All the right movies
Our movie guy previews 2016’s coming attractions
The past year was a good one for cinema, and 2016 also looks promising.
The following is just a sample of what's coming. Keep in mind that the release calendar is still taking shape and a bunch of films don't have release dates yet. These include movies from Martin Scorsese (Silence), Nicolas Winding Refn (The Neon Demon), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Ana Lily Amirpour (The Bad Batch), and Chad Stahelski (John Wick 2).
Also, this sampling is heavy on the blockbuster stuff. I expect brainier fare will make its way onto the schedule as the year progresses.
Hail, Caesar! (Feb. 5): This is where the film year really starts. The next one from the Coen brothers stars George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum and Josh Brolin in a Hollywood caper. I like when the Coens go to Hollywood. That’s what they did in Barton Fink.
Deadpool (Feb. 12): Ryan Reynolds tries to become a mega star again. I think he should just stick with the smaller movies, where he excels. His attempts to expand almost always fail. In fact, rumor has it, if Deadpool is a huge success, the universe will collapse upon itself, our faces will turn inside out, everybody will die, and Sam Rockwell will have a hit movie, too.
Zoolander 2 (Feb. 12): Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell return with Stiller directing. The first one has aged well, and Stiller is primed to get really weird again.
The Witch (Feb. 26): Editor Brad Bynum brought the trailer for this horror film to my attention a couple of months ago. I’ve been afraid ever since.
Knight of Cups (March 4): Terrence Malick takes a look at fame, or the fountains and birds and running water that surround fame. Or sunsets with poetry … or something like that. No matter, I’ll probably love it.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant (March 18): Oh man, I thought this was the last one! There’s another one next year!
Midnight Special (March 18): Michael Shannon reteams with the man who made Take Shelter and Mud. I don’t think you’ll find a more encouraging sentence regarding movies this year.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (March 25): It looks like I’m getting my birthday wish! It’s a sequel to one of the most overrated, lamest comedies of all time! IT’S JUST WHAT I’VE ALWAYS WANTED!
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (March 25): This also comes out on my birthday. Zack Snyder shat the bed with Man of Steel and Suckerpunch, but he did decent work with Watchmen, 300 and the Dawn of the Dead remake. Let’s hope this product is indicative of that phase of his career and he doesn’t pull a Schumacher and send Batman back to the Dark Ages, where Superman currently resides.
I Saw the Light (March 25): My other birthday wish was that somebody would make a movie about Hank Williams with the Incredible Hulk as the legendary country singer. This one has Loki singing “Move It on Over.” Skunked!
The Jungle Book (April 15): Jon Favreau directs a bunch of CGI animals and a human in this modern take on the Rudyard Kipling book. Bill Murray is Baloo. He voiced a bear rather than starring in the Ghostbusters sequel. The man has priorities.
Amityville: The Awakening (April 15): Jennifer Jason Leigh, after a career-best performance in The Hateful Eight, will soon be seen headlining this thing. Daisy Domergue deserved a better fate.
The Huntsman Winter’s War (April 22): Kristen Stewart made out with the director of Snow White and the Huntsman so she wasn’t invited back for the sequel.
Captain America: Civil War (May 6): Avengers: Age of Ultron is my least favorite of the latest phase of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies (the Iron Man, Captain America and Thor films … not those stupid Ghost Rider and Daredevil flicks). I hope things get back on track with this one.
X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27): Xavier loses his hair in this one!
Alice Through the Looking Glass (May 27): After a brief flirtation with almost being almost cool again (Black Mass), Johnny Depp goes back to making crap.
Finding Dory (June 17): I think Ellen DeGeneres did all-time great voice acting in the original, so this should be fun. I hope she impersonates a whale again.
Independence Day: Resurgence (June 24): I don’t know about this one. I just don’t know.
The BFG (July 1): Steven Spielberg makes a kids movie based on a Roald Dahl book using a script from the woman who wrote E.T. Thank god it’s not another historical drama.
La La Land (July 15): A modern musical set in L.A. starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Gosling was a Mouseketeer with Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. The guy can dance and sing!
Ghostbusters (July 15): I stand forever pissed that Bill Murray wouldn’t play full time in this sandbox again, but I am encouraged by a cast that includes Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and the national treasure that is Kate McKinnon. Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Annie Potts, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver make cameos. I hope they dust off Rick Moranis, too.
Star Trek Beyond (July 22): Let’s all just ignore the trailer for this one, shall we?
Untitled Jason Bourne Movie (July 29): This is essentially Matt Damon’s Never Say Never Again.
Suicide Squad (August 5): Will Jared Leto be the next great Joker? I don’t really care, because Margot Robbie is Harley Quinn, and that’s where I think my attention shall be going, thank you.
Pete’s Dragon (August 12): They are remaking this without music. Sacrilege!
Sausage Party (August 12): Seth Rogen’s dirty animated movie that he’s been talking up for years.
Ben-Hur (August 12): This is a remake or reboot or whatever of that Charlton Heston-on-a-chariot movie.
Sully (Sept. 9): Tom Hanks stars and Clint Eastwood directs a movie about the heroic pilot who crash landed in the Hudson River. That landing was, what, five minutes? What the hell is the rest of the movie about? Sully at pilot school? Sully stopping at Dunkin’ Donuts between flights? Sully yelling at a bunch of kids who liken him to the big furry character in Monsters, Inc.?
The Magnificent Seven (Sept. 23): OK, that’s three remakes in about a month. Come on, now!
Inferno (October 14): Another Da Vinci Code sequel. This franchise is a boil on the neck of Tom Hanks.
Doctor Strange (Nov. 4): This one of those Marvel movies where I’m all like, “Who gives a shit?” so I hope it catches me off guard with greatness. Still, is every damn comic book going to get a movie?
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Nov.18): The Harry Potter universe lives on at the cinemas with this prequel penned by J.K. Rowling herself. Uh oh … that word … prequel!
The Founder (Nov. 25): Michael Keaton stars as the guy who created McDonald’s. The book has been described as “The Social Network meets There Will Be Blood.” I’m encouraged.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Dec. 16): I wonder if this will be the first Star Wars movie that doesn’t have an introductory crawl. I wonder if Darth Vader will show up because the events of this film are between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. I wonder if this will be a decent prequel. Uh oh … there’s that word again … PREQUEL!
Assassin’s Creed (Dec.21): When I first saw this title, I got all excited because I thought it might be a sequel to Creed where Adonis Creed says nuts to boxing and sets upon a career path shooting government officials and rock stars. Then I found out it was based on some stupid video game.