My Most Anticipated Event Movies of 2017

Woah – sure is dusty in here.

I’m back, baby.

For you lapsed Constant Readers, I owe you a little apology. I used to tend these pages on a much more frequent basis than I have of late. There’s a whole myriad of boring reasons for my long departure but if I were to pick one, it would be that I simply got lazy. I tried writing here and there from time to time but felt myself forcing it – and when you do that, nothing good comes of it. Best to let things lie for a bit and then come back to it when the itch requires scratching. Over the last decade, I’ve written over 600 posts and three full plays (all of which have been produced). During that decade, there have been some long stretches where I didn’t want to write a damn thing. It frustrates me in the moment BUT a little bit of time and separation always works wonders and as I look back at the times where I stepped away, I see that I’ve always come back re-energized.

That’s where I find myself now. I’ve got a new play percolating (“Worst. Date. Ever.“) – so that is obviously bouncing around my brain pan more often than not.

In addition, I’ve decided this Blog needs more frequent watering. In the old days I used to use this as sort of a digital diary left open for all the world to read. Now – I’m thinking of honing it more towards my own self-interests; let it be a spot for musing on the things that have caught my fancy. Most likely that means I’ll be covering my thoughts on the latest and greatest in entertainment but if an anecdote happens to unspool, far be it for me to squash it. Somewhere in some far-flung future, I aim to gather these thoughts and pull some sort of informal memoir from all of this. I know the Internet is forever and everything I’ve jotted down has already been gifted immortality BUT it might be cool to string the various posts I’ve written into some sort of loose narrative of this boy’s life. Hmmm… do I tease “a book”? Stay tuned.

That’s a task for another day. Today I’m looking ahead to the big event movies I just have to see on the Big Screen in 2017.

Full disclaimer: there’s no way I’ll see all of these in the theater – not with a 55″ Ultra HD set hanging on the wall at home. It’s much more economical to catch these flicks when I can in the comfort of my own home. That said, I am hardwired to the cinema experience. I love the communal act of watching a movie surrounded by a rapt crowd of attentive filmgoers. There’s something about seeing a movie with a packed house – there’s an energy that courses through the crowd that just sparks my own imagination. I fall deeper into the film. It remains one of my life’s great joys.

So, somewhere in my near future I’ll see some of these at the cinema while the others will await home viewing. Either way, I intend to hit these pages and tell ya’ all about ’em. I figure little short “discussion pieces” (not reviews) will provide the impetus I need to keep on writing; amongst other topics.

For today, I’m going to issue myself a little challenge. I am well aware that my writing can go on and on. Once the fingers start flying, you better wish carpal tunnel upon me to slow things down. So – for this post – I’m going to write one sentence per flick telling you why I want to see it. One other thing – for this post I’m spotlighting only those event films made to be seen on the Big Screen. My tastes run a wide gamut and I am just as content sinking in to a nuanced indie character drama as I am watching Hulk smash. For this post, I’m looking purely at spectacle as we really won’t know what’s coming later this year from the indie world until the various film festivals have had their say leading into Fall.

OK – let’s do this thing.

Logan (March 3rd)

I thought The Wolverine, Hugh Jackman’s last pairing with director James Mangold, was a nicely nuanced take on the X-Men’s MVP and this new flick looks to mine deeper emotional ground.

Kong: Skull Island (March 10th)

It’s Kong battling giant lizards in Vietnam – what do you want from me, I’m a boy!!!

Beauty and the Beast (March 17th)

My favorite Disney animated film gets a live-action retelling; this tale may be old as time but this rendition looks sublime – yeah, I went with the easy rhyme. #PoetAndIKnowIt

Life (March 24th)

It’s nice to see a new sci-fi flick that is based on an original script and not an adaptation of some comic or video game.

The Circle (April 28th)

Emma Watson and Tom Hanks in a cautionary conspiracy thriller that posits what might happen if a Google-like company were to begin taking over the world; so it’s a documentary then – heh heh.

Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2 (May 5th)

I just really want to discover what killer tracks are on the film’s new Awesome Mix so I can set up the track list for my Summer.

Alien Covenant (May 19th)

Ridley Scott returned to Alien in Prometheus and got a little ponderous BUT this bridge between that flick and the original Alien has a killer trailer.

Wonder Woman (June 2nd)

She stole the show in the laborious Batman vs. Superman and her flick looks cut from Marvel’s Captain America cloth; which is not a bad blueprint to crib from.

The Mummy (June 9th)

Tom Cruise may be insane BUT he always gives it his all so this action-oriented take on the classic horror tale should at least provide some killer stunt work.

Spiderman Homecoming (July 7th)

They finally got Spiderman (and Peter Parker) right when the character appeared in last year’s Captain America: Civil War which bodes well for yet another reboot – just please, no origin scenes – we get it already, he got bit by some kind of a… wait, what was it again!!!

War for the Planet of the Apes (July 14th)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a stirring, soulful epic in director Matt Reeves’ hands – and he has spent the last three years making this follow-up; the series has become one of the more thoughtful tentpole properties.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (July 21st)

It’s Luc Besson working in his Fifth Element mode again – which means this could be a complete train wreck but at least it will be kinetic and a joy to look at.

Dunkirk (July 21st)

Christopher Nolan working in large format to deliver an epic war film gets me in the theater with no questions asked – this looks like one of the more powerful flicks this Summer.

The Dark Tower (July 28th)

Stephen King’s epic series FINALLY finds its way to the big screen with Idris Elba as the gunslinger Roland and Matthew McConaughey as The Man in Black – this could be the beginning of something grand.

Baby Driver (August 11th)

Edgar Wright left Ant Man to work on this comedic crime thriller – a better vehicle for his unique eye towards genre mash-ups (see Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End for example).

It (September 8th)

So what if it will likely launch another round of ridiculous clown hysteria – it will be good to see the classic King tale get the adaptation it deserves outside of that 90’s TV miniseries which is only notable for a creepy-as-hell Pennywise the Clown.

Blade Runner 2049 (October 6th)

I never asked for this but when Denis Villanueva (Arrival) attached himself to the project, it quickly jumped to Must See status.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (October 6th)

The first film was a cheeky twist on classic James Bond spy craft shenanigans making this sequel one of my more anticipated films of the year.

God Particle (October 17th)

If this third film in JJ Abrams ‘Cloverfield‘ universe is as tense and surprising as last year’s 10 Cloverfield Lane, we’ve got the perfect Halloween chiller.

Thor: Ragnarok (November 3rd)

The little teaser in the Doctor Strange hints a more comedic direction for Thor’s third solo journey – aiming for the same blend of comedy and galactic chaos that buoyed Guardians of the Galaxy.

Justice League (November 17th)

I thought Batman vs. Superman was a dreary slog BUT I’m one of the few Zak Snyder apologists who would love to see him connect with script worthy of his killer visuals – plus; it has Batman and I’m always there for Batman.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (December 11th)

Directed by Riann Johnson – who helmed some of the greatest hours of Breaking Bad along with underrated Looper – this is being hailed as the next Empire Strikes Back; a lofty goal that if he gets close to will result in a great Star Wars adventure.

That’s takes care of the event pics. I’ll be back at some point with my thoughts on headier fare.