The year 2017 promises to be an exciting one at the movies. This week, I wanted to briefly talk about a few films whose success and acclaim I find compelling in the new year. I also offer a modest prediction about each.
Beauty and the Beast (March 17)
This live-action retelling of the 1990s Disney animated classic is high on a lot of people’s must-see lists. Starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, this movie is intriguing for two reasons. First, it will be interesting to see what the filmmakers keep, tweak, and change for this film. It’s a fine line between too much and too little, and it will be interesting to see how the audience reacts. Second, the popularity and box office success of this film should go a long way towards stimulating or halting a slew of remakes of Disney classic animated movies in the live-action format. I predict this makes boatloads of money!
Wonder Woman (June 2)
DC Comics finally has a chance to get a leg up on Marvel by being the first to release a major superhero movie staring a female in the title role. While it’s a bit surprising Marvel did not get to this first, despite giving Black Widow a fairly big role in the Captain America movies, it also makes sense. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was widely praised and the best thing about last year’s Batman v. Superman film, and Wonder Woman, the heroine, is the third most important DC hero. I predict this movie delivers, and becomes by far the most critically acclaimed of the new DC Universe films.
Dunkirk (July 21)
World War II makes a triumphant return to summer blockbuster season with Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. Based on the true and amazing story of the 1940 evacuation of Allied soldiers from France to the relative safety of the British Isles, the star power, visionary director, and compelling story promise an exciting and lucrative film. With the weirdly under-promoted but excellent Hacksaw Ridge not getting the buzz it deserved, it’ll be interesting to see if Dunkirk reignites the historical blockbuster during this onslaught of superhero films. I predict at least two big historical epics in 2018 off this film’s success.
Justice League (Nov 17)
DC’s answer to The Avengers (and X-men films) drops this year. This movie will make a lot of money, that’s not in doubt. The issue is, will people like it? After Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman were widely panned by critics and audiences alike, this film needs to be good and, most importantly, inspire excitement for the slate of future DC films that are to follow. I predict most people will enjoy this film, but it will fail to meet most moviegoer’s expectations.
Star Wars: Episode VIII (Dec 15)
This is a complete “homer pick.” Still, despite the love for The Force Awakens, there is pressure on this film to take this new crop of characters somewhere interesting, exciting, and less “safe.” I predict I’ll see it three times!