By Chris Campo
Last year, around this time, I joined the Director's Cut Movies team. My first article was a list of 10 films that were coming out in 2016 that people weren't yet talking about, or haven't even heard of. It was a fun article and it is fun to look back on to see which films I actually enjoyed, disliked, never got around to seeing, or some that didn't even get released for one reason or another. So, naturally, I wanted to do it for 2017. This year is going to make it even more difficult for smaller films to get buzz as some of the biggest films of all time are releasing this year. I mean, we have three Marvel films, two DC films, and Episode VIII of Star Wars all coming out this year. So without further ado, here are the films you should look forward to that you haven't heard of, in no particular order.
Note: Any film on last year's list that wasn't released will not be included on this year's list (The Circle, The Disaster Artist, etc.)
So one of the films on last year's list was a small action comedy from online production company Rooster Teeth. Although it received a mixed critical response, the film was met with a loyal cult following, giving the film an impressive box office return of $1.1 million from less than 100 theatres in just one weekend. After the success, Rooster Teeth responded with the announcement that the sequel set up at the end of the first film will become a reality in 2017. All that is known about the plot is that the titular Lazer Team is heading to space. If the film is anything like the original, we have a self-aware, laugh-filled movie to look forward to this year.
This is probably the most well known film on this list, and that is because of every film geek's favourite film geek, Edgar Wright. However, Wright may be popular, but he is not a household name quite yet. Most people are not familiar with his latest film, which he both wrote and directed, Baby Driver. I feel like once we get a trailer and word spreads, this will be a huge hit. The cast alone is incredible, with Kevin Spacey, Ansel Elgort, Jamie Foxx and Jon Bernthal all lending their talents to the film, which revolves around a getaway driver who falls for the woman of his dreams.
Speaking of Edgar Wright, his frequent collaborator, Simon Pegg, is in a starring role in a new action drama from writer director Vaughn Stein, titled The Terminal. Sure, Vaughn Stein is a name you've probably never heard of, which is why the film isn't that talked about yet, however Stein has an impressive resume as a second unit director on several huge films. This film, also starring Margot Robbie and Mike Myers, follows two assassins whose sinister plans prove to have huge consequences when a criminal mastermind wants revenge.
No, this is not a biopic about Donald Trump. The Wall is a film where a soldier is trapped behind a wall, an Iraqi soldier pointing a gun at him from the opposite side. Not only does the film star Arron Taylor-Johnson, but surprisingly enough John Cena, who may be a meme legend, but someone who has legit acting chops. To top it off, the film is directed by Doug Liman, the man behind the incredible Edge of Tomorrow. If you have not already, watch the trailer for the film, it's just a taste of the harrowing experience this film will be.
Yes, I shit on Suicide Squad, it was my worst film of last year, but there were talented people behind and in front of the camera. Two of those people, David Ayer and Will Smith, reunite in Bright, the new film written by Max Landis, who doesn't necessarily write masterpieces, but all of his films are great fun. Little is known about the plot, but that is a plus for me. I don't really want to know much about this, and because it's a Netflix original movie it will be easy to avoid marketing and go in blind, and hopefully be impressed.
Okay, here's a weird one. From the writer/director of the Oscar winning The Desendants comes an odd little film with a star studded cast. The film stars Matt Damon, Kristen Wigg, Neil Patrick Harris, Christoph Waltz, Jason Sudekis and Alec Baldwin, to name a few. Sure, the cast and director is enough to get excited about, but what intrigues me the most is the plot. It's a social satire that follows a therapist who shrinks himself to be four inches tall so that he can save the world, or something. I love when films with a big cast and an Oscar season release date can take risks and deliver a unique experience, and this certainly is shaping up to be just that.
If you have not seen Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, stop reading this now and watch it, then come back so you can learn about that film's director's new project, The Current War. The film follows historic figures Thomas Edison and George Washington as they compete to create an electrical system to market to the American people, featuring another impressive cast including Michael Shannon, Tom Holland and Benedict Cumberbatch. It's not listed as a comedy on IMDb, but given the director and the concept, I'm sure this will be a more light approach to the story it is telling.
