My most anticipated movies of 2019

New year, new movies. Now that the fireworks have faded and the first week of the 2019 is in the books, let’s look to the rest of the year.

Some franchises are closing their current chapters like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Disney looks to continue their silver screen dominance with live action retellings and there will be those small films that aren’t making much noise for now that will roar with larger crowds through audience word of mouth. These lists are always fun to predict what could be really good and what could potentially bomb (I really hope nothing on this list does).

So without further ado…

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2018’s Best

When I look back at 2018 in film, I will remember a few things: this was a great year for documentaries; foreign and world cinema are on the rise; smaller studios are creating the majority of original content and interesting projects right now; the superhero genre continues to grow and still has the ability to break the hearts of their fans, both positively and negatively. Overall, I’d like to think that 2018 was a very strong year for film – filled with its ups and downs, successes and failures. Many studio films balanced monetary and critical success excellently and smaller films challenged many perceptions we have and placed them under a sometimes uncomfortable microscope.

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My Top 10 Movies of 2017

As we reach the final act of this year, it’s time to take a look back at a strong year for films. We’ve had a major assortment of movies come across the silver screen and got audiences into theaters almost every weekend. These movies offered an escape from our lives for an hour or two. These movies thrilled us, made us cry, and had us cheering for a wonderful work of creative art done by actors, directors, and the crew that put all the magic together.Read More »

Summer Movie Season Preview

With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2  blasting its way into theaters this weekend, the Summer Movie Season will officially begin. For all of us moviegoers, we should be in store for a plethora of solid Summer entertainment to get us through these heated months. We have our usual sequels headlining, a Rock-solid comedy on a 90’s staple television show, some family entertainment, and the returns of Edgar Wright and Christopher Nolan to the silver screen.

There are so many movies that I’m excited about that it’s hard to narrow them all down. But I have finally gotten this done! So here are the top ten anticipated movies to corral audiences into those air-conditioned theaters:

10) Cars 3 – June 16

I’ll admit that I’ve never had the chance to watch either of the previous movies in the Cars franchise, despite the fact that I love most of the films out of the Disney/Pixar factory. While the last outing didn’t fair well with critics or fans, there is enough story to add another entry for this animated racing movie. This time out, Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) will face the future as a new generation of blazing-fast racers, led by Jackson Storm (voiced by Armie Hammer). After an accident, McQueen will have to prove to not only his fans, but himself, that he’s still the best racer in the world.

9) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – May 26

Captain Jack Sparrow sets sail again! For the fifth time, Johnny Depp puts on his pirates hat as Captain Jack Sparrow sets off to find the legendary Trident of Poseidon. As always, it wouldn’t be Jack to not step on a few toes along the way. The deadly ghost pirate, Captain Salazar (Javiar Bardem) seeks to kill every pirate at sea…including Sparrow, who he ran across years before. I wasn’t a big fan of On Stranger Tides and thought that the franchise could have ended after the third entry, At World’s End. Captain Jack Sparrow seems to have more adventure in him and he could have some old friends joining him as Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom return to the franchise.

8) BaywatchMay 24

“Hollywood-Viagra” superstar Dwayne Johnson is back again, looking to claim the summer early in May by giving an old television series an R-rated facelift. Johnson plays Baywatch legend Mitch Buchanan who butts heads with a brash new recruit, Matt Brody (Zac Efron). While trying to rebuild the Baywatch name, the duo uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the beach. Of course, it wouldn’t be Baywatch without the lovely women of the beach: Alexandra Daddario, ABC’s Quantico star Priyanka Chopra, model Kelly Rohrbach, and Llfenesh Hadera head up the female contingent of the team. Beaches ain’t ready for what The Rock will bring.

