Originally written on January 1, 2017

By: Nick Poulimenakos

2017 is here!  2016 is behind us and with the New Year comes a load of films just waiting to be released and watched.  2016 brought viewers a lot of cool films but it is time to look ahead.  With hundreds of films being released this year, I have managed to list the 15 movies I’m most excited to see in 2017.  Now… onto the list!

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  1. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Director Guy Ritchie and Charlie Hunnam team up here for the adaptation of the famous English story, King Arthur.  The film will follow a young Arthur and his journey to becoming the legendary king who pulled sword from stone.  With a solid cast, great writers, and an amazing cinematographer, King Arthur has the makings to be a real success.

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  1. Thor: Ragnarok

It’s no secret that Marvel Studio’s Thor films have been average at best.  However, I’m still excited for the third film in the series.  Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston return to the roles that made them household names as Thor and Loki respectively.  The movie also features the MCU debut of fantastic director, Taika Waititi.  Add in a pretty incredible cast that includes Idris Elba, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum and Mark Ruffolo as the Hulk and Thor Ragnarok is shaping up to be the best of the three Thor films.

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  1. Power Rangers

To be fully honest here, the main reason this film is on my list is because of its nostalgia factor.  As a kid, I loved Power Rangers.  So, when I heard that a new, updated version of the rangers were coming to the big screen, I was pretty excited.  Based on the trailer, director Dean Israelite’s version of the popular team offers a darker, emotionally driven account about how five teens with attitude become the defenders of Earth.  Plus, Elizabeth Banks is playing the main villain and she is always a win!

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  1. Transformers: The Last Knight

Okay yes, this is not a good film series.  However I still consider the first and third films of the Transformers franchise to be fun movies to watch.  What gives me faith in this film can be defined by two points.  First, the cast is pretty great.  Mark Wahlberg (who yes, did suck in Transformers 4) is back in the lead with a supporting cast that includes Anthony Hopkins, Jerrod Carmichael, Josh Duhamel and John Tuturro.  The second is the writers.  The writers behind 2008’s Iron Man were brought on to write the fifth Transformers film and if this film is anything like Iron Man, The Last Knight may turn out to be the best Transformers film produced.  The movie will probably still suck but hey, at least the explosions will be cool, right?

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  1. The Lego Batman Movie

The Lego version of the caped crusader stole the show in 2014’s surprise smash hit, The Lego Movie.  Fast forward 3 years, and Will Arnett will have the chance to lead a solo film revolving around the hilarious character.  The Lego Batman Movie features an amazing voice cast which includes Michael Cera as Robin and Zach Galifianakis as The Joker and has Chris McKay (who co-directed The Lego Movie) serving as director.  With the Justice League and a vast array of Batman villains appearing (including Condiment King WOO!), fans should be in for a real treat when this film opens in February.

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  1. War for the Planet of the Apes

The revived Planet of the Apes series just keeps getting better.  Rise was great, Dawn was phenomenal and now we have the third film in this growing franchise.  Matt Reeves, who directed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, returns to direct the follow-up which centres on the war between surviving humans, led by Woody Harrelson’s The Colonel, and Andy Serkis’ Caesar and his fellow ape warriors.  After viewing the first trailer, it looks like this franchise has no plans of slowing down as the film looks to be visually spectacular, emotionally driven and violent as ever.

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  1. Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Kingsman: The Secret Service was one of my favourite movies of 2014.  Seriously, how good was that church sequence??  What makes the sequel so exciting is the fact that everyone (minus most of the characters that died) from the first film has returned, plus an even bigger cast!  Matthew Vaughan returns to write and direct the film, Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson return to compose the music for the film and the cast includes Taron Edgerton, Mark Strong, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges and Colin Firth.

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  1. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man has finally come home.  Literally, Marvel Studios is finally able to work with the company’s most famous superhero.  After Sony and Marvel made a deal to have the character in the MCU, the studio wasted little time, casting Tom Holland in the role as a younger Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War.  Holland was fantastic in the role and Marvel quickly altered its schedule to give him a solo film.  With a John Hughes vibe, a stunning cast (which includes Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man), and Michael Keaton starring as main villain, The Vulture, Spider-Man: Homecoming looks to be one of the most fun entries in the entire MCU.

