The 2016 Film Preview
2015’s been an okay year for film, as with any other year there are ups, there are downs and there is plenty in between. Birdman, Sicario, Mad Max & MI:5 have been some of the highlights for this blog. Pleasantly surprising is what Ex Machina, John Wick, Ant-Man and Run All Night ended up being. And disappointing probably isn’t even the word (‘shit’ is though) to describe Taken 3 and Child 44.
With that in mind here are what I will be looking forward to seeing…
1 – Hail, Cesar! (UK Release Date – 26th Feb/ US Release Date – 5th Jan)
Anytime The Coen Brothers put a film out it’s always a good idea to sit up and notice. From those that brought you The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men, Fargo and True Grit we now see them throw together a 1950’s comedy crime caper with the absolute stellar cast of George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill AND Scarlett Johanssen, just to name a few.
The Coen’s comedies can be a bit hit and miss at times, but by the looks of the trailer (click here) if they can find some middle ground between what works well in A Serious Man and Burn After Reading then it’s bound to be a good watch.
2 – Triple 9 (UK Release Date – 18th Feb/US Release Date – 26th Feb)
If you are not convinced by the trailer (here) then there’s a good chance you won’t be by any this year. Triple 9 is looking like a cross between Gone Baby Gone & Heat with its tone/action and with the ensemble cast of Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejifoor, Woody Harrelson, Gal Gadot, Kate Windslet, Norman Reedus, Aaron Paul, Anthony Mackie et al, it’s going to be difficult not to get hyped up for this.
3 – Passengers (UK Release Date – 23rd Dec/US Release Date – 21st Dec)
Now, I see many a complaint about the lack of original content coming out with every reboot/sequel/adaptation being released pretty much every month, and then we had Jupiter Ascending…
Now I don’t believe it was nearly as bad as many thought it was but be careful what you wish for. Passengers is also another original Sci-Fi story and while not a lot is known in terms of plot it has Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) directing and Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt carrying it this could be one of those to get excited about the more we hear about it.
4 – Midnight Special (UK Release Date – 15th Apr/US Release Date – 18th Mar)
The premise here appears to be pretty basic one, a father (Micheal Shannon) abducts his own son who has developed some sort of power and is on the run from various interests, and none the less the trailer (here) has some intrigue about it.
Micheal Sheen, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst and Adam Driver join Shannon under director Jeff Nichols, whose CV includes the impressive Mud as well as Take Shelter. This could be one of the sleeper hits of the year.
5 – Story of Your Life (UK Release Date – Unknown/US Release Date – Unknown)
Another Sci-Fi film where little is known except that an alien invasion has happened and expert linguists are dispatched in an attempt to find out whether their intentions are passive or aggressive. The only other details known are that Jeremy Renner, Amy Adams & Forest Whitaker star in this under the continually excellent Denis Villeneuve (Sicario/Prisoners/Enemy). Villeneuve is on top of his game right now and anything he directs should not be missed.
1 – Deadpool (UK Release Date – 10th Feb/US Release Date – 12th Feb)
Probably the riskiest superhero movies to date and in turn one of the most anticipated, if the red band trailer (here) is anything to go by entertainment is the name of the game. Whether the film can pull off continually breaking the 4th wall remains to be seen but nevertheless Ryan Reynolds appears to be (on the face of it) a good fit.
2 – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (UK Release Date – 18th Nov/US Release Date 18th Nov)
They were never going to just let the Harry Potter franchise just lie were they? The tale of Newt Scaramanger’s adventures is set in the secret witch/wizard society of New York 70 years before Harry picks up his book in Hogwarts. Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne leads with Ezra Miller, Colin Farell, Ron Pealman and Jon Voight in tow, considering how little we’ve seen footage wise, it is something that looks quite promising.
3 – Star Trek Beyond (UK Release Date – 22nd July/US Release Date – 2nd July)
JJ Abrams did a bang up job re-invigorating the Star Trek franchise and while fans were divided on Into Darkness, it is hard not to look forward to something that Simon Pegg has scripted (even if Justin Lin is directing) for the third installment .
All the usual faces return with the added presence of Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella (lady with the blade legs in Kingsman) and although the first trailer was action heavy (here) Pegg has promised that there will be plenty of substance to go along with it too.
