It’s time, once again, for Gabbing Geek’s annual Year of Anticipation, the thing we do every time around this year to show how much we’re looking forward to stuff in the world of entertainment that is presumably coming out in 2020.
So, let’s get started.
So, what movies are we looking forward to this year? That’s a good question. A major phase of the MCU is over, leaving us with an uncertain future. Star Wars is taking a break. Sure, there are some big continuations, but nothing that seems to jump out among the rest. So, lets look at a bunch that Ryan and Watson will be doing a box office bet they won’t stop talking about for the next year over.
What is it? It’s the latest remake/reboot of the J-horror story about a ghostly curse that stars whenever someone is murdered in a rage.
Why we’re psyched! This time around, horror maestro Sam Raimi is taking it on with Takashige Ichise, the fellow who created the original movie and the Japanese version of The Ring.
Why we’re wary… J-Horror doesn’t always translate right from East to West. Plus, this one got bumped back to January.
Bad Boys for Life
What is it? It’s the third installment to the Martin Lawrence/Will Smith action comedy cop series.
Why we’re psyched! Smith and Lawrence have good chemistry together, and at least one of them has stayed in the limelight as a reliable leading man.
Why we’re wary… Did anyone want this? How desperate is Smith’s career right now that he opted to make another one of these? Oh, and also a January release.
Watson Says: This movie is going to be a trainwreck. Smith is in decline, and this is probably as important to him as it is to Lawrence. Ok… that’s not exactly true…
Jimmy Says: C’mon Watson! You’re mean there is not a lot of pent up interest for this!!! Oh wait, there’s not. I’m not sure I’ve even seen part 2. And this is the first one not directed by Michael Bay. Some might see that as a positive.
The Voyage of Dr. Doolittle
What is it? It’s the classic family-friendly story about the friendly doctor who can talk to the animals.
Why we’re psyched! Check out that all-star cast! And with Robert Downey Jr. as the good doctor? This could be a lot of fun!
Why we’re wary… Is this one going to be closer to Rex Harrison or Eddie Murphy? Either way, this doesn’t sound overly promising given, once again, it’s a January release.
Watson Says: What was RDJ’s agent thinking???
Jimmy Says: How the mighty have fallen? RDJ will never replicate his success as Tony Stark, but Dr. Doolittle?
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
What is it? It’s the latest DCEU film, this time following Harley Quinn as she and some female superheroes try take care of business on their own.
Why we’re psyched! Between Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Shazam, and Joker, DC movies have shown a real resurgence in quality the further they get from the general Zack Snyder aesthetic. It’s been on a upswing of late, and Margot Robbie is a charming presence on the big screen.
Why we’re wary… Have you seen the trailer? While I suspect the movie is supposed to be seen at least in part through Harley’s literally insane world view, that thing still looks like something of a mess. Plus, that title is really, really long and I don’t want to type the whole thing again.
Watson Says: Ugh…only DC could take one of their few brightspots and pump out this take on Harley. This looks dreadful…
Jimmy Says: It really does. I loves me some Margot Robbie, but this looks like a dumptser fire.
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway
What is it? It’s a sequel to the surprisingly good retelling of the Peter Rabbit story from 2018.
Why we’re psyched! Ryan rather accurately described the original as a kid friendly version of Deadpool. Who saw that coming?
Why we’re wary… I don’t think Beatrix Potter wrote a sequel to the original, so where exactly does this series go?
What is it? It’s a horror movie re-imagining of the old TV show where people live out their fantasies on an island under the watchful eyes of Mr. Roarke. He just never said whose fantasies.
Why we’re psyched! This one looks really clever, and with the charismatic Michael Pena as Mr. Roarke, this could be an unexpected dark horse of a movie no one saw coming.
Why we’re wary… If it wasn’t using the Fantasy Island devise, this could be just another torture/horror movie that may not rise above a PG-13 rating.
Watson Says: I am actually excited about this one. I am also skeptical. This could be in my top ten or my bottom ten. I just hope it is memorable: for good or bad.
Jimmy Says: Having watched the trailer, I have no interest in this. I think the “Why we’re wary” section above sums up my thoughts for the most part.
The King’s Man
What is it? It’s a prequel/origin story for the independent spy agency from director Matthew Vaughn’s over-the-top Kingsmen series.
Why we’re psyched! Kingsmen movies have, to date, been pretty fun with a lot of dark comedy, sledgehammer-subtle political satire, and crazy visuals. Plus, the cast includes the likes of Ralph Fiennes, Djimon Hounsou, Charles Dance, and Gemma Arterton.
Why we’re wary… Well, it’s a prequel when what fans may have really wanted was Kingsman 3. Also, this movie has been pushed back twice.
Watson Says: The second scheduling move is a concern: especially since they really gave the trailer a LOT of play this Fall. Yet, I still want to see it. This series is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me…
Jimmy Says: I loved the comic and the first movie…but haven’t even seen the second one yet. I’m not sure why. I’ll add this one to the list, but when I get to it is another story.
Sonic the Hedgehog
What is it? It’s a live action and animation mix of Sonic the superfast hedgehog coming to Earth and running afoul of Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik.
Why we’re psyched! The filmmakers redesigned Sonic to look more like the video game character after massive fan backlash, so there’s a good chance they care that this movie works for the fans.
Why we’re wary… Has any movie based on a real video game every worked? Still, it could be worse. It could have been a movie based on a board game.
Watson Says: That first trailer might have HELPED this film. The second trailer was so much better that it will create the false sense this movie might be decent.
Jimmy Says: I’ve heard rumors that the first trailer was awful on purpose for reasons that Watson mentions…or just simply to draw the “it looks so bad I have to see it” audience. Whatever the case, it looks awful to me as a non-Sonic fan. And what has become of Jim Carrey?
What is it? It’s the first of Valiant’s superheroes to make the jump to the big screen, with Vin Diesel playing the assassin whose body can repair almost any damage due to nanites in his blood stream.
Why we’re psyched! Valiant produces some really good, often underrated comics. Their heroes are a lot more distinctive than many others, and Bloodshot is a good jumping-on point for that universe. Plus, the character looks an awful lot like Diesel.
