2018 is oficially over, that means we now enter this weird period where you don’t know if any film you watch counts as last year’s or this one’s. It is a time to recap what made 2018 such a great year for movies, but before we get to that (since there’s still a lot of stuff out there that I’d like to see before tackling that head on) we should take a look at awaits us in this new year.
On the blockbuster front there’s a lot to be excited about: conclusions to both the Avengers saga and the new Star Wars trilogy (the last movie might have divided the fan base, but I’ll be damned if the movie doesn’t kill at the box office), Marvel has also solo outings for its first female-led superhero film “Captain Marvel” and a sequel to Tom Holland’s spidey titled “Spider-Man: Far from home”, there’s also the last 20th Century Fox X-Men film to look forward to, namely “Dark Phoenix”, a new reboot for “Hellboy” (directed by Neil Marshall, who’s directed a few episodes on three series that I love, namely “Hannibal”, “Westworld” and “Game of Thrones”), and Ryan Reynolds stars as Pikachu in a sort of odd-ball detective story set in a world where people and Pokemons co-exist in “Detective Pikachu” (kind of reminds of me of Roger Rabbit). Then there’s “Toy Story 4” of course, but to be honest I’m a little apprehensive towards this one since Pixar doesn’t really have the best track record with sequels, but then again the “Toy Story” franchise is the only exception, so let’s just hope for the best. Disney has also a couple of “live-action” remakes for its classics “Dumbo”, “The Lion King” and “Aladdin”, but while it is true that those films look visually stunning based on the promotional material we’ve got, I don’t think I’ll be attending the theater to see those, mainly because of Disney’s shameless prostitution of its own beloved titles (but I guess that’s a subject for another day perhaps). And how could we forget the sequel to 2017’s surprise horror hit “It”, which has already rounded up a stellar cast to play the grown versions of the children, and there’s even a new Terminator sequel that plans on retconning everything since T2 back in 1991, and if the last Halloween movies is something to go with then this might turn out to be exactly what the franchise needs. All in all, it is an exciting year to be a film fan.
Anyway, those are the biggest projects and franchises from the big studios of the industry, however we all know that the very best films of the year will come out of nowhere. In any case, there are five movies that I’m currently more excited to see beyond the ones I already mentioned, so here they are, in order of release.
Glass (M. Night Shyamalan, January 18th)
This one is dropping pretty soon in a couple of weeks from now, so it is kind of weird to include it on the main list (maybe I should have gone with “Endgame”?), but I wanted to talk about a little before it got released. Now, Shyamalan doesn’t have the best track record, he’s spent the majority of the last two decades putting out bad film after bad film after bad film, but there are a couple of movies in his canon that are really great cinematic pieces, and those are: “The Sixth Sense”, “Unbreakable” and “Split”. This new entry into his filmography is a sequel of the latter two, which makes it exciting enough. The idea of seeing Bruce Willis’ indestructible hero take on James McAvoy’s multi-personality villain, while Samuel L. Jackson’s Mr. Glass is pulling the strings behind their backs, it just sounds too good to miss. Ana Taylor Joy is also back for this one, which is great considering the hot streak of awesome movies she’s been in lately. Of course, this could all backfire, it is Shyamalan after all, but let’s just hope “Split” wasn’t a one-off thing and more of a solid return to form.
"Django Unchained." When Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) smashes his hand on the dinner table, DiCaprio accidentally crushed a small stemmed glass with his palm and really began to bleed. He ignored it, stayed in character, and continued with the scene. Quentin Tarantino was so impressed that he used this take in the final print, and when he called cut, the room erupted in a standing ovation.