7) Alien: Covenant – May 19

Lately, I’ve caught up with the Alien franchise, starting with the first two movies. I’ve seen Prometheus, the start of the prequel series to this franchise. All of them have been brilliant science fiction works from the mind of Ridley Scott. Scott returns to direct the next installment in the prequel trilogy. Picking up ten years after the events of Prometheus, the crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far end of the galaxy to colonize, discover a threat beyond imagination and must attempt a harrowing escape from this uncharted paradise. Michael Fassbender (X-Men: Apocolypse) returns as the android David and joined by Katherine Waterson (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Billy Crudup, and Danny McBride (HBO’s Vice Principals). When are we going to learn to stop going to planets outside of our solar system?
6) Detroit – August 4

This movie caught me off-guard but once I saw the preview, I was on board. Directed by Oscar-winning Director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty), this film documents a police raid in Detroit in 1967 that results in the one of the largest citizen uprisings in United States history. This film boasts a solid cast with John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Jacob Latimore, John Krasinski,  Kaitlyn Dever, and Jason Mitchell leading the cast. Kathryn Bigelow could become a three-time Oscar nominee with this film that has the potential of being an early Oscar favorite.

5) Wonder Woman – June 2

After many delays, script rewrites, a revolving door of directors, and other roadblocks, the Amazon Princess will be making her solo movie debut. This origin film tells the story of Diana (Gal Gadot), princess of the Amazons and trained warrior. When pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes and tells of the conflict in the outside world, Diana leaves home to fight in the war, discovering her full powers and true destiny. Gal Gadot did a wonderful job in her introduction during Dawn of Justice and deserves her chance to shine on her own. If this film can be a success, DC’s Cinematic Universe can get a leg up on Marvel.

4) Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7

After his long-awaited appearance in the MCU during Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man will get another reboot under the Marvel Studios banner. Tom Holland stars as Peter Parker as he attempts to balance his life in high school with his career as the web-slinger, Spider-Man. Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark will also play a role but I hope that it’s not dominant, only appearing when he needs to. Spidey will have his hands full, battling Michael Keaton’s Vulture. Let’s see how Marvel Studios handles one of the greatest and relatable heroes of all time.

3) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 – May 5

Like there was any doubt that this would make my list. Marvel Studios’ favorite team of A-holes are back to take us on another ride on the Milano. Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mix Vol. 2 and three months after the first film, this film continues the team’s adventures throughout the cosmos as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) true parentage. Along with the main players from Volume 1, Kurt Russell joins the cast as Ego, Pom Klementieff as the empathic Mantis, and Elizabeth Debicki as High Priestess Ayesha. With an stellar soundtrack and James Gunn’s direction, this film should be a joy for all Marvel Studios fans. My review for this film will be posted as soon as tomorrow.

2) Baby Driver – June 28

If you are not a fan of Edgar Wright or seen any of his films such as Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz, you have time to catch up. Returning to write and direct for the first time since 2013, Edgar Wright helms this film about a young getaway driver named Baby (Ansel Elgort), who is coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey) and finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail. If you need any indication that this film could be amazing, it currently holds a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and was originally scheduled for release on August 11, but moved up to June 28. After watching the trailer, all I can say is buckle your seatbelts.

1) Dunkirk – July 21

And speaking of returning writer/directors, Christopher Nolan returns after three years to bring audiences another epic film. This war epic tells the story of Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada, and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II. This is based upon a true story during the Battle of France between May 26 to June 4, 1940. Christopher Nolan has always been able to tell a great story and this film looks no different. In case you need any more convincing, here is the most recent trailer for Dunkirk.

What movies are you looking forward to watching this summer? Are there any that have not made my list? Either way, I hope you all enjoy your time at the theaters.

Top 10 Anticipated Film of 2017

After much thought and taking a glance at what we have coming down the line for this year, we could be in for an entertaining time at the theater this year. We have the DCEU finally picking up steam with two anticipated films that may finally satisfy fans. An original war film, a superhero homecoming and a intergalactic band of misfits returns, and then there are sequels, sequels, and sequels. Did I forget to mention sequels?

10) Justice League – November 17th

The DCEU got there a little faster than Marvel, but a moment fans young and old have been looking forward to has finally arrived. We’re getting a Justice League Movie! DC’s Gods Among Us will take center stage as Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) assemble a team of metahumans to face the threat of Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds) and the Parademons, who are on the hunt for the three Mother Boxes on Earth. The team consists of Cyborg (Ray Fisher), The Flash (Ezra Miller), and Aquaman (Jason Momoa). The obvious question is: how will Superman (Henry Cavill) return and will he join the team?  The other supporting cast members from the previous movies will also be making cameos in this ensemble film. Considering the mediocre success of Batman v Superman, this is DC’s chance to really right the ship. They will have an earlier opportunity in the summer, but this could be their second chance.

