One Film to Look Forward to in Each Month of 2018

January – The Post

The Post tells the true story of The Washington Post’s expose of government deceit surrounding the Vietnam war and now is undoubtedly the time for a press versus president movie. The start of the year always brings the big awards films and in terms of its pedigree this may be the biggest. Big names and reputation actually mean increasingly less at the Oscars but Spielberg, Streep and Hanks should undoubtedly draw the crowds and guarantee a good night at the pictures no matter who wins the statuettes.

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February – The Shape of Water

It’s been over a decade since Guillermo del Toro made the masterpiece that is Pan’s Labyrinth and while I have been hoping he will make something as good again, two of the three films he’s made since have actually been amongst his worst. Ever the optimist though I went off to see his latest film, The Shape of Water, at the London Film Festival and my faith in del Toro was gloriously rewarded. Combining the real world with fantasy, just as he did with Pan’s Labyrinth, the director has once again created a stunning piece of cinematic storytelling, this time about a woman who falls in love with a sea monster. I can’t wait to see it again to decide whether it is actually the best thing he has ever done.

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March – Ready Player One

Steven Spielberg’s second film release in almost as many months is about people playing in a virtual reality world full of characters and vehicles from pop culture. It you loved Chewbacca’s cameo alongside Jacob Tremblay in Wonder then you are going to go nuts when you see The Batmobile, Doc Brown’s DeLorean and Akira’s motorbike racing past the Iron Giant and King Kong.

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April – Avengers: Infinity War

I know it is not surprising for a geek like me to have this on the list but Avengers 3 does look epic. It was exciting enough when Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and Captain America first got together but now Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Ant-Man, Black Panther (whose own movie comes out in February) and the Guardians of the Galaxy are joining the party. Although having said that this isn’t called Infinity Party so they may not all survive until Avengers 4. I’m particularly worried for Cap.

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May – The Breadwinner

In a less predictable move I’m not including the next Star Wars film here. This is partly because I have some reservations about the Han Solo origin movie but mostly because, after seeing the trailer, I have none regarding The Breadwinner, which is released on the same day. This animation from the studio behind the brilliant Song of the Sea and The Secret of Kells tells the story of a young girl in 2001 Afghanistan who disguises herself as a boy to provide for her family. It looks stunning.

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June – Ocean’s 8

A little bit more mainstream is this spin off from Ocean’s 11, 12 and 13 in which a group of women including Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter plan a heist at the New York Met Gala. Apart from anything else there still aren’t enough films with predominantly female casts but if this is half as much fun as Ocean’s 11 it will be great. It looks less contrived than the all girl Ghostbusters too (my review of which suggested they make this very film but no one is giving me any credit).

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July – Mission Impossible 6

The actual title of this film has not yet been announced but just the idea is enough to get me on board. In many respects these are the new James Bond films following a similar idea each time with familiar characters and the same promise of providing a thrilling spy story. (The last Mission Impossible and the last Bond movie actually had identical plots.) Providing further evidence of the near prophetic powers of my blog, my preview of 2015 suggested that since Tom Cruise had run out of tall things to climb up he would be seen in Mission 5 clinging to the side of a rocket (it was actually a plane). I’m going for him hanging from the moon in this one.

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August – Ant-man and the Wasp

So we know at least one of the Marvel superheroes will live through the Infinity War as he has his own sequel coming out in August. This time he is joined by Evangeline Lilly as The Wasp, making this the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to have a female hero referred to in the title. To quote Lilly’s words when she sees her super suit at the end of the first film; ‘about damn time’.

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September – The Kid Who Would Be King

Writer/director Joe Wright’s last film, Attack the Block, did something new and totally exhilarating with the alien invasion movie. (It also represented the first foray into sci-fi for Star Wars’ John Boyega and Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker.) With The Kid Who Would Be King Wright is giving his spin on the King Arthur legend with Patrick Stewart playing Merlin.

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October – First Man

How is it no one has ever made a film about Neil Armstrong before? Warner Brothers have had the rights to this story for fourteen years. Still, with a sentiment which is totally the opposite to that which drove the mission to get a man on the moon, better late than never. Damien Chazelle is direction a film without a jazz theme for the first time but his La La Land star Ryan Gosling is taking the journey with him.

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November – The Nutcracker and the Twelve Realms

2017 gave the world two new Christmas comedies by tagging a festive element onto the Bad Moms and Daddy’s Home sequels. I don’t think either movie will become a holiday favourite. The Nutcracker and the Twelve Realms looks like it could become a regular favourite though, combining imaginative fantasy adventure with a classic Yuletide tale.

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December – Mary Poppins Returns

I was initially concerned about this much belated sequel to Mary Poppins but in the same way I came round to the idea of a new Star Wars film a few years ago I am now quite excited by this. P.L Travers wrote eight Poppins books so why not? I suspect the tonal relationship between this and the brilliant 1964 movie will be similar to that between The Wizard of Oz and Return to Oz but this may be no bad thing.

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