by Rob DiCristino
What a year! Many films were released! A good deal of them were successful, while others were not so successful! The one with that guy was good, but I really liked the one with that girl (because I’m woke as fuck). If it sounds like I’m deflecting, I am! That’s because I can almost guarantee that you saw more movies in 2016 than I did. I missed Blair Witch. I’m still working up the nerve to rent Nine Lives. And yet, despite my massive ineptitude, our best-of lists probably match up pretty well: I loved The Witch and The Nice Guys. 10 Cloverfield Lane and Green Room rocked my socks. The Neon Demon made me tingle in ways I’m not yet ready to talk about. So far, so familiar. Since I’m clearly not enough of an authority on 2016 to recommend any hidden gems or make any Oscar picks, let’s talk about next year. In no particular order, these are the films I'm most looking forward to seeing in 2017:
Blade Runner 2049 (October 6th)
Blade Runner. I own Blade Runner. Blade Runner is a friend of mine. But honestly, I’ve never really absorbed Blade Runner. It’s beautiful and influential and Jan B. loves the hell out of it (so it must be great), but I’ve never found my road into the film the way a lot of people have. I’ve studied it academically without getting attached, which means I’m far enough removed from the fandom that the very existence of Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming sequel doesn’t infuriate me. It’s an opportunity to immerse myself in the universe in a way that I’ve never had the incentive to before. I’m looking forward to prepping with at least two of the twelve cuts of the original film, spending the seven hours after that on its TV Tropes page, watching some of the crazy-ass conspiracy videos that I’m positive are clogging up YouTube, and walking into 2049 with a totally open mind. I’m excited to join a new fandom. Plus, Villeneuve rules and I’m hoping Harrison Ford will go 2-for-3 on his “I’m Still That Guy You Remember Me Being” retirement tour.
Baby Driver (August 11th)
Ant-Man, but I’ve seen Marvel Studios grind up enough good directors to be happy that one of my favorites went for a passion project instead. I hope 2017 gives him a massive hit film and a return to the loving arms of My Girlfriend Anna Kendrick.
T2 Trainspotting (February 10th)
Clerks and a significant statement about the autobiographical nature of filmmaking in general. The trailer for Danny Boyle’s sequel to his seminal comedy Trainspotting gave me the same vibe: it feels like a sincere way to explore the original film’s themes after twenty years of experience and growth (or possibly depression and self-destruction) and find out if all that sneering defiance from our youth holds up to the scrutiny of adulthood. What does it actually mean to Choose Life, and what did our boys make of it? This one is super high-risk for “soulless sequel produced for nostalgia’s sake,” but Trainspotting isn’t exactly the Ninja Turtles, so I don’t seeing it being a desperate cash-grab.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (July 21st)
Fifth Element deals with a really fun tone and energy. It could also end up being an incoherent CGI shit-fest that I forget ten minutes after it’s over. Might as well roll the dice. I’m not doing anything else.
The Fate of the Furious (April 14th)
Yeah, yeah, I know. No John Wick. No Alien. No Episode VIII. I leave all that to you, F-Heads. What are you looking forward to this year?