Friday, January 19, 2018

My 20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

It's fun to think about what's coming out and which movies I'm most interested in, then compare that at the end of the year to what I actually enjoyed.  Of my 20 Most Anticipated last year, 12 of them turned out to be Top 20 movies for me, so that's pretty cool. One of them (Hostiles) was pushed back to this year and another (Jumanji 2) I just haven't been able to schedule yet, so that leaves 6 that were disappointing in some way.

Of those, I've seen and was underwhelmed by three (The BeguiledThe Mummy, and Justice League) and thanks to trailers and reviews, completely lost interest in three others (Dark TowerFerdinand, and Pitch Perfect 3) before they hit theaters.

So here's what I'm most eager to see this year. As always, these aren't the movies that I'm predicting will be the best; just the ones that I most want to see. Tell me what you're looking forward to in the comments!

20. Tomb Raider

I'm a mark for treasure-hunter movies and have enjoyed even the Angelina Jolie movies on some level. The trailer for this one is visually impressive and Vikander is a talented actor, so I'm just hoping that the story is up to snuff.

19. Mary Magdalene

One of the most fascinating characters in the New Testament, even without the Dan Brown nonsense. It's about time someone made a movie about her.

18. Mary Poppins Returns

I enjoy the classic adaptation, but it's not holy ground and I'm glad to see that the rest of the book series will get some attention, too. Not that I've read the books. And these movies will see that I don't have to.

17. Mowgli

I don't really need a new Jungle Book adaptation, but I'm interested in almost anything Andy Serkis does. And it'll be interesting to see what he does to avoid comparisons with the Jon Favreau Disney remake.

16. Incredibles 2

I've cooled off on Brad Bird after Tomorrowland, but I've still loved 80% of his movies and am interested in what he's able to do with this. I'm especially curious how a new Incredibles movie compares to the modern landscape of superhero movies. The first one was released the same year as Spider-Man 2, when we were just starting to figure out that great superhero movies were possible. The bar has been raised a lot higher since then and I'm not 100% confident that Incredibles 2 can clear it.

15. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

That first trailer was underwhelming, so my excitement's down some, but I'm not counting out Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and dinosaurs just yet. Wow, though. I hope Jeff Goldblum's character has something more fun to do than sit in a courtroom. And that screeching, partial version of the musical theme is chalkboard-scratch annoying. Hoping it's just a bad trailer.

14. A Quiet Place

Just do what I did. Watch the trailer without knowing anything about it first, and then see if you fall in love with it, too.

13. Game Night

Another one where the trailer grabbed me. As someone who loves getting together with friends to play games, I'm ready to laugh about that activity and this reminds me some of The Man Who Knew Too Little, which is a good thing.

12. Pacific Rim: Uprising

I wasn't crazy about the first one, but I loved a lot of things about it almost as much as I love John Boyega.

11. Rampage

Another awesome trailer. Start with The Rock, add a giant gorilla, then add a giant wolf, and finish with, "I was just thinking the only that’s missing right now is a giant crocodile." It may have helped that I'm not at all familiar with the video game it's based on.

10. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy was all I needed to know, but the trailer makes it look like a pretty great fantasy film with some of my favorite classical music as a soundtrack.

9. M:I 6 - Mission Impossible

Except for the second entry, this series hasn't done me wrong yet. And Rebecca Ferguson's back!

8. We Have Always Lived in the Castle

I just read the novel last year and liked it a lot. Alexandra Daddario is a strange choice to play Constance, but I'm hoping that there's more to her than I've seen in other movies. I'm all in for Taissa Farmiga as Merricat, though, as well as Crispin Glover as Uncle Julian and Sebastian Stan as slimy Cousin Charles.

7. Aquaman

As much as I like Jason Momoa, Justice League made me less excited for an Aquaman solo movie. Aquaman is cool in JL, but there's not much more to him than that. I'm hoping that the solo movie will correct that, because Aquaman's one of my favorite superheroes.

