Weekend Roundtable: 2017 Movies You’re Most Skeptical About

Last week, we started the year with an optimistic look at the movies we most anticipate for 2017. This week, we turn grumpy again. Which of the year’s upcoming movies do you worry may turn out to be dogs?

Once again, if you need a reminder, this Wikipedia page has a quick overview of the movies coming out this year.

Shannon Nutt

I expect a lot of bad movies in 2017, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the films will flop at the box office. (Look at how much money 2016’s ‘Suicide Squad’ made, just as one example.) With that in mind, there are a couple of upcoming titles this year that I think will take a dive with both critics and audiences alike.

Sony can’t seem to buy a hit these days. (Believe it or not, ‘Ghostbusters’ was its biggest hit of 2016, despite being largely seen as a box office disappointment.) The studio is putting a ton of marketing behind the late March release of ‘Life‘, a Jake Gyllenhaal/Ryan Reynolds outer space adventure whose previews look like a cross between ‘Alien’ and ‘Gravity’. It also doesn’t look very good. Basically, it’s just another “alien in an enclosed spaceship” movie like sci-fi fans have seen in dozens of other films. Given the marketing, I expect a decent opening weekend for this one, but I also expect it to fizzle out pretty quickly.

Did anyone ask for another King Arthur movie? We got one back in 2004 with Clive Owen that didn’t do very well, yet for some reason Warner Bros. thinks director Guy Ritchie can pump some life into the idea with Charlie Hunnam in the lead role. Think again. With a release date smack dab between the new ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ sequel and the new ‘Alien’ film, I expect ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword‘ to ride away from theaters pretty quickly.

Finally, in what looks like another bad idea from Warner Bros., we get ‘Going in Style‘, which is another one of those “Let’s get as many aging stars together in one movie” projects (think ‘Last Vegas’). This one is a bank heist comedy starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin and Ann-Margret, and it looks AWFUL. It’s coming out April 7th. It should be on home video by the end of June.

Mike Attebery

I actually thought the last ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ adventure, ‘On Stranger Tides’, was fairly entertaining. Granted, I’ve never had the slightest inclination to watch it again, but overall, I left the theater happy. I can’t say I was in the mood for any future installments, but I definitely enjoyed it more than either ‘Dead Man’s Chest’ or ‘At World’s End’.

The thing about ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales‘ is that every time I see anything about it, I think, “Wasn’t that released years ago?!” This movie has been shooting or in post-production for years now. In the time it’s been in the works, Johnny Depp has gotten married, smuggled dogs into Australia with his then-wife, made a slew of box office flops, gone through a dog-smuggling trial, made a hostage… errr, apology video to Australia, and gone through a high profile divorce. And yet, the movie still hasn’t been released. That cannot be a good sign!

M. Enois Duarte

As much as I’m excited to see ‘Blade Runner 2049‘, I’m also nervous that it will suck. I had the same fears with ‘Prometheus’, and sadly, my worries were confirmed when seeing the results of that one on the big screen. Being such a huge fan of both Philip K. Dick’s novel and the original 1982 sci-fi adaptation since childhood, I worry that the film will be a massive box-office flop much like its predecessor. I’m continuously reminded with each new generation of college students that ‘Blade Runner’ is a mostly forgotten gem, largely remembered and admired by cult collectors and cinephiles.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I’m sure ‘Wonder Woman‘ will be a massive success, much like every superhero movie of late. However, being more a DC fan than Marvel, I also worry that this production will be downright terrible or barely muster a pass, like the previous two entries in the DC shared universe. I’m hoping for the best, and I’m sure the movie’s action will look great, but the story could either be average or a complete mess as the studio tries to force a connection with the other DC movies.

Brian Hoss

I would love it if ‘Logan‘, ‘Ghost in the Shell‘ and ‘Alien: Covenant‘ turned out to be incredible movies worth their respective properties, but really, a good Wolverine movie? I’ll believe it when I see it. As for ‘Ghost in the Shell’, the director and star don’t suggest an amazing adaptation, but rather something more like an ‘Aeon Flux’ encore. Finally, I still cringe at the mere thought of ‘Prometheus’, and so I’m not expecting ‘Covenant’ to be redemptive.

Luke Hickman

Certainly Terrible:

‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’
‘The Space Between Us’
‘Pirate of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’
‘World War Z 2’
‘Cars 3’
‘Transformers: The Last Knight’
‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’

Worried About:

‘John Wick: Chapter Two’
‘The Lego Batman Movie’
‘Kong: Skull Island’
‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’
‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’
‘Alien: Covenant’
‘Wonder Woman’
‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’
‘War for the Planet of the Apes’
‘The Dark Tower’
‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’
‘Thor: Ragnarok’
‘Justice League’

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

I’m one of the eight people who genuinely dug Platinum Dunes’ ‘Friday the 13th‘ reboot in 2009, but I’m bracing myself for the worst for this year’s re-reboot, which will put more of an emphasis on the entire Voorhees clan and what exactly empowers Jason to keep clawing his way back from the grave. Excessive backstory and needless explanations are part of what torpedoed Rob Zombie’s ‘Halloween’ remake, and I’d hate to see one of my other favorite slasher franchises suffer the same fate.

