2016 movie preview: My top five most anticipated films

Captain-America-Civil-War-TeamsIt’s going to be hard to top “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” from 2015, but there are still a number of interesting movies coming in 2016 (hey, I’m going to need something to tide me over until Episode VIII in 2017!). 😉 Here’s the top five movies I’m most looking forward to this year, in order of their release dates:

Captain America: Civil War (May 6)

I feel like I’ve already spent enough time writing about my thoughts on “Age of Ultron,” and I don’t want to keep picking at it. However, I still do feel a bit disappointed, because I don’t think the film lived up to its full potential. The good news is, “Captain America: Civil War” has the potential to deliver what we all hoped “Age of Ultron” would be: a darker, thought-provoking look at the superheroes we know and love. This is a tough one for me: Iron Man and Captain America are my two favorite Avengers (with Tony sneaking past Steve to claim my No. 1 favorite), so it’s sad to see them at odds in the trailer. The trailer raises some interesting thoughts about duty and friendship, and how to do the right thing when the issues aren’t black and white. I do have a better feeling about this one than “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” I really want that film to be good but am a little nervous about it. Of the two superhero vs. superhero films, I think “Dawn of Justice” is more likely to be a flop.

X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27)

After time-traveling to change history in “Days of Future Past,” the X-Men face an even more serious threat this time around: the world’s first mutant, known as Apocalypse. Now immortal and seemingly invincible, Apocalypse has brainwashed a team of mutants (including Michael Fassbender’s Magneto) and intends to do what supervillains do best: destroy the world. I enjoyed “Days of Future Past,” which combined the cast from the original X-Men trilogy and the newer prequel series. While I’m sad that the original Magneto and Professor X (Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart) don’t appear to be returning, I loved Fassbender and James McAvoy’s portrayals as the younger versions of those characters. I’m curious to see what happens with Magneto’s character in this film and if he actually betrays his friends in the end or decides to help them.

Star Trek: Beyond (July 22)

Some fans weren’t as pleased with the first trailer for “Star Trek: Beyond,” saying it looks too much like “Fast and Furious” in space (director Justin Lin has worked on the “Fast and Furious” franchise). However, I like the hints that this trailer gives us. The previous two Trek films drew heavily on Star Trek lore, but I think this film will take us to someplace new. Although J.J. Abrams isn’t returning as the director, some of the crew members who worked on his previous Trek films are. Actor Simon Pegg (who plays Scotty) also helped write the script. I really love the cast in these rebooted Star Trek films; they manage to capture the spirit of the characters from the Original Series while also bringing something new to the roles. I’m excited to see where this franchise is headed in the future.

Doctor Strange (Nov. 4)

While “Doctor Strange” will take the Marvel franchise into newer, more mystical territory, I’m not really worried about this one. Marvel has shown many times they can successfully translate tricky concepts; after “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Ant-Man,” I think they are capable of creating a good movie starring just about any character. Benedict Cumberbatch is one of my favorite actors, and I believe the role of Doctor Strange will be a good fit for him. I’m also excited to see how this character will fit into the overarching Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline.

Star Wars: Rogue One (Dec. 16)

Part of me wishes this was actually “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” because I’m very eager to find out what happens next in the saga, but this could still be an interesting spin-off adventure. “Rogue One” follows a band of Rebels who set out to steal the plans for the Death Star before the events of “A New Hope.” This movie will start to test how far Disney can take the Star Wars brand; will people still go to see this even though it (presumably) does not have any familiar characters? The cast is solid, with Oscar-nominated Felicity Jones and cult favorite/former “Firefly” star Alan Tudyk. I don’t think this will come close to making the same amount of money as “The Force Awakens,” but I hope this works, because I would like to see more spin-off films, especially a Han Solo prequel or a standalone Boba Fett story.

So, what movies are you most excited about in 2016? What will be the biggest hit? What will be the biggest flop?

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13 thoughts on “2016 movie preview: My top five most anticipated films

  1. This is my list too. But I disagree with you about Rogue One. I think it will make a ton of money. And there’s a lot of room to include a young Leia and Darth Vader. Also after the billions and billions The Force Awakens will make, they’ll make sure this feels like a genuine Star Wars saga. And then there’s the late December release date. Except for movies with a Christmas theme, Christmas release means the distributor is absolutely confident they have a huge money maker.

    Speaking of release windows. Star Trek’s late Summer release doesn’t make me confident. They don’t want to compete with the true summer releases. You can watch the release dates change and use it as a gauge. Civil War got pushed back toward Memorial Day because they’re feeling confident. While Batman v. Supes got pushed up because they don’t think it will compete with the big ones. Christmas is number one. Memorial Day is number two. So X-Men Apocalypse getting a Memorial Day weekend release that’s a wow. They think it’s going to be a big hit.