9) Kingsman: The Golden Circle – October 6th

In 2014, the British-spy action film Kingsman: The Secret Service surprised everyone. The fresh storyline, comedy, and stylized action scenes (remember that church scene?) made the film one of the top grossing films of that year. It only made sense that a sequel would be made. Now, we’re finally being treated to one. Taron Egerton returns as Gary “Eggsy” Unwin as an attack on the Kingsman Headquarters forces him, Merlin (Marc Strong), and Roxy (Sophie Cookson) to head to the United States and join forces with Statesman, their American Counterpart, to take on a new enemy called Poppy (Julianne Moore). I, for one, am looking forward to this film after having so much fun watching the first. New cast members include Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges to represent the Statesman but the big question is how Colin Firth’s Harry Hart will make his return after presumably killed in the first film.

8) The Fate of the Furious – April 14, 2017

‘Family No More’ seems to be the tag line for this installment in the high-speed series and, after the first trailer, it’s very appropriate. Dom (Vin Diesel) and the crew, despite being exonerated after the events of Furious 7, are still up to their old tricks and found some semblance of normal lives. When a mysterious woman named Cipher (Charlize Theron) corrupts Dom into betraying his family and into a world of crime he cannot escape. They each will face trials that will test them like never before. Vin Diesel returns along with series veterans like Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, returning characters played by Kurt Russell and new players like Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren will be joining the cast. Since the original cast has returned, the series has truly evolved past its street racing beginnings. Despite the tragic loss of Paul Walker, the Fast and the Furious continues to run. Let’s see where this direction takes them in the final trilogy of the Fast and Furious film series.

7) Blade Runner 2049 – October 6, 2017

An unexpected cult classic is FINALLY getting a sequel. After languishing in developmental hell, going through changes to the script, writers, and all the stalling, Blade Runner returns. Picking up thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years. Since it seems like Harrison Ford is returning to past role that made him a star and we have seen Han Solo’s end, who knows what the fate of Deckard will be? I’m looking forward to seeing Blade Runner’s sequel will translate with the masses.

6) Wonder Woman – June 2, 2017

Before the Justice League finally assembles in DC’s biggest film yet, one of the founding members and iconic heroes of all time will, at last, get her own solo movie. Gal Gadot reprises her role as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman in this origin story set in the early 20th century, finding the Amazon princess of Themyscira meeting American military pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) when he washes ashore. After learning about the outside world embroiled in World War I, Diana leaves the island to bring an early end to the war. A film about the iconic comic book hero has been long discussed and teased that we never thought it would happen. Now, it looks like DC might get a chance to one-up Marvel Studios with the first solo film for a female superhero.

5) Dunkirk – July 21, 2017

Christopher Nolan returns to the director’s chair this summer to deliver a war epic that could be an earlier front-runner to win the summer and possibly an Oscar nomination. This film concerns the Dunkirk evacuation during the Second World War, where Allied soldiers from Britain, Belgium, Canada, and France are surrounded by the German Army on the beaches of Dunkirk and evacuated in Operation Dynamo. Starring a stellar cast that contains Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, and introducing Harry Styles, this film could be very strong. We’ve never seen a movie cover the early years of World War II, but if there is one director who can do that film justice, it is Christopher Nolan.

4) Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017

After an original trilogy and a reboot under the Sony banner, Sony finally struck a deal with Marvel to bring the web-slinger home. This second reboot of the Spider-Man film series and the sixteenth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe follows the events after Captain America: Civil War, finding Peter Parker (Tom Holland) trying to find a balance in his life as an ordinary high school student with fighting crime as his superhero alter-ego, Spider-Man, along with the help of his mentor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) as a new threat emerges in the Vulture (Michael Keaton). I was very impressed by Tom Holland during Civil War and it will be amazing to see how he stands on his own and interacts with this established universe and all its amazing characters. Welcome home, Spidey.