The first ‘Annabelle‘ was about as aggressively mediocre as they come, and the only reason I’m considering giving the sequel a look is that David F. Sandberg from ‘Lights Out’ is in the director’s chair this time around.

I can’t help but be pessimistic about ‘Justice League‘ given how dismal Zack Snyder’s past couple of DC outings have been, although the murmurs of it actually being kinda fun have resparked my interest. I’m enough of a sucker for superhero movies to give it a shot no matter what, but the Snyderverse’s current batting average of 0.000 is keeping my expectations in check.

I refuse to believe that ‘The Emoji Movie‘ is a thing. Morbid curiosity has me interested in seeing just how much worse the ‘Transformers‘ franchise can get in ‘The Last Knight’. I keep forgetting that ‘Pirates of the Caribbean‘ remains an ongoing franchise. It’s tough for me to type ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage‘ without stifling a laugh. We’re not even two weeks into the year and we already have a Razzies frontrunner in ‘Monster Trucks‘.

Josh Zyber

I gave Ridley Scott the benefit of the doubt with ‘Prometheus’ and got burned big-time with that. I don’t plan to make the same mistake with his follow-up, ‘Alien: Covenant‘. I know that some people are optimistic that this one will turn out better, perhaps encouraged by the fact that ‘The Martian’ was a pretty decent return-to-form from the director, but I just can’t get my hopes up. Frankly, I think the trailer looks, at best, like a pointless and lame retread of the original ‘Alien’.

I also can’t figure out for the life of me why Danny Boyle or Ewan McGregor felt the need to make a ‘Trainspotting’ sequel 20 years later. I can’t imagine that any of the self-destructive characters from the original film would live 20 more years, much less that all of them would. Boyle’s a pretty talented guy, and I’m sure that the stupidly-titled ‘T2: Trainspotting‘ will try to account for that issue, but the trailer looks like a rather tame mid-life crisis comedy in which a bunch of 45-year-old men behave like assholes. I just don’t see the point of it.

Which movies coming out in 2017 leave you nervous about their prospects? Share your doubts in the Comments below.

We’ll be off for the MLK Day holiday on Monday. We’ll see you all back here on Tuesday.


  1. Bolo

    The ones I’m most sceptical about are some of the ones I’m most excited to see.

    ‘Blade Runner 2049’ – I’m glad Ridley Scott is not involved, but I would also feel a lot better about this one if Harrison Ford weren’t in it. I’m afraid that it will be a ‘Two Jakes’ type of belated sequel that tries to add more layers and twists to the original when all I want is a new story set in this world. The only character I would want to return would be Gaff.

    ‘Ghost in the Shell’ – Hopefully this will tell a story that not only makes sense, but also doesn’t waste endless time on boring origins story stuff. Just start the movie with Motoko as top cop and Section 9 fully formed and throw a good case at them.

  2. photogdave

    All the movies that look bad (Kong, ChiPS, Baywatch, The Mummy etc) probably will be bad. So there’s nothing to be skeptical about.
    I hope Alien and Blade Runner are good but I’m not skeptical about them.
    I guess Lego Batman qualifies the most for me. I loved the Lego Movie but I’m not really excited about Batman. He was great as a secondary character.

  3. Csm101

    Wow, as I went to the Wikipedia page to see what was coming , I noticed the death of William Peter Blatty. May he rest in peace. At least he had a pretty good run at 89.
    I’m not worried about Kong, but I’m scared of being disappointed because I’m quite excited about it.
    I feel the same about Beauty and the Beast live action.
    The teaser for Pirates looks really dull, and I’m not a fan of what they did to Javier Bardem, is it make up or snap chat? Maybe another trailer that shows a little more might help. I noticed movie called Lowriders, could this be a companion piece to Monster Trucks?
    I hope that Justice League delivers, but I’m definitely skeptical.

  4. Nagara

    I am very skeptical of Justice League also. But for very different reasons than most. As one of the few people who loved BvS, I wonder how much they tried to make JL “better” and more “fun”.

  5. JERP

    I’m crossing my fingers that the new Blade Runner and Alien will be decent but I also share the scepticism. The Ghost in the Shell and Trainspotting movies will be a waste of time….why even make them? I don’t anticipate that I’ll be going to the theatre much this year…..maybe to see Guardians of the Galaxy but that’s about it.

  6. Plissken99

    Pirates by far, it’s a sequel that no one asked for. I haven’t felt the inclination to watch any of the sequels again at all.

    All my hopes this year rest on The Dark Tower, and I’m nervous as hell for it. I’ve read all 8 books twice.. and I don’t read enough.

