Welcome to the first post of 2016! Here’s hoping that 2016 will be a much better one for everyone who’s had anything & everything go wrong for them in 2015. Regardless of all the craziness that occurred this past year for many, it was also a good year to be a geek. There was so much great content from all entertainment mediums that it’s going to take a mega-post to cover everything. My weekend’s going to be busy.
This post is focused on a number of films that fans are greatly anticipating (or shaking their heads in disbelief) and are arriving this new year. We saw lots of really good films come out in 2015 that greatly appealed to genre fans both young & old. Movies like Mad Max: Fury Road and Star Wars: The Force Awakens were well-received from older & newer fans of the franchises, and both films delivered some of the greatest action scenes of the year. My favorite film of the year is hands-down Mad Max: Fury Road. I actually caught a few major releases at the regular full-price cinema this year right before they hit the “dollar theater” – a first for me.
What were the notable releases of the year? Here’s a list of several films that fans flocked to see (or avoided) in 2015:
The Hateful Eight
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Sequels, prequels, remakes, reboots, original features – we saw a mix of all this past year. In 2016, we’re going to see even more of the same, but we’re also going to see some new releases that feature original content. What a concept! If Hollywood wasn’t so chickenshit and money-hungry and afraid of taking a chance on auteurs with fresh takes on old material or new stories, we’d get films that are fantastic in imagination and filled with unique storytelling.
The trailers and teasers that you see below are for some of the biggest releases of 2016. Some will succeed, some will surprise, and some will have you cursing and rolling your eyes so much that it’s probably best to stay at home and just watch TV or play games or something. I’ll be posting more trailers and teasers in the next few weeks as they are released online.
Most of these are dude-heavy films, so apologies ladies, but blame Hollywood and society that still stifles a woman’s creativity – despite the fact that female-centric movies do make a ton of cash like their male counterparts. If you squint, you might even see some POC’s (people of color) in the clips below. We’re a diverse population of humans – bring that diversity to film, Hollywood.
The Badass, Totally Un-PC, and Really NSFW Hero We’ve All Been Craving
[NSFW WARNING] This is the red-band trailer that was released on Christmas 2015. Best present ever this year! You might have to sign-in with your Google account to view it on YouTube, so be warned. Also – NSFW to reiterate. [/WARNING]
It’s Ryan Reynolds in his career-defining performance. Sure, Buried was a good film, but Reynolds was meant to play the “Merc-with-a-Mouth” since forever. This insane celluloid dream will finally be hitting theaters right before Valentine’s Day. Consider this the perfect date movie if you’re like me and love the following: liberal doses of sarcasm, crass humor, “meta” content, and tons of violence & sex.
I Can’t Even… A Film That Looks So Bad That It Can’t Be Redeemed in Any Way
GODS OF EGYPT – Friday, February 26
Another “based on ancient Egypt” film that has the most color-blind cast since…every other “based on ancient Egypt” film that has come out in the past few years. Egypt was very ethnically/racially diverse thousands of years ago, yet films like Exodus: Gods and Kings and this one have an almost all-Caucasian cast. This by-the-numbers take on deities fighting each other has Gerard Butler as Set, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Horus, Brenton Thwaites as the obligatory mortal that teams up with a super-powered being, and the inexplicable appearance of a very-talented actor: Geoffrey Rush as Ra. Sometimes really crappy films need an accomplished actor to help levitate them slightly above being pure nonsense into just regular ol’ nonsense. Gods of Egypt doesn’t even look like a fun cheesy flick, but one that I’d probably fall asleep too halfway through its run time (like Jurassic World, though that was slightly better).
“And the Award for 2015’s Worst Movie Trailer Goes To: A Michael Bay Production!”
The name of this tragically messy and unnecessary sequel film to an even crappier reboot is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. The film features a terrific actress that will leave you with the following question: Why is Laura Linney, one of the best actresses of her generation, in this movie? I hope she had fun making it because the trailer has no amount of fun in it at all. The only positive is that Stephen Amell from Arrow makes an appearance as Oliver Queen! Oh – he’s not playing Oliver in this film? That’s totally not Casey Jones… /sigh. I’m going to be that nostalgic geek and dream about Elias Koteas’ take on the badass character from the first TMNT movie from my youth. Not even Bebop and Rocksteady in the[animated] flesh could get me to watch this. If you liked the first movie, you’ll love this one. If you hated the first movie, you’re probably not going to dig this one either.
For the Potterheads in the Crowd
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM – November 2016
No need for an introduction or synopsis – I’m watching this opening day.
Everyone’s All Complaining About the Voice and I’m Like, “Take My Money NOW!!!”
