on a plane. With that in context, "The Commuter" looks like "Non-Stop," but on a train instead of a plane. And that makes me kinda excited.
12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers - January 19
War movies in January have been a really popular thing recently. "Lone Survivor," "American Sniper" and "13 Hours" all did well in January. "12 Strong" looks to continue that trend and it has a premise that is intriguing enough that it could work. Although I'm playing the wait and see game, just because it is January and "13 Hours," while decent, didn't necessarily blow me away and "American Sniper" I was very mixed on. And this is January, so...
Maze Runner: The Death Cure - January 26
I really feel bad for the "Maze Runner" franchise. The first two movies came out in consecutive years, 2014 and 2015. The finale really should've come out in 2016 or 2017 at latest in order for people to still care. But star Dylan O'Brien got hurt on the set of "The Death Cure," which postponed this movie for like a whole year. That was something tragic that's completely out of their control, but the unfortunate consequence is that I don't think anyone cares anymore. But they're going to try to salvage this anyways. We'll see how it goes. I enjoyed most of the first movie, but not the ending. And I didn't care for "The Scorch Trials."
Winchester: The House that Ghosts Built - February 2
It makes me nervous putting horror movies in the good section because it's often hard to predict which ones are going to be good and which ones are going to be complete crap. I took a gamble with "A Quiet Place" and "The New Mutants," but I'm slightly less confident in this "Winchester" movie. It claims to be a movie based on the most haunted house ever and it has a really good trailer, so I'm hoping we go "The Conjuring" route with this, but I realize that this could also go the cliche haunted house route as well.
Samson - February 16
Out of all the Biblical characters to make a movie out of, Samson makes the most sense as his story is rather intriguing. And this does come from a Christian studio, so I'm not worried about it being too weird. But the specific studio here is Pure Flix and I'm not sure I completely trust their judgment. I'm more excited about "Paul, The Apostle of Christ" and certainly less excited about "Mary Magdalene" and "God's Not Dead 3." With this one I'm planning on playing it by ear. The trailers looked really bad, but maybe they're just not good at putting together trailers.
Game Night - February 23
The trailers for this movie look absolutely hilarious, reminding me of "The Man Who Knew Too Little" with this group of people who think they are enjoying a harmless game night rather than the serious situation that they're actually in. But I'm not letting myself be totally sold by the trailers John Francis Daley and Johnathan Goldstein who did the recent "Vacation" movie that few people liked and got fired from (or chose to leave?) "Spider-Man: Homecoming." So this could be a really bad comedy with a great trailer. I hope not, though. I want this to work.
Alpha - March 2
I first saw this trailer when I went to see "The Last Jedi." And I saw it both other times that I also saw "The Last Jedi." Each time I watched it, I had completely forgotten what the movie was even called. It's a survival movie with primitive people 20,000 years ago during the last Ice Age. So it seems like a forgettable movie. But it seemed like a mildly interesting enough movie to include on this list, even if we might forget about it shortly after.
Red Sparrow - March 2
I want this movie to be a good action thriller, much like I wanted "Atomic Blonde" to be a good action thriller. From the trailer, it looks like it could go in that direction and I really like Jennifer Lawrence, so I'm holding out hope that this could be a good female led thriller, but I'm also not 100 percent convinced, especially because it could end up like what "Atomic Blonde" ended up as. I also hope they don't push the sexual angle too heavily because I want J-Law to be a good female character, not an empty, sexualized piece of eye candy.
A Wrinkle in Time - March 9
A put "Christopher Robin" and "Mulan" in the good section of my list because I'm confident that those will be good live-action movies from Disney. There's three others that I'm putting in this maybe section, with this being the first of three. Personally I just don't know enough about "A Wrinkle in Time" to be excited about the fact that this is being made and I don't know enough to know if the trailers are doing it justice or not. I'm just looking at this from a casual perspective and this looks like a super trippy movie. I just don't know if that's a good trippy or a bad trippy. The trailers are super effective, but that's also because of the song "Sweet Dreams are Made of This" is perfectly incorporated. So I'm playing the wait and see game.
Chappaquiddick - April 6
I think I put this movie here just because of the title. I've also seen this movie floating around the release schedule for a while now and I've never been sure when it will land. It seems like they're committing to this April release date, which makes me feel less confident because an April release date says that the studio isn't confident enough to give this a proper Oscar push, which seems like the place a Ted Kennedy biopic should belong. Maybe this will come and go without any people realizing, but I'm still mildly intrigued, especially with the huge cast.
Slenderman - May 18
I fully realize that this could be a really bad horror movie, but I am extremely amused by the fact that we are actually getting a Slenderman movie. I'm not angry or excited. Just amused.
