I love going to the movies – and I’m especially excited about what 2016 brings. Sure, there are a lot of sequels and remakes – particularly for series that don’t really demand it. But a lot intrigues me.
And since I usually have a good eye for how movies will turn out before their release, I created this Expectation vs. Reality scorecard which I will repost in December 2016!
My methodology is imprecise. For the most part, my predictions come from my gut. On a more technical scale, they come down to how I feel about the marketing/trailers that I’ve seen so far, everything I know about the behind-the-scenes choices, how much I trust the actors and the creative team, as well as the premise of the movie itself. All of these, plus an err on the side of cynicism, brought me my Expectation Scorecard.
And to make things clear, these are not predictions about how things will be critically received. These are predictions about how I personally will respond to the film. Obviously I don’t expect Gods of Egypt to get a 75% on MetaCritic and Batman to get a 10% ;)
Green means I have some level of hope. I think it’s a safe bet that Captain America: Civil War will be a return to form for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I trust the Russo brothers immensely, as Winter Soldier was one of the best MCU movies to date. I also suspect that Doctor Strange will rock, and will hopefully evoke the same big, magical wonder as Thor and Guardians of The Galaxy did for me.
And I’ve got my eye on Now You See Me 2, which is a bit of a gamble. However, Now You See Me was probably my favorite film of 2013, and the sequel’s trailer sold me as soon as they introduced Daniel Radcliffe as a magician who can’t do magic. If the movie is as clever as this casting choice, we’re in good hands.
Then you have my “cautious optimism.” The Finest Hours and Star Wars: Rogue One have no reason not to impress, but could prove a bit dull. Fantastic Beasts could be a whimsical return to the world of Harry Potter, or a bland cash grab. Independence Day 2 may be as wonderful a rebirth as Jurassic World or The Force Awakens, or a too-late sequel after 20 years of other derivative alien invasion movies. Suicide Squad and X-Men Apocalypse are movies that I will likely enjoy, but I may have a few too many complaints to give perfect marks.
Then we get pessimistic. I hope Star Trek: Beyond is good, especially with Justin Lin at the helm. But the trailer was a bit weird and Into Darkness was a major disappointment. File that one under “once bitten, twice shy.” Assassin’s Creed has Michael Fassbender in the lead and a lot of love put into the production, but video game movies are unpredictable. Gods of Egypt turns me off with its whitewashed cast, but mythical spectacle always gets my attention – maybe it will err on the side of The Mummy instead of the lame Clash of The Titans remake. And while The Huntsman: Winter’s War looks like the movie they should have made the first time around, I’m not sure “better than Snow White And The Huntsman” will be enough to qualify it for kudos.
Then, we have movies with some hurdles to overcome. I want Deadpool to be amazing, but the trailers full of toilet humor and crude jokes makes me worried that the producers don’t really get Deadpool. I haven’t been overly fond of Disney’s live action remakes, so there’s no reason I should like The Jungle Book any more. Warcraft could be good – for a video game movie – but the CGI is overwhelmingly distracting in the trailers. And Gambit, despite being an X-Men movie, stars my least favorite actor Channing Tatum. Blech. Still, I will probably check out all of these with the hope that they’ll surprise me.
But out of all the movies I plan to see, there’s only one I expect to reek. I don’t often waste time on movies I expect to hate (which is why you don’t see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 on this list). But Batman V Superman is an event movie – a movie one must see simply to discuss it, good or bad, with likeminded people. I will preface this by saying that I did not like Man of Steel, although I didn’t totally loathe it and I do enjoy Snyder’s other work. That mostly comes from me finding Superman boring, but I do have interest invested in Batman and Wonder Woman. I would love it if this movie was good. Based on the first trailer, I thought it looked solid.
But the last trailer was an abysmal mess of cheap humor, Jesse Eisenberg at his most terrible, bad CGI, and too many spoilers to leave the movie in any level of suspense. Not to mention the cringe worthy fact that Clark Kent’s “look I’m wearing glasses now” disguise apparently works on Bruce Wayne. Despite Snyder’s universe trying to pass with a facsimile of gritty realism, the absolutely dumbest part of Superman lore apparently still applies. SIGH.
So, like Jeremy from CinemaSins, I call it now: this film will be the Terminator Genisys of 2016. I would love to be proven wrong, though. Mostly because I want that Wonder Woman movie to still happen ;)
What are you looking forward to in the coming year? Anything you think will surprise you? Let me know, and check back next year when I update the scorecard with all my reactions!