Top 10 Most Anticipated Films Of 2019

Geekdom continues to rule at the box office in 2019. Superheroes, aliens, robots and more await us with 2019’s film offerings. Listed here are the most anticipated films for 2019, though everyone will have their own preference.  Naturally, some films on this list will turn out to be hot garbage, while others will be talked about for years to come. Who can say how they will turn out? Be aware that the release dates will most likely change for many of these films. In fact, three of the films on this list are holdovers from 2018, starting with…

10. Dark Phoenix (June 7):

There is a lot of animosity towards the final Fox X-Men film for various reasons—the film is pointless now with the Disney/Fox merger; a first-time director (Simon Kinberg) associated with the unpopular X-Men: The Last Stand is helming this film. But this is the last proper X-Men film before Marvel Studios reboots the franchise, so it will be interesting to see how the nearly 20-year franchise comes to an end.

9. Captive State (March 29):

Rupert Wyatt directs this sci-fi film that was held over from last summer. The film chronicles the lives of Chicago residents after aliens have occupied our world. As the aliens indoctrinate humanity, a rebellion emerges, and the film will show both sides of the struggle. The impressive cast includes John Goodman and Vera Farmiga.

ad astra Brad Pitt

8. Ad Astra (May 24):

Twenty years after his father (Tommy Lee Jones) disappears on a mission to find alien life near Neptune, a man (Brad Pitt) travels our solar system to find out why his father’s mission failed and to possibly locate him. According to director James Gray, the sci-fi drama will be very grounded and will the dangers of space flight, while echoing Heart of Darkness.

7. Alita: Battle Angel (February 14):

This film was delayed from last December and is a live-action adaptation of the popular manga about a futuristic cyborg warrior. James Cameron produced this pet project with Robert Rodriguez directing. The visuals from the trailer look astounding, but the question is if Alita: Battle Angel can escape the dismal fate of previous attempts to bring manga and anime classics to Hollywood like Ghost in the Shell.

6. Star Wars: Episode IX (December 20):

The Star Wars franchise is at a crossroads now with fandom bitterly divided. The fallout from Star Wars: The Last Jedi is still being felt by Star Wars, hence the failure of last year’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. It is not an exaggeration to state that a lot is riding on how the latest Star Wars film is received.

After director Rian Johnson alienated many fans with The Last Jedi, Lucasfilm handed Episode IX to J.J. Abrams to direct it. Will Abrams bring back the fans and successfully conclude the Skywalker Saga? We’ll find out later this year.

5. It: Chapter Two (September 6):

The first It film was an unexpectedly chilling horror film that was acclaimed by audiences and critics. It adapted Stephen King’s mammoth novel of several children in a Maine town haunted by the supernatural entity Pennywise, who took various forms, but favored a frightful clown.

The second film takes place years later when the children are adults and have to reunite to confront Pennywise again. Most know that It had been adapted before as a mini-series that faltered when it shifted to the adults’ storylines. Hopefully, It: Chapter Two will deliver a satisfying finale.

4. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (May 31):

The sequel to 2014’s Godzilla, this film returns the most famous kaiju and introduces other popular kaijus like Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah. More importantly, Godzilla: King of the Monsters firmly establishes Legendary Pictures’ Monsterverse cinematic universe that includes King Kong (last seen in Kong: Skull Island).

Putting that aside, this film looks absolutely epic! With shots that seem taken from a frightful opera or a baroque painting, and the promise of some serious giant monster action, it’s easy to see why Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a highly anticipated film for 2019.

glass trio

3. Glass (January 18):

M. Night Shyamalan completes his grounded superhuman trilogy with Glass. It all started with 2000’s Unbreakable and the director shocked audiences in 2016’s Split when it was revealed that the film took place in the Unbreakable universe.

Taking center stage, Samuel L. Jackson reprises his role of Mr. Glass, the villainous mastermind who seeks to prove the existing of superhumans to an unbelieving world. Co-starring Bruce Willis (returning from his reluctant hero role in Unbreakable) and James McAvoy as the demented Horde, Glass looks like it will re-establish Shyamalan as a top-tier director.

spider-man far from home black suit

2. Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 5):

Marvel’s most popular superhero returns (apparently from Thanos’ snap) in this followup to Spider-Man: Homecoming. This time out, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) goes to Europe on a school trip and tangles with Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), a special effects stuntman turned supervillain.

