There’s not much of a superior writer/director duo then Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal. Bigelow got her renaissance with the 2009 best picture winner, The Hurt Locker, which beat out her Ex-husband’s Avatar for the top prize. Their second film was the Bin-Laden drama, Zero Dark Thirty. The latter lacked the realism and grittiness that made The Hurt Locker such an intense look at modern war. Detroit looks to bring back the nail-bitter suspense that earned her such prestige. The film stars John Boyega hot off his Star Wars kick and a strong trailer as well as those attached deems this one an early Oscar contender.
Detroit Trailer: Click Here
9. Atomic Blonde
At first, I wasn’t at all thrilled about his film; it looks to just be a female-led John Wick, which I am absolutely on board for, but didn’t seem to offer anything altered. Then I took a second and looked at the facts: James McCavoy is marvelous in everything he’s in, Sofia Boutella is a newfound revelation, and Charlize Theron is one of the most badass woman to hold a film (look at Mad Max: Fury Road, which she was absolutely the lead of). The trailer is non-stop adrenaline and style and as long as the films keep up the thirst, it should hold up (but Suicide Squad kind of ruined the quality of trailers correlating to quality films.)
Atomic Blonde Red Band Trailer: Click Here
8. Blade Runner 2049
For as much of a Sci-Fi fan I am, Blade Runner was always on the lower percentile of my favourites. Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult film has gotten a bit of a resurgence in the last decade as people realized just how meticulous and thought-provoking the themes in the Philip K. Dick story as well as the movie were. Blade Runner 2049 teams one of the biggest actors of today (Ryan Gosling) with one of the quickest up and coming directors of the past five years (Denis Villeneuve [Prisoners, Enemy, Sicario, Arrival]). Harrison Ford will return for the sequel, which begs many to be skeptical to how they decide to reveal the final verdict on the infamous ambiguous ending of the original. Just from what we’ve seen in the trailer, we don’t care what they do, as long as Villeneuve is behind the camera.
Blade Runner 2049 Trailer: Click Here
7. War for the Planet of the Apes
There’s a theory in film that a director won’t understand their own universe the way a fan may be able to. An example is George Lucas, who directed Star Wars, and then passed the torch to Irvin Kershner who directed Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the best of the saga, arguably because his appreciation translated into passion. The Planet of the Apes trilogy has a similar lineage; in 2011 Rupert Wyatt directed the better than expected reimagining, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Matt Reeves then came on to direct the sequel that felt more like an analyzation of the matter rather than a means of entertainment. The third, and reported last film, in the trilogy looks as tense as any other in the franchise and is already getting rave reviews. Hopefully this could be the year that Andy Serkis finally gets that unconventional Oscar nomination we’ve all been waiting for!
War for the Planet of the Apes Trailer: Click Here
6. Spiderman: Homecoming
When it came to jokes in last year’s Captain America: Civil War, the reincarnation of Spiderman stole the show. His young kid brashness and witty quips was exactly what we expect from the friendly neighborhood vigilante and a film was finally able to give it to us. Director Jon Watts’ only feature before the MCU endeavor was the impressive and underrated Cop Car. As Sony plans to extend the “Spidey-verse(?)” we, and they, hope that this can act as the tent pole film their hoping for. Many are still wondering if those films, beginning with Venom starring Tom Hardy, will reign in the MCU or be their own separate entity. Early buzz is amazing for Tom Holland’s film, and hopefully that’s met with box office success.
Spiderman: Homecoming Trailer: Click Here
5. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was better than anyone could have imagined, particularly since the catastrophe that was the prequels came into to being 18 years ago. J.J. Abrams was already an established director who demonstrated that he knew how to craft a successful universe, as he did with Star Trek (2009). As incredible as Rian Johnson’s films may be (Brick, The Brothers Bloom, and Looper) none of them were the sort that pleaded to be part of a larger universe. We still have six-ish months till we get to decide whether or not The Last Jedi will be able to live up to the success of The Force Awakens. With many more teasers and trailers in the near future, all we can do is anticipate.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi Tailer: Click Here
4. Thor: Ragnorak
Thor was always one of the least-loved of The Avengers, and his films have always been one of the least well-off. Many were curious about the third film in the Norse God’s lineage, but that curiosity turned to excitement when the trailer was revealed. Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of Hela seems like she’ll be one of the Marvel villains to remember, Hulk vs. Thor in a gladiator-esque arena is something any fan would be on board for, and director Taika Waititi is a welcome newcomer that hopefully will continue the pattern that Disney has adopted by letting their directors actually let their visions be on film.
Thor: Ragnorak Trailer: Click Here
Chris Nolan could direct grass growing and it would still be one of the greatest thing to ever grace a theatre. The single-greatest working filmmaker today, Nolan has been hung up on Batman and theoretical physics for the past 12 years, but now has the freedom and leniency to let his true brilliance fly. There’s no CGI in Dunkirk, no inner-dimensional book shelves, and no magic. This film is about humanity and shows us a more internal side of Nolan. Never would I have guessed that a war film directed by the man behind The Dark Knight would have not been number one on my most anticipated, but then every time I see the trailer I see that colossal PG-13 tailored on the end and I let out a massive sigh of skepticism. Hopefully, I’m wrong.
Dunkirk Trailer: Click Here
2. A Ghost Story
Mesmerizing is the sole adjective I can think of when I watch the trailer linked below. David Lowrey only has two features accomplished; Disney’s better-than-expected Pete’s Dragon remake and the stellar Ain’t them Body Saints. Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck return to work with Lowery as he takes a break between studio films to go back to his indie roots and manufacture a poetic look at grief and growing. A Ghost Story was a gem at Sundance (where Affleck’s Oscar winning performance from last year’s Manchester by the Sea premiered) and is already picking up Oscar steam for best picture and Mara’s acting. Most years, at least one film from Park City gets a nomination for the top prize, and this film seems to have the best shot.
A Ghost Story Trailer: Click Here
1. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
I decide my top ten films of the year very punctiliously and in 2014, Kingsman: The Secret Service was number one. To accomplish that feat the film needed to beat out greats such as Whiplash, Birdman: Or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, and Selma. Every joke landed, the basis was wild and entertaining, the action was off the wall, and it produced, objectively, the greatest scene in film of the new millennium (the church scene). The sequel seems like it has kept all the wit and charm of the original and hopefully can still stay innovative while sequentially keeping with the panache of its source. This film will live or die on how it brings back Harry Hart; let’s pray that it’s neither a zombie nor a twin. Kingsman: The Golden Circle gives us back Eggsy (as seen above) whose just as dashing as ever and hopefully will be able to produce a villain as memorable as Valentine in the first. The spy-film-satire comes at the end of the summer and hopefully is able to achieve the expectations that were set by its undervalued precursor.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle Trailer: Click Here
Those are all the films we here at Cinema 35 can’t wait to grab the popcorn and enjoy. Let us know what you think or if we left any off!
Honorable Mentions: Michael Fassbender’s detective Drama, The Snowman. Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olson reteam after The Avengers and Captain America: Civil War for Wind River. Luc Besson’s most innovative film since The Fifth Element, Valerian. Zack Snyder/ Joss Whedon’s Justice League. Stephen King’s classic gets remade in this years It. Tom Cruise gets back to acting in American Made.