Welcome to another episode of moviemanMDG’s Movie Talk, where I talk about everything film-related, whether it’s news, trailers, or my thoughts on a specific film. First off, I would like to wish everyone a happy new year. As we welcome the year 2016 into our lives, we also have some really interesting films coming out this year. Whether they’re sequels, prequels, remakes, superhero films, or comedies, 2016 is shaping up to be an exciting year for film. For today’s episode of Movie Talk, I’m listing off my most anticipated films of 2016. These are the films that I’m most interested in seeing based on their trailers and/or their concepts. Just so you know, this list is from my personal opinion. If you don’t like my lists, then I suggest you read no further. With that said, let’s get to it.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Director Michael Bay is taking a break from giant fighting robots and moving on to another action film that takes place during the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. That film is “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”. This action thriller stars James Badge Dale and John Krasinski and tells the story about the six remaining military veterans who fight back against a group of militants. One of the reasons why I’m interested in seeing this is because it is based on actual events that happened in Benghazi. From the looks of the trailers shown, it does seem to have everything we could’ve expect from a Michael Bay film: lots of action and explosions. I’m very curious to see how this film plays out from my perspective since I enjoyed...I repeat, enjoyed Bay’s Transformers films. I’m not expecting this to be great, but if it manages to have enough action and characters to care about to keep me entertained, then that’s fine by me.
Kung Fu Panda 3
Po and the Furious Five are back to kick some butt in DreamWorks Animation’s latest sequel, “Kung Fu Panda 3”. In this latest installment of the Kung Fu Panda franchise, Dragon Warrior Po is finally reunited with his biological father, who is last seen in the ending of Kung Fu Panda 2. But when an ancient spirit called Kai returns to terrorize China and steal the powers of defeated kung fu masters, Po must learn to become a kung fu teacher in order to train a bunch of cute, fun-loving pandas into a band of Kung Fu Pandas. Most of the main cast return to voice their respective characters, including Jack Black as Po and Dustin Hoffman as Master Shifu, along with some new characters voiced by Bryan Cranston, Kate Hudson, and J.K. Simmons. I loved the first two Kung Fu Panda films in terms of the story, the animation, the humor, and some fun action sequences. So there’s absolutely no reason for me not to be excited for this. It’ll be interesting to see how they’re going to continue the story of Po and the Furious Five, but I’m concerned that it’s going to wind up like Dreamworks‘ other threequel, Shrek the Third. All I can say about this film is that as long as they include what worked in the first two films, we could be looking at another successful franchise for the animation studio. Skadoosh!
The Merc with the Mouth is getting his own big screen treatment. “Deadpool” tells the story of Wade Wilson, who was subjected to an experiment that could cure him of cancer. Instead, it gave him accelerated healing powers, a disfigured face that looks like the inside of someone’s butthole, and a twisted sense of humor. Armed with his new abilities and a new identity, Wilson teams up with two fellow mutants, Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, to hunt down the man who nearly destroyed his life. A lot of people were really disappointed with how Deadpool looked in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, so Fox and Marvel decided to make a Deadpool film that will surely please fans of the Marvel Comics character. The marketing for this film does show some promise on what the film is going to be like, filled with bloody action, language, and some dark and twisted amounts of humor. I mean, we could be looking at the first ever R-rated Marvel film since the Punisher and Blade films. When I get the chance to see this film, I better not see someone with their little kids seeing it, because this isn’t the kind of superhero that deserves to be idolized by kids.
