Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Films Coming In 2017

Tom Hollande portrays the new Peter Parker in Spider Man: Homecoming. There have been three good things about the Obama Administration: first, we have learned how genuinely corrupt our government "leaders" really are. Had it not been for the OA, we might have continued allowing the same evil mediocrities to run the country for decades more. Secondly, we have learned more about our Constitution during this last eight years than many of us during our entire lives, including when we were studying it in school. We now understand why we have a Second Amendment, and what the First Amendment was really about. The third good thing to come out of the OA are all the incredible films protecting, elaborating upon, glorifying and reminding us of the values of our culture which we share with our neighbors and ancestors. There have been an incredible number of films coming out that are changing the way films are made for the better. Having said this, just because a mega-capitalist is now going to be president, doesn't mean we are going to stop seeing "pro-socialist" films; unfortunately, the exact opposite is probably closer to the truth. It takes about two years--as the rule of thumb in Hollywood--for a film to go from concept to completion and being shown on screen. This means that films being made pre-November 8, the day of the election results, will still be shown until 2018. Films being made post-November 8, probably won't have much of an impact until late 2018. The point is this: the majority of films we will be watching this year, won't know about the election results, so November 8 didn't happen, and these films will still be doing mostly of what they have been doing for the last six to seven years: either propping up socialism, or defending capitalism.
I spent Christmas Eve in the Emergency Room with my aunt who was having a stroke, then most of Christmas Day in the hospital or on stand-by to go to the hospital. Then she had to go again for another stroke. Fortunately, she's fine, however, as usual, the plans I had didn't go according to projected reality at all. As the poet wrote, "The plans of mice and men, often go astray,..." I do hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and a bright, happy New Year's celebration.
Hidden Figures, about the "hidden figures" of the black female engineers who helped NASA figure out the "hidden figures" of the math that didn't exist yet to win the space race, opens January 6, and I am very much looking forward to seeing it; why? It's not a victimization film, like Birth Of a Nation, or 12 Years a Slave, rather, I expect the film will display what TRUE racism is, its source(s) and how best to beat it. Additionally, I expect the film will show how the story of America's success, American Greatness, is also the story of personal greatness, including those who have bemoaned that "America was never great," or America being great means putting black people back in chains. We've seen examples of how liberals will re-write history to leave out things which are embarrassing to them or contradict their idea of what history was, as in the films Fury, The Monuments Men and Argo, so a film like Hidden Figures, I hope, will not only accurately reflect the historical record, but offer contemporary critiques on movements such as Black Lives Matter. While Hidden Figures certainly won't be a big money-maker, sadly, it won't be a critical success either: if it's not brainwashing everyone about victimhood and how bad white men are, no one in Hollywood is going to stand up for it. Sadly, even those in the film,...
I don't do this very often--and by "very often," I mean I may have done it once before, possibly twice, possibly--and that is, one, I am going to make a year-long prediction about films coming out in 2017, and, two, I am going to directly contradict this article from a Cinemablend writer who makes his own predictions and which I feel are seriously off, because of his liberal leanings; if you don't want to have to click on the article, that's fine, here is his list of the biggest grossing films he predicts for 2017:

1. Star Wars VIII
2. Beauty and the Beast
3. Guardians Of the Galaxy II
4. Despicable Me 3
5. Spider Man Homecoming
6. Justice League
7. Logan
8. Wonder Woman
9. Transformers: The Last Knight
10.Fate Of the Furious

So, what's my beef with this list? I think there are three films on this list which don't belong.
Beauty and the Beast might do much better than I anticipate, however, it's going to be terribly pro-socialist, and audience members may pick up on that. The special effects might be enough to pull people in, but given the terribleness of the character of the Beast, and his aristocratic standing, people might shun the film. There are some other family films coming out, for example, The Smurfs Lost Village, and that probably won't do poorly, but given the numbers of audiences attending films these past couple of years, families are going to want to see films together, so which films will those be? 
I don't think Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, is going to do very well. Why? Because of the exact same reason this Cinemablend writer thinks it will do well:

Most movie fans would have you believe that the DC Extended Universe needs a hit. Considering that Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Suicide Squad made a combined total of $1.68 billion at the box office last yea.r the DC Extended Universe's crisis isn't quite as bad as it seems. Still, it would help to quash a lot of nerves over at Warner Bros if Wonder Woman was the DC Extended Universe's first critical hit, as the first installment Man of Steel was divisive, too. It would also help to keep the Neanderthal misogynists that scuppered the success of Ghostbusters before it was even released quiet. With Gal Gadot leading the way after being one of the few bright sparks of Batman v Superman, as well as the trailer suggesting that Wonder Woman will be a whole host of fun from a unique point of view, there's a very good chance it will be the one to stem the tide. We'll find out when Wonder Woman is released on June 2

That "unique point of view" is that of a feminist, a gay feminist at that (yes, Wonder Woman is gay, it might not come out in this film, but it will), and that viewpoint, as a woman myself, was rejected November 8, 2016. There is a definite movement on the Left to dethrone men, especially white men (please see this shocking article about a new college course for "male identify" people to discuss masculinity openly and how they can construct a sense of security even though they are vulnerable). This isn't a question about misogyny, rather, it's about "wealth redistribution," and even though, obviously, Wonder Woman has always been played by a woman (so it's not taking a male character and making it a female character) Wonder Woman was heterosexual, and not a feminist, the intent of Wonder Woman in today's pop culture atmosphere is political, to take rights away from men by stripping them and adorning her, which isn't fair to anyone. I don't think Wonder Woman is going to do particularly well, so I'm taking it off the list. I'm also taking Spider Man: Homecoming off the list.
Transformers just keep getting bigger and better. Adding Anthony Hopkins and crossing with the first three films is a genius idea, and I think it's going to be an excellent film, it could likely do even better than I anticipate, which I hope is the case. The voice over which is done by Hopkins' character in the first trailer is pure beauty. There is something important which Transformers: the Last Knight and Fate Of the Furious share: betrayal. The leader has betrayed those who believed they could always depend upon the leader, and given the election results, and results from around the world, I think 
Just because it's a Marvel film, doesn't mean it's going to be a massive blockbuster--look at Ant-Man which landed like #14 for the year--but I think there are three reasons for this: first, I think people are tired of the Peter Parker origin story, not tired of Spider Man--Tom Hollande did a great job in Captain America: Civil War--but the willing suspension of disbelief of audience members can go only so far, and to have to hear the rigmarole again is putting us through too much. Secondly, there is no real talent connected to this film. Apart from Hollande himself, Downey Jr and Michael Keaton, there isn't a great director or screenwriter to bring something new to the table. Robert Downey Jr., having made the infamous PSA voting for Hillary Clinton, has earned the life-long boycott of many fans, and that is going to take out a chunk of profits there. Additionally, and no, this isn't racist of me, Zendaya, who portrays Michelle, the main female in the film, is half black, and I don't think audience members want inter-racial relationships pushed down their throats.
I'm also taking Logan off, and here is why: I have truly liked The Wolverine films, and I like the X-Men series, but I don't think that Logan will do as well financially as is being projected because it's Logan's end. Let's face it, Wolverine was Wolverine because he could always come back, and now he's "Old Man Logan" who is just barely hanging on. Basically, this is going to be a sad film, and I think with all the big blockbusters coming out, people will not want to see a sad film. The X-Men films in general, even the great ones, just haven't done as well the past couple of years, and without any of the others, I don't think Logan is going to be able to compete against all the amazing films coming out. This doesn't mean it won't be good, but right now, we are talking about who is going to bring home the biggest money-wins.
So, where is my list? Here it is. I keep making a lot of changes to it, but I have added three films the other writer didn't put on: Thor 3 or Thor: Ragnarok, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and I think there is an excellent chance that either Tom Cruise's The Mummy or Guy Ritchie's King Arthur could land number 10, and here is why.

1. Star Wars VIII
2. Guardians Of the Galaxy
3. Fate Of the Furious
4. Justice League
5. Thor: Ragnarok
6. Beauty and the Beast
7. Despicable Me 3
8. Pirates Of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
9. Transformers: The Last Knight
10. The Mummy or King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword

Tom Cruise is a proven box office performer. Mission Impossible Rogue Nation made it into the Top Ten and the reason the lucrative performer has been around so long is because he's lucrative. I think Alex Kurtzman and Universal have a winning picture with The Mummy. On the other hand, Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword has gotten a better release date. From March, it's been moved to Mothers' Day opening weekend, meaning, the suits at the studio are confident this is a great film that can bring in movie-going audiences. Pirates Of the Caribbean? In spite of his string of failures, Johnny Depp still has a lot of fans, and it's been a long time since the last Pirates film, all which have been huge block busters, so even though I don't think it will be particularly good (and I'm pretty confident it will be pro-socialist) I think there will be a huge draw, more so to Pirates than to Spider Man or to Wonder Woman.
So, what about Thor 3?
There are plenty of films that will do well, just not well enough to break into the Top Ten, like the sequel to The Kingsman, which I think will be an excellent film, not to mention John Wick 2, and Cars 3. Brad Pitt's zombie film World War Z has its sequel coming out, and Dwayne Johnson has Baywatch coming out, along with Pitch Perfect 3 scheduled, Christopher Nolan's massive World War II epic, DunkirkThe Lego-Batman film, Kong Island, Alien Covenant, Power Rangers, Fifty Shades Darker 😱 Triple X Return of Xander Cage, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, and many, many others. A bit of a problem with next year is the seemingly lack of animated films for families. It's very possible that Cars 3 will break into the Top Ten, just because families need something they feel they can all go see together, and without a Finding Dory or Zootopia to go watch, even sub-par animated films may get more money than any of us bet on. It's very possible that Beauty and the Beast will do far better than I imagine, and I am sure it will make it into the Top Ten, and maybe in lack of other "obvious" family films, it will do much better, but The Jungle Book seemed to be the exception to the rule (placing sixth on the Top Ten) while Cinderella barely made number 10. For as funny as I think the Minions and Despicable Me 2 has been, they have done well, but not as well as I would have thought. 
Unlike Spider Man and Wonder Woman, Thor has two-solid stand-alone films under his Asgardian belt, as well as Avengers and Age Of Ultron, not to mention a great stand-alone short with his room mate Darryl. This won't be the last time we see Thor, but this will be Loki's last film, and his fan base is considerable, not to mention that these events feed into The Infinity Wars. So, why am I putting Fate Of the Furious so high?
Why am I putting Guardians Of the Galaxy so high, at number 2? Because it's funny. People need humor in life, and while some films might have their funny moments, Guardians IS a funny moment. It has the action and excitement of other blockbuster films, but doesn't take itself seriously, so even if it doesn't come in second, we can expect it to be in the Top Five, and who doesn't want to be there? 
The F & F franchise has invested: characters, time, money, narrative, bonds and talent. There is incredible charisma between the characters and the audience, and chemistry between the characters. Each film sees them making incredible adjustments and bringing on more and more talent: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren. They just keep getting better and they keep giving audiences a reason to come see the films. The cast and crew poor all of themselves into these films, and I think audiences are going to respond.
What about Justice League? How can I say those things about Wonder Woman and then think Justice League is going to do so well? The narrative won't be focused on Diana Prince and her living on the Isle of Lesbos, and I think enough people saw how good Batman vs Superman was that they will be willing to go out and see Justice League, which is far bigger than any one of the characters. Again, my theory of why Batman vs Superman didn't score as lucratively as what the studio hoped is two fold: first, a large portion of politically conservative audience members decided not to go see it the moment Ben Affleck was announced as Batman; why would conservatives refuse to watch Affleck? Because of the huge, massive snub Affleck made to Ronald Reagan at the closing of Argo in intentionally not reminding audiences that the Iranian hostages were released the day of Reagan's inauguration. That was a huge deal, and add Affleck's affair with his kids' nanny on top of that, then Affleck is a pretty rotten guy to conservatives. So, that's why it didn't do well with conservatives, who would have made up the massive backbone of people going to see the film. THEN, opening weekend, all the liberals went and saw it, and understood that it had been made for a politically conservative audience--that wasn't there because of Affleck--and when the liberals started complaining that it "wasn't any good" because it was politically conservative, then conservatives who boycotted felt justified in not having attended. That's my theory, anyway.
This leaves just Star Wars VIII. There is a possibility that Star Wars won't even be in the top five, however: you may recall a nasty rumor started by Mark Hamill that Luke Skywalker is gay. IF the franchise writes this into the story line, there will be a consumer backlash. It will still do well, but it won't be the top grosser of the year. People do not go out to support gay actors/characters, but they will stay in to boycott them. IF they don't mess up the story line, Star Wars is likely, again, to be the top grosser next year.
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The Fine Art Diner