To our dismay, most of 2015 proved to be a little bit duller than many expected at the movies. Certainly there were some box office hits and a few fun action and superhero flicks, but the real quality in 2015 seems to be bunched up in the last few months. With films like Spectre, The Revenant, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens still on the way, along with a crowded group of prospective awards contenders, we may yet come to recognize 2015 as a great year in film.
But even with the last quarter of 2015 looking promising, a lot of the headlines in the entertainment industry are starting to reflect growing excitement for 2016. With that said, here are 10 reasons in particular that point to 2016 becoming the most interesting year in a while at the cinema:
There’s Even More Star Wars
As devoted fans will know, Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm and the Star Wars empire will lead to spin-off films in addition to the new trilogy. The first of these films, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is slated for release in 2016. For now, it’s more or less hidden in the shadow of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but one has to assume that if the start of the new trilogy is a success, the follow-up could be almost as big. Given that a recent CinemaBlend article citing a box office expert predicted that The Force Awakens will shatter all records, that’s pretty significant potential.
Bourne Is Back
Technically, the Bourne franchise never left us, as The Bourne Legacy kept things alive in Matt Damon’s absence, albeit with Jeremy Renner’s Aaron Cross character taking over as the protagonist. But with Damon set to return to the franchise in the next film (unofficially titled Bourne 5), 2016’s addition will be a big deal.
Disney / Pixar Is Back In The Water
Disney and Pixar have a habit of producing films that are both beloved and lucrative, and per a 2012 article in Business Insider, the best of them all (in terms of box office earnings, at least) was 2003’s Finding Nemo. Suffice it to say that when 2016’s Finding Dory revisits the characters and setting from Nemo, theaters around the country will be overflowing.
The X-Men Are Peaking
When we hear Iron Man we think of Robert Downey, Jr.; Spider-Man is Tobey Maguire, and the list goes on. Yet with the X-Men, until recently, it was still easier to picture Wolverine’s yellow suit or Magneto’s dramatic purple-and-maroon costume rather than Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and Co. And yet the last few X-Men films have put the franchise on the map in a newer and more exciting manner.
First Class and Days Of Future Past were both exceptionally well reviewed, and sticking with the idea of lasting imagery, the cast of characters is becoming cemented in pop culture. The Betfair Casino even depicts various X-Men gaming options with a cast of cinematic characters fronted by Jackman himself and also including modern images of Mystique, Magneto, and others.
This is only a single gaming example, but it still speaks to the growing relevance of the X-men films, given that other Marvel games include cinematic imagery as well. And with the franchise only gaining popularity, the coming X-Men: Apocalypse has a lot of momentum to build on in becoming one of 2016’s more exciting offerings.
Video Games Are Going Big
Movies adapted from video games tend to fall flat, but they can also cater to ready-made box office crowds of gaming fans. In 2016, there will be a number of them coming out. World Of Warcraft, Angry Birds, and Assassin’s Creed are all getting brand new films, just to name a few, with the latter looking like the most promising (and starring Fassbender, incidentally).
Batman Is Back
Whether or not you’re excited about the idea of Zack Snyder rebooting Batman so soon after Christopher Nolan’s epic trilogy, there’s really no denying that it will be a major cinematic event. Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice has been projected by many as a likely disappointment, but it looks like DC’s biggest superhero effort to date, and whether or not it succeeds it will be a big deal.
DC’s Villains Are Taking Center Stage
Perhaps more exciting in the DC realm is the idea of its villains taking center stage in the upcoming movie Suicide Squad. A few years back, Comic Vine did a write-up on why DC’s villains are superior to those of Marvel, while noting that Marvel had the more relatable heroes.
The argument is difficult to disagree with, frankly, and has only been confirmed by the last 15 or so years of superhero films. Marvel’s heroes have towered over the entire entertainment industry despite a slew of dull villains for them to fight against. And it all happened while arguably the most acclaimed superhero movie of all time, The Dark Knight, succeeded largely thanks Heath Leger’s portrayal of the Joker.
DC may have finally come around to realizing all of this, as Suicide Squad will be the first film from either comic giant to focus primarily on the bad guys—specifically, a team of captured villains that carries out missions for U.S. intelligence.
Roald Dahl Back On The Big Screen
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory; Matilda; Fantastic Mr. Fox;James And The Giant Peach — all of these wonderful family films were adapted from Roald Dahl’s incredible collection of children’s fiction works. And 2016 will bring us yet another in the form of The BFG.
The BFG is a tough idea to imagine as a live action film, because it centers largely on a community of giants, but Dahl’s work is simply magic for family movies.
Marvel’s Central Duel Finally Erupts
As soon as 2008’s Iron Man became a whopping success, and Robert Downey, Jr. was transformed into one of the biggest movie stars in the world, Marvel had an interesting dilemma on its hands: it created a fan-favorite protagonist before introducing the Avengers’ team captain (Captain America). Downey, Jr.’s Iron Man remains the more popular character even now, but the studio has done a brilliant job of having the two bicker with one another just enough to suggest a major disagreement could exist. In 2016, that disagreement will erupt in Captain America: Civil War, which pits the Avengers against each other for the first time. It should be a nice change of pace, and droves of Marvel fans certainly won’t be able to resist.
