5 most anticipated movies for the rest of 2016
The turning of the calendar to March indicates that we have survived another year of Hollywood’s flop season. Every year of cinema inevitably gets off to a slow start as studios reserve January and February to dump off the movies they wish had never happened. You can tell 2016 was no different by watching people do backflips to pretend “Deadpool” was a thing worth buzzing about. This most recent weekend was a clear indication that real movies are starting to be released, with critically-acclaimed horror sequel “10 Cloverfield Lane” as well as fun indie releases like “Hello, My Name is Doris” and “Creative Control.”
It seems like a better time than any to look ahead to what movies 2016 has waiting for us.
1. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
Release: June 3
The long-teased collaboration between former SNL-trio The Lonely Island and Judd Apatow sounded like one of many proposed Apatow projects that would never come to light. Luckily for everyone, the trailer dropped a few days ago and it is glorious.
Andy Samberg plays Conner4real, the world’s biggest pop star who, in the trailer, performs his hit song “Humble” with Adam Levine’s hologram. The film has an unreal cast, featuring Sarah Silverman, Bill Hader, Joan Cusack, Martin Sheen, Will Forte, and a variety of pop music figures playing themselves, most notably in the trailer: DJ Khaled.
“Popstar” is directed by Samberg’s Lonely Island teammates Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer. This will be their first feature-length collaboration, but they each have one underrated cult classic under their belt: Taccone’s “Macgruber” and Schaffer’s legitimate classic “Hot Rod.” Schaffer also directed 2012 Ben Stiller flick “The Watch” but we will just choose to ignore that part of his IMDB for this exercise.
The trailer suggests that this is the feature-length culmination of all of The Lonely Island’s best sensibilities from their pop-rap-parodying SNL days. Given the talent involved and the guidance of Judd Apatow, there is every reason to expect this to be the best comedy of the year.
2. The Conjuring 2
Release: June 10
Horror sequels never work. Horror sequels never work. Horror sequels never work.
You can repeat that to yourself as many times as you want, but after you watch the trailer for “The Conjuring 2,” you’re going to flip over to Fandango and see if advance tickets have gone on sale yet. It’s inevitable, and no one is judging you for it.
Love him or hate him, James Wan has been the essential horror director of the 21st century thus far. He brought us “Saw” and “Insidious” — both more influential than good — but then he brought us his crown jewel in “The Conjuring.” It’s a haunting and masterfully made horror flick that left me wanting more.
And sure, I was lulled into a false sense of security by the fun trailer for “Conjuring” spinoff “Annabelle,” but Wan wasn’t at the helm for that one. I’m confident “The Conjuring 2” will be worth the price of admission. I mean, my man pulled off “Furious 7.” What can’t he do?
3. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
Release: March 25
Haha. Just kidding. That would be crazy though, right?
3. “Everybody Wants Some”
Release: April 1
Richard Linklater’s resume is so strong it’s genuinely jarring to look at. It spans 25 years of almost inhuman consistency and an incredible variety of masterful work. His films span across many different genres but each have a similar core of humanity and gorgeous dialogue that place them all together in a genre of their own: “Linklater.”
Coming off of his biggest critical success and first "Best Picture" nomination for “Boyhood,” Linklater has decided to turn his lens towards the past: both the world’s and his own. “Everybody Wants Some” is a spiritual sequel to his breakthrough film “Dazed and Confused.” It’s a story set in the 1980s about a college men’s baseball team.
While it is unlikely to be as astoundingly distinct as “A Scanner Darkly” or as devastatingly beautiful as the “Before Sunrise” series, it does look like it is going to be Linklater. So it will probably be the best film of the year.
4. “Now You See Me 2”
Release: June 10
Yes. You can keep blinking as much as you want but this is not an illusion. It’s really happening.
Forgive me if you can for saving the best for fourth, but the long-awaited sequel to international sensation, “Now You See Me” is finally due to arrive. While the mysterious absence of Isla Fisher means only three of the Four Horsemen are set to ride again, the cast has been bolstered by the additions of Daniel Radcliffe and Lizzy Caplan.
The trailer gives away little about Caplan’s role, but it does appear you can pencil in Radcliffe for a godforsaken Oscar for this flick. He’s unleashed like the Tasmanian Devil at the end of the trailer and simply devours the competition.
The sequel unfortunately sports a new director whose biggest film previous was “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” but there is simply too much promise here to be screwed up. Realistically, how hard is it to say, “Hey, Jesse Eisenberg. Go be a magician for two hours.” Eisenberg is likely my favorite actor on planet Earth right now and I love watching him do anything, but I would be more than content if he played only magicians for the rest of his career.
Sorry, I really like “Now You See Me.”
5. Ouija 2
Release: October 21
Have you guys seen “Ouija?” For anyone who just answered no, you need to dial up Netflix or run to your nearest Blockbuster and remedy this immediately.
"Ouija" is a 2014 low-budget horror film and easily one of the biggest human rights travesties of the 21st century. It’s an hour and 29 minutes and watches like it’s 129 hours long. It makes no sense and lacks even one decent scare.
As we’ve already established, horror sequels never work. So that means “Ouija 2” is going to be WORSE than the original? I’ll see you on opening night.