Tag Archives: Isle of Dogs

Wes Anderson Films Ranked

Wes Anderson Ranked

With his latest movie The French Dispatch out now, I thought it was the best time to rank director Wes Anderson’s filmography.

No one makes movies like Wes Anderson, very few directors’ works are as instantly recognisable as his. From the symmetrical framing, colour palette, eccentric sense of humour, blending melancholy and humour, and large casts full of A list acting talents, he is undeniably distinct as a filmmaker, and one of the most compelling working today. Even in his weakest efforts, there’s something to love in each of them.

Here’s a ranking of his 10 feature films, from worst to best.

10. Bottle Rocket

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I think I’m confident in saying that most people who’ve seen Bottle Rocket would consider it one of if not the weakest movie from Wes Anderson, and I’m in this group of people. It is his first movie and feels the least like his other movies. With that said, I do think that it is worth watching, it’s interesting to see how it started, and it’s a good movie in itself.

Much of the movie isn’t what you’d expect from a Wes Anderson film (the dialogue for instance). However, if you’ve seen any of his other movies you can pick up on certain elements that would evolve into his trademarks, with the comedy, quirky characters, and even the use of colour. The character driven story is decent for what it is and is mostly paced well, but the plot probably the weakest part of the movie as it’s only mildly interesting. Despite some of the flaws, like the slower second act, there’s good stuff here. The movie is reasonably entertaining and funny throughout, and the cast are good, especially Luke and Owen Wilson. Wes Anderson hadn’t figured out his style at this point, but from this movie it still clear that he’s talented, and his work here is pretty solid for a first time filmmaker. Really good directorial debut overall.

My review of Bottle Rocket

9. The Darjeeling Limited

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The Darjeeling Limited is likely Wes Anderson’s simplest movie, it was okay, but by the end I felt like it was really missing something from it. While it does contain some of the familiar Anderson aspects including the quirky dialogue and the comedy, they don’t work quite as well in this movie. I do appreciate the smaller and more personal scale that the movie takes, but it does feel a bit bland in portions. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I was outright bored while watching, but I was close to it. The writing and story were the weakest parts for me, which is quite unfortunate really since its usually pretty strong in Anderson’s movies. I was paying attention to what was happening with the story and characters, but I didn’t feel particularly engaged or invested.

Not to say that this movie is bad by any means. The movie is about three brothers with grief travelling with baggage (both physical and emotional), it was heartwarming in parts and there are some moments that are strong. The acting is also great from Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman, all delivering on their parts. The direction is also pretty good from Wes, even though it is definitely more scaled back compared to his other movies. The cinematography and use of colour particularly makes it a stunning movie to watch. I think The Darjeeling Limited is still decent enough, and it has some solid moments. However, I still think it’s one of his worst movies, and it’s not one that I’m particularly inclined to revisit.

My review of The Darjeeling Limited

8. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

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The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is one of Wes Anderson’s more unusual movies, one which initially was a box office flop and gathered a mixed response, but now is viewed more positively by critics and audiences. I do feel mixed on some parts of the movie, there was something that prevented me from being fully invested in what was happening. The script could’ve been tighter, the plot being loose isn’t a problem but it really only works if I’m invested in what was happening. Unfortunately I just wasn’t, and it wasn’t helped by the slow pacing. I also felt that something felt quite empty to the characters and story, at least on this first viewing. There are definitely some moments of the story which worked greatly but I wouldn’t say that it worked on the whole.

Despite all that, I really do admire the ambition on display. Wes Anderson went wild with the budget and put it to great use, especially with the production design. It does have Anderson’s familiar style and strengths, it was eccentric, quirky and visually pleasing, and the dialogue is good. The cast is massive, and while some of them aren’t seen as much as you’d like, Bill Murray and Willem Dafoe stand out as being particularly great at the very least. There are some entertaining moments and again some character and story moments which genuinely work. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is a bit of a mess at times, but when it’s great, it’s really great. I don’t feel inclined to watch it again, but I get the feeling that I might ease into the movie more upon repeat viewings.

My review of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

7. Moonrise Kingdom

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While it wasn’t the first Wes Anderson movie I watched, Moonrise Kingdom was the first movie I watched from him when I was aware of him as a director. It’s pretty good, even if I do have some issues with it. It is a straightforward and simplistic coming of age story, and I was generally entertained, though I wouldn’t say I was invested with the story or characters. Tonally its inconsistent (not in a good way), and the pacing is all over the place. I find that I’m really only invested with the story and characters in half of Anderson’s filmography, and I just couldn’t get into them with Moonrise Kingdom.

As expected, it has all the Wes Anderson aspects, quirky, funny, and deadpan dialogue, and unusual characters. Clearly though, there was a lot of passion put into it, even if I didn’t care much for the story or characters. The large cast are all great, including the child actors who do a good job in their parts. The highlights of the cast for me were Edward Norton and Bruce Willis, both unexpected yet fantastic fits for a Wes Anderson movie. The movie is shot well and is visually stunning, with vibrant colours, and familiar shot compositions for the director. The lower budget adds a lot to the feeling of being a relatively smaller movie. I do think Moonrise Kingdom is worth watching, it is pretty good. I just don’t have much to say about it, and I don’t love it as much as other people. I will say that if you’re looking to get into Wes Anderson as a filmmaker, I wouldn’t recommend watching this first.

