The Most Anticipated Movies of 2017

The Most Anticipated Movies of 2017

The Most Anticipated Movies of 2017

I took a quick poll among my friends, asking them to choose their top 5 most anticipated movies for 2017. These are the ones that got the most votes. My thoughts on each of these movies are below.

Guardians of the Galaxy – 11 votes
May 5, 2017

For Guardians it’s a matter of sustainability—can they sustain the freshness of the first movie? Can Baby Groot be as charming as Big Groot? Will Dave Bautista’s Drax say lines that we never thought of saying in public? Will Rocket Racoon finally get on our nerves so we’re sick of his quips and negativity? How long can Starlord and Gamora flirt with each other before something needs to happen between them?

From the looks of the first couple of teasers and trailers, it looks like YES to all these questions, but remember that these are only a couple minutes of movie footage that are setup to wow us immediately. This movie will probably be close to 2.5 hours long, so there’s a lot of time left to fill with freshness.

BUT Guardians has the LUXURY of officially being in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which already has over a dozen successful movies under its belt, and has access to literally dozens of interesting characters, plot lines, villains and scenarios! So…basically…ANYTHING GOES, and it will probably work!

James Gunn, at least with the first Guardians, has been able to throw many of the rules out the window while still keeping enough consistency to qualify them to remain within the Marvel MCU, including almost breaking the fourth wall with scenes that out and out state the obvious (“Well now I’m standing. Happy? We’re all standing now. Bunch of jackasses, standing in a circle.” Rocket from Guardians 1, and “She just told everyone your deepest darkest secret!” Drax from Guardians 2)

 

Star Wars: Episode VIII – 8 votes
Dec 15, 2017

This is a no-brainer and 90% chance will be the biggest box office draw during its run, even if it’s not as well received as The Force Awakens.

Advantages

It’s the middle movie, which means that it’ll answer questions posed in the previous movie, PLUS have enough wiggle room to present a new set of questions for the next/final movie in the trilogy.

Carrie Fisher fans will pay homage to her by seeing this movie, and everyone else will be interested in how they’ll setup her character for Episode IX by what happens in this movie.

AND don’t forget there’s Rey, Finn and Poe’s own adventures…this saga is like the Marvel Universe, where there are enough subplots with very strong characters so that if one or two characters are a little weak, the others can pick up the pace.

It doesn’t have the fan service, try-to-please everyone pressure that The Force Awakens had, PLUS it benefits from the success of standalone movie Rogue One being, being able to tell its own story and have its own unique style. In many ways, Episode VIII can be absolutely, totally fresh, and people will probably still accept it with open arms because Rogue One has already prepared us for something new and fresh.

And we get Luke friggin’ Skywalker, finally!

Disadvantages

This one has to keep up with the scale and spectacle of The Force Awakens—this movie cannot be a Rogue One because people will expect more from it. People, also already having seen the massive spaceship fights and larger battles in Rogue One, won’t be forgiving if Episode VIII repeats the shorter, more intimate battle scenes offered in The Force Awakens. Episode VIII has to be bigger in almost every way, while maintaining the strong character development.

Episode VIII will need to introduce a darker tone without going fully dark, which is more work for everyone, especially the writer, director, and editors. If they can offer a really awesome, ominous movie, audiences might forgive if its dialogue is not as sharp and witty as The Force Awakens. In fact, audiences might even WANT the dialogue to more subdued and morose in this one.

After The Force Awakens and Rogue One, I think audiences are basically tired of just seeing the old X-wings and TIE fighters. This new movie will need to give us a new set of fantastic ships (and probably new locations), just like The Empire Strikes Back gave us AT-ATs, probe droids, snow speeders, the super stardestroyer, Cloud City, and Yoda.

 

Spider-Man: Homecoming – 8 votes
July 7, 2017

On the surface this is an automatic money maker. The Disney/Marvel movie marketing machine is trying to attract yet one more demographic to their cinematic universe, which is the current Taylor Swift generation, as well as older people who grew up during the 80s, with movies like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. The cafeteria scene in the trailer is right out of a John Hughes movie!

How Marvel Can Screw This Up

It will be VERY hard to not have this do well in the box office, but here are some points:

Marvel has to balance the snappy teenage dialogue while maintaining the trademark MCU action sequences. Audiences will want the same awesome as Spidey in the Civil War movie, but more of it, WITHOUT overdoing it or making it feel stale.

