Our Anticipation Week comes to a close with the movies we’ll be sitting in on opening day.
Austin: Luckily enough, we don’t have to wait too long for my pick. Annihilation will bow in under two months, rolling out in February. This comes from the acclaimed writer-director (Alex Garland) of Ex Machina, one of the best movies of 2015 (if not the past 5-10 years). Staying in his clear wheelhouse, Garland is bringing another psychological, heady sci-fi to screen. Based on the award-winning first book in the Southern Reach Trilogy, Annihilation follows a group of scientists who go into an odd environmental zone to discover what happened to a group of soldiers who had ventured in there. To say more would be to spoil (and spoil myself too; I’m avoiding anything more than the most basic of information) what should be a very thrilling, immersive story that entertains as much as it challenges you to think.
I suggest watching the first trailer, then following the easy impulse of buying a ticket to watch Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaac do their damn thang.
Honorable Mentions: Avengers: Infinity War; First Man; High Life; The Sisters Brothers
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Andy: Ah yes, the Han Solo origin story that nobody asked for! Let me begin by saying the only reason this tops my list is because I can’t wait to see how this shitshow will turn out. From casting Han Solo and the uproar surrounding it (“he doesn’t even look like him!”), to the original directors stepping down, the second ‘Star Wars Story’ is off to a rocky start.
Listen, Star Wars is my favorite series of all time, so obviously I’m anticipating the hell out of this, but what started as ridiculous hype for fresh new stories in this universe has soured into eye-rolling sighs of disappointment with every new announcement. Part of Han Solo’s allure was the mystery surrounding his backstory, but our Disney overlords have decided they want to lift the veil on the scoundrel’s past.
Replacement director Ron Howard (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, In The Heart Of The Sea) could be a hit or a miss, but the one thing this film has going for it is its cast. While some argue Alden Ehrenreich looks about the same age as Harrison Ford did in Star Wars: A New Hope, the general consensus is everyone is thrilled with Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. Throw in the legend Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, and Paul Bettany and now we’re getting somewhere. Solo releases May 25th, 2018.
Honorable Mentions: Avengers: Infinity War; Deadpool 2; Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Untitled Cloverfield Movie
Untitled Cloverfield Movie
Pat: I absolutely adore Cloverfield. So when I first saw the stealth released trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane, which ended with Clover’s recognizable roar, my excitement went through the roof. I dove into the lore and ARG that was set up for this installment and started reading as much as I could for this….different looking sequel. I started to sober up a bit when I realized that 10 Cloverfield Lane was actually Cloverfield in name only and was really a reworked movie that added some sci-fi twists and slapped the familiar name on it. However, I started coming around to the idea of the “Cloverfield” name being something akin to The Twilight Zone; a series of unconnected, but tonally similar stories told in an anthology format. As time went on I fell in love with the idea and I really enjoyed 10 Cloverfield Lane for what it was.
This next installment under the Cloverfield anthology label hits in just a few short months, and much like all movies bearing the Cloverfield name, we know next to nothing about it. What we do know is that this movie, much like 10 Cloverfield Lane, was re-worked from an existing movie called God Particle. The plot synopsis for God Particle is as follows:
A team of astronauts aboard an international space station find themselves alone after a scientific experiment involving a particle accelerator makes the Earth vanish. When a space shuttle appears, the space station crew must fight for survival following their horrible discovery.
Sounds like a perfect addition to the family if you ask me.
Honorable Mentions: Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2; Avengers: Infinity War; Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Avengers: Infinity War
Chandler: This is it. Over 11 years and 17 films, Marvel has been establishing a legendary cinematic universe with multiple storylines that are now finally converging into the first installment into their two-part super hero saga – Avengers: Infinity War. Collectively the entire series has grossed over $13.5 billion on the big screen making it the highest-grossing film franchise in history. Marvel movies have become synonymous with guaranteed money at the box office so much that no other franchise has been able to replicate their formula for success. “But wait, what about DC?” No, they’re not even in the same sentence unless you erroneously include Nolan’s Batman films.
For years, Marvel has been teasing the arrival of Thanos on Earth, the interstellar tyrant that is on a mission to collect the six Infinity Stones. Once united, these stones will make him an omnipotent ruler of the universe. We’ve seen the stones pop up frequently throughout the standalone movies; for example: Loki’s staff, Red Skull’s tesseract, etc. It shouldn’t be easy for Thanos since he will be fighting back every major Marvel hero we’ve seen so far, starting in 2008 with Iron Man all the way up through the yet-to-be-released Black Panther. It really is amazing to sit back and reflect how we got to this point.
Without question, Infinity War marks the beginning of the end for the first major story arc of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There’s rumors out there some of franchise actors are ready to move on from the commitment to their roles. And with the stakes raised this high, it’s likely at least one or two of our favorite heroes won’t survive. It certainly would be refreshing to break away from all that super hero plot armor for once.
Honorable Mentions: Solo: A Star Wars Story; Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom; Ready Player One
Smithers (TheChumpcast.com): I’m looking for something other than “Duh” that I can write here. This film will be the culmination of 10 years of building a shared universe. Seventeen films (soon to be eighteen) hinting and alluding to these damn stones; it almost doesn’t feel real. Where is the Soul Stone? Will we finally see Adam Warlock? What smart-ass remark is Tony Stark going to make when he sees that big purple idiot for the first time?
The downside of being this excited for a movie is that it almost certainly can’t live up to expectations. I’m admittedly nervous about Marvel splitting this into two parts. We’re pretty much guaranteed a cliffhanger that we won’t have answered until a year later. I’m also expecting one of the Avengers to die. That’s going to be hard to swallow, but a necessary evil to raise the stakes. There’s nothing that comic book nerds love more than speculating wildly and arguing on the internet, and you can bet that Marvel knows that.
Honorable Mention: Sicario 2: Soldado; Ready Player One; Deadpool 2; Black Panther; Aquaman
This wraps up our lists for Anticipation Week, with TV and Video Games ready for your eyes as well. Be sure to hit us up in the comments, on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re looking forward to the most in 2018!