September 16, 2016 by Levi Dominic
There’s a whole lot to get excited about between now and the end of 2016, from big-ass blockbusters to all-out Oscar bait. These are the ten things we can’t wait to see on the big screen.
1. THE MANLIEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR
The Magnificent Seven – September 23
Remakes are not necessarily a good idea. Just because an audience has some affection for a movie from decades ago, doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily have any interest in seeing it revamped with younger faces and digital effects. TakeBen Hur, which was quietly ignored last month. But The Magnificent Sevenmay fair somewhat better, largely thanks to the big names saddling up. The original 1960 movie, the story of a group of outlaws hired to help an imperilled village, starred Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn and the other two. The new one has Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio and another three. If there’s enough buddy chemistry between all these men then this could be an enjoyably old-fashioned boys-own experience, i.e. textbook Sunday afternoon viewing.
2. THE ONE EVERYONE KNOWS THE END OF
The Girl On The Train – 5 October
Paula Hawkins’ novel The Girl On The Train was in the hands of just about every commuter in 2015, the hottest novel of the year. The psychological thriller’s adaptation into a film was inevitable and if the chosen director is an odd match for the material (Tate Taylor’s biggest hit thus far is gloopy dramaThe Help), the cast is flawless. Emily Blunt plays Rachel, a depressed alcoholic who is so keen to escape her own life that she becomes quietly obsessed with a couple she watches every day as her train passes their house. One day she sees the wife of the couple has gone and decides to investigate, but takes things far too far. She’s joined by Luke Evans, Justin Theroux, Rebecca Ferguson, Edgar Ramirez and Allison Janney. If just a small percentage of the people who read the book turn out for this, it will be huge.
3. MARVEL’S MADDEST MOVIE YET
Doctor Strange – October 28
Name recognition for Marvel’s latest is minimal outside of the comic book-devoted, which certainly didn’t hurt Guardians of the Galaxy. Who needs any more enticement than this cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Mads Mikkelsen. That’s better than any Marvel film thus far. Cumberbatch plays the prophetically spookily named Stephen Strange, a neurosurgeon who suffers a terrible car accident. During the process of healing he discovers a world of magic and learns to control it with the help of Swinton’s Ancient One. It looks incredibly weird, but kind of wonderful.
4. THE HARRY POTTER MOVIE WITHOUT HARRY POTTER
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them – November 18
Warner Bros are not stupid. The Harry Potter series made the studio billions, so there was no way they were just going to let it die completely. So they dug into an obscure corner of its universe and pulled out Newt Scamander, a wizard who captured magical animals and wrote about them in a book that later became a textbook at Hogwarts. Obviously. Set in New York in the 1920s, it sees Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) accidentally releasing some of his oddest creatures into the non-magical world, which causes all sorts of kerfuffle. The script is written by Potter creator JK Rowling. She’s already had great reviews for one Potter spin-off this year, the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is hopefully a sign she’s still got the magic.
5. THE TOTALLY UNFESTIVE CHRISTMAS MOVIE
Bad Santa 2 – 25 November
The first Bad Santa movie, which came out in 2003, has become something of a cult favourite. It saw Billy Bob Thornton as a conman who posed as Father Christmas in order to rob a department store, eradicating Christmas cheer wherever he went. He’s back to his old tricks again in the sequel, but this time trying to steal from a charity, because he really is a terrible man. Mean Girls’ Mark Waters directs.
6. MILES TELLER’S DE NIRO MOMENT
Bleed For This – 2 December
Miles Teller is an extremely talented actor, brilliant in films like Whiplash and The Spectacular Now, but he hasn’t yet completely broken through. This might be it. In a film based on a true story, he plays Vinny Paz, a boxer who suffers a horrible accident and is told he may never walk again, let alone go back in the ring. Vinny refuses to accept this and vows to return to boxing. Playing a boxer always seems to be a boost for a young actor – Stallone in Rocky, De Niro inRaging Bull, Michael B. Jordan in Creed – and Teller has the added awards-magnet bonus of playing a comeback from serious illness. If this doesn’t push him onto the A-list then maybe nothing will.
7. THE TEAM-UP OF THE OLD PROS
Sully – December 2
It might sound damning with faint praise, but Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood are men who can always be considered a safe pair of hands. So we hope seeing them coming together in this two-hander means a film worth of their respective towering talents. Sully is the story of pilot Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger (Hanks) who saves the lives of his passengers and crew after his plane crashes. His time as a hero, however, is short-lived.
8. THE RETURN OF DARTH VADER
Star Wars: Rogue One – December 16
There’s a lot riding on the success of Rogue One. We know that any movie that’s part of the official Star Wars saga will be a smash hit, but this is something different. It’s the test of the audience for Star Wars spin-offs. Rogue One is the adventure of the Rebel Alliance pilots, led by extra-rebellious Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), who made the dangerous quest to steal the plans to the Death Star. And where there’s a Death Star you’ll find Darth Vader. So if you’re a Star Wars nut prepare to come over all unnecessary at the sound of familiar heavy breathing.
9. THE WORLD’S MOST LIKEABLE MALE AND FEMALE ACTORS UNITE
Passengers – TBC
A bit like Titanic in space, but without a nailed-on tragic ending, Passengers tells the story of two people on a spacecraft bound for another world. The thousands of people on board this giant vessel have all been put to sleep until they arrive at their destination, but one of their number, a man, wakes up. Eventually he gets lonely and wakes another, a woman. That couple will be played by Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, in a sci-fi love story that sounds quite unlike anything else we’ve seen before. If you’re only going to watch two people for two hours, you really want it to be these two. The only possible downside might be an overdose of charisma.