Why we’re wary… Like many Valiant characters, Bloodshot has an awful 90s era superhero name, and it would be really easy to mess this character up from the same studio that gave us a Spider-Man-free Venom movie.
Watson Says: I actually dug some Valiant comics back in the day, but never read Bloodshot. I wish this property had been played by someone other than Diesel. It could have been interesting as a superhero/sci-fi movie but now it will be another F&F or XXX dumbguy flick. Ryan will love it!
Jimmy Says: I was pleasantly surprised by the trailer. Granted, it looks more like just another Vin Diesel movie than a Bloodshot movie, but it looks like just another GOOD Vin Diesel movie! Ride or die! (And Harbinger moving studios seems to have pretty much put the kibosh on this being the start of a Valiant superhero universe.)
The Invisible Man
What is it? It’s a new version of the Universal horror story where an abusive boyfriend leaves his fortune to his ex on the stipulation that she not go insane, all while he tortures her while invisible.
Why we’re psyched! The Invisible Man may not seem like the most terrifying of the Universal Monsters in the grand scheme of things, but using him as a gaslighter torturing the one who got away is a great twist on the concept. Add in a lead role to the great Elizabeth Moss, and this could be spectacular.
Why we’re wary… Did anyone want another Invisible Man movie?
Watson Says: Didn’t Kevin Bacon make this movie with Paul Veerhoeven?
What is it? It’s Pixar’s attempt at an original fantasy story as two elf brothers try to complete the spell to bring their dead father back for one last day.
Why we’re psyched! It’s Pixar, and it’s not a sequel! They tend to do new stories well.
Why we’re wary… Well, it could be another Cars…
Watson Says: This could make Cars look like Inside Out. That trailer looks like a bad Dreamworks B-lister.
Godzilla vs. Kong
What is it? It’s a throwdown between the two most famous giant monsters in movie history!
Why we’re psyched! The 2014 American Godzilla movie and Kong Skull Island were both a lot of mindless fun, the very thing a good popcorn flick should be.
Why we’re wary… Um, did you see Godzilla: King of the Monsters? Or Batsoup?
Watson Says: I liked Skull Island. I didn’t like either Godzilla. Which will this one imitate? If I had to predict, I could see this one in my list of shame next year…
A Quiet Place Part II
What is it? It’s a sequel to the unexpected sci-fi/horror hit A Quiet Place.
Why we’re psyched! A Quiet Place was a smart, tense movie from star/writer/director John Krasinski. No one saw that coming, but we were all glad we did.
Why we’re wary… Where do you take the story from here? Seriously? Can they get lightning in a bottle for a second time?
Jimmy Says: This worries me. Definitely a movie that didn’t need a sequel.
Watson Says: What is worse? A horror sequel or a comedy sequel?
What is it? It’s a live action remake of an animated Disney movie.
Why we’re psyched! Um, well, they don’t seem to have the talking dragon this time, so it’s at least different!
Why we’re wary… It’s another live action Disney remake.
Watson Says: This one actually interests me. It is rich for a live action remake moreso than the prior films.
What is it? It’s the last of the Fox-produced X-Men movies from before the Disney buy-out.
Why we’re psyched! This one is meant to be more of a horror movie, and that suggests a bit of welcome experimentation away from the standard superhero origin story.
Why we’re wary… This one got pushed back. A lot. I think I stuck this one on the annual “year of anticipation” posts for the same reason I keep sticking The Winds of Winter on it: if it actually did come out, that would be impressive! That said, we only get one last year of Watson’s running gag about that trailer that ran years ago before the movie went poof into the ether.
Jimmy Says: I highly doubt this gets a theatrical release. And if it does, no one will care. It seems to be a candidate to go direct to streaming, but it won’t be showing on Disney+…Hulu maybe?
Watson Says: PBS+ should be wary of this one. Of course, wouldn’t it be hilarious if it turns out to be amazing…
No Time to Die
What is it? It’s the 25th James Bond movie, and Daniel Craig swears this will be his last.
Why we’re psyched! Craig has been a fantastic Bond. Casino Royale revived the franchise while Skyfall hit new heights for what a Bond movie could be.
Why we’re wary… You know, only about half of Craig’s Bond movies were all that beloved by the fans…
Jimmy Says: The Craig Bond films are a bit weird for me. They’ve thrown away (or at least back burnered/downplayed) a lot of the things that make Bond, Bond (like the horrible puns)…but at the same time, without a lot of these distinctive Bondisms…they tend to be just another spy movie. I loved Skyfall, but the rest have been meh. Hopefully Craig goes out with a bang.
Watson Says: I’m not a huge Bond fan, but this trailer made me want to go back and watch SPECTRE. I’m intrigued.
Trolls World Tour
What is it? It’s a sequel to the CGI animated Trolls movie.
Why we’re psyched! Looks like there’s a good chance for some good music as the protagonists go off to the other Troll lands to protect their music from a total take-over by the Rock’n’Roll Trolls.
Why we’re wary… Well, I skipped the first one out of concern that much sugary content, in every sense of the word, would somehow give me diabetes…
What is it? It’s the long awaited solo film for Scarlet Johanson’s Black Widow.
Why we’re psyched! MCU fans have been waiting for this one for a while now, and Marvel finally delivered.
Why we’re wary… They couldn’t do this before the last two Avengers movies?
Jimmy Says: I agree that the timing of this is quite odd and it should have been made years ago. The trailer is not bad, and I think it will be good, but it’s going to potentially be a down year for Marvel with just this and The Eternals coming to your local multiplex.
Watson Says: The film should have come out five years ago and it is a great disservice to ScarJo that is didn’t. The setup looks good, but a prequel after a very public death in Endgame takes away a lot of the emotion.
What is it? It’s the story of a US Naval Destroyer tasked with protecting a convoy of cargo ships from Nazi U-Boats during World War II
Why we’re psyched! It stars Tom Hanks as the destroyer’s commander. What else do we need?
