As I type this, the first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a few days away from being dropped at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando. It’s the movie I’m most looking forward to seeing in 2017. However, it doesn’t come out until December. That’s means I’ll need to fill the next eight months watching other movies. Here’s a preliminary list (in order of release date) of the movies I plan to watch until Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes out.
1. The Fate of the Furious (April 14) – It’s hard to believe that the The Fast and the Furious came out 16 years ago. That movie was a remake of Point Break with the story of an undercover cop infiltrating a group of criminals highjacking trucks for DVD players. Those were more innocent times. Looking back it’s hard to believe that original movie would lead to a franchise making billions of dollars worldwide.
I think the best of the series is Fast Five, but there’s been a slight decline in the subsequent movies. Nonetheless, I’m still looking forward to this eighth movie. After all, it has The Rock, Jason Statham, and Charlize Theron. I’m expecting something over-the-top. Here’s the trailer.
2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5) – I was surprised by how much I liked Guardians of the Galaxy back in 2014. Marvel had made a bunch of good movies, but they were based on characters that had at least some presence in the public consciousness. The Guardians of the Galaxy were comprised of random characters that even most comic book fans hadn’t heard of before. Moreover, it was directed by a guy who had made mostly cult, genre flicks.
James Gunn succeeded by making Guardians of the Galaxy as an old school space opera. The plot resembled Star Wars a little too much, but it was a brand of weird fun that infused the Marvel Cinematic Universe of much-needed fun. It also had an awesome soundtrack, which can’t be underrated. It seems that Gunn has taken it to another level in the sequel. Here’s the trailer, which is set to the song The Chain by Fleetwood Mac.
3. Alien: Covenant (May 19) – Prometheus is a really polarizing movie. Some people really don’t like it. I think it’s actually pretty good. It’s not as good as Alien or Aliens, but that’s fine. One of the laziest forms of film criticism is to pan a movie because it’s not to the same level of quality as previous installments in a series of movies. I think each movie, even those part of a a film franchise, should be evaluated on its own. That’s for both good and bad. Prometheus is a flawed movie, but there’s a bunch of good stuff in it.
That being said, I’m look forward to an Alien movie going back to its R-rated roots. Alien: Covenant has a lot of things going for it. To start, it’s directed by Ridley Scott. It also has an impressive cast. I’m curious about what type of movie they’ve made. Check out the trailer.
4. Wonder Woman (June 2) – The DC Expanded Universe has had some trouble recently. Man of Steel was a solid start, but there were some serious missteps with Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. Recent news suggests DC is regaining its footing, but I’m not sure if it will translate to this Wonder Woman.
That being said, I’m actually pretty optimistic. Aside from Ban Affleck’s Batman, I thought Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was the most enjoyable part of Batman v. Superman. Chris Pine, who is a terrific actor, is a great choice to play Steve Trevor. I’m not familiar with director Patty Jenkins’ previous work, but I’ve been impressed by her interviews promoting this movie. She’s smart and really passionate about this project. Lastly, the trailers have been amongst the best I’ve seen for the movies coming out this year. I especially like the second one. Check it out.
4. Baby Driver (June 28) – Hot Fuzz is one of my favorite movies. I think it’s one of the best comedies ever made. Anything directed by Edgar Wright is something I’m going to see in the theater. My curiosity was piqued even further because of the lead actor, Ansel Elgort. He was one of the many actors considered for the upcoming Han Solo movie. Watching the trailer for Baby Driver, I can totally see the appeal. In fact, Baby Driver looks a lot like what a Han Solo movie would look like set in the modern world. Even Elgort’s wardrobe in the movie bears a resemblance to Han Solo in the original Star Wars.
Check out the trailer. It’s the international version, which I think is better than the one shown for American audiences.
5. Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7) – As many problems DC has had with its expanded cinematic universe, Sony has handled Spider-Man so much worse. It says a lot when a Spider-Man movie is so bad that Sony had to team up with Marvel in order to get back credibility and goodwill with fans. However, that’s what happened with The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
I’m not as enthusiastic about watching Spider-Man: Homecoming as most people. My motivation to watch this movie is mostly borne out of curiosity. That being said, I though Tom Holland was great in his small part as Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War. I thought the most recent trailer revealed too much. Check out the first trailer, which I think is a lot better.
6. Dunkirk (July 21) – It’s sometimes difficult to remember that Christopher Nolan has made that aren’t about Batman. However, I think he’s one of the best filmmakers working today. He started out great with Memento. Inception is one of my favorite movies. These are dense pieces of art that can only be made by a master craftsman. I’ll watch any movie that man makes. I’m curious about how Nolan will take on World War II in a film, especially a story in which the protagonists lose. Check out the trailer.
7. Atomic Blonde (July 28) – When Liam Neeson did Taken, I didn’t realize it was the start of dramatic actors making over-the-top action movies featuring a ton of brutal, hand-to-hand combat. It’s now Charlize Theron’s turn with Atomic Blonde. I tend to like these movies quite a bit, but I would be skeptical of Atomic Blonde had I not seen Mad Max: Fury Road. That move is absolutely amazing. I will contend to my last day that Charlize Theron should have won the Oscar for best actress for playing Furiosa in that movie. The fact she wasn’t nominated in inexcusable. Anyways, check out the restricted trailer for Atomic Blonde that came out a month ago. It’s pretty extreme.
8. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (September 29) – Kingsman: The Secret Service was a pleasant surprise when I saw it two years ago. Matthew Vaughn is an underrated filmmaker who had already made two awesome films in Layer Cake and X-Men: First Class, so it’s nice to see him get a chance for a film franchise of his own. Incidentally, I couldn’t see Kingsman: The Secret Service in the theater because there was a problem with the projector. It couldn’t get fixed, so I was given a bunch of free movie passes for my rouble. Kudos to AMC Theatres. I eventually saw it on video, and I’m now looking forward to the sequel. I would now post a trailer, but it hasn’t come out yet.
9. Blade Runner 2049 (October 6) – In one of my ongoing series of posts about selling my DVD collection, I mentioned how my much I like the original Blade Runner. Thirty five years is a bit late for a sequel, but Mad Max: Fury Road showed that it can still work if the movie is good enough. Blade Runner 2049 has a lot going for it. The director, Denis Villeneuve, is pretty great He made Arrival, which I thought should have won the Oscar for best picture. The lead is played by Ryan Gosling, who is a fine actor. It brings back Harrison Ford, who has a lot of goodwill from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Check out the trailer, which is pretty cool.
10. Thor: Ragnarok (November 3) – I’m not the biggest fan of the Thor movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I’m looking forward to Thor: Ragnarok after watching the trailer that dropped a few days ago. I’m especially impressed by seeing Cate Blanchett, who seems to look better with age. Seriously, she’s actually been aging backwards the last ten years. She looks amazing as a goth metal chick with black clothes, black hair, black eye makeup, and black nail polish. Check out the trailer. It’s pretty cool.
11. Justice League (November 17) – I’ve already mentioned how much I’m looking forward to Wonder Woman. I’m less enthusiastic to watch Justice League. However, my curiosity as piqued after watching the trailer. It looks a lot more fun than the sullen, dour Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The trailer even made Aquaman look cool. Check it out.
12. Murder on the Orient Express (November 22) – I don’t know a lot about this movie. No trailer has been released. I already know the story because I saw the 1974 film adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel. However, this movie has an amazing cast. I’m motivated to see it because it has Daisy Ridley. I feel the need to support her career because she was so amazing in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
That’s it. Twelve movies to watch until Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes out in December. Of course, there will be a bunch of prestige movies coming out later in the year. All of that will be killing time until Star Wars.