If you were to ask me how 2016 stacked up to previous years in terms of films, I'd probably define it as "underwhelming". It was an odd year for big budget movies, where most of the year's most anticipated films ended up disappointing audiences, as was the case with Batman v Superman, Ghostbusters, Independence Day 2 and Jason Bourne among others. Meanwhile, the best films of the year existed below the surface, often raking in middling returns and going unnoticed — such is the fate of The Nice Guys and Kubo and the Two Strings. I enjoyed a lot of films in 2016 (as you'll see in the 2016 Movie Countdown), but for what it's worth, I'm hoping 2017 is a lot better.
As is tradition here on The Ranting SBox, I start every year with a list of my most anticipated films of the new year. I always look forward to these anticipation posts, because it reminds me of the many things I have to look forward to in the near-future. And I must say that this list looks especially epic. Without further delay, here are a few of the films I'm looking forward to personally. This is in no particular order. I'm just going off the top of my head.
Quick heads up, though, before we begin. To avoid making the list a bit uneven, I tried to spread out the comic book movies out among the list.
I like to start my list with my most anticipated film of the year and then go random from there. It was a hard choice, but my love for the red and blue web slinger knows no bounds.
I've gone on about the #SpiderMan throughout the years, covering Spidey's eventually induction into the MCU very closely. He's my favorite superhero (followed closely by Batman), and there will be no excuse for me missing this movie come July. Tom Holland was an excellent addition to Captain America: Civil War, managing to standout among even the MCU's most established mainstays. There's no doubt in my mind he can carry a standalone film as well. Add some cool Spidey upgrades like the web wings, Hollywood legend Michael Keaton as the Vulture, Zendaya for a little eye candy, and freaking Iron Man, and you have a recipe for greatness.
Star Wars Episode VIII
If my most anticipated film isn't a #Marvel film, than that honor would definitely go to none other than #StarWars Episode VIII. As I mentioned in my review of The Force Awakens (both full review and mini-review), I'm in love with the story set by the long awaited Episode VII. And as effective as Rogue One was in holding me over (I'll most likely say once I see the movie this week), I like many others have my eye on the prize. We're all looking forward to seeing how the story continues, visiting our new favorite characters like Rey and Finn, and seeing Luke Skywalker alongside Princess Leia for the last time. Anyway you slice it, Episode VIII is a must-see for the year.
I'm fully prepared for people to disagree with me here, but I enjoyed Batman v Superman. Most specifically, enjoyed the performances of that movie, including Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as #WonderWoman. In fact, I was really taken aback by how much I enjoyed Gadot's performance. That's just one reason to look forward to her standalone venture in June. The other reason: the trailer. Wonder Woman was far and away my favorite trailer of SDCC last year. From its WWI setting to the bright beautiful colors that don't give me night vision, not to mention the intense looking action scenes and inclusion of Chris Pine, Wonder Woman looks like a fantastic time in the theater so far... Please let this movie be as good as the trailer!
The Fate of the Furious
#FastandFurious may be a loud, dumb action movie series with cars and fist fights in it, but you got to love it. After Furious 7 blew me away with how emotionally gripping and heart-poundingly exciting it was, I knew I was looking forward to seeing where they would go from there. The answer was surprisingly creative. Instead of repeating the series' formula of a dispensable villain wanting the F&F family dead and having to stop them, this movie's conflict comes from within the family. That's already cool, but then you see the trailer rocking wrecking balls, tanks, and submarines and you know your in for a wild ride.
War for the Planet of the Apes
I may have a limited understanding of the series having not seen the original trilogy, but I will say I'm loving this new #PlanetoftheApes series so far. Both Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes were fantastic films with great stories, excellent performances, and impressive effects. This gives me a lot of hope for War for the Planet of the Apes will be no different. With it's new winter setting and high stakes, I can only see good things coming in this third installment.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Oh yeah! I'm so ready to revisit everyone's favorite "bunch of a-holes" this May. The original #GuardiansoftheGalaxy quickly climbed towards the top of my personal list of favorite Marvel films. It was refreshing, funny, and high-energy; everything a growing boy needs. That combination of factors along with that excellent group of characters is enough to tell me everything I need to know about Vol. 2, and I can't wait to see how it goes.
