A year ends and another begins. 2016 was a brutal year in some respects, a year that many would like to forget. But it did leave us with some great movies.
Now we can look forward to the future, and 2017 looks very, very promising. As always, we have tons of sequels, remakes, reboots, but there are also original movies thrown in the mix. Today I invite you to go through what I think could be the highlights of the new year, the films that are sure to become hits, or simply some that I believe show some promise. Let’s begin shall we?
Underworld: Blood Wars
JANUARY 6. The fifth film in the franchise sees Kate Beckinsale return for the fourth time in the role of vampire heroine Selene, and she must fight Lycan and the vampires who betrayed her, and at the same time attempt to bring an end to the war that has been raging for ages. Also starring Theo James, Tobias Menzies, Lara Pulver, Bradley James and Charles Dance with Michael Wandmacher doing the score. After the lackluster Underworld: Awakening, it should be very easy for director Anna Foerster to improve things, and perhaps bring back the world building mythology that was absent from the previous entry. As a fan, I truly hope she is able to do so. Also, no more CGI Lycans please, practical effects are the way to go.
JANUARY 20. M. Night Shyamalan’s new film tells the story of three girls kidnapped after a birthday party by a mysterious and unstable man (James McAvoy) who locks them up and proceeds to frighten and baffle them. This basic setup is perfect for Shyamalan, who after a slew of critical and financial failures, was redeemed to the public eye with his wonderful and twisted The Visit. I’m hoping this film will deliver the goods and confirms Shyamalan’s return. I never stopped being a fan of his work by the way. West Dylan Thordson is doing the score this time instead of Shyamalan’s regular James Newton Howard and I can’t hide my disappointment.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
JANUARY 27. In the sixth and publicly announced final film in the series, Alice (Mila Jovovich) is betrayed by Albert Wesker after what was supposed to be humanity’s last stand against Umbrella’s undead army. Alice now has to return where it all began in Raccoon City where Umbrella is gathering its forces for one last strike. The sole purpose of Resident Evil: Retribution seemed to be setup that final shot in Washington, but looks like we won’t be getting much of that. Still, I find it a clever idea for the series to end in Raccoon City. Well, Resident Evil: Extinction was supposed to be last one back in 2007, so who knows. Paul Haslinger is composer the score for this one.
John Wick: Chapter 2
FEBRUARY 10. Keanu Reeves is back in a role every action fan seems to love. John Wick is forced out of retirement after an international assassin’s guild puts a contract on his head, and now he has to kill his way through Rome to stop a former associate to seize control of the guild. The first John Wick was brutal and stylish at the same time, and Keanu Reeves was perfect in the role. The sequel looks like a lot of fun. This should be very good. Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard are also returning for the music score.
A Cure for Wellness
FEBRUARY 17. An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from a wellness center in the Swiss Alps. He soon discover the place is not what it seems and finds himself diagnosed with the same illness that keeps the other patients there. Gore Verbinski is directing this one, also based on a story by him and Justin Haythe who wrote the script. Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs and Mia Goth star. It’s nice to see Verbinski doing another psychological horror thriller, as his remake of The Ring is a highlight of his career in tone and execution. Benjamin Wallfisch is replacing Verbinski’s long time composer Hans Zimmer.