Photo: Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Releases to keep on your radar this year

With the new year comes new classes, new professors and a heightened awareness of just how fast time is passing and how old we are all getting (The third "Pirates of the Caribbean" and third "Spider-Man" are both turning 10 this year. The THIRD.) But the new year also means new movies, shows, games and albums to look forward to, and while the likelihood of you actually staying in the gym for more than a week after the new year is low, the odds of you sitting down to enjoy some Netflix is significantly higher. Here are a few of the releases you can look forward to in 2017.

Movies:

"Logan"

Release Date: March 3

Ever since Hugh Jackman first starred in 2000’s “X-Men,” fans have prized his performance as the clawed anti-hero with a big heart, Wolverine. “Logan” will reportedly be Jackman’s last time in the role, which is just one reason that this upcoming film is so highly anticipated. Little was known about the movie just a few months ago, but after the first trailer audiences were struck by the desperate yet hopeful story of an elderly Wolverine tasked with protecting a young mutant girl in the dystopian future (set gloriously to Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” cover). The movie will also follow in the footsteps of last year’s “Deadpool” and allow Jackman to finally play the true Wolverine by featuring an “R” rating. Regardless of your knowledge of “X-lore,” it’s clear that “Logan” will be a far different superhero movie than anything in the past few years, perhaps more along the lines of Nolan’s "Batman."

“Beauty and the Beast”

Courtesy of Guerrilla Games

Release Date: March 17

Everything that is old is new again, and Disney is proving this with their upcoming live-action adaptation of the 1991 classic animated film “Beauty and the Beast.” This remake directed by Bill Condon, who helmed parts 1 and 2 of “Twilight: Breaking Dawn,” stars Emma Watson as Belle and features realistic-looking CGI versions of Lumiere, Cogsworth and the other talking furniture characters from the original. This is one of a string of live-action remakes from Disney following the 2015 “Cinderella” and 2016 “Jungle Book” and preceding the 2018 “Mulan.” Will this be a highly memorable adaptation that celebrates the love that many have for this classic or will it go down as a dud that misses the mark like some other live-action remakes have? We will have to wait a few months to know for sure.

“The Circle”

Release Date: April 28

Third-year students at USC might remember the first-year reading experience and being given a copy of a book called “The Circle” to read. Whether you read it or not, most of us saw the book’s author Dave Eggers speak, so you might be interested to know it’s being made into a movie starring one of Hollywood’s busiest actresses, Emma Watson. The story follows Mae Holland, who is hired by a Google-like company called The Circle. At first, Mae is excited to be at such a large and influential company, but over time mystery begins to grow and concerns of privacy become serious. In addition to Emma Watson, “The Circle” also stars John Boyega, who played Finn in “Star Wars Episode VII,” and Tom Hanks.

Games:

“Resident Evil 7”

Release Date: Jan. 24

Platforms: PS4, PSVR, Xbox One, PC

The “Resident Evil” franchise has had a long history and has gone through numerous iterations, going from a horror game to more of an action game. With “Resident Evil 7,” Capcom seems to be going back to the roots of the series with a pure horror game designed to unsettle you and make you jump. While this game is looking to be calling back to the older games in some ways, it also treads new ground with its first-person perspective and virtual reality support. Not too much is known about the specifics of the game, but a "Silent Hill: PT"-like demo is currently available for PlayStation, Xbox and Steam and it gives us hints to the eerie tone and mysterious story that might be in the final game. Many believe that this game may be the first real, full-length game to make a big splash on VR and might be a big test for how immersive – and terrifying – VR horror can be.

“For Honor”

Release Date: Feb. 14

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Over the years, we have seen numerous detailed competitive online shooters, but we haven’t seen the same sort of attention put towards an online sword-fighting game. Developer Ubisoft is looking to fill this void with a brand new game called “For Honor.” “For Honor” is a four-versus-four multiplayer game where each player plays as a medieval knight, a viking or a samurai in a massive battle between two armies. The battlefield is filled with smaller computer-controlled soldiers that you march with until you find one of the other players. Then you engage in a gruesome battle. The sword play in “For Honor” is more complex than most hack-and-slash games and allows the player to use the right analog stick to choose a direction to block or attack. In order to win a battle, the player must learn how to use misdirection and strategically timed attacks so that they can gain the upper hand and claim different sections of the map for their army. While there are concerns about the game’s single player feeling tacked-on at the last minute and the quality isn’t a guarantee, Ubisoft has a very interesting and unique idea here that, if done right, could be a lot of fun.