Like Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios is taking a knack of releasing two of their biggest animation projects in the same year. The first project being “Zootopia”. In this animated buddy comedy, a rookie rabbit cop enlists the help of a con artist in order to solve a dangerous case. Disney has been on a roll these past couple of years since the release of Tangled back in 2010. Both of their animated films, Frozen and Big Hero 6, won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature, so it might be possible that this film could earn the studio its third consecutive Oscar nomination. I managed to watch the brand new trailer for the film, which was released online yesterday, and I think that it will do well with families in terms of the animation, the characters, and the humor. I seriously can’t get enough of those sloths running the DMV. Even though I’m excited to see this film, I should keep my expectations at a minimum because it does seem to follow the buddy-comedy formula based on the trailers alone.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
2016 is going to be filled with superhero mash-ups. The DC Cinematic Universe is competing with the Marvel Cinematic Universe with this follow-up to 2013’s Man of Steel. “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” puts the protecter of Metropolis against the Caped Crusader, while another threat emerges to destroy all of mankind. In my opinion, I thought director Zack Snyder did a nice job with Man of Steel, even though it’s not as spectacular as the other Superman films back in the 70s. It would be interesting to see how Snyder handles another big-budget film that consists of two popular DC comics heroes sharing the same screen together. We’ve seen a lot of video games, animated shows, and direct-to-DVD animated films that involve Superman and Batman teaming up against a common enemy, but a live-action cinematic event involving the two does appear to be both grand and risky. This film not only includes Batman and Superman, but also Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, and The Flash. That’s a big order for a film like this. I’m also curious to see how Ben Affleck handles his role as Batman compared to Christian Bale and Michael Keaton, and also how Jesse Eisenberg performs as Lex Luthor (with hair!). If the story goes well with how they introduce the characters and the action, it’s possible that it could blow all of the dumb haters away.
The Jungle Book
“The Jungle Book” is another Disney live-action remake of one of their animated classics, and it looks very promising. Disney’s live-action version of Cinderella proved to be a critical and commercial success because of how well they stayed true to the animated version without retelling the same story. I’m expecting the same thing for this film. I mean, look at the amazing cast they got here, along with the CGI animation on the animals. It would be interesting to see how Jon Favreau, the director of Iron Man, handles this live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic story.
Captain America: Civil War
Here’s another superhero mash-up that a lot of people are more excited to see than Batman v Superman. “Captain America: Civil War” starts Phase Three with a bang as the Avengers split into two different teams when extensive collateral damage prompts politicians to form an act to determine when to call in the Avengers. Captain America doesn’t like the idea, but Iron Man does (dumbass), and the only way to settle this argument is with violence. Most people like to call it “Avengers 2.5” because of the amount of characters in the film, besides Thor and Hulk. The Russo Brothers return to direct this latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which promises some drama, action, and of course, the development around the characters we know and love. This is one event that I don’t want to miss.
The Angry Birds Movie
Angry Birds has been one of the most popular video game franchises to date, so it’s quite obvious that Hollywood would want to make a film adaptation of this particular video game about birds who have anger issues. “The Angry Birds Movie” is one of the three video game-based films that will hit movie theaters this year, along with Ratchet and Clank and Assassin’s Creed. This animated comedy is about three birds named Red, Chuck, and Bomb who investigate the unexpected arrival of the Green Pigs. I’m very curious to see how they’re going to introduce the Angry Birds to a new generation of kids in movie format. Based on what I saw in the trailer, I really like the animation style of the film and they got a great voice cast such as Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, and Bill Hader. I could see this film going in two ways: It could mark the beginning of another successful animated franchise for Sony like Hotel Transylvania or it could be overshadowed from the other highly anticipated summer blockbusters. Either way, I would love to check this film out as well.
