Every Epic Movie Coming In 2017 (With Trailers!)

COCO

The best and biggest movies of 2017 are coming sooner than you might think. Here’s a quick guide to all of the ones we’re most excited about…and some we’re not so excited about.

I’ve been off the grid for two weeks on holiday, but I did manage to squeeze in this comprehensive list for Heroic Hollywood this past week. In it, I cover each movie, its trailer status, and whether or not it will be any good. Plus, I provide some insight on whether or not you should catch up on other movies, shows, and reading in order to get the most out of these releases.

You can check out the full guide and more here on Heroic Hollywood.

For 2017, I’ll be continuing more weekly shows, write-ups, and videos here and elsewhere. The Now Conspiring podcast comes out on Mondays, I have a weekly editorial for Heroic Hollywood on Tuesdays, my Facebook Live show “Pixar Detectives” hits Super News every Wednesday at 7pm pacific time, a new video or Snarcasm comes out on Thursdays, and my weekly movie reviews arrive on Fridays.

Here’s to a great year of snark, film analysis, amateur videography, surreal podcast moments, and as always, conspiring!

 

 

Advertisements

Popular YouTubers, like PewDiePie, Got Paid for Positive Game Reviews

pewdiepie paid reviews

Rich McCormick, via The Verge:

…Warner Bros. deceived customers by paying thousands of dollars to social media “influencers,” including YouTube megastar PewDiePie, to cover Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor without announcing that money had changed hands.

Warner Bros.’ deal with the influencers involved stated that they had to make at least one tweet or Facebook post about the game, as well as produce videos with a string of caveats to avoid showing it in a negative light. Those videos could not express negative opinions about the game or Warner Bros. itself, could not show any glitches or bugs, and must include “a strong verbal call-to-action to click the link in the description box for the viewer to go to the [game’s] website to learn more about the [game], to learn how they can register, and to learn how to play the game,” according to Ars Technica.

I don’t want to focus on the YouTubers being at fault here, even though they are. Just reread that second paragraph because the key point here is that this is happening all the time, and for the most part, people are getting away with it.

Getting paid for positive/negative reviews is an insult that gets thrown around a lot, especially at critics who disagree with the majority of fans over something. Just take the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice backlash directed at just about anyone who hated the film, like me. But you can’t argue that the practice is some conspiracy. The studios are doing this every day.

Not to be confused with the more common practice of luring influencers to exclusive “events” in order to extract a positive sentiment from the person or persons. It’s hard to criticize a game, TV show, or movie when the makers of said property have put you in an environment where it’s incredibly easy to get swept up in the day. I know this from firsthand experience, and it’s a bitter thing to overcome.

You’ll never read a paid review or “sponsored article” on this website. I get the requests on an almost daily basis, and it’s not happening. Not because I’m above it all or that I’m scared I’ll get caught (even though that’s a fair consideration). But because you’re reading my opinions, presented by me and no one else. That’s what you’re here for, and it would be useless, even moronic, for me to give you anything else.

Pixar Is Taking a Break from Sequels After ‘Incredibles 2’

pixar sequels incredibles 2

Turns out that tip I reported was correct after all.

Allanah Faherty confirmed the rumor yesterday on Movie Pilot:

Pixar President, Jim Morris has revealed that after the release of the last sequel on the current slate, The Incredibles 2 in June 2019, the studio will release four original films.

“Everything after Toy Story and The Incredibles is an original right now,” he said. At the moment there are two untitled original films scheduled to be released in March and June 2020, and a further two are in early development, and look “highly likely” to join the studio’s schedule soon.

This is interesting news for a few big reasons. The most obvious one is that this addresses the “sequel-fatigue” many of us have been experiencing with the studio since Cars 2, as well as the doubts people have been having about Pixar’s quality in comparison to Walt Disney Animation Studios’ recent wave of huge success.

But the other big reason we should consider is how this will reflect on Pixar’s massive hit, Finding Dory, which is of course a sequel. The film has been a box office juggernaut in the U.S. (it will soon dethrone Captain America: Civil War as the biggest domestic hit of 2016), and the movie has also enjoyed steadily positive praise from critics.

In other words, this news implies what a lot of us have always suspected about Pixar as a business. Their decisions on which movies to release are not solely driven by short-term numbers and cash grabs. It seems they’re more interested in telling the stories they want to tell.

Note: the top image is a reference to Pixar’s next original film, Cocowhich will release next year.

