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THE FUTURE — Now that we are into 2016 it's time to stop living in the past and embrace the future. And by embrace the future I mean, sit here and salivate over the movies we can't wait to see this year.
There are some big-ticket items to look forward to in 2016 and some smaller fare that you may not know of, but should be on your radar. For this edition of movies we're excited about in 2016 we're looking through June. For the second half of the year check back for Travis Poppleton's list shortly.
Here are movies we're excited about in the first half of 2016:
"Hail, Caesar!", Feb. 5
It's a Coen Brothers' movie with a phenomenal cast. Not really sure what else I have to say, but I will anyway. This movie appears to have all the charm, quirkiness, character development and satire that we've come to love from the Coen's, and I personally cannot wait to see it.
"Deadpool", Feb. 12
I am not a huge superhero movie fan, but this one has me intrigued. "Deadpool" is not for the kiddos, but rather the full-grown adults who still act like the kiddos. Usually I'd say an R-rated superhero movie was a huge gamble, but the marketing around this film has been brilliant, and I have a feeling that Ryan Reynolds and the Deadpool team will have no problem putting butts in the seats during a slow February.
"Zoolander 2", Feb. 12
The first "Zoolander" made us laugh and shake our heads, but in a good way. But maybe one 90-minute Zoolander movie is enough. "Zoolander 2" looks like more of the same, but we liked the same so who knows? "Zoolander 2" makes the list out of nostalgia and morbid curiosity.
"Eddie the Eagle", Feb. 26
The historical sports drama/comedy "Eddie the Eagle" wasn't on my radar until the first trailer came out recently. The movie about a non-athletic sports fan and his dream of competing in the Olympics looks like the more grown-up version of "Cool Runnings." The cast is solid with Hugh Jackman and "Kingsman" star Taron Egerton, and the film itself looks both fun and inspiring. This may be the sleeper hit of early 2016.
"Whiskey Tango Foxtrot", March 4
Tina Fey fans rejoice! The SNL alum and TV darling is headlining her own film chronicling the real-life events of journalist Kim Barker and her time covering the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The movie looks to have plenty of humor, drama and heartbreak, which I'm excited to see Fey pull off. This movie could end up being a disaster like the Bill Murray comedy "Rock the Kasbah," from 2015, but I have faith "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" will hit the mark.
"Zootopia", March 4
Disney animation has been enjoying some phenomenal success as of late with hits like "Wreck-It Ralph," "Tangled," and of course box-office juggernaut "Frozen." The studio hopes to keep that up with "Zootopia." The first trailers and sloth clip have been fantastic, and it looks like another hit that both parents and kids are really going to enjoy. And this time we won't have a new "Let It Go" song that we never stop hearing in our homes.
"The Little Prince", March 18
Many people have tried to bring the book "The Little Prince" to life, but no one has really captured the magic yet. That may all change with this year's animated film based on the book. The animation looks beautiful, the story intact and the magic in place. The film has already started showing in some spots internationally and has received a very warm welcome. This will not be the massive success as other animated films headed to the theater this year, but it does have a chance to be the best.
"Midnight Special", March 18
Writer and director Jeff Nichols has given us some really spectacular films including "Take Shelter" and "Mud," and we now get a new one from him in 2016, "Midnight Special." This films was set to release in late 2015, but was moved back to March 2016. That's usually not a good sign, but I have faith in Nichols, and I'm looking forward to what could be the most original "superhero" movie we've seen since "Unbreakable."
"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice", March 25
Speaking of superhero movies, we're finally going to see Batman fight Superman on the big screen. Wait? Did anyone ask for that? When this film was announced I was skeptical, then Ben Affleck was announced as the new Batman and I didn't lose my mind like everyone else, but I was still skeptical. Then the first trailer came out, and I actually got a little optimistic. Then the latest trailer released, and Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor turned me off to the whole idea yet again. With that said, this will likely be one of the most talked about films of 2016, and my curiosity will definitely lead me to the theater to watch "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice."
"The Jungle Book", April 15
Disney has been announcing live-action adaptations of many of their animated classics and next up is "The Jungle Book." Director Jon Favreau lined up a stellar voice cast, including Idris Elba, Scarlet Johannson and Bill Murray to bring the Rudyard Kipling classic to life. The movie could be a miss, but with Favreau at the helm this film has a real chance at surprising a lot of people.
"Captain America: Civil War", May 6
I am not a big Marvel fan, so personally I'm not looking forward to "Captain America: Civil War" all that much. I know, I know, I can hear the collective groan from all of you. Even though I'm not a big Marvel movie fan and don't get excited about their movies, I do know that the masses love this stuff and that pretty much everything is just filler until this hits the big screen. Watching the Captain and Iron Man duke it out should be plenty entertaining as Marvel kicks off phase 3.
"Free States of Jones", May 13
Matthew McConaughey has been killing it as of late with the projects he's picking, and that is why I'm excited about "Free States of Jones." The movie stars McConaughey as a southern farmer who leads a group of rebels against the Confederate army. Gary Ross who wrote "Big" and directed "The Hunger Games" is both writing and directing "Free States of Jones", which adds to my excitement.
"X-Men: Apocalypse", May 27
I have enjoyed the X-Men franchise for the most part and personally think the last two entries have been phenomenal. Because of that I was really looking forward to "X-Men: Apocalypse," but the first trailer killed some of that enthusiasm. Granted it's only one trailer, but I'm not sure they are going to be able to capture the emotion and magic we got from "First Class" and "Days of Future Past." I hope I am wrong, but we'll have to wait until May to find out.
"Finding Dory", June 17
Pixar had a stellar 2015 with "The Good Dinosaur" and one of their all-time best films "Inside Out." The animation studio hopes to keep that up with the sequel to their massive hit "Finding Nemo." "Finding Dory" reunites our favorite characters and sets them on a new adventure. Let's just hope that "Finding Dory" isn't the disaster "Cars 2" was, but Dory is based off much stronger source material. With these characters I think it's going to be hard not to enjoy "Finding Dory."
"Independence Day: Resurgence", June 24
Was "Independence Day" a great movie? No, but boy was it fun. Director Roland Emmerich hopes to have that same kind of fun with the sequel "Independence Day: Resurgence." Don't get me wrong, I am as sequel fatigued as you are, but you and I both know we're probably going to be sitting next to each other in the theater this June watching Jeff Goldbum take on aliens.
There you have it, the films we're excited about in the first half of 2016. Keep in mind this is not a comprehensive list and there are some notable movies missing, but I only have so much time people.
Make sure to check back for part two from Travis Poppleton as he takes a look at films coming out in the latter half of 2016.
John has been writing about movies, news, sports and pretty much anything awesome for more than five years. John is the co-host of the Flix Junkies podcast and will always entertain you with his stories.