Why we’re wary… Hanks also got a writing credit on this one. I’m not sure how I should feel about that…
Legally Blonde 3
What is it? It’s the third installment in the Elle Woods-saga, where a seemingly clueless woman turns out to be much sharper in the courtroom than anyone expects.
Why we’re psyched! Reese Witherspoon is a charming lead actor, and the first two movies are at least fun.
Why we’re wary… Did anyone want this? How bad is Witherspoon’s career hurting right now if she makes another one of these how many years later?
Jimmy Says: There was a Legally Blonde 2?
Watson Says: Apparently, though I didn’t see it. The third installment of a mediocre comedy series? I’ll bet it will be good…
What is it? It’s a live action movie about the world’s most famous fashion doll.
Why we’re psyched! It looks like we may be getting Margot Robbie in front of the camera and Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig behind it. Maybe.
Why we’re wary… If this even comes out this year, between this and the aforementioned Birds of Prey, Robbie may be really testing her box office draw.
Watson Says: This movie got pushed out another year.
Fast and the Furious 9
What is it? It’s the ninth installment of the movie series where cars drive fast and Vin Diesel continually growls something about “family”.
Why we’re psyched! If you aren’t Watson, these are generally fun, if mindless, action movies. Plus, if you aren’t Watson, you get to see Watson call these movies terrible, and there’s some entertainment value there too.
Why we’re wary… Truth be told, the last one slid a little in quality, keeping me from having the sort of mindless fun I generally expect from this series. It picked up in the final act, but there was something not quite right before then…
Jimmy Says: I agree with Tom about the last installment. Hopefully it is more of a blip than the beginning of a downward slide for this surprising franchise.
Watson Says: I am so upset that Hobbes and Shaw did fairly well. This franchise needs to die and leave Jimmy crying.
What is it? It’s a live action adaptation of a popular YA book series.
Why we’re psyched! The Artemis Fowl books, about a genius kid who battles fairies, have a loyal fan following and could easily be the next Harry Potter series.
Why we’re wary… This was supposed to come out last year, and it could also just as easily be the next Percy Jackson series.
Watson Says: Ryan thinks the push to May was a vote of confidence, but I think it will get yanked and move to streaming.
Wonder Woman 1984
What is it? It’s the sequel to 2017’s popular Wonder Woman, and it’s set in the 80s.
Why we’re psyched! Wonder Woman proved the DCEU can make good movies, and we got Gal Gadot, Patty Jenkins, and for some reason Chris Pine all back for more.
Why we’re wary… There was a somewhat muted response in the GG bullpen when the trailer dropped for some reason.
Jimmy Says: I haven’t watched the trailer as I write this, but the response at GG seems to be the opposite of all the reactions I’ve seen elsewhere online. WW was so good, I will give them the benefit of the doubt for now.
Watson Says: Chris Pine’s role really bothers me in this movie and the trailer did nothing but increase my concern.
What is it? It’s a sequel/remake/reboot of the horror movie about the murder victim whose ghost comes by to kill you if you say his name too many times. Also, there are bees.
Why we’re psyched! The cast looks pretty impressive, and Jordan Peele is attached to produce. And bees!
Why we’re wary… Was there demand for more of these after so much time? Bees?
Jimmy Says: When I was a boy (“when I was a boy”…like I’m an armadillo now) I watched a lot of these horror movies. Now, not so much. I haven’t seen anything about this, but it’s probably “not for me”.
What is it? It’s a Pixar movie about the afterlife from the looks of things.
Why we’re psyched! Some of the best Pixar movies in recent years have dealt with the more metaphysical aspects of life. This one just takes it another step further.
Why we’re wary… This one could potentially be a little too out there, even for a company that made a fantastic movie about the inner working of a prepubescent girl’s mind, so we should be at least cautiously optimistic.
Watson Says: Looks a little too close to the space where Inside Out landed. Could be amazing, but feels a little redundant.
In the Heights
What is it? It’s a film adaptation of the other great musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Why we’re psyched! If Ryan is to be believed, LMM is the greatest musical composer of our or any time. Then again, I haven’t been able to score a ticket to Hamilton yet, and I won’t listen to the soundtrack until I do, so I wouldn’t know.
Why we’re wary… Apparently, LMM only co-wrote the original show…
Watson Says: The trailer looks baaaaaadddddd…..
Top Gun: Maverick
What is it? It’s the sequel to one of Tom Cruise’s best remembered movies.
Why we’re psyched! Tom Cruise can consistently do good work in the action genre.
Why we’re wary… After all this time, did anyone want this? And, to be honest, I was never that impressed with the original movie anyway.
Jimmy Says: Maybe this is finally the motivation I need after 34 years to watch the first Top Gun?
Watson Says: Nah. Skip it and this. Top Gun is a popular bad movie.
What is it? It’s a sequel to the Despicable Me spin-off Minions.
Why we’re psyched! Um…hold on, I’ll think of something.
Why we’re wary… You know why. Because it’s the goddam Minions.
Jimmy Says: The Despicable Me films are surprisingly good. I’ve never seen the Minions solo film, but have heard it was awful. I’ll likely be skipping this one.
Watson Says: I haven’t enjoyed anything from this franchise since the first installment.
What is it? It’s a continuation of the original Ghostbusters time line with a group of kids (plus Paul Rudd) battling ghosts in a rural town.
Why we’re psyched! The trailer suggested this could actually be closer in spirit to The Goonies or Stranger Things (complete with Finn Wolfhard!) while still being set in the Ghostbusters world. Most of the surviving original cast are reprising their roles, original movie director Ivan Reitman’s more talented son Jason is writing and directing, and it just kinda looks awesome.
Why we’re wary… I think my opinion of the all-female version from a couple years ago isn’t as high as it used to be, but I do think it’s something of a shame those characters didn’t quite take off. Then again, maybe I just want to see more of Kate McKinnon’s general comedic weirdness in a Ghostbusters movie.
Jimmy Says: I wasn’t a fan of the all-female version, and not because of the cast, I just didn’t feel it was very good. I was also very skeptical about the necessity for another Ghostbusters film, but the trailer is intriguing.
