Seven movies in 2019

Age of the Geek Column: Happy New Year!

There's a lot to look forward to as we roll into 2019 so, as is tradition, let's kick off the new year with a list of movies to keep an eye on over the next twelve months.

Alita: Battle Angel

Officially announced in 2003, James Cameron's live-action adaptation of "Battle Angel Alita" has been a long time coming. For a long time it felt like this project would fade away as Cameron focused on "Avatar" and its sequels. Instead it looks like we'll be getting some cyberpunk android fighting action after all and if the trailers are to be believed, "Alita: Battle Angel" might be worth the wait.

This could very easily be the best Hollywood adaptation of a manga series ever put to screen, not that that is a high bar to jump.

Captain Marvel

Before we get to the much anticipated follow up to "Avengers: Infinity War" the MCU is taking a trip back to the 90s to retroactively introduce us to Carol Danvers. I'm not expecting much outside of the typical Marvel Studios fare, but the retro setting will make for an interesting change of pace.

I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of a decade I remember being labeled as "retro" but at least we'll get to see Clark Gregg back on the screen as everybody's favorite Agent Coulson.

Avengers: Endgame

Of course "Captain Marvel" is just the prelude to the big event. When I wrote last year's version of this column I said to expect to see this entry again and here it is. All of the hype and anticipation of "Avengers: Infinity War" now applies to "Avengers: Endgame."

The stakes have never been higher… well I guess you could technically say the stakes are only half what they were before… but you get my drift. This is the end in more ways than one and what happens here will not only wrap up this decade long storyline, but it'll also set the stage for new era of Marvel Studios films.

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu

Moving away from comic books there's "Pokemon: Detective Pikachu" a movie that appears to be everything that it shouldn't be.

The Pokemon franchise has always been reliably on-brand, never straying too far from its generally accepted kid-friendly aesthetic. Even the "Detective Pikachu" spin-off video game series looks perfectly in place with the rest of the franchise. So imagine the surprise when the trailer for the live-action adaptation shows a strangely grim and gritty re-imagining of the Pokemon world.

The juxtaposition between the colorful cartoon monsters and the hardboiled detective setting is the sort of thing you'd find in a YouTube fan film, not a major theatrical release.

I don't know if diving so far outside of the franchise's comfort zone will end up paying off, but it's certainly worthy of attention.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Legendary Pictures isn't just bringing pocket sized monsters to the big screen this year though. The scale of battle will get considerably larger with "Godzilla: King of the Monsters," the long awaited sequel to 2014's "Godzilla" reboot.

Unlike the last movie, which spent too much time tip-toeing around before letting us revel in the giant monster battles, the sequel promises to come out swinging. With Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah all vying for dominance, there isn't going to be time for a slow burn. Director Michael Dougherty is promising that there will be no holding back this time around so get ready for all the giant monster mayhem you can handle.

Men in Black: International

This one kind of came out of nowhere. The MIB franchise has been relatively inactive for years now, but then drops a trailer for a new movie that reunites Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson for a globe trotting adventure.

That alone is enough to peak my interest. I'm eager to see if this movie could end up jump-starting the franchise again in the way the well received third film didn't.

The New Mutants

"Alita: Battle Angel" may have had a rough development, but it doesn't have anything on "The New Mutants." Everything about this movie is complicated, starting with its basic premise.

Seemingly set in Fox's X-Men universe, "The New Mutants" has been branded as "Steven King meets John Hughes," effectively mixing teenage drama with supernatural horror while also taking into account that all the main characters have super powers.

That sort of thing isn't anything new for comic book readers, but it's a lot to throw at a general movie going audience.

Making things more complicated is that even Fox doesn't seem to know what kind of movie they want it to be. In theory, the film was roughly done in late 2017 but following the success of "It" the studio decided to recut the movie to emphasize the horror elements.

Between delays and reshoots, not to mention the impending buyout of Fox by Disney, it was questionable if the movie was ever going to see the light of day at all.

For better or worse though, it looks like "The New Mutants" is still on track for a August release. Who knows what we'll finally get when it comes out.

Travis Fischer is a news writer for Mid-America Publishing and don't even get him started on that "Sonic the Hedgehog" movie coming out in November.