The Disney/Marvel/Star Wars studios have a very busy year planned. I will see most, if not all, of these movies in the theaters and share my thoughts with you after I have seen them. I thought it might be fun for a change to do a little pre-release check in and see if any of you share my thoughts. So here they are in release order
“Beauty and the Beast” (3/17/17)
As I have previously stated, I’m not a huge fan of the live action reboots. While I understand the need to update characters and attract both old and new audiences, it feels like the studio has run out of ideas. There are so many stories out there that need to be told, it seems almost cowardly to run back to a story that has been told on screen already. If you really want to update something, find a way to bring the music of “Song of the South” into a movie without it being deeply racist and offensive. All that being said, I will see this in the theater with The Princess probably on opening weekend because Disney’s marketing works.
“Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol.2” (5/5/17)
I am absolutely thrilled about this one! I loved the first Guardians SO MUCH. The plot was different. The ‘heroes’ were not very heroic. It was funny. As an added bonus it included the soundtrack of my childhood. There is no way barring death or dismemberment that I will miss this one. These are characters that I don’t know well, in a corner of the Marvel Universe that hasn’t been explored extensively. Characters can come, characters can go, who knows what will happen with this group. I have high expectations that this sequel will match or exceed its predecessor. Plus Baby Groot!
“Pirates of the Caribbean:Dead Men Tell no Tales” (5/26/17)
Do we really need to go back to this franchise? I enjoy Captain Jack Sparrow’s antics, but honestly the movies have gotten progressively worse and forgettable. So much so that when Pirates 5 was announced I asked someone how they could have a 5 without a 4? I saw “On Stranger Tides” in the theater and played the Lego game. I still forgot it ever existed. This doesn’t inspired me with much hope for the new installment. I will not rush out to see this one when it opens. This one I will wait and hear reviews first. If they are promising I will go, if not I will wait for Redbox.
“Cars 3” (6/16/17)
Have you seen these previews? Oh, my Disney! It’s like they heard the critique of “Cars 2” being too slapstick and decided to see how far the other way they could go. In the first preview it looked like Lighting was going to DIE! The second preview alleviated those fears at least, but it is definitely going to be a story about Lighting McQueen, racing, and what’s important. Sounds a lot more like “Cars” which can only be a good thing. I am on board all the way with this one which is not something I’d thought I’d say after the awfulness of “Cars 2”, the worst Pixar feature ever. I may, however hold off on seeing this on opening weekend. We will be at the Disney World resort the following week and I have never seen a Disney Movie at a Disney resort and the idea has appeal.
“Thor: Ragnarok” (11/3/17)
I love Thor. He is my favorite on-screen Avenger. This movie comes out on my birthday. I will definitely go see it, but here is why I am not excited. At this point, midway through Phase 3, there is narrative imperative that is missing. We know that another Avengers movie is coming. We know that Thor will be in it. There is only so much dramatic tension that will be happening. Thor and Loki will survive. Something will happen with an Infinity Stone. Hulk will smash. Everyone will happily advance to the Infinity War in 2018. Hopefully the journey will be interesting and engaging.
I know very little about this one. Pixar has come back from the world of sequels to give us a new original feature which is never a bad thing. Inspired by the Dia de los Muertos Festival in Mexico, the animation looks vibrant and different from anything we have seen from Pixar before. I will definitely see this one as soon as possible. I have rarely been disappointed in a Pixar film, and often want to see them repeatedly in the theater just so I can enjoy the animation on the big screen.
“Star Wars: Episode VIII” (12/15/17)
It’s Star Wars. It could be awful and not only will I go, I will buy the Blu-ray when it comes out. Seriously, I’m excited and sad. It is obviously Carrie Fisher’s last appearance in the saga which means there is something unfortunate in store for General Organa. That makes my heart hurt. Princess Leia has been my hero since I was 7 years old. One can only hope her exit will be handled with the grace and dignity we expect from royalty.
So there they are. What do you think? What are you excited about? Let me know in the comments.