Is ‘Finding Dory’ Part of Hollywood’s Sequel Problem?

finding dory sequel problem

Mark Harris via VultureThe Sequels of 2016 Aren’t About Storytelling; They’re Just Brand Extensions

I don’t consider “sequel” a slur. But it’s notable how much the impetus behind them has changed, and with it, their very nature.

This summer’s sequels are not, for the most part, story continuations but brand extensions. Some are good and some not; some have succeeded and some have flopped, but almost all of them are different beasts than the first generation of blockbuster genre sequels.

To my taste, the best reason to make a sequel is because the story demands it.

Overall, this is a great write-up by Harris that articulates a lot of the frustration I and many critics and fans have been having with sequels this year. He even champions Marvel’s Civil War as a good example of how sequels with grander narrative purpose make better impressions on audiences who’ve grown savvy to Hollywood’s sequel formula.

But I would disagree on one example he brings up briefly.

As for Finding Dory, it’s a solid brand refresher that will make a mint — an effective way for Disney to remonetize a dormant franchise. But nothing will convince me that Pixar’s move from being arguably the finest producer of original content in Hollywood to a sequel manufactory (next up: The Incredibles 2, Cars 3, Toy Story 4) is anything but dispiriting news.

I don’t disagree with Harris on this point at all, but I think Finding Dory is a wildly inappropriate example of his main point. Finding Dory is no Civil War in the sense that it exists in a larger universe of movies with a single narrative (or is it?), but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad sequel off of the definition Harris attributes above to movies like TMNT: Out of the Shadows and The Huntsman: Winter’s War.

Read More

Hollywood has a Sequel Problem

hollywood sequel problem

Pamela McClintock via THR: 

Sequel after sequel has disappointed at the box office this year. This weekend’s underpowered opening of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is just the latest example. And that is perplexing and alarming Hollywood studios, which are addicted to turning films of all sizes and genres into ongoing franchises, from comedies to the smallest horror films to tentpoles.

And that’s just one of many examples cased in this article, which include Alice Through the Looking GlassThe Huntsman: Winter’s WarRide Along 2Zoolander 2, Divergent Series: Allegiant even Neighbors 2, and more, which all have suffered huge drops in box office against all of Hollywood’s expectations for how sequels should “work.”

In this list alone, I’ve only bothered to review Alice and Allegiant, mostly because interest in these other movies was waning long before I ever went to a screening. When I choose a film to review, I usually go with the one I think people are actually on the fence about checking out and want to discuss afterward. How much does that say about the fact that we don’t even want to talk about some of these sequels?

TMNT is the exception, and it’s a film I would have reviewed if I had seen the first of the series. But even that franchise is a tough sell for me because the Turtles are such lasting pop culture icons with so many iterations that I don’t think my opinion on said movies will do much to sway people or offer some new insight.

“Sequels of late have fallen on rough times. The tried-and-true formulas and familiar characters and themes that are the cornerstone of the modern sequel have acted as a de facto life insurance policy against box-office failure,” says box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “However, 2016 has proven to be a very tough battleground, and the landscape has been littered with a series of sequels that have come up short, and thus call into question the entire notion of the inherent appeal of non-original, franchise-based content.”

Good.

Oscars 2016 Live Blog & Predictions

oscars live blog

WRAP UP: This was a fantastic night. I finished my predictions at 9 correct out of 17, so not too shabby. The biggest surprise: the triumph of Mad Max winning everything except for the biggest awards. A meme was finally put to rest (hopefully) with Leo winning his Oscar, and Brie Larson is at last a household name. Oh, and I somehow guessed Spotlight would win Best Picture, much to the confusion of everyone else in my living room. Go figure.

Read More

‘The Witch’ Director on Feminism and Filmmaking

the witch director feminism

Superb AV Club interview with Robert Eggers, director of The Witch:

In the early modern period, from the contemporary perspective, looking back, it’s clear that the evil witch is—it embodies men’s fears and ambivalences and fantasies about women and female power. In in that period, in this extremely male dominated society, the evil witch is also women’s fears and ambivalences about themselves and their power.

…But people understood that witches were truly a fairy tale, ogress, anti-mother, capable of the most horrible things. She really flew on sticks. If your children die, it could be a witch. If your crops fail, it could be a witch. So, how do I make that scary and real for an audience today? I have to really bring them back to the 17th century when that existed. I have to get all the details right in order for you to actually believe. It’s not just accuracy for its [own] sake.

Read More