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  1. Beauty and the Beast

Following the success of The Jungle Book, Disney’s next reimagining of a successful animated film is Beauty and the Beast.  For the live action version, Disney has tasked director Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Mr. Holmes) to reimagine the 1991 Academy Award winning film.  Having assembled one of the best casts in a 2017 film, which includes Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast and Luke Evans as Gaston and hiring Alan Menken, who scored the animated film, to compose the music for the new version, Beauty and the Beast looks to be continuing the trend of Disney’s animated-to-live action movie success.

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  1. Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan is back in the director’s chair following his 2014 sci-fi thriller Interstellar with Dunkirk, an epic action-thriller centring on the Dunkirk evacuation during the Second World War.  Nolan seems to be pulling out all the stops here as he has put together an ensemble cast, led by Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy, beautiful cinematography (part of the film is shot in IMAX format), and hiring Hans Zimmer to score the film.  With the trailer showing heart-pounding battle sequences (with practical effects) and emotionally tense characters, Dunkirk promises to be the war epic fans have been waiting for.

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  1. Wonder Woman

So, the first three DCEU films have been… we’ll say divisive.  Personally, I am a fan of the DC movie universe and am extremely excited to finally see the solo debut of Wonder Woman.  This is a character who has deserved a solo film for a long time.  Directed by Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman stars Gal Gadot as the titular amazon hero, with Chris Pine, Robin Wright and Danny Huston in supporting roles.  The trailer shows gorgeous cinematography, a more hopeful tone and grand action sequences that have me hyped for this origin story.  The film has a lot riding on its shoulders and hopefully, this will be the strong entry into the DCEU that Warner Bros. is looking for.

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  1. Justice League

Directed by Zack Snyder, Justice League is the second DCEU film to premiere in 2017.  For the first time ever, in live-action, DC Comic’s most popular heroes are coming together on the big screen as Henry Cavil, Ben Affleck and Gadot reprise their roles at Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman and are joined by Jason Mamoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg.  The pressure is on for Zack Snyder as his two DCEU films have both experienced a divided response.  From the looks of the first trailer, I’d say that Snyder seems to have learned from his BvS mistakes and, along with DC president Geoff Johns and writer Chris Terrio, has created a more light-hearted, hopeful story that give DC Comic’s flagship superhero team a proper live-action debut.

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  1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy is my favourite MCU film.  It was fun, different, unique, emotional and action packed and that’s why James Gunn’s sequel ranks at number 3 on my list.  Two trailers have dropped for the film and both show that this sequel will be bigger and even more fun than the last.  The Guardians have gone from being an obscure comic book to an Avengers-style series in space.  With the cast from the first film returning, along with Kurt Russell starring as Peter Quill’s father, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 looks to continue to give viewers a look into the misadventures of the rag-tag group of superheroes all while building towards their eventual meeting with Earth’s Avengers and the war against Thanos.

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  1. Logan

Logan is my most anticipated comic book film of 2017 and it doesn’t even look like a comic book film.  This will be Hugh Jackman’s final time playing my favourite superhero (sheds a single tear) and it looks like he’s given his all for the role.  The first trailer, which was my favourite trailer in 2016, shows Jackman displaying more passion and depth than ever before.  The story revolves around a bruised and beaten Wolverine pulling out his iconic claws one more time.  Logan feels less like a comic book movie and more like a self-contained western with shades of Mad Max and A Fistful of Dollars.  The film is rated R so we are in store for a violent, berserker rage Wolverine that has nothing to lose.  The trailer even has Wolverine taking his claws and sticking them right through a soldier’s head.  Old Man Logan is here everyone, and I am so ready for this film.

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  1. Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

The Star Wars films will most likely be topping these lists for the next few years.  After wowing audiences with Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Disney and Lucasfilm will bring fans the 8th film in the main Skywalker Saga with Star Wars: Episode VIII.  Written and directed by Rian Johnson (Looper, Breaking Bad), very little is known about the sequel but I suspect it will revolve around Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) journey to becoming a Jedi under the tutelage of Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker.  The rest of the cast from The Force Awakens returns for the sequel including Carrie Fisher in her final film role and all have hinted at the story going in a darker direction.  With a fresh new director, even more devotion to using practical effects and John Williams returning to compose the music, I anticipate that Star Wars: Episode VIII will, like The Force Awakens in 2015, be my favourite film of the year.

Honourable Mentions: Blade Runner 2049, Alien: Covenant, Kong: Skull Island, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, The Fate of the Furious, The Snowman and The Dark Tower

Happy new year to everyone! And thank you to everyone who has read this little blog of ours.  Here’s to 2017!

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