Top Ten Most Anticipated Films & TV Shows Of 2022

After a couple of years of relatively few genre offerings, 2022 looks like it will reverse that trend with plentry of film releases and television shows airing or streaming. These are the most anticipated films and TV shows of 2022 but note their releases are not certain and will change as we just saw with Morbius, which was delayed from January 28 to April 1. Also some of the films and TV shows listed may turn out to be inferior dreck while other unlisted films and TV shows may wind up surprising everyone and become the newest classics. Without further delay here are the top ten most anticapated films and TV shows of 2022, plus some notable mentions.

Films

10. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

The first Sonic the Hedgehog was a real surprise and proved an entertaining and solid live-action film based on a video game franchise was possible. The sequel will more closely follow the Sonic videos and include more characters from the games, such as Quills and Tails.

9. The Flash

The DC Extended Unverse (DCEU) faces a reboot that replaces Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill as Batman and Superman in this live-action solo film for the Flash. This film which is loosely based on the comic book mini-series Flashpoint is bound to be controversial with many DCEU fans

8. Everything Everywhere All At Once

Michelle Yeoh stars in this trippy looking film about an ordinary woman recruited to stop an multiversal evil by channeling the skills and memories of alternate versions of herself from different realities. If anything, it should be an acting tour de force for Yeoh.

7. Lightyear

Everyone’s attention was captured the moment it was announced that this Pixar film about Buzz Lightyear would not be based on the Toy Story character but a pulp sci-fi adventure that the toy was based on. An additional bonus is that the title hero is voiced by everyone’s favorite hero, Chris Evans.

6 Thor: Love and Thunder

Director Taiki Waititi reinvigorated the Thor films with his Thor: Ragnarok. That film was so successful and beloved that Marvel Studios greenlit a fourth Thor film helmed by Waititi. This cosmic-based entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) once again stars Chris Hemsworth in his legendary role as Thor and features the Jane Foster Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy.

5. Jurassic World: Dominion

The conclusion of the Jurassic World trilogy finally unleashes the dinosaurs into our modern world with disastrous results! The concept is a throwback to those old dinosaur films with the prehistoric animals running amok in our streets; plus Jurassic World: Dominion is bringing back our favorite characters from the original Jursassic Park.

4. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Part One

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse took everyone by surprise over its innovative animation and fantastic storytelling about growing up, legacies and all the wild variations of Spider-Man. It was little wonder it won the Oscar for Best Animated Film. The trailer for the sequel promises more of the same as Miles Morales meets a future version of Spider-Man and more.

3. Avatar 2

The first Avatar is usually looked down upon but it is actually a great sci-fi film by James Cameron. The master director always gave us entertaining and exciting epics and this follow up to Avatar will most likely be as thrilling and present cutting-edge special effects. Just wait until the first trailer drops. By then, the excitement and anticipation for Avatar 2 will be explosive.

2. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Our first glimpse of the sequel to Doctor Strange wowed audiences after the end credits of Spider-Man: No Way Home. The teaser featured the wild visuals and appearances by many characters to whet our appetites, including the Scarlet Witch, fresh from WandaVision. Even more enticing was the teaser’s final stinger that revealed an alternate, darker version of the Sorcerer Supreme, which possibly ties to the What If…? animated show. Then there are the rumors that the film will introduce non-MCU characters like the Fox X-Men and the Fantastic Four. let’s hope those rumors pan out.

1. The Batman

Director Matt Reeves takes his turn with DC’s most popular superhero and the trailers have blown us away which promise an emphasis on a gritty and mature version of the Caped Crusader that seems more like a crime thriller comic book brought to life that evoke the gritty, early Golden Age Batman from the comics books. The moody and dark trailers focused on a raged-fueled Batman and an actual mystery from a fiendish villain have stoked our cravings for the newest live-action Batman. Thankfully we only have to wait a few more weeks to see The Batman.

Other Noteworthy Films:

65; Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom; Black Adam; Black Panther: Wakanda Forever; Distant; Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore; Moonfall; Morbius; Nope; Secret Headquarters; Samaritan; Super Mario Brothers; Turning Red

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The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring 20 Years Later

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month and looking back, it’s clear now, how influential this highly successful film has become. Peter Jackson’s epic start to The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy paved the way for a fantasy film revival that is still going strong today and led to similar adaptations such as HBO’s Game of Thrones, Amazon Prime’s The Wheel of Time, and other fantasy-themed films and shows. The Fellowship of the Rings’ success wasn’t a sure thing though, as author J.R.R. Tolkien’s massive novel was deemed unfilmable due to its intricate plot and long back story which spanned thousands of years.

