Get Hyped: The big movies of 2020 (part one)

2020 probably won’t be as monumental a cinematic year as 2019. How can you top a year that had both an Avengers movie, remakes of Aladdin and The Lion King, and a Star Wars? Answer: You can’t, but that doesn’t mean the year won’t have something to offer ticket buyers. Here are a few of the big movies to watch in the FIRST half of 2020…

JANUARY

1917

WHAT IS IT?

It’s a war movie set during World War I. Oh, and it’s written, directed, and produced by Sam Mendes, his first hat trick. The film released in limited theaters on Christmas but its wide release comes at the beginning of January. Reviews are through the roof.

HYPE LEVEL: 10/10

I dunno how hyped one could or should get about a gritty war movie, but from a purely spectacle-standpoint, it’s hard not to be very excited for this one.

GRETEL AND HANSEL

WHAT IS IT?

It’s a retelling of the classic Brother’s Grimm fairy tale, retaining all the macabre stylings and dark tropes that those stories had (which were often stripped away whenever modern children’s writers got hold of them). Presumably, the title names were flipped so that google results would point to the movie and not to the story or its countless-other adaptations.

HYPE LEVEL: 8/10

These sorts of things almost always end up disappointing me, often because I work myself up too much over them. If it can be a dark retelling that embraces the scares inherent in the story, I will be happy.

FEBRUARY

BIRDS OF PREY

WHAT IS IT?

It’s the quasi-sequel to Suicide Squad, not to be confused with Suicide Squad 2, which is now just called The Suicide Squad as is both a sequel and reboot of the first movie. This movie is a sequel to the first movie and may or may not fit into the timeline that will be established with Suicide Squad 2.

Also, it stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.

HYPE LEVEL: 7/10

Honestly, other than Ewan McGreggor as Black Mask, nothing about this appeals to me. It looks…tryhard. I hope I’m wrong but I feel I will end up either bored or just outright hating it.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

WHAT IS IT?

It’s a movie whose first impression was SO TERRIBLE the studio ordered a complete overhaul of the main character’s appearance. Credit to Paramount for listening to the backlash but even with the change, it’s still an adaptation of Sonic the Hedgehog…

HYPE LEVEL: 7/10

…and if all you know about Sonic ended with “and Knuckles” back in 1994, I have baaaad news. Things have only gone downhill since then. Sonic hasn’t been the same since he left the Genesis and I don’t see a move to the big screen helping. It might be a fun movie if you enjoy it for how awful it will be, but don’t expect it to be clever. I don’t mind if it’s silly; a kids movie should be silly. I just want it to be clever. Kids movies can be silly and clever.

I just want Lord and Miller to make all the silly video game movies.

MARCH

ONWARD

WHAT IS IT?

Thor and Spider-Man team up to bring Tony Stark back from the dead…one piece at a time.

HYPE LEVEL: 10/10

I have opposite feelings of this that I do for Gretel and Hansel in that it doesn’t look particularity interesting but I will probably end up loving it. I mean it’s a Pixar movie about kids trying to reconnect (quite literally) with their dad. It’s going to make me cry, I just need to accept this.

A QUIET PLACE II

WHAT IS IT?

It’s the sequel to the unexpectedly “better than a horror movie should be” movie of 2018. The first movie was co-written and directed and starred John Krasinski who, after The Office, has become quite the versatile man in Hollywood. Between this and Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime, he’s broken free of the typecasting.

Of course, he died in A Quiet Place so he’s just co-writing and directing this one, though I expect we’ll get some flashbacks with him in it. The bulk of the story is set after the events of the first and the monsters, who were defeated already, are apparently not going down without a fight.

HYPE LEVEL: 9/10

Horror sequels rarely have the same impact as the first but I’m cautiously optimistic. The first one wasn’t just “dumb plot go boo” as it had solid acting and good themes at work. If you have the components of a good movie (story, acting, editing, direction), you can survive being a sequel. I think this one will.

MULAN

WHAT IS IT?

Disney’s next live-action remake. This one is a gritty, real-world retelling of Mulan, the Chinese girl who joined the male-only army to fight for her people. Considering Disney’s love affair with Chinese ticket-buyers, it’s a wonder they’ve waited this long to make it. It’s also a wonder why they haven’t already made Mulan, Mulan 2, Mulan 3, etc by now.

