Movies you must watch in 2017
Writer: Casey Chong
So many movies to watch in 2017!
With 2016 inching to a close, it's time to usher the brand new year of 2017.
This also means more new movies to look forward to. But with so many movies to choose from, it's impossible to list everything here.
Instead, we've compiled and handpicked our 15 most anticipated movies from the month of January till December 2017 according to its date of release.
Without further ado, here goes, the movies you MUST watch in 2017 are:
What is it all about?: In this third instalment of the "xXx" series, extreme sports maverick-turned-government operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) is back from exile, as he embarks on a deadly mission to recover a powerful weapon known as "Pandora's Box" with the help of his newly-recruited team of thrill-seeking professionals.
What's the buzz?: It's about time Vin Diesel returned to the "xXx" franchise after he opted to bow out of the 2005 sequel, "xXx: State Of The Union", and made way for Ice Cube instead. Not surprisingly, it didn't work out well. While director D.J. Caruso's filmography is erratic (remember that awful "I Am Number Four?"), he still made quite an impression helming the teenage Hitchcock-like modern thriller "Disturbia" and the techno actioner "Eagle Eye" with Shia LaBeouf. "xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage" also marks Caruso's biggest Hollywood project to date. If the movie is as good as the trailers shown so far, expect loads of extraordinary stunts, big action scenes and incredible fight choreography. Best of all, the upcoming third "xXx" movie features a fascinating roster of an international cast including Hong Kong's Donnie Yen, Thailand's Tony Jaa and India's Deepika Padukone.
What is it all about?: Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) must not only protect Gotham City from his adversaries like The Joker (Zach Galifianakis), but also learn how to cope with other responsibilities such as teamwork and raising his adopted boy, Dick Grayson a.k.a. Robin (Michael Cera).
What's the buzz?: Remember how "everything is awesome" in "The Lego Movie" three years ago? It was no doubt a witty yet entertaining 3D animated feature for the whole family. With the planned sequel still a long way to go, here comes a brand new Lego movie spinoff featuring Will Arnett reprising his role of Batman. As one of the co-stars who helped succeed "The Lego Movie", it's nice to see him given the limelight to lead a movie. With the help of a talented voice cast including Zach Galifianakis and Michael Cera as well as retaining the franchise's colourful animation style, it looks like it is set to rule the February box office.
What is it all about?: This third "Wolverine" solo movie sees the aging Logan (Hugh Jackman) and his old buddy/mentor Professor X (Patrick Stewart) protecting a young Logan-like female mutant named, Laura (Dafne Keen), from a sinister threat.
What's the buzz?: There are two things that place "Logan" as one of the highly-anticipated Hollywood blockbusters of 2017. First, it was inspired by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's acclaimed "Old Man Logan" comic-book series and of course, "Logan" will also mark Hugh Jackman's final appearance as the iconic titular character. Best of all, director James Mangold made the right choice turning "Logan" into an 18-rated territory that doesn't skimp on brutality and violence famously associated with this feral superhero.
What is it all about?: When a team of explorers (Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson) and U.S. soldiers (Samuel L. Jackson) join forces to travel deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific, they subsequently cross paths with dangerous beasts including a gigantic gorilla known as Kong.
What's the buzz?: It's "King Kong" revisited, with director Jordan Vogt-Roberts tracing back the titular monster's origins. The upcoming big-budget reboot is packed with familiar faces including Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman, as well as a brand-new CGI Kong monster. If "Kong: Skull Island" manages to recapture Peter Jackson's movie magic seen in the 2005 version minus the overly-excessive runtime, it's going to be an immersive cinematic experience worth watching on the big screen.
What is it all about?: The Major (Scarlett Johansson) and her task force, Section 9, is out to stop a dangerous enemy who is threatening to eliminate Hanka Robotic's cyber technology.
What's the buzz?: The 1995 Japanese anime feature of the same name was widely regarded as one of the landmark of the sci-fi genre in the world of animation, so, it's just a matter of time that Hollywood finally obtained the rights to helm their own Americanised version. Despite the controversial casting of Scarlett Johansson playing the lead role of The Major, the first full trailer managed to impress with its moody yet stylish visuals that truly captures the technical essence of the original Japanese anime feature.
What is it all about?: The eighth "Fast And Furious" movie continues the high speed adventure revolving around Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew.
What's the buzz?: Following Paul Walker's untimely death that saw his character given a proper send-off in "Fast And Furious 7", it was also an appropriate moment to end the series for good. But with the worldwide box-office gross that kept raking in high figures for each instalment, it comes as no surprise that more movies are going to be made. Like it or not, the "Fast And Furious" franchise knows its target audience and each movie wears that fact like a badge of honour. Expect lots of daredevil stunts and over-the-top action scenes as usual. Plus, the upcoming eighth movie seems to be in good hands with veteran director F. Gary Gray ("Set It Off", "The Negotiator", "The Italian Job" and "Straight Outta Compton") on the helm. Apart from familiar faces, this movie is also introducing interesting newcomers to the series including Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron, the latter who plays the movie's new main villain.
What is it all about?: This time, the motley crew of the Guardians of the Galaxy helps Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) uncover the mystery of his parentage while embarking on a new intergalactic adventure.
What's the buzz?: Did you see how cute the little Baby Groot looks in the teaser trailer and again, in the first full trailer? While Baby Groot is no doubt the central attraction of the moment, the upcoming sequel is also set to impress Marvel fans and casual moviegoers with its entertaining mix of witty humour, effects-laden action scenes, comedy and adventure. Of course, no "Guardians Of The Galaxy" movie would be complete without the same ensemble cast that helps glue everything together in the first place.