Most of the cast and crew from the enjoyable Spider-Man: Homecoming return, so the new film should be in competent hands, which ensures a winning film. Of course, there is the question if it can compare favorably to last year’s instant classic Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. But Spider-Man: Far From Home should be another great MCU entry.

1. Avengers: Endgame (April 26):

As the most anticipated film of 2019, all eyes will be on this film. It is much more than the fourth Avengers film. Or the conclusion to the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War. We’ve followed the saga of the MCU for over ten years. Avengers: Endgame is the culmination of over 20 diverse films.

Very little is known about the concluding Avengers film, only that it takes place after Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) victory and will feature the original core Avengers and allies trying to undo Thanos’ universal genocide.

Being that it’s the final Phase Three film and the possible swan song for many popular characters like Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans, it is important that Avengers: Endgame sticks the landing. It is not as easy as it sounds, many concluding films of famous film sagas wound up disappointing fans, but with the talent behind it, Avengers: Endgame should rise to the challenge.

Other Films:

As always, these films that did not quite make the list are definitely worth our attention and as before, it’s a guarantee that the following films will wound up being among this year’s best offerings. Others will probably be delayed until 2020 and beyond. Here are other films that warrant keeping an eye on:

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (February 8), the first Lego film was so much fun and inventive, let’s hope the sequel is at least as good;  How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (February 22), the final film in Dreamworks’ Dragon trilogy looks awe-inspiring and heartfelt: Chaos Walking (March 1), Doug Liman directs Tom Holland in a sci fi yarn about a colony world where all thoughts are readable; Captain Marvel (March 8), the 21st and next MCU film about the title hero coming to Earth and rediscovering her lost past hops to continue Marvel Studios’ winning streak;

Shazam! (April 5), speaking of winning streak, after the humongous success of Aquaman, DC and Warner Bros. hopes to keep up the much-needed good will with their superhero films with their next film; Pokemon: Detective Pikachu (April 10), the CG/live-action hybrid brings the uber popular Pikachu to the real world,

Brightburn (May 24), is a James Gunn project which is a dark retelling of the Superman alien origin story;  Toy Story 4 (June 21), Pixar’s crown jewel franchise returns in what may be its most heartbreaking entry, which is rumored to be its last; The Lion King (July 19), director Jon Favreau turns in another CG remake of a Disney classic; Joker (October 4), Todd Phillips directs a dark prequel film that chronicles the creation of the demented Clown Prince of Crime; Zombieland Too (October 11), it’s been ten years since the original Zombieland delighted audiences with its comical world overrun by zombies, but better late than never;

Terminator 6 (November 1), let’s see if James Cameron can resurrect the floundering Terminator franchise now that he is producing the latest film;  Sonic the Hedgehog (November 8), the other well publicized CG/live-action film brings to life the popular video game character.

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2015 Hallmark Sci-Fi Ornaments

2015 ornaments all

Ornaments have been popular presents during the Holiday season and this year’s isn’t an exception. The genre-related offerings from Hallmark this year are quite impressive but next year’s Hallmark ornaments promises to be just as noteworthy. To date these are the 2015 Hallmark ornaments.

Star Trek

2015 looks to be a quiet year for kirk and spockStar Trek Hallmark ornaments. Doubtless, 2016 will be another story since it will be the 50th anniversary of the franchise. But next year’s ornaments look very beautifully sculpted. They include the Enterprise C famously featured in the classic episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise” on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The other two will be of Lt. Uhura and “The Needs of the Many” ornament, which features Kirk and Spock during Spock’s death scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. No doubt, the base will have sound, most likely being Spock’s unforgettable final words.

Enterprise C

Star Wars

c3poSorry, new fans of the upcoming trilogy, but at this time, no ornaments based upon Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be offered. Perhaps Hallmark wanted to hedge their bets on the popularity of ornaments based on new films. Look at what happened in 1999 when the company flooded the market with ornaments of the sure-fire hit Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Today many of those ornaments can be bought for a dollar on eBay. But who knows, in a few short months we’ll find out for certain if ornaments based on next year’s Star Wars film will be produced.

