Ten Movies I’m Not Looking Forward to
Runner-Up: “Halloween Kills”…Although the 2018 “Halloween” was fine, there was something implied that it would be the end of the saga and that was most of the reason it worked…as an ending. Now there are at least two more “Halloweens” coming, and it’s beginning to feel like poor Jamie Lee Curtis will die before the franchise does.
10. “Dolittle”…A movie getting bumped from a prime summer slot to the dead-zone of mid-January? Not promising at all…
9. “Legally Blonde 3”…Looooooooong in the works sequels that are clearly only green-lit because their actors need a hit will be a big theme in 2020 (check out my list of “5 I’m not sure about”), and this one has less a reason to exist than almost any others.
8. “The New Mutants”…Its release has been delayed two years which is never a vote of confidence. Sure, part of it is the Disney/Fox merger, but as the 13th part of a franchise (“X-Men”) that no one has interest in anymore (judging by “Dark Phoenix”…which itself was supposed to be the last installment), there’s no reason to be optimistic.
7. “Sonic the Hedgehog”…Although I’m hoping I’m wrong (I grew up with a Sega Genesis), this movie was delayed a long time because the original CGI was supposedly poor. Just like with “Dolittle” and “Mutants,” a long-delay in release is rarely ever a good thing.
6. “Snake Eyes”…The G.I. Joe franchise up to this point has absolutely sucked–so much so that Channing Tatum begged the studio to kill off his character in the second movie. Actors do not typically plead to be let out of good franchises. “No, no, I’ll choose poverty over appearing in this,” isn’t widely said.
5. “Minions 2”…Although every parent of small children should just go ahead and surrender their money now. There will be no avoiding this thing come opening weekend.
4. “Bad Boys for Life”…Do I even need to explain this one? A hit-starved Will Smith must be feeling especially desperate if he’s willing to make a third “Bad Boys” movie.
3. “Monster Hunter”…I’m not sure director Paul W.S. Anderson is capable of making a good movie, and I doubt this one will be the first.
2. “Peter Rabbit 2”…The first one was surprisingly awful, crude, and took a huge, steaming dump on the analogue pleasures of the beloved kid’s books. I can’t imagine this being much better.
You guessed it: “Fast and Furious 9”…The most interesting thing about the last several “Furious” movies is whether or not off-screen foes The Rock and Vin Diesel will share a scene together.
5 I’m Not So Sure About…
Runner-Up: “The Many Saints of Newark”…This “Sopranos” prequel sure seems like a bad idea, but with a cast that includes Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Michael Gandolfini (James Gandolfini’s son, taking over the role of a young Tony Soprano), and Ray Liotta (who almost played Tony Soprano in the original series), it’s hard not to be optimistic.
5. “Morbius”…It would surprise me if this were good, but crazier things have happened, and I’m a huge Jared Harris fan.
4. “Wonder Woman 1984”…I would love for this movie to be as good as the first, and I’m hoping it will be, but the trailer is not promising.
3. “Mulan”…I haven’t truly enjoyed a live-action Disney remake since “The Jungle Book,” and the trailer for this one almost looks too serious and maybe a little lifeless.
2. “Ghostbusters: Afterlife”…Whew, what a mess the “Ghostbusters” franchise has become. Although Jason Reitman is a fine director, it’s clear this is just a paycheck for him after a string of flops.
[Tie] “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Coming 2 America”…Loooooong in the works sequels rarely work, and even though that’s a big theme with this year’s movies (“Bill and Ted 3,” “Legally Blonde 3,”), I’m still skeptical these movies won’t be more than a “greatest hits” revival tour.
10 Most Anticipated Movies…
Runner-Up: “Good Morning, Midnight”…George Clooney hasn’t appeared on-screen since 2016. This sci-fi drama (which he also directed) seems like a step in the right direction.
Honorable Disqualification: “The Personal History of David Copperfield”…Armando Iannucci made my pick for the best film of 2018, “The Death of Stalin,” not to mention HBO’s “Veep,” but the only reason I can’t fully call this “most anticipated” is because the trailer makes it very clear most critics have already seen this movie. A movie that you know is good is cheating a little bit.
10. “Greyhound,” “BIOS,” and “News of the World”…How do you like your Tom Hanks? Because in 2020, you’ll get to see him as a WWII Submarine Commander (“Greyhound”), a robot inventor (“BIOS”), and in a Civil War story (“News of the World”).
9. “A Quiet Place Part II”…One of the very few 2020 sequels I’m looking forward to; a genuinely exciting, well-crafted trailer.
8. “Death on the Nile”…I’m an absolute sucker for Kenneth Branaugh’s update of “Murder on the Orient Express,” and even if there’s little chance of him doing something revolutionary, this might be the one genre I’m happy with not reinventing things too much. [Judging by the love of “Knives Out,” I’m not alone.]
7. “Stillwater”…After “Spotlight,” I’m interested to see what writer/director Tom McCarthy does next, and Matt Damon has a knack for picking projects.
6. “The Eternals” and “Those Who Wish Me Dead”…Angelina Jolie has four movies hitting theaters in 2020, and yet she’s probably the only thing these two have in common. “Eternals” is the first Marvel movie in years I’m actually looking forward to since it has a promising director, interesting source material, and a stellar cast (who doesn’t want to see “Thrones”‘s Richard Madden and Kit Harrington together again? Or Kumail Nanjiani as a villain?). And “Wish Me Dead” is the latest project from writer/director Taylor Sheridan, who has never written a non-excellent movie (“Wind River,” “Sicario,” and my personal favorite “Hell or High Water”).
5. “The French Dispatch”…Any new Wes Anderson film is something to watch, and he’s assembled his biggest, arguably best cast to date.
4. “No Time to Die”…Daniel Craig’s swan-song as James Bond with Ana De Armas as the “Bond girl” and Rami Malek as the villain? Why doesn’t Sony Pictures just mug me because that’s how little choice I have in giving them my money.
3. “Soul”…It’s been a while since Pixar had a truly great original movie, but this is easily their most promising since “Inside Out.” [“Onward” is another original Pixar movie that comes out this year–after several years without a single original movie–making it the first time Pixar’s given us two originals since 2015.]
2. “Tenet”…There are few things more exciting than the words “directed by Christopher Nolan,” and since this is a mega-budgeted original idea, anticipation is off-the-charts. In fact, there’s literally only one thing that could top it in the “I can’t wait” department…
Most Anticipated Movie of 2020: “Dune”…Director Denis Villeneuve made my least anticipated list of 2017 with “Blade Runner 2049” before I actually saw the movie and thought it was a masterpiece, easily one of the best movies of that year. I won’t be doubting him again.