Just after Halloween we officially enter the 2016 Holiday Movie season, kicking off with the debut of Marvel’s next Avenger Doctor Strange on November 4th and going all the way through Christmas, with a line up riddled with blockbusters and potential Oscar fodder. That’s why I love this part of the year, sure Summer is great but it’s the Holidays that give you the best of both worlds as a Cinephile, movies like the aforementioned Doctor Strange, Rogue One and Assassin’s Creed are almost sure fire blockbusters while movies like Hacksaw Ridge, Allied and Fences give you a chance to see the next film to potentially win Best Picture, Best Actor/Actress and Best Director when Hollywood rolls out the red carpet next year. Best of all, movies like Arrival give you a taste of both! So without further ado, here are VIA VHS’s most anticipated films of 2016!
This is a film we here at VIA VHS have been looking to for a long time. The trailer for Doctor Strange shows off a potentially visual spectacle that makes that IMAX 3D ticket worth the price while the story adds another layer to the already impressive Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Courtesy IMDb: Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel Cinematic Universe DOCTOR STRANGE TRAILER
Could Hacksaw Ridge be the catalyst for the much speculated Mel Gibson renaissance? Time will tell if Hollywood is ready to forgive him for his ranting antics from a decade ago, but in a year where we have seen much worse from our Presidential candidates, the media and Hollywood may be willing to let bygones be bygones. Either way, many believe Hacksaw Ridge can make serious noise around awards time. This is a movie we eagerly anticipate here at VIA VHS.
Courtesy IMDb: WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people and becomes the first Conscientious Objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor. HACKSAW RIDGE TRALER
Denis Villeneuve, director of 2013’s critically acclaimed and criminally underrated film Prisoners and 2015’s breakout success Sicario comes the highly anticipated film Arrival. Following in the line of other high-brow Sci-Fi successes of recent years like The Martian and Interstellar, Villeneuve hopes to chalk up another win in recently impressive resume.
Courtesy IMDb: When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team – led by expert linguist Louise Banks – are brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity. ARRIVAL TRAILER
BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK
Not sure how to feel about this movie. Certainly has a narrative to be Oscar bait, not to mention it’s the first film to be shot at 120fps which will almost certainly be a trend in coming years with the rise of 4K . The cast is odd to say the least, Kristen Stewart, who is sure to draw the ire of many is cast in a role along with Vin Diesel, Steve Martin who’s playing in his first non-animated role in five years and Chris Tucker who plays in his first role since Silver Linings Playbook. Not to mention it’s directed by an up and down director in Ang Lee and an up and down actor in Garrett Hedlund.
Coutesy IMDb: 19-year-old Billy Lynn is brought home for a victory tour after a harrowing Iraq battle. Through flashbacks the film shows what really happened to his squad – contrasting the realities of war with America’s perceptions. BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK TRAILER
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
Following in the steps of two other blockbuster franchises in Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, The Harry Potter franchise travels into the murky world of prequels. Hopefully, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them will be a much more successful foray into the prequel world than that of the Hobbit and George Lucas’s much maligned episodic Star Wars prequel nightmares. Of course that’s all depending on how you merit success because both the aforementioned trilogies made a butt-load of money. If Fantastic Beasts falters with critics call JJ Abrams to the rescue sooner than later.
Courtesy IMDb: The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM TRAILER
BLEED FOR THIS
Even though the early reviews for this film aren’t on par with what I was expecting I’m still really excited to see this movie. Based on the trailer and the casting of Miles Teller, Bleed For This is definitely a film worth checking out. Overcoming adversity is the core element in a successful boxing movie and the true story of Vinny Paz definitely provides that element.
Courtesy IMDb: The inspirational story of World Champion Boxer Vinny Pazienza who, after a near fatal car crash, which left him not knowing if he’d ever walk again, made one of sports most incredible comebacks. BLEED FOR THIS TRAILER
I’m very conflicted concerning this movie. On one hand it’s directed by Robert Zemeckis who directed my all time favorite film in Back To The Future as well as Forest Gump, Cast Away and Flight, Zemeckis in my opinion may be one of the most underrated directors in Hollywood. On the other hand we have Brad Pitt, who has played in countless movies that I love but as an actor I find him horribly overrated. He’s adequate in most roles but always replaceable to me and never really steals the show. Perhaps the saving grace that balances the scales is Marion Cotillard who I think is fantastic. After watching the first trailer I remember thinking, “Wow the imagery reminds me of Casablanca“, turns out after reading the official synopsis and seeing the full trailer it’s revealed that this movie is actually set in Casablanca, in 1942, during WW-II. I mean it’s not a remake but all of these elements have been portrayed pretty damn well considering Casablanca is regarded as one of the best films of all time! That’s like setting a film in Oz but not calling it….oh, wait.