Either way, Hallmark is playing it safe for 2015 and its confirmed Star Wars ornaments will include a Y-Wing fighter, Luke Skywalker standing on his hands with Yoda perched on his feet as seen in the training segments of The Empire Strikes Back, Admiral Akbar and Zeb from Star Wars: Rebels. The most interesting looking ornament is a twofer; C-3P0 and R2-D2.

UPDATE: In the Hallmark Keepsake Dreambook, it’s stated that commemorative ornaments based on Star Wars: The Force Awakens are coming later this year, but no further information is currently available.

Superhero

At this point, only a few superhero W Womanornaments have been confirmed. They include the Marvel mainstay Spider-Man in Holiday-themed adornments, a grey and black-garbed Batman, Wonder Woman as portrayed by Lynda Carter, and Steve Austin – the Six Million Dollar Man. There will also be an ornament based on the garish batmobile seen in the Joel Schumacher Batman films. There must be fans of that car. Joker fans should note that an ornament based on the Joker played by Caesar Romero will be available.

So far, it looks like there won’t be any Guardians of the Galaxy ornaments. Too bad, a dancing baby Groot would’ve been a natural ornament. But there’s always a chance a limited edition ornament of these space heroes may be released. A gut feeling indicates that Hallmark will unveil some kind of Guardians of the Galaxy ornament and don’t be surprised if they produce a set of ornaments for Avengers: Age of Ultron in the same vein as they did in 2012 when they released a trio of interlocking ornaments of Thor, Iron Man and Captain America.

ornaments 2015

UPDATE: There will be dancing baby Groot as seen at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy and a Hulk vs. Ultron based on their battle in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Also, keep an eye out for a new Iron Man ornament. Sadly, we won’t be getting a Marvel superhero trio like we did in 2012. There’s always next year and on that note we’ll have to wait then to find out if Ant-Man will be getting an ornament (an ornament based on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a given).

Science Fiction/Fantasy

zaiusHeadlining the ornaments based on sci-fi and fantasy properties are the Predator himself and should make a nice companion piece to this year’s Alien ornament. To accompany Cornelius from the original Planet Of The Apes, 2015 will see another ape ornament: the nefarious Dr. Zaius.

Fans of The Walking Dead rejoice! Hallmark is producing an ornament of everybody’s favorite walker killer, Daryl Dixon. Who knows? Are Rick Grimes, Michonne or the Governor next?

Expect a new Harry Potter ornament, one of Smaug the dragon from The Hobbit films, Megatron from the Transformers toys and Beetlejuice, as well. Don’t be surprised if Hallmark unveils more ornaments based on popular sci-fi, fantasy and horror properties. We’ll keep you posted.

smaug ornament

UPDATE: As one of our readers pointed out in the comments, the Harry Potter ornament will be of our favorite young wizard on Platform 9 3/4. There will also be an ornament of the Mockingjay symbol featured in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2.

gizmo (2)

On a lighter note, a new Gizmo ornament is coming. Recreating one of his cutest moments in Gremlins, this ornament features the diminutive Mogwai riding a toy car. For animation fans, ornaments based on the films WALL-E, Inside Out and Home, as well as the ever-present Disney characters and films (like Frozen) will be available. BTW, there will be an ornament of the super nerd Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. Bazinga!

Waldermann Rivera

Spider-Man’s Greatest Moments, Part I

Marvel is celebrating the 50th birthday of their flagship superhero Spider-Man. He’s come a long way since appearing on the last issue of a failing science fiction comic book, but the minute he was introduced in Amazing Fantasy # 15, he became a sensation. Helping to usher in the so-called Marvel Age of Comics, Spider-Man was and is still Marvel’s most popular and iconic superhero. Over the years, our favorite Wall-Crawler has seen his highs and lows when it came to his storylines. There are too many to go through here, so let’s just highlight some aspects of them.