6. Ant-Man and the Wasp

It was a nice surprise to see the first one hold together so well after all the behind-the-scenes drama. It was a great superhero movie and I'm ready for more.

5. Scorched Earth

This was on my Movies I Missed List from last year, but that's because it's being released this year, as it turns out. Gina Carano playing a bounty hunter in a post-apocalyptic Western. It can't be as awesome as it sounds, but I intend to find out.

4. Black Panther

The enormous cast is intimidating, but I like this character a lot in the comic as well as in Captain America: Civil War. And Wakanda is just an awesome setting for a great adventure.

3. Avengers: Infinity War

I can't image how this movie will be able juggle all the characters in it, but I wondered the same thing about the first Avengers movie and Civil War. Not betting against Marvel.

2. Ocean's 8

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you.

1. Solo

I'm trying hard not to be excited for this. The director drama is worrisome and it's not even a story I ever really wanted to see. The AC Crispin books that cover all of this were just fine for me. But the closer we get, the more eager I am, especially to see Donald Glover as Lando. Nervously eager.


Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

Mary Poppins Returns: Like yourself, I like the original film but it isn't on a pedestal like it is for many of my peers. If Lin Manuel Miranda is involved with the than I know I'll have the songs stuck in my head as soon as the trailer drops.

Mowgli: Like a moth to the flame, success invites imitators.

Incredibles 2: As much as I enjoy the original and Brad Bird's directing (I blame Tomorrowland mostly on the all chase scene script) this one has been up in the air for so long its hard to get all that excited without knowing more of what it will be about.

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom: As opposed to the more logical title of "Extinction", but I'm pretty sure that's on a Hollywood no-no list for names for fear of bad buzz in the trade paper headlines. I'm less interested in the returning cast as much as I am curious about what Ted Levine and Toby Jones are going to be doing in this one.

Game Night: I'm disappointed that Kyle Chandler didn't make billing on the poster. I watched "Early Edition" pretty regularly in the 90s so I keep an eye on what he's in. My brother is big into organizing couples game nights so I may see if this is streaming anywhere come Christmastime.

Pacific Rim: The trailer definitely looks more "toyetic" with more of a blockbuster sheen. Actually it looks more like a Power Rangers movie than the one we had this past year!

Rampage: This is obviously a B-Movie without too much money, but the trailer makes it feel competent enough that it may end up being more enjoyable than an otherwise bloated A-Budget feature.

Black Panther: Chadwick Boseman has a charm to him that could play an important figure in the Marvel movies going forward now that Iron Man and Captain America's solo films appear to have run their course. Plus its clear both he and Wakanda are going play significant roles in Infinity War so its a brilliant strategy of required viewing yet again.

Avengers Infinity War: Hands down my biggest anticipation. When the Avengers first assembled on screen it was something I never thought was possible. Now everyone we've seen is in the same sandbox together. I think its a safe bet Thanos might actually do something this time!

Solo: No surprise this is at the top of your list. While I'm disappointed that Lord and Miller's manic energy is out, I'm confident that we will still see a quality film. Personally I'm much more curious to see how this will play given that this is the first summer release since the Star Wars revival. I expect a spike in merchandising visibility in my day to day rounds.

Siskoid said...

Let's compare notes...

Tomb Raider: I think we're at a point where they can do a good Lara Croft movie. I follow Vikander wherever she goes basically.

Mary Poppins is gonna be our Christmas movie, lots of excitement for this in the household.

Mowgli: Erik, it's less an imitation than Disney essentially scooping Sirkis. The movie was supposed to come out that same year, and he was forced to push it back to avoid getting smoked at the box office. I recall him being pretty peeved about it.

All the superhero movies: Of course I'm going to those!

Jurassic World: As you may remember Michael, I was a big thumbs down on the first one. I'm not expecting things to get better.

A Quiet Place: Looks like a big year for Emily Blunt. I was going to see this even before the trailer.