I’ve never been a huge fan of Bryan Singer’s X-Men films, but I have enjoyed them all. The comic fan in me rolls her eyes at many of the creative liberties they’ve taken in some of the films with storylines and characters, but I love seeing all of my favorite X-Men on the big screen…except for Hally Berry’s Storm. I always envisioned Angela Bassett playing my favorite X-Men (next to Rogue and Nightcrawler) ’cause she looks like the Storm from the comics and early-1990’s cartoon, at least to me.
I’m stoked to see the younger, mohawked version of Storm in this movie, with what appears to be her classic costume. Hell yes! I’m stoked to see another favorite X-Men, Psylocke, in the film and played by Olivia Munn (I like the casting). What hasn’t won me over is Apocalypse himself. I like Oscar Isaac and have no issues with him portraying the role – it’s the costume and his voice (not as commanding as the Apocalypse from the cartoon) that are still growing on me. I’m definitely not hating the changes as much as other fans. If you want a good laugh for the weekend, check out the fan rantings on YouTube with this trailer.
How to Properly Execute the Trailer for a Highly-Anticipated Superhero Film
The Captain America films have been my favorite ones from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), with Guardians of the Galaxy a close second. If you haven’t watched the trailer for the third Captain America movie yet, you need to watch it now. It is a perfectly executed trailer that builds suspense, drama, and action quietly before bringing it all together into a beautiful, destructive climax. It leaves you anticipating the final product and wondering who will win in a battle between Team America and Team Stark. W also get our first look at one of the most badass Marvel heroes that hasn’t been shown in film, until now – Black Panther.
This is how you properly direct and write a superhero film, and I think it will be the bigger of the two major superhero flicks hitting right before the summer. That other film is below and the most recently-released trailer is… Yeah, just watch it.
How Not To Properly Execute the Trailer for a Highly-Anticipated Superhero Film
The more trailers and footage that I see for this film, the less excited I am for it. As a DC fan this saddens me, because I’ve been more into Marvel’s cinematic offerings in recent years. I waited months after Man of Steel was released to watch it and I’m glad I waited, because I was really disappointed by that film. It wasn’t good, it wasn’t the worst thing ever, but it was a very sub-standard film IMO. My expectations at this point are very low for this film, but maybe I’ll be surprised. And Gal Gadot is looking amazing as Wonder Woman – I can’t wait to see what she brings to the role when I watch the flick.
Why Is There a Sequel to This Film?
Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, and Helena Bonham Carter once again team up in this sequel to a terrible that shouldn’t have been made in the first place. I know there are a lot of you out there that loved the first Alice in Wonderland film, and I respect that. Personally, I cried quite a bit on the inside because I long for the days of the better collaborations between Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, and Helena Bonham Carter is a much better actress than what the first film displayed of her talents. Maybe this sequel will be fantastic, or it could be another reason to add to the many of why Burton & Depp need to step away from each other for a little bit to get their creative drive back.
Another Roald Dahl Classic Comes to the Big Screen
I read this story a long time ago when I was much younger, and I don’t remember much from it. I want to read the original story again because I love Roald Dahl, and this cinematic versions of some of his most famous works have been pretty good; Matilda being a personal favorite. Steven Spielberg directed the film, so expect lots of whimsical childhood moments and lots of nostalgic memories of simpler times.
I’ve Never Heard of This Film Until Now, But It Sure Looks Interesting
The following synopsis was taken from the YouTube description for the trailer:
“From the creators of The Signal (Sundance 2007) comes SYNCHRONICITY, a mind-bending ‘Sci-fi Noir’ in the tradition of Blade Runner, Gattaca and Memento. Daring physicist Jim Beale has invented a machine that can fold space-time and ruthless corporate tycoon Klaus Meisner will stop at nothing to get it. When Jim uses the machine to tear open the fabric of the universe, a rare Dahlia appears from the future. But in order to keep the rights to his invention he must prove that it works by finding the flower’s identical match in the present. Jim soon discovers that the Dahlia lies in the hands of the mysterious Abby, who seduces him into revealing his secrets. Convinced that she is in league with Klaus to take ownership of his life’s work, Jim travels back in time to stop the conspiracy before it can happen. But once in the past, Jim uncovers a surprising truth about Abby, the machine, and his own uncertain future.”
If People Still Dig It, They’ll Still Make ‘Em – Star Trek Three-quel
People wanted a third one? That’s cool, I guess. Thought Star Trek (2009) was OK, skipped Star Trek Into Darkness, and this looks like another skipper for me. I am a nostalgic Star Trek fan that liked the TV series and even watched all of the original films (every single great and terrible one) before the cinematic reboot of the franchise in 2009. Having Justin Lin as the director does not raise my confidence levels at all. Sure, it won’t be a good Star Trek film, but it sure as hell with be a great action-packed film. I seem to be getting more cynical the older I get.