3) Beauty and the Beast – March 17, 2017

One of my all-time favorite Disney movies and one of my favorites of all time is getting the live-action treatment. This movie doesn’t need to be changed or modified in any way. It just needs to be done right. Belle (Emma Watson) is a young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast (Dan Stevens) in his castle in exchange for her father’s (Kevin Kline) freedom. Despite her initial fears, she comes to befriend the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s physical appearance to recognize the true heart and soul of the human prince inside as a hunter, Gaston (Luke Evans), is on the loose to take Belle for himself and kill the Beast at any cost. Disney could not find a better cast to be a part of this film with the talents of Emma Thompson, Ian McKellan, Ewan McGregor, and Josh Gad. This film deserves to be one of the most anticipated of this year.

2) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017

Marvel’s intergalactic band of misfits are back! The sequel to the surprise hit of 2014 finds James Gunn returning to the helm the new adventure with its cast of colorful characters. Set two months after the first film, the Guardians of the Galaxy travel throughout the cosmos and struggle to keep their new family together, while helping Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) learn about his true parentage. Featuring the returning cast members of Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker along with new members like Kurt Russell along with what is sure to be an amazing soundtrack (like the first film), this film could be out of this world.

1) Star Wars: Episode VIII – December 15, 2017

In what seems to be the start of a holiday trend, a new Star Wars movie will blast into theaters in December. The second installment in the Star Wars sequel trilogy following The Force Awakens, finished filming in July 2016. Little is known about the film that will pick up after the events of the previous episode. Star Wars veterans Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Carrie Fisher in her final role before her untimely death as General Leia return to team up with returning new cast members Daisey Ridley as Force-sensitive Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Issac as Poe Dameron, and Adam Driver as Kylo Ren. I cannot wait to see the first preview for this film, knowing that this film is the top of the anticipated movie list for many entertainment forums.

What’s your most anticipated film for this year? Did any of them show up on my list? Let me know!

Here’s to a great year of movies!

My Top Ten Films of 2016

Hello, everyone! I’m so sorry that this post is coming up late. I have a few more reviews to complete and post so I appreciate your patience. Even through 2016 has ended and we have opened a new book for the year of 2017. Looking back to last year, there have been good and bad films; there have even been those terrible films that audiences still enjoyed (Here’s looking at you, Ghostbusters!) Looking over the list of films that I have had the pleasure of watching and enjoying in 2016, I have narrowed down my list to ten.

10) Captain America: Civil War

This year, audiences were forced to choose a side in the superhero universe with two different films: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War. If you read my reviews of both films, you know where I side. Marvel Studios split the Avengers into two separate factions as Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr) battled over their morals and accountability of their actions in the third Cap film. Marvel’s resident director duo, the Russo Brothers, did a wonderful job of balancing the action and not losing the story or the characters in the shuffle. It’s another Marvel film that you can watch again and again.

9) The Jungle Book

This has definitely been a powerhouse year for Disney. With the Marvel franchise continuing its dominance, a slew of animated films, and Star Wars’ resurgence in pop cultures, the Mouse House is the place to be for films. It’s almost easy to forget the re-imagining of their animated classics. The story of Mowgli and his jungle adventures thrilled audiences this year, both young and old. Director Jon Favreau (Iron Man) did a masterful job of translating this classic into live-action with the help of a stellar voice cast and classic Disney magic, making it one of the better remakes out of this run to reintroduce classic characters to new audiences. This does up the anticipation for Favreau to help the sequel and one of Disney’s next live-action remakes, The Lion King.

8) Zootopia

I wasn’t sure about Zootopia when it first came out, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. It is a film not just for children, but it also speaks to adults. The story about how we shouldn’t let the fear of diversity, whether by our gender, race, or in this film’s case, type of animal, hold us back from embracing one another despite our differences. There is even a joke about a sloth working at the DMV! Considering this film won a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature, it’s a must-see and earned a place on my list. 

7) The Edge of Seventeen

An total indie darling of a film, I had to give this film recognition for its relatable story of surving high school. Hailee Steinfeld’s Nadine is a hilariously misunderstood protagonist in the high school setting: having the support of her best friend, finally talking to the guy she has starry eyes for, and just surviving high school, The teacher-turned-mentor role was commanded with comedic timing by Woody Harrelson. What made this film great was that it isn’t a typical teenage movie; while some of the elements (beach time, underage drinking, etc) were there, it didn’t take over the movie and the commanding performances of Steinfeld and Harrelson playing off each other was a bright spot to garner this spot.

