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2019 Movie Preview—Part One

Upcoming Releases

Here we are at the end of May and we have most likely had the biggest film of the year with Avengers: Endgame. At the time of this article, it had taken $2.7 billion worldwide, rapidly closing in on Avatar's take of $2.78 billion. However, summer blockbuster season is upon us; but despite the usual big studio fare, there are also some excellent, smaller movies worth your time and money at the multiplex.

Brightburn

Directed by David Yarovskey

Starring Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, & Jackson A. Dunn

From Guardians of the Galaxy James Gunn comes Brightburn, a film that poses the question: "What if Superman was evil?" The trailer starts off like you traditional superhero story, where a couple find an alien child in the woods and decides to raise him as their own before taking a dark turn. It's a relatively modest budget and we have yet to see a real R-rated superhero horror film, which Brightburn is attempting here. The film has been jokingly titled "We need to talk about Superman" online; and well, if it lives up to the quality of Superman and We Need To Talk About Kevin, we will have a hit on our hands.

Expectation Rating: 7/10

X-Men Dark Phoenix

Directed by Simon Kinberg

Starring Sophie Turner, Michael Fassbender, Jessica Chastain, & James McAvoy

After the underwhelming X-Men: Apocalypse, writer Simon Kinberg takes over the directing duties from Bryan Singer with the final Fox X-Men movie before Marvel, more than likely, begins from scratch and crafts their own X-Men films.

The irony is that Kinberg was the original writer for X-Men: The Last Stand, which originally tackled the Dark Phoenix storyline after two films of build-up from Bryan Singer, before Singer walked away. Once again, Kinberg has to step in to take on the same storyline after two films with a new X-Men cast with Singer at the helm.

The trailers have not been very impressive, and Turner has yet to convince as Jean Grey in the previous films. The Fox X-men franchise began 19 years ago in 2000, and since the Marvel (and to some extent DC) juggernaut came along, the bar for superhero movies has been raised considerably. Thankfully, the Fox X-men series is now coming to an end, and Marvel can get some new talent behind what should be a monster franchise on par with The Avengers if done right.

Expectation Rating: 3/10

Godzilla: King of Monsters

Directed by Michael Dougherty

Starring Vera Farming, Kyle Chandler, & Millie Bobbie Brown

The next installment in Legendary/Warner Brothers attempts at making a shared "Monsterverse" is the third film in the series following on from another Godzilla reboot in 2014 and a King King reboot with Skull Island in 2017. The next film, Godzilla vs. Kong, is already set for 2020. Godzilla was a perfectly okay movie, favouring suspense and build over outright monster mayhem; whereas, this time, we are promised Godzilla clashing with some of his most famous enemies such as Mother, Rodan, & King Ghidorah. Hopefully, the film delivers on the trailer's promise of giant Kaiju battles as, let's be honest, that's all we really want from these movies.

Expectation Rating: 6/10

Men In Black: International

Directed by F. Gary Gary

Starring Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, & Rebecca Ferguson

A strange choice of franchise to continue, as no one was exactly crying out for another Men In Black film, and then a stranger choice to cast Thor & Valkyrie as the new duo. I still can't figure out why Thompson & Hemsworth would sign on for this when most fans would rather see the continuing adventures of Thor & Valkyrie.

The trailer wasn't the best, seemingly hitting many of the same beats from the original film's trailer and referencing the same shots and plot points.

Still on the positive side, we know Thompson and Hemsworth have great chemistry, Hemsworth is on a terrific run of form at the moment, and heavyweight support is supplied by Emma Thomson & Liam Neeson (one of them is obviously the bad guy). I suppose the studio is hoping that by repeating the same formula from the original movie, a newer audience will think its original, and they'll get the older audience with the nostalgic act. There at least better be a Will Smith cameo!

Expectation Rating: 6/10

The Dead Don't Die

Directed by Jim Jarmusch

Starring Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton & Iggy Pop

Indie legend Jim Jarmusch could be in for his most commercially successful film in some time with this zombie flick with an all-star cast. The trailer feels like a Coen Brothers film crossed with George A. Romero, and hopefully this film will get a wider release than the typical Jarmusch release. The film has recently screened to great acclaim at this year's Cannes film festival.

Expectation Rating: 8/10

The Lighthouse

Directed by Robert Eggers

Starring Robert Pattinson & William Defoe

With his debut The Witch, Robert Eggers announced himself as a horror director of note, and The Lighthouse is his widely anticipated second film. The film has only recently premiered at Cannes with many details about the film still under wraps, and we are still waiting on a trailer.

The little we do know is that is a New England gothic, horror story (sounds familiar) about an aging lighthouse keeper. Initial reviews have praised the film very highly focusing on another powerhouse performance from Robert Pattinson, who since his early Twilight days has gone on to become an actor of some note.

Shot in black and white, I don't expect this to get a large release; but if you were a fan of The Witch, then definitely seek this one out.

Expectation Rating: 8/10

Spiderman: Far From Home

Directed by Jon Watts

Starring Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Samuel L. Jackson, & Zendaya

The first post Avengers: Endgame Marvel movie will look to jumpstart the next phase of Marvel's cinematic stranglehold on the box office. The film is being pitched as Peter Parkers summer vacation to Europe, and I'm sure it will be a lighter palette cleanser after the heavy stakes of Endgame.

This time, it looks like Peter will be crossing paths with fellow hero/villain Mysterio, played by Jake Gyllenhaal; and as a villain in the comics, it will be interesting to see the character's development in this film. We are told Mysterio is from a different reality that is a byproduct of the events from  Endgame, which is going to open up a whole phalanx of potential issues caused by the events of Endgame.

Expectation Rating: 8/10

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