My Most Anticipated Films of 2017

This list was written a while ago, but I wanted to wait until I’d posted my best of 2016 list to post this. That said, I’m still not done watching the movies from that list, so I won’t be posting it yet. I did want to post this one, though. I’ve already seen one movie from this list, and I have to say, I should have placed it higher on the list. Split has just bumped the next Shyamalan film up higher on my list for the year it is coming out.

  1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi – By far, my most anticipated movie follows up 2015’s The Force Awakens with the further adventures of Rey and Finn. Picking up from where we left off, Luke Skywalker joins the journey and our heroes take off on a new adventure as the First Order regroups and the Resistance continues in their efforts to bring them down.
  2. Look to the Sky – Brett Culp’s long awaited follow-up to 2013’s Legends of the Knight. This time it is a film about hope, centering on the character of Superman.
  3. A Voice that Carries – Another Brett Culp helmed documentary, this one about the relationship between father and daughter.
  4. Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters – A pair of feature length documentaries, one about Ghostbusters and the other about Ghostbusters II. I’ve been following the production of these documentaries for what seems like about 10 years now. They are getting closer to release. They may not make a 2017 release date, but they’re definitely on their way toward a release very soon.
  5. Justice League – I’m pretty excited for DC to finally have their Avengers movie. The cast is excellent, with everyone looking the part, and it’s about time all of these characters get together. Wonder Woman was one of the highlights of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and she could maintain that status here.
  6. Wonder Woman – Finally getting her own major motion picture, the setting kind of reminds me of Captain America: The First Avenger, though with settings in WWI rather than WWII. I hope that it’s great.
  7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – The sequel looks just as weird and catchy as the original. Baby Groot looks fantastic. Can’t wait to hear the soundtrack and hope that the film has as much heart as the first.
  8. Transformers: The Last Knight – Michael Bay’s (final?) Transformers film looks like more of the same. I liked the first and third TF films best, the fourth was alright, and the second as well… I’m hopeful for another great one. My one question: will they ever make a Transformers movie that isn’t lead entirely by the humans in the cast?
  9. Beauty and the Beast – The one major problem I have with this film is Emma Watson. So far, we haven’t seen her smile much at all in the trailers. I’m really looking forward to the music in this, and hopeful that, with the same composers working on this that worked on the 1991 original, they have recaptured the magic. From the music in the trailers, it seems like they have with the opening of the film at least. Slightly less annoying is the voice of Lumiere. It sounds like someone forcing a voice and accent, rather than using a voice that they use when they natually speak.
  10. Cars 3 – Lightning McQueen’s journey appears to be coming to a close with the third film in the series. I’m hoping for a return to form. The second film was very much a spy thriller with a fish out of water story that could have had more heart if they only work-shopped Mater’s role in the story a bit more. This time, McQueen appears to be the primary character once again, as he deals with being the older racecar in a field of new cars.
  11. Score – A documentary about film scores. I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time. Hope to see it sometime this year.
  12. Disneynature’s Born in China – Pushed from 2016 to Earth Day 2017. I love the Disneynature films that I’ve seen, and can’t wait for this one.
  13. Spider-Man: Homecoming – I still wish they had made Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4. I also wish they would have made The Amazing Spider-Man 3. Alas, neither was to be, and now here we are, 15 years after Spider-Man took the world by storm, we’re getting our sixth film featuring our third Peter Parker. Looks fun, and I hear it’s like a John Hughes movie. I like that prospect.
  14. My Little Pony: The Movie – My wife and I have watched this show for the last few years, and there’s no way she’s going to want to miss this one.
  15. Thor: Ragnarok – Been waiting for this one since Thor: The Dark World, to find out what has actually happened with Loki. Plus, this one looks like it includes Hulk and Doctor Strange.
  16. Coco – Pixar’s second film release of the year is also an original film. I haven’t read too much about this one, but I’m always up for a Pixar.
  17. Jumanji – Is this a reboot? A sequel? A remake? I have no idea, but it looks like a unique spin as we might be heading into the Jumanji game, rather than having the game invading our world.
  18. Logan – The final Wolverine film. It also features Professor X and X-23. This could also be Hugh Jackman’s final time playing the role he originated in 2000’s X-Men. (Amazingly, Dougray Scott was up for the role, back in the day, but filming on Mission: Impossible 2 ran over, creating a schedule conflict and they had to replace him with Hugh Jackman for the role that he went on to play over 18 years.)
  19. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – I like these movies. We’ll see, though. They need to capture the fun of the original film.
  20. The Lego Batman Movie – Will this be as good as the surprisingly great Lego Movie? I hope so. If not, at least it’ll be funny.
  21. Power Rangers – Could be great. Could be terrible. The cast will make or break this one.
  22. Smurfs: The Lost Village – After two live-action mixed Smurfs films, it’s about time they make one that is actually true to the original animated series in style and setting. This looks like it could be the Smurfs movie that should have been made first.
  23. A Dog’s Purpose – My wife wants to see this one for the dogs.
  24. Split – I love M. Night Shyamalan’s films. And I understand that this and his last film are both a return to form for the director. That said, I am kind of scared of seeing his latest movies. I’m not a fan of scary movies, and the subject matter of this one is kind of terrifying.
  25. Dunkirk – Christopher Nolan is hit or miss for me. I like all of his Batman movies and Inception. The Prestige is alright. Interstellar and Insomnia are both insufferable. Where will this fit in? Will it?
  26. The Dark Tower – We’ll see if I make it to this one. I could go either way.

