2017 has arrived and while we hope for a year with less major celebrity deaths, less divisive behavior, and less tragedies in general, cinephiles like myself hope for a strong year for movies. Anybody who's read certain blogs of mine know that I have less than nice things to say about 2016 as a year for movies, so I'm looking forward to moving beyond that and partaking in what looks to be a pretty solid year for movies. So without any further delay, let's take a look at my 10 most anticipated movies of the year.
10. Kong: Skull Island
Starting off this list is a a fairly early release in the year, the new "King Kong" reboot coming out in March. This is the second installment in the planned Monster cinematic universe. The first one was 2014's "Godzilla" and now we have this movie setting up the inevitable showdown between these two iconic monsters of cinema. My hope is that this movie takes its time to tell its own story rather than just set up the Kong vs. Godzilla fight. If the movie just focuses on the adventure on Skull Island and has its own story about Kong that needs to be told, then that's really all I need to see. My worry comes with the most recent trailer that made the movie seem tonally unbalanced, but I'm sure its solely from the editing of the trailer and that the humor will incorporate itself well within the movie, as I'm sure the movie will incorporate itself within this planned universe.
9. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
I loved "Kingsman: The Secret Service", so therefore it's only natural to find myself excited for its sequel. Not much is known about the movie, but what's been verified is the stacked cast. We have the likes of Taron Egerton and Mark Strong reprising their roles, but new cast members include Julianne Moore, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, and even Elton John. Top that off with a return from Colin Firth and we have a pretty legit lineup. The first movie knew it was a ridiculous, over-the-top action movie and I want to see that self-awareness played up even more with this movie.
8. Justice League
A feature length "Justice League" films is something we've never seen before. The fact that we're finally getting one is special enough on its own, but I do have some reservations about it. My biggest concern is that its being directed by Zack Snyder, a hit-and-miss director if ever there was one. I liked "Man of Steel" and I hated "Batman v Superman", so this movie could really go either direction for me. That being said, I enjoyed the trailer that's been shown for this film and I remain optimistic that Snyder is part of the crew at Warner Bros. that's learning from past mistakes from the previous DCEU films. This movie would probably be a lot higher on the list if it weren't for some questionable things going on with DC right now, but I'm still looking forward to it and that's all that matters.
7. Wonder Woman
While we're on the subject of DC, let's talk about the other movie they have coming out. This movie does look legitimately good, though I still have some qualms about Gal Gadot's acting ability. Nevertheless, I love the epic wartime feel that this movie is giving off and from everything that the trailers have shown, this could be a legit success for Warner Bros. Like with "Kong: Skull Island", I just want to see this movie tell its own story and not spend too much time setting up future movies in the universe. This movie looks like it'll do that just fine, but I probably said the same thing about "Suicide Squad" and we all know how that turned out.
6. Spider-Man: Homecoming
I'm still not entirely sold on this movie's title, but I'm definitely sold on the footage we've seen so far. We all know from "Captain America: Civil War" that Tom Holland is a great Peter Parker/Spider-Man, so I have no worries about his ability to carry this movie. In fact, his portrayal of Peter Parker is one of the things I'm looking forward to the most in this movie. I want to see a display of that socially awkward, shy teenager in high school who sucks at interacting with girls he likes (AKA, me in high school), but I also want to see the contrast in his wise-cracking Spider-Man persona. This movie has something that the other Spider-Man movies don't and that's the burden of being part of a shared universe, but Marvel has shown time and time again that they can get stuff done, so here's hoping that "Spider-Man: Homecoming" is another success.
This is another installment in the "X-Men" film franchise and it also happens to be Hugh Jackman's final appearance as Wolverine. Based off of the unique trailer for this movie, this movie looks like it's going to be a much more personal story for Wolverine on a smaller scale than anything we've seen in this franchise. If we're getting our last movie featuring Wolverine, this looks like the right direction for closing off the story of such an important character in this series. We can joke all we want about how this movie looks like "The Last of Us", but what really matters is the potential in getting a darker, more mature superhero movie than we've gotten in a while. As long as this movie doesn't go off the rails in the third act like with 2013's "The Wolverine", we should be good.
4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Wow, another comic book movie. Who didn't see that coming? But in all seriousness, 2017 is stacked with comic book movies and that's going to be the big thing for a while now. Marvel is constantly expanding its universe and with this movie in particular, we should be getting another great installment. The trailers alone have been fun and hysterical, so I can only imagine what the actual movie will be like. Chris Pratt has already described this movie one of the biggest spectacle movies off all time and it's pretty easy to assume that he's just saying it to sell the movie, but given what we know about the move so far, what with the already grand scale shown in the trailers and the casting of Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone, Pratt may very well be telling the truth, and for the sake of all the fanboy hype in the world, let's hope he is.
Christopher Nolan is making a World War II movie... that should be enough to sell anyone on this movie. If you're not sold on that synopsis, then take a look at the trailers, specifically the first one. The point is that Nolan has already established himself as one of the best director alive right now, so him getting his hands on a war drama is a big thing, especially given the subject. It's about a major evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk, France and it's a topic that I'm completely unfamiliar with. If there's one great thing about historical dramas, it's their ability to educate people on things that they had limited knowledge of beforehand and make them genuinely interested in learning more. That's my hope with "Dunkirk", as well as another all around great film from Christopher Nolan.
2. War for the Planet of the Apes
The first two movies in this franchise have both been nothing short of great. Now we have the next installment in what could be a genuinely great trilogy. This movie is going to be an all-out war between humans and apes and the conflict will be on a scale bigger than anything we saw in "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes". Could this be the last time we see Caesar? Is Koba coming back? Will the series go on after this movie? All of these questions are a result of how much hype I have for this movie. The "Apes" franchise is legitimately one of the best film franchises right now, so let's hope that this movie will (potentially) end it on a very high note.
1. Star Wars Episode VIII
This is a "no shit" type of thing to do, so let's just accept that I'm a Star Wars fanboy who will be dying to see anything related to this saga. After the successes of both "The Force Awakens" and "Rogue One", it's abundantly clear people are excited about Star Wars again. This movie is going to be a massive success financially, but critically it has a lot to work for. What we need is an installment that doesn't borrow elements from other movies like "The Force Awakens". We need a movie that adds plenty of new things to the universe and we need to see our favorite characters developed in the next part of this planned sequel trilogy. We're going to be seeing more of Luke Skywalker, a revelation of Rey's past, and what is the last onscreen appearance of Carrie Fisher as Leia. What's more is that we have Rian Johnson directing. He's already established himself with great movies like "Looper" and "Brick"as well as having directed some of the best episodes of "Breaking Bad", so the talent is already in place. What we can hope for is a continuance of this new story that's been laid out, and hopefully it's done in the best way imaginable.
So there are my picks for my 10 most anticipated movies of 2017. Odds are at least one of them will end up disappointing, but that's part of the fun of movies. We don't know what'll be good and what'll be bad by the start of the year, so let's just have fun in the anticipation. There are plenty of movies that I'm excited for this year, but these are the 10 that excite me the most. 2017, like any year, has the potential to be great, and here's to a new year with a new batch of movies.