Courtesy IMDb: In 1942, an intelligence officer in North Africa encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When they reunite in London, their relationship is tested by the pressures of war. ALLIED TRAILER
Disney looks to continue their hot streak with animated films and continue their Worldwide Box Office annihilation with their next release Moana. Granted that both Pixar and Disney Animation both live under the roof of the mouse house it’s great for Disney that these two studios have developed sort of a sibling rivalry. while both studios have been incredibly successful both commercially and critically as of late, it’s been Disney who has taken a slight edge over the past five films. Some would attribute this to Pixar’s sequel strategy while Disney Animation has been more focused on original stories. Throw in the Rock and Moana has a chance to be among the upper echelon post 90’s Disney films along with Tangled and Frozen.
Courtesy IMDb: A young woman uses her navigational talents to set sail for a fabled island. Joining her on the adventure is her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui. MOANA TRAILER
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY
Ok, I know I made a huge jump from Novemeber 23rd to December 16th. Yes, I know some good films come out in that period and the’ll be part of my honorable mentions below. This list however is MOST anticipated and for me as a massive Star Wars fan this is the film that I personally can’t wait for. I could write a 30 page thesis on Rogue One but I’ll try to keep it brief and target the Star Wars laymen. 1.) It takes place just before A New Hope (original Star Wars 1977) 2.) Yes Darth Vader is in it. 3.) This is not the sequel to The Force Awakens, that’s next year 4.) This is the first “spin-off” in the Star Wars franchise so don’t be surprised when you don’t see Lightsabers, Millenium Falcons, The Force or even hear the name Skywalker. This movie is based off of the first paragraph in the opening crawl of Star Wars ’77, which is a better synopsis than the one I’m listing below. Overall between the cast and the story I’m very very excited.
Courtesy IMDb: Jyn Erso, a Rebellion soldier and criminal, is about to experience her biggest challenge yet when Mon Mothma sets her out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. With help from the Rebels, a master swordsman, and non-allied forces, Jyn will be in for something bigger than she thinks. ROGUE ONE TRAILER
LA LA LAND
Ok, just give the Oscar for best cinematography to Linus Sandgren? You may not like musicals and I understand, but you have to admire the beauty of the trailer and set photos from this film. Two of the best actors working today in Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone add to the credentials for this film to be a potential Oscar winner in multiple categories. In fact this film is the leading favorite for best picture at the moment. Me personally, I’m kind of excited to see it and if you don’t buy Gosling as a singer than remember he was pallin’ around with Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake on the set of Mickey Mouse Club
Courtesy IMDb: A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles. LA LA LAND
With every release of a video adaptation movie people speculate that said film will be the one to break the long cursed history of bad video game films. it never is. Earlier this year the movie Warcraft added itself to the long list of disappointing video game films and many believe that despite several other video game films being in the works, Assassin’s Creed is the last best hope for the genre. If any video game adaptation has the story, setting and world building potential to be a box office hit it’s certainly Assassin’s Creed. The confidence of this theory is shown by the impressive cast for this film including Michael Fassbender in the lead role, supported by two Academy Award winners in Jeremy Irons and Marion Cotillard. The music and title graphics in the trailer make me worried that this film is to intent on marketing to the Ed Hardy, Vaping crowd but perhaps the film will try and target all portions of the video game playing demographic and give us the best of both worlds.
Courtesy IMDb: When Callum Lynch explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, he discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society. ASSASSIN’S CREED
Admittedly my excitement has dwindled a little bit for Passengers. Earlier in the year I had this film ranking ahead of the holidays other Sci-Fi tent-pole Arrival.Mainly because of Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawerence both being cast in lead roles. Sure, you could argue that both are overexposed and that casting them both is like trying to desperately win a popularity contest. Thing is, I really like both actors and I’m always entertained when Pratt and J-Law are on screen. My problem is the trailer. It was very meh to say the least and quite honestly I felt it gave away too much story. You decide.
Courtesy IMDb: A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers are awakened 90 years early.PASSENGERS TRAILER
Denzel Washington. This movie really has me excited, I love seeing Denzel Washington in powerful performances and while I haven’t seen the entire James Earl Jones performance of the stage play Fences, it’s hard to imagine it’s dramatically better than the monologue Denzel delivers in this trailer. Let’s also not forget Viola Davis who also stirs emotion with some powerful moments as well. Anybody gunning for best Actor or best Actress at next year’s Oscars will have steep competition from both Denzel and Viola it seems.
Courtesy IMDb: An African-American father struggles with race relations in the United States while trying to raise his family in the 1950s and coming to terms with the events of his life. FENCES TRAILER
Trolls, Shut In, Almost Christmas, Manchester By The Sea, Bad Santa 2, Jackie, Man Down, Nocturnal Animals, Collateral Beauty, Sing.
Well that’s all I have for Holiday Movies 2016! Give your thoughts below in the comment section and look out for the VIA VHS 2017 Movie Preview coming in January.
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