Even if we talk about only Marvel movies, there’s an unmanageable amount of film to watch this year. We recently gave you the quick rundown for the whole year, but it’s time to get into detail and look at the geek movies for coming up in the next few months. Superheroes, lady assassins, and giant robots. Sequels, adaptations, and original concepts. We have a little bit of everything. Let’s dig in.
Proud Mary (January 12, 2018)
Things get started quickly in 2018 with an action movie starring Taraji P. Henson as Mary, a mob hitman whose life goes off the rails when she ends up caring for a young boy. It’s a pretty simple story, but this new genre of action movies about lone assassins in choreographed fight scenes is one of my favorite things to happen to movies in a while. We won’t have John Wick: Chapter 3 until 2019. In the meantime, movies like Proud Mary should hold us over.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure (January 23, 2018)
That old “special teen in a post apocalyptic world” is starting to get tired. Hunger Games if done with and Divergent moved to television. Maze Runner is basically just finishing because it started at this point. But hey, at least the cast gets to finish out the story, right? We’re not expecting much out of Maze Runner: The Death Cure, but sometimes crossing the finish line is enough.
Winchester: The House that Ghosts Built (January 30, 2018)
Do you like surfing creepypasta sites and looking for weird stuff on Atlas Obscura? If so, you’ve probably heard of the Winchester House, a very real and very strange house in San Jose, California. The heiress to the Winchester gun fortune received the equivalent of about half a billion dollars when her husband died. The story goes that a medium told her that her misfortunes were the result of hauntings by the victims of her family’s firearms and that to hide from them, she had to move out west and begin building a house – and never stop. The countless doors, hallways, and windows would keep the ghosts confused and lost.
That on its own would make for a fascinating true-to-life story. But of course this is a supernatural horror film. We’re not expecting the next It out of it. The movie is directed by the same pair that handled the not-very-good 2017 horror film Jigsaw, so keep your expectations in check, but it’s still neat to see this weird American story get some time on the big screen, even if they did add a bunch of ghosts into it.
Black Panther (February 16, 2018)
We don’t have to wait long for Marvel to hit the ground running. Not even four months after the studio shocked us with Thor: Ragnarok, we’re getting another decidedly fresh superhero film in the form of Black Panther. Ryan Coogler (Creed) directs the first standalone film set in the nation of Wakanda. The movie takes us into his secretive fictional nation, the home of the Black Panther himself, Prince T’challa.
The unique setting and character have made each trailer more exciting than the last. Whether the story follows the MCU formula or not, it looks fresh as can be, and might be our most anticipated Marvel movie in a while. And the rest of the month is kind of empty for geek movies – why get in the way of a marvel flick if you can help it?
Annihilation (February 23, 2018)
One of the more mysterious movies on the list is Annihilation, the science-fiction film starring Natalie Portman. Portman plays one of four unnamed scientists who travel into an uninhabited zone full of unknown creatures and plant life. The trailers show a beautiful and strange world beyond the outer barrier, and certainly a dangerous one. The mystery of what lies within has me salivating, and I hope the movie ends up being as good as the trailers have me hoping.
Red Sparrow (March 2, 2018)
Why have one movie about a lady assassin when we can have two? Jennifer Lawerence plays a Russian spy who encounters an American CIA agent that forces her to reconsider her alliances. Who doesn’t want to watch J-Law whoop ass?
A Wrinkle in Time (March 9, 2018)
This movie we anticipate not just because it could end up being a huge surprise, but also a huge disappointment. The movie stars Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey and Chris Pine among others, playing characters named things like Mrs. Whatsit and fighting a monster called The Black Thing. The main cast is made up of kids and has them jumping from one dimension to another through a device called the Tesseract. The movie will no doubt have some bonkers special effects, but movies that rely heavily on kids and movies that get metaphysical are sometimes hard for audiences to stomach and tough for directors to tackle in an interesting way. A Wrinkle in Time has both. The story has been around since 1962 and this is the first time it’s making it to the big screen, so it’s clearly a tough one. I’m hoping it’s good – I love it when things get metaphysical.
Tomb Raider (March 16, 2018)
If Angelina Jolie represented the first Tomb Raider games, featuring a chesty, short-shorted, sunglasses-wearing Lara Croft, then Dutch actress Alicia Vikander represents the rebooted series of games, which started in 2013 with the simply-named Tomb Raider. It took our ultra-confident, ultra-sexy heroine and brought her down to earth with a violent and gritty survival story that still delved into the supernatural.
I loved the 2013 game of the same name and its follow-up, 2015’s Rise of the Tomb Raider, so I’m hopeful for this movie. But with a few exceptions, such as Netflix’s Castlevania, video game movies have yet to hit their stride.
Pacific Rim: Uprising (March 23, 2018)
The original Pacific Rim was a love letter to Kaiju movies like Godzilla and to sentai shows like Voltron/GoLion and Power Rangers. It took the ideas of both seriously and made a fun world with memorable characters like Mako Mori and Charlie Day’s Newt Geiszler. It also happens to look absolutely stellar on 4K HDR. After the original movie, director Guillermo del Toro had said he had ideas for a sequel, but it was looking for a while like it wouldn’t happen because of the original film’s mediocre performance in theaters. On an estimated budget of $190 million, Pacific Rim only pulled in about $100 million in the United States. But it did gangbusters in China, and production company Legendary is now a Chinese-owned outfit, which seems to have been a last push to get the sequel made.
I’m excited for the sequel, but it comes with a list of concerns. The movie is no longer being directed by del Toro. Instead, former Daredevil showrunner Steven DeKnight will be making his directorial debut with Uprising. And alongside Star Wars’ John Boyega is Scott Eastwood, who might be the most generic leading man in Hollywood this side of Armie Hammer.
I’m eager for more Pacific Rim – I just hope it doesn’t fall into the breach this time around.
Reader Player One (March 30, 2018)
Of all the huge movies hitting this year, Ready Player One is the one about which my excitement is most tempered. On the one hand, Steven Spielberg is helming the movie, and his “bad” is most other directors’ “good.” On the other hand, I see all those characters piled into one movie and can’t help but think of one of those stadium rock shows where they say the name of your city to get you to cheer. Like that one Huey Lewis and the News song, except instead of listing off cities it’s just listing off nerd licenses. And then the story – a story about how a nerdy white dude is the special hero, doesn’t add to the excitement. We’ve seen that story plenty of times, and it’s just not super interesting anymore (to me).
But with Spielberg directing, it could be one of the most entertaining, watchable movies of the year. As long as we pretend Kingdom of the Crystal Skull never happened.