We’re nearing the end of the second month of the year and there’s already been an onslaught of good films to hit the big screen. 2016 looks set to be an EPIC year of film releases, including a mammoth six (ish) Superhero films for Blockbuster season. Not included in that number is Deadpool, which has just been released, destroyed its opening weekend has taken approximately $300 worldwide so far. Not bad for a R-rated Superhero film that had the studio worried it wouldn’t make a lot of money. Deadpool was perhaps the first genuine highly anticipated film of the year so I’m going to take a look at 16 other films I can’t wait to see this year – because 16 films…two thousand and SIXTEEN, right? Bare in mind there will be a lot of films not included in this list, it doesn’t mean they’re not worth seeing.
Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (March)
As mentioned, there are six (now excluding Deadpool) Superhero flicks coming out this year, and we could easily include them all, but that would feel like a cop-out. Instead I”m choosing the ones I’m most excited for, cue Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. I can’t wait for Batman vs Superman over the other Superhero films because, well, it’ BATMAN VS SUPERMAN. This is the titan showdown we’ve been waiting for, and now there’s little over a month to go. Doubts are still raised over the whole throw togetherness of the film, and questionable decisions surrounding DC’s inability to match Marvel when it comes to the big screen, but we’re hoping Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice knocks this one out the park.
The Jungle Book (April)
How many Jungle Book movies have there been now? It feels like we get one every few years, and now it’s time to take the book and turn it into a Live Action film. Taking probable inspirations from Life of Pi (it worked) and headed by Jon Favreau, this outing of The Jungle Book looks set to be much darker in tone than its animated counterparts, and will lend the voices of Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o and Christopher Walken, not a shoddy cast at all.
Midnight Special (April)
If you haven’t seen a Jeff Nichols film, do yourself a favour and do so before Midnight Special comes out. Fastly becoming one of Hollywood’s most competent and impressive Auteur’s, Jeff Nichols has yet to reach full mainstream success, but his 2012 film Mud starring Matthew McConaughey gave him his biggest success yet. 2016 sees him release two films (the other being Loving) but it’s Midnight Special we’re most excited for. The story follows a father (regular Nichols collaborator Michael Shannon) and his son on the run from the authorities because his young son has superhuman abilities which he fears the government will want to exploit.
Did you ever think you could make a gangster film about a cute adorable kitten? Well, turns out you can and it’s coming to you from the great minds of Key and Peele, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. After hanging up their sketch comedy hats, the duo are hitting the big screen for the first time with a premise that wouldn’t be too far away from one of their sketches anyway. It sees a lonely man buy himself a kitten name Keanu only to have his house broken into and the kitten stolen. Now it’s up to him and his mild-mannered, people carrier-driving best friend to infiltrate the gang and get Keanu back.
[Bad] Neighbors 2 (May)
[Bad] (in the UK, anyway) Neighbors was a surprise hit back in 2014. The big surprise coming from Zac Effron proving himself a very capable comedic presence aimed towards a more adult demographic. His buddy bromance with Dave Franco was one of the spearheads for the film, as well as Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as the not so well equippeed recent parents working off each other superbly. So it’s unsurprising that it’s back for a sequel, this time starring Chloë Grace Moretz as the ‘bad neighbor’ this time around. In over their heads once again this time with a wild sorority house, Mac and Kelly bring in former enemy now friend Teddy (Efron) to help bring the party girls down.
The Nice Guys (May)
A dark comedy with Shane Black at the helm, starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe? DONE. The Nice Guys is a dark comedic thriller set in the ’70s. It has a big budget provided by Warner Bros and a star-studded cast. The film looks every bit of Shane Black that we’ve come to love from a Shane Black, a film with crime, comedy and craziness. The film’s release date seems a little awkward, seemingly competiting with Blockbuster season, so Warner Bros might yet push this one back a few weeks to give those guys in The Nice Guys more of a chance at a favourable box office outing.
Snowden unsurprisingly has a big spotlight aimed right at it which sees the real life story of the worlds most infamous whistleblower, Edward Snowden, hit the big screen this summer. This film could be set to be as controversial as the man himself, who is seen as either a hero or a traitor depending on what side of the fence you sit on. Considering it’s an Oliver Stone picture and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, expect this one to be favourable towards Snowden. The question is, will it be seen that way during award’s season?