Watson Says: I was prepared to roll my eyes at this reboot, but man was that trailer good? Jason Reitman has made some turds, but he’s also made some brilliant films. Hope this plays like the trailer and brings a fresh look instead of being, in reality, Memba Berries.
What is it? It’s Christopher Nolan’s next mystery project.
Why we’re psyched! It’s Christopher Nolan!
Why we’re wary… Aside from the main cast and a really vague trailer, we know absolutely nothing about this movie. That is par for the course for Nolan, but it is something.
Jimmy Says: Nolan is must watch.
Watson Says: Is Christopher Nolan directing? I’m there. He’s never made a BAD movie.
What is it? It’s another movie based on a theme park ride where Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt go down a jungle river in a boat while wearing what looks like the same clothes Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn wore in The African Queen.
Why we’re psyched! Two likable stars could make this the next Pirates of the Caribbean. The first one, not the increasingly mediocre sequels.
Why we’re wary… It could also be the next Haunted Mansion. Or Country Bears. Or Pirates of the Caribbean sequel.
Jimmy Says: I like both leads, so it could be fun. I think Tom sums up the pros and cons well above.
Watson Says: Agreed. I think this could be light hearted fun.
What is it? It’s Sony’s next attempt at a Spider-Man free live action Spiderverse with antihero Morbius the Living Vampire taking center stage.
Why we’re psyched! Morbius may be the right kind of weird for star Jared Leto, and it’s got acclaimed Swedish director Daniel Espinosa behind the camera.
Why we’re wary… Morbius the Living Vampire? He’s got a solo movie? Seriously? Did anyone want this one? I can understand it with Venom, but Morbius?
Jimmy Says: “Your honor, I present exhibit M why Sony should not be allowed to create any Spider-Man related films without the help of Marvel Studios.”
Watson Says: I love Leto (his Joker aside), and want this to be good but I doubt it will be…
Escape Room 2
What is it? It’s a sequel to the 2019 horror movie about a group of people stuck in a deadly escape room scenario.
Why we’re psyched! So, I’ve done a couple escape rooms with some friends, and it always works out well because my friends do these things all the freakin’ time, setting time records at whatever room they are escaping from, and I get to feel the exhilaration of winning despite the fact I bring absolutely nothing to the table. Also, I didn’t see the first movie.
Why we’re wary… A fairly quick sequel to a somewhat low budget horror movie, already pushed back twice, doesn’t seem like a good idea.
Jimmy Says: I care so much about this, I thought it was the sequel to that Stallone/Schwarzenegger movie I never saw.
Watson Says: The first was passably good…and they clearly set up the franchise…but it will be just like the Saw franchise. Bigger and bloodier deaths.
Bill and Ted Face the Music
What is it? It’s the third movie in the Bill and Ted series as two idiots may or may not rock the world into a better future.
Why we’re psyched! Well, Keanu agreed to do this at a time when he could have easily said no, and if they do this one right, there’s a chance this could really be a reflection on what happens when two idiots don’t rock the world into a better future for reasons no one quite understands.
Why we’re wary… I got to revisit the first two a couple years ago, and they weren’t that good to start with in certain respects, but again, it’s been a long time since we saw one of these, so…
Jimmy Says: It has been a VERY long time since I’ve seen the first two. I remember liking them (well, at least the first one….my memory sucks). I’ll revisit them and check this out…when is another story. It’s an odd film for Keanu (but not the other guy) to revisit, but hey, he’s back for more Matrix too, so maybe he’s just going through “that phase”. I guess Speed 3: The Train That Couldn’t Slow Down and Point Break 2: Electric Breakaloo are just around the corner.
Watson Says: Alex Winter owes Keanu a lot for doing this to hook a brother up.
What is it? It’s a live action adaptation of the popular video game of the same name.
Why we’re psyched! C’mon, something like this sounds like a concept too simple to really mess up.
Why we’re wary… It is from the same director and star as the Resident Evil series, the husband and wife team of Paul W. S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich. So, maybe it is easy to mess up. The only real question may be how many shots Anderson gets in to show off how attractive his wife is.
The Many Saints of Newark
What is it? It’s a prequel movie to HBO’s first big dramatic juggernaut, The Sopranos.
Why we’re psyched! David Chase co-wrote the screenplay, and the cast looks pretty impressive, including James Gandolfini’s son as young Tony Soprano. Even better, though, is Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga as Tony’s parents, and if that isn’t a formidable mob couple, I don’t know who is.
Why we’re wary… That final episode did piss a lot of people off.
Watson Says: I’ve only seen two episodes of the Sopranos so this doesn’t interest me much.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
What is it? It’s the third movie in the Conjuring series, a film series that has spawned its own cinematic universe.
Why we’re psyched! The Conjuring movies, where Patrick Wilson and Vera Farminga play famed paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, have been consistently praised by audiences and critics alike, and it did somehow spawn a cinematic universe.
Why we’re wary… The best Conjuring universe movies are the ones directed by series creator James Wan, and he didn’t direct this one.
What is it? It’s a cinematic adaptation of a 1993 Tom Clancy novel of the same name.
Why we’re psyched! It stars the versatile and charismatic Michael B. Jordan in the lead role.
Why we’re wary… Is a Tom Clancy adaptation, particularly one from before 9/11, still relevant?
Watson Says: His smash hit show on Amazon says he probably is still relevant… I think this makes a Rainbow Six adaptation much more likely now. Given the success of the Ryanverse and the video game series, how has that movie not be made.
What is it? It’s the story of a dying inventor, in a post-apocalyptic world, building himself a robot to do some traveling and take care of his dog when the man dies.
Why we’re psyched! Tom Hanks as the inventor, a dying old man who wants a friend to take care of his dog? Cue the water works from, at the very least, Jenny.
Why we’re wary… Then again, this scenario sounds way too much like its just there to manipulate said water works from audiences, particularly the Jennys of this world.
Death on the Nile
What is it? It’s a sequel to director/star Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express.
Why we’re psyched! Branagh made a fun movie the first time with an all-star cast of suspects, and it looks like he’s doing it again while wearing an intentionally outlandish mustache.
