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Born and raised in Juneau, Alaska. Running enthusiast, film enthusiast, former social studies teacher and all around nerd.

The New Year is finally here and it couldn't have come fast enough. From the somber deaths, to an emotionally draining election this year has taken its toll. Last year also saw some pretty blah or downright awful films. There was not one but two disappointing video game films, resurrected blockbusters that were more like evil zombies (Ghostbusters, Independence Day: Resurgence), more disappointing superhero films (X-Men: Apocalypse, Suicide Squad and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice) and there were great movies that got little success (The Nice Guys, Kubo and the Two Strings). But now it’s time for the New Year and see if 2017 can make up for 2016.

Looking at 2017 this column will break up these films into many different categories: Super-Fan Excitement (high levels of excitement. Think San Diego Comic Con, hell even Dragon Con fandom), Tinder Date (this category is full of nerves, you don’t know what you’re going to get. You hope you get the best scenario but will the person look like their pictures? Will they be as cool as their profile?) and Oh-That’s-Coming-Out?-I-Never-Knew! Category.

Super-Fan Category

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

What can be said that hasn’t already? This is one of the most anticipated by a wide margin. The gang is back and as long as there is an adventure and that’s all that matters. Baby Groot is going to steal America’s heart and quite possibly bring world peace. Drax and Rocket look to be bringing more humor and we get a charming Chris Pratt’s once again. We’re getting the living planet, EGO in this. EGO!! If you liked Doctor Strange’s weirdness you’ll love the Jack Kirby weirdness of Ego. This is supposed to be an isolated story so don’t worry about seeing all 12094893 films beforehand.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

OMG, OMG, OMG. This was my reaction when seeing this trailer:

I don’t know if “perfect” describes this but it’s damn close. We are getting a great continuation of the Spider-Man we saw in including an Iron Man role, Vulture looks downright terrifying and we get a genuine . The awkward, smart-ass hero with the weight of the world on his shoulders. This is Spider-Man’s homecoming to the and back to his roots. It’ll be very interesting how this film turns out.

Logan

Hugh Jackman is on his last run as , aka , and he looks more like Elway than Manning. Hugh Jackman could continue being Wolverine for the next 10 years and would probably look the same thanks to those PEDs and Fountain of Youth injections. Not only that but this looks like a small, intimate film with the perfect song to the trailer. For all you kids that’s Johnny Cash’s cover of a Nine Inch Nails song called Hurt. He made it at the tail end of his life and it earned him a Grammy. That song mirrors this film and by the end of it tears will be shed; some for the film and some will be mourning the end of Jackman’s Wolverine run.

War for the Planet of the Apes

This film concludes what has been a great trilogy. Will this be the Godfather Part III or Return of the Jedi? Will this be Dark Knight Rises or The Last Crusade? After looking at the trailer, people are going to lose and the audience wants Caesar to win. Is there any other motion capture character that we empathize with? Oh well, there’s Gollum and the new Kong in . Oh wait, this is played by the same guy. The trailer makes this look even darker and more bleak and hopefully this is the final act for this franchise because it has been great.

Thor: Ragnorak

If you haven’t seen the mockumentary of what was up to during Civil War, you missed out on a better treat than the pie you ate at Thanksgiving. It was quite a viewing that brings the laughs. We get to see a great side of Thor, one we haven’t seen. That short was directed by the same director as Thor 3. And we get the end of the world in Ragnorak! This is the apocalypse of Norse mythology. This also has Hulk in a major role; this was the same character that elicited cheers and cries of a solo venture and now he’s here! People wonder “why isn’t in Civil War?” While it was addressed people still want their Hulk. This could be the greatest Thor film for 3 reasons: it takes an epic story (Planet Hulk, Ragnorak), it adds a wonderful buddy character (Hulk), adds some risky and crazy characters (Hela, crazy cosmic characters) and brought in a new director famous for other works (Flight of the Conchords). Remember the last time that happened in Marvel? We got Guardians of the Galaxy, Civil War and Winter Soldier.

Star Wars Episode VIII

Geekdom is dominating. There are comic book heroes everywhere, nostalgia material is making a comeback to the silver screen and is dominating world records. And people who aren’t into Star Wars are being seen as the weird ones. Remember when you were told not to make fun of nerds because they’ll be your boss someday? Well, not only are the nerds the bosses but they are also in charge of entertainment culture.