Everybody Wants Some (May)
After the delightful success that was Boyhood, writer/director Richard Linklater is back to what he does best, charming teen comedy with a punch. This time around he’s gone back to a classic of his, Dazed & Confused, to draw not only inspiration from, but tell, what is being labelled as, a follow up film. Not a direct sequel by any means, Everybody Wants Some (Van Halen title, it could be key) follows a group of Freshmen baseball players, set in the ’80s, juggling through their first year of College. Expect slackers, expect drinking and expect a whole lot of nostalgic feelings.
Money Monster (May)
Jodie Foster‘s first feature length film didn’t quite pan out the way we all thought it would. The Beaver unfortunately never really got off the ground. On her second outing though she’s bringing an intense story and a star-studded cast which, while very early days, could have some whispers of Awards glory to it. George Clooney stars as a TV finance guru who gets held hostage live on air by a disgruntled Jack O’Connell who lost everything he had based on the TV guru’s advice, and Julia Roberts co-stars as Clooney’s producer, who is trying to keep everyone alive while the ratings for the show go through the roof.
Free State of Jones (May)
May really is a jam-packed month for great films and it continues with Matthew McConaughey who looks to continue his rich form of late by taking on something, yet again, quite different. This time around he’s taking on the American Civil War story of the Free State of Jones as Newton Knight, who started a rebellion made up of farmers and slaves against the Confederacy. A controversial figure in American history due to his methods during the rebellion, it looks like another fittingly complex role for McConaughey to add to his list of recently great films.
Finding Dory (June)
It’s been 13 years since Finding Nemo stole our hearts. Rumours of a sequel have been circling pretty much for 12, but it never really happened until now. Billed as both a sequel and a spinoff it’ll be interesting to find how the film balances the two. While Ellen DeGeneres (who’s back for this) was fantastic, part of what made her fantastic was her friendship with Al Brooks‘ Marlin. So hopefully there’s enough Marlin and Nemo buddied up with Dory in there to please fans who’ve been long awaiting this one to hit our screens.
Central Intelligence (June)
Sometimes it takes a little Hart and a big Johnson to get the pun-iest tagline in any film of 2016 and that’s just what you’ve got with Central Intelligence, which stars mega box office star Dwayne Johnson and current hot-property Kevin Hart in what appears to be a buddy-cop esque outting of sorts. It’ll be hard to choose between which one of these very funny stars will steal the show, but the winner will ultimately be the film and audience.
Star Trek Beyond (July)
It’s a little known secret in the tekkie universe that every odd numbered Star Trek film is bad. Star Trek Beyond takes the Star Trek film franchise tally up to unlucky number 13, so that’s a doubly bad omen in itself. When Star Trek was brought back by JJ Abrams in 2009 it was the 11th film in the franchise, and that was a pretty damn good film, so there’s some hope. The problem now of course, JJ Abrams isn’t directing this one. Instead that challenge goes to Justin Lin, who’s biggest credits are The Fast and The Furious franchise, and looking at the trailer for Beyond, that brings a whole bag of worry in itself. Nevertheless, we should give Lin a chance to shred his Furious skin and offer up something new and fresh to the saga, so I’m remaining open-minded on this one.
Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks sounds like a pretty formidable team on paper, add to the mix the real-life story of an American hero and you’ve got yourself the scent of Oscar glory right there. Sully is just that, telling the true-to-life story of Captain Sully, the man who safety landed his US Airways Flight on the New York Hudson River after complications upon take off. How do you turn this story into an entire feature will be the challenge, but Eastwood has proved quite the force behind the camera in recent years, and with the vetern Hanks leading the way this one is certainly in capable hands.
The Founder (November)
Another potential Oscar prediction, this time in the form of Michael Keaton, who has really found his form again in recent years. The Founder tells the story of the rise of McDonalds as a fast-food juggernaut with Keaton starring as Ray Kroc, the tough businessman who partnered with Mac and Dick McDonalds to turn it from a famous fast-food resturant from a small-time business to the nationwide behemoth it is today. The film surely won’t pull any punches in Kroc’s strained relationship with the siblings as he sought to gain complete control of the franchise. Could The Founder take Keaton one-step further than he was able to go with Birdman?
With Hollywood currently under the microscope due to accusations of ‘white washing’ the industry, what better way to respond than putting your current the two top white male and white female hot properties in a film together, cue Passengers! Passengers is a space drama which sees a spacecraft travelling to a distant colony planet with thousands of people on board in sleep chambers. Chris Pratt wakes up 60 years too early due to a malfunction with his chamber and decides to wake up another passenger, Jennifer Lawrence, so he doesn’t spend the rest of his life alone. Don’t be surprised for a few award nods due to the timely release date coupled with the high profile names attached. It’s an Academy Awards wet dream!