Why we’re wary… That first one was a bit forgettable, all told. I don’t foresee this one being any better in the grand scheme of things.
Watson Says: I liked the Orient Express and was pleasantly surprised they made the next installment. If I could stop watching movies, I am reading the novel as we speak…
What is it? It’s a solo movie for everyone’s favorite member of G.I. Joe, the mute ninja Snake Eyes.
Why we’re psyched! Snake Eyes is everyone’s favorite Joe for a reason: he’s just so damn cool, and he was something of a highlight in the previous G.I. Joe movies. And this time, he’s being played by all-around cool guy Henry Golding.
Why we’re wary… Henry Golding is all-around cool. So why is he playing a character famously so disfigured he hid his face away at all times and couldn’t talk?
Jimmy Says: We’ll have to wait on the trailers for this one, as the previous Joe films barely qualified as dumb fun. And no, I have no idea who Henry Golding is.
Watson Says: At least this version of the costume doesn’t have lips.
What is it? It’s the sequel to the big 2018 hit reimagined sequel from the guys who gave us Eastbound & Down and Pineapple Express.
Why we’re psyched! That Halloween is perhaps the best since the original, and all it had to do beyond bring Jamie Lee Curtis back is ignore every movie in the series that came out after the original.
Why we’re wary… You want confusing continuity? Look at Halloween. It’s got way more misses than hits over the course of Michael Myers’s endless murder sprees.
Jimmy Says: The original Halloween is one of the all time greats (JUST WATCH IT ALREADY TOM KELLY!!!), but the sequels have been very miss for the most part. And this isn’t the first time they’ve brought JLC back and ignored the previous sequels.
Watson Says: The 2018 version was simply excellent. But that’s because it felt like it was divorced from the franchise and sequelitis. This will be just another sequel…
What is it? It’s an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel of the same name. And while it isn’t the first movie version, it may fit my personal remake rules.
Why we’re psyched! Anne Hathaway is playing the head witch in a cast that includes Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, and Chris Rock. And Guillermo del Toro co-wrote the screenplay. That’s impressive!
Why we’re wary… Director Robert Zemeckis’ last movie was the god-awful Welcome to Marwen. When was the last time that guy made something worth seeing?
What is it? It’s the next new batch of characters to hit the MCU, superhuman immortals charged with protecting humanity.
Why we’re psyched! Even the worst Marvel movies are at least watchable, and the multi-ethnic cast on this one looks mighty impressive.
Why we’re wary… Marvel has managed to make some fairly obscure characters huge successes for people who don’t read comics. But could this one be the bridge too far?
Jimmy Says: The biggest test for the Marvel brand since the original Guardians of the Galaxy. And how did that work out?
Watson Says: I am getting excited about this movie and think it is going to be awesome. There is a lot of opportunity here and Feige can tell ANY type of story with these characters. I look for him to hit a homerun.
What is it? It’s another adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel, this time from director Denis Villeneuve.
Why we’re psyched! Villeneuve hasn’t disappointed me yet, and the cast for this one includes Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Ryan-fave Javier Bardem.
Why we’re wary… I read Dune once. Most of it seemed like people thinking about what other people were thinking while knowing those people knew they were thinking that. And then something happened in the last fifty pages or so. I wasn’t impressed.
Watson Says: Zero interest in this.
What is it? It’s a movie based on a treasure-hunting video game series.
Why we’re psyched! Tom Holland stars as Nathan Drake, and that probably means something to Jimmy.
Why we’re wary… Well, it is a movie based on a video game…
Jimmy Says: Uncharted is a fantastic series of games cut from the same cloth as Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider. It SHOULD NOT star Tom Holland. Seriously…TOM HOLLAND?!?!?
Watson Says: I’ve not played the game, but maybe this will be the next Indiana Jones. Or maybe the next Tomb Raider 2…
Coming to America 2
What is it? It’s the long-awaited (theoretically) sequel to the popular Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall rom com.
Why we’re psyched! We’ve got Murphy and Hall reprising their roles in a movie where Prince Akeem learns he had an illegitimate son back in Queens that is set to become the next king of Zamunda.
Why we’re wary… You know, I love the original, but how the heck did Akeem father an illegitimate son? He wasn’t exactly spreading the royal seed while he was over there. Plus, John Landis isn’t back in the director’s chair.
Jimmy Says: I hope this surprises as no one really asked for it besides Hall’s agent.
Watson Says: I LOVE the original. One of my favorite ever. But like Dumb and Dumber, I expect them to make the same jokes as the first film, make me laugh, and then have me grade it a C-.
West Side Story
What is it? It’s another version of the classic musical re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet.
Why we’re psyched! Stephen Spielberg directed this one since he apparently has conquered enough genres and decided he needed to take on the musical as well.
Why we’re wary… Did he have to do this musical? There’s already a great version of it that I doubt even Spielberg can improve on outside of making sure the members of the cast actually do their own singing this time.
Watson Says: Dust off my “Why did Spielberg make this movie?” analysis and put this effort in the “WTF column…
The Croods 2
What is it? It’s a sequel to the 2013 animated caveman movie The Croods.
Why we’re psyched! Well, Dreamworks can produce a good animated feature once in a while.
Why we’re wary… Does anyone even remember the first movie?
What is it? An adaptation of a sci-fi novel about a young man, believing a plague wiped out all the women of his colony world and granted him the ability to hear thoughts, finding a young woman and discovering he’s been lied to.
Why we’re psyched! This sounds like a potentially cool premise with Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley as the young couple and Mads Mikkelsen as the villainous mayor. Plus, director Doug Liman gave us the great Edge of Tomorrow.
Why we’re wary… I don’t know much about this one yet, so take anything I say with a grain of salt.
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
What is it? It’s a sequel to 2017’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard.
Why we’re psyched! I thought the first one was so-so for action but that stars Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson had some great comedic chemistry, but the real scene-stealer was Salma Hayek as Jackson’s violent, foul-tempered wife. Since it looks like she’s the one under protection this time, it means everyone involved saw she was the best part of the first movie.