The earliest film version was the animated adaptation from Ralph Bakshi in 1978. Tje animated version of LOTR was well received, but due to time constraints the film only told half the story. Jackson’s take is a fully fleshed out world that showcases his native New Zealand’s beautiful landscapes and scenery that show the viewers what Middle-earth would look like if it really existed. He also takes his time in setting up the tale of the diminutive hobbit Frodo Baggins and his quest to destroy an evil mystical ring created by the sorcerer Sauron. His journey would culminated in casting the ring into a volcanic pit in the dreaded land of Mordor.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring starts off by showing some of Tolkien’s back story and the history of Middle-earth where the rings of power were created for men, elves and dwarves, as well as the epic battle against Sauron where he is defeated, but only temporarily. After the battle, the all-powerful one ring was lost and found its way to the distant land of hobbits known as the Shire.

Frodo’s journey begins when the wizard Gandalf arrives at the Shire and enlists him and his companions Samwise Gamgee, Merry and Pippin to accompany Gandalf to Mordor to destroy the one ring which Sauron needs to conquer the world. Along the way, the group encounters the heroic ranger, Strider (later to be known as Aragorn) and the stalwart dwarf, Gimli and his rival the elf, Legolas as they all join forces to become the Fellowship of the Ring. Together they vow to end the threat of Sauron once and for all.

Their journey through the elf kingdom Rivendell and the mines of Moria are all classic set pieces that are fully brought to life and culminate in an epic battle against swarms of orcs (Sauron’s minions) and a final clash between Gandalf and a massive demon known as a Balrog. Fate has the fellowship splinter and go their own way as Frodo and Sam are left to go on alone to Mordor while Strider, Legolas and Gimli race to rescue the other hobbits who were captured by orcs. This sets up the excellent sequel, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, which was just as successful as The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

The success of The Fellowship of the Ring was crucial as it paved the way for the subsequent films and established LOTR as a huge cinematic franchise that spawned further adaptations of the earlier Middle-earth book The Hobbit, as well as a new TV series coming from Amazon that will explore the earlier time periods of Middle-earth. It also led to the groundbreaking success at the Academy Awards of the third film in the trilogy The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which won 11 Oscars including Best Picture. This was the first time a genre film won this honor and led to increased respect and awareness for genre films as valid, cinematic art. It was also a blueprint for how book adaptations can be done, even for complex works, such as the recently released Dune or even earlier films like Watchmen.

The film studio New Line Cinema committed to Jackson’s vision and gave him the required financial resources and time to have his ideas come to life and Jackson committed to filming all three LOTR movies back to back, which was a massive undertaking and spanned multiple years. This was seen in throughout all three movies as the details of the imaginary world are incredible to see and experience. Of all three movies, I think The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is the best one as its story is paced very well and has elicits a whirlwind of emotions for viewers. It has moments of terror, such as when Frodo first encounters the ring wraiths who were hunting him and the ring; instances of wonder when the group arrives at Rivendell; and pure excitement when the Fellowship has its last battle in the mines of Moria. It is also the only time you see all of the main characters together until the end of the last film as they are separated at the end of the first movie and go their own separate ways. Their interaction as a group is a highlight as their differences in personality and stature are humorous and flesh out their characters.

Overall, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a masterpiece film, not just in the fantasy genre, but in all of cinema with superb storytelling mixed with unforgettable characters and stunning visual effects. Its impact is still being felt and will continue to be enjoyed and imitated for decades to come, as will its sequels. Hopefully the upcoming Amazon series will be able to recapture some of the magic that was apparent as soon as Frodo walked out of his home and we saw the Shire and Middle-earth in live action for the very first time.

C.S. Link

Top 10 Oscar Nominated Genre Films

GRAVITY

For those who are still griping about the Oscars and what gets nominated for Best Picture just remember that the Academy often snubs genre films.

To date only eight science district 9fiction films received the Best Picture nominations. While fantasy films have received nominations since the 1930s, only one has actually received the Oscar for Best Picture. Everyone knows that was The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which some feel was a consolation prize to Peter Jackson for the body of his work.

Many of the genre films that have been nominated are still considered groundbreaking classics, especially when compared to what the films that won. Here are the top sci-fi/fantasy films that have been nominated for Best Picture and lost.

clockwork 210. A Clockwork Orange: Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece was a dark and disturbing look at violent youth in the near future. Even more disquieting were the rehabilitation methods to cure criminal behavior.