6) The Nice Guys

Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe in a summer comedy? Who would have thought that would be as successful as it was? Written and directed by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), the 1970’s detective comedy had a special energy to it and helped reinvigorate the buddy cop comedy that has gotten a little stale in recent years. There is a lot of violence, 70’s porn and language that will probably tick some people off, but it is still funny. The chemistry of Crowe and Gosling and their comfort in the roles helps make the film be entertaining and a surprise for audiences. 

5) Loving

If there was ever a film that was needed in these uncertain times we live in, Loving fits the bill. Based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple in 1950’s Virginia, it depicts the challenges they faced from their community. Back then, interracial marriage was still illegal in 24 state, Virginia being one of them. This story and the Surpreme Court case that sprung from it should be discussed or taught in public schools. Not many people are aware of this story and they should be. Interracial marriages are still somewhat frowned upon now, but the discussion is not as loud as it was back then. Witnessing the love and vulnerabilities of the characters through the actors truly makes audiences feel for the Lovings as they became activists in their own way. This movie shows that the strength of love knows no limits. 

4) Hacksaw Ridge

Directed by Mel Gibson (Braveheart), this movie surprised me because it was a story that I didn’t know about and unsure about how it would translate onto film. The film tells the tale of WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who became the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot. Andrew Garfield was the true surprise for me because I had only known him for playing the wall-crawler in The Amazing Spider-Man. This film is just as courageous as its subject and also as violent as the war it covers. This film is very much a film of two halves; the first part introducing us to Doss, exploring his personal life, beliefs, and how they are challenged. The true challenge came from the Battle of Okinawa, where on the battlefield, Doss tries to stay true to his faith and convictions as he faces the horrors of war.  Not all warm films get the recognition that they deserve, but this film earned its place as one of the best in recent memory and a welcome back to Mel Gibson in the director’s chair. 

3) Hell or High Water

This contemporary heist film was another surprise recommendation from a friend that I enjoyed. Chris Pine and Ben Foster hatch a scheme to save their family’s ranch. This gritty crime drama is wonderfully original and a film that should have earned more time in the theaters. This movie separates itself from the mainstream of remakes, sequels, and superhero films (which I usually like as well) by being intelligent and character-driven. The reality of this film and acting of this modern-day western makes this film very entertaining and should be a recommendation to anyone who is seeking originality in their movies. This movie will be a serious contender in the awards season. 

2) Kubo and the Two Strings

While Disney has been dominant, there is this little company called Laika that has brought out films such as Coraline and ParaNorman. There is a story that is running with originality and the adventure is fun to watch. The themes of the value of memories and how we can never forget people that we lose is something everyone should keep in mind as we go through life. These mature themes are handled with creativity and tact; the delivery surprises audiences and while the film is hard to really describe, it does a wonderful job of reminding audiences that there are other options outside of the Disney factory. 

1) Fences

I’m sure I would have put La La Land (Review coming soon) at the top of this list, but I saw this film before I thought about the musical and with good reason. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis both give possibly the best commanding performances of their careers. Washington’s acting and directing is a tour-de-force that is sure to entertain audiences. This is an engaging film that grips audiences with its power and delivery. While I haven’t disliked any of Denzel’s characters since Training Day, his “Troy” is like Washington put on a well-fitted tuxedo and walked down the red carpet at an award show, but it was Davis’ powerful and emotional performance that really took the film to a new level as the wife of a man who is coming to terms with his life. I would put this film as recommended viewing for anyone who has seen the play or loves to see these two actors work. 

My Top 10 Fall/Winter Movies

With the U.S. release of Marvel’s next film, Doctor Strange, coming into theaters this Friday, we officially enter the fall movie season. This season will also go into the Winter; also known as the “Oscar bait” season to me. I have seen some of the previous movies in the earlier part of the fall (which I’ll put up reviews soon). On this list, I do have a few suggestions that will be in major Oscar conversation but I think they will all be solid movies for everyone to see. 