Why we’re wary… Even if you did enjoy Hayek in the first movie, it could be a case where keeping her mostly off-screen allowed her scenes to work better. Using her more could make the character less fun. That’s been known to happen. Also, Jimmy Impossible hated the first one if he even remembers seeing it, so it wasn’t exactly a universal hit around here.
Jimmy Says: What Tom says.
What is it? It’s a new Scooby Doo animated feature!
Why we’re psyched! Scooby Doo at its best is a very self-aware series, one that either uses a formula that still works or openly mocks said formula in a way that still works or somewhere in-between. Plus, it looks like Warner Brothers animation is using this to make a Hanna-Barbera cinematic universe.
Why we’re wary… There have been a lot of crappy Scooby Doo cartoons and things over the years.
Jimmy Says: I miss Casey.
Watson Says: Even though I see most movies, since my kids got older, animated kiddie films are often the exception. The trailer here got this on my “maybe” list.
Chicken Run 2
What is it? It’s another stop-motion animated sequel about a bunch of chickens who escaped the poultry farm from the great British animation studio Aardman.
Why we’re psyched! Aardman does great work. That’s pretty much all you need to know.
Why we’re wary… It may not come out next year. Also, Mel Gibson voiced a rooster in the first one. Is he back for the next one? Because he’s…problematic.
Jimmy Says: And you thought Black Widow should have came out years ago…
What is it? It’s an action comedy where a guy named Guy learns he’s an NPC in an open world video game and decides to do something about it.
Why we’re psyched! Ryan Reynolds as Guy means we get something that probably works to Reynolds’ strengths as a comedic actor. That trailer does look promising.
Why we’re wary… As great as Reynolds is in general, he’s not much of a box office draw outside of Deadpool. Plus, could this one be too busy and full of stuff to be really enjoyable?
Jimmy Says: I wasn’t terribly impressed with the trailer. It looks like a bit of a mess. I do generally like Reynolds, so I’ll probably give it a shot at some point.
Watson Says: I agree with Jimmy. This trailer didn’t just show all the funny parts. Or did it…
What is it? It’s the next installment of the Tom Hardy-led antihero series.
Why we’re psyched! The original Venom was HUGE box office and guaranteed a sequel, and while I walked out of the theater hating it, I’ve softened a bit since then. Besides, whatever Tom Hardy was doing seemed to connect with audiences.
Why we’re wary… I said my position softened. I still think the original was a bad movie.
Jimmy Says: When the best review you can find of the film is “well, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be”, you know something is wrong. And how can you have a Venom story with no Spider-Man? Ok, they somewhat managed that, but this is still a film with dialogue talking about a turd blowing in the wind. And we all love Woody Harrelson…but this is your Cletus Kasady?
Watson Says: I didn’t love the first one but it was harmless. I’ll see this but only Harrelson excites me.
The Rhythm Section
What is it? It’s a spy thriller where a woman looks into what really happened with the plane crash that killed her family.
Why we’re psyched! Blake Lively, Jude Law, and Sterling K. Brown star in an adaptation of an international best-seller, and you know it’s serious because Lively looks recognizably bad in the trailers. You’ll know what I mean if you see one.
Why we’re wary… January release date.
What is it? It’s Guy Ritchie’s return to the crime genre.
Why we’re psyched! Say what you will about Ritchie as a director, but he makes some really good crime movies with a layer of dark comedy on top, and it looks like he’s returning to form here. Plus, the cast includes Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Eddie Marsan, Colin Farrell, and Hugh Grant.
Why we’re wary… January release date.
Watson Says: I don’t love Ritchie, but this trailer looked solid.
Last Night in Soho
What is it? It’s director Edgar Wright’s next movie after Baby Driver.
Why we’re psyched! Edgar Wright is something of a cinematic genius. He’s done comedies with horror, action, and sci-fi elements, a musical heist film without any singing, and now he wants to do straight-up horror. At the least, it’ll be interesting.
Why we’re wary… There’s hardly anything known about this movie as of yet.
Watson Says: I generally like Wright, but think he’s a guy who would benefit from a Netflix deal…
Here’s where Watson usually checks out, but he actually recommended, like, half this list. If you know Watson, that should tell you all you need to know about what’s on TV these days, especially if you do as many Americans do these days and get most of your TV entertainment from premium cable or streaming services.
Watson Says: I watched more TV in 2019 than I had in a decade. You guys should listen to me…this is the GOLDEN AGE!
Star Trek Discovery/Picard
What are they? They’re the latest Star Trek series. Discovery is entering its third season while Picard brings back one of the greatest captains in all of Starfleet as played by Geek Fave Patrick Stewart.
Why we’re psyched! Captain Picard is back! And the trailers make it look great! Ryan, meanwhile, says the same about Discovery.
Why we’re wary… As good as Picard looked, I still don’t know if its enough to get me to sign on for a CBS streaming service.
Jimmy Says: Next Generation is by far my favoarite Trek, and the Picard trailer looks phenomenal. Very much looking forward to this!
Watson Says: This looks good, but I will not be subscribing the the CBS Network.
What is it? It’s a workplace comedy from Parks and Recreation creator Greg Daniels.
Why we’re psyched! Daniels knows his comedy, and his supremely talented cast is headed up by Steve Carell.
Why we’re wary… Netflix has a bad habit of canceling things rather quickly. We could only get two seasons. Best not to get too attached.
Watson Says: Not worried about cancellation with that pedigree. Carrell and Daniels with this premise? GOLD!
What is it? HBO’s new comedy from Veep creator Armando Iannucci about the problems aboard a space-based luxury cruise-ship.
Why we’re psyched! Hugh Laurie is leading a cast of comedic actors, and Iannucci has a way of finding the very human foibles that exist in any situation as people squabble for power that often isn’t really there or maybe even worth it.
Why we’re wary… Has Iannucci ever made a comedy that wasn’t set in a political office before?
What is it? It’s an animated series about a teenage boy who learns his dad is the world’s greatest superhero and decides to try the same thing out for himself.