There will be more Spider-man movies with Tom Holland, so Marvel can’t blow their whole load in this first movie, BUT at the same time, the movie has to FEEL as if they’re blowing their whole load. Kinda tricky but Marvel has done it before, with Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy I. Both movies are open-ended but you felt satisfied watching them and you got your money’s worth.

To get an even wider audience, the movie has to be culturally diverse, but still have that retro Spidey feel to it, you know, when the world was a smaller, more ignorant place and New York wasn’t a soup of different ethnicities like it is now. Maybe focus on small, intimate scenes between Peter Parker and his Asian buddy Ned Leeds, interspersed with the 21st century action sequences and meetings with Tony Parker.

It has to stay away from being TOO CUTE. If it’s too cute, it’ll patronize the young people and make grownups angry. BUT it still has to have enough “aww…” scenes so Peter Parker stays endearing and we keep rooting for him to succeed.

Is Zendaya Peter Parker’s emo friendgirl? That relationship will have to be written impeccably and naturally, so whatever its evolution will feel organic. Again, make it modern but infuse it with the retro 50s attitude of simplicity.

I think Michael Keaton will nail it with his Vulture character—Keaton is a natural with these parts. And I would love it if they inject some Batman AND Birdman references in there somewhere, just to appease us older folks!

 

Thor: Ragnarok – 6 votes
Nov 3, 2017

In my opinion, this movie is the wildcard of the year, simply because it’s absolutely LOADED with talent (Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins and Benedict Cumberbatch, whew!) but hardly anybody has even talked about it! It’s like we’re so spoiled by Marvel movies always delivering great action, juicy dialog with impeccable acting and right-on-the-money directing and producing, that we don’t even worry about anything MCU anymore!

What We Know

It’s gonna have ACTION. Basically it’s Hulk vs. Thor on a planet where there are gladiator games.

AND THEN Doctor Strange is going to be in it! Along with Loki and Anthony Hopkins as Odin. So you have your Shakespearean acting filled.

AND THEN they throw in Cate Blanchett to class it up even more!

What I Hope

Groundbreaking action sequences full of weight and punch and originality—just when you think Marvel can’t possibly invent a better action sequence, they come up with the airport scene in Civil War! I would ask simply to be surprised by what they decide to do.

COMEDY. This cast is so good that they can easily be just as witty funny as they can being serious, with Cumberbatch’s dry and pompous wit in last November’s Doctor Strange being the latest example.

By the way, remember the indescribably original astral projection fight scene in the operating room during that movie? If that was anything but a Marvel MCU movie, people would STILL be talking about that scene, saying how groundbreaking it is. Plus Tilda Swinton’s Yoda-slash-Dalai Lama character adding yet another flavor to the already robust universe.

Bottom line is, because Marvel has so much magical momentum right now, as well as 16 movies that they’ve been able to learn from, they are better able to spot cinematic weaknesses in their productions early on, and correct them before the movie is shown to the public. I would be surprised if this movie doesn’t make as much money as Age of Ultron, and doesn’t get at least a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes. Its pedigree is just that good.

 

Logan – 6 votes
March 3, 2017

Now this is my sentimental favorite, that little film that could. Yes, it will have action but not blockbuster action, and that’ll be okay. The story will be linear and simple, with only a handful of characters, but that’s okay too. It’ll be a western, and that is SO very much okay with me.

There will probably not be any flying people, magic people, disintegration people, supernova people, or anybody who can leap further than a dozen yards at a time. Again, it’ll be a western, where the fight is settled with bullets and punches. In this case, claws and punches.

What do I want to see? I want a movie that takes its time, even if it risks disappointing viewers who want bigger action sequences.

I want the fewest words, but the best words, to make up the screenplay. I want the music to be as much a character as the people. I want the sunset to be heartwrenching.

I want impact more than blood and gore. I want the characters to be torn between their intentions, just like regular human beings. I want Logan to be the ultimate reluctant hero, but do it in a genuine way, like Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven, like Christian Bale in 3:10 to Yuma, like Chris Pine in Hell or High Water.

I want to see Wolverine go berserk.

It would be nice to see more action sequences, but only if they’re absolutely appropriate for the story. And if not, take them away. I want simplicity.

I want to see Wolverine go berserk.

I want to see Wolverine go berserk more than once, to make up for those other movies.

 

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