As we emerge from our 18 month slumber, crawling out from the warm and safe womb of inactivity and straining our eyes against the bright and cold of 2016, it’s safe to say that we wish we hadn’t.
Waking nightmares and the almost systematic genocide of our nation’s most loved TV and film personalities aside (thanks, cancer), it’s nice to see that the relentless conveyor belt of sex, violence, hyperviolence, high concepts, jump scares, belly laughs and tears continues unabated.
Ahh, oh how we’ve missed you. Here’s some stuff that’s happening over an indeterminate period of time.
Office Christmas Party
UK Release – 7th December 2016
If we ever have The Hangover franchise to thank for anything, it’ll be the oh-so-longed for backlash against the deluge of midlife crisis porn those films coughed up like a vodka, blood and shame-soaked hairball.
In the meantime we’ve got Office Christmas Party, starring Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman and a whole host of other actors who are of course in this film.
It’s written by Jon Lucas – the creator of the aforementioned trilogy. We can only assume that his life is so suffocatingly repressed that he needs to live vicariously through these obnoxious, self-indulgent bro-fests, grinning like a frat boy while his cast drink and grope away decades of gender politics like they’re in a Donald Trump wet dream.
So, yeah. Merry Christmas.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
UK Release – 14th December 2016
If you’re one of the five people to have read Think Outside the Box regularly in the past you may well have noticed that we struggle to be sincere about anything, instead favouring sardonic disdain and swearing. Mainly because it’s both big and clever.
However, we’re simply unable to muster anything other than wide-eyed, childlike wonder at the Rogue One trailer.
Though narratively similar to A New Hope, The Force Awakens was a huge departure tonally, especially when compared with the Rancor-sized catastrophe that was the prequels. Significantly darker and boasting an approach to special effects that demonstrated just how much the franchise had grown up since the CGI-heavy second trilogy, J.J. Abrams’ contribution to the saga seemed to acknowledge the advanced years of the original Star Wars fanbase.
Judging by the trailer, Rogue One is following suit, combining that more mature tone with all the joy of the originals. Go on, try to deny that you’re anything other than feverishly excited about this.
UK Release – 21st December 2016
Passengers follows on exactly one week from Rogue One in what will probably prove to be either Box Office suicide or a smart move, capitalising on the world’s sci-fi hype.
It’s got a lot going for it in its attempts to be the latter though: the always fantastic Jennifer Lawrence; the hugely likeable Chris Pratt (who was so great in Guardians of the Galaxy); and Michael Sheen, who’s never in anything rubbish (almost).
It’s riffing on that lost in space theme that has been done so many times before, but with that cast, as well as the director of The Imitation Game at the helm, this could very well be excellent.
UK Release – 1st January 2017
You know that feeling of frustration – nay, betrayal – when a film has flat out failed to meet the expectations built up by its trailer? Don’t you just hate that?
It’s refreshing therefore that the makers of Assassin’s Creed have decided to forego that facade, instead making it clear from the off just how fucking terrible this film is.
Based on the popular video game franchise of the same name, Assassin’s Creed’s plot is ridiculous, albeit in keeping with the original mechanics of the game’s narrative. It’s one saving grace could be an unfathomably excellent cast, considering it looks for all the world like it is going to be filed away alongside Super Mario Bros., Max Payne and Mortal Kombat as a dreadful video game movie adaption.
A line-up of Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Brendan Gleeson and Charlotte Rampling would often be cause for optimism, and yet… well, just watch that trailer and try to feel optimistic.