My review of Moonrise Kingdom

6. Isle of Dogs

The second of Wes Anderson’s animated movies is Isle of Dogs released in 2018, which was really good. There were some slight issues I had, there were an overuse of flashbacks, and a lot of the side storylines and supporting characters, which the movie occasionally focused on, weren’t nearly as interesting as the main storyline and characters. On the whole though, I enjoyed watching it.

Once again, Isle of Dogs is an original and unique story from Wes Anderson, filled with quirky characters and deadpan humour and dialogue. The story itself surprisingly gets dark at some points, despite being a kids animated movie, and one involving dogs. There’s a great voice cast in Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murry, Jeff Goldblum, Greta Gerwig and more. Of course another highlight of the movie is that of the animation, which manages to be even better than Anderson’s work on Fantastic Mr. Fox. Like that other movie, despite being an animated film, it still felt like something made by Wes Anderson, even just looking at the direction from the framing, editing, shot composition and the like. Overall, a very good time.

My review of Isle of Dogs

5. Fantastic Mr. Fox

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It’s rare that live action filmmakers who make the shift to an animated movie make said animated movies with the exact same style. Anderson pulls it off however, and in fact delivers one of his best movies.

A common theme amongst most of these movies in this list is that they are distinctly Wes Anderson movie, and Fantastic Mr. Fox is no exception. There’s a great cast involved (including George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Willem Dafoe), who give their respective characters distinct personalities and traits with their perfect voice performances and comedic timing. The story is fast paced and full of energy, it’s witty, charming, funny and all-around entertaining. And of course, the movie is incredibly well animated, with Anderson’s style perfectly translating into stop motion animation. Even though Isle of Dogs from an animation standpoint is better, FMF’s animation still holds up pretty well over a decade later. Fantastic Mr. Fox is also a movie that both children and adults can like but honestly, I think that adults would like it more and get more out of it. I might be stretching a bit, but I think this might be among my favourite animated movies.

My review of Fantastic Mr. Fox

4. Rushmore

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Rushmore is Wes Anderson’s second movie, and it put him on the map as someone to pay attention to. While he’s still forming his own style with this coming-of-age movie, he is more confident in his direction over his last movie. As someone who never saw it until somewhat recently, I really liked it.

The script is finely tuned to near perfection. It is funny and entertaining yet deeper than it initially appears. It jumps between being comedic, pessimistic, hopeful, sad and more, and it is all balanced out well. The characters are eccentric and quirky, yet endearing and memorable. Jason Schwartzman shines in the lead role, and Bill Murray is also great in his supporting role. Anderson’s directing style is still finding itself, but you can definitely recognise some of the elements which would go on to evolve to that point, very well made. As far as coming of age movies go, Rushmore is probably among my favourites in that subgenre.

My review of Rushmore

3. The French Dispatch

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Wes Anderson’s latest film made it into the top 3 of this list. This is quite possibly the most Wes Anderson movie ever and that’s saying a lot. While it might be on the more divisive end of his filmography, I honestly think he delivers some of his finest work here.

An anthology movie made up of shorter stories, I found all of them compelling to watch. It is messy and disjointed especially in tone, but that’s to be expected of an anthology movie. The French Dispatch is very delightful to watch with some great humour. Not only that but it feels very passionate, and it’s also very tender and heartfelt across all these stories. The movie also has by far Anderson’s largest cast yet, and while some of the actors like Christoph Waltz and Saoirse Ronan are regulated to mere cameos, they are all welcome additions. All the actors (especially Benicio del Toro and Jeffrey Wright) are great, with not a single weak link. The direction from Anderson is so much his style that it almost borders on self parody. He even does things that he hasn’t done before playing around with looks and filmmaking styles (including aspect ratio changes and switching between animation and live action). All in all, The French Dispatch is firmly one of my favourite Wes Anderson films, and was even better than I was expecting.

My review of The French Dispatch

2. The Royal Tenenbaums

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The Royal Tenenbaums has often been called one of Anderson’s best movies, and for very good reason. This family drama was one that hooked me as soon as it started, and I was consistently entertained and invested in it from beginning to end.

The Royal Tenenbaums has one of Wes Anderson’s best scripts, and it features a lot of his trademarks. It is quite entertaining and funny at times, however it is more of a drama than a comedy, and in fact was sadder than expected. The most surprising aspect was that it works really well on an emotional level, with there being an underlying feeling of sadness amongst most of the characters, and it even touches on some serious themes and topics. There is a great tonal balance between comedy and drama. You are engaged with what’s going on with the plot, as well as with the very well realised characters. The ensemble cast as expected are all great, from Gwyneth Paltrow to Luke Wilson and especially Gene Hackman. Wes Anderson directed the movie excellently with his distinct style, it’s aesthetically pleasing and with a lot of attention to detail. I thoroughly loved The Royal Tenenbaums, and I can see myself loving it more the more I come back to it.

