Happy belated New Year! The sobering reality that I will be back to work and university this week has me trying to think of happy thoughts and those happy thoughts come in the form of my most anticipated films of the year. So, let’s jump right into it.
Godzilla vs. Kong
Ok, let’s not beat around the bush, there is a high probability that this film is going to be complete rubbish. I was a big fan of Gareth Edward’s Godzilla, but the following Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters didn’t really do it for me. However, there is a kid inside every one of us that desperately wants to see the modern, $200million plus, blockbuster spectacle of King Kong facing off against Godzilla. Just admit it, you do.
I can take or leave Ryan Reynolds, as I did when I turned off the explosive 6 Underground after just twenty minutes. Yet the promise of a comedy action film featuring an NPC within a videogame sounds too good to be true. Hopefully, this will be stacked full of jokes on gaming culture, and every bit as much fun as it looks, even if it features the odd, flat virginity joke.
A Quiet Place: Part 2
In all honesty, I had completed forgotten about this film until the trailer was released a few days ago. I thoroughly enjoyed the first film, but I couldn’t watch it again after the stuff with the nail on the step again, I just couldn’t… Whether it be anticipation or curiosity, I look forward to seeing how John Krasinki fairs going for a second run of the silent, breath-holding horror and whether an expansion of the world will be something worth seeing. With the surprise addition of Cillian Murphy, I’ll happily sit in a packed and eerily quiet theatre. And remember, don’t buy any popcorn, it’s too loud.
No Time to Die
Let it be known, I was really not a fan of Spectre, and my loathing for that film had me heavily questioning the presence of follow-up on this list. But the swell of the iconic music, the spectacle of the stunts and Craig’s final appearance as Bond meant that I couldn’t resist. The fears surrounding the claims that this is a Bond movie for a Me Too generation are characteristically overzealous, and while there is nothing sending off triggering warning bells for me, the only concern is how subtle, or unsubtle these elements are implemented. My main concern is a coherent storyline that goes back on the face of the previous Craig entries.
Released in prior months around the world but held off until the end of January in the UK, this weird and wonderful black-and-white film starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson just looks bonkers – it is a typically niche film, well suited to production company A24. Director Robert Eggers was able to elicit such a thick sense of style in his directorial debut The Witch, and his sophomore effort looks to be no different.
Taika Watiti is a big name these days after his successful mixing up of the Marvel formula with the fun and adventurous Thor Ragnarok. With his latest release out in the wild, and I will literally be going to see it the day after I post this article, he dials back the Asgardian gods, and conjures up something that is more reminiscent of his heart-warming The Hunt for the Wilderpeople. I mean who else could make a satirical comedy about Nazi’s and a young boy’s imaginary friend Adolf Hitler, and still take a positive spin on it.
The next film by Bong Joon-Ho, another one late to the party in the UK, looks to be an off-kilter and wholly original story. Besides the first trailer, I have deliberately tried to avoid any reviews or news of this film, hoping to go in as blind as I possibly can. While Joon-Ho’s Okja didn’t make much of an impression, Snowpiercer most certainly did. With masterfully simple yet layered storytelling, as featured in Snowpiercer, one can only hope similar results, as well a bag full of twists and that it’s February release doesn’t take too long to get here.
A first world war epic directed by Sam Mendes, styled as one take and shot by none other than Rodger Deakins – sounds like a good time at the movies to me. This promises to be an immersive and awe-inspiring journey through the cramped trenches and soggy battlefields, and if the reviews are anything to go by, this will be one of the bests of the year. And yes, I will be going to see it in IMAX.
Christopher Nolan leaps back into the sci-fi with this ominous time-reversed thriller. Details are limited, but it piqued my interest early on, and my interests have only reaffirmed with the recently released trailer. While I feel he faltered with Dunkirk, taking on smaller scaled film which harks back to Memento, has me genuinely excited – least to say, two of his sci-fi films made it into my top ten of the decade list. I am interested to see what John David Washington has to offer after impressing in Blackkklansman and hopeful that this will finally be the year that Robert Pattinson truly shakes the Twilight reputation with mainstream audiences, after his run of indie films.
It’s on my reading list, but I haven’t read Dune, and I haven’t seen David Lynch’s adaptation either. But this is Denis Villeneuve we are talking about, who has yet to deliver anything short of brilliant. Not just that but with him he brings a superb cast, featuring Timothee Chalamet, Oscar Isaac and Josh Brolin. His mature blend of drama and sci-fi is something I am genuinely in love with, and to hear that they plan this to be a two-part story is exiting to say the least. Regardless, I am confident that Villeneuve will deliver the sci-fi hattrick after the incredible Arrival and Blade Runner 2049.
As usual, coming to the end of this year, it is likely that most of the my top ten of the year, will not consist of my most anticipated. Regardless, I look forward to another year of being disappointed, challenged, educated and most of all entertained in the cinema.