As we welcomed in the new year with fireworks, bubbly, and those odd people we call ‘family’, there was something I realised looking forward to the year ahead. This year is going to be an expensive one. But expensive in one particular area: the cinema.
There are some incredible films to look forward to this year, and I can see that cinema trips will be frequent on account of the sheer number of exciting films set for release in 2016, though my bank account probably won’t thank me for that. And while there’s such a hype about the film calendar this year, I thought I’d dedicate a post to my top films of the year, the ones I’m most excited for.
**SPOILER FREE POST** (I mean, duh)
My homemade categories consist of: Superheroes, Sci-fi & Fantasy, Disney & Animation, and Sequels.
- Captain America: Civil War (Russo). Seeing as the Cap is my favourite Marvel superhero, naturally this one’s top of the list, but even without that little bias this film looks like another epic box office hit. There seems to be a trend at the moment in cinema about epic-ness and world-defining narratives, but the audiences are loving it, and I’m afraid I’m no exception. Particularly exciting about this film, is the dynamic between Captain America and Iron Man that we see in the trailer: while we know they don’t get on all that well at the best of times, here they are actually pitted against each other. This film is certain to divide opinion, and probably the internet too.
- X-Men: Apocalypse (Singer). First things first, Sophie Turner Sophie Turner SOPHIE TURNER. As you can probably tell, I’m a Thrones fan, and quite excited about seeing the young Miss Turner in the role of Jean Grey, and that’s the first thing that hits in the trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse (props to the promo team). This is another film that looks epic and high stakes, and I’m wondering where this fits on the X-Men timeline after Days of Future Past. I’ll be interested to see what they do with this one, particularly where Charles Xavier’s hair and the antagonist (who remains somewhat of a mystery) are concerned.
- Deadpool (Miller). A superhero film with a difference. This is the superhero for the older audience, the first of his kind in the Marvel franchise. Interesting, I hear you say. Indeed it is. But from what the trailer shows us, it looks like he’s going to be a fantastic new hero to add to the Marvel cinematic universe. Also, notably for Game of Thrones fans, Ed Skrein has the role of Ajax in Deadpool – possibly the reason for his sudden departure from the show after a measly 3 episodes in the role of Daario Naharis (if you even remember him at all); he did say that he left the show to follow a path into film, so maybe this is it.
- Ones to watch. Other noteworthy Superhero films for the year include: Doctor Strange (Derrickson), which is national treasure Cumberbatch’s next gig; DC’s Suicide Squad (Ayer) which is creating A LOT of hype; and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (Snyder) which promises to be a great crowd-pleaser, provided everyone can accept Ben Affleck as the Bat after Christian Bale’s ownership of the role in the recent films. Is it too soon? Perhaps. A final thing worth noting here is the edition of Wonder Woman and the promise of a female-led film of her own next year. My bets are that Marvel will feel the need to follow suit for fear of criticism. After all, everyone’s been crying out for a Black Widow film for a while now. What DID happen in Budapest…?
Sci-Fi & Fantasy
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Yates). While the trailer leaves much unsaid, the producers have successfully hooked everyone right back into the wizarding world of Harry Potter, only this time in the US. As exciting as this film seems to be, it’s got a lot to live up to, and a lot of crowd-pleasing to do – the Potterheads are very fond of their world. Although I’m sure it’ll be a huge success with J.K. Rowling herself writing the screenplay; she knows her fans well. Fantastic Beasts is in safe hands. It is going to be amazing. I can feel it.
- Warcraft (Jones). I saw the trailer for this in the cinema, and almost instantly got a this tingly feeling shooting down my spine. As a big fantasy fan, this film appears to have everything, just the right ingredients to make something great, and I’m naturally very excited about that prospect. But again, I just hope the makers have done enough to satisfy the many players of World of Warcraft out there. There will be uproar if not.
- Ones to watch. Obviously, I have to include the next instalment of the beloved Star Wars franchise, though I personally know very little about the next film due for release. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Edwards) will take place between Episode III and Episode IV, focusing on a small group of resistance fighters and starring Felicity Jones and Mads Mikkelsen.
Disney & Animation
- The Secret Life of Pets (Renaud & Cheney). For anyone who hasn’t seen the trailer or hasn’t heard of this film, I implore you to look it up. It looks brilliant. It comes from the brains behind Despicable Me, and while there are many out there (including me) who are getting a little sick of Minion Fever, rest assured the little critters don’t appear in this one. And it looks quite ingenious. Somewhere in the vein of Pixar’s explorations into what happens when we aren’t around in Toy Story and the inventive genius of Inside Out, I think this particular film is set to be a great hit.
- The BFG (Spielberg). There’s a little word there that’s already got some people’s hearts pumping. Yep, that’s right. Spielberg. Surely this film will be an automatic success then? Perhaps. I personally know a number of people who aren’t very fond of Roald Dahl stories, so wouldn’t be interested in seeing this film, even if it is being made by our Steve. But, I for one will be veeerry curious to see what he does with the weird and wonderful tale, particularly when the animated production of 1989 was so present in my childhood.
- The Jungle Book (Favreau). This is another revamp of a classic, rather a theme of this year’s Disney & Animation films (as you’ll see in a moment). In comparison to The BFG, in my mind, this film doesn’t need a revamp. But that won’t stop me from getting excited about the prospect of a live action version with an all-star cast: Scarlett Johnasson, Lupita Nyong’o, Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Idris Elba, and Christopher Walken (right?!) because the new Jungle Book looks amazing.
- Ones to watch. Okay, now you’ll see what I meant about the revamp theme: Pete’s Dragon (Lowery), which has no trailer as yet but boasts a strong leading cast, with Robert Redford and a trio of other stars of Jurassic World, The Lord of the Rings and The Hunger Games fame; Disney’s next live action reproduction of a classic comes in the form of The Legend of Tarzan (Yates), which has already found its place among social media through its male lead, Mr Skargård … everyone’s very excited.
I just wanted to give a quick mention to the many, many sequels set for release in 2016 (according to IMDb at the time of publishing this post), and the ones I’m most looking forward to viewing. So, in no particular order…
And there you have it. Have a wonderful year, and may it be filled with many glorious cinema trips, and too much popcorn!