Insurmountable Odds

A hallmark of Spider-Man stories are those where he faces incredibly tough situations or foes. What makes them so special is that Spidey isn’t the most powerful superhero, he can’t shoot beams out of his hands, he can’t even fly. This makes him more relatable to us and is one of the reasons why he is so popular. He’s had to go up against villains that clearly outranked him in power and how he perseveres against them gave us some of the most exciting and hand-wringing stories. Who can forget that two-issue battle against the Juggernaut (The Amazing Spider-Man # 229-230)? Spidey fought this desperate battle against someone who could take on the Hulk. The Wall-Crawler tried everything but couldn’t make a dent against Juggernaut. Still, he wouldn’t give up, and somehow he stopped the Juggernaut by luring him into a bed of wet cement. Then there was his battle with the former Galactus herald Firelord (The Amazing Spider-Man # 269-270), where he shocked the late-arriving Avengers with his sheer will power as he managed to knock out Firelord.

But the best story that showed how determined Spider-Man can be was in the classic comic book The Amazing Spider-Man # 33. In the previous issue, he fought against Doctor Octopus at an underwater base and was left partially buried under tons of rubble and debris with water flooding. Meanwhile, inches away lay a canister containing a cure for his Aunt May’s latest ailment. He spent most of the issue struggling to free himself but failing. He berated himself, resigned to failure. But he couldn’t accept defeat not with his aunt’s life on the line. Spider-Man motivated himself and carefully maneuvered his body to free himself just in time. It was the most dramatic moment seen in a Spider-Man story and copied by others.

Marvelous Team-Ups

Ever since the very first issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, our favorite Web-Head was shown to be an integral part of the Marvel Universe. In the first issue, Spider-Man tried to join the Fantastic Four and ever since, he has butted heads and teamed up with Marvel’s rich roster of superheroes. Some were interesting in that he had unusual pair ups (Howard the Duck, Frankenstein’s Monster, the John Belushi-era Saturday Night Live cast and even Superman in the classic cross-company story Superman Vs. The Amazing Spider-Man) or Spidey was way out of his element (Spider-Man Vs. Wolverine one-shot and Marvel Team-Up # 41-46 where Spidey time travels from the past and into the future).

The most natural friendship he’s had has been with Johnny Storm, the Human Torch. The two heroes tended to behave like college roommates and ranked on each other. Some of their best meetings included the Christmas-themed Marvel Team-Up # 1, Spider-Man/Human Torch #1-5,and most recently with FF # 17. The latter was a hilarious tribute to mismatched buddy comedies like The Odd Couple and Two And A Half Men, where Parker and Storm briefly live together with the expected disastrous results.

But Spidey’s best team-up stories were in J.M. DeMatteis’ run in Marvel Team-Up #111,112, 114-125, 126-133. In those comics, DeMatteis showcased his writing chops with fun, thoughtful, amusing and sometimes poignant yarns that were able to touch a reader’s  soul (Marvel Team-Up #119, 120, 127). The best part is that these issues can be found relatively cheap in comic bins. Continue reading

Everybody Went To The Comic-Con & All I Got Was This Lousy Tote Bag (Not Really)

Most fans are unable to attend this year’s Comic-Con with all the news and hoopla in the world of comics, movies, TV, gaming, the works. Despite what everyone says, we fans would give nearly anything to be able to attend and participate in the ultimate geekdomness and snatch up the goodies at the convention.

Tate’s Comics in Lauderhill, Florida (arguably the best comic book store in the state only rivaled by Orlando’s Coliseum of Comics) held its Tate’s Not At Comic-Con event to make up for the fact that most of us couldn’t attend Comic-Con. Billed as the next best thing to the famous convention, Tate’s gave away a tote bag with free stuff to suffering fans who waited a measly half hour in line. Boy and those attending Comic-Con think they have it rough! There were also prizes, lots of folks wearing costumes (the Star Wars stormtroopers were a hit) and a ten percent off sale for anyone who showed up with at least a homemade cape. Yes simple towels counted.

What was in the goodie bag? Actually it was pretty decent for what it was. A few DC buttons and a toy catalog, a Flash ring, a temporary tatoo,a store coupon, a couple of Dark Horse Comics flyers, a Green Lantern movie mini-poster (yep, they’re giving away the Green Lantern stuff already, mind you there wasn’t anything related to the new Captain America movie), a Top Shelf kids comic book, a Marvel Chronology comic, a reprint of Swamp Thing #21 and a comic preview of DC’s New 52.

Not a bad haul and yeah it makes up a little tiny bit for not being at Comic-Con this year.