From the mystical Marvel movie, a prequel for the Harry Potter universe, and a new Star Wars story to an ensemble drama starring Will Smith and a throwback to the musicals of a generation ago, this season will have something for everyone. 
10) The Edge of Seventeen – November 18
This coming-of-age comedy has received critical acclaim from the film festivals this film has been seen at. Hailee Steinfield stars as Nadine, an awkward high school junior, who feels more alone when her popular brother starts to date her best friend. But an unexpected friendship with an awkward boy (Hayden Szeto) gives her hope. The film co-stars Woody Harrelson as Nadine’s history teacher, who acts as her mentor. 
9) Fences – December 25
One of the many movies coming out on Christmas day could prove to be a dark horse in the Oscars race. Directed and starring Denzel Washington and co-starring Viola Davis, this adaptation of the play is set in 1950s Pittsburgh, a former Negro Baseball player (Washington), now working as a waste collector, struggles to provide for his family and comes to terms with the events of his life. 
8) Fantastic Beasts – November 18
Director David Yates and author J.K. Rowling have reunited to provide a new era of the Wizarding World before Harry Potter. Set in 1926 New York, magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrives to research and rescue magical creatures. However, a No-Maj (American English for Muggles) named Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) has inadvertently opened Scamander’s case and letting the beasts loose on a wizarding community already on edge. Co-starring Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, and Katherine Waterson, prepare to return to the magical world in this extension of the Harry Potter franchise.
7) Moana – November 23
Disney looks to bring another animated classic to audiences with this film. On a mystical island of Polynesia, the young princess of the tribe, Moana (newcomer Auli’i Cravalho) from Motunui Island, is a born navigator who sets sail in search of a fabled island of mysterious secrets. Along the way, she teams up with her hero and legendary demigod, Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson). With the musical assistance of Lin-Manuel Miranda, this film will definitely make a beautiful splash in the box office. 
6) Loving – November 4
This historical drama is coming out at a great time in my opinion, given the current racial climate. This film follows the courtship and marriage of Mildred Jeter (Ruth Negga), a black woman, and Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton), a white man.They are arrested and sent to prison in Virginia in 1958, because their interracial marriage is in violation of the state’s anti-miscegenation laws. Exciled to Washington, D.C., the couple sues the state of Virginia which leads to the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Loving v. Virginia. This movie will show that love truly conquers all. 
5) Doctor Strange – November 4
You know that I couldn’t leave out Marvel’s next film in Phase 3 of their expanding universe. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Dr. Stephen Strange, an acclaimed neurosurgeon until he loses the use of his hands due to a car accident. He goes off in search of unconventional ways to repair his hands. The journey leads him to the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), who teaches Strange the mystic arts, just in time to defeat dark sorcerer Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelson). 
4) Rogue One – December 16
We return to the galaxy far, far away during the time of the early dominance of the Galactic Empire’s rule. The Rebel Alliance recruits Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) to work with Rebel pilot Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) to lead a motley crew to steal the plans to the Death Star. Disney has followed the same strategy they set with The Force Awakens trailers and that is to reveal as little as possible. They set up the basic them of the story and don’t reveal anything else for the audience. But from the previews, we are guaranteed one person: The Dark Lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader!
3) Passengers – December 21
This romantic science fiction tale has been kept under wraps for quite some time, floating around Hollywood for years since 2007. Now, it has been greenlit and ready to be consumed by audiences. The story tells the tale of Jim (Chris Pratt) and Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence), two people who are traveling on the starship Avalon, being awoken early during the 120-year journey while everyone else sleeps in suspended animation. When the ship begins to malfunction, it is up to the duo to solve the problems, while also falling in love in the process. To me, it looks like Titanic in space but that’s my early assumption. From the initial trailer, this film looks as though it’ll be quite the journey. And having two of the hottest stars in Hollywood today isn’t too bad either. 
2) Collateral Beauty – December 16
Another one of Hollywood’s mystery projects that audiences did not know much about, this film just screams potential. When a successful New York ad exec (Will Smith) suffers a great tragedy in his life, he retreats from it. While his concerned friends try desperately to reconnect with him, he seeks answers from the universe by writing letters to Death, Love, and Time. But it’s not until his notes are unexpectedly answered through personal responses that he begins to understand that these constants interlock into a life fully lived, and how even the deepest loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty. This film also stars Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley, Edward Norton, Naomie Harris, and Kate Winslet, it’s guaranteed to touch everyone in the audience in one way or another. 
1) La La Land – December 9
This movie, I can guarantee that you will hear about when the Oscar nominations are announced. In the heart of Los Angeles, aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) serves lattes to movie stars in between auditions. Jazz musician Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) plays in dingy bars just to get by. The two meet and fall in love, but, as success mounts, the dreams they worked so hard to maintain threaten to tear them apart. From the trailer, this film looks to be a throwback to the romantic musicals of the ’50s, ’60s, and sometimes, ’70s. I love watching old classic films so I think if you love a good story, musical, or you are just a movie fan, I would recommend this movie. 
So what are the movies that you are looking forward to? I hope you take some of these movies under advisement to watch as the weather gets colder!
Until next time, movie fans!

