We're a quarter of the way through the year so far, and in the realm of cinema (and politics), it hasn't been the best. There have been a few stone cold classics including "Get Out" and "Personal Shopper," and some disappointments such as "The Space Between Us" and "War on Everyone," but we also have plenty of time to make 2017 a banner year for films. Here's a brief look at a few of the exciting releases headed our way over this lovely spring.
Free Fire (4/21)
Set in Boston during the late 1970s, "Free Fire" is just an excuse for brilliant director Ben ("A Field in England") Wheatley to stage a 90-minute gun fight. That's it. It's great actors such as Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Sharlto Copley, Cillian Murphy and Noah Taylor shooting at each other in a warehouse with jokes flying like bullets. This will be a blast.
The Circle (4/28)
Emma Watson takes on Tom Hanks (who is basically playing an ominous Steve Jobs) in this thriller based on the novel by Dave Eggers. Watson gets a job at a tech company called The Circle and discovers a nefarious and invasive agenda led by Hanks' disturbingly friendly tech billionaire. If this is half as good as the book, then expect to be wowed.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (5/5)I'm gonna see this. You're gonna see this. That's all there is to it...especially because the plot of the film is being kept under such tight wraps. Does the plot really matter, though? The first one was so much fun, and Marvel hasn't really had a dud yet, so they've earned our trust at this point. Plus, Kurt Russell is playing Ego, the Living Planet. Just sayin.
Alien: Covenant (5/19)
Even though "Prometheus" was a pretty big disappointment, "Covenant" looks like it's much more interested in being a straightforward horror movie along the lines of the original "Alien." Plus, James Franco is in this, and who doesn't want to see him get disintegrated by xenomorphic alien blood? It's hard not to be excited for this one.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (5/26)
I'm one of the few people who loved the second and third "Pirates" movies (the less said about the fourth one, the better), so I've been looking forward to another film set in this world. The directors made the wonderful adventure, "Kon-Tiki," a few years back and Javier Bardem is the villain, so hopefully, this one is an improvement. Johnny Depp hasn't made a good movie in a few years, so he's due.
Wonder Woman (6/2)
DC hasn't had much luck with super hero movies since "The Dark Knight," but this might be their best chance to make an impression. No one is in love with Affleck's Batman or Cavill's Superman, so "Wonder Woman" really needs to stick the landing before the much hyped "Justice League" movie is released in November. Cautious optimism is the way to go. Plus, America could use a badass female super hero right now.