Wizards, westerns, and the return of an iconic Star Wars weapon (hint: it’s the Death Star!): Fall/winter 2016 movie preview

AN1-148562r_0If you found the summer blockbuster season to be a little lackluster this year, never fear! Hollywood’s line-up of fall/winter movies is almost here, and it’s packed full of must-see movies and some potential breakout hits. Although it was tough to narrow down the list, here are the seven movies I’m most looking forward to later this year.

The Magnificent Seven (Sept. 23)

And speaking of the number seven… While I wish Hollywood would stop trying to remake so many classic films, “The Magnificent Seven” is on my radar for two reasons: one, the classic film is actually already a remake (it was inspired by the Japanese film “Seven Samurai”), and two, it stars Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt. So if the reviews are good, I’m planning to give this one a shot. Washington and Pratt are part of a team of ragtag heroes protecting a Western outpost (Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen starred in the 1960 version). I think it’s interesting to retell Western stories through a modern lens, so hopefully the film makers can bring something new to the story.

Doctor Strange (Nov. 4)

I’ve been joking with my friends that this is the movie I’ve been waiting forever for: Benedict Cumberbatch starring in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film. 😉 While I don’t know a lot about the original comic book character, I’m excited this movie is going to start working some mystical elements into the MCU. The previews have been amazing so far, and I love the “Inception”-style cinematography. While some have said this looks a little too much like a Marvel retelling of “Inception,” Marvel rarely gives away the best material in the trailers and I think they’re only giving us a taste of what this film will offer. I’m hoping this movie will be mysterious, magical, and game-changing. Plus, Sherlock in a Marvel movie!

Arrival (Nov. 11)

Although I haven’t heard a lot of buzz about this one yet, I’m always excited to see new science fiction projects. This one appears to offer a new spin on the “first contact” concept — Amy Adams plays a linguist who is recruited by the government to attempt to communicate with recently landed aliens from space. The trailer looks dark and mysterious, and it could be a sci-fi breakout hit like 2013’s “Gravity.”

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Nov. 18)

This year, viewers will return to the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter — well, sort of. Although this movie is set in the same universe as J.K. Rowling’s famous Harry Potter series, the story takes place in 1920s America, rather than the modern-day United Kingdom. Eddie Redmayne plays a British magizoologist named Newt Scamander who accidentally unleashes several magical creatures in New York City. However, knowing J.K. Rowling’s other works, I’m also certain there’s more to the plot than just magical creatures on the loose; larger, darker forces are probably at work behind the scenes. While I’m really excited for this one, I’m curious to see how audiences will respond to a Harry Potter universe story without Harry Potter. Hopefully this spin-off series will feel just as magical and inventive as the original.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Dec. 16)

I’m sure no one is surprised to see this one end up on my list. 😉 Star Wars is my all-time favorite franchise, and I’m excited to see them branching off into spin-off stories that don’t necessarily involve the Skywalkers (though I do love some Skywalker family drama!). We don’t know a lot about the plot of this movie beyond that it involves a team of Rebels trying to steal the plans for the Death Star, but I’m happy about that. Just like with “The Force Awakens,” I want to go in and be surprised. I’m really excited to see that battle on the beach involving AT-ATs, and I’m even more excited to see my all-time favorite Star Wars character — Darth Vader! — make an appearance.

Passengers (Dec. 21)

It’s a busy fall/winter for Chris Pratt, who also stars in this upcoming sci-fi thriller. Even better, it also stars Jennifer Lawrence. They play two passengers in stasis on a luxury interstellar spaceship bound for a colony 120 years away. Except, for some reason they are woken up too early and end up uncovering some dangerous information about the ship. Although I love sci-fi franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek, it’s exciting to see original sci-fi films like this and “Arrival.” Hopefully both of these films will offer great visuals AND thought-provoking stories.

Assassin’s Creed (Dec. 21)

Historically, video game based movies have been a rather mixed bag (actually, most of them seem to be “not great”). I’ll be waiting to hear what the reviews are for this one, but Michael Fassbender is one of my favorite actors and hopefully they’ll give him some interesting material to work with here. The premise is good: Fassbender plays a historical assassin from 15th century Spain…and this assassin’s modern-day relative. I’m hoping this will be an intriguing, time-jumping story; maybe Fassbender can help break the video game flop trend.

