First off, Happy New Year (unless you’re reading this in February, in which case, ‘hello’).
Secondly, if you took time to read any of my posts in 2016, thanks! I’ll hopefully do a bit more with the blog this year, but 2016 was all about getting started and trying things. If you’ve anything you’d like to see (features, format, pictures!), or if something doesn’t work, let me know.
Thirdly, it’s now 2017, so that means I can highlight some of the films or events I’m excited about over the next 12 months. These are in no particular order – and it’s not exhaustive by any means – but feel free to get annoyed anyway.
La La Land
I really can’t be doing with most musicals. Some of the Disney animation ones are good, but the theatre-style singing makes me grind my teeth. Despite this, the reviews for La La Land have been almost universally excellent, it’s from the guy who did Whiplash and it stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, so I have fairly high hopes it’ll be the exception to the rule.
The final Hugh Jackman Wolverine film looks like it might be one of the best in the X-continuity. It picks up with an older, greyer, Wolverine in an world where no new mutants are being born and throws a young girl into his midst. Jackman’s always been great as Wolverine, even in the ropier films in the series (the last two solo films, for example), so hopefully he gets to bow out in style.
Ben Wheatley’s High Rise didn’t quite live up to my (very) high expectations, but it was partly to do with the oddness of the source novel. With Free Fire, Wheatley’s dealing with original material again as a meeting between rival gangs descends into chaos. This has a cracking cast, including Brie Larson and Cillian Murphy, and it could be both really good fun and totally bonkers.
Foreign language films I don’t yet know about
Last year, it was the likes of Train to Busan and Mustang that came out of almost nowhere and left an impression. For obvious reasons, the buzz about foreign films is fairly quiet, but Robbie Collin in The Telegraph and Mark Kermode in The Observer are the best people to point you in the right direction.
Up until Interstellar, Christopher Nolan couldn’t do wrong in my eyes. And while Interstellar was interesting and looked amazing, it didn’t quite work on an emotional level on the way it was meant to. Dunkirk, I’m guessing, will be on a much surer footing. Its huge, impressive, cast suggests it might be more of an ensemble than an individual story and I’d wager it’ll be a pretty full-on, immersive experience.
Fast & Furious 8
That’s right! F&F8 (or The Fate and the Furious if you’re both unlucky and American) is out this year and I am jazzed. While the first four F&F films are, at best, average, the movies since Fast Five have been tremendously good fun. In reality, Five remains the best of the entire series, but F&F 8 promises Jason Statham teaming up with The Rock, Charlize Theron and people talking about ‘family’ at least 3 times every conversation.
The Glasgow Film Festival
The Film Festival‘s been getting bigger every year and this year promises to be another belter. The Opening and Closing films have been announced: Handsome Devil for the Opening Gala and Mad to be Normal, starring David Tennant to close. Also announced so far is their series of free morning films, this year on ‘Dangerous Dames’.
The various Marvel/DC films
To be honest, I’m not really that excited about most of these. If Justice League isn’t a dog’s dinner I’ll be surprised, Thor 3 has a lot of work to do to convince me after the 2nd one and there’s yet another Spider-Man reboot. But, on the plus side, Guardians Vol. 2 will probably be fun and it would be nice if Wonder Woman gets the film her appearance in Batman Vs. Superman deserved.
Blade Runner 2049
Ridley Scott! Harrison Ford! Ryan Gosling! Moody visuals!
Not much else to go on yet, but hopefully the Blade Runner sequel lives up to its predecessor.
A potential Oscar front runner about a young black man growing up in Miami during the War on Drugs and dealing with his sexuality, it’s currently sitting at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Will It, the story of a group of teenagers – and, later, adults – who confront an ancient extraterrestrial being who transforms into your worst nightmare, be good? It possibly depends on whether or not it has Stephen King’s seal of approval. If the original author likes the adaption, chances are it’ll be terrible. If he hates it, we’ve got a horror classic on our hands.