The year has not been off to the stellar start it promised. Much like myself on January 1st when I vowed to make some resolutions to improve everything, the year hasn’t exactly stuck to its promises. I feel like 2016 is the girl on Tinder who acts like she’s great fun and then in reality doesn’t in fact like craft beer and was just saying all of that to get a free dinner out of you.
That said, we hold out hope and keep our eyes open for the few chances left in 2016 that may hold our attention for an evening. Beyond being excited to see some train wrecks play out in front of my eyes, I am excited for the films that are taking risks with a genre. Of course we all want to see The Suicide Squad, but that’s not the same as real anticipation. That’s not the same as the feeling you had as a child on Christmas eve, the following list is the 5 films set to be released this year that actually have me thinking.
Swiss Army Man
A fantastic thing is happening. A truly remarkable resurgence of indi films gaining popularity is being made possible by old teenage heart-throbs with a solid head on their shoulders, who have made all the money they need from their big name franchises. These characters and saviours of the genre like Daniel Radcliffe are starting to pick up passion pieces like this obscure surrealist film. Films like this would not get anywhere near the exposure they deserve if it weren’t for names like this being attached. It’s like a diluted down version of the Nolan effect that creates intrigue and marketability and other buzzwords that pricks like me and other network execs love to throw around.
I’m so unbelievably compelled to learn more about this film after the first trailer literally farted its way out of Sundance earlier this year. It looks so completely and utterly out there that I can’t help but be interested to see where it’s going to go and if it’s going to make the mistake I think it will of trying to claw us back to reality at the wrong time during key moments.
Rumours from the set say a dummy was made to save Daniel Radcliffe lying in the dirt and burping for hours on end. Apparently this dummy has not been used as he enjoyed the process so much he happily lay on the ground filming what must be some very difficult scenes.
Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them
Given the statistics of this blog and what I know about the audience I would imagine very few of you who read that title didn’t get that bittersweet, worried flash of nostalgia at the sight of a spin off from the Harry Potter family.
The Potter series was a pivotal literary time in modern history as a whole generation was turned on to reading. Theatrically I think the films also marked an incredibly important time in our education of film. As the books got darker so did the films. Personally as I aged and my tastes changed I was eased into darker themes and more complex cinematic themes through the transition this story too. My worry is, in the last few years we’ve been so spoon-fed and ‘templated’ as an audience I only hope this franchise hasn’t followed the same path.
This film is sitting on this list because I am scared of how badly it could go, and objectively speaking that is leading to some anticipation for me. So many questions need to be answered with this film: Is this a cash grab? Is this a desperate cling to relevancy? Will the integrity of the original stories carry forward to this new iteration of film for the younger generation? How hard will Colin Farrel try to pull off a North American Accent?
Rob McElhenney has steered ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’ in some amazing directions, nabbing himself a creative Oscar for his troubles. Beyond being a fantastic depiction of absolute degenerates it also provides some cutting and subtle social commentary, the likes of which I haven’t seen since Arrested Development. So naturally one can only wonder where this man’s twisted brain is going to take the Minecraft movie. Initially you wonder how a free-run block-building game can even make a movie. I’m so curious to see what format it fits, how it looks, how dialogue will be handled and more importantly…how expectations are managed with the marketing of the film.
Game adaptation is something Tony has written about in the past and I can only wonder in years to come will this movie make it onto his next list?
Admittedly this film had one of the most beautiful tease trailers I’ve seen since ‘The Accountant’. Roald Dahl books were one of the last major franchises of children’s books that didn’t receive the censorship and dilution of theme that came along with the last generation. While they are cute stories to think about they are inherently dark and at times, grotesque. I’m super excited to see how they handle this in the film but also a little bit sad to see another one of my childhood favourites get dragged into the cinema and forced to perform. Some things may be best left as classics. Although that said this is just another example of studios rehashing old content as a safe bet. Why do any work building up anticipation when the original author did it last century for you!!
This genuinely came out of nowhere last month. It is a perfect example of everything a trailer should be; ominous, endearing, teasing, vague and compelling. For the first time in quite a while I’m excited to see a film that hasn’t already showed me everything.
Mental disorders are a fascinating topic to explore on screen but come with the risk of insulting people who do suffer from them. The topic of ‘savant genius’ is something that gained popularity in film after hits like Rain Man before Tom Cruise was abducted by aliens and since then shows like Suits have butchered up the genre and ruined the integrity and potential of it as a plot device. I feel like Affleck may have gotten it right with this one though. It strikes me as Good Will Hunting meets The Bourne franchise, only with more Radiohead.
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