So, what films are you most looking forward to this fall and winter?

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16 thoughts on “Wizards, westerns, and the return of an iconic Star Wars weapon (hint: it’s the Death Star!): Fall/winter 2016 movie preview

  1. Give me the wars of stars!
    I could be persuaded to see Assassin’s Creed as well, if only for the obligatory “diving off building into pile of hay” move. The trailer teases it, and if it’s not there in the final movie the gaming corner of the internet will riot. His prison/simulation sequences where he’s all plugged in look nicely dialed up from the corporate office building that houses the modern half of the game franchise. Forward Unto Dawn is actually a pretty decent movie from the Halo Universe, it’s got good action without being cheesy. It’s basically what the Ender’s Game movie should’ve been, you should watch it with me sometime because I totally love it. 😀

    • “Assassin’s Creed” got my attention because it stars Michael Fassbender, and the fact they’re releasing it right before Christmas makes me think the studio does have some confidence in it. I’m curious to see what the reviews will be! And I will definitely watch Forward Unto Dawn with you sometime! 🙂

  2. A list of 7 starting w th Magnificent 7 – great!
    Yes, after a lackluster Summer, this batch looks reassuringly good, but I never get my hopes up too high these days.
    Wld like to see Arrival & Passengers succeed, cos I’ve watched far too many duds recently.
    Michael Fassbender is th only reason I will bother w Assassins Creed.
    “don’t know a lot about the original comic book character” – trust Bradcribe to fill u in on th Strange details before th release!
    And of course, in Dec, I will not b able to resist Attack of the Jones! 😉
    Cheers!

    • Agreed! Fall appears to bring some excitement back to the box office. 🙂 However, you’re right, sometimes really good previews can hide a lackluster film (I’m still feeling sad about Suicide Squad!) I’ll look forward to your Doctor Strange post later this fall.

  3. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. And yes. I am excited for all of these films. The trailer for the Magnificent Seven remake looks amazing. I was never a fan of the Yul Brenner version. Love Akira Kurasawa with a passion though (and Toshiro Mofune) I’m hoping Doctor Strange doesn’t blow it. That’s the one I’m most nervous about. The opposite of how I feel about Assassins Creed (I’m a big fan of the game) As long as they remind me of the game a few times in the movie I’m good. I hope Kristen Bell makes an appearance. That would be so cool. She’s featured prominently in the game. The two Sci Fi movies will probably be sensational and up for Oscars this year. They both have a lot of great people attached. Maybe Amy Adams will finally beat Jennifer Lawrence. The Harry Potter prequel will do well at the box office no matter if it’s a mess or not. I’m excited. And then there is Rogue One. Turns out I was wrong about those Bothans. They died getting the plans to the second Death Star not the first. So I doubt as many of them will be dying this time around. I love the idea of these Star Wars Universe companion movies but I wonder how they’ll let us know what the Main Characters from the saga are up to at that time. I wonder if they’ll pass-by on the periphery. You mention Lord Vader. I wonder if we’ll hear from the princess. Fall is shaping up to be a busy movie going season. Great post.

    • Thank you! I’m very excited about this line-up of fall and winter movies, especially after the summer fell a bit flat. There were even some cool-looking movies I didn’t have space to include in this list.

      I’m actually not a huge fan of Westerns in general, but the trailer for Magnificent Seven–and the fantastic cast–got me hooked. I think Western movies are good candidates for remakes actually because it allows us to look back at that time period from a more modern perspective. I hope we’ll get at least a mention of Princess Leia in the Rogue One movie, and I’m actually hoping Vader will be more than just a very quick cameo. I’d like to get at least a glimpse of him in a battle setting since we haven’t seen Vader in a big battle in the movies before.

  4. I’m easily looking forward to Star Wars the most, but I’m also excited to watch Fantastic Beasts within this next week. I did see Doctor Strange–one of the best Marvel films I’ve seen–and Arrival was actually really good. Hopefully some of these films have lived up to the hype for you too.

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