Watch: Six movies to keep an eye on before summer hits

fiftyshades
“Fifty Shades Darker”

Holiday movies, summer movies — we all know about those. But what about movies that come out early in the year?

Here are a few we’re looking forward to in the next few months:

Jan. 13

“Sleepless”: A remake of the French thriller “Sleepless Night,” Jamie Foxx and T.I. are corrupt Las Vegas cops who are searching for a kidnapped child, who happens to be the son of one of the cops. No! Sleep! Till … finding a kidnapper!

Feb. 10

“Fifty Shades Darker”: Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in this sequel to 2015 epic “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which is one of the funniest movies of this decade (probably not intentionally).

March 3

“Logan”: James Mangold directs Hugh Jackman in his final turn as the legendary Marvel Comics mutant Wolverine. Based loosely on the comic book miniseries “Old Man Logan” by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, “Logan” concerns an aged Wolverine in the post-apocalyptic future. Many mutants are dead; somehow Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier is still alive. The trailer was terrific, complete with striking, melancholic use of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt.”

March 10

“T2 Trainspotting”: Reportedly based loosely on “Porno,” Irving Welsh’s 2002 sequel to “Trainspotting,” Danny Boyles’ “T2” takes place 20 years later (probably around 2008 or so). “Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family” has morphed into “Choose life. Choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and hope that someone, somewhere cares. Choose looking up old flames, wishing you’d done it all differently. And choose watching history repeat itself.” We are keeping our fingers crossed.

April 28

“The Circle”: Based on the 2013 sci-fi novel by Dave Eggers, “The Circle” stars Emma Watson as a new employee at a very Facebook-ish (and increasingly creepy) company called the Circle. With Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Karen Gillan, Patton Oswalt and Bill Paxton.

May 5

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”: And here we have the unofficial kickoff to the summer blockbuster season, part two of Marvel/Disney’s smash hit space opera-via-superheroes story of ragtag adventurers at the cosmic end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The whole gang is back: Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, (Baby) Groot and Rocket Racoon.

Ready for more? Read my full preview of 24 movies coming in early 2017.

The teaser for ‘Blade Runner 2049’ has us screaming ‘PLEASE BE A GOOD MOVIE!’

Real talk: Directed by Ridley Scott, based incredibly loosely on the book “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K Dick, featuring a title by William Burroughs, 1982’s “Blade Runner” remains one of the great sci-fi movies. Gorgeous cinematography, stunningly tactile visual effects, incredible performance from Rutger Hauer as the replicant who may indeed have a soul, using Harrison Ford for all of the things Harrison Ford does well (including possibly being a robot), it’s a classic.

So, when one sees the teaser for the upcoming “Blade Runner 2049,” produced by Scott, directed by Denis “Arrival” Villeneuve, starring it-man Ryan Gosling and Ford (who apparently isn’t cutting his hair for any director these days, be he J.J. Abrams or Villeneuve), it’s understandable that the first thought is:

“PLEASEDON’TSCREWTHISUP! PLEASEDON’TSCREWTHISUP!PLEASEDON’TSCREWTHISUP!” etc.

 

So far, so good.

Los Angeles looks to be a desert wasteland, with Gosling’s character finding Deckard (Ford) perhaps the lone resident in his old building (perhaps the way J.F. Sebastian was in his old building). The sound effects are vintage, and a walk through the urban neon (a visual so influential you can find it in a film as contemporary as “Rogue One”) is also present. (But where are they? China? Tokyo? Off-World?)

For his part, Dick has never completely left us as a source. From “Total Recall” to “Minority Report,” Dick’s main themes (“How do we know this is real?” and “How do I know I am human?,” more or less) seem ever more relevant in the age of Siri. The Spike Jonze movie “Her” is a PKD story in all but name.

Amazon just started season 2 of “The Man in the High Castle,” which has about as much relationship to PKD’s incredible novel as “Blade Runner” does to “Androids.”

“Blade Runner 2049” is due out Oct. 6, 2017.