So, 2015 has been wrapped up in cinematic terms, and, in truth, it wasn't the greatest year in the history of cinema. Luckily for us, however, 2016 has a wide selection of cinematic pie likely to make even the most jaded cinephile salivate in anticipation. Here I present my most personally anticipated films of 2016, ranked from tenth to first! Now, of course, this is a personal list, so if your particularly favourite does not appear, don't take it personally, I'm sure it will be fantastic. Unless you're looking forward to Deadpool, then I'm afraid you'll be sorely disappointed. Now, moving on, I present Moulinie's list of ten films to watch out for in 2016. Also, one last disclaimer; in case you were wondering why this list appears so Hollywood dominated, it's simple; most of my favourite independent/athouse directors don't have anything set for release this year, and most successful independent films tend to take us by surprise.
Director - Andrew Stanton
Writer - Andrew Stanton
Starring - Ellen Degeneres , Albert Brooks
In at number ten comes the sequel to Pixar's 2004 mega-hit Finding Nemo, and a film almost guaranteed to be a box office smash. Unfortunately, Pixar have been missing more than they've been hitting recently, The Good Dinosaur in particular sorely lacking that spark and magic that once made Pixar's endeavours must see events. Still, Finding Nemo was a magical and moving piece of cinema, and with the same director/writer returning to the chair, the signs look pretty good for this possibly belated sequel. Stanton's credits include the original Finding Nemo, A Bugs Life and Wall-E, which is an impressive set of films for any director to have under the belt, so the signs look positive for this one.
Star Trek: Beyond
Director - Justin Lin
Writers - About one hundred people, including Simon Pegg
Stars - Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg
After Abram's gave the Star Trek franchise a big shot in the arm with his recent efforts in the new alternate timeline, Justin Lin has been handed the thankless task of following Abram's efforts. After the audience has seemingly been divided by the polarising Star Trek: Into Darkness, it's actually quite possible Lin could benefit from lowered expectations, as many people expect this film to follow the downward trajectory Into Darkness begun. The fact that the highlight of Lin's career thus far have been entries into the Fast and The Furious series; a series so far removed from what Star Trek is (or was, perhaps) that it's almost laughable, certainly doesn't paint the prettiest of pictures. Still, I'm a big fan of Trek, so I can say I'm looking forward to this one, if not particularly hopeful.
Director - Bryan Singer
Writer - Simon Kinberg
Starring - James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac.
Ah, yes, this one I imagine would be controversial, so let me explain something straight away. I really enjoyed First Class and would rank it among the greatest comic book films ever made. It wasn't perfect, by any stretch, but it was a solid blockbuster and a whole load of fun. Certainly I'm more excited for the current state of the X:Men cinematic universe than I am for Marvel's. Also, it's worth noting that Singer is yet to make a bad X-Men movie. Days of Future Past had problems, certainly, but it was far from bad, and managed to do enough right to qualify as good. My only worry would be Kingberg; as a filmography that includes writing credits for Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter and 2015's awful Fantastic Four aren't the most impressive credentials known to Hollywood. Still, look at that cast! James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence AND Oscar Isaac in one film? What could possibly go wrong?
Director - Duncan Jones
Writers - Charles Leavitt, Duncan Jones
Starring - Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster
With a relatively unknown cast, and based on a video game (which is almost inevitably a recipe for disaster), with a huge budget and full of computer effects, one could reasonably wonder why somebody with my very obvious views on cinema, and no interest whatsoever in the video game series that provides the source text, could place this on my most anticipated films of 2016 list. There is one answer, and one answer alone, and I shall tell you now. Duncan Jones. After the man once known as Zowie Bowie morphed into Duncan Jones the director, and gave us the bonafide masterpiece Moon, I've been a huge fan of the guy. Whilst Source Code was a bit of a slip-up, it was still a very entertaining watch and better then most contemporary Sci-Fi offerings. Jones is talented beyond measurement and it is for that sole reason that I will be attending Warcraft with some excitement.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Director - Gareth Edwards
Writers - Gary Whitta, Chris Weitz
Starring - Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen
I won't even begin to insult your intelligence by telling you why I'm excited for this release. It's a fucking Star Wars movie, directed by the guy who made Godzilla awesome again, starring Mads 'I'm basically a deity' Mikkelsen. If you need any other reason than that to be excited, then I fear for the state of your soul. After A Force Awakens, I'll happily watch a Star Wars film every year until I die.
