A few weeks ago, I wrote about my most highly anticipated movies of 2016. Today's list is going to be a little different. Here are the six movies I'm most worried about being good but I so much want them to be. I present them in no real order.
Independence Day Ressurgence
Release Date: June 24
% chance I see it in the theater: 65%
Why it Could be Good: Roland Emmerich is returning to direct. The first movie was a fun ride and a 'twenty years later' tale fits the genre. I'm also glad they didn't go the route of just featuring the same characters just 20 years into the future -- it looks like we're getting a real, new story here.
Why it Could Be Bad: Sequels after this much time are tricky. How much do you pay homage and how much do you separate? The original is good, but not a classic. Sometimes I wonder why you don't just tell this story (second invasion twenty years after a first invasion) without chaining yourself to a 20-year-old movie, which might sink it for new viewers.
Release Date: Aug. 12
% chance I see it in the theater: 10%
Why it Could be Good: The source material is great, both the novel and the original film. But that begs the question, why remake it?
Why it Could Be Bad: I'm not a sentimentalist when it comes to remakes. Few films are sacred. Of course, Ben Hur might be one of those sacred films. Does this really need to be remade? Why? Better effects? Story needs updating for a modern audience? My guess is that I'll get my Ben Hur fix this summer by watching the original.
Release Date: July 15
% chance I see it in the theater: 50%
Why it Could be Good: There are some awesome women in this. That guarantees nothing, but an awesome cast like this gives it classic potential.
Why it Could Be Bad: Reboot. I'm not a big fan. Could have been cool as a sequel. I get it -- this is probably the cleanest way to make it not about Bill Murray or Dan Akroyd. The biggest issue for me is comedies have the thinest and most subjective line between good and bad. And yes, getting compared against a classic makes this harder. But as I wrote before -- an awesome cast gives it a chance.
Release Date: May 27
% chance I see it in the theater: 100%
Why it Could be Good: I think Bryan Singer has reinvigorated a franchise which lost its way when he left to make a Superman movie and X3 defined ensemble mediocrity. Matthew Vaughn did a great job with First Class, but Singer one-upped him with Days of Future Past. And the cast is so good, from mainstays like Jennifer Lawrence to newcomers like Oscar Issacs. How could it go wrong?
Why it Could Be Bad: Remember how I mentioned the cast? Well, Olivia Munns is how it could go wrong. I've only seen her in a few, lesser things, but it doesn't inspire confidence. And if she (or any of the newcomers) stumble in scenes with Lawrence or Michael Fassbender? Then this can become an uneven mess. Also, DOFP was a tight story, really focusing on four characters despite its time-traveling epicness. This story is even bigger and more epic. Can it keep from collapsing on itself? Can Singer keep his second chance at a third X-Men movie from replicating the problems of X3?
Star Trek Beyond
Release Date: July 22
% chance I see it in the theater: 100%
Why it Could be Good: Unlike many of my fellow Trekkies, I don't hate the JJ Abrams version of Star Trek. Into Darkness had some plot issues and missed some opportunities to create the best Star Trek villain since, well, Khan the first time. But the movies were fun and adventurous, and they nailed the characters with great casting. We need more Bones!
Why it Could Be Bad: Well, Abrams is gone, so there's always a chance a director change goes wrong. And the farther they tread from what made the two TV series great (a true sense of exploration), the more it risks becoming a forgettable space opera adventure instead of the next chapter of a classic. I like the cast and I like the first two movies, but it could and should be more. And it might not be.