2017 will no doubt be an interesting year. What makes this year extra exciting is the amount of new films that are to be released soon. Our writers here at The Establishing Shot are especially eager and have written about what films they are looking forward to and why.
When I hear the name Christopher Nolan, I sink back into my seat as if I’m watching The Dark Knight again for the first time. I start to think of the artistry he’s done in his other films, like Interstellar and Inception. So, when I heard that he was the driving force behind the 2017 World War II thriller Dunkirk, I was ecstatic. I felt that feeling of pure excitement that electrifies your body from the pit of your stomach to the goosebumps on top of your skin. Referencing Nolan’s other works, I can breathe easy because I know that the plot, cinematography and the overall film will only out do itself. In addition to having a brilliant director, writer and co-producer, the movie has a star-studded cast while also featuring some fresh actors. Knowing all the talent, hard work and passion that’s combined in this film, I cannot wait to see Dunkirk.
The film I’m most looking forward to this year is The Circle. It’s an adaptation of the novel by Dave Eggers. The Circle is about a young woman who lands a job at a large internet corporation where sharing EVERYTHING is essential to their work. To quote the trailer “Without secrets, without the hoarding of knowledge and information, we can finally realize our potential”. The premise of this film raises intriguing questions about our society. We share so much of our lives over social media without a second thought, but what are the effects of sharing everything? Is it progressive for society or detrimental to our overall well-being? I’m excited to watch the movie and find out how it plays out for the characters.
The cast of this film also has me intrigued. Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, and John Boyega in the same movie? Yes, please. Honestly, this is the first film Emma Watson has acted in since her Harry Potter days that I’m excited about. I’m sure she’ll make a wonderful Belle in Beauty and the Beast, but I think her role in The Circle will prove to be her most compelling yet.
Kong: Skull Island
My most hotly anticipated film of 2017 is Kong: Skull Island, written by Dan Gilroy and Max Borenstein, directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and produced by Legendary and Tencent Pictures.
King Kong is one of the true Hollywood greats. Not based off of a book or a play, Kong represents the true magnitude that imagination can be displayed by motion picture. While none of the subsequent films since the original 1933 masterpiece have been able to sit in the throne, I do think this latest incarnation of the King of Skull Island stands a good chance to be one of the best attempts. Firstly, it’s not a retelling of the original story, a plus considering all previous remake/reboots and what-have-you have been this. It allows for a completely new spin on the “Beauty and the Beast” narrative, or it might abandon that angle altogether, which could be a good thing. The setting of the film also plays a part in this as it is set in the Vietnam era and is very reminiscent of Apocalypse Now and has stunning visuals.
The cast is also nothing to shake a stick at as it includes Hollywood juggernauts like Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman, up and coming superstars like Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson, and many other young actors who’ve shown that they’ve got what it takes to stand with the greats in their previous films.
Finally, and this is the biggest personal reason for me, this film will establish Kong in the same Universe as 2014’s Godzilla, leading to the eventual crossover film set to release in 2020, Kong vs. Godzilla. That film might honestly be the most exciting thing to come around in my life up to this point. So Kong; Skull Island being one of the set-ups for it makes me pretty darn excited.
It is easy to say that 2017 is going to be a year full of amazing movies, but there is one in particular that I can’t help but be ecstatic for. That movie being, Spider-man: Homecoming. And I already know what a lot of you are thinking: Another Spider-Man? Really? But this particular Spider-Man will have several unique factors that will separate itself from its previous variations.
For starters, we have a brand-new actor, Tom Holland. We got a glimpse at Tom’s portrayal of the famous Peter Parker within Captain America: Civil War, and to be honest, he has already brought a dynamic of the character to the table that we haven’t seen before. For the first time, Peter Parker is being represented by an actual teenager. Tom himself was 18 when he first put on the famous blue and red suit, and he brings a very lovable and jovial aspect to Peter that couldn’t exactly be portrayed through Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield (no disrespect to their portrayals intended).
Additionally, this Homecoming isn’t another origin story. We are all familiar with the famous radioactive spider bite that leads to Peter’s enhanced abilities and we were briefly introduced to his technological background within Civil War that allows for his web-shooting and other capabilities. So, this movie begins with a story line following Peter’s participation in the battles within Civil War. Peter already has established relationships with the Avengers, primarily with Tony Stark (who will also be featured throughout the movie), who seems to have already taken a liking to Peter and is protective of him.
