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The Best and Worst of 2018 movies

There are a lot of anticipated movies coming out in 2018. Here's a look at some of the biggest.

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The year 2018 is looking to be an interesting one for cinema. Several new and different ideas are becoming movies, along with tons of sequels and remakes that are to be expected from modern day Hollywood. As the year begins, we hear at The Purple Quill have compiled a list of movies coming out that we predict will either be good, bad, or ones on which we have no strong opinion. We are also including a gallery with images and descriptions of the movies. Without further ado, here’s the list.

The Good

Avengers: Infinity War Do you remember the first time you saw all of the Avengers fight on screen together against Loki’s army in 2012’s The Avengers? It was an incredible fulfillment of all the buildup from five previous solo movies. Infinity War is looking to make lightning strike twice by gathering all 21 and some of their friends for a big beat down on planet destroyer Thanos, who was teased all the way back in The Avengers. In fact, it’s so big that it has to be broken into two films. We may even get new heroes for the good guys to fight with, such as Captain Marvel, the Fantastic Four, and even possibly the X-Men now that Disney owns Fox, who previously owned the rights. While some Marvel movies have become formulaic, hitting the same story beats time and time again, this one looks to be the final showdown for our heroes. At least until Avengers 4 comes out.

Black Panther After his premiere in Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther has been stealing the show anytime he’s on screen. His sleek, black suit with golden claws is a sharp contrast to the bright colors of other heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it works very well. His solo film looks to be a new step for Marvel, looking into the power struggle between T’challa, the Black Panther and king of his homeland, Wakanda, his brother and a band of revolutionaries. This movie also promised Klaw, a high-ranking villain who has super strength and speed, and uses a vibranium sound converter (the strongest metal in the Marvel universe) to create destructive sound blasts. With some interesting cinematography, cool action scenes, and a killer hip-hop soundtrack, this Panther will definitely be striving for the higher things

Deadpool 2 You know how superhero sequels are supposed to step up everything that the original movie did well? Deadpool knows, and he’s looking to make his new adventure bigger and better than the first. With the returning standout talent of Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) and TJ Miller (Weasel), as well as newcomer Josh Brolin as Cable, they promise to make this new adventure a great time for everyone. After the surprise smash hit of Deadpool, which made its budget back 15 times over in sales, Fox (well, Disney now) has given the directors a blank check to make the best Deadpool movie possible, which means that the possibilities for this fourth-wall breaking, katana slashing, bullet counting hero are endless, and I can’t wait to see them.

Incredibles 2 It’s the Incredibles. How could you not be excited? The Incredibles does the Fantastic Four formula about a hundred times better than any Fantastic Four movie ever put to screen. Great action, meaningful drama, and heartwarming lessons made the first movie a spectacle of cinema. After 15 years, I’m looking forward to returning to the film I must have seen a hundred times during my childhood.

Pacific Rim: Uprising Every nine year old’s dream come true. Giant colorful robots fighting giant aliens for the fate of humanity, using shipping containers as brass knuckles and a freighter boat as a baseball bat, with giant swords and laser fights galore. The first movie (2013) was cheesy and had a few meaningless subplots, but it knew to focus on the big action scenes, and when it did, it went all out, showing giant mechs with swords and laser blasters fighting enormous pterodactyls. The sequel promises to be even more of the awesome stuff we want. It’s as if Transformers got the human drama out of the way and focused on the big action set pieces, but also had coherent action that you could see, rather than a million quick cuts between characters. With Jon Boyega (Finn from Star Wars) taking the reigns as lead actor, new robots, new aliens, and even the potential of enemy robots, Uprising is looking to be the action movie of the year. While we all wait for mecha robots to become a reality, this is a great way to indulge in your childhood fantasies.

Ready Player One I know that a lot of young adult books have been rushed to become movies in order to catch the Hunger Games’ popularity, and it’s shown in their poor quality (Divergent series, Maze Runner series, Middle School: the worst years of my life). However, this one looks different for a few reasons. First, this one’s directed by Steven Spielberg, director of Jaws, E.T., Poltergeist, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, and several other films. He’s most famous for his 80’s films, which is important for this new movie. Ready Player One takes place in 2045, where everyone escapes to an 80’s themed virtual world called the Oasis. Having an 80’s director for a film about 80’s culture is a perfect fit. This movie’s also going to be great because of its effects and cinematography. If you’ve seen the trailers, you know that the CGI is top notch, showing off realistic and stylish robots, colorful lasers battles, and hundred car races, just to name a few effects. The cinematography is awesome too, with several shots showing characters in absurd situations that look incredible. The casting and soundtrack are incredible too. You can bet that you’ll find me in line for the midnight release of this film on March 30th.