Game Night: Wasn't aware of this. Made me think of Fincher's The Game, except in reverse.

Pacific Rim: Haha Erik, you said "toytic"! I know what you've been watching on Netflix!

Rampage: I played the arcade game so when I saw this trailer, I literally said "What is this, Rampage?" and it was. It'll either be completely stupid and obnoxious, or a goofy fun time. Don't know yet.

Nutcracker: Keira Knightley is on my no-fly list, but my gang's not gonna want to miss a Nutcracker movie.

MI6: Hm, that sounds like it's something else ;) Happy about Ocean's 8 too. And Solo doesn't give me worries.

As for what's on my list that isn't on yours, let me see. In the immediate future, there's The Post, Phantom Thread, I Tonya, and if our theaters can get their crap together, The Shape of Water, but let's look ahead further...

Red Sparrow (if it really is basically a Black Widow movie)
Isle of Dogs (quite high on the list)
New Mutants
Cloverfield 3
The Predator (Shane Black? I'm there)
First Man (Damien Chazelle directs Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong)
live action Mulan

Lots of other titles on my list, but these jump out at me most notably.

Can't wait to see how it all pans out this time next year!

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

Amusingly I just learned that Solo, the film that Miller and Lord were ejected is out this summer, while the animated Spider-Man film that they wrote is set for a December release that would would have likely been the Star Wars slot. At least the two films aren't going head to head, that puts my mind at ease about seeing both.

I'd be curious if this was on your radar at all.

Michael May said...

Erik, I'm with you in not understanding why Kyle Chandler isn't a bigger star. I love that guy and he should absolutely be on the Game Night poster.

I saw a trailer for the animated Spider-Man film, but hadn't realized it's by Miller and Lord. That makes me 1000% more interested in it. I'm not currently a fan of Spider-Man precisely because there are so many Spider-Heroes running around. It's a huge problem for me with Marvel right now: too many Avengers comics, too many X-Men comics, too many Spider-Man comics, and I can't tell any of them apart. So a movie with the tag line "more than one wears the mask" is working against itself with me, but I will never bet against Miller and Lord making an entertaining movie.

Michael May said...

Siskoid, several of yours almost cracked my Top 20. Annihilation, Isle of Dogs, New Mutants, Cloverfield 3, and The Predator are all especially interesting to me.

I want to be more excited about Red Sparrow than I am. I think that between recent Black Widow comics and the Agent Carter TV series, I've already seen this concept done the way I want it. But I never say "no thanks" to Jennifer Lawrence.

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

I do find it amusing that we could potentially have two concurrently running Spider-Man movie franchises very much like how it was in the comics with Amazing and Ultimate Spider-Man. Will it be the game changer that the Marvel Cinematic Universe was with its shared universe? That reminds to be seen.

I also hear you about the state of comics right now. Usually I wait for a title to get enough good press before I pick up the trade. That may take the thrill out of discovering something good on my own, by I've got to be picky with how I spend my time these days.

Jennifer Lawrence may get the no thanks from me for signing up for X-Men: Dark Phoenix. After the mediocre Apocalypse, I just don't feel like I need to see this iteration of the team anymore, especially when we'd had quality spinoffs and have New Mutants already coming out this year.

Michael May said...

I agree that Apocalypse is mediocre, but it's not so bad that I'm done with the series and I do love Lawrence as Mystique. I'll check it out, even though I'm not at all interested in another iteration of the Dark Phoenix story.

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

Apocalypse feels like that inevitable part of any long running franchise, the installment thats just "eh". Because it did so little for me I probably could rant about missed opportunities but also because of that it hardly even feels worth thinking about. "Days of Future Past" just felt like the logical end for this series and it feels like its been dragging its heels.

Its more concerning that they've chosen a story thats famous for being previously adapted in largely superficial ways, and Simon Kinberg as first time director (and previous writer on Fant4stic) doesn't inspire much confidence.


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