Last week, we talked about upcoming movies we’re looking forward to in 2018. Sadly, a lot of the big movies coming out this year are bound to disappoint, if not outright suck. Which titles have you the most worried?
There are so many movies this year I fear will be disasters, it’s hard to limit it to just one. Going off the titles we’ve seen trailers for, ‘Ready Player One‘ looks like it’s going to be a HUGE disappointment.
I read Ernie Cline’s book a couple years back and it ranks as one of my favorite novels of all time. As someone who was in high school in the 1980s, it was the perfect read for me – paying homage to all the great things in pop culture I loved from that era. Someone like Steven Spielberg helming an adaptation of the novel seemed like the perfect choice – but wow, does he look like he messed this thing up big-time.
While Cline’s book does feature some videogame fighting sequences, it’s really more about solving puzzles and getting high scores on classic videogames inside the Virtual Reality world of Oasis than about huge battle sequences. That must have been too cerebral for Spielberg, as the trailers for his movie make it look like viewers will get nothing but big F/X battle scenes. To add insult to injury, one of the core themes in the book was that the main character falls in love with a girl (whom he only sees the VR version of until the very end) that turns out to be overweight and have a birthmark on her face. The actress Spielberg hired for this role? The very slim and attractive Olivia Cooke – which makes zero sense, even if he does stick with the birthmark.
Of course, it’s hard to say what the final version of Spielberg’s movie will look like, but if he needed a model to pick from, ‘Ready Player One’ should feel more like ‘Willy Wonka’ (a comparison the author has made himself) than ‘Minority Report’. But Spielberg’s movie looks more like the latter than the former. While the world outside Oasis should be dystopian, the world inside it should be fun and colorful. Instead, Spielberg doesn’t seem to have contrasted between the two in his movie. I’ll certainly see the film when it comes out, but I have major concerns about it. We’ll all find out what we’re getting on March 30th.
I’m a huge fan of ‘Sicario’ (it’s an excellent early Ultra HD Blu-ray), but at no point did I think it needed a sequel. ‘Sicario 2: Soldado‘ seems at a glance like a big cash-in, especially without the original film’s amazing director. And yet, the writing talent of Taylor Sheridan is nothing to scoff at. Fingers crossed that ‘Sicario 2’ isn’t pointless or perfunctory.
All of my worries come from franchise titles.
Although this year brings the culmination of the entire cinematic universe, I’m worried for Marvel’s 2018 slate. ‘Black Panther‘ looks like a rehash of ‘Captain America: Civil War’ (including the camera work) mixed with the crowd rave scenes from ‘The Matrix Reloaded’. Boy, does it look bad. Two-and-a-half months later, we get ‘Avengers: Infinity War‘. If you thought movies like ‘Spider-Man 3’ and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ had too many characters, wait until this one comes out. The icing on the cake is yet another stupid-looking CGI villain. Another two months later, we get ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp‘. Touted as a superhero rom-com, I’m curious to see how Marvel Studios plays with genre (much like Fox has done with its Marvel properties), but I’m still cautious due to the first ‘Ant-Man’ being so bland and dull.
When the first ‘Pacific Rim’ came around, I thought it looked terrible, but when I actually saw it, I loved it. Guillermo del Toro infused that movie with a whole lot of fun and cool action. Knowing that may be the case again, I still think ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising‘ looks absolutely awful. Without del Toro, I fear that it’ll be another generic action movie.
With ‘The Last Jedi’, Disney showed that it’s fully capable of fumbling the ‘Star Wars’ brand. ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story‘ seems like it’s going to be a mess. Switching directors mid-way through a shoot and going back for a second round of re-shoots are bad signs. In addition, ‘Star Wars’ movies always get trailers well in advance of hitting theaters, yet here we are four months before ‘Solo’ is supposed to debut, and we haven’t seen a second of footage.