The Bad

The Predator A Predator remake for the modern age. While I like the Predator movies, I think that they worked because they were made in the 80’s, when larger than life muscle men as heroes were all the rage. The Predator was an enemy that brought those guys down a peg. Now that we don’t really have those kinds of heroes very often, it’s hard to see the Predator finding a good fit in cinemas. Plus, the last time I saw the Predator was when the stars had seemingly aligned for Alien vs. Predator, and that turned out to be a huge mistake. If the Predator can’t make a good movie about fighting Xenomorphs, I don’t hold much hope for a good movie of him fighting humans.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure The first two movies were insanely bad. Terrible characters, incoherent plot, bad action. It was definitely trying to catch the “Young Adult fiction book-movie” train before it left the station without thinking about how to best adapt the story. The first book was pretty good. I only got 20 pages into the second one before getting bored out of my mind. If the source material is already bad, I can’t imagine any of these movies being any better, especially not the third one of the series.

The Nun Not much is known about this film, other than the fact that it’s about a dead nun and will be the fifth film in the Conjuring series. The Conjuring series, as well as many other horror films in recent memory, have been the victim of directing that focuses too much on jump scares instead of the slow-building tension and despair that separated horror from gore. With a few exceptions (It Follows, Get Out, IT) horror films have been poor recently, and this one isn’t looking to break the trend.

Hotel Transylvania 3 The first movie was, all-in-all, good. A play on the classic Universal monsters in the modern day with nice animation, decent jokes, and a surprisingly heartwarming story made me leave the theater with a smile. Then the sequel came out and got rid of all of that, replacing them with typical Adam Sandler jokes and a shallow plot. This third film is looking to repeat that trend. If it’s good, it’ll be a welcome surprise. But I wouldn’t place a bet on it.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms From just the look of the logo and some concept art, I don’t trust this film. The character and scene designs look like Tim Burton’s low quality Alice in Wonderland films. I’ve seen the Nutcracker a lot of times in my life at the Aronoff around Christmas time. This movie about the ballet by Tchaikovsky is looking to be a Disney misinterpretation of a classic, just like Alice in Wonderland. The play is weird, I’ll admit it, but it’s not “let’s make people’s hair vibrant colors and make it curly like their Whos from the Grinch, but also make them serious characters” weird. If you really want to see the Nutcracker story, skip this movie and see it at the Aronoff.

Mamma Mia 2: Here we go again I don’t know why high school students would be watching this movie. Maybe you’re out with your mom at the movies, getting in some quality bonding time (This is definitely a mom movie; not that that’s a bad thing). Regardless, stay away from this film. This movie is based on a musical of the same name (well, it’s called Mamma Mia, but you get what I’m going for). The musical is focused on a girl trying to find out which of three men is her father so that he can walk her down the aisle at her wedding (the musical does a better job at fleshing this out than I can here). It’s pretty good, full of heart, charm, and great songs from 70’s Swedish pop group Abba. The movie version was released in 2008 to mixed reviews, with most critics hung up on the way that the musical poorly translated to film, with songs coming out of nowhere and the plot being misconstrued. The sequel is looking to be the same story as the original, but with the mother missing this time (or something like that, the trailer didn’t make much sense). I’d recommend skipping this one and going out to see the musical with your mom, rather than the movie.

The Unknown

Ant-Man and Wasp The first Ant-Man was alright. It followed the Iron Man “Dude’s life is alright, he hits a low point, gets/builds a suit of power, fights enemy with same powers” formula to a T, but it had some exciting direction and action. The sections that Edgar Wright directed were the highlights of the film, such as when Yellow-Jacket gets run over by a Thomas the Tank Engine model when in tiny form. My fear for this new film is that it will be all of the parts of Ant-Man that weren’t Edgar Wright: the bland, formulaic Marvel sequel that you’ll have to watch to understand the Cinematic Universe in other films, but you won’t really have a great time while watching it. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Aquaman The version of Aquaman we saw in Justice League was a pretty good take on who the silver-age character really is. A cool, bro-dude with a spear who’s always ready to fight or have a good time was a great addition to the team. However, we should remember that Justice League was aggressively mediocre (not as bad as Batman vs. Superman, but not nearly as good as Wonder Woman), and that doesn’t bode well for the fishy fighter. I don’t think he can hold down a solo film without a seriously good villain (may I suggest Black Manta?). Just like Minions, the movie about the comic relief character from Despicable Me, a solo film for this side character probably isn’t a good idea. Seems like this fish will flop.

Mortal Engines The trailer came out. I watched it. I learned nothing about the film, other than cities are monster trucks now. Next.

Rampage A movie based on an arcade game from the 1986 starring Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. The movie looks pretty accurate to the depiction of the monsters in the game. The monsters are based on regular animals (a gorilla, a crocodile, and a wolf) and become super-sized. Not quite Godzilla size, so don’t expect these guys in the inevitable Pacific Rim vs. Godzilla vs. King Kong movie (all three are owned by Legendary Productions, and a Godzilla vs. King Kong movie is slated for May 29, 2020), but they’re definitely big enough to cause some damage. It could be a good monster fight movie, but I have my doubts because of the simple fact that it’s based on a video game. These movies have a streak of being low quality from 2015’s Warcraft all the way back to The Super Mario Brothers’ Movie in 1993. The Rock is a good fit for this movie. It may just break the trend. I’m just not sure if it’s gonna be as good as the trailer.