My review of The Royal Tenenbaums

1. The Grand Budapest Hotel

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The Grand Budapest Hotel was one of the earliest movies I’ve seen from Wes Anderson, I really liked it when I got to watch it in cinemas in 2014. While I was catching up with watching Anderson’s other movies, it still seemed to remain my favourite of his. A rewatch confirmed it as being not only firmly my favourite of his films, but also one of my favourite movies of all time.

As expected, the movie feels quite original, the story is heartfelt, charming and endearing, and it features quirky and entertaining characters. It had me invested from beginning to end and was endlessly entertaining. It really gave a sense of adventure and escapism, while having melancholic and darker qualities and themes that you don’t expect at first. There is also a large and talented cast as expected from Wes Anderson, with the likes of Tony Revolori, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Adrien Brody, Saoirse Ronan and more delivering on their parts. The standout among them however is the pitch perfect acting from Ralph Fiennes, who gives one of the best performances in an Anderson movie. The direction and style are instantly recognisable and are some of Wes’s best work. It is visually stunning from the top-notch cinematography, to the beautiful and vibrant and production design, the great costume designs, and the many well filmed sequences. Wes Anderson took the best from his past movies and put it all into this one movie, I think this is his magnum opus. It honestly is a great place to start if you haven’t watched any of his past movies yet.

My review of The Grand Budapest Hotel

What do you think of Wes Anderson? How would you rank his films?

Isle of Dogs (2018) Review

Time: 101 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1] Violence and Coarse Language
Cast:
Bryan Cranston as Chief
Koyu Rankin as Atari Kobayashi
Edward Norton as Rex
Bob Balaban as King
Bill Murray as Boss
Jeff Goldblum as Duke
Kunichi Nomura as Mayor Kobayashi
Akira Takayama as Major Domo
Greta Gerwig as Tracy Walker
Frances McDormand as Interpreter Nelson
Akira Ito as Professor Watanabe
Scarlett Johansson as Nutmeg
Harvey Keitel as Gondo
F. Murray Abraham as Jupiter
Yoko Ono as Assistant Scientist Yoko Ono
Tilda Swinton as Oracle
Ken Watanabe as Head Surgeon
Mari Natsuki as Auntie
Fisher Stevens as Scrap
Nijiro Murakami as Editor Hiroshi
Liev Schreiber as Spots
Courtney B. Vance as the narrator
Yojiro Noda as News Anchor
Frank Wood as Simul-Translate Machine
Director: Wes Anderson

When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island, 12-year-old Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies across the river in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.

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I was looking forward to Isle of Dogs, it was one of my most anticipated films of 2018. For whatever reason, I’ve been having to wait for this film to release here when it was already released a couple months prior everywhere else, however it’s finally here. I’ve seen a few films from Wes Anderson (Grand Budapest Hotel, Fantastic Mr Fox and Moonrise Kingdom) and I liked what I’ve seen from him. With this being the second time he stop motion animated a movie (with the first being Fantastic Mr Fox), I was confident that this would be a solid movie, and that it was. It was pretty much what I expected and maybe a little bit more.

Isle of Dogs is an hour and 40 minutes long and from start to finish I was entertained. You can tell that it is definitely a Wes Anderson story. It has a very unique and original story with quirky characters, deadpan humour which is really funny and unique and is just entertaining overall. I didn’t really have too many faults with it, though there might’ve been a slight overuse of flashbacks, which does halt the story at times. Also some places and characters that the film at times cuts to (AKA characters that aren’t the main characters) really weren’t as interesting as the main storyline/characters. Isle of Dogs is kind of a kids movie, though it does go a little unexpectedly dark at times, so if you have some kids thinking that they’re going in expecting a cute film about a bunch of talking dogs, let’s just say that it won’t be what they are expecting. Aside from some minor faults, Isle of Dogs has a pretty solid story.

There is a lot of voice actors involved (Wes Anderson always seems to have a large and talented cast in his films). Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Liev Schreiber and much more consist of the voice cast, and they all did good jobs as their characters, with Cranston being a particular standout.

As I said, this is the second time that Wes Anderson has directed a stop motion animated movie and once again he did a great job. Fantastic Mr Fox was good, but his handling of stop motion animation was even better here with Isle of Dogs, it is a great looking film. Also on top of the movie feeling like a Wes Anderson written movie, it also feels like a Wes Anderson directed movie. Everything from the framing, camera position, editing, everything here really feels like his film. Now if you’re not familiar with Wes Anderson’s style in his films, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. It’s really difficult to describe because you can’t compare his movies to anyone else’s. If you haven’t seen any of his movies before, I do recommend giving this a go. If you can’t get into Wes Anderson’s other movies because of his style, chances are Isle of Dogs won’t win you over. There was an interesting decision made, all the dialogue from the dogs are in English, however most of the dialogue by the humans are in Japanese, and a significant amount of it isn’t translated into English. It works most of the time to show the language barrier, but I only say that it works most of the time because often times someone else has to translate what they are saying in English because some of the dialogue contains plot details that we the audience need to know. The film tries to have a mix of untranslated dialogue that we don’t hear (and yet convey the message visually so we still understand what’s going on) while having English exposition explaining everything to us and it didn’t quite work as well as I think it was intended to. I think it would’ve been better sticking with one way, whether that be all human dialogue in Japanese, Japanese dialogue with subtitles or all the dialogue in English, because it felt jarring when they kept changing their method of human dialogue. It’s not a major flaw with the movie, just something that stands out that is worth addressing.