Why we’re psyched! This is Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman’s other great comic book series, and the voice cast includes the likes of J.K. Simmons, Mark Hamill, Sandra Oh, and Seth Rogen.
Why we’re wary… Have you seen how much The Walking Dead has worn out its welcome?
Watson Says: This is the last comic series I read monthly before largely quitting comics. You are telling me this epic story is going to be adapted as an adult aimed Amazon cartoon? I am in!
Y: The Last Man
What is it? It’s a post-apocalyptic story from the comic book series by creator Brian K. Vaughn about a world where all male mammals suddenly all die at once…except for one guy and his monkey.
Why we’re psyched! The source material is fantastic, and FX has proven it can handle a mature sci-fi show.
Why we’re wary… This one has been something of a mess behind the scenes…
Jimmy Says: For some reason I think the show is simply called Y…because obviously the rest of the title was too confusing. I’ll be checking it out as it was a fantastic read for 59 issues.
Watson Says: I think the show is prime for adaptation, but why did it have to be on FX? Ugh…
Monsters at Work
What is it? It’s an animated series from Pixar set in the Monsters Inc. world for Disney+.
Why we’re psyched! Monsters Inc was incredibly creative and sweet, like all the better Pixar movies, and there’s some real potential in expending that world.
Why we’re wary… Well, there was something called Monsters University…
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
What is it? It’s the first original content from the MCU for Disney+.
Why we’re psyched! This one could be the most anticipated for the announced MCU shows as Captain America’s two best pals get into mischief.
Why we’re wary… For one, the Winter Soldier’s only personality trait is he’s Steve Rogers’ friend. For another, we don’t know if this show will turn out any better or any worse than The Mandalorian.
Jimmy Says: How will this show make out without Baby Yoda? I sure hope D+/Marvel can deliver on these MCU shows as they are the only reason I signed up for Disney+.
Watson Says: This show could be excellent. I am really excited that this could be a great spy/thriller type show if they go the Winter Soldier route.
What is it? It’s the continuing adventures of DC’s resident team of freaks and weirdos.
Why we’re psyched! Doom Patrol was easily the best live action show on DC Universe, deftly jumping from bizarre comedy to pathos without missing a step. And the show apparently is good enough that season two will appear on both DC Universe and the new HBO Max.
Why we’re wary… Hopefully this show doesn’t get old. Will there be a new villain now that the delightfully cynical Mr. Nobody has perhaps been defeated?
What is it? It’s Warner Brothers’ new streaming service.
Why we’re psyched! The closest Disney has to a competitor right now is Warner Brothers. And this service, combining all of the various Warner properties, could be a mature viewer’s response to Diseny+.
Why we’re wary… Setting aside the sheer volume of streaming services competing for your hard-earned dollar, how many HBO-based streaming services will there be at this rate? That’s bound to lead to some brand confusion.
Watson Says: Like the regular HBO app, I will add and drop my subscription based on top tier shows dropping.
What is it? It’s the various DC superhero shows on the CW.
Why we’re psyched! Crisis on Infinite Earths has been a lot of fun so far despite the various series’ relatively low budget. The new Batwoman has been rather good so far, and Arrow is ending on a high note. Just get me Legends of Tomorrow back in its usual silly format and I’ll be a happy camper.
Why we’re wary… Where do you go from Crisis?
Jimmy Says: I’ve been watching Crisis but haven’t watched anything else…I don’t see that changing.
What is it? It’s everybody’s favorite 80s throwback that was never made in the 80s.
Why we’re psyched! Stranger Things has always produced some top-notch adventures that hearken back to a different kind of storytelling that, quite frankly, doesn’t seem to get made anymore.
Why we’re wary… Season four might not actually come out in 2020.
Jimmy Says: Season 3 was a nice bounce back after a somewhat disappointing sophomore season (YMMV). Season 4 will be must watch binging when it drops.
Lord of the Rings/The Wheel of Time
What is it? It’s Amazon’s attempt to have not one, but TWO possible Game of Thrones type series.
Why we’re psyched! Either of these would make for interesting viewing as both J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert Jordan’s respective series are highly beloved to fantasy fans. And if any company on Earth can afford to toss money at two massive fantasy shows, it may be Amazon.
Why we’re wary… Neither of these might actually come out in 2020. We’ve only gotten some casting announcements on both to date.
What is it? It’s the continuing adventures of the hitman who takes up acting.
Why we’re psyched! Because Bill Hader is a goddamn national treasure, that’s why! Plus, there’s also Henry Winkler.
Why we’re wary… If we had a reason to be wary, Barry might kill us.
Watson Says: This is a show that needs to wrap up in the next season or two because it is really good, but I could see it playing out.
Masters of the Universe Revelation
What is it? It’s a new animated series from Kevin Smith about the various denizens of Castle Greyskull
Why we’re psyched! Kevin Smith is behind it, and that guy is the ultimate fanboy. At the very least, he’ll respect the source material, such as it is.
Why we’re wary… She-Ra and the Princesses of Power has gotten a lot of critical and fan acclaim for how it digs into being a female hero. Somehow I doubt Smith is going to do anything particularly groundbreaking with the characters here. And speaking of which…
Watson Says: I hope it is more meta than mainstream children’s comedy.
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
What is it? It’s Netflix’s re-imaging of the She-Ra character.
Why we’re psyched! Who would have thought a series, originally just a female version of He-Man, would actually make the jump to being as huge as this new version is?
Why we’re wary… Though there is no reason to believe they won’t, Netflix hasn’t announced a fourth season yet…
Transformers: War for Cybertron
What is it? It’s another animated 80s relaunch from Netflix.
Why we’re psyched! Netflix has a pretty good track record with these things.
Why we’re wary… Well, a few Michael Bay movies will do that sort of thing…
Watson Says: I want to see the show set without humans. Especially if Michael Bay is one of those humans.
Locke and Key
What is it? It’s a live action adaptation of Joe Hill’s comic series about a family inheriting a creepy house with a lot of keys that do things…
Why we’re psyched! There’s a lot of potential for scares with Locke and Key, and could make a good companion for Netflix’s Haunting of Hill House.