9. The Wizard of Oz: One of the earliest genre films to be nominated for Best Picture is an immortal classic to this day. The enduring legacy of this musical fantasy is due to its well realized characters and plotline.

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8. Gravity: Alfonso Cuarón’s tour de force sci-fi/space disaster film was a riveting and tense survival film featuring a terrific performance by Sandra Bullock as a stranded astronaut struggling to return to Earth.

7. It’s a Wonderful Life: Frank Capra’s immortal classic is the must-see film during Christmas and it’s no wonder. George Bailey is given a special look into how his world around him would’ve changed if he hadn’t existed. It’s still powerful to this day and a Christmas staple.

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6. Avatar: James Cameron’s sci-fi epic about disabled veteran who gets a new alien body on another world was a stunning visual experience. A meticulously created world and dazzling special effects buttressed the film’s story of a man finding a cause and a second lease on life.

5. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: Steven e,t,Spielberg’s most personal film about the bond between a young boy and a stranded alien is spiritually stirring. Sadly, by the time the awards were handed out it experienced a backlash and the supposedly more important movie Gandhi won instead.

4. District 9: This dark look at humanity’s racism extending to stranded aliens in South Africa gave audiences food for thought. It also did the impossible by turning ugly, insectoid alien creatures into sympathetic characters to root for when they faced off against human bigots.

raiders 3

3. Raiders of the Lost Ark: The true fantasy element isn’t revealed until the end, but hints of the supernatural are peppered in this Steven Spielberg/George Lucas romp that is better remembered for being an ode to the old matinee serials and one of the best action films of all time.

balrog

2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: This is considered the best of the Rings trilogy and it blew away many fans’ minds with its sweeping, majestic scenes and the complex realization of Tolkien’s world of Middle-earth. It was a truly epic fantasy come to life.

luke ben1. Star Wars: One of the greatest science fiction films of all time with its ambitious scope, philosophical undercurrent and beloved characters lost out to Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. Come on! How narrow minded are Academy members? Apparently as narrow as an exhaust port on the Death Star. This snubbing probably best encapsulates the inane voting done by Academy members throughout the history of the awards.

Academy members have to broaden pottersville_470their horizons and be willing to look past their prejudices. They keep awarding the prizes over and over again to forgettable pieces of drek like A Beautiful Mind and Shakespeare in Love, yet wonder why so many dislike their choices or why the ratings for the shows are going down.

This list left out other genre favorites like Jaws, Inception and Toy Story 3, but these are just my personal picks. If anyone wants to add their own picks, go ahead and comment below.

Lewis T. Grove

The Legend Of Zelda Coming To Life

zeldaThe recent announcement by Netflix that it will be developing an original TV series bases on the iconic The Legend of Zelda video game series has caught many by surprise including myself. Nintendo’s only other foray into live action movies or TV based on their games was the not so well received Super Mario Bros. from 1993.

Another odd fact is that there is no major voice acting in the games. Link, the hero of the story doesn’t talk. You only hear him scream or grunt. It will be very interesting to hear him say something for the first time, let alone seeing him portrayed in live action by an actor.  Having said that, the fact that their next project is based on Zelda while unexpected, actually makes a lot of sense.

The Zelda universe has a vast and rich mythology that spans almost 20 games released over a span of almost 30 years. Each game is a tale set in a fantasy world called Hyrule, which is somewhat reminiscent of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, populated by goblins, wizards, all sorts of fantastic creatures, and a race of elf-like beings that struggle against the evil Ganon. He is a huge villain obsessed with obtaining the all powerful Triforce, a relic from an ancient time that bestows ultimate power to anyone who has it. Again, very much like the One Ring to rule them all from the epic The Lord of the Rings saga.

zelda 3

The success of both Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies and the HBO TV show Game of Thrones, demonstrate that there is a market for live-action epic fantasy stories. The key to the success of any Zelda show will be who Netflix hires to translate the great stories told in each game to the TV screen. As with movies that are based on books demonstrates, this can be a tricky task. However, since this will be a TV series, it will have many hours to tell any such story, instead of the restricted two- hour-plus limit of a movie. This can definitely be a positive since the saga of The Legend of Zelda is as complex as it is interesting. Hopefully, whoever is hired will be able to do justice to the highly regarded Zelda series, which has set a very high standard for quality in all of its games. Nintendo, who is known for protecting all of their characters should be able to make sure this happens.

C.S. Link