2017 movie wrap-up

By: Chris Sanchez

sanchezch@mnstate.edu

It’s hard to say goodbye.

But it’s not goodbye yet without first getting down to business. Since this is the last issue for the semester (and my last here at MSUM), I would like to push forward and dissect movie previews for the remainder of the year. It may seem swift since it’s only April, but since I won’t be around much longer to review films, I would like to at least express my excitement and gratitude while informing you of what cinema has to offer this year.

There is a plethora of films that I’m looking forward to. So to prevent this piece from being too congested, I will highlight the top five films that  not only I am personally looking forward to the most, but ones that should be on every avid moviegoer’s radar.

“Baby Driver”

Release Date: June 28 

Ansel Elgort plays a slick young getaway driver who relies on the beat of a musical soundtrack to be on top of his craft. This quirk resulted from an accident for the protagonist, but this impairment is used to his advantage. He takes part in a deadly heist for a charismatic mob boss that could ultimately jeopardize his romance, freedom, and most importantly, his life.

Dynamo director Edgar Wright clearly shows in the trailers his usual capabilities in orchestrating exhilarating and bonkers action sequences. The film has a great cast, including Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, and Jon Bernthal, as well as a killer soundtrack. If Wright brings all of these virtuoso elements together in cinematic harmony, “Baby Driver” could easily be a cinematic rival to Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive.”

“Dunkirk”

Release Date: July 21

Easily one of the most anticipated films of the summer, Christopher Nolan’s newest WWII drama has the fingerprints of “Saving Private Ryan” all over it. Trying to resist a new Nolan film seems taxing, especially with a compelling cast headed by Tom Hardy, an actor who never ceases to amaze me. How can anyone not be swept in by the waves of scope and scale that Nolan frequently demonstrates?

Knowing how thought-provoking Nolan typically is, it’s evident here that the “Interstellar” director has more on his mind than visceral battle sequences and explosions. In a recent interview, Nolan stated that his newest film is “not a war film,” but rather “a survival story and foremost a suspense film.” Ultimately, whatever Nolan does churn out on the big screen this summer will be nothing short of awe-inspiring for casual moviegoers and cinephiles alike.

“Detroit”

Release Date: Aug. 4

A harrowing police raid that took place in 1967 Detroit is actually more relevant today than one might think. The timing couldn’t be any better from director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal, the dream team behind the Oscar-winning films “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”

The film stars John Boyega (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) as a police officer who gets involved in what is considered one of the deadliest riots in U.S. history between law enforcement and the African-American community. The fact that this film is coming out on the heels of the 50th anniversary of this violent event is even more reason to seek out what is likely going to be in the Oscar conversation come the end of the year.

Still, whatever awards cred it has going for it, this historical film will nevertheless resonate with audiences since it fosters discussion in a society still dealing with corruption and injustice on a daily basis.

“Blade Runner 2049”

Release Date: Oct. 6

In a year abundant with sequels, prequels, and reboots, blockbuster fatigue reins supreme again. But bringing back intelligent sci-fi never feels weary. Executive producer Ridley Scott and director Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”) clearly felt it was necessary to go back to the dystopian future 30 years after the events of the first “Blade Runner.”

We have Officer K (Ryan Gosling, whose recent track record is eminent), a blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department who discovers a secret that explains the chaos happening to the remainder of society. Along with that discovery, K uncovers the whereabouts of Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who has been missing for about three decades.

A lot of information about this film has been under wraps, but the gorgeous teaser trailer shows what Scott and Villeneuve have already proven: sci-fi is in their blood. It also doesn’t hurt to have MVP cinematographer Roger Deakins by their sides.

“The Disaster Artist”

Release Date: Sometime in 2017

Movie buffs will get a kick out of reliving the surprising success of an unlikely cult favorite: 2003’s “The Room,” a film that opened in just two Los Angeles theaters on its initial release and made a meager $200. James Franco directs and stars as Tommy Wiseau, an eccentric actor, director, screenwriter, and producer of what is considered the “greatest bad movie ever made.”

An all-star cast including Dave Franco, Allison Brie, Seth Rogen, and Josh Hutcherson round out this satire. It has already gotten raves at the South by Southwest film festival, an idiosyncratic film festival in Austin, Texas. Even though there hasn’t been much marketing for the film (or even a teaser trailer), it’s clear that anybody familiar with the cult classic will seek this one out.

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