Why we’re wary… No reason to be, but sometimes what works on a comic book page is a little too goofy for live action.
Watson Says: The original comic was quite good, but the ending of the series landed a little flat. Hope they can punch it up as they play things out.
What is it? It’s Amazon’s adaptation of the Garth Ennis comic book series about the guys who try to keep disorderly superheroes in line.
Why we’re psyched! Wow, this one really took off when it came out, didn’t it? It’s using the original series as a blueprint while not being quite so juvenile in its sense of humor as Ennis often is. Plus, the plot has taken some major deviations from the original, something that is bound to keep fans of the original off-balance in a good way.
Why we’re wary… Something like The Boys isn’t for everybody. Also, given the changes made to the show, I want to know what the reason is for Mother’s Milk to go by that name.
Watson Says: Why isn’t this in movies? The original was only an hour and change. What? I only watched Episode 8 thinking it was the first episode? DAMN!
What is it? It’s the Jordan Peele-produced HBO series about the dual horrors of unfathomable monsters from other realms and racism towards black people in the middle of the 20th century.
Why we’re psyched! The novel it’s based on is pretty damn good, and Peele has a good track record with horror so far.
Why we’re wary… Quite frankly, the racism in the novel was a lot scarrier than the eldritch horrors, as it should have been. That was deliberate on the part of author Matt Ruff, but will that work on TV?
The Umbrella Academy
What is it? It’s the Netflix adaptation of Gerald Way’s comic series about a family of superheroes with all kinds of problems.
Why we’re psyched! Despite appearances, this isn’t much of a superhero show so much as it is a psychological look at how messed up a group of adopted siblings are after they had a really bad father.
Why we’re wary… While Umbrella Academy was pretty good TV, The Boys pretty much sucked the air out of the metaphorical room when it comes to messed up superheroes.
The Handmaid’s Tale
What is it? It’s Hulu’s series about a distopian society that took over the United States and installed a theology that oppresses just about everyone, but especially the handful of women still capable of having children.
Why we’re psyched! No show does internal misery better than The Handmaid’s Tale, and Elizabeth Moss is a fantastic actress to base a series around.
Why we’re wary… Season three got a little ridiculous at times for how much plot armor Moss’s June seemed to have compared to the beginning of the series.
What is it? It’s the HBO series about theme park robots that look awfully human…and may be coming to wipe us out and take our place if we aren’t careful.
Why we’re psyched! The series raised the stakes at the end of season two between two competing robo-ideologies: Dolores’s “kill all the humans in order to be free and survive” and Bernard’s “we can co-exist” philosophies.
Why we’re wary… Quite frankly, this show is something of a confusing mess at times.
What is it? It’s the final season of the History Channel’s first original drama.
Why we’re psyched! Vikings always strikes me as like a comfortable pair of old shoes. They may not be the best, but they sure are familiar. Vikings can do clever action scenes and has some fun characters.
Why we’re wary… 20 episodes is far too many for a season of this show, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually ended in 2021 given how the network often schedules it. Also, the show really misses the original lead character of Ragnar Lothbrok.
What We Do in the Shadows
What is it? It’s the FX comedy series about a group of vampires living in Staten Island.
Why we’re psyched! The first season actually worked as well as the movie it was based on, and the vampire council episode was just plain awesome.
Why we’re wary… How far can you stretch a show like this even with the fake documentary format?
Books are fun and good for you, but it’s hard to keep track of what good books are coming out in any given year. So, this section tends to be one of the shorter ones. We’ll all read a good book when we hear about one, but we don’t follow publishing enough to tell when the big releases are coming.
The Winds of Winter
What is it? It’s a book that almost certainly isn’t coming out this year if it ever does. Personally, I think George RR Martin will finish this one (the next one is another story), and after the way Game of Thrones ended, how much are readers going to want to see Martin’s version of the story play out? Besides, if the book does come out this year, don’t I look clever?
Jimmy Says: I wish it would come out so that we can get one step closer to a better (you would imagine) ending to this story. But the odds of multiple books coming from Martin seems very slim.
Watson Says: Snicker!
Peace Talks (Dresden Files Book 16)
What is it? It’s the next book in Jim Butcher’s incredibly fun Dresden Files series.
Why we’re psyched! Because nobody does urban fantasy better than Jim Butcher with his great Dresden Files series.
Why we’re wary… Butcher only announced that he’d finished a draft recently, so who knows if it actually gets published this year? Wait, it is coming out this year? Never mind! I’m not wary at all!
Ghost Money (Eric Carter Book 5)
What is it? It’s the next book in the Eric Carter series about a necromancer who is truly an asshole.
Why we’re psyched! Carter is that rare protagonist where, even as we see the world through his eyes, it is easy to see why people hate him. Most protagonists in these series are called assholes by other characters but rarely seem that way if you see the world through their eyes. Plus, more importantly, Stephen Blackmoore can craft a great adventure for LA’s most notorious necromancer.
Why we’re wary… Book four was still good, but despite looking forward to it, I somehow forgot all about it when it finally hit virtual shelves. Not a good sign…
Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy Book 2)
What is it? It’s the next book in Robert Jackson Bennett’s latest fantasy trilogy about a world where magic is somewhat automated and industrial.
What’s this? Travel? We’ve never done that one before! Well, why?
What is it? It’s Disney’s relatively new Star Wars-themed theme park attraction.
Why we’re psyched! Well, we may not be able to visit a galaxy far, far away any other way.
Why we’re wary… Not all of us can get to California or Florida all that easily, JENNY.
Watson Says: I am a little down on Star Wars…and I am not a fan of Disney parks…but I adore Jenny so I will be there in February…
What is it? You’re looking at it!
Why we’re psyched! Because we love what we do, and I love it enough to go off and do my own thing, but still write here because the perks are great.
Why we’re wary… Because there’s probably another box office bet this year. Sigh. Happy 2020, everyone!
Watson Says: Ryan sucks…
Sweet Home “Episode Five”
Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #62 (July, 1968)
The X-Files “Home”