Ocean’s Eight From the trailer alone, I can’t tell if this movie is a spinoff, a remake, or a reboot of Ocean’s Eleven from 2001, which itself was a remake of the 1960 film of the same name starring Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dean Martin. The plot looks extremely similar to the 2001 film. From what we know, the main character gets out of prison on parole, then goes immediately back to criminal activity that forces them to gather a crew of misfits with extraordinary skills in order to steal something valuable and get revenge. This time, the macguffin the crew needs to steal is an expensive necklace. Not only that, but they’re stealing the necklace that Anne Hathaway’s character is wearing at the Met Ball (Famous dance at an art museum). They’re going to steal a necklace off of a public figure in a very crowded area with tons of security surrounding the event and the target. Yeah, alright. The 2001 movie, while it had its flaws, had the characters breaking into a casino vault, one that was protected very well but was out of public view, so there was some reason to suspend your disbelief. That one also had the so-charming-even-the-snakes-stop-hissing, once-played-Batman-and-now-probably-is-Batman, related-to-the-author-of-this-article-not-joking George Clooney, as well as several other renowned actors. The new one has some well-known female actors, and Rihanna. As we’ve seen from Battleship and Home, Rihanna can’t act.      Sidenote: If this movie is some sort of movement for feminism, wouldn’t it be a lot more empowering to create a new Intellectual Property for women to star in? That way, the women in the film won’t constantly be compared to the men.

This is the same problem I had with 2016’s Ghostbusters (well, the first of several problems). Coming up with new movie concepts takes some work, yes, but at least those concepts are solely yours. If the idea’s yours, then you can do whatever you want with it without comparisons to an older version of the idea being made.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom The first Jurassic World was a good film, solidly above average. Most of the film was a tedious drama, but Chris Pratt and the dinosaur fight in the last twenty minutes saved it from being a poor clone of Jurassic Park. The new film looks like it will be taking a lot of inspiration from Jurassic Park 2, where the characters from the first film go back to the island to save the dinosaurs. The CGI looks good in some shots but noticeably fake in others. My guess is that, if you liked the first one, you’ll like this one. If not, this one isn’t for you either.

Solo: A Star Wars story  Normally, with a Star Wars movie, I’d put it in the definitely good category, but due to some of the recent movies and news about this movie, I have my doubts. The Force Awakens had some flaws, but it was still pretty enjoyable. Rogue One was boring until the very end with lackluster characters (seriously, do you remember any of their names?) and a story that we already knew the end of because of the title crawl in A New Hope. The Last Jedi has divided fans because of the way it handles its characters, some noticeable plot holes, and some unnecessary scenes, but I would still consider it among my top four Star Wars films (probably number four). However, the new Han Solo movie has me worried. Going through numerous script rewrites, the movie has been changed from a light-hearted romp through the galaxy to a dark and gritty documentary of our favorite smuggler to its current state of a mix of comedy and drama. As long as he still shoots first, the movie shouldn’t be too bad. Just remember, this is Disney. Disney doesn’t like to take risks with their properties. At the very least, this will follow a story that you’ve seen a hundred times, yet is still passable.

The New Mutants X-Men movies have ranged from average to poor recently (excluding Deadpool). However, this installment is taking a new direction by becoming a horror movie. The movie promises to focus on X-Men recruits Wolfbane and Magick inside a secret facility, which could be a good shift in focus for the franchise. There’s just not enough information to go on to make a strong case for whether this movie will be good or bad.

Tomb Raider I hate the fact that I have to put this here. I really want this movie to be good. The first trailer had some cool set pieces and good action. However, it also had some lackluster dialogue and boring cinematography. We’ve also got to remember that this is a video game movie, and the only one of those to be better than average in recent memory was Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and I don’t think that even counts (It’s set in a video game, with powers and lives, but it’s not based on a video game). I’ll hold out hope for Tomb Raider, but I won’t be surprised if this one gets buried in bad review scores.

A Wrinkle in Time Lots of worries about this film. This book it’s based on is a classic story for the ages (apparently, I’ve never read it). The story features a girl, her brother, and her friend looking for her missing dad after three extraterrestrial women come to visit them. They find out that a dark cloud is destroying planets, including the one the dad is on for reasons Sparknotes didn’t mention. It turns out that only the main character girl can defeat the cloud because she has the ability to love. Love is the answer. I’m not kidding. That is the quintessential Disney answer to any problem in any movie. Apparently the book gets deep with its themes and characters that I feel the movie will not do justice, especially coming from Disney. Also, Oprah is a starring role in this movie, and I feel like she’s so inseparable from her TV persona that I would only see Oprah, not the character she’s playing.

There’s the list. Will it be right? Maybe not 100%. Maybe some of the good movies will be bad or vice versa. There’s no way to know right now. What I do know is that I’ll be changed after seeing these movies, for better or for worse.

All of Marvel, all in one place. Outlook: Good
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About the Writer
Nick Maurer '18, Arts & Entertainment Editor
I’m here to learn everything I can about writing and researching. I like to keep track of all types of media, from literature to graphic novels to cinema to video games. Currently on a quest to be part of every Elder club possible. All comments are graciously accepted. “They may hate me, but they will remember me.”
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