On the whole, Isle of Dogs really worked well. It was entertaining, I could get invested in the story and I just enjoyed watching it from start to finish. If you’re a Wes Anderson fan, I think you’ll definitely dig this. If you haven’t seen any of his movies before, I’d say that Isle of Dogs is a good place to start with his movies. His films may not appeal to everyone but I recommend giving it a go at the very least.

Top 25 Anticipated Movies of 2018

I’m currently catching up on the 2017 movies (and by that I mean impatiently waiting for some of them to actually release in New Zealand) and I thought I might as well do my list of movies that I’m most looking forward to. Of course I’m not aware of every single movie that’s coming out in 2018 but I’ve done some searching around in terms of films coming out this year, and this is my personal list.

25. Mary, Queen of Scots

I first heard about this movie with the two leads, Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie being involved. It takes quite a bit for a period piece film to interest me and it seemed that Ronan and Robbie were enough to do that.

Mary Stuart’s (Saoirse Ronan) attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England (Margot Robbie), finds her condemned to years of imprisonment before facing execution.

I’ll admit, it’s just really the cast that interests me, particularly Saoirse Ronan (Mary, Queen of Scots) and Margot Robbie (Queen Elizabeth I) and also David Tennant and Guy Pearce. I don’t know much about Mary, Queen of Scots or Queen Elizabeth I and I’ve not seen anything from director Josie Rourke. It’s really just the cast that makes me has my interest, I have no doubt that they will be great in it. Whether the film on the whole will be great remains to be seen.

Mary, Queen of Scots is set for release on November 1st 2018

24. Ant Man and the Wasp

I personally liked Ant Man, I wouldn’t call it one of the best of the MCU but it was reasonably entertaining. I didn’t really know how excited I would be for a sequel but there’s enough things here to interest me.

In the aftermath of ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a Super Hero and a father. As he struggles to re-balance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from their past.

Along with returning actors like Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena and Michael Douglas we also have some new actors involved with Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne and Walton Goggins. As for the plot, along with Evangeline Lilly’s character of Hope becoming The Wasp, the film will apparently involve the quantum realm, which was explored briefly in the first film. This allows for more crazy visuals and creativity and I’m completely on board for that. I’m not expecting anything immensely great from Ant Man and the Wasp but it should be something rather good.

Ant Man and the Wasp is set for release on July 5th 2018.

23. Mortal Engines

I first heard about Mortal Engines when I heard that it was going to be a fantasy film produced by Peter Jackson. Although I haven’t read the books that it is based on, the premise is enough to get me at least somewhat interested in it.

Many years after the “Sixty Minute War,” cities survive a now desolate Earth by moving around on giant wheels attacking and devouring smaller towns to replenish their resources.

We got a teaser trailer a little while ago, it looks pretty good but outside of the premise I don’t really know what to expect. The only actors involved that I recognise are Hugo Weaving and Stephen Lang. Because of Peter Jackson’s involvement however, I’m on board with this movie.

Mortal Engines is set for release on December 13th 2018.

22. Mary Magdalene

Normally I’m not interested in biblical stories, however both the cast’s involvement as well as the director got me interested in this movie. There’s a lot of talent involved and that makes me intrigued to see what this movie is like.

Set in the Holy Land in the first century C.E., a young woman (Rooney Mara) leaves her small fishing village and traditional family behind to join a radical new social movement. At its head is a charismatic leader, Jesus of Nazareth (Joaquin Phoenix), who promises that the world is changing. Mary is searching for a new way of living, and an authenticity that is denied her by the rigid hierarchies of the day. As the notoriety of the group spread and more are drawn to follow Jesus’ inspirational message, Mary’s spiritual journey places her at the heart of a story that will lead to the capital city of Jerusalem, where she must confront the reality of Jesus’ destiny and her own place within it.

Garth Davis had previously worked on Lion, so that already has me somewhat curious in checking out the Mary Magdalene movie. Also as I previously mentioned, the cast is excellent. We’ve got Rooney Mara as Mary Magdalene, Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus Christ and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Peter. All of these are very talented actors. As I said, the story didn’t initially interest me and the trailers have done really nothing to elevate my anticipation levels but to see all these talented people involved makes me interested in checking out this movie.

Mary Magdalene will be released in March 29th, 2018.

21. Solo: A Star Wars Story

It’s not usual for a Star Wars movie to be low on my anticipated films lists, it was already low on my anticipated films list because it feels quite unnecessary to do a Han Solo movie. My scepticism of the film was worsened as directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were replaced by Ron Howard halfway during filming (if you haven’t heard about all that drama look into it). However, I can’t deny that I’m still looking forward to it, it’s a Star Wars movie, I can’t help it.

The story is centered on a young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich), the roguish smuggler who later meets Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker in the Mos Eisley Cantina.