Director - Robert Eggers
Writer - Robert Eggers
Starring - Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Inerson
Ah, the wild card of this cinematic deck. Praised by practically everybody who has had a chance to catch during it's festival run, the film has earned a cinematic release based on reputation alone. Now, in these days, where the likes of Paranormal Activity and The Conjuring continue to strip the horror genre of any artistic merit, any film that stands up and attempts to break this trend becomes high on my list of anticipated films. I was anticipating both The Babadook and It Follows, and they both delivered and gave the genre the shot in the arm it so sorely needed. I'm hoping The Witch can continue this new revolution, and hopefully help steer us towards a new golden age of horror.
Director - David Ayer
Writer - David Ayer
Starring - Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Jared Leto
With the fantastic cast and knowing that this would be both the return of The Joker (AKA, the greatest villain ever), and the on-screen debut of Harley Quinn (The best psychopath with a mad crush on the greatest villain ever, ever), my expectations were pretty high. Then, I learned Leto would play The Joker. My expectations grew. Then the latest trailer hit, and my expectations blew through the roof. I won't say anything, because I don't have to. This trailer does it for me. Seriously, it is the PERFECT trailer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmRih_VtVAs
Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice
Director - Zak Synder
Writers - Chris Terrio, David S.Goyer
Starring - Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck
Do I even need to explain this one? You say I do? Well, fine then. It's the two biggest name in the history of comic books colliding on screen for the first time. Was Man of Steel a let-down? Yes. Is Snyder a great director? No. Will this inevitably end in the two teaming up to take down a bigger bad, thus rendering the showdown nothing more than a marketing ploy designed to make major paper and scare the pants off the Marvel/Disney combo? You bet your ass. But, the allure of Batman and Superman on screen at the same time is too historically important to be anything over than hugely anticipated. Arguably, worldwide, this is the most anticipated film of the entire year. For me, however, it only comes in at third. Still, I'm pretty bloody excited.
Director - Ben Wheatley
Writer - Amy Jump
Starring - Tom Hiddlestone, Jeremy Irons
Firstly, excuse the terrible caption jokes. The character limit is really restrictive in terms of what you can accomplish, and I swear I had a better punchline in mind. Nevertheless, moving on to the film. The primary and only reason I am extremely excited for this film is the combination of Wheatley and Jump. Wheatley is one of the few filmmakers in the world who I can honestly say has never made a bad movie, and in his short career, he has shown one hell of a range. Down Terrace was an entertaining kitchen-sink drama; Kill List is among the finest psychological horrors of our generation; Sightseers was hilarious; and A Field In England managed to be a combination of all of these things and one of the most unique and interesting films released this millenium. Finally armed with a bigger budget and a more A-List cast, it will be fascinating to see what this talen can pull off, considering what he was doing with a micro-budget previously. We could well be seeing the rise of one of cinema's true icons, and for that reason, I am ridiculously excited for this film. In fact, if this article does nothing else other than make you go off and watch Wheatley's filmography, then I will have achieved something with my day.
And, in number One, and my most anticipated film of 2016, is ...... (Mental drum roll please..)
Director - Park Chan-Wook
Writer - Park Chan-Wook
Starring - Jung-Woo Ha, Jin Woong Jo
You know what I was just saying about film makers who are yet to make a bad film? Well, here's another one. For my money Chan-Wook is the finest director on the planet right about now. Best known for Oldboy, his oedipian masterpiece, and one of the millenium's greatest films, Chan-Wook's ability to transcend his medium and morph film from merely an entertainment form, to a form of moving poetry, is almost unrivaled in contemporary cinema. He even managed to make the leap to Hollywood and remain entirely himself, creating 2013's finest film (Again, in my personal opinion) in Stoker. Chan-Wook is already an all-time great, and to see him back in action, in his native Korea, after three years, is enough to make The Handmaid my most anticipated film of 2016.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you've ever learned something, formed an opinion of your own and, most importantly, enjoyed the article. Got any feedback? Think I'm a massive dick? Drop a comment.