So this is the first entry of the year and it seems apropos that with all the “best of 2015” lists coming up (like our own, over at 9ES) it would be fun to write a “Best of 2016” before the year has even really started! Then, maybe in 2017 I will look back and find out if the stuff I was excited for was horribly disappointing or not! So for the next few weeks I’ll be taking a look at some stuff that’s coming out in 2016 that I’m excited for.

Now, first of all, I’ve ruled out some of the usual suspects. So that means that I’ve tried my best to include stuff that everyone is excited for. I’ve also limited myself to actually NEW stuff. So that means that even though everyone is excited for new Game of Thrones and the new season of Daredevil, neither will be mentioned here. The point is to get excited about stuff that I’m not already being bombarded with from all sides. Let’s go.

We’re going to start this week with upcoming movies in 2016.

Now, the obvious choices (the ones that I’m only going to mention briefly) are things like Rogue One and Deadpool, to say nothing about whatever the Marvel Cinematic Universe has coming out year. Since Disney announced their release schedule for the Star Wars movie and Rogue One was announced, I was more hyped for it than the main film. I’ve always loved the Rogue Squadron books and the lives of non-Force wielding X-Wing pilots has been one of my favorite parts of the Star Wars universe.

Similarly with Deadpool, ever since he was so badly butchered in his portrayal in that Wolverine movie I never saw, I’ve always hoped for a better fate for the character. Everything in the buildup for this movie seems to point towards delivering on a lot of the key notes and tones of the comic. Let’s hope they don’t let us down.

Now for some stuff that I didn’t know was coming out until I started looking up stuff for this article:

bfgThe BFG

I’ve always had the biggest of soft spots for all the works of Roald Dahl. There were very few books that I read multiple times but almost the entire catalog of Dahl books got worn out with re-reading. If I’m not misremembering, I think I first heard of the BFG from his appearance in Danny, Champion of the World. Maybe because I was reading them in release order? I’ve always been a little anal about that, even as a kid.

Anyways, BFG was probably among my favorites of the lot, the idea of being scooped out of bed and taken on an adventure by a magical anything was right up my alley, that it was a giant was just icing on the cake.

The fact that it turns out that BFG himself is such an outsider, tormented by the much bigger, stronger and dumber giants tied the whole thing together to be a great story for any kid who was little bit of an outcast. Some sort of lesson about never really knowing what kind of shit another person may or may not need to deal with regardless of what assumptions we’ve made about them. Roald Dahl has some deep shit going on you guys.

The film is directed by Stephen Spielberg and honestly, even if he’s had some missteps in recent years, is one of those directors who can totally make a captivating children’s film with adult themes work. If he brings that Spielberg A game to this movie I will be happily revisiting the story of the BFG this summer.

peregrinMiss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children

This movie is based on a children’s novel (or “chapter book” as I used to say) that came out in 2011. As above, my taste in books as a kid always had a bent on the supernatural. Give me “My Teacher is an Alien” over Judy Blume any day of the week. The fact that Ransom Riggs coupled some gorgeous looking photos with a supernatural storyline for kids reading books in 2011 seems cool to me.

The story seems to follow a boy traveling to an orphanage to investigate the murder of his grandfather (who died at the hands of an apparently made up creature) and meeting a girl who can control fire. I’m sold! Sign me up.

Finally, this movie comes from Tim Burton.

I don’t think I’ve ever had an artist go from one of my favorites to a resounding “meh” the way Tim Burton has. He was knocking out back-to-back awesomeness for most of the 80s and 90s, right up until 2005. In fact, prior to 2005 his only real “meh” film was Planet of the Apes in my opinion. Then he released Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He shat all over one of my most (see above) creator’s work and it was down hill from there. Corpse Bride was dull. Sweeney Todd was too long and hokey. Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows were abominations.

He won me back a little with Frankenweenie. So I’m on board for Miss Peregrin’s. This is kind of his last chance for me though. The fact that neither this film or Frankenweenie had Johnny Depp anywhere near them is promising. I kind of feel like Burton and Depp have a kind of relationship where they just feed into the worst part of each other’s talent.

sevenMagnificent Seven

This is kind of a wildcard pick on my list since I realized that my other two choices were kids’ movies. Does this movie need to be remade? Probably not. But, on the other hand, the original was basically a retelling of Seven Samurai, which had only come out 6 years earlier.

The original Magnificent Seven is amazing and it came out 55 years ago. In a world where Spiderman has had a trilogy and been rebooted 3 times in less than 20 years, it’s kind of amazing that such an iconic film has never gotten a remake.

The cast seems intriguing, with Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt and Vincent D’Onofrio being some of the more recognizable names associated with the picture. The director on the other hand is kind of suspect. Someone named Antoine Fuqua. His big claim to fame? He directed Training Day. That was also his most well received movie (with a 72%) on Rotten Tomatoes. He was also the man behind gems like Oympus has Fallen (the other “White House Down”) and that terrible King Arthur movie from 2004 with Clive Own and Keira Knightley. That I only saw because of Keira Knightley. It wasn’t very good.

So why am I on board? Well, the screen writer (one of them) here is Nic Pizzalatto. If you don’t recognize that name then shame on you. He’s the man that penned both seasons of True Detective. So, his involvement has me thinking this might be something memorable, despite the man behind the camera being nothing special.

Next week I’ll take a look at some of the TV shows that are coming out in 2016 that up until recently were kind of under my radar. Stay tuned!

Keith does all sorts of things here on, he works with the other founders on 9to5 (illustrated), co-hosts our two podcasts: The 9to5 Entertainment System and Go Plug Yourself and blogs here as The Perspicacious Geek.