Solo: A Star Wars Story does have some good actors involved like Alden Ehrenreich (as Han Solo), Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson and more. It is also written by Empire Strikes Back writer Lawrence Kasdan and Ron Howard can direct some good things. So there are good elements here for a good movie. The problem is that the whole movie just feels so unnecessary, I honestly have no idea how this film will turn out. But I can guarantee that I’m going to watch this on the day of its release.

Solo: A Star Wars story is set for release on May 24th 2018.

20. Isle of Dogs

I’ve admittedly only seen a few of Wes Anderson movies, that being the Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonlight Kingdom and Fantastic Mr Fox. However I really liked those movies, so I can imagine that I’ll really like his next film, Isle of Dogs.

In the future, an outbreak of canine flu leads the mayor of a Japanese city to banish all dogs to an island that’s a garbage dump. The outcasts must soon embark on an epic journey when a 12-year-old boy arrives on the island to find his beloved pet.

The voice cast is long and includes Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Billy Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Ken Watanabe, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Harvey Keitel, Live Schreiber, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton and F. Murray Abraham. On top of that, it’s a Wes Anderson movie and while I haven’t seen many of his films, I really dig his unique style and this will be his second animated/stop motion movie after Fantastic Mr Fox. With Isle of Dogs, I’m expecting another quirky and unique film from Wes Anderson that will probably be one of the highlights of 2018.

Isle of Dogs is set for release on May 19th 2018.

19. You Were Never Really Here

I have heard a lot of buzz about this movie. At the Cannes Film Festival it won best screenplay and best actor and those who have seen it have loved it. With that and the trailers, I have to say I’m quite intrigued with this movie.

A contract killer (Joaquin Phoenix) uncovers a conspiracy while trying to save a kidnapped teen from a life of prostitution.

Joaquin Phoenix is a phenomenal actor and he without a doubt has delivered an excellent performance here. Aside from that, all of my hype for this movie came from the trailers and all the hype I’ve heard about it. This film looks very stylised, visually stunning and brutal. I don’t know what to expect at all, even after watching the trailers but it must be something special to be already generating this amount of buzz.

You Were Never Really Here is set for release on April 6th 2018.

18. Halloween

I found it weird that we are getting a Halloween movie now 9 years after the last Halloween movie ( 15 years if we aren’t including the Rob Zombie films). However there’s a lot here that has me interested. First of all, it’s not a remake or reboot, second of all its going to be a direct sequel to the original Halloween that completely disregards the sequels. That in itself has me confident.

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

One of the things that has me interested in Halloween 2018 is the director. David Gordon Green (who also wrote the screenplay alongside Danny McBride) is a pretty good director with Pineapple Express, Stronger but especially Joe, so I’m confident that he will do a great job with Halloween. Jamie Lee Curtis also returns to reprise her role as Laurie Strode, this version of Laurie has her confronting Myers 40 years later and so it’ll be interesting to see what direction they will take her character. Honestly, I’m not quite sure what to expect but everything so far looks great and as someone who liked the original film and hasn’t seen the sequels or remakes, I’m looking forward to it.

Halloween is set for release on October 18th 2018

17. Mowgli

In 2016, Disney had their own live action Jungle Book movie, which I liked quite a bit. 2 years later, Warner Brothers have their own take on Jungle Book coming with Andy Serkis directing, this time titled as Mowgli. It seems weird seeing another Jungle Book movie a mere 2 years after the last one but looking at the people involved and most of all how different the take on the story will be, I can’t help but be excited for it.

The story follows the upbringing of the human child Mowgli (Rohan Chand), raised by a wolf pack in the jungles of India. As he learns the often harsh rules of the jungle, under the tutelage of a bear named Baloo (Andy Serkis) and a panther named Bagheera (Christian Bale), Mowgli becomes accepted by the animals of the jungle as one of their own. All but one: the fearsome tiger Shere Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch). But there may be greater dangers lurking in the jungle, as Mowgli comes face to face with his human origins.

First of all there is a lot of talent involved. Andy Serkis directs and along with him, Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hollander, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, Jack Reynor and Eddie Marsan all do motion capture performances. However, the thing that’s most interesting to me at least is the different take its going to have. This version of The Jungle Book story is a more genuine adaptation of the classic novel, and is darker. On top of that it is shot with a mix of motion capture and live locations and knowing Serkis’s familiarity with motion capture, that aspect will undoubtedly be superb. I’m pretty sure that Mowgli is going to end up surprising a lot of people who are just expecting a retread of 2016’s Jungle Book.

Mowgli is set for release on October 18th 2018.

16. God Particle

This film was originally set for release in 2017. So below is pretty much my same thoughts.
Despite being titled God Particle, it is part of the Cloverfield trilogy which for whatever reason don’t really connect to each other but they actually might. However I’m not interested in the movie because of the connection, I’m interested because of the premise and the cast, also JJ Abrams is producing.

Astronauts must fight for their lives after making a terrifying discovery in outer space.