4 – Zoolander 2 (UK Release Date – 12th Feb/US Release Date – 12th Feb)
Why am I looking forward to it? Because it’s Zoolander 2, that’s why! Although we’ve been stung by sub par sequels before (I’m looking at you Anchorman), going on the trailer (here) it looks ridiculous and any time ‘A’ list celebrities (Bieber/Kardasian) are involved I’m extremely wary. But if it turns out to be fun and provide genuine laughs, well, then the world can look past a few casting indiscretions.
5 – Rogue One – A Star Wars Story (UK Release Date – 16th Dec/US Release Date – 16th Dec)
After Episode VII – The Force Awakens spectacular Ali like return to the ring it will be difficult for anyone not to have high expectations for Rogue One. Essentially it is Episode III.5 and revolves around how the Death Star plans fell in to the Rebels hands for Episode IV. It sounds like it’s going to be a heist movie and with a cast that includes Mads Mikkelson, Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, Alan Tudyk & Ben Mendelsohn let’s hope Monsters/Godzilla director Gareth Edwards delivers as expectations are high.
6 – Captain America : Civil War (UK Release Date – 29th Apr/US Release Date – 6th May)
After the first official trailer dropped (here) the collective nerdgasm shook social media tectonic plates as Marvel’s Phase II is coiming to an end. This time it’s the old X-Men ‘mutant registration act’ story line with Captain America and half the superheroes on one side opposing being registered and Iron Man with the rest on the other side.
While the majority of fans are looking forward to seeing things like the appearance of Spiderman, and if Marvel have the stones to kill off a main character before entering Phase III, it’s how the Russo Brothers (Cptn. Am 2) deal with the conflict between Hawkeye & Black Widow who are now on opposite sides, as well as Scarlet Witch & Vision and the debut appearance of Black Panther that I am looking forward to see.
7 – Assassins Creed (UK Release Date – 30th Dec/US Release Date – 21st Dec)
The general rule of thumb with video game adaptations is to keep a barge pole well and truly between you and it. Yes we all loved a bit of Street Fighter way back when but fact of the matter is there has not been a film that has transferred the medium onto the big screen successfully.
Here comes the but…. BUT if one ever had a chance, this one just might. Director Justin Kurzel has recently directed the critically acclaimed Macbeth with Fassbender and Cotillard who are reunited again and with Jeremy Irons/Brendan Gleeson added this film has some serious talent on show. So it will look good and there is talent, the success and failure of this film will lie with the script one feels.
8 – Suicide Squad (UK Release Date – 5th Aug/US Release Date – 5th Aug)
The ultimate anti-hero caper where action and death will be a premium, well well well, DC might just be able to put out something to rival Marvel this year. I’ve all but written off Dawn of Justice after the extremely poor first trailer and the little known Suicide Squad could be entertaining if they don’t try and do too much with it and don’t use it to set too much up. Losing Tom Hardy as Rikk Flag was a blow but there’s more than enough star power to get on by, it’s Jared Leto’s Joker that will be the most anticipated and in turn, the most scrutinized thing about this movie.
9 – Doctor Strange (UK Release Date – 28th Oct/ US Release Date – 4th Nov)
Yes it is another Marvel movie but much like Ant Man was at the time, Doctor Strange is little known and therefore has the potential to surprise and establish another character in the MCU. Even though the market is flooded with superheroes at the moment Benedict Cumberbatch is extremely watchable, as is Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelson & Chiwetel Ejifoor in this incredibly strong cast. As the protagonist and his history is more mystical than super power orientated, horror director Scott Derrickson could bring a level of darkness the MCU is missing.
10 – The Jungle Book (UK Release Date – 15th Apr/US Release Date – 15th Apr)
One of the biggest surprises came after watching the trailer (here) for this film. Doing a live action version of one of the most well known childrens’ tales is about as ambitious as it gets but give director John Favreau his due, it looks spectacular. As with many of the films on this list the cast is star studded, Scarlett Johannsen, Idris Elba, Bill Murray, Christopher Walken and Ben Kingsley with the CGI looking completely immersive. This looks like it could be one of those for adults and kids alike, one for which I look forward to.