The 2017 Film Release Calendar: January
Every January, I preview all the films that are scheduled to come out for the year. I go through the existing release calendar, month by month, and guess how much or how little I’m going to like each of the films.
The major benefit is that it allows me, come the end of the year, to see which movies ended up surprising me for better or for worse, or which ones I had wildly disproportionate expectations for. It also gives me a chance to know what’s coming out and what to look forward to.
I also take all the films that are filming or in post and theoretically able to come out that year and preview those too, along with all the films from the previous year(s) that have yet to come out that I’ve been tracking. In all, I end up previewing more films than pretty much anyone else, I’ve been told.
Underworld: Blood Wars
Vampire death dealer, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) fights to end the eternal war between the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her.
How many of these movies are there now? At least five.
I can’t even remember the first one, and I’m almost certain the past four I skipped entirely.
Which means that unless I see the previous three at some point (unlikely), this will be a skip.
2.5 stars just in case, but it’s very probable I’m gonna skip this entirely.
A Southern mobster attempts to rescue his kidnapped brother.
Starring Nicolas Cage.
Or actually, not. Based on the trailer, he’s not the star of this movie. Good thing I watcher that, this will change how I rate it.
Oh fuck, though. He looks like he’s playing the same character in Deadfall! YESSSSS!
3 stars, just for Cage. Otherwise this looks utterly generic.
He’s wearing the same goddamn wig and moustache!
United by dire circumstances, four unlikely allies from a Philadelphia prep school – the hacker, the slacker, the athlete, and the perfect student – band together to attempt the impossible: steal from the U.S. Mint.
Written and directed by a woman, which is nice. It’s a Netflix movie too.
The trailer looks interesting. I’m down for this.
This looks like the epitome of the Netflix movie, whatever that means (something I imagine will come further into focus this year, as this is the first year where Netflix movies will be coming out every couple of weeks rather than one a month).
Thirlby and Feldman play a couple confronted by the fear that settling down and getting married means their carefree days as city-dwelling young adults coming to an abrupt and depressing end. Both are tempted by the allure of another life before ultimately realizing why they fell in love in the first place.
Been tracking this one forever.
This looks a little too much like an indie movie for me.
Hopeful it can get to 3, but it looks more like somewhat pretentious and boring, trying to turn every day life into something meaningful and profound. And it’s set in New York, so they’re all writers and artists and live in fancy apartments they can somehow afford.
The Bye Bye Man
Three friends stumble upon the horrific origins of the Bye Bye Man, a mysterious figure they discover is the root cause of the evil behind man’s most unspeakable acts.
Horror movie. Don’t care.
May or may not skip this, but either way. Do. Not. Care.
Looking for any way to get away from the life and town he was born into, Tripp (Lucas Till), a high school senior, builds a Monster Truck from bits and pieces of scrapped cars. After an accident at a nearby oil-drilling site displaces a strange and subterranean creature with a taste and a talent for speed, Tripp may have just found the key to getting out of town and a most unlikely friend.
Well this has looked like hot garbage for over a year now.
2.5 stars. I’m sure it will be forgettable stupid family movie fun. The way Max Steel was, even though that was also pretty shitty.
I’m gonna get upset they spent $125 million on this, but I’m sure the product will be either meh or just average bad. I doubt this goes lower than 2 for me.
A cop with a connection to the criminal underworld scours a nightclub in search of his kidnapped son.
Been seeing this trailer everywhere. It looks like generic early month action movie.
3 stars. These always hit 3 stars. Plus the single night conceit will keep this more interesting than not.
The Book of Love
Henry is an introverted architect. After the death of his wife in a car accident, he sets out to help Millie, a homeless teen, to build a raft to sail across the Atlantic.
This got held for over a year, so something tells me to give this a drop.
It looks like everything I don’t want it to be. Which means indie by way of Nicholas Sparks.
I’m hopeful this could be 3 stars, but I can’t assume it.
In the not so distant future, a team of white collar criminals are enlisted by the Federal government to thwart a cyber-attack that threatens to bankrupt the United States of America.
This was also on the shelf for at least two years. Gotta assume generic and let it be better. 2.5 stars. The trailer basically showed me the entire movie. I feel pretty confident in 2.5 stars.
A psychiatrist tries to put her life back together after a violent attack by seeking to repair the life of a new patient, but he has his own terrifying history.
The Resurrection of Gavin Stone
A washed-up former child star, forced to do community service at a local megachurch, pretends to be a Christian to land the part of Jesus in their annual Passion Play, only to discover that the most important role of his life is far from Hollywood.
This looks so bad. I can’t wait.
After three girls are kidnapped by a man with 24 distinct personalities they must find some of the different personalities that can help them while running away and staying alive from the others.
M. Night Shyamalan. Because of that, I can’t pretend like I expect this to be good. The trailer looks okay, and is honestly the most interesting thing I’ve seen out of him in over a decade.
That said, I still can’t expect this to be good, even though the lead actresses are ones I like. And McAvoy is usually committed, even if he always doesn’t choose the best of material.
3 stars. I’ll give Shyamalan the benefit of the doubt of a watchable movie, but I’m not gonna expect a good one until he proves to me he can make a good one.
xXx: The Return of Xander Cage
Xander Cage is left for dead after an incident, though he secretly returns to action for a new, tough assignment with his handler Augustus Gibbons.
I mean, are we not all really excited for this movie?
He goes skiing in the jungle!
This is the mindless action garbage we deserve.
A young law student who, while grieving for his dying mother, struggles to decide whether he should kill his unfaithful step-father.
The director’s made mostly straight to video shlock so far, but the cast he got here is impressive.
Emory Cohen, the male lead in Brooklyn, Tye Sheridan, from Mud, Bel Powley, from Diary of a Teenage Girl.
3 stars. I have to trust the cast to make it watchable.
Take the 10
A day in the life of two best friends, a drug dealer, and a store manager collide at a hip-hop concert in the Inland Empire.
Asian director too. Good stuff.
Upon learning that their mother has been lying to them for years about their allegedly deceased father, two fraternal twin brothers hit the road in order to find him.
Starring Owen Wilson and Ed Helms.
Did you see this trailer?
A Dog’s Purpose
A dog looks to discover his purpose in life over the course of several lifetimes and owners.
Lasse Hallstrom directed it. He’s become the go to generic family movie director of late.
This looks like a non-ironic version of Weiner-Dog.
I tend to enjoy these more than most, but they’re almost never good.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Picking up immediately after the events in Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where the nightmare began – The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.
Picking up after the events of the last movie, they said, as if we had any fucking clue where that was.
Glad to be done with this franchise, since I have no fucking clue what the hell is going on with it.
I’m gonna guess 3 stars just because they’re going (going) back (back) to Raccoon City, but I’m pretty sure I’m getting 2.5 stars here. I’m gonna figure the 3 stars is to just be done with it.
After an accident, Tom wakes from a coma to discover that fragments of his smart phone have been embedded in his head, and worse, that returning to normal teenage life is impossible because he has developed a strange set of super powers.
Oh, yeah. I’ve heard of this one.
Uhh… 3 stars? Sure. 3 stars. What the hell. Let’s assume Netflix keeps this decent. Not that it has anything to do with it, really, except my perception. But fuck it. It’ll either be 2.5 or 3 regardless.
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Tomorrow is February.