HYPE LEVEL: 7/10

First of all, the movie will feature a magic-wielding sorceress, so it’s not entirely the “real world.” I’m okay with that. What I’m not okay with is having magic witches but NOT having a talking red dragon voiced by Eddie Murphy. Either go one way or the other Disney; no half-measures.

I fear the movie will be bland and boring and overall uninspired while also being really beautiful to look at.

APRIL

NEW MUTANTS

WHAT IS IT?

Wait? Is this thing really coming out? After all these years?

Let me just quote what I wrote in the 2018(!) Get Hyped article

NEW MUTANTS is a horror movie with mutants. It’s one of three FOX-produced films in the X-Men universe coming this year. Disney now owns the property and presumably is already brainstorming ways to fold the characters into their MCU in a way that makes even a little bit of sense. In the meantime 2018 will officially say goodbye to a franchise so completely sucked out of ideas that they’ve resorted to making knock-off horror movies with their properties.

HYPE LEVEL: ?/10

I still refuse to believe this movie is happening.

NO TIME TO DIE 007

WHAT IS IT?

It’s James Bond!

HYPE LEVEL: 10/10

It’s directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, who helmed every episode of True Detective’s (stunning) first season. It’s also got Rami Malek playing the villain who may or may not be Dr. No. It’s going to be great. If you like James Bond, it’s going to be great.

MAY

BLACK WIDOW

WHAT IS IT?

The latest MCU movie though this one is a first: It’s a prequel starring a character now dead. It doesn’t really feel worthy of the big “first weekend of May” spot it was given, but maybe Disney knows they have something really special on their hands. You’d be crazy to doubt them now after all this time.

HYPE LEVEL: 9/10

If it’s only as “slight but fun” as Ant-Man or Dr. Strange, it’s going to be great. Even if it’s as bland as Cpt. Marvel, it will probably be buoyed by Scarlett Johansson and David Harbour. In either case, we’re looking at a billion-earner.

ARTEMIS FOWL

WHAT IS IT?

It’s a movie that was delayed last year and now is supposed to release this year. Here’s what I said a year ago:

This will be Disney’s Tomorrowland of 2019. It will be their A Wrinkle in Time. This is their annual “See, we’re fallible” film that everyone will dogpile and write tons of articles about, just to having something to say against Disney. The film is based on a series of sci-fi/fantasy novels published in the last decade. The fanbase is not large and the trailer seems to have divided what followers the books do have. The rest of us seem disinterested.

HYPE LEVEL: 5/10

Disney is hoping the movie will catch on to give them another franchise to milk for a few years (they’ve really struggled with milking franchises, haven’t they?). It’s unknown how much they’ve spent on the first movie in the presumed series, but I don’t think it’s a big leap to say they may not get their money back.

JUNE

WONDER WOMAN 1984

WHAT IS IT?

Who would have thought five years ago that Warner Bros. would be pinning their hopes for comic book success on Harley Quinn, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman? But here we are, with a sequel to the very good and occasionally great 2017 debut. Patty Jenkins is back in the director’s chair, which is good, and Chris Pine is back too, which is weird. Wonder Woman fights Cheetah and also a very 1980’s looking Pedro Pascal. If this movie had been made in actual 1984, it would have been Ricardo Montalban.

HYPE LEVEL: 9/10

Some of the test screenings were reportedly anywhere from “it was okay” to “it was a disaster.” I’m sure things will be fixed by the time it releases. The trailer did feature Wonder Woman swinging from lighting bolts like across between a Greek god and Tarzan. That was a fun sentence to type so I’m sure the movie will be fun too.

SOUL

WHAT IS IT?

It’s Pixar’s second movie of the year, this one featuring Jamie Foxx playing a musician who has lost his passion for music. This being Pixar you know there’s a crazy hook, and in this case, the man is transported out of his body (hence the dual meaning of the title) and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself.

HYPE LEVEL: 10/10

It looks more grown-up than Onward, at least in terms of the visual style. If Onward is Finding Nemo this will be Inside Out. Both great, but different in the way they tell their stories.

TOP GUN 2

WHAT IS IT?

It’s a punchline. It’s the end of a joke about sequels and reboots. It’s the 1980’s macho-explosion with sweaty volleyball, aviator glasses, cheesy dialogue, and an absolutely incredible soundtrack. It’s going to be all of that but thirty-five years later. It’s an excuse for Tom Cruise to continue his dancing on the thin line between “stunt” and “attempted suicide.”

It’s going to be terrible.

HYPE LEVEL: 11/10

Shut up.

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I can’t wait.

> PART TWO

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