Now that we're ever so slowly inching our way out of January, the theatrical doldrums of the post-holiday world will be mostly behind us. While 2017 will see a ton of new sequels, reboots, remakes and the like, there are also quite a few interesting original properties headed our way. Here's a look at just a few of the 2017 releases I'm excited about.
John Wick 2 (February 10):
The first "John Wick" came out of nowhere to be one of the most memorable action films in years. With dozens of nameless bad guys getting shot in the face and Keanu Reeves doing his best action work since the first "Matrix," the film also created a weird world of hitmen and their marks. The sequel looks just as fun, so color me excited.
A Cure For Wellness (February 17):
Gore Verbinski is a visual master. His "Pirates of the Caribbean" trilogy had its ups and downs, but they were always incredible to look at, and his remake of "The Ring" is still the best J-Horror Americanization of all time. "A Cure for Wellness" sees him heading back to horror in a trippy-looking psychological mind-F*#$ that follows a corporate exec who travels to a Swiss sanitarium looking for his missing CEO.
Get Out (February 24):
Jordan Peele, of the late and lamented Key and Peele, launches his writing and directorial debut in a very strange looking thriller about a young black man who heads to a small suburban town to meet the parents of his white girlfriend. He uncovers some sort of terrifying conspiracy that looks like a cross between "Children of the Corn" and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner."
Dunkirk (July 21)
Even when the film's he's working on are deeply flawed, Christopher Nolan creates true Hollywood spectacle. This time, Nolan turns his focus on WWII and the titular battle and evacuation that ensued. With Tom Hardy and Kenneth Branagh in front of the camera, this one should be unmissable.
Logan Lucky (October 13)
A caper comedy starring Channing Tatum and Adam Driver, directed by Steven Soderbergh. Was there more you needed, or are you just ready to throw your money at it right now?
The Death of Stalin (TBD)
A film based on Fabien Nury's graphic novel about the days after the death of Stalin and all of the tricky politics involved sounds like heavy lifting. Since it's being written and directed by Armondo Iannucci, the brain behind "Veep," expect something bitingly satirical and sidesplittingly hilarious, instead.
It's a new film by Darren ("Requiem for a Dream" and "Black Swan") Aronofsky. There's not much more information than a title and that it's about unexpected guests putting strain on a relationship. Oh, and it's starring Jennifer Lawrence and Domnhall Gleeson, which means the acting will also be sublime. Doesn't matter what it's about, Aronofsky gets the benefit of the doubt from me every time.
Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Movie (TBD)
It's set in the world of 1950s fashion and starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Anderson is arguably America's greatest living filmmaker, so I'm ready to see this when you are.
There are also superhero movies, a sequel to "Blade Runner," two Stephen King adaptations and new films by Edgar Wright, Richard Linklater, Todd Haynes, Duncan Jones and about two dozen other auteurs, so 2017 is poised to be a very important year in film. I hope you'll join me.