I had fun with ‘Jurassic World’, but it was far from a quality movie. Just one sequel into the new series, ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom‘ already looks like we’ve jumped ahead to ‘Jurassic Park III’ territory. Rescuing the dinosaurs from an exploding island actually sounds worse than rescuing a child from the island.
Shane Black has a solid cult fan base, but I’m not part of it. For the most part, his movies are overrated. The last thing I want to see is a filmmaker who puts everything into making “cool” movies tackle ‘The Predator‘ property. I don’t want to see a buddy Predator movie that’s set during Christmas.
Sony has struggled to stay relevant with its Marvel properties. I like the joint venture ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’, but I’m worried about the (supposedly) Spidey-free ‘Venom‘ movie. My only hope comes from Tom Hardy in the lead role.
Although ‘Justice League’ was a bust, I’m still hoping that DC’s cinematic universe isn’t done yet. ‘Wonder Woman’ was a whole lot of fun. I’m hopeful for ‘Aquaman‘, but how great can an underwater superhero movie really be?
M. Enois Duarte
The movie I’m most apprehensive about is ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story‘. My fears are not just because it’s a prequel spinoff. (‘Rogue One’ actually turned out pretty good, which was surprising.) My worry is about Ron Howard’s involvement. He’s not a terrible director, per se. In fact, I think he’s quite good and I tend to like his movies. However, he’s not exactly a noteworthy filmmaker with some unique, distinguishable style either. Howard is a safe bet – a conventional, competent, traditional formalist. His films are easy to study and breakdown, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The issue is that he doesn’t experiment and doesn’t challenge his audience; his main objective every time is simply to entertain. It’s easy to see why Kathleen Kennedy wanted him to take over the project, and that’s what worries me. The next installment in the ‘Star Wars’ universe will potentially not try anything new or challenging. I have a feeling it’s going to be far too conventional and ordinary.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
We’ve never seen such a staggering volume of superhero movies in a single year like this, and the completist in me knows I’m going to watch every last one of them. When the floodgates finally close, there are certain to have been at least a couple of dreadful misfires along the way.
I’m especially pessimistic about ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix‘. Writer/director Simon Kinberg and producer Lauren Shuler Donner already savaged the Dark Phoenix saga in ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’, which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. ‘Dark Phoenix’ is the follow-up to what’s dangerously close to being a franchise low point in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’, one also spearheaded by Kinberg, Donner and Bryan Singer. I mean, the most praise you can lavish upon ‘Apocalypse’ is that it’s not quite as unwatchable as ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’.
At the same time, this is also the same talent behind significantly stronger X-flicks like ‘Days of Future Past’, they fully acknowledge that ‘Apocalypse’ was a dumpster fire, and the prospect of an X-Men space opera is too much to ever resist. My fingers are crossed, but I’m still bracing myself for disappointment.
If possible, I’m even more skeptical about ‘Ready Player One’ than Shannon is. I wasn’t able to make it all the way through the book, which I found irritatingly written. When the second trailer revealed that half or more of the movie will focus on badly mo-capped versions of the characters, I decided that I’m out. I’ll also echo the doubts about ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’, ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’, and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.
Despite being based on a classic children’s story and having a respected director at the helm, ‘A Wrinkle in Time‘ looks like a really crappy CGI-fest and, at best, an utterly generic fantasy flick.
Still, nothing this year could possibly look worse than ‘Alita: Battle Angel‘. Within seconds of the trailer starting, I was screaming, “Oh no no no no no no nooooooooooooooo…!” at the screen. I haven’t seen Uncanny Valley this bad since ‘The Polar Express’. It’s terrifying. James Cameron literally spent decades developing this adaptation of an old anime as one of his greatest passion projects, but ultimately turned the reins over to Robert Rodriguez of all people. (How did those two ever become friends?) They spent over $200 million making the movie and this is the best they could come up with?
I’ll be amazed if it makes 200 dollars at the box office. It looks atrocious.
Once again, here’s the Wikipedia list of 2018 movies. Which ones do you think will bomb the hardest?