Little is known about Jonah Hill's directorial debut. It's not even listed on IMDB, however Hill has stated that the film is planned to be released in 2017 by studio A24. The reason to be excited is that Jonah Hill has proved himself to be a huge talent in hollywood, whether it's in front of camera or behind a pen, but he has never directed anything. The film is reportedly about a kid growing up along side hip-hop music in the mid 90's. If Jonah can pull this off, we could be seeing the 2017 equivalent to 2015's amazing little film Dope.
When a disaster happens, there is no doubt that there will be a handful of films about the incident. We have already seen Patriots Day, which was very good, but in 2017 we will get another film about the Boston Marathon bombing, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. This is a more personal story than Patriots Day, as it follows one survivor not only dealing with his injuries but how he provided information that helped the police catch the bombers. It's directed by a frequent comedy director, David Gordon Green, but I'm sure that he will take a mature approach to the film and deliver a must see film. JACK NOTE: A lot of Green's earlier films, and even a few of his newer ones, are drama's, such as George Washington, Snow Angels and Joe.
From James Gunn... That's all. You're going to see it now. Okay, as funny as it would be to leave it at that, I wont. James Gunn has a very unique filmography, and even though he only wrote this film, it looks to be another crazy and fun addition to his filmography. Taking place in a corporate office, 80 workers are forced to kill each other, with mind games and a bloodbath sure to ensue. This could be one of those insanely twisted films that sneaks up on you and provides an incredible theatre experience. It's also the return of production company Orion, which is hilarious.
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By Jack Dignan
Well folks, we’re now 15 days into 2017, the first lot of 2017 releases making their way into cinemas. As is the case with every year, there’s already a ton of films I’m looking forwards to, so it’s time to put together a list of my 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2017. This list is based on US release dates, so 2016 releases that still haven’t come out here, such as Moonlight or Manchester by the Sea, won’t make the list. Also, I’m sure some of my favourite films of the year will be films I haven’t even heard of yet, but I do look forward to discovering them. This is merely my 10 most anticipated as of right now, and to kick things off, I’ll begin with some honourable mentions.
Honourable Mentions: Alien Covenant, Thor: Ragnarok, Dunkirk, Kong: Skull Island, Baby Driver.
Stephen King is my all-time favourite author, and the first adaptation of his beloved novel ‘It’ left me entertained, but dissatisfied. It was cheap, corny and lacking in scares. It’s a decent movie, but not a great one, and certainly not one I’d see myself going back to rewatch. A two-film remake, though, is something I’m definitely on board with. While we’ve only seen a couple of images so far, it’s already sold me, especially on the look of this new Pennywise. It’s fairly safe to say I’m eager to revisit my favourite killer, demonic clown.
Over the years, Pixar have achieved countless technological achievements, pushing the limits of storytelling and animation. They were the first company to create a feature length 3D animated movie, Toy Story, which still holds up as one of the all time greats. I will forever be in love with them, and despite going through a bit of a sequel phase as of late, a new original film is set to be released this year. Coco is a film I’ve been hearing about for years, and the fact that it’s finally coming out is very pleasing. Focusing in on the day of the dead in Mexico, it has a lot of potential to deliver something spectacular, and I cannot wait.
We’re now 3 films into the DC Extended Universe, and so far it’s been somewhat of a mixed bag, to say the least. Man of Steel was fine, Batman V Superman was great, and Suicide Squad was a disappointment. Wonder Woman is due to be released in a few months and it’s looking like it could put DC back on track, but then again, haven’t we been saying that about their last couple of movies? Justice League, however, I have a lot of hope for. Details are scarce on what’s to go down, and all we’ve seen so far is a brief teaser from Comic-Con, but word of mouth from all involved is sounding like Warner Brothers are steering the ship around, really trying to deliver a film that will please both fans and critics alike, and I do hope this is the case.
Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford and Denis Villeneuve are teaming up to deliver a long-awaited sequel to a sci-fi classic. Count. Me. In. Villeneuve never fails to deliver, his films always making it into my top 10 of the year every single time. So the fact that he’s taking on the sequel to Blade Runner is very, very exciting stuff, and if the trailer is anything to go off of, it’s going to be one of the most promising films of the year. Every single shot looks truly stunning, a work of art in a way, but that’s to be expected when it comes to Villeneuve. He isn’t capable of directing anything less than extraordinary.
I didn’t know this film was a thing not too long ago, but when I watched the first trailer for it, I was in love. I’m attempting to avoid all other trailers for this film prior to watching it, as that first trailer was perfectly moody and I don’t want anything ruined. I want to go in as blind as possible, experiencing this film in its sheer, uncomfortable greatness. From director Gore Verbinski and lead actor Dane DeHan, A Cure For Wellness is looking absolutely incredible, and it may just be one of the biggest surprises of the year for a lot of people. What this film has in stall for us, I do not know, but goddamn, I can’t wait to find out.
Spider-Man’s back, guys. He’s back. Not too long ago, Marvel finally acquired the rights to the character, making his MCU debut last year in Captain America: Civil War. For me, and a lot of other fans, he was the best part of the movie. He’s the Spider-Man we deserve, and his first solo outing looks truly phenomenal. With Michael Keaton playing the film’s big baddie, backed up by a humongous supporting cast including Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, it’s almost impossible for this film to fail. Marvel has a near perfect track record, and once again, it seems they know exactly what they’re doing.
The Planet of the Apes franchise has lasted nearly fifty years, starting in 1968 with one of the best films of all time. From there, four sequels followed, multiple TV shows (both animated and live action), a remake, and in 2011 the first of three prequels. It’s become iconic, the third and seemingly final prequel due for release in the coming months. The prequels, so far, have just managed to get better and better and better, and War For The Planet Of The Apes looks to continue this trend. Stating that the film’s trailer looks intense is one big understatement. If this is to be the final film, it sure looks like one hell of a way to go.
The X-Men continuity is completely out the window at this point in time. I don’t even bother trying to keep up with what’s going on and who’s meant to be where. There’s just no point. It’s never going to make sense. When looking at the films in their own right and not as the next chapter of the franchise, they’re also a mixed bag. Some are brilliant, but others are not. The one actor who’s been leading the franchise this entire time, though, is Hugh Jackman, taking on the role of Wolverine. Logan sees him playing the character for one final time, putting to rest a character he’s been portraying for nearly two decades. It’s going to be hard saying goodbye, but it seems to be a brilliant way to leave, even aiming it at a more adult audience. Logan could easily be the best X-Men film yet.
Let’s be honest, nobody was really that excited for the first Guardians of the Galaxy. That is until the trailers started to come out, and it actually looked surprisingly okay. Still, many remained skeptical, myself included, but when the film came out, it blew everyone away. The film’s tagline read ‘You’re Welcome,’ and indeed I was. Thankfully, the same mistake won’t be made with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as I think just about everyone in the world is hyped for this movie. Plus, the film has Baby Groot. BABY GROOT! If he’s not the cutest little thing you’ve ever seen in your life, you’re just lying to yourself. We all need Baby Groot in our lives.
Is this really a surprise to anybody that knows me or has ever been on my website? I am a massive Star Wars fan, that’s no secret, and so saying that Star Wars Episode VIII is my most anticipated film of 2017 is not in the slightest bit shocking. It’s Star Wars. The Force Awakens was my favourite film of 2015, and Rogue One was my favourite of 2016. While many criticised The Force Awakens for helming too close to Episode IV, which is fair, Episode VIII is sounding like it won’t be making the same mistake. Especially not with Rian Johnson at the helm, director of Looper. Is it too early to guess what my favourite film of 2017 is going to be?
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