What is it all about?: "Wonder Woman" sees the eponymous Amazonian princess, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), leaving her home, the island of Themyscira to explore the world in the midst of World War I where she also meets an American military pilot named Steve Trevor (Chris Pine).
What's the buzz?: "Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice" may have kept audiences heavily divided, but one thing's for sure, Gal Gadot's cameo appearance as Wonder Woman truly stole the show in that movie. With the famous DC female hero getting her own movie for the first time ever, the upcoming "Wonder Woman" looks like it has good potential with its World War I period setting wrapped in the mould of an old-fashioned action adventure. Not to mention the interesting prospect of seeing acclaimed director Patty Jenkins of 2003's "Monster", which famously won Charlize Theron the Best Actress Oscar, credited here as the first female director in the DC Extended Universe.
What is it all about?: The upcoming reboot traces the origin of teenage Peter Parker (Tom Holland) following his newfound superpower ability as the web-slinging Spider-Man.
What's the buzz?: Prior to "Spider-Man: Homecoming", Tom Holland already proved himself as a worthy successor to Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as the new Peter Parker/Spider-Man following his memorable cameo in "Captain America: Civil War". Sure, the upcoming reboot will once again repeat Peter Parker's all-too-familiar origin. But as unnecessary as it may seem, it's difficult not to get excited that the Spider-Man property is finally given a proper Marvel treatment. Then there is the inspired casting of Michael Keaton as the movie's new villain, Vulture, as well as up-and-coming Jon Watts (2015's "Cop Car") making his first transition jumping from indie to a big-budget studio feature. Given Marvel's knack of enlisting unlikely directors to helm their superhero features in the past, Watts is set to become a fascinating addition to the roster.
What is it all about?: An epic war movie which takes place during the World War II's Dunkirk evacuation.
What's the buzz?: Two words: Christopher Nolan. That should be more than enough to convince you to watch this on the big screen. In case you need more elaboration, "Dunkirk" also marks Nolan's first foray into the epic war genre. Best of all, the acclaimed "Dark Knight" trilogy director continues to embrace the IMAX format for his latest movie. Given the award-friendly subject matter, here's hoping the Academy can finally take notice and give Nolan a shot for that elusive Best Director nod.
What is it all about?: When the crew of the colony ship, Covenant, discover a so-called uncharted paradise, little do they realise it is actually a dark world whose sole inhabitant is David (Michael Fassbender), the human android from the ill-fated Prometheus expedition.
What's the buzz?: In December 2016, 20th Century Fox had unveiled the first footage for Ridley Scott's semi-sequel to his 2012's "Prometheus", in which the overall response hinted that "Alien: Covenant" is a "hard-R (18) return to form for the franchise". If this is true, then we sure are looking forward to the similar "haunted-house-in-space" vibe that made the first "Alien" in 1979 such an iconic sci-fi horror masterpiece.
What is it all about?: Not much is known at this moment, but "Blade Runner 2049" will be a sequel to the 1982 original that sees Harrison Ford reprising his role as Rick Deckard.
What's the buzz?: More than 30 years has passed since Ridley Scott introduced the world with his seminal sci-fi noir masterpiece, 1982's "Blade Runner". While a sequel may look unnecessary and the fact that Scott himself only returned as one of the producers this time around, it still hard to ignore this at all. Besides, with a stellar behind-the-scenes crew from the same "Sicario" trio that includes director Denis Villeneuve, music composer Jóhann Jóhannson and ace cinematographer Roger Deakins, this is undoubtedly one of the highly-anticipated sequels worth looking forward to.
What is it all about?: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns to his homeland of Asgard following an apocalyptic threat of Ragnarok.
What's the buzz?: As solo features, the first two "Thor" movies which was helmed separately by Kenneth Branagh and Alan Taylor were met with mixed responses. But the upcoming third movie seems interesting enough, given the fact that Marvel took a huge gamble on hiring New Zealand director Taika Waititi, whose notable past credit was the 2014 acclaimed horror comedy "What We Do In The Shadows".
What is it all about?: Following the events of "Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice", Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) and Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) decide to assemble a team of superheroes including Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher), to fight against Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) and his army of Parademons.
What's the buzz?: Although the two DC Extended Universe blockbusters – "Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice" and "Suicide Squad" – were met with harsh criticisms, hopes are still running high with the superhero ensemble of "Justice League Part One". Besides, it's difficult not to get excited watching our favourite DC superheroes such as Aquaman and The Flash joining forces on the big screen for the first time ever.
What is it all about?: Not much is known at the time of writing, but the eighth instalment of the "Star Wars" saga will continue the story of Rey (Daisy Ridley) and other characters from 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens".
Cinema Online, 02 January 2017
What's the buzz?: Two words: Star Wars. The title alone is actually more than enough to get (most) people all hyped up. If that's not enough, seeing Rian Johnson as the director for the eighth episode seems like an interesting addition. After all, this multi-talented director already proved to be a genre-defining expert with his three movies in the past, including the neo-noir mystery "Brick" (2005), the caper comedy "The Brothers Bloom" (2008) and the sci-fi noir "Looper" (2012). Also, this might be the very last movie where Carrie Fisher makes her appearance as General Leia, as the late actress had reportedly finished filming her scenes for it.