“Horizon Zero Dawn”

Release Date: Feb. 28

Platforms: PS4

Really, the only necessary piece of information that is needed about “Horizon Zero Dawn” is that you fight robot dinosaurs. That is truly enough on its own. “Horizon Zero Dawn” is a highly anticipated action RPG set in a post-apocalyptic land where people have been forced to live as primitive cavemen and women whilst, strangely, robotic creatures roam the plains as if they were normal animals. Each time the game is shown, the gameplay looks intense, smooth and unique, and the way the mystery surrounding the world is being kept a secret is helping to make this one of the most anticipated games in the PlayStation community. Whether or not the answer to the mystery ends up feeling satisfactory is left to be seen, but regardless, PS4 owners can soon look forward to living out their dreams of being a cavewomen running around taking down giant robot dinosaurs. What a time to be alive.

TV:

“A Series of Unfortunate Events”

Release Date: Jan. 13

It has been over 12 years since the 2004 Jim Carrey “A Series of Unfortunate Events” movie was released. Now, the story that was originally written by Daniel Hendler (commonly known by his pen name Lemony Snicket) is going to be given the chance to thrive once again thanks to a Netflix series releasing on Jan. 13. For those who somehow missed the movie or books as a child, “A Series of Unfortunate Events” follows three orphans, Klaus, Violet and Sunny Baudelaire, who are put in the custody of the mysterious and evil Count Olaf following their parents' death after their house burns down. The Baudelaires are no ordinary kids, however, as each of them has their own impressive and peculiar ability — abilities that they will need as it becomes apparent that Count Olaf is only interested in the money the children inherited rather than the children themselves. Neil Patrick Harris will be taking the role of Count Olaf, and we watchers will have to wait and see if Harris will be able to adequately fill the shoes of Carrey’s goofy, strange and sinister character, or if we are in for a change in tone.

“Iron Fist”

Release Date: March 17

Recently Marvel has been teaming up with Netflix to bring a series of shows starring various slightly lesser-known heroes in "Daredevil," "Jessica Jones" and "Luke Cage." In March, we will be given the next show in this series, “Iron Fist.” “Iron Fist” follows Daniel Rand (Finn Jones of "Game of Thrones" fame), a man who, after being missing for years, returns to New York City to fight crime with his martial arts and supernatural abilities. “Iron Fist” is the last of the characters in “The Defenders” a cross-over series starring Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist that is set to release some time in 2017. With the success and critical acclaim garnered by each of the other Marvel Netflix shows, “Iron Fist” is likely to have fairly high expectations.

Music:

The xx – “I See You”

Release Date: Jan. 13

London indie pop band The xx returns this year for their first album since 2012, and with it appears to come a fresh take on their atmospheric and haunting sound. Both of the singles the band has released, “On Hold” and “Say Something Loving,” show a sound that is more pop than the band has ever been, with peppier beats and catchy choruses. This new twist on their sound and the possibilities it could bring out of Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim's dueling vocals make this a release to look out for when it comes out this Friday. The xx will be performing at the Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh, North Carolina, on May 14.

Amber Coffman – “City of No Reply”

Release Date: TBA

Amanda Coffman, singer/songwriter most commonly known for being a singer and guitarist for Dirty Projectors, is releasing her debut solo album sometime this year. Coffman’s first single, “All to Myself,” is a calming and soulful electronic jam that gives a hint that her first foray into being a solo artist will come with a soothing and relaxed tone. With rumors of Coffman no longer being a part of Dirty Projectors — rumors fueled by the fact that Dirty Projectors released a song without her shortly before her own single — it will be interesting to see where Coffman’s career goes and if she will see breakout success in 2017.



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