Us (Jordan Peele, March 15)
The mastermind behind “Get Out” is back with another tense, nail-biting thriller. The trailer looks awesome and it promises a ride full of suspense, horror and a good dose of a psychological edge. Its about a family who apparently are being stalked by a group of people that turn out to be their doppelgangers, but if Peele’s last film is anything to go by we can safely bet that there will be a lot more to this under the surface. It stars Lupita Nyong’o and Elizabeth Moss, two actresses that I’m really excited to see work with Peele. The talent is there, the intriguing premise is there, the ambiguity regarding the plot is also there. All in all, the potential for this film to be one of spring’s most important hits is huge, let’s hope it lives up to it.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, July 26th)
Tarantino follows up his 2015 “The Hateful Eight” by tackling the Manson family murders. Based on that sentence alone I’m already sold. Add to that a cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Burt Reynolds, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Dakota Fanning and Luke Perry and how can you resist to that. Now, I do think that Tarantino is a tad overrated by milleannials, and his two previous work have been a little lacking in quality compared to his earlier films (though there’s a clear reason for that: the untimely death of editor Sally Menke, to whom Tarantino himself referred to as his most trusted collaborator), but with a cast like that and a subject matter with which Tarantino can go crazy “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is a film you don’t want to miss.
Movie theater Popcorn costs more per ounce than filet mignon in U.S.A.
Joker (Todd Philipps, October 4th)
If you’ve read my post of a rebooted DCEU you know I’m a big fan of the Joker and that I’m all for giving him his own movie. Nevertheless, I was a little apprehensive when they announced this movie. The painful memory of Jared Leto in “Suicide Squad” still lingered at the time, and Warner Bros. were losing their credibility in all matters DC. However, what really got me curious were the people behind the project: Todd Phillips, director of “The Hangover”, will be helming the project, so you know from he get go that we’ll have some really dark humour in our hands; then there’s Scott Silver, who wrote the screenplays of “8 Mile” (2002) and “The Fighter” (2010), which means he will probably give the film its street edge, so to speak; and there’s of course Martin Scorsese, who is producing, though it is unclear to which degree he will be involved; finally there’s Joaquim Phoenix as the Joker, a prospect that I am really excited about, since just recently he delivered one of the very best perfomances of 2018 in “You Were Never Really Here”, so I’m really looking forward to seeing where he takes the Joker.
The Irishman (Martin Scorsese, TBA)
A new Scorsese film is always a reason to rejoice, now add to that the fact that he’s reuniting with Robert DeNiro since 1995’s “Casino”; now add to that Joe Pesci who also starred and thrived in “Casino” and, more importantly, in “Goodfellas”; now add to that the first time in history that Al Pacino will be working with Scorsese; add to that a cast rounded by such talents like Bobby Cannavale, Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano and Anna Paquin; and on top of all that the scrip is being written by Steven Zaillian, screenwriter of “Schindler’s List” (1993), “Gangs of New York” (2002), “American Gangster” (2007) and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (2011). Need I say more? Netflix is distributing and they haven’t announced a release date yet, but I’m pretty sure post-production will be completed in the coming months and that it will be ready for an end of year release, just in time for an award push.
"Million Dollar Baby." Hilary Swank contracted a bacterial infection from a blister she developed on her foot during training for her role. The infection was so serious that she almost had to be hospitalized for three weeks. Catching the infection in the nick of time, she instead chose to take a week off for medicated rest and didn't tell Clint Eastwood or the other producers of the film about the injury, because she didn't believe it was in character.
So there you have it, my five most anticipated upcoming movies of 2019, their releases ranging fromjust in a couple of weeks to we have virtually no idea to when it will drop, so yeah, it already seems that this will be a very exciting year for cinema. Also, regarding the end of the year list, I think I will have it up around the final week of January probably, but until then I’d like to call your attention to Letterboxd: most of you probably already know about it, but Letterboxd is a community for cinephiles where you can rate, review and list your favourite movies. There I have an ever changing list of the best of 2018 , as well as a list for my all time favourites , so if you’re interested you can always check that out and add me over there, since I’m still new to it and don’t know many people. But the site is awesome, definitely worth checking out.