It’s 2018 already, and I’ve got a bet to make with you: I bet that you will watch some films next year. I bet £200 on it. I bet £200.01 that you will sit your cheeks down on a seat somewhere, and you will relax in front of a nice movie. Look at it, listen to it, enjoy it. I reckon if I make this bet with a big enough chunk of you lot, then I’ll end up on top - it’s just a hunch, but I’m set to make a killing on this, you fools.
However, a tougher prediction to make is exactly what films you’re going to watch in 2018. Thankfully, I have a list of bangers that I reckon you should watch, and if you read it, it should help my case when I make this other, very specific bet a bit later this week. It’s all a big money-making ploy disguised as a public service - I’m a shyster in film critic’s clothing, it’s the perfect crime.
Anyway, here’s your list (release dates provisional, like your driving licence!):
'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'
'The Strangers: Prey at Night'
'Game Over, Man!'
'A Quiet Place'
'You Were Never Really Here'
'Avengers: Infinity War'
'Solo: A Star Wars Story'
Now, there’s been a bit of a hoo-hah behind the scenes of this one, what with a mid-filming switcheroo of directors - from The Lego Movie’s Chris Miller and Phil Lord to Ron Howard (that weird ginger kid from Happy Days - supposedly he’s a director now), but I’ve still got high hopes.
Firstly, it’s not like they’ve given it to Uwe Boll, and secondly, Donald Glover is in it, as well as Woody Harrelson - all good signs, I think. But perhaps most importantly: I do not care about Star Wars, so will have no violent urge to yank my spine out through my mouth if Chewbacca’s hair isn’t long enough or something.
In cinemas 25 May
'Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom'
'Sicario 2: Soldado'
'The Incredibles 2'
'Alita: Battle Angel'
'Ant-Man and The Wasp'
Ever since I burned my first ant underneath a magnifying glass as a child, I had been looking for a movie about a tiny man who fought bad guys on model train sets, so when Ant-Man came along, I was ecstatic. As such, I also become highly charged when thinking about the sequel.
It’s coming from much of the same team as the original (minus Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish’s welcome input), and there’ll be a much larger focus on The Wasp this time around, presumably including a scene where she gets all excited about a free jar of jam but then gets her feet stuck in it and dies.
In cinemas 3 August
It’s Jason Statham vs A SHARK and if that’s not something you want to see (really? You don’t want to see Jason Statham kick a shark?) then you’re beyond help, I rate. There’s nothing to be done for you.
“Doctor, doctor, I don’t want to see Jason Statham punch a shark in the head.”
“You should not have come here, I cannot help you, you are a lost cause, dust, an echo of life - a distant, rapidly fading memory that shall register as nothing but an insignificant blip on this planet’s history.”
OF COURSE YOU WANT TO SEE JASON STATHAM GET A SHARK IN A HEADLOCK.
In cinemas 10 August
'The Happytime Murders'
Muppets killing each other, basically. The only people not interested in this are the exact same people that wouldn’t want to watch Jason Statham break a shark’s spine with a whisk, and I have no time for them.
This movie, however, I have time for - lots of it, as it happens, because it’s been on the slate for about ten years now. I’ve followed it since day one, so I’m - to use a water-skateboarder’s term - ‘stoked’ to see it.
In cinemas 17 August
'The Equalizer 2'
The first Equalizer (as in the first Denzel one) was top-drawer, in my unrefined opinion. Great bit of revenge, lovely slice of vengeance, whopping great chunk of avenging courtesy of our man Washington, and his trusty corkscrew.
Essentially, all they need to do is - this is literally it - more of the same. Just do it again, everyone. Do it all the same again, and I’ll be happy. It’s not rocket science.
In cinemas 24 August
As much as I like Topher Grace (I genuinely do, not a joke), his chance to play Spider-Man’s greatest nemesis was squandered and shattered and given about five minutes of screen time. The greatest foe Spidey has ever faced was reduced to a little tiny weeny incy wincy cutey patootie bit at the end of an already not-that-good-at-all-really film - what an insult.
Still, we’re getting another chance to see the big bad up on screen, and this time it’s Tom Hardy filling the symbiote’s boots, which is great because Venom has a fucking stupid voice, and so does Tom Hardy!
In cinemas 5 October
Look, you can tussle with me over this, you can scrap me, you and me could have a good old wrangle over this, but: I liked Rob Zombie’s Halloween movies, so there. A lot of people didn’t though, so the reboot (also a sequel) has changed hands to, well, Danny McBride. Yeah, that’s Eastbound and Down’s Danny McBride, the comedy man, the funny fella, the prat-faller.
Still, from what I’ve heard so far, I reckon he’s the man for the job - he’s a huge fan, and he’s got the full blessing of John Carpenter, so I’ve got high hopes. And not once, ever, in my entire life, have my expectations ever been let down. I am so lucky.
In cinemas 19 October, quite near to a CERTAIN SPOOKY DATE hint hint nudge nudge stab stab
'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse'
'24 Hours to Live'
When I heard that Gareth Evans (director of two of my favourite films of all time: The Raid and The Raid 2) had opted to directed a NON-MARTIAL ARTS FILM for his next venture, I was suitably, and understandably, disappointed. However, I then heard the magic word ‘revenge’ and was immediately and unplacatably excited once more.
Religious cults, Dan Stevens, Michael Sheen, violence - well done everyone on pulling a mighty bait-and-switch on this particular bozo! You got me there! My face, dripping with egg, egg everywhere, egg coming out of my eyes, my mouth, I am suffocating on egg, seriously help, call an ambulance, this is too much egg. NO SERIOUSLY.
Netflix release date TBA
That’s 31 whole films there. Quite a lot, in the grand scheme of things. Some people probably don’t even watch 30 movies in a year, do they? One film every two weeks and you wouldn’t manage it. But hey, you can make time, right?
Of course, if for any reason, any of these films are not good, please do not wield your pitchforks in my direction - I just think they’re going to be good. I make no guarantees. I’m not made of crystal balls.