By: Ruben Enriquez
Every new year brings us a diverse group of films -- from big blockbusters to indie darlings. Thus, I will be highlighting what movies excite me, and I must mention I cannot cover every single film since that would take a great deal of time. So here are some of my most anticipated films of 2019.
These two films immediately come to mind when discussing excitement: Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars Episode 9. These two films should and will absolutely crush the box office. Both will serve as conclusions to their respective franchises. Episode 9 being the end of the modern Star Wars trilogy where we have followed Rey, Kylo Ren, the whole group of new characters along with some familiar faces. The Star Wars hype train was going great until its predecessor Last Jedi caused a rift between Star Wars fans followed by the underwhelming Solo spin-off which left most people saying, “Meh?” Now, I am a huge Star Wars fan and having JJ Abrams come back to finish the trilogy he started should absolutely get people excited. There has been no trailer released for the film, but Star Wars is one of those franchises that can take their time with the marketing and still be successful. I truly hope this modern trilogy can stick the landing. Star Wars Episode 9 will be released December 20, 2019.
Between the two, Avengers: Endgame is the one that I am confident will be the box office king of 2019. Since not only did Avengers: Infinity War shatter box office records, but the fans loved it. Ironically enough, many fans are comparing Infinity War to Empire Strikes Back due to it introducing darker tones and having characters make life and death choices -- not to mention Infinity War’s cliffhanger ending left fans eager for the grand finale. Endgame will have the original Avengers and some of the newer characters teaming up to fight (quite literally) the biggest villain of their entire franchise. It is no surprise that the anticipation is so high. If that wasn’t enough for Marvel, this could be the potential goodbye of the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and the other heroes who kicked off the Marvel cinematic universe. I am a big comic book lover and so of course, this had to make the list especially since I did see Infinity War in theaters five times (don’t judge). Avengers: Endgame will be released April 26, 2019.
The next two films on my most anticipated are from two big name directors who are legends in their field: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. Tarantino’s film has a huge cast filled with big names like Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning and so many more. The film is set around the year 1969 and is supposed to be dealing with the Manson murders to some degree. The last time Tarantino dealt with a historical event was his film Inglorious Basterds and that film (though not very historically accurate) was an incredible film that was quite tense and contained brilliant performances. So with a top-notch cast and a master of his craft working with them? I, for one, am excited to see how this film turns out. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will be released July 26, 2019.
The other film mentioned was The Irishman which is Scorsese’s return since his passion project Silence, was released in 2016. This movie has Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and returning from his hiatus, Joe Pesci. There are some other notable cast members, but the reason for this being on the list minus my love for the director, is the intrigue behind the fact that half of the movie will be using de-aging on those three actors. We have seen this technology used in Marvel films to de-age Michael Douglas, Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson... but to use it for over half a film? That is a big gamble that only a game-changing director like Scorsese can request. In addition, Netflix, with the recent success of award season darling, Roma, could be looking at repeating their success. The Irishman will be released in Autumn 2019. However, Netflix has not announced an exact date.
I am not a huge horror fan, but this next film I will discuss is and should be on everyone’s radar. The movie is called Us and is the follow up to Jordan Peele’s Oscar-winning debut film, Get Out. When I first saw Jordan Peele’s Get Out, I thought it was fine, but as time went on and I kept going back and noticing something new every time I grew to realize that the film is outstanding. His debut is layered, complex and on repeat viewings, continues to get better. Now his follow up, Us, has two incredible leads in Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke. It is about a family who is being attacked by these figures that have the same faces as they do. The imagery is off the charts and could be another box office success for Blumhouse. Not only that but with a fantastic first trailer, the hype is just building up and I cannot wait. Also if you have not seen an interview with Jordan Peele, you really should; he is a genuinely nice man who loves film, and I want him to get all the success he deserves. Us will be released March 22, 2019.
The last film I will go into depth is from a female director who released her directorial debut in 2017. I am of course referring to Greta Gerwig’s follow up film, Little Women. The film is starring Saoirse Ronan, Timothee Chalamet, Florence Pugh, Meryl Streep, Laura Dern and Emma Watson. Her debut was a very personal film called Lady Bird and is about a young girl who wants to go to college in New York and is about to graduate high school. Gerwig referred to the film being somewhat autobiographical. The passion and heart throughout Lady Bird poured out on screen. There has not been a trailer or anything really released yet for her new film, but a it is based on the book where four women during the post-Civil War era. Plus, her last project displayed just how talented she is behind the camera. I cannot wait to see what she can do with a period piece and a stellar cast like this. Little Women will be released December 25, 2019.
To conclude I will rapid-fire list some more films that I am extremely excited to see: MidSommar, Spiderman: Far from Home, Late Night, IT: Chapter Two, Shazam!, Lion King, The Report, John Wick 3: Parabellum, Doctor Sleep, Honey Boy, Jojo Rabbit, Godzilla: King of Monsters, Pokemon Detective Pikachu, Tolkien, Knives Out, and Little Monsters. As I mentioned, there will be some I left off since every year there are thousands of films that will be released. 2019 should be a fantastic year of films and I will see as many as I can. I hope you all go too!