I have no idea how this movie will connect to Cloverfield or 10 Cloverfield Lane, however either way I’m sure this movie will be great on its own. I just hope the ‘terrifying discovery’ is a twist that pays off. This movie also stars Elizabeth Debicki, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Daniel Bruhl, David Oyelowo and many more talented actors. The director, Julius Onah, is someone who haven’t done many movies but then again that’s the case with 10 Cloverfield Lane’s director, so that doesn’t really concern me. It does concern me that God Particle was pushed from 2017 to February 2018, only to be pushed back a further 2 months but hopefully that doesn’t say anything about the movie itself. Overall God Particle is a movie I’m cautiously curious about, and I can only hope it pays off.

God Particle is set for release on April 20th 2018 (unless it gets pushed back again).

15. Mission Impossible 6

The Mission Impossible franchise has been great recently, with 4 and 5 being among the best in the series. Naturally with the same team returning for the sequel, I’m on board.

Christopher McQuarrie returns to direct and write Mission Impossible 6 and while I liked the tradition of each Mission Impossible film having a different director, I loved McQuarrie’s work on Rogue Nation and so I’m happy to see him return. Along with the returning cast with Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Michelle Monaghan, Alec Baldwin and Sean Harris, we also have Henry Cavill and Angela Bassett, who will no doubt prove to be good additions to the movie and franchise. I don’t know yet what the plot will be about but I don’t really need to know, if it’s anything like Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation, then I’m happy.

Mission Impossible 6 is set for release on August 2nd 2018

14. Deadpool 2

While I don’t love Deadpool as much as I did when I first saw it in the cinemas, I still really like it. Along with some notable X-Men characters being introduced for the sequel, John Wick director David Leitch is involved and that instantly increased my interest in the film. Hopefully it’ll try some new things while still feeling like a Deadpool film.

After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.

Along with the returning cast of Ryan Reynolds (who is a perfect Deadpool), Morena Baccarin and Brianna Hildebrand, we have new actors and characters with Josh Brolin as Cable and Zazie Beetz as Domino, although I haven’t read comics involving them, they are a big deal, so it’s going to be interesting to see what parts they are going to play here. Instead of Tim Story who did the first Deadpool, the sequel is directed by David Leitch, who had co-directed John Wick and directed Atomic Blonde, so that makes me quite excited for this film. At the very least the action is going to be something special.

Deadpool 2 is set for release on May 31st 2018.

UPDATE:

Deadpool 2 is now set for release on May 18th 2018.

13. The Predator

I’ve only seen the original Predator, I haven’t seen Predator 2 or Predators but I heard that they weren’t all that great. 8 years after the last attempt at a solo Predator movie, Shane Black is here to direct The Predator. I gotta say, I’m intrigued to see Black has planned for the next Predator movie.

The cast alone is so great, with Boyd Holbrook, Jacob Tremblay, Yvonne Strahovski, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, Trevante Rhodes and more. I’m a big fan of Shane Black, who’s directed Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3 and The Nice Guys, so I’m happy to see him take on the Predator franchise. On top of his credible work, he also starred in the original Predator, so that helps a lot. Whether this is a full on dark and brutal Predator film or a action comedy Predator film, I can’t wait to see what Black has in store for us.

The Predator is set for release on August 2nd 2018.

12. X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Although I gave it a lot of love upon its release, X-Men Apocalypse was a little disappointing (even though I still like it). It could’ve and should’ve been so much more. It’s follow up, Dark Phoenix has the potential to be something good. Admittedly I’m a little worried about some things but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for it.

Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world.

We get the returning surviving cast from Apocalypse with James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner and more, and we also have Jessica Chastain as apparently the main antagonist of the film. I do have a few concerns, one of them is Simon Kinberg as the director. He has written and produced a lot of movies (including most of the X-Men movies) but this is his directional debut, so I have no idea how he’ll do at it. However, Kinberg himself has discussed some of the things that didn’t work in Apocalypse. He said that it became more about visual effects than emotion and character, and that with Dark Phoenix he wanted to focus more on the characters. This give me some hope for Dark Phoenix. Along with that, it’s an X-Men movie, I can’t help but be interested to see what happens here.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix is set for release on November 1st 2018.

11. Thoroughbreds

I’ll be honest, I really only heard of this movie because Anya Taylor-Joy, Olivia Cooke and Anton Yelchin (in one of his last film appearances) are in it, so that had me already interested. After looking at the plot and trailers as well however, it’s one of my most anticipated films of the whole year.

Two upper-class teenage girls (Anya Taylor-Joy, Olivia Cooke) in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. Together, they hatch a plan to solve both of their problems — no matter what the cost.

As I said, the cast with Anya Taylor-Joy, Olivia Cooke, Anton Yelchin and Paul Sparks will no doubt give some great performances. I can’t describe why but something about the premise and the style shown in the trailers also has me very intrigued. This is director/writer Cory Finley’s first film but early reactions to Thoroughbreds have also been quite positive, so that has me pretty excited for it.

Thoroughbreds is set for release on March 9th 2018.

10. Sicario 2: Soldado

I was pondering for a while whether I was going to put this on the list. Sicario was one of the best films of 2015 but a sequel really wasn’t that necessary. However there’s enough talent involved with it that I’m willing to give it a chance.