Competing against the Alice in Wonderland sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass, is another X-Men sequel. “X-Men: Apocalypse” is intended to be the final chapter in a trilogy that began with X-Men: First Class back in 2011. Not only does this film feature the younger versions of some of the most beloved X-Men characters like Cyclops and Storm, but it also features the big-screen debut of the first and most powerful mutant, Apocalypse, who is portrayed by Oscar Isaac. I really liked X-Men: Days of Future Past, so there is a possibility that I might like this one as well.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
The heroes in the half shell are back on the big screen. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” is a sequel to the 2014 box office hit, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Not much is known about the story, but it does have the turtles saving the city once again from their enemy, the Shredder. Not only that, but they also come face to face with Shredder’s new minions, Bebop and Rocksteady, and...an alien invasion? Ok, then. I loved watching the Ninja Turtles growing up. The 2014 reboot was enjoyable for what it is, and it looks like that this sequel might be even better. You want to know why? Try having the fact that they included Arrow star Stephen Amell as Casey Jones, Baxter Stockman portrayed by Madea, and the first ever big-screen debut of Bebop and Rocksteady from the 1980s version. The sequel is not directed by Jonathan Liebesman this time around, but instead we got director Dave Green, who is known for directing the 2014 family flick, Earth to Echo, so it will be interesting to see how Green handles a big budget film like this compared to his low-budget film Earth to Echo. I’m not expecting this sequel to be great, but I’m expecting to have lots of fun with it, because that’s one of the reasons why I watch movies - to have fun with them.
Pixar is heading back to sequel territory this year. “Finding Dory” is a sequel to Finding Nemo back in 2003. Taking place six months after the first film, Dory goes on a journey to search for her origins with the help of her friends, Marlin and his son Nemo. I really loved Finding Nemo and the trailer for this film does look pretty good, but I’m quite concerned on how they’re going to make this work. I mean, the only good sequels we got from Pixar were Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3. I would love to revisit these characters again on the big screen, but I’m a little bit nervous that it’s going to be like Cars 2. But I won’t know for sure until I see it for myself.
“Ghostbusters” is a reboot of the 1984 supernatural comedy classic that has been sparking a lot of negative controversy in terms of having female actors portraying the ghost-hunting team. But who cares? Paul Feig is directing it! Feig and Melissa McCarthy did a great job with their last film, Spy, so I’m pretty excited to see how they’re going to make a female Ghostbusters film work. By the way, this whole controversy of having female actors as the main Ghostbusters team is still ridiculous and embarrassing.
Star Trek Beyond
“Star Trek Beyond” is the third installment of the Star Trek reboot series. It has the crew of the USS Enterprise stranded on a new planet and must find a way to escape while dealing with a new ruthless enemy. Unlike the last two Star Trek films, this one is not directed by J.J. Abrams as he was too busy with Star Wars. This film is directed by Justin Lin, who also directed some of the Fast and Furious films. Now a lot of people did not like the teaser trailer for this film because they focused too much on the action and the improper use of the song “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys. I thought it looks like a fun Star Trek film compared to what I saw in the last two Star Trek films, which had a darker tone, and I’m curious to see how Lin handles Star Trek the same way he handled the Fast and Furious films.
Not much is known about “Suicide Squad”, but from the looks of the trailer, it looks pretty badass. With a great cast and a solid director like David Ayer, this film could prove that being bad can be just as rewarding as being good.
Kubo and the Two Strings
“Kubo and the Two Strings” is the latest stop-motion film from Laika, the animation company behind Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Boxtrolls. The film is about a young boy who goes on a journey to locate a magical suit of armor in order to save Japan from an age-old vendetta.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is a spin-off of the Harry Potter film series. If you read the book, you’ll probably know what the film is about. All I can say about this film is that it looks cool and I hope it captures the same experience as Harry Potter.
“Moana” is another animated musical film from Walt Disney Animation Studios, and it tells the story about a young female navigator who goes on a perilous journey to find a fabled island. Along the way, she teams up with the legendary demi-god known as Maui, voiced by Dwayne Johnson. One of the reasons why this is on my list is because it is directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, who are known for directing astounding traditional animated Disney films like The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. Another reason is to hear Dwayne Johnson sing in a Disney film.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
This first installment in the Star Wars Anthology series takes place before the events of A New Hope, in which a group of Rebel spies are sent on a dangerous mission to retrieve the plans for the Death Star. Not much is known about the characters or when we’ll get to see the official trailer of the film, but reading its premise is just enough to get me highly interested in seeing this Star Wars spin-off.
So that’s my list of the most anticipated films of 2016. Let me know in the comments section what films you’re excited to see in 2016.