The arrival of a new year brings about a new slate of movies that will be anticipated and obsessed over. Some will disappoint you. Some will astound and exceed your wildest expectations. Most will entertain you in some way or another. As movie lovers, we can only hope. holographic video starts playing "Movie-God-Kenobi, you’re our only hope".
M. Night Shyamalan’s renaissance (Shymalassance?) looks set to continue this year with Glass, the sequel to 2016’s Split. Some folks may not know, but Glass will also act as a sequel of sorts to Shyamalan’s 2000 flick, Unbreakable. The film will pick up where Split left off, with Kevin Wendell Crumb stuck in his ultimate persona of “The Beast”. Bruce Willis’ crime-seeing character David Dunn (now going by the very 90s-era Prince-like moniker of The Overseer) will be pursuing him, while Dunn’s previous nemesis, Elijah Price/Mr. Glass (with his own new pretentious name of The Mastermind) lurks in the background of everything, manipulating both men.
2. Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
The first Lego Movie was extremely meta/self-referential and judging from the title of the second one, the sequel looks to be no different. Expect plenty of pun-laced satire, with jokes firing at you at a super rapid pace Chris Pratt is back, voicing master builder Emmet Brickowski… but he will also be voicing Rex Dangervest, “a galaxy-defending archaeologist, cowboy and raptor trainer.”
Yes, that is indeed a parody of Pratt’s roles of Star-Lord, Owen Grady of Jurassic World and Joshua Faraday from The Magnificent Seven. We did warn you that this film was going to be really meta. Elizabeth Banks (Wyldstyle), and Will Arnett (Lego Batman!) also return along with new additions to the cast including Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz and Maya Rudolph .
3. How To Train Your Dragon 3
If you can’t believe it’s almost been a full decade since the first How to Train Your Dragon… then you will find it comforting to know that the third film spares no expense in reminding you of that. Lead character Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), is now the chief and has succeeded in creating a utopia in which dragons and humans live together in peaceful harmony. However, the discovery of a potential mate for Toothless and a hidden world thought only to exist in myth leads to… let’s call it complications for both Hiccup and Toothless. I’m just excited to see Toothless, one of the cutest animated characters ever rendered. I’ll fight people on this.
4. Captain Marvel
En-route to Avengers: Endgame, we get to take a pit stop in the 90s and find out just who Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) was paging before he perished into dust. Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) has had a long history as a comic character, so who how the cinematic version will be represented on screen.
What we do know from the trailers:
• She nearly died
• To save her, she went through DNA re-engineering by the Kree
• she’s lost her memories of her time on Earth
• the Kree are as described by Carol, “a race of noble warrior heroes”
• she’ll be battling Skrulls, a race of green aliens with pointy ears who can shapeshift
• she’ll have a badass helmet that turns her hair into a mohawk
• Nick Fury is a cat person
And yeah, she’ll probably save the day in Avengers: Endgame.
One of Disney’s most beloved works gets the live-action treatment. We can only pray ol’ big ears doesn’t get ruined by Tim Burton’s sometimes odd stylistic choices. The casting of Colin Farrell as Holt Farrier, a one-armed veteran and former circus star who becomes Dumbo’s primary caregiver.
By the way, has anyone noticed that former hair chameleon Farrell is the follicle opposite of Javier Bardem? You know the thing Bardem does where the crazier his hair, the better his performance? Well, Farrell used to do the crazy hair (Daredevil, Miami Vice, Alexander) but that has mostly led to lacklustre performances. He’s since toned it down in this decade and come away with pretty solid performances.
Together with Wonder Woman and Aquaman, Shazam! represents a new era in the DC movie universe where characters don’t seem to spend most of their time onscreen mired in existential depression wondering what they did to deserve a movie.
Instead, Shazam! promises fun, lots of it! Billy Batson, (played as a kid by Asher Angel and as a really huge guy by Zachary Levi, TV’s Chuck and Flynn Ryder in Tangled) an orphan gets blessed by an ancient wizard with the powers of Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury. It’s basically Big but with superpowers. I foresee much joyous shouting of SHAZAM! after this movie is released.
7. Avengers: Endgame
This is it. The big one. The trailer has everything. People crying. People angry. It’s all the grief processing that has to happen. While everyone is thinking of what method (Time travel? Quantum realm hijinks?) the Avengers are going to employ to reverse Thanos’ finger-snap, I’m asking way more important questions:
• Is Paul Rudd/Ant-Man really going to save the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe? I am extremely here for it.
• How many hair colours is Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) going to switch between?
• What exactly is Thanos (Josh Brolin) farming? Rice? Beets? Turnips? What type of irrigation methods is he deploying? Who is he planning to sell these nutritious products to?
I look forward to these questions being answered.
8. Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
If you’ve ever wanted a movie that stars a talking Pikachu voiced by Ryan Reynolds, you’re in luck. An extremely sassy Pikachu teams up with Tim Goodman, a kid who’s a former Pokemon trainer and son of a prominent detective. Reynolds embracing his inner funnyman, after a flirtatious dalliance with trying to be a steely faced action hero for the earlier part of this decade, has been good for him and audiences, and this one promises to bring the laughs by the dozen.
The Disney remake machine rolls on. It’s particularly tricky when it comes to these remakes - stray too far from the originals, and people complain that there’s nothing new from these live-action remakes, make a faithful one… and everyone just goes “eh, the animated one was better.” Nobody wins, other than Disney who rakes in some killer box-office takings.
However, Aladdin is super intriguing. Guy Ritchie brings many things to the table as a director: high-octane action, quick jump cut sequences, complex interconnected plots, and a love for cockney accents. Not all of those elements seem easy to translate to a property like Aladdin. This makes Aladdin the one remake that could surprise and be totally different from its predecessor. An action-packed parkour-inspired heist movie, perhaps?
Fresh faces Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott (Pink Ranger in the Power Rangers movie no one saw last year) play the titular character and Princess Jasmine respectively, while Will Smith will voice the genie. Personally, I’m hoping for a genie that gets jiggy with it, but I completely understand if I’m alone on this one.
10. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is another one of Warner Brothers’ attempts to set up yet another long-running franchise. (We’re looking at you, Fantastic Beasts and the DC Universe.)
It’s all set to culminate in a massive showdown between Godzilla and King Kong, in which Godzilla will almost certainly have a massive size advantage over Kong, which would be the cinematic equivalent of Mike Tyson having to fight Manny Pacquaio. However, there’s some hope here. Unlike the Fantasic Beasts and DC movies, which have often been too concerned with setting up future instalments much to the detriment of the actual movie you’re watching, Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island are actually pretty entertaining movies, even if they’re a little generic and forgettable.
A pretty talented cast of Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Ziyi Zhang and most importantly, the return of dramatic Godzilla whisperer Ken Watanabe should help spice things up. And while we wait for Godzilla and Kong to get in the ring, we get to watch ‘Zilla fight Mothra, Rodan, and the three-headed King Ghidorah. So, yay, I guess?