They Made A Sequel to This in My Own Backyard…and I Had No Clue Until Now
Principal photography for this sequel to the action-packed classic was shot here in Albuquerque and surrounding areas, and I had no clue they were filming it until I saw a news report about production being completed on the film. “They actually greenlit a sequel?” I said to myself while wondering if there was a huge demand for a sequel at all. The first film is a ton of fun and it still holds up quite well as a cheesy action sci-fi adventure. A sequel to that perfection is going to be hard to pull off it doesn’t have the humor or jump-scares that the first one had, but I’m curious enough to see this one when it’s released right before my birthday.
The King of the Jungle Has Returneth – for the Hundredth Time?
THE LEGEND OF TARZAN – July 2016
I’ve seen so many different Tarzan movies growing up, but I can’t even remember the basic plots of them. It’s not because I don’t care or have never read the original story – I honestly can’t summarize any of them. Alexander Skarsgård and his amazing half-naked torso star in the flick, alongside Margot Robbie (who plays Harley Quinn in the upcoming Suicide Squad) as his gal pal Jane.
The rest of the main supporting cast are pretty badass too: Samuel L. Jackson, Djimon Honsou, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent, and Christoph Waltz (is there a movie he ISN’T starring in lately?). Director David Yates, best known as “the guy who directed the last four Harry Potter films,” bings this latest cinematic reboot to the silver screen. Though it looks a little “meh,” and I know the barest details of Tarzan, I’m still gonna watch it ‘cause the world needs more films with Alexander Skarsgård in it.
I Don’t Care If It Turns Out to Be a Cheesefest – I’m Still Watching the Damn Thing on Opening Day
WARCRAFT – Friday, June 10
No matter your personal feelings on the decision to turn the legendary Blizzard gaming franchise into a film, this cinematic version of the first Warcraft game – not to be confused with World of Warcraft – looks like it could be the big sleeper hit of Summer 2016. Or it could be the biggest failure of the summer. It could really go either way with this film, but you gotta admit – they picked a great cast for the film.
Here’s your major players in this first of what could be a future film franchise, depending on the success of this first outing of the Horde and Alliance:
Travis Fimmel as Anduin Lothar
Daniel Wu as Gul’dan
Toby Kebbell as Durotan
Paula Patton as Garona Halforcen
Ben Foster as Medivh
Dominic Cooper as King Llane Wrynn
Robert Kazinsky as Orgrim Doomhammer
Clancy Brown as Blackhand
Ben Schnetzer as Khadgar
Terry Notary as Grommash Hellscream
To a lot of you, those names are gibberish. To those of us who have played any of the games, we are silently screaming on the inside and geeking out. I’m hoping to check this one out with a fellow Warcraft fan close to opening day and spotting how many references to the game we see or hear during the film. Yeah – I’m a bit excited for this flick.
An Indie Science-Fiction Film That Looks Pretty Damn Good
Looks like 2016 is going to be the year where sci-fi continues its world domination with more alien-inspired efforts. We’ve already got the biggest TV revival of the year coming out in 24 days (welcome back, X-Files!), along with many other sci-fi efforts that run the gamut from tales about good technology, bad technology, the uses of technology by a wide-range of individuals, the return of space operas, etc. It’s a good time to be a sci-fi geek. This Australian tale looks dark and mind-bending, which are both “sellers” of a film to me. Check out the intriguing trailer above.
And the Award for “Did Anyone Even Ask for a Remake of This Film?” Goes to…
As a horror fanatic, I try to watch every major (and indie) release that has been buzzed about because I need to have my fix of everything dark, bloody, and scary. Martyrs is a film that I surprisingly haven’t seen, and I’m deeply ashamed of that. Worst horror fan EVER! Correction: I’ve seen clips from the film, but have yet to see the whole film. I should probably remedy that by making it (the original) my first horror watch of 2016. If you’re interested in seeing what the
In that grand Hollywood tradition of making unnecessary, remakes/reboots of terrific foreign films, we get this Americanized version of Martyrs. Starring Troian Bellisario (“Spencer Hastings” from Pretty Little Liars), this version looks like it’s trying to match the horrors and look of the French original, but I highly doubt it’ll match it. My cynicism is coming out in full force! If you’re a fan of Bellisario’s, you’re probably going to check this film out. As much as I liked her when I used to watch PLL (no shame), her appearance in this revamp doesn’t pique my interest enough to watch this.
An Animated Samurai Musical Tale? Where Does the Line Form?
The following synopsis comes from Apple Trailers:
“Kubo and the Two Strings is an epic action-adventure set in a fantastical Japan from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA. Clever, kindhearted Kubo ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town including Hosato, Hashi and Kamekichi. But his relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey and Beetle, and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known. With the help of his shamisen—a magical musical instrument — Kubo must battle gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King and the evil twin Sisters to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family and fulfill his heroic destiny.”
The film features a talented cast of actors providing voices for the characters above. In the mix we have: George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Brenda Vaccaro, Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, Matthew McConaughey, and Ralph Fiennes. That’s a mighty fine voice cast there!