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Eight anticipated movies for 2018


Listed in parentheses are the Taiwan release dates for each film unless noted otherwise.

Black Panther (Feb. 13)

2018 is going to be a big year for superhero films. Origin movies, as well as prominent sequels from both Marvel and DC, will hit the box office almost every month of the year. As a huge fan of anything superhero-related, I will be listing more than one such film.
Following his first appearance in “Captain America: Civil War,” the calm and noble King T’Challa of Wakanda (aka Black Panther) is having a solo movie. This film is breaking all kinds of molds for superhero films. Black Panther, played by Chadswick Boseman, will be the first superhero film ever with an African-American main protagonist, a feat for both Marvel and Hollywood. The king has an entourage of fierce female warriors as his bodyguards. Even more compelling, this fictional northern African country is a front-runner in technological and military prowess. With a strong cast (Lupita N’yongo, Andy Serkis, Daniel Kaluuya, Martin Freeman) topping off the compelling world of Wakanda, I am really looking forward to see whether this movie lives up to the hype.

Lady Bird (Feb. 28)

Although “Lady Bird” has already been released in the U.S. and other European countries, this Golden Globe-nominated film has yet to be shown in Taiwan. I have been looking forward to watching another film by Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, as I have never been disappointed with her work (Brooklyn, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Atonement). This story of a eccentric, confident teenage girl who is figuring out herself and her relationships with the people in her life has received nothing but positive reviews. Just by watching the trailer, I found myself chuckling at funny dialogue and awing at the beautiful shots. From all the feedback “Lady Bird” is receiving, it seems that debut director Greta Gerwig is unconventionally and honestly telling a conventional coming-of-age story that would resonate with any audience.

Red Sparrow (March 2)

Despite her diverse set of film roles, Jennifer Lawrence has never played a spy, and I cannot wait for this espionage thriller to come out in two months. The film chronicles Lawrence as a ballet star who is recruited to become a Russian Sparrow, a spy who is trained in seduction to gather intelligence or help carry out assassinations of enemies of the government. Lawrence’s character rebels against the ruthless organization she works for. The intrigue, action, and romance put together will hopefully turn out well.

Isle of Dogs (March 23, U.S.)

I have recently been watching Wes Anderson movies (The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom) and I think I have found another director whom I truly admire. Anderson never fails to shoot charming movies by using exciting color palettes and hilarious static shots to highlight the uniqueness of the characters and the worlds he builds. I expect to find in “Isle of Dogs” the same joy I have found in analyzing his previous movies. This trailer already showcases so many clever choices: strong contrasts in shadow, breaking the fourth wall, clear autumn color palette, and adorable dogs.

Avengers: Infinity War (May 4)

Infinity War is the beginning of the end of Marvel’s Phase One films, intending to bring a closure to all the characters (i.e. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor) to which we have been introduced in the past eight years. This end is quite bittersweet but bound to be epic, as every preceding movie has been been building up to this giant blockbuster. I am prepared to be bouncing up and down on my seat in the theaters, unable to contain my excitement.

Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6)

I have been anticipating this sequel from the moment I stepped out of the theaters after watching “Ant-Man.” The small-scale superhero premise and witty lines make this franchise charming and fun. This time around, we will get to see more interactions between Scott Lang and Hope Pym (Evangeline Lily. Paul Rudd endearingly nailed Scott and gave the character a new flair to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I can’t wait to see what is in store for him and his quirky, criminal cohorts.

Incredibles 2 (June 15, U.S.A.)

Incredibles is one of my favorite Pixar movies of all time. This year, 14 years later, fans like me will be able to see the superhuman family from where we left off in the first movie. The adorable teaser for the newly-super Jack Jack reveals nearly nothing about the plot of the movie. Yet, the combination of the cartoon’s classic theme song as well as signature red background invokes nostalgia that excites me nevertheless.

Crazy Rich Asians (Aug. 17, U.S.A.)

Anyone who has read the “Crazy Rich Asians” novel would expect this movie to be a hilarious take on a fictional observation of Chinese and Southeast Asian socialite lifestyles. A love story of a Chinese-American girl meeting a crazy rich boy and his crazy rich family, this movie will tell the journey and struggles they go through against the backdrop of upscale Chinese society. What is even more exciting about this movie is that it is a Hollywood film with a all-Asian main cast. Popular Chinese powerhouse actors such as Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh, and Ken Jeong come together in this film that explores not only romance but also a culture not often portrayed realistically in the American film scene.

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