Movie Must-Sees: 2017

As 2016 began to wind down last December and I started to recap the year, I realized something surprising: Of the five movies that I highlighted on my must-see list, the Mysterious Mr. C and I actually only made it to the theater for one – Captain America: Civil War.

While we – okay, maybe, mostly I – had been excited for all of them, as their release dates got closer and the lackluster reviews started pouring in, we got scared away. As I’ve mentioned before, it can cost us upwards of $40 or so to go to the movies, so we have to be really, really into the films to ignore the commentary and check them out ourselves. And in 2016, we ultimately decided the silver screen just wasn’t quite worth it. 

This year, however, is shaping up to be a bit more like 2015, when we crossed all five of our must-see movies off the list. As usual, there are plenty of sequels, like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and John Wick: Chapter 2, and reboots, such as Power Rangers and Spider-Man: Homecoming. But there are also a number of indie and original films that I am looking forward to checking out, like Patient Zero and Sleight. It’s almost hard to choose a top five, but I’ve done my best!

Are you eagerly awaiting any of these movies too, or are there others that I should make sure are on my radar? Let me know in the comments below!

1. Beauty and the Beast

I don’t know that I have gone into depth about my love of the original animated Beauty and the Beast, but it is the Disney film that I remember most speaking to me as I was growing up. As a brown-haired, brown-eyed bookworm, how could it not?! Belle was always the princess I most related to and I still fantasize about having a library such as the one in the Beast’s castle. It truly is a classic.

As such, I am ridiculously excited for the live-action version that is coming out in March. I am also a bit nervous – as one usually is when a beloved favorite is being remade – but everyone involved seems to be really interested in doing justice to the original and it may even address a few long-standing plot holes, so I am very much ready to be their guest!

PS – The final trailer drops on Monday!

2. Wonder Woman

I’ll be honest, it was a bit of a toss-up between Wonder Woman and Beauty and the Beast in terms of which movie would be first on my list, but nostalgia – as usual – won out. That said, even if I hadn’t recently read Renae de Liz’s The Legend of Wonder Woman and Jill Lepore’s The Secret History of Wonder Woman, I would still be looking forward to this film. For one, after the nearly decade-long resurgence of superhero movies, we are finally getting a picture that focuses on a superheroine! On top of that, it is one of those rare big-budget features that is directed by a woman.

Of course, all of that means that the expectations for Wonder Woman are going to be even higher – and the criticism likely fiercer – but I am beyond ready to see a strong woman hold her own as the title superhero of a film.

3. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Admittedly, Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets was not a movie that I knew anything about until I saw Jessica Chobot break down the trailer on an episode of Nerdist News. While she makes a ton of really good points about the promise of the film, I was particularly intrigued by the fact that some of the artwork in the Valerian graphic novels influenced the original Star Wars trilogy.

A part of me is still a little nervous that this will turn out to be another Jupiter Ascending – something that is big and flashy and looks interesting, but ultimately falls flat – but I’m just going to ignore those concerns and enjoy the ride!

4. Sleight

For as long as I can remember, I have been a fan of magic. I grew up watching David Copperfield specials on television with my dad and my parents even hired a magician for my going-away party when we moved from Illinois to Pennsylvania (I still vividly recall a trick he did with a coloring book). So, when I read about J.D. Lattimore’s film Sleight on io9’s annual movie list, I immediately added it to my calendar.

The film has been described as Chronicle meets Iron Man, though I would add meets X-Men since the main character’s abilities are reminiscent of Magneto’s. With all of that in mind, as io9’s Germain Lussier writes, sign me up!

5. Power Rangers

Okay, okay, before you start coming down too hard on me for this choice, I want to you to know that it is also steeped in nostalgia. I grew up watching the original Power Rangers television show, collected all of the McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, and even cajoled my dad into taking me to the movies the last time the teenagers from Angel Grove hit the big screen. In fact, it is another one of my clearest memories and – as I always joke – the moment I knew how much he loved me because it really was not good!

Of course, I know there have been some concerns over the costuming in this reboot, but the more I see of the film, the more interested I am in checking it out. I don’t expect it to Oscar-worthy, but that’s fine by me. Sometimes, you just want to unplug with a silly popcorn flick!

2 thoughts on “Movie Must-Sees: 2017

  1. I wanna see all of these! Alot is riding on Wonder Woman for Dc. Power Rangers has such a low bar to reach that it would almost be impossible for me to hate it. Beauty and the Beast… please be good. I have seen the animated one so many times. Even watched it in French like 5 times. 😀

    1. I know! I’m so nervous about WW because if it isn’t good or doesn’t do as well as the male-led superhero films (i.e., all of the others!), I worry that people will blame the gender aspect of the film instead of any creative choices/other tensions.

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