Summer’s Most Anticipated

This Friday, May 6, 2016, officially begins the Summer Movie Season with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes battling each other in Captain America: Civil War (#TeamCap!). This superhero ensemble film will begin the summer movie season with a bang as the heroes work out their issues. That seems to be a running theme in some of the other high-profile movies of the summer with Matt Damon raging again as Jason Bourne, Idris Elba unleashes fury on the Enterprise  in Star Trek Beyond, the Suicide Squad’s anger issues, and some nasty ghouls challenging Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig in Ghostbusters. Thankfully, this summer is also packing plenty of joy and magic, too.

So here is my list of the 10 most anticipated films of this summer.

10) Central Intelligence – June 17

Movie Megastar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been making a lot of noise in recent years in Hollywood, becoming one of its most bankable stars. Teaming up with one of the funniest men on the planet will seriously test his comedic chops in this action-comedy. Bob Stone (Johnson), a one-time bullied, overweight geek has grown up to be a lethal CIA agent enlists the help of the former “big man on campus” Calvin (Hart), now an accountant who misses his glory days when they attend their high school reunion that turns into more either of them bargained for. No doubt this movie will be an enjoyable laugh-riot of a film.

9) The BFG – July 1

The first theatrical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel is directed by Steven Spielberg (E.T., The Adventures of Tintin, Jurassic Park) and tells the tale of a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) who befriends a friendly giant named the BFG (Mark Rylance) as they set out on an adventure to capture the evil, man-eating giants who have been invading the human world. This is a return to audiences seeing the childlike imagination of Spielberg and giving children not familiar with his earlier works a showing of the wonders in magic, fantasy, and imagination.

8) Star Trek Beyond – July 22

Justin Lin (Fast and Furious 3-6) assumes the director role of the third installment of the Star Trek reboot series. Little has been revealed about the third film but from the initial teaser trailer, Idris Elba’s big bad Krall is going to take it to the crew of the Enterprise and Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) like no one has before. The Enterprise herself looks to face certain doom and the crew seems to be stranded on a planet where they will have to fight to survive. Let’s hope another trailer will come out between now and then.

7) Ghostbusters – July 15

Another reboot is set to launch this summer and…I’m still on the fence about it, personally. Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) are Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates, two women who co-authored the book about the paranormal but are laughed at for their belief. When ghosts attack Manhattan (gotta love New York!), the two team with a nuclear engineer, Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), and a subway worker, Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), to save the world. I already know that this will be held to the standard of the original Ghostbusters, fair or not, so I might go into this with level expectations.

6) X-Men: Apocalypse – May 27

I should have put this in my top five and I honestly considered it but I tried not to have a competition in judging these films. The X-men film series is one of the most successful film franchises and I have a deep soft spot for these mutants since I was a child. The reboot series has renewed my faith in how 20th Century Fox is handling these Marvel Comics pillars. Now, Professor X (James McAvoy) and Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrenece, in her final X-men film) will lead a young team of fan favorite characters against the greatest and most powerful mutant of all, Apocalypse (Oscar Issac), and must contend with his “four horsemen”, including an all-powerful Magneto (Michael Fassbender). I hope this movie continues to build on the success the reboot series has already made.

