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Crown Jewels: Most Anticipated Movies 2016

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It’s that time of year again, time to share which movies I’m most looking forward to.  And boy, I’ve got plenty this year, with films that pit superheroes against each other, bring back the Harry Potter universe, and satisfies both Jedi and Trekkies.  It’s a good year to be a nerd and a movie lover, so let’s take a look at just why that is!

First, a quick list of runners up: Zootopia, Warcraft, The Jungle Book, Ghostbusters, Moana, and Assassin’s Creed. All of these peaked my interest, but tradition requires that I keep my list to my top ten.

10. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

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I grew up with Batman, so having him show up in the follow-up to Man of Steel to fight with and alongside one of other favorite heroes is a great concept.  I like Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Batman/Bruce Wayne, and Henry Cavill made a great Superman.  That said, I wasn’t a huge fan of Man of Steel, I’m having a hard time buying Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor (he seems more of a Riddler-type to me), and I’m worried about overcrowding, bringing in Wonder Woman and Doomsday and having to give cameos to Aquaman and Flash and Cyborg and anyone else they feel like throwing in.  DC doesn’t have the track record yet to prove they can do all that.  But the Batman v. Superman fight should be worth the price of admission, so I’m cautiously optimistic about this film.

9. X-Men: Apocalypse

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The X-Men universe has been hit or miss for a while, but its last outing, Days of Future Past, was a resounding success.  So bringing back the creative team and actors responsible for that popular film, infusing it with a new young cast, and bringing on the excellent Oscar Isaac as the apocalyptic villain is a recipe for another great flick.  The only reason this one isn’t higher is because it implies that a lot of our ideas about God are based on Apocalypse, which bugs me a little as a person of faith.  That said, as long as I can keep this filed under fiction in my mind, it should be an enjoyable ride.

8. The BFG

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One of my favorite books is Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and I love his imagination and sense of humor.  So seeing another of his works brought to the big screen is super-exciting, especially when the man bringing it is none other than master storyteller Steven Spielberg.  Add in a score by John Williams, a giant played by Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement, and a screenplay by Melissa Mathison (Oscar-nominated for E.T. the Extraterrestrial) and you’ve got plenty of reasons to check out this magical film.

7. Star Trek Beyond

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The last two films in the Star Trek universe opened up a new universe of possibilities by wiping out the old timeline and bringing in a new cast, and while some parts of those movies were better than others, they were pretty fun all things considered.  Now they’re bringing in a new director, Justin Lin of several Fast & Furious films, and a new villain, brilliant actor Idris Elba.  It’ll be a new feel and a new direction, but I’m looking forward to seeing the crew of the Enterprise in action again.

6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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Star Wars is back with a vengeance since Episode VII came out, and now it’s going back to tell the story of how it all began–the original trilogy, not the prequels.  Oscar-nominated Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) leads a team of rebels to steal the plans to the Death Star, and she also leads a cast including Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal) and Alan Tudyk (Firefly).  I don’t expect a happy ending for our band of rebels, but I do hope for a thrilling new Star Wars film to tide us over until Episode VIII.  Side note, nice job increasing your female representation, Star Wars!

5. Doctor Strange

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I’ve never made any secret of my love for Benedict Cumberbatch, so seeing him become a Marvel hero is a dream come true.  He’s the perfect choice for Steven Strange; I can’t imagine another voice I’d rather hear say, “By the hoary hosts of Hoggarth!”  (But are we letting him keep his British accent or sticking with American for comics continuity?  Hoping for British myself.)  And let’s not forget performances from Tilda Swinton (The Chronicles of Narnia) Mads Mikkelson (he’s been busy), and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Oscar-nominated for 12 Years a Slave).  Let’s bring the magic to Marvel!

4. 10 Cloverfield Lane

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A month ago, no one knew this movie existed. Then it burst on the scene with a trailer that raised more questions than it answered.  Why are these people hiding in a bunker?  What’s going wrong down there?  Is that pesky monster from the first Cloverfield movie still around?  Is John Goodman really still acting, and what’s he been up to lately?  As long as they keep putting out trailers like this and don’t spoil the whole thing, I’ll still be more than sufficiently intrigued when the movie comes out.  Like Tomorrowland and Guardians of the Galaxy before it, this film’s got me hooked with nothing but a teaser trailer.

3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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The world of the Harry Potter series has always been at its strongest with its world-building, creating a living, breathing, fully functional community of wizards.  Now that world is coming to early-20th Century America, giving it a fantastic new feeling.  And let’s not forget it stars Oscar-winning Eddie Redmayne as our cryptid-loving hero, Newt Scamander.  As long as he’s not required to speak in a comedic whisper, we should be looking at another great addition to the Harry Potter franchise.

2. Suicide Squad

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Everybody loves a good villain, and Suicide Squad brings together the worst of the bunch.  It’s got star power with Will Smith as Deadshot and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.  It’s got Oscar-nominated Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, plus a new Joker played by Jared Leto.  And with a premise of bad guys forced to do good-ish things and a dark and quirky tone brand new to the DC Cinematic Universe, there are many reasons I’m way more excited about this film than I am about Batman v. Superman.

1. Captain America: Civil War

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Captain America has been my favorite superhero ever since his brilliant outing in The Winter Soldier, and now the directors of that film, the Russo brothers, are back to bring together the biggest Marvel movie to date.  So many characters I love are back in this film, including Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, and Bucky, with more conflict than even Batman v. Superman has to offer.  Black Panther and Spider-Man are joining the crew, plus Crossbones, Baron Zemo, and an unknown character played by former hobbit Martin Freeman.  And unlike BvS, Civil War‘s creators proved in The Winter Soldier that they can balance multiple star characters without making the film feel crowded or shortchanging anyone.  I get chills every time I watch the trailers, and I’m expecting some heavy emotional investment in the finished product.  Bring on the Civil War!  The South shall rise again!  (Wait, wrong Civil War.)

 

Which movies are you most looking forward to this year?  Let me know in the comments below!

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