The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)
Written by Oren Uziel and Doug Jung
Directed by Julius Onah
In the year 2028, an energy crisis has sent humanity to the verge of collapse. The last best hope for the world is the crew aboard an orbital particle accelerator, The Cloverfield Station. Their goal is to get the accelerator running, creating an infinite alternative energy source that would cause global tensions to subside and hope to be restored. After two years and multiple tests, it appears this is not going to work out. After a few adjustments, they make one final check, expecting nothing. But something does happen, and the crew is suddenly thrown into a bizarre new reality, where the laws of physics and nature do not operate the same. Comms officer Ava Hamilton attempts to navigate this treacherous new paradigm while keeping the crew alive around her. A new crew member appears who knows all of them but whom they have never seen before in their life. Voices speak to another who becomes violent. Everything they used to be able to rely on is crumbling.
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The Post (2018)
Written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer
Directed by Steven Spielberg
In 1971, portions of a U.S. government commissioned classified report on their involvement in Indochina were sent to the New York Times. The Times was the first outlet to publish an article on the content which led to the Nixon White House slapping them with an injunction. Meanwhile, another portion of the document was dropped on a desk in the newsroom of the Washington Post. Editor-in-Chief Ben Bradlee sees this as the Post’s moment to move from a local D.C. paper to a national force in the news. Owner Katharine Graham is hesitant when she finds out, being told this could damage the legacy of her family. The Post has just gone public on Wall Street, and the board of directors fears massive damage financially. Graham is also a lifelong friend of people who will be implicated in flawed U.S. foreign policy like Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamara. She must make a decision about what to do next and deal with the repercussions that result.
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The Great McGinty (1940)
Written & Directed by Preston Sturges
We begin at a bar in a banana republic where a forlorn and suicidal American banker is stopped from ending things by the bartender. The bartender is also an American, Dan McGinty, who tells his patron that he was once governor of a state in the U.S. From there we flashback to the story of McGinty’s rise and fall to power. During the Great Depression, he’s another jobless schmoe who is coerced into a voting fraud scheme for two bucks. He ends up showing an impressive level of moxie, and a local mob boss decides to use McGinty in his plans. He starts out as an alderman before moving to mayor and eventually governor of an unnamed state. But, as the film’s opening prologue tells us, one moment of good will topple McGinty back to the bottom.
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The Shape of Water (2017)
Written by Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Elisa Esposito lives in Baltimore circa the early 1960s. She is mute since birth and works as a cleaning woman at a government laboratory. Her only friends are Zelda, a fellow cleaner, and Giles, her neighbor who is a closeted gay man. One night while working, a new specimen is brought into the lab by Colonel Strickland. The creature was discovered in the South American rainforest and is a humanoid fish person. Elisa feels a connection to this poor animal and worries as Strickland oversees his torture. A plan begins to develop, and Elisa becomes determined to help her new friend escape this nightmare existence.
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The Battle of the Sexes (2017)
Written by Simon Beaufoy
Directed by Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris
It’s 1973 and Billie Jean King is the first female athlete to make $100,000. She is right in the midst of her reign as the queen of the court. On the flipside is Bobby Briggs, 55, a former tennis champion for a brief moment in the late 1930s/early 1940s. He is also a gambling addict but one who wins more often than loses. Briggs gets the idea to play into the women’s lib movement of the time and hype himself as the ultimate male chauvinist, all in a bid to put on the Battle of the Sexes. This match would pit Briggs against King and help fill his pockets with endorsement money as well as build attention for U.S. Tennis. Meanwhile, King is dealing a personal revelation that will shake her life and her career.
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A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (2013)
Written & Directed by Roman Coppola
Charles Swan III (Charlie Sheen) is a successful graphic designer who has just been dumped by his girlfriend, Ivana. The aftermath has him ending up in the hospital being told to watch his stress. His sister, best friend, and business manager (played by Patricia Arquette, Jason Schwartzman, and Bill Murray respectively) come to his aid, assuaging his ego while he loses himself in flights of fancy. Charles finds his emotions ping-ponging between loving and hating Ivana, unable to make a clean break with her. He begins to suspect she is seeing someone else and gets into a series of unfunny predicaments to discover the truth.
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Today, I finish up the look at my most anticipated films of the years, this time with the movies that are in production but with no release dates yet. Tomorrow, I will be looking at my most anticipated television programs of 2018. Let me know what films sound good to you and why.
Alien Nation (TBD) – Directed by Jeff Nichols
Alien Nation is probably remembered better for the Fox television series, and sadly I have never seen the 1988 feature film (will be remedying that this year). The premise is that an alien race in desperate need of a home assimilates into Los Angeles. The film follows a human cop and his new alien partner as they uncover a noir-ish conspiracy involving both their species. Jeff Nichols, the man behind great films like Take Shelter and Midnight Special, feels like he has the right muted realism to make something like this have a profound impact. In our current political climate, done right, Alien Nation could be a considerable achievement.
Continue reading “My Most Anticipated Films of 2018 Part 2”