Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2016 Radar: Superheroes, Sequels and Further Adaptations

The year 2016 is upon us, and I wanted to take some time to really dig deep into this upcoming year of film that has arrived. Like many years past, 2016 is going to be a year littered with sequels and adaptations, adaptations of any kind. Upon a recent development, there will also be a healthy handful of superhero movies hitting theaters this year. No matter how broad your superhero definition is, there will probably be something released that will fit that bill. While I love all film of all kind, looking after these big blockbuster films is something important. These are the movies people see, we are living in a time right now not of movie stars, but brands. If you really want to make some serious money in the movie business now, you have to take your idea and be sure to add some sequels to it. There aren't many movies that can ride on the old ways of moneymaking from the 1980's and 1990's.

In fact, looking at years past, we seem to have a new style in Hollywood. The business revolves around nostalgia more than any time before, almost like a rabid obsession. The studios also feel the need to pummel us with one idea, just because it made money. While I will see movies like "Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them," "Independence Day: Resurgence," "London Has Fallen," "Ghostbusters," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows" and "The Purge 3," there is a huge level of unease there. Do we really need an adaptation of a book that was within a book? Do we need "Finding Dory" ten years later, even after Pixar proved they are so-so with sequels? Did we ever need a "Big Fat Greek Wedding 2?" Ever? Just a little bit? Do we really need a remake of "Ben-Hur" just because the original was a classic? Or "The Magnificent Seven?" Oh and better yet, do we need a remake of "Jumanji?"

This is what I am talking about. Nostalgia and brands are all that run Hollywood these days. That is for better or for worse. The thing I have been noticing though, this that less and less effort is being made for these movies. I figured 2015 was going to blow my socks off with "Star Wars," James Bond, Avengers, and another visit to Jurassic Park. But there was an underwhelming factor to just about all of those movies. The same thing happened in 2012. Seeing "Warcraft" and "Assassin's Creed" might sound awesome on paper, or so might "Kung Fu Panda 3" or "The Strangers 2" or another shot at a "Ring" movie. But the real question to remember is, what if they don't live up to the hype? Because, more than ever before, that is very likely. After 2012 and 2015, and many years before and inbetween, I feel much more weathered in my expectations. 

I have to try not to overhype myself, and believe me its hard. Especially at the slate of stuff I am excited for. I mean every Marvel movie in 2016; "Deadpool," "Captain America: Civil War," "X-Men: Apocalypse," "Gambit," "Doctor Strange," I can't wait for all of them. I can't wait for the other side of the coin either, as DC releases "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "Suicide Squad." I am ecstatic that we are going to get a new Star Wars movie each year until 2020, and I can't wait for "Star Wars: Rogue One." I am excited for the live-action "Jungle Book." I am looking forward to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny." I am thinking about "The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist" and "The BFG" and "The Legend of Tarzan." I also can't forget "Bourne 5" and "Star Trek Beyond." I hope to enjoy them all, but for the first time in a long time, I am not falling all over myself to see these. Because by the slight hand that they do disappoint, I may rail. I may not take a step back to think about it. When we get disappointed by something, major or minor, it sounds like scorn. I want to be as open and honest about this year's slate of movies, just like I always am. That means no over sale.

These big blockbusters and cinematic adaptations will always be divisive. I can't think of a single movie in history where the whole world was united in one thought. But I think its important to always remember that these things can disappoint or not live up to their potential. Always remember, but also always remember to enjoy. Despite this, I don't want anything to any of these things to fail, but unless I am really, really lucky, some of these may end up failing. I can accept that in the back of my head right now, can you?

Release Dates:

KUNG FU PANDA 3- JANUARY 29TH
DEADPOOL- FEBRUARY 12TH
ZOOLANDER 2- FEBRUARY 12TH
LONDON HAS FALLEN- MARCH 4TH
BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE- MARCH 25TH
MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2- MARCH 4TH
RINGS- APRIL 1ST
BARBERSHOP THE NEXT CUT- APRIL 15TH
THE JUNGLE BOOK- APRIL 15TH
THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER'S WAR- APRIL 22ND
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR- MAY 6TH
THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE- MAY 20TH
NEIGHBORS 2- MAY 20TH
ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS- MAY 27TH
X-MEN: APOCALYPSE- MAY 27TH
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 2- JUNE 3RD
THE CONJURING 2- JUNE 10TH
NOW YOU SEE ME 2- JUNE 10TH
WARCRAFT- JUNE 10TH
FINDING DORY- JUNE 17TH
INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE- JUNE 24TH
THE BFG- JULY 1ST
PURGE 3- JULY 1ST
THE LEGEND OF TARZAN- JULY 1ST
GHOSTBUSTERS- JULY 15TH
STAR TREK BEYOND- JULY 22ND
BOURNE 5- JULY 29TH
SUICIDE SQUAD- AUGUST 5TH
BEN-HUR- AUGUST 12TH
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN- SEPTEMBER 23RD
GAMBIT-OCTOBER 7TH
JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK- OCTOBER 21ST
OUIJA 2- OCTOBER 21ST 
DOCTOR STRANGE- NOVEMBER 4TH
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM- NOVEMBER 18TH
THE STRANGERS 2- DECEMBER 2ND
STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE- DECEMBER 16TH
ASSASSIN'S CREED- DECEMBER 21ST
JUMANJI- DECEMBER 25TH

Tomorrow, I will talk about the 2016 releases, everything that isn't a sequel, blockbuster, adaptation.

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