We’re back at the beginning. The year 2015 rolled away into the darkness, setting a new box-office record in North America with $11.07 billion earnings. The challenge has been laid down for 2016. A hefty challenge indeed. So here we go; the first month of the year itself has 13 new movies to offer. And that excludes The Hateful Eight which was supposed to open wide on the first weekend of 2016, but was bumped up to 30th December citing huge demand for the movie. So now The Hateful Eight doesn’t form part of the January 2016 list, but that does not stop us from finding five movies that show a lot of promise.
5) Jane Got A Gun: A Natalie Portman movie usually does not go unnoticed, but Jane Got A Gun has had problems of its own. The movie has been in the works since 2012 and was supposed to be released in April 2014. That got canceled and shifted to 2015, which again got canceled when the studio Relativity Media went bankrupt. Now Weinstein Company has bought the rights and is going ahead with a release in the last week of January. The movie is a western about a woman who asks her ex-lover for help to save her outlaw husband from a dangerous gang. Directed by Gavin O’Connor of Warrior fame, I am hopeful on the quality of this movie.
4) 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi: A Michael Bay movie that does not carry the word ‘Transformers’ usually gets ignored nowadays. Rightly so, most of the time. I am hoping things will be different with 13 Hours, a drama thriller based on the true story of six members of a security team who fought to defend the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya in 2012. Michael Bay has the ability to keep you on the edge of the seat if the source material carries that kind of potential, the way he kept things interesting in Bad Boys and Armageddon in the past, and so we can expect something similar this time round too.
3) The 5th Wave: As The Hunger Games series has come to an end, there is space for more young-adult based movies, something like The 5th Wave. This sci-fi thriller is an adaptation of the novel of 2013 with the same name written by Rick Yancey. Get ready for another dystopian world where a young girl is trying to protect her younger brother. The names of Chloë Grace Moretz and Leiv Schreiber along with Maika Monroe (who was great in last year’s It Follows) and Maria Bello add some weight to the movie. If this movie works, then a trilogy will definitely follow in line with the book series.
2) Kung Fu Panda 3: You generally do not get movies of successful animation franchises so early in the year, and so the release of Kung Fu Panda 3 in January is surprising. Maybe DreamWorks Animation has a trick up its sleeve that we cannot fully comprehend. Nonetheless, it has been almost five years since Kung Fu Panda 2, so the return of Po has been welcomed with a loud cheer. In the third movie, Po is reunited with his real father and travels to the village of the Pandas, where his kung fu training will again be called upon to save the village. I am expecting this one to be as hilarious and fun as the previous two movies, and the initial trailers do seem to indicate the same. Jack Black as Po and Dustin Hoffman as Shifu are the two voices I will love to hear again and again. Apart from them we have the old gang back too led by Angelina Jolie voicing Tigress. Let the kung fu begin!
1) The Revenant: Technically this is a 2015 movie, but The Revenant opens wide only on the second weekend of January 2016. It looks to be an Oscar contender for certain. The Revenant is based on true events of the 1820s when a frontiersman named Hugh Glass had to embark on a quest for survival having been left for dead after being brutally mauled by a bear. The movie comes from last year’s Oscar winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu which is one of three big reasons to be excited about the film. The other two are Leonardo DiCaprio (as Hugh Glass) and Tom Hardy! When such names come together, sparks will surely fly. The tedious shooting days on the sets have already become a much publicised topic, but the end result is looking fantastic, at least going by the trailers. Visually the movie will have large landscapes to take our breath away, and add to that an inspiring tale handled by some of the best in the movie business, and we may very likely be seeing an award winning movie. A great start to 2016, that is how it looks to be, eh!?
Watch the trailer of The Revenant here.