We’re All Going Back To The Wizarding World
This is a sensible dark horse pick for 2016’s biggest film. The Guardian wrote up a wonderful list of details last month, but J.K. Rowling is writing a screenplay called Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them based on a fictional textbook from her Harry Potter series. The film will star Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, a “magizooligist” who wrote the book, but more importantly, it will offer fiction’s biggest fan base the chance to jump back into the wizarding world Rowling created all those years ago. It’s hard to imagine something bigger.
Top 5 Worst Alien Invasion Movies Ever
The timeless tale of the alien invasion remains a staple of summer blockbusters. For years we’ve been able to look to the skies in terror and then sit back and enjoy the show. Sadly, not all of these movies have been out of this world (pun intended), and quite a number left viewers nodding their heads in disappointment.
Here are five alien movies that merely crash landed onto Earth. The real horror is how terrible they truly are — let us know if you agree with our list…
Independence Day: Resurgence
Say what you want about Will Smith, but his decision not to return for this bloated sequel might be one of the smartest things he ever did in his whole career. While the movie maintained its original director in Roland Emmerich and was even able to bring back Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman (among others), it wasn’t enough to save this sorry sequel. The effects are just as bombastic and ridiculous as you’d expect, but critics point out that the sequel is really a poor copy of the original. It’s really just a rehash of the same—and much better and more original—movie from 20 years ago with none of its charm. Sadly, Resurgence simply has no heart and Bill Pullman’s famous speech really only works the first time.
Signs was the beginning of the end for M. Night Shyamalan as a competent filmmaker. Riding high off the success of The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, the director attempted to repeat the feat with this alien thriller. While not a completely terrible movie, the aliens themselves look ridiculous and feature some of the worst design you’ll ever see. Plus, the weakness of the aliens is just downright silly. Why would the aliens come to a planet that has more than 70 percent of it covered by their main weakness?
Cowboys and Aliens
On paper, this seemed like a win-win for over-the-top popcorn movies. However, what fans got was a bloated mess of special effects that was both a critical and financial failure. It should have done better, as the cast included Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, and Olivia Wilde, and the movie was directed by Jon Favreau, of Iron Man and The Jungle Book fame. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to save the movie. Fortunately, the film continues to live on in video game form, with its inclusion amongst other slot reels for browsers and mobile devices. It makes full use of the wild west and sci-fi mash-up, and as you might expect, it’s actually a much more fun way to spend your time than watching this mess of a movie.
Plan 9 From Outer Space
This classic has been often called the worst movie ever made. Director Ed Wood was the Uwe Boll of his day, and Plan 9 From Outer Space might be both the best and worst movie he ever made. Despite the shoestring budget, Wood was able to hire Dracula actor Bela Lugosi to star in the picture, but the actor’s untimely death had the director resort to using his wife’s chiropractor as a stand-in. The UFOs are clearly cheap models hung on strings and the film is riddled by problems such as boom microphones dropping into shots and actors clearly reading directly from their scripts. A touchstone of bad filmmaking, Plan 9 is a must-see for anyone that loves movies that are so bad they’re good.
Battle: Los Angeles
This movie was almost impressive in how utterly forgettable it was. First, find someone that saw Battle: Los Angeles, now ask them to tell you one thing that actually happened during this movie. No one remembers anything about it and when they do they’re usually remembering another film entirely. With a cast completely lacking in any star power, this flick was practically made to fail. And even though the gaming adaptation has some shoddy reviews, (like Cowboys and Aliens) at least the video game is more enjoyable than the film itself.
5 Reasons to Get Excited for Gotham (New Batman TV Show)
Batman is getting a new TV series, and this time it’s not a cartoon. Titled “Gotham”, the show will tell a straightforward story of some the franchise’s most notable characters, particularly that of Detective James Gordon and a young Bruce Wayne. That’s enough to get us excited.
Considering the story takes place well before there was even a Batman, we will see many interesting things and possibly learn things we never knew about the characters involved. Here are five reasons why you should also be excited:
5. The Visuals
Dark and gritty — that’s how we imagine Gotham’s visuals to be. With Heller stating that the visual appearance of the city will surpass the highly-regarded movies (The Dark Knight trilogy), consider us stoked. A look similar to New York in the 70s is what his team is gunning for.
Top 10 Highest Paid Hollywood Actresses in 2012
10. Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston kicks off the list with earnings of $11 million last year, largely thanks to her roles as nice girl in “Just Go With It” and as the sexually aggressive dentist in “Horrible Bosses.” Her relationship with Justin Theroux also casted a big spotlight on her. The former Friend stars in 2013’s “We’re the Millers.”