2017 holds some promise, but also will devour the movie-going audience’s money by putting out sequels, reboots and recycled material galore. I’ll break some of the more anticipated films down into four distinct categories, and hopefully it will help you navigate the convoluted path of how to spend your hard-earned money on movie night.
The tent poles: Called so because they literally allow movie studios to stay afloat financially, these will almost certainly make billions of dollars worldwide. Each. Superhero films will again reign supreme with “Logan,“ Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2,” “Wonder Woman,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Justice League” and, of course, the tent pole of the entire industry, Disney’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” all slated for 2017 releases. Marvel and Disney are much more bankable these days than Warner Bros. and their DC brand, but keep an eye on “Wonder Woman.” It isn’t written or directed by Zack Snyder (a writing credit, but not screenplay), so I have hope that the DCEU just might come to rival Marvel yet. These films will be the best bang for your buck, and if you’re a casual fan, you can’t do wrong planning to see any of them.
The kids’ movies: Once upon a time, kids’ movies weren’t behemoth blockbusters, but then Pixar came along and amped up the game. The success of “The Lego Movie” in 2014 has spawned two follow-ups; “Lego Batman” and “Ninjago Lego,” and we are also going to be treated to “Cars 3,” “Despicable Me 2,” “Smurfs 2,” and “The Nut Job 2.” Don’t expect any of the original films on the release calendar to gain any traction, there won’t be a “Frozen” in the bunch. But there will be plenty to choose from.
The reboots and sequels: As if we haven’t just finally forgotten about David Hasselhoff, “Baywatch” is coming this summer. We’ll also be treated to a new “Jumanji,” “Flatliners,” “Six Billion Dollar Man,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Murder on the Orient Express,” “King Arthur,” “It,” and yes, “Kong: Skull Island.” There are some promising sequels however, particularly “Alien: Covenant” which is my personally most anticipated film of 2017. Ridley Scott is back and it looks to retain the grittiness and fear from his 1979 original. “Blade Runner: 2049” is another that is bringing Ryan Gosling in to pick up where Harrison Ford left off in 1982, and with Dennis Villaneuve (“Arrival”) at the helm, I’m quite optimistic. Not so much about the new “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” “Fast and the Furious 8,” “War for the Planet of the Apes,” or “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Some that may hold interested depending on your feelings toward the originals are “Kingsmen: The Golden Circle,” “John Wick 2,” “World War Z 2” and “Trainspotting 2.”
The original films: There are a few movies on my radar that are fresh, original and intriguing. The first is “Wind River.” Written and directed by the red hot Taylor Sheridan and starring Elizabeth Olson and Jeremy Renner, it should give you the action and complex story satisfaction you desire. Chris Nolan brings us “Dunkirk,” trying his hand at a World War 2 narrative. This will be one of the more interesting films, in my opinion, and is based on a book from a few years back, “The Circle.” Tom Hanks is the lead as we are taken into a near future where social media takes over our lives almost entirely. “Granite Mountain” might be the most heartbreaking action film of the year, about the Prescott, Arizona firefighters who died fighting a wildfire in 2013. Comedian Jordan Peele brings us “Get Out,” a horror film about an interracial relationship, and it just might be the guilty pleasure surprise of the year. Also noteworthy are “Life,” about astronauts who discover something beyond our planet, “Red Sparrow,” about Jennifer Lawrence as a Soviet double agent, and “American Made,” which reunites Tom Cruise with Doug Liman in a 1980s drug cartel drama.
So, what are Adam’s must-see films? I’m glad you asked: “Alien: Covenant,” “Blade Runner: 2049,” “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” “Wind River,” “Granite Mountain” and “Dunkirk.” But let’s be honest, I’ll probably see most (all) of the aforementioned films. Email me your thoughts as we enter another year of big budget entertainment.