My Most Anticipated Films of 2014

Muppets Most WantedFor the first time in a while we have a year without a Pixar film.  I tend to put all Pixar films on my anticipated film list every year, but The Good Dinosaur was delayed until 2015.  That will mean two Pixar films will be on my list for 2015, however, and I’m very excited about that.  I’m pretty excited about this year’s movies, however, with the end of The Hobbit capping the a year filled with Muppets, superheroes, robots and biblical epics.

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Transformers 4 is Age of Extinction plus the Poster hinting at Dinobots?

Transformers: Age of Extinction PosterToday the poster for Transformers: Age of Extinction was revealed.  It’s the same Transformers 4 logo that we’ve seen before, but it looks like a fossil from a dig site for dinosaur bones.  This concept, plus the term “extinction” being in the title both seem to point toward the inclusion of some of my favorite characters: the Dinobots.

Initially they weren’t included because Michael Bay and his team couldn’t figure out how to incorporate them into the world that they’d created.  I figured they might as well just do them the same way the cartoon did, with an Autobot building them.  However, it seems they may have found a way, which hasn’t been confirmed or revealed.  I am very excited at the idea of finally having the Dinobots join the adventure.  As someone that’s enjoyed every film that’s been released so far, I am looking forward to this movie with great interest.

I’m hopeful that Grimlock is every bit as cool in live-action as I have dreamed he would be since they started making these movies about seven years ago.  I just can’t believe it’s taken eight years to get to this point.

Transformers: Age of Extinction will be in theaters on June 27, 2014.

Transformers 4 – Michael Bay to Direct – My List of Requests

I just learned that Paramount has scheduled Transformers 4 for release on June 29, 2014.  They’ve also put Michael Bay back in the director’s chair.  That’s kind of disappointing, but also not entirely unexpected.  That said, I have a list of requests for the upcoming fourth Transformers that I feel could not only make a great film, but also bring the franchise around to a place that no movie has really gone before, but should work if executed properly and taken seriously enough.  There’s good reason why Optimus Prime’s scenes in the Transformers movies so far were always full of gravity and emotion, and it’s because he’s as effective as a human being.  They’ve proven that Optimus alone can carry whole scenes, and it’s time to allow the robots to carry the entire film.  That leads us to my list of requests.

1) Begins and Ends with Transformers. Humans are supporting roles. We’re talking 80% Transformer driven.

We’ve had enough human drama in the Transformers series.  It’s time to take a chance on a character driven movie.  People going to see a movie called Transformers should go into it expecting to see giant robots for the majority of the movie.  I understand they are on earth and have to deal with humans.  That’s why I’m being generous with the 20% human screentime.  And that’s 20% humans alone if you find it necessary.  Humans can appear in scenes with the Transformers, but only as background or supporting characters.

2) Bumblebee was given his voice back at the end of Transformers 1, and promptly lost it again in a battle in one of the comics. Funny, none of the other Transformers had the same problem. Fix him.

We need more Autobots and Decepticons that the audience can relate to and get to know.  We know Optimus, Megatron, Sentinel, Starscream and Bumblebee pretty well.  The rest of the Autobots and Decepticons have gone fairly undeveloped or destroyed.  Giving Bumblebee his voice back would be a great start.

3) Give the Autobots a homebase of operations that THEY run.

Like the Ark from the original animated series, the Autobots need a place that they live that isn’t run by humans.  Kind of like an Area 51, but only for Transformers.

4) Give the Decepticons a homebase as well.

The original animated series placed this in an ocean or lake.  It would lift out of the water to release Decepticons.  Make it happen.

5) The Decepticons are evil, make us hate them, but LOVE to hate them.

The third movie did a pretty great job of this, but we need something new from them.  Give them personalities that make us really enjoy their screentime.  Show them plotting and make them entertaining enough.  Perhaps put them into a situation where they are earning the trust of humanity with the plan to turn on all of them.  That’s been set up a bit by the third film, and wasn’t a bad twist.  Might even set up a really great Autobot that people are sure to love, only to have him be destroyed by the Decepticons.  (Think Darth Vader’s style of leadership.)