Rogue One has reinvigorated the energy for the Star Wars world and who else is ready for the next chapter? I certainly am. This probably won’t cross two billion like its predecessor but it’ll make a LOT of money. After the financial and critical success of Rogue One people are ready to go full throttle into Star Wars. This will have a superior director (Rian Johnson) and progress the story that, hopefully, won’t be a carbon copy of Episode V. Hopefully we will get more character development and get a lot more Luke. This could be another fantastic journey into a galaxy far, far away.

Beauty and the Beast

Are you going to see this, Greg? Yes, other Greg, I am and I will have a smile on my face the whole time. This film is coming off of Cinderella and the Jungle Book, two films that show that Disney is quite serious about putting out good material. Couple that with Emma Watson as Belle and actors like Ian McKellan and Ewan McGregor supporting and this looks like a fantastic film. I got chills just watching the trailer. The tone, the music everything just fits.

The Tinder Date Films

Wonder Woman

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Fool me three times… Well, you won’t fool me three times. I hated : Dawn of Justice with its terrible editing, choppy storytelling, and its overabundance of Easter eggs over plot. It is an intelligence insulting film. Then, while was entertaining, it has the Jurassic World Syndrome: it’s great in a theater full of fans but man is it stupid when you start thinking about it. So with two major misses, DC employed Patty Jenkins to helm Wonder Woman. I want to be excited for Wonder Woman, it’s the first female led superhero film! This is fantastic! And it’s the most iconic superheroine! The world should be talking positively about this film. However… DC and Warner Bros. has had a really bad start out of the blocks. And in a 100 or 200 meter race it’s nearly impossible to make up for a bad start. Also, the last trailer showed the acting chops of and it was not pretty. Wooden, emotionless and flat, that was the first trailer that makes me go “oh, so is this the Gadot we’re getting?” That was my first indication that DC and WB might have casted based on looks. Sad face.

Justice League

Much like my concern for Wonder Woman, I won’t repeat myself. I’m even less excited and more nervous for this one. Why? Because of two words: Zack Snyder. He’s the same director of two poorly done superhero films (Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman). Again, don’t fool me a third time. Too much, too soon and too rushed.

The Fate of the Furious

The 8th installment of this franchise is turning Dom against the family. This feels more reminiscent of Stone Cold Steve Austin’s heel turn at WrestleMania 17 and less Hulk Hogan’s turn on WCW to join the nWo. In other words, will this make any sense? I mean, I didn’t understand Stone Cold’s heel turn but it brought some memorable moments and eventually we love Austin so much we cheer for him. Dom seems like that. Funny enough, Austin turned heel while in a match against The Rock. Now Dom turns on Rock. I’m seeing a pattern here.

My main concerns stem from an 8th installment plus wondering how this will be entertaining. With mindless fun like this franchise there is always a desire to see more and to continue to be creative. I don’t know how that’ll happen.

Power Rangers

So, is anyone looking forward to this? Do we want this? I would rather see the Cleveland Browns verses the San Francisco 49'ers in 4 straight games than this. The trailer gives an edginess to it but overall this feels blah. The characters feel one dimensional, the whole thing feels like Fant4stic. People wanting to make it dark for the sake of making it dark. I love me some but this trailer made me very skeptical of the project overall.

Oh-That’s-Coming-Out?-I-Never-Knew!

Ghost in the Shell

Ok, I know nothing about this franchise. It’s definitely on my list of stuff to watch and learn about. I literally forgot this was coming out. I know, people love this but does anyone really know 1) what the story is about and 2) are familiar with the name? I think it’s small. But there was some whitewashing controversy and the promotion has been pretty low-key. However, based on how excited the fans are for this, it’s definitely worth being on the radar.

The Kingsmen: Golden Circle

This was one of my favorite films in 2015. It was a refreshing mixture of old school James Bond, with a smattering of Kick-Ass violence, a dash of an eccentric villain and a church scene that is to die for. Knowing that Vince Vaughn was going to direct the sequel is reason to be excited. However, I completely forgot this was coming out this year! I mean, out of all the other comic based films coming out this has definitely gotten lost in the shuffle even though it should be a highlight. It’s like being Klay Thompson on the Warriors; everyone knows how good he is but all conversation is about Stephan Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. Still, if you remember this is coming out you’ll want to see it.

Despicable Me 3

OK, so the franchise is slightly below the high standard of Pixar. There’s not a ton of stuff there to really chew on and not a lot of inside jokes for adults. So why is this making the list? Because the first two are a lot of fun; they get continuous play on FX which means something right? Well, this also has Trey Parker voicing the villain. All the South Park fans will be interested because of his involvement. This is a fun franchise looking to build on it. Plus that part at the end of the trailer is cute and funny!

Which films are you looking forward to? Which ones are you nervous about? Leave a comment below!

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