The drug war on the US-Mexico border has escalated as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border. To fight the war, federal agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) re-teams with the mercurial Alejandro (Benicio del Toro).

Along with the sequel being unnecessary, not only is Sicario lead Emily Blunt not returning, director Denis Villeneuve isn’t returning either and its Stefano Sollima who is in charge. I don’t know anything noteworthy that he’s done. From the original film, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin return, as well as writer Taylor Sheridan. Sheridan has written a number of great films and del Toro and Brolin were great in the original film (especially del Toro). The trailer also looked pretty good, a little more action oriented than Sicario but nonetheless interesting enough. Despite the sequel being unnecessary and having a terrible title (it should’ve been just called Soldado), I am still cautiously optimistic and am willing to give it a watch, I’m just not expecting it to be at the same level as the original.

Sicario 2: Soldado is set for release on June 28th 2018.

9. The New Mutants

Fox seems to be making a lot of unique comic book movies recently, an R rated comedy with Deadpool, a gritty western with Logan and now we get a horror with The New Mutants. This is unlike any other comic book movie that has come beforehand. I’m always interested in comic book movies and I’m even more interested in comic book movies that try new things, and New Mutants seems to be doing just that.

Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves.

First of all it has some very talented actors with Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams and Charlie Heaton being a few notable stars. The director and writer is Josh Boone, who directed and wrote The Fault in Our Stars (I’ve never seen it but I heard its good), and apparently New Mutants is inspired by the works of Stephen King and John Hughes. With a smaller (but talented) cast and most of the film taking place in one location, it seems to be a much smaller film which is definitely welcome given some of the more larger than life comic book movies recently. The main point of interest however is that it will be the first horror based comic book movie and from the trailer, it seems to be going all in. Even if it just ends up being a teen horror movie with mutants, it’s something that hasn’t happened in the comic book movie genre, so I’m definitely looking forward to it.

The New Mutants is set for release on April 12th 2018.

UPDATE:
As of the 12th of January 2018, The New Mutants has been pushed back an astonishing 10 months to February 22nd 2019.
Apparently, after NEW MUTANTS tested well but not great, the studio decided to actually embrace the film’s horror elements and beef up the scares in the wake of the success of IT and GET OUT last year (I guess the movie didn’t have as much horror elements as much as the trailer suggested. I am definitely concerned seeing as this movie was pushed back 10 months for reshoots, it seems that they are going to be changing a lot. And it is disappointing that we are going to have to wait for pretty much a year before we get to see it. On the other hand, it could potentially lead to a more unique movie, with it being more horror based. Let’s just hope that these reshoots improve the movie and aren’t just a reactionary decision by the studio, Justice League has now made me concerned everytime a studio decides to do reshoots to change a movie.

The New Mutants is now set for release on February 22nd 2019

8. Venom

I’m surprised that this movie is even on this list. The initial idea many months ago sounded like it could have some problems. First of all, it’s Sony who’s creating this (and as evidence by the treatment of some of their franchises, it doesn’t always work out well), second of all Sony seem to be creating their own Spider-Man universe without Spider-Man. However at the same time there is so much things about it that has me intrigued.

It is the first supervillain movie (I’m not quite sure if Suicide Squad counts) and with the R rating (unless they make any changes) it will allow them to go full out dark, kinda like what Fox has been doing with some of their recent Marvel movies with Deadpool and Logan. With Tom Hardy as Venom and a cast that also includes Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate and Woody Harrelson, we’ve got a large amount of talented actors involved. The director, Ruben Fleischer has done Zombieland and Gangster Squad, so I don’t know how it will turn out. That goes for the whole movie honestly, it’s an unusual project and it can turn out many different ways but at the same time, out of all the comic book movies this year it’s probably the one that interests me the most.

Venom is set for release on October 4th 2018.

7. Backseat

Backseat is about Dick Cheney, the Vice President to George W. Bush. A whole film based around Dick Cheney already has a lot of potential but add on top of that the talented cast and director and it has the makings of a great film.

The story of Dick Cheney (Christian Bale), as he goes from CEO of Halliburton to Vice President under George W. Bush, where he was a key supporter of the war in Iraq

Adam McKay proved himself to be not only a good director but a great director with The Big Short. Backseat also has a fantastic cast with Christian Bale as Dick Cheney, Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld, Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush and Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney. Bale particularly seems like he’s going to give an impressive performance, especially in how unrecognisable he is as Dick Cheney just in terms of physical appearance. Although I admittedly don’t know a whole lot about Dick Cheney, from what I can tell Adam McKay got a lot of material to work with and he certainly has a lot of talent to work with. Backseat definitely seems like it could be one of the highlights of 2018 films.

Backseat is set for release in 2018.

6. Avengers: Infinity War

I must preface this with that I know that this movie could fail absolutely horribly. It has so many characters involved with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, the Guardians of the Galaxy and seemingly most of the main MCU characters. If it somehow works out well, it will be a remarkable achievement. However I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t excited, and the first trailer does look great.

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet — the evil Thanos (Josh Brolin). On a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones, Thanos plans to use the artifacts to inflict his twisted will on reality. The fate of the planet and existence itself has never been more uncertain as everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment.

