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Amazing Movie Predictions for 2016

Hey Kids,
Based on extensive research and my petty personal prejudices, I've made some Amazing Movie Predictions for 2016. I've also added links, in case you want to find out more about a film.
I absolutely guarantee that all of these predictions will be either right or completely off base. Enjoy.
Yrz Trly, John
1) The breakout star of 2016 will be Nate Parker. I've mentioned him before in the context of the must-see "The Birth of a Nation." He wrote, directed, and stars, leading to prediction 1a) he will hit the rare trifecta of getting three well-earned Oscar nominations, and 1b) the movie itself will end up with a Best Picture nom.

2) Ang Lee, who has made some of the most beautiful and stirring films of our time will strike again with "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk." Bravo Squad, decorated Iraqi War veterans whose bravery might not be exactly what it seems, a reality Billy faces while home in the US shortly before redeployment.

3) The biggest non-franchise blockbuster of the year will be "Passengers," a romantic thriller with Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt as travelers on a 120-year journey in space, accidently awakened out of hyper-sleep and facing a life with only their chemistry to sustain them as they try to save a malfunctioning ship.

4) Don Cheadle is another Oscar triple-threat as writer, director, and star of "Miles Ahead," a bio-drama of Jazz legend, Miles Davis.

5) "Jason Bourne" will make us remember how freaking great the Bourne trilogy is. If you haven't experienced "Identity," "Supremacy," and "Ultimatum," see them before this release on July 29.

6) The newest Tom Hanks-led Dan Brown adaptation, "Inferno," will meet with a lukewarm critical reception, but audiences will like it, and its basic theme--the threat of Global overpopulation--will replace Climate Change as the new apocalyptic crisis.

7) The testosterone-fueled heroics in the movie "Deepwater Horizon" will overshadow the environmental catastrophe of the events, trivializing one of the worst eco-disasters of our time.

8) The screen adaptation of the best-seller "The Girl on the Train" will be the vehicle that drives Emily Blunt to a much-deserved first Oscar nomination, as a depressed woman who lives life vicariously through a couple she sees every day from the window of her commuter train. Until something shocking happens.

9) Tom Hanks will shake off the ennui of "Inferno" to shine in Clint Eastwood's "Sully," about the pilot who saved all of his passengers by belly-flopping his disabled plane onto the Hudson River.

10) Oliver Stone's "Snowden" will justify our paranoia and conspiracy theories six weeks before we get to vote for a new President.

11) Another film adaptation of a best-seller, "The Light Between the Oceans," will cement Alicia Vikander's status as an A-list star as she plays the wife of a lighthouse keeper who finds a baby, alone and adrift off the coast of Australia.

12) The unnecessary remake of "The Magnificent Seven." Denzel Washington, great; Chris Pratt, great; Ethan Hawke ... Ethan Hawke? That weenie? WTF? Oh well, looks like this time the bad guys win.

13)  "Loving." I don't know if it will make major theaters, maybe just arthouses, but I think it will be a sneaky smash, in the running for Best Picture, Actor (Joel Edgerton), and Actress (Ruth Negga).

Eye in the Sky

The effectiveness of Eye in the Sky as a political thriller goes beyond simple suspense; it makes the viewer think and feel.  Deeply.  That the feeling part comes as the result of some emotional manipulation can be forgiven because it forces us to personalize, to really empathize, with those most affected by war.

Helen Mirren (in a role originally written for a man) is Col. Katherine Powell, a British officer in London has been trying to capture radicalized UK citizen Susan Danford for six years.  From Hawaii, an American image analyst confirms that Danford and two other "most wanted" terrorists are holed up in Nairobi, along with two recruits.  As she organizes her operation, Col. Powell is in contact with drone pilot Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) at his base in Nevada to watch from high above and Jamah Farah (Barkhad Abdi) on the ground in Nairobi with remote-control cameras ingeniously planted in robotic birds and beetles.  Meanwhile, in Whitehall, Lieut. Gen. Frank Benson (Alan Rickman) monitors the operation with members of the Prime Minister's administration.

Events become complicated when Danford and her associates relocate to a terrorist stronghold too hot for commandos to raid.  Farah bravely follows from the ground as Watts continues to monitor from the sky. With the new location, Col. Powell explores lethal military options as her superior, Gen. Benson, works through the political and bureaucratic quagmire involved with staging a drone attack in a country with whom neither Britain not the US is at war.

Soon, surveillance reveals two discoveries: one that makes a drone attack imperative, and another that makes it inconceivable.  At this point in this most immersive film, we, the audience, vicariously face a military, ethical, and philosophical Hobson's choice.  We examine our own humanity, an analysis summarized best in a line uttered by the incomparable Alan Rickman in what is, sadly, his last film.  Eye in the Sky, though manipulative at times, haunted me for days until I realized that there is no level of humanity in war.

8.5 out of 10
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