It’s been a long time coming, but the year that never seemed like it would end is (finally) about to end. Insert praise dance. CASSIUS is definitely looking forward to 2018— and we know we’re not alone. Anyway, to tide us over, we’ve been ruminating on some of the things we’re looking forward to. Movies are at the top of that list because, well, escapism is gonna be clutch. Here are a few films at the top of our 2018 must-see list.
Proud Mary, Opens on January 12, 2018
Directed by Babak Najafi. Starring Taraji P. Henson, Danny Glover and Billy Brown
Cookie is back! Well, kind of. In Proud Mary, Taraji P. Henson plays a cold-as-ice and tough-as-nails hitwoman who works for the mob in Boston. Just the idea of our favorite Cookie Monster getting serious and toting guns is enough for us to get interested in this flick but that’s not even the best part. During an assassination attempt that goes sideways, Taraji’s character, Mary, encounters a young black man who pulls on her heart strings and awakens her long dormant maternal instincts. Will she get out of “the Life” to become a mom that no one will mess with, or will she freeze the kid out to keep the mob happy? You’ll have to wait until January to find out. In the meantime, expect lots of gunplay and amazing stunts– many of which were performed by Taraji herself. And if the trailer is any indication, the wardrobe is lit! Mary likes to keeps her style game as sharp as her (work-related) knives.
Black Panther, Opens on February 16, 2018
Directed by Ryan Coogler. Starring just about all of Black Hollywood including Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and many more.
I mean. Do I even need to explain this one? Netflix’s Luke Cage whet our cultural appetite by serving up black characters with nuance, flaws and depth. Not to mention the heretofore unseen image of a superhero who is Black, bulletproof and wears dark hoodies. Since Cage, the excitement for Black Panther has reached a fever pitch and Black Panther’s various cameos in other movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, have only fanned the flames. In case you’ve missed all the many memos, here’s what you need to know. Black Panther, played by Chadwick Boseman, is a character created by comic book legend Stan Lee in 1966, one year after the Watts Riots rocked Los Angeles. He’s a prince. He can fight. He has superpowers. Oh, and his birthplace, the fictional country of Wakanda, is one of the wealthiest and most technologically advanced places on earth. We. Can’t. Wait.
A Wrinkle In Time, Opens on March 9, 2018
Directed by Ava DuVernay. Starring Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
Some of you may recall hearing this title before. That’s because A Wrinkle In Time was originally published in 1962 as a science fantasy novel by Madeleine L’Engle. It was also made into a film for TV around 2003, but in 2018 it will make the quantum leap to the BIG screen. Not only is Ava DuVernay directing it (her most recent full-length film since the groundbreaking documentary, 13th) but the film also features some other amazing women of color including, Mindy Kaling, of The Office and The Mindy Project, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who exploded onto the world stage in Beyond The Lights. The plot follows the arc of the book. When Meg (Storm Reid) discovers her father has disappeared, she embarks on a fantastic adventure to rescue him with the help of three magical beings. For those of you who have always wondered what a black version of Harry Potter might look like, get ready.
Pacific Rim Uprising, Opens March 23, 2018
Directed by Steven S. DeKnight. Starring John Boyega.
The ethos of Godzilla rampages will never end if the Pacific Rim franchise has anything to say about it. The original film starred Idris Elba as the leader of a team of antiquated-but-kick-ass mega-robots called Jaegers. The Jaegers were specifically invented to do battle with the Kaiju, a race of massive, malevolent sea monsters who find their way to earth via an interdimensional portal at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Although General Stacker Pentecost (Elba) is delegating for most of the movie, he gets his hands dirty to save the day at the end. In the sequel, Stacker’s son Jake, played by John Boyega, attempts to live up to the legacy left by his father to fight a brand new wave of Kaiju that plan to burn our world to a crisp. Speaking of which, you’ll probably recognize Boyega since he captured headlines all over the world for being cast as the first black Stormtrooper in Star Wars:The Force Awakens.