Infinity War is directed by The Russo Brothers, who have already directed 2 MCU films: a surprisingly great film that’s the best of the MCU (The Winter Soldier) and a decent but disappointing movie (Civil War). Their involvement leaves me with mixed feelings, I don’t think they did well in handling multiple characters in Civil War and they are handling even more characters in Infinity War. With that said, there’s another Avengers movie coming out next year, the Infinity Gauntlet story is basically stretched over 2 movies, so it could work. Even though I have many worries, I can’t help but be excited, this is the 10th year for the MCU and Infinity War is ultimately the culmination of the multiple films in the series. I just hope The Russo Brothers can pull it off.

Avengers: Infinity War is set for release on April 25th 2018.

5. Black Panther

Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther was one of, if not the best part of Captain America Civil War, and it made me extremely excited to see what his solo film had in store for us. The trailers have only heightened my anticipation and with all the talent involved, I can’t see this movie not being something magnificent.

Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) springs into action when an old enemy (Michael B. Jordan) threatens the fate of his nation and the world.

Ryan Coogler has done some great work with Creed and Fruitvale Station, so naturally with him helming the movie, its in great hands. Along with Chadwick Boseman returning to the role of Black Panther we have a great supporting cast with Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman, Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Daniel Kaluuya, Andy Serkis and more. Honestly this film has the potential to be the best MCU film yet, and I mean like Winter Soldier level. At the very least I’m pretty sure it’ll end up being one of the best in the series.

Black Panther is set for release on February 15th 2018.

4. First Man

With First Man featuring a great cast and be a story about Neil Armstrong gets me interests me. But having Damien Chazelle direct this film increases my anticipation level even higher, his involvement was pretty much all I needed for me to be on board for it.

A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling), and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

There is a great cast involved, with Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong and Claire Foy, Jon Bernthal, Jason Clarke, Corey Stoll, Cory Michael Smith, Kyle Chandler and Pablo Schrieber in supporting roles. This naturally had me interested but its Damien Chazelle’s involvement that really has me pumped. His direction of both Whiplash and La La Land, both excellent films, has me interested in every film he’s involved with. It is strange seeing Chazelle take on a non music film but I have no doubt that First Man will be nothing less than great. Nonetheless I’m excited to see what Chazelle and co. are going to do.

First Man is set for release on October 11th 2018.

3. Annihilation

This is the next film by director Alex Garland, who’s last film was Ex Machina. Some have called the original novel its based on unfilmable, and there was some clashes over distribution of the film due to the potentially odd aspects, leading to it set to be released on Netflix. This has only intrigued me more, movies that have had a divisive and challenging response on people tend to interest me. Add a talented cast on top of that, and you get one of the most anticipated films of the year.

A biologist (Natalie Portman) searches for her missing husband (Oscar Isaac) while on an expedition with a secret agency and discovers a dangerous creature lurking in the wilderness.

Even from the two trailers I don’t have a clear idea what Annihilation is outside of its main premise but the talent involved is good. It’s got some really great actors with Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Oscar Isaac and of course Alex Garland is a very talented director. I have no idea what to expect with Annihilation but I’m board with whatever it is.

Annihilation is set for release on February 22nd 2018.

2. Aquaman

Aquaman is the only DCEU film released in 2018, which in some ways is good as it allows WB to get everything sorted out and sort out everything (which they really need to do as shown with Justice League). I liked Jason Momoa’s Aquaman in Justice League and I’m interested in seeing his own film, with all the talent involved it looks like it could be something special.

Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and to be a hero to the world.

James Wan has done great films in the past and although most of them are horror, Furious 6 has shown that he can do action as well. Along with Jason Momoa and Amber Heard who return from Justice League we have some more talented actors with Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Temuera Morrison and Dolph Lungren, and with that cast involved I’m looking forward to what film they are going to give us. My main concern like with any upcoming DCEU film, is that if it will receive studio interference, especially seeing as only 2 of the 5 films in the series didn’t have any kind of interference whatsoever. So as long as WB doesn’t try to mess with Wan’s vision, it should be something great.

Aquaman is set for release on December 20th 2018

1. Widows

Surprisingly, my most anticipated film of 2018 isn’t a comic book movie or a Star Wars movie. With a great director, writer and talented cast, Widows has so much potential. To be honest I’m not really sure what I’m expecting, but I think its going to be something incredible, given the people involved.

Set in contemporary Chicago, amidst a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities take fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.

Simply put, the talent involved is what has me most interested. Steve McQueen has directed 12 Years a Slave and Shame, two truly great and impactful films. The screenplay is also written by Gillian Flynn, who wrote and adapted her book Gone Girl into a great film directed by David Fincher. Here, she’s adapting the TV series of the same name (that I’ve never seen). Add on top of that a large and talented cast: yhis cast includes Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, Colin Farrell, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson, Robert Duvall, Carrie Coon, Jacki Weaver and Jon Bernthal. With that director, that writer and that large and talented cast, I can’t see Widows being anything less than incredible.

Widows is set for release on November 15th 2018.

What are your most anticipated films of 2018? Comment below and let me know.