2016 will be a great year for just about everything. New Kayne West album and the new consoles have been out long enough that the awesome exclusives are coming out. But my most anticipated thing of 2016: The year of HUGE comic book movies.
We are going to see Marvel and DC go head to head at the box office. Marvel throws the first punch with everyone’s favorite Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool (2/12). DC then hits back with what should be a blockbuster, Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice (3/25). Marvel counter punched with Captain America: Civil War (5/6). Fox gets in on the mix with X-Men: Apocalypse (5/27). DC closes the summer out strong with the Suicide Squad (8/5). Fox starts the fall/winter season out with what could be a bad movie, Gambit (10/7).
My all time favorite superhero, The Sorcerer Supreme, Dr. Strange, makes his debut in the MCU (11/14). Then Sony closes out with Sinister Six (11/11).
The theaters will look more like a comic book shop in 2016. And the spinner rack is full of exciting Marvel and DC movies we can all look forward to seeing this year.
I sat down to think about all the great things coming in 2016. New albums from some of my favorite bands (Wildernessking, Moderat, and rumors of Stars of the Lid), some video games I’m really looking forward to, what are bound to be some great movies, and an amazing and exciting Copa America Centanario. The last is a special, 100 year anniversary, Copa America that will feature national teams from both North and South America battling it out for supremacy right here in the United States. Several games are scheduled to be played at Soldier Field right here in Chicago, and I intend to do my best to make it.
But none of those are what I’m really most excited about. Before I say what that is I’m going to step back a bit. On Sunday I went to see Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful Eight (it was fantastic) in ‘glorious 70mm Panavision’ at the Music Box Theater, which is in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. To get there I took the redline, one of our L trains, north from where I live to the Addison stop. To anyone familiar with Chicago sports, they would recognize Addison as the stop that sits right next to Wrigley Field. I had to walk a few blocks to the theater, which meant I had to walk all along both the south side and west side of Wrigley. While looking at it covered in tarps and surrounded by fences for further renovations, I was hit with a pang of sadness. Sadness that it was winter, and Wrigley was closed. I thought to all the games I went to this year and what it entails. Decking myself out in Cubbie blue (I go all out), the pristine diamond before a game, the look and smell of freshly cut grass, the crack of the bat, the whizz of an Arrieta pitch and the thud of it inevitably finding it’s way into the catchers mitt, stuffing my face with soft pretzels, nachos and cheese with an absurd amount of jalapenos on top and all other variety of unhealthy things, hanging out with friends, cheering and chanting, booing and hissing, sometimes getting to sing ‘Go Cubs Go!’ at the end of the game, and watching as the ‘W’ is ran up the flag pole to be flown. It was while walking by Wrigley in howling wind and single digit cold that I realized one of the things I really miss about the warmer months in Chicago is baseball and how I can’t wait to go back to Wrigley. I made it to some amazing games last year: Kris Bryant’s debut, a few against the Cards including the last of the regular season, the last regular season game against the Pirates, and a couple more. Every single one was a blast.
So what pop culture event do I look forward to most in 2016? The answer is the 2016 MLB season and the Cubs. The Northsiders are predicted by Fangraphs to have the best regular season record in baseball this year, ESPN believes the Cubs have the best infield heading into the new year, and an already young and talented team added Jason Heyward to the mix amongst some other exciting signings. So I can’t wait to see what the Cubs have in store for us this year. After 108 years without a World Series this might finally be the year when Cubs fans won’t have to resort to that phrase that has become so familiar to them: ‘There’s always next year.’
I often find it hard to say that there’s one thing I anticipate over another because I get super excited over just about everything. No lie.
So, to say that there’s one thing I’m looking forward to the most in 2016 is completely wrong as I’m looking forward to everything: the 30th Anniversary of Dragon Con is Labor Day weekend, one of my best friends from college is getting married in June, my 30th birthday is in September, all my favorite shows are returning and ending the awful cliffhangers they left us with for the mid-season hiatus. I’m excited for it all!
However, the things I’m looking forward to most in 2016 are all the movies releasing this coming year: Deadpool, Captain America:Civil War, Warcraft, Star Trek Beyond, TMNT 2, The 5th Wave, X-Men Apocalypse, Rogue One, Independence Day: Resurgence, Finding Dory, Doctor Strange, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them just to name a few that I really want to see throughout the year.
Now, can I say that there are movies that I’d like to see more than others? Absolutely. I’m really looking forward to seeing what is going to happen in Captain America: Civil War, other than the things I already know about from leaked set photos and friends who were cast as extras, that is.
There are a few more that are on my “I’m Not Going to Miss This For the World” watch list, but there are still so many more that I want more information and news on. The world of film and cinema is growing so rapidly, and – for one – can’t wait to see what the movie industry will give us this year and in the future.
There is one great mystery in 2016 that holds all my anticipation: The Nintendo NX.
Nintendo announced that they were working on their new home console and more information would be released in 2016, and we haven’t heard anything since then.
Nothing. Zip. Nada.
Internet rumors ran like wildfire throughout the year trying to get any information on what the House of Mario could possibly be up to. Nintendo fans everywhere continued to look for any clues they could find on the NX, but there were no hard facts on any specs or even what it would look like. Could it be an all-in-one Nintendo machine? Will you be able to play all your games on the go regardless of system? Will we see more Shy Guy?
Nintendo has kept it’s gates locked concerning their new system and it the hype could benefit them as we move deeper into 2016. Even though the Wii U now has a strong library of games that only got better in 2015 with Splatoon and Mario Maker, it’s been one of Nintendo’s worst selling consoles in it’s history and has been behind both Microsoft and Sony since the beginning of this generation’s console releases. I’m sure Nintendo doesn’t need to be reminded that the NX can’t fail like the Wii U. In fact, it has to be a major success. It can’t just be better than the Wii U. Nintendo has it’s back up against the wall on this one, but lucky for them (and us gamers) they tend to put out their most innovative ideas on the store shelves when most gamers have counted them out. The last time this happen they put out the Wii, and then proceeded to do cannonballs into their massive money pool.
We all know a must for the system is to have a much better online interface that makes it easier to connect and play with friends. It’s already been confirmed that they plan on restructuring how you tie all your Nintendo products together under their new My Nintendo program. Let’s hope this leads to an overall better online experience from the company than what we have received so far.
The biggest question on the system is how it will work with both the existing Wii U software and the 3DS. With My Nintendo being implemented to make syncing all your Nintendo devices together easier, could we be far off from having a system that allows you to play all your games on the go or being able to play their vast potable gaming library on your TV at home? Is the My Nintendo program hinting at the NX being the system that allows you to play any and all Nintendo software any time you like? It’s an intriguing idea that only Nintendo could do. They are the only one that has any device in the portable market that isn’t a smartphone, the Vita is dead, and Microsoft decided to never dip it’s toe into that market at all. Nintendo is literally the ONLY company that could make a system that would allow you to play everything in it’s catalog.
Nintendo has the stage in 2016. No Sony or Microsoft console announcements to worry about. They have the spotlight all to themselves. And I, for one