5) Finding Dory – June 17

In 2003, Disney/Pixar released a film about a lost clown fish called Finding Nemo. The film became critically acclaimed and a fan favorite with children and adults (speaking personally). It also gave birth to a fan favorite character named Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres). Thirteen years later, DeGeneres reprises her role of the forgetful blue fish in this sequel. Set six months after Finding Nemo, Dory suddenly recalls her childhood memories and sets out to find her family. Albert Brooks reprises his role as the father clown fish, Marlin, who joins his friend along with his son, Nemo. I’m unsure if this movie will meet the same success as its predecessor, but it’s sure sure to be another classic for children and adults to enjoy this summer.

4) Independence Day: Resurgence – June 24

 Speaking of long awaited sequels, it seems as though a generation has waited for this one to finally arrive. In 1996, the world witnessed the box office hit, Independence Day. It set the bar for global disaster films to follow and made sci-fi cool again. After languishing in developmental hell in Hollywood for twenty years, we finally see the world after the defeat of the aliens. The Earth is more united and has a global defense force using weapons reverse-engineered from the remains of the alien forces from the previous film. While we had twenty years to prepare, the aliens did as well. And they return to Earth looking for payback with a larger and more powerful battle fleet. The sequel features returning stars Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, and Vivica A. Fox. It welcomes Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games film series), Sela Ward (The Day After Tomorrow, CSI: NY), and newcomer Jessie Usher (Starz TV series Survivor’s Remorse) as the adult stepson of Will Smith’s character. This film will most likely be a financial success and while it would have been great to have Will Smith return, I doubt he’s worried since his summer movie slate is already covered.

3) Suicide Squad – August 5

DC Comics is really getting traction on its DC Extended Universe and, depending on how this film goes, it could really get going. Despite how some comic book fans and critics think, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a financial success. Suicide Squad seeks to build on that. A secret government agency, led by Amanda Waller (ABC How to Get Away with Murder’s Viola Davis), assembles Task Force X by recruiting imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops in exchange for clemency and saving the world from an unknown but powerful threat. The trailer has not revealed this threat but we do know the team runs into a lot a danger on this mission. It’s still unknown the purpose that the Joker (Jared Leto) will play but I’m sure it’ll be prominent, especially with Batman (Ben Affleck) making a cameo. The trailers remind me of Marvel’s successful Guardians of the Galaxy whenever I watch it, especially with the music selection. Let’s see if this film, starring a cast that includes Will Smith and Margot Robbie, will be as popular.

2) Jason Bourne – July 29

The name of the movie says it all. After nine years away, Matt Damon reprises his role as the dangerous spy, Jason Bourne. From the first trailer, Bourne has been in hiding since the events of Ultimatum but something bring him out and Jason seems to be as dangerous as ever. The world Bourne is entering is not the one he remembers as the world is faced with unprecedented instability. In my opinion, this world is coming at an excellent time as far as how the society we live in now can affect a person. Julia Stiles returns with Damon and they are joined by an all-star cast that includes Tommy Lee Jones, Vincent Cassel, and Academy Award winning Best Supporting Actress Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl). At first, Damon wasn’t going to make a return without Greengrass and a good script but Greengrass returning as director, I doubt this film will disappoint.

1) Captain America: Civil War – May 6

No surprise here, right? In my opinion, the number one movie of this summer is four days away on May 6. The thirteenth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, third in the Captain America film series (potentially final), and the beginning Phase Three of this film franchise finds the heroes facing a surprising enemy: themselves. After the events of Age of Ultron, Captain America (Chris Evans) and his team of New Avengers face a government-issued registration act that fractures the team into opposing factions: one being led by Steve Rogers against the act, another led by Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) for the act. The trailers have been action packed, showing the standpoint of the two heroes and how we need to prepare of an amazing story of accountability, right and wrong, and friendships, and family. The Avengers, for all intents and purposes, are a family so this will be one reunion that will leave a lasting impression on the Universe. No matter the outcome, I doubt the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be the same ever again.

I hope you all go out to see these movies this summer. If there are any I missed, and I’m sure there are more than a few, please share them in the comments.

Enjoy, moviegoers!