  7. William Henley

    This may sound weird, but I am skeptical about The Lego Movie Batman. Any time you have a great reception to a first movie, and they rush out a sequel, a lot of times the writers and studios just don’t get what it is about the original that audiences loved so much. Then again, there is the comedy of the Lego videogames as prior art to the first movie, so maybe it won’t be as bad as I am fearing.

    Beauty and the Beast worries me. They are doing an almost line for line remake of one of the greatest animated movies of all time. The casting seems to be right on, as well as set designs, however, the CGI in the trailers made me cringe (especially on Mrs Pots and Chip). Hopefully that was temporary animation there in the trailer.

    Power Rangers. Part of me wants to see this for nostalgic reasons, while my mind is saying “This show was NEVER good, why subject yourself to it?”

    Ghost in the Shell. Nuff said

    Guardians of the Galaxy 2. 2016 was plagued by bad Superhero movies. I don’t have much hope any more

    Pirates of the place that no one knows how to spell right – Seriously, they are still turning these out? The first one was great, the second one was fun, the third was Meh, the fourth I have a mental block on – I know I saw it, but I don’t remember anything about it.

    Baywatch. But come on, the show was never any good – we just watched it for the eye candy

    Cars 3. I have a feeling this one won’t appeal to anyone over the age of 6 for some reason.

    Transformers, but come on, has any of them been good? I don’t know what is more surprising – that they are still making them, or that people are still watching them

    Spiderman – I am burned out on them. I probably won’t even watch this one. Stop rebooting the franchise. Just recast the actors (like they did in the 90s Batman movies) and continue on with the story already. Truthfully, I don’t even care if this one is good. It’s the second reboot in 20 years.

    BladeRunner – It has been over 30 years. I don’t know what to expect, but I am hesitant.

    Thor and Justice League – Once again, more super hero movies? It’s a factory turning these out. They are no longer special.

    Star Wars – I have learned just to go into any Star Wars movie with low hopes. Force Unleased was alright, Rogue One was awesome. So I don’t know about this one

    Jumanji – Seriously, they are remaking this?

  8. Scott

    Am I the only person out there that genuinely REALLY liked Prometheus??? Can’t wait to see Alien: Covenant!

    The second pirates movie was the last movie I walked out on at the theater. Haven’t bothered with any of those since. I hope it tanks so they’ll stop making them.

    Another Spider-Man reboot, REALLY??? Really? I just can’t even…

    • William Henley

      I wouldn’t say I REALLY liked Prometheus, but I do think the movie is underappreciated. I certainly enjoyed it. It’s not on par with Alien or Aliens, but it is still quite enjoyable and a strong movie.

    • Jason Radcliff

      I liked it. It’s no Dune, Transformers-The Movie, or Bad Santa…….but not all movies can be high art like those. Perhaps if it was in the Criterion collection it would get more street cred.

    • photogdave

      I’m with you. Saw it in the theatre and enjoyed it. Re-watched on Netflix and appreciated it even more. Then I picked up the Blu-ray knowing I’m going to continue to re-watch it in the future. I think it’s under-appreciated because it wasn’t what most fans were expecting.
      Looking forward to Covenant!

      • Elizabeth

        The problem with Prometheus isn’t that it wasn’t what people were expecting. It was because too many supposedly genius characters decided to do the stupidest things. Like the guy who designed the mapping drones who couldn’t find his way out of the ship. Hey, why don’t you use the map your drones created? Or the xenobiologist who was terrified of a dead alien only to later be courageous enough to reach out toward an unknown live alien. I’m sure you’ve all heard these complaints before, but they were the major problem. Stupid plot holes, not that it wasn’t an Alien prequel with less developed xenomorphs.

  9. Blade Runner 2049 – A sequel to a cult-followed movie 30 years later? I want it to be good, but there is just no way that’s possible, right?

    Beauty and the Beast – I like the original. I like most of the live-action adaptations so far (minus Cinderella – yawn). I like Emma and the rest of the cast. This is one of those things that added up I think I should really like, but I have a feeling that everything won’t quite add up.

    Pirate of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – I get the same feeling of déjà vu as many others. Hasn’t this movie already been released? Did we need another sequel to this already stretched thin franchise? For the love of God, how many damned supernatural enemies does Captain Jack Sparrow have?

    • Thing is, the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ we all know and love from 1991 isn’t “the original” either. By 1991, the story had been told, staged and filmed multiple times.

      • I fondly remember watching “La Belle et la Bête” in French class back in the day. I think that’s part of my concern. They seem to be sticking really, really close to the 1991 animated version. That seems like it could very easily backfire. The other live-action adaptations Disney has done recently tried to change things up a little (for the most part).

        • Correct. I was quite fond of the changes to ‘Cinderella’, especially the two scenes with the prince. In the animated classic, the prince is a cardboard character with just a couple of lines. In the live-action version, he actually gets character development – and you understand why they fall for each other.

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