John Wick: Chapter 2
I'll always remember seeing #JohnWick for the first time and having my nonexistent expectations shattered in spectacular fashion within minutes. I didn't just love John Wick, I bet it's even in my Top 10 favorite movies ever. Thankfully, a lot of people felt the same way, because here comes Chapter 2 just in time for Valentine's Day. I'll admit that there's a little skepticism in me for this movie. It's just that the first film was so good and it's hard for me to imagine Chapter 2 matching the first film's wow factor. However, that's not stopping me from trying it out anyway.
I feel that this movie is being overshadowed by the other two Marvel offerings of this year. True it's very far off into the future, but there are a ton of reasons to look forward to #ThorRagnarok. Not only will it complete the Thor trilogy with a story promising the fall of Asgard, and not only are we seeing Loki again, but that's only the beginning. Thor will be joined by two familiar faces: Doctor Strange and The Hulk (complete with Planet Hulk allusions). Still not exciting enough for you? How about the rest of the cast: Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, and Cate Blanchett on top of the returning cast such as Anthony Hopkins and Idris Elba. Case closed! I'll see all of you in the theater this November.
You know, I thought I'd be a bit more excited for a film called #JusticeLeague to finally come out. I mean, it's still up there in my estimation; just not too up there. Even though I did like BvS, I speak alongside everyone else when I say this film needs to be great. After all the critical panning the DCEU has been through, much of it well deserved, the world won't tolerate another slip-up assuming Wonder Woman is actually good. Otherwise, bye bye DCEU. The good news is that the sneak peek we got at SDCC looks promising enough. They definitely amped up the humor, but will it's action and story compliment the mere promise of a Justice League movie? Let's hope so.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
One of my biggest surprises in 2015 was the little known British flick based on a little known comic book: #Kingsman: The Secret Service. It wasn't just a great spy flick. It also had the best action scenes of that year. It is without exaggeration one of the best new franchises of the decade...or it will be is and when The Golden Circle lives up to the first film.
Kong: Skull Island
Another surprisingly great trailer from SDCC, #KongSkullIsland is a film to look out for this March. I'll admit that upon first hearing of a prequel King Kong movie I wasn't too moved. It wasn't until I found out the talent behind this movie — Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, and John Goodman — that my head was officially turned. Then they sweetened the deal by marking the film as build up to the future Kong vs Godzilla movie. Count me in.
Beauty and the Beast
I've been quite impressed with Disney's onslaught of live-action remakes. I can't speak for Cinderella or Pete's Dragon, but I loved Maleficent The Jungle Book. That makes me quite hopeful for their next live-action remake of #BeautyandtheBeast. I'll admit that this film is filling a pretty tall order. Beauty and the Beast isn't like the other #Disney classics in that it's special. You don't become the first animated movie to be nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture for just being good. That's why I'm anticipating the film to at least be good on its own instead of pitting it against its animated counterpart. I can't wait to be proven wrong.
Last but not least is Wolverine 3, aka #Logan. I may not be a comic book reader, but as a fan of Marvel films (whether through Disney, Fox, or Sony) I know what Old Man Logan is. I love the basic idea of this story. Far off into the future, the only remaining mutants are #Wolverine, Professor X (somehow), and a little girl both Logan and Xavier have to protect. The trailer solidifies everything I've heard about the comic arc; a very down-beat and gritty film whose trailer makes it seem like a Western in disguise. Coupled with this being the final time Hugh Jackman will play Wolverine and the possible last time Patrick Stewart will portray Professor X, this is one film worth seeing. By the way, it's rated-R. Just saying!
I'll admit that was a long list. Kudos to you if you made it through the whole thing. There's just a ton of promising films coming in 2017, and I wanted to list as many as I could. There's still a ton of films I'm missing on this list, too. Though, I'll leave that for you to list off in the comments below. What are your most anticipated films of the year?
I'm SBox180. Thanks for reading!