    Doctor Strange gets early November because it’s Doctor Strange and they have no bloody idea. And neither do I. I love Cumberbatch but the only thing I think they can do with the title is play it completely serious. And if you look at the director’s credits it’s horror and supernatural (Hellraiser, Deliver us from Evil, Sinister). I think they’re going to scare us this time out. Something dark around Halloween.

    But the highest grossing film of 2016 will probably be The Force Awakens. I’m going to see it tomorrow in IMAX. Good list.

    • After I wrote this blog, I saw an article about a Fandango survey saying fans were listing “Rogue One” as their most anticipated movie of the year, so I think you’re right, this one will do well at the box office. 🙂 I think people definitely are in the mood for more Star Wars stuff. I hope we get to see Darth Vader in the movie!

      I’m also a little worried by Star Trek’s release date in late July; I really want it to be good and I want it to succeed because I really love this cast. I’m worried about Batman v. Superman too. I think it’s a lot riskier than Civil War.

      I’m really curious about Doctor Strange, I have no idea what to expect. Hopefully it will be fresh, dark and interesting.

      Enjoy seeing Force Awakens again–it’s absolutely amazing in IMAX!

  2. Star Trek and Captain America are the two I am most looking forward to. I have more faith in Cap, but hope both will be great. Batman v. Supes is the one most people are worried about and there is reason to be. However there are number of reasons it could be great too. I loved Doctor Strange in the comics back in the 70’s and 80’s, but I’m hesitant about a film on him now. I’ll be waiting to check that one out on DVD.

  3. I’m looking forward to all of these. 🙂 I agree that BvS is mostly to be the flop or letdown compared to Civil War or just about any other comic book movie coming out this year. Among your top five, I’m most doubtful of Star Trek Beyond, the teaser trailer didn’t do anything for me and the behind the scenes stuff (eg. changing directors) doesn’t have me super confident. But I enjoyed the first and second movies.

    • I wish J.J. Abrams had stayed on as the director on the Star Trek franchise, but I really do love what he’s done with Star Wars. I have really enjoyed the rebooted Star Trek franchise so I hope this new one won’t be too different from what J.J. Abrams has done.

  4. I’ll be honest, I have some reservations about Cumberbatch playing Strange. I can’t really explain why, it’s just a feeling. But I’m hoping to be proven wrong. Star Wars will always be at the top of any list of movies I’m excited for. I’m ‘meh’ about Star Trek. X-Men: Apocalypse hopefully will be pretty good if it can continue the trend set by First Class and Days of Future Past. Civil War is on track to be the next best Marvel movie… as long as it doesn’t get bogged down by its huge cast. I’m very interested to see how it compares to its source material since basically they only thing they have in common is the premise and Team Iron Man vs Team Captain America.

    • I’m excited to see what Marvel does with the Civil War movie. So far it looks great, but I agree there is some danger the film could get bogged down by the huge cast. Hopefully they’ll keep the focus on the conflict between Iron Man and the Cap. Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans are so great in these roles, looking forward to seeing what happens!

      • I couldn’t agree more! Especially the comment about the movie focusing on the conflict between Iron Man and Cap. That’s one of the things I liked about the Civil War story was there was no villain, it was more of an ideological battle with no correct side. But with Crossbones and Baron Zemo having parts, I’m afraid it will turn to Tony and Steve teaming up to fight them, throwing flowers and holding hands. Hopefully not but I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened (maybe not the flowers part :-P).

        Side bar, what is a good email to contact you? I have an idea I would like to talk to you about.

  5. HUGE X-Men fan, so – feels strange typing this, but – bring on Apocalypse!!
    Was so excited to hear that Oscar Isaac plays th Ancient One (big Isaac fan – possibly my Man Of Th Year 2015?)
    Speaking of strange… Dr Strange sounds like an intriguing movie; never read th comic, but it’s good to see Marvel try other characters from their infinite range.
    Civil War is th other Grand Event I’m looking forward to.
    My other Follower is a huge DC fan, but while he is excited for Dawn of Justice, I have my reservations.
    As for Rogue One: I am eager to catch it despite th producers never replying to my script pitch! (No grudges)
    Cheers!

    • A lot of potential for some great movies in 2016, here’s hoping they’ll be good! I’m intrigued by Rogue One, I don’t know a lot about it. It would be really cool if Darth Vader made an appearance! What do you hope the story will be about? I’m curious to hear your ideas! 🙂

      • Rogue 1 IS th story that tells how Leia and her band of rebels stole th plans for th Death Star.
        It definitely WON’T b a diplomatic mission to Alderaan!
        We had all th politics we can eat during Episode I and it still left a poor aftertaste, so no thanks!
        Will certainly b preparing a Preview when th time comes!
        Cheers!

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