But the great aspect of this movie seems like it will be Peter’s main motivation. It is made clear through various trailers that Peter will be fighting for the respect from the world and that he has a desire to save lives after getting a taste of that while fighting by the sides of the Avengers. Although he may not be easily recognizable by the public at the beginning of the film, it is clear that Spidey is tired of being treated like a kid, and decides to pull himself off the sidelines and into the heart of the action. However, we all know that this usually puts the lives of the heroes we admire and the people they love in danger. Peter is bound to experience this first hand as his new superhero life style is flipped upside down through the introduction of his enemy, Vulture, portrayed by Michael Keaton. All of this while also trying to deal with the struggles of keeping his identity a secret and managing school work. And normal college students think we have it bad.
Finally, the main reason behind my high hopes is my trust in Marvel and their directors. The movie is being produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal. Mr. Feige has overseen an obscene amount of Marvel films that have consumed the box offices, the most recent example being the record-shattering Doctor Strange released November of 2016. Pascal, however, also has an impressive background due to her large roles in the James Bond franchise and productions of films such as Captain Philips and Zero Dark Thirty. Although Marvel has its rough patches live every other universe does, there is something about the unique aspects of this particular Spider-Man portrayal and recent Marvel storytelling that give me high hopes for this film. I believe we are looking at a huge blockbuster and instant superhero classic coming to theaters this July of 2017.
Be Our Guest – Beauty and the Beast
In the past few years, Disney has been releasing live-action versions of some of its most beloved animated movies. From Maleficent, to Cinderella, to The Jungle Book; these movies bring the dreamland of cartoons into life. Children (and grown-ups) couldn’t be more excited.
The live-action version of Beauty and the Beast comes out on March 17. It stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as The Beast. Other cast members include Luke Evans, Emma Thompson and Ewan McGregor. From looking at trailers, I think the movie looks traditional and as dazzling as the original. Many of the scenes showed in the trailer, like the dance in Belle’s yellow dress or The Beast saving Belle from the wolves, look almost identical to the animated movie. Nevertheless, some small tweaks to the story have already been shared.
In the 1991 film, Belle’s father is an inventor. In this adaptation, the writers decided to make Belle the inventor as a way of making her resourceful, and more of an outsider. Emma Watson, badass feminist and U.N Women Goodwill Ambassador, told Entertainment Weekly she was allowed to make some changes to Belle’s outfit. Belle will be wearing, instead of ballet shoes, practical boots to run around and ride horses more freely. She also has small pockets outside of her skirt that serve as a toolkit.
The film will also be a musical, incorporating music from the original version, and adding three new songs. The actors are singing themselves, something Watson said she was terrified to do. All I can say is I cannot wait to watch their rendition of “Be Our Guest.”
Song to Song
As Hollywood prepares itself for a new year of rehashed material and countless mind-numbing blockbuster antics, I must also ready myself to be disappointed with the outcome. Thankfully, there are plenty of other innovative filmmakers that prefer to focus on something fresh and new, something that whisks me away from the nonsense of reboots and remakes. This coming year, I find myself especially excited for one new film in particular: Song to Song.
Song to Song, which previously went by the working title “Weightless” up until this month, is a film by Terrence Malick that has been in production for the past three years. As a big fan of his latest work, Knight of Cups, I am hopeful that Song to Song retains the playful and exploratory nature that immersed my attention in 2015.
Going from what is known about the project, it will follow suit in the ways of Knight of Cups’ improvised dialogue, as there is no reported script.
The latest details describe the premise as an exploration of two relationships taking place within the music scene of Austin, Texas. I expect we will receive gorgeous visuals to accompany the dreamlike style of the character direction, especially with visionary cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki attached. The film is also starring a very talented cast (which is common with most of his work) including Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman, Michael Fassbender and Cate Blanchett. Malick is very good at drawing out human performances from his talent, so I am excited to see what the characters will bring to the table. The film will be premiering at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival, and is slated for a March release. As much of Malick’s style proves to be less accessible (and successful) at the box office, it is safe to bet on a limited release for the film’s theatrical run.
(No trailer as of right now!)
Be sure to vote on our Twitter account which movie you look forward to seeing!