6) The Autobots are awesome, make us want them to destroy the Decepticons. (Kind of like TF3, but even moreso. Make the audience celebrate when the Autobots finally uncover the dastardly plot of the Decepticons and start to fight back.)

When the Autobots finally uncover whatever it is the Decepticons are doing in the film, they should go about their retaliation in a way that is fitting of the Autobots.  It should be a plan that is run with tactics that use the variety of skills that each Autobot has in very interesting and unexpected ways.  A lot of espionage and teamwork.   Have Mirage (aka Dino) use his whip like weapons to toss an Autobot toward things like rooftops or Decepticons, and also use them to swing across things.  He could even destroy a few Decepticon Jets by fighting with these weapons and then swinging from the falling wreck of one Decepticon to the next, using these weapons like a Spider-Man or Indiana Jones style whip, to launch himself from place to place.

7) Grimlock and the rest of the Dinobots.

It’s their time to shine.  There have been three movies, and so far the Dinobots haven’t fit.  To fit them in, the story might have to be about them.  That said, it could be, or we could just have the Dinobots because they’re awesome.  Perhaps they’re necessary because the Decepticons have something huge and the Autobots need more help that can’t come fast enough, so they build their own new group of Autobots.

Bonus: Use the Autobot and Decepticon logos to show when you’re switching scenes between the two sides.

This was a classic part of the cartoon and let us know, as the audience, which group of Transformers we were watching.  Not a must have, but it would be really fun.

My 10 Favorite Super Bowl Commercials for 2011

Okay, so this year’s commercials were pretty underwhelming overall. However, there were a number of movies that I am really excited about that had commercials.


#1: Transformers: Dark of the Moon – I’ll start with the movie that I am most excited to see. I will make no apologies for being a fan of Transformers. I will probably always be excited for another Transformers movie. This commercial didn’t have any dialogue, but showed a lot of action and an entire city under siege. I saw someone comment that it looked like “more of the same story” from the first two movies. Technically not true. A battle in the city was done in the first film, but that was to get the cube. The second one had a villain trying to destroy the sun. This one seems to feature a Decepticon invasion. Of course all of them have the same purpose, because the Decepticons have only one goal: victory.

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Michael Bay on Transformers 3, Haiti

Michael Bay is hard at work on Transformers 3, which is scheduled to go into active production this summer.  I’m excited for it, although I have some hopes that after Michael Bay’s Transformers 3, Hasbro pulls a Spider-Man and reboots the series.  I have a feeling that someone like J.J. Abrams would do a great job with it, though two of his writers were the primary writers of Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

The third film is written by the third part of the writing team from the second film.  Alone.  So who knows… Michael Bay fills us in on both the feel of the script for the third film, as well as his work to help out Haiti:

Hello everyone,

Busy scouting – Chicago, Detroit, and Washington D.C. for Transformers last week. Things are going well. The script is feeling very different from the other two. I ended my scout down in Miami this weekend to load my plane with 14 Florida Surgeons, specialists in various fields and flew them down to Haiti. We then returned with a planeload of a team of exhausted Miami Fire rescue. It is proving very difficult for these volunteers to get back home.

They say the news hardly gives the true scope of what really happened. They really feel about 500,000 probably died. One of the worst stories I heard from people down there – because of the huge lack of education in Haiti – when the earthquake struck – everyone ran inside buildings most likely to their graves. The state of Florida is really pulling their weight in this massive effort.

Michael

So, he’s scouted for locations in Chicago, Detroit and Washington D.C.  Nice.  I live about 3 1/2 hours from both Chicago and Detroit, so even though I don’t think I’ll have time, I’d love to try to be an extra in the film, if he settles on it.  He did shoot in Detroit on the first film, and I think Washington D.C.  Not sure about Chicago, though.

One thing that I really loved about it, though: “The script is feeling very different from the other two.”  I hope this is different in a positive direction.  For example: focus more on the robots.  It’s called “Transformers.”  Not “Humans, with special guests, the Transformers!”  I have heard that they’re cutting it back to a movie about a boy and his robot, which is fine with me, so long as Bumblebee can speak this time around.  I’m also hoping that they take the time to actually build up the Autobot characters as well as the Decepticons.

I’d also appreciate a less vulgar film than the second one.  It’s based on toys for kids, it should be MARKETABLE toward kids.  A film that full of innuendo, cursing and all that is not.

I have to hand it to Michael Bay for helping with Haiti, though, regardless of his sense of humor and swearing habits.

You can see pictures from Michael Bay’s trip on his blog.