Solo: A Star Wars Story - May 25
Well this is a weird spot to put a Star Wars movie, especially after I've become a non-stop, extremely vocal supporter of "The Last Jedi" being one of the best Star Wars movie. But I think it's safe to say that the whole world is currently in a state of skepticism and have been ever since this was announced. The fact that the fired the directors towards the end of production and hired Ron Howard to redo the thing, keeping their May release date, has me more nervous. Lots of drama on set. And not enough time to make a proper movie with a rushed release date? I would've been fine if they postponed it to December in order to get it right. Then there is the initial issue of everyone being nervous about Han Solo being played by someone other than Harrison Ford. In the history of cinema, there may never be bigger shoes to fill. We'll see if Alden Ehrenreich is up to the challenge. If not, he can go talk to Hayden Christensen about what it's like to move forward with life after disappointing Star Wars fans by not properly portraying an iconic Star Wars character in a prequel movie. This is a Lawrence Kasdan script and it seems like Kasdan fought hard to make sure his movie was done right. I just hope the final result is satisfactory. If not, this movie could be in trouble.
Ocean's 8 - June 8
I'm not a fan of being politically correct just for the sake of being politically correct. The only reason why this movie, as well as the 2016 "Ghostbusters" remake, was made is to push a feminist movement. That's not necessarily a bad thing because I'm certainly a fan of having more female representation in major Hollywood roles. I'm just concerned about the overall quality of films and if your main motivation is to push a political movement forward rather than making a solid movie, you could sacrifice the quality of the movie and thus fail in your final goal. The reason why "Wonder Woman" ended up being a culturally significant movie in 2017 was that their main goal was to make a good movie that happened to have a female lead and thus they ended up with an iconic film that entertained audiences and gave millions of girls around the world a hero to look up to. Our female "Ghostbusters" will end up as a forgotten movie because, while not as bad as many expected, they didn't spend enough time making a good movie and spent to much time on pushing the feminist movement. If that makes sense. So what are we going to get with "Ocean's 8"? Are we going to get another "Wonder Woman" or are we going to get another "Ghostbusters"?
Sicario 2: Soldado - June 29
"Sicario" is a fantastic film that is intense and dark. One of Denis Villeneuve's many great films. It's not the type of movie that really lends itself to a sequence and is not the type of movie that you would expect to get a sequel. Now if Denis Villeneuve said that he had more story that he wanted to tell here, then I would put my full trust in him because he hasn't disappointed me yet. But this is not him directing this movie, so it has me nervous. It's Stefano Sollima instead, who I've never hear of. Was this a situation where the filmmakers decided there was more to tell or was this the studio demanding more. Luckily we do have Taylor Sheridan, who wrote the screenplay to "Sicario," back writing this movie. So maybe it was his idea that sparked this sequel and they just couldn't get Denis on board for whatever reason.
The Nun - July 13
"The Conjuring" cinematic universe expands. We've had two Conjuring movies, two Annabelle movies and now we get "The Nun," which is a spin-off based on that creepy Nun character from "The Conjuring 2." I do think both Conjuring films are enjoyable, even though I was upset at them pushing the true story angle as hard as they did because none of this was actually a true story and they should just own up to that and make a good film. I have not seen "Annabelle," but I really enjoyed "Annabelle: Creation," so I'm mostly on board with this universe. As long as we get an effectively creepy movie about this Nun, I will be satisfied. That's not asking too much, is it?
Alita: Battle Angel - July 20
I don't really know much about "Alita" outside the fact that I was looking at the summer schedule a month ago and was wondering what the heck this movie was, only to have it drop during "The Last Jedi." Then I was like, oh. That's what that is. A James Cameron screenplay that's produced by Cameron and directed by Robert Rodriguez. Based on the graphic novel manga series "Gunnm." Sounds like we're trying to cash in on the "Ghost in the Shell" success here with another cyborg-led movie in a post-apocalyptic world. I didn't hate "Ghost in the Shell" as much as some people did, even though it wasn't even close to even being on the same level as the source material. So I'm not upset at this, nor am I super excited.
The Meg - August 10
We've had two shark movies recently that both surprised me with "The Shallows" and "47 Meters Down." I read the premise for this one and I just beamed with dumb excitement because this latest shark movie stars Jason Statham. Jason Statham fighting a giant shark sounds like it could be an entertainingly dumb movie worth seeing.
A Star is Born - October 5
I know I've been rightfully harsh on remakes in this list, which is why this isn't good in the good category, but I am optimistically curious about this one. "A Star is Born" was a successful 1937 movie musical that was remade in 1957 with Judy Garland and remade again with Barbara Streisand in 1976. And now we're going for our third remake. Instead of going for my normal statement by saying why don't we watch the others and be happy with that, I'm instead noticing that this is the directorial debut of Bradley Cooper. Great actors turning into directors intrigues, even though it equates to various levels of success. In addition to also starring Bradley Cooper, this stars Sam Elliott, Bonnie Somerville, Anthony Ramos, Lady Gaga and Dave Chappelle. So I'm curious to see what Bradley Cooper has up his sleeve.
Venom - October 5
I really have no idea what Sony is doing with their "Spider-Man" franchise and I'll say that again here in a bit. But thanks to Marvel's help, "Spider-Man: Homecoming" really worked out and we're getting that movie's sequel in 2019. So why is Sony trying to be smart by breaking off and doing their own thing with their other Spider-Man properties. I want to see Venom show up in one of the "Spider-Man: Homecoming" sequels as a proper villain/anti-hero that "Spider-Man 3" really botched. I'm less interested is seeing him in his own thing that is separate from Spider-Man. But this does have Tom Hardy as Venom and I'm pretty sure the movie will also include Carnage. So maybe this will work out. But I'd still rather see Venom and Carnage in a Spider-Man movie and I don't think that Sony is planning on that.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix - November 2
I thought we already did this story arc. And it successfully killed the initial X-Men franchise, causing them to start over with "X-Men: First Class." Yes, I'm talking about X3, which I think I was one of four people on earth who actually enjoyed. But still. Why are we doing this again? Is the idea to do it properly this time around? After they fell flat on their face with "Apocalypse," I'm not so sure "Dark Phoenix" is a great idea. Maybe it'll fail enough that it'll kill the X-Men franchise again, setting the stage for Marvel to completely press the reset button when they are officially ready to take over the X-Men and implement them into the MCU.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms - November 2
The second Disney live-action movie that I'm not completely sold on. Much like "A Wrinkle in Time," I also don't know much about "The Nutcracker" outside loving the music, so this seemed like an odd thing to adapt. But hey, maybe there's a goldmine waiting to be discovered here. Or maybe it'll be another "Alice in Wonderland" like many that many are worried it'll become. Personally I'm more nervous about the line in the trailer "the legend you know has a dark side." Or something like that. Trying to put dark twists on known stories doesn't usually work out. Just stick to telling the story that we, or other people more familiar with this, already know. But hey, that trailer version of the song "The Dance of the Sugarplum Faries" was awesome. So at least there's that.
Widows - November 16
I don't know enough about this movie to determine if it's an actual Oscar contender or not. I just noticed it's from director Steve McQueen, who won best picture with his movie "12 Years a Slave." So maybe he'll be back in the race this year? Starring is Elizabeth Debicki, Jon Bernthal, Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Daniel Kaluuya, Michelle Rodriguez, Carrie Coon, Robert Duvall and Viola Davis. That's seems like good enough ammunition.
Mortal Engines - December 14
Peter Jackson has officially come out of hiding after his awful Hobbit trilogy that partially damaged his legacy as he's no longer just the man known for "The Lord of the Rings." But he's also the man who stretched a single prequel book into three unnecessarily long movies. And he hasn't done anything since. And he's not directing "Mortal Engines," but he is on as producer. We already have a teaser trailer despite it being a year out and it looks... really strange. A post-apocalyptic world with cities on wheels rushing around attacking other cities.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - December 14
Back to Sony. This is their animated Spider-Man movie that I've always seen as their back-up plan in case their third attempt at a Spider-Man franchise also failed. Well, "Spider-Man: Homecoming" worked, thanks to Marvel. But Sony is still moving forward with this solo Spider-Man adventure where we finally introduce Miles Morales, the black Spider-Man people have been wanting for a long time. And a lot of other Spider-Mans? Because this is based on a Spider-Man story arc where a lot of people wear the Spider-Man outfit. I don't know, we still have DC doing their animated Batman movies, so I guess I'm not opposed to this. But I don't know the necessity of this movie and it also has the Sony Animation Studios label behind. Do I need to remind you what that studio has done recently?
Mary Poppins Returns - December 25
Our final Disney live action movie in this maybe section. This one I'm actually more optimistic about because I'm very well-versed on my Mary Poppins. That's one of my favorite musicals. I don't know if I should admit that I put this in here to balance things out so that we have an equal number of movies in each category. But maybe I should instead say that I'm not sure we necessarily need Mary Poppins to return when we can go back and watch the lovely original or even "Saving Mr. Banks," the movie about the making of Mary Poppins. And I'm glad this is a sequel and not a remake. But are they going to be able to conjure up a new Mary Poppins musical with songs that match the old ones, which I might add are pretty darn iconic. I legitimately question that. But Emily Blunt is a great choice for Mary Poppins. And Dick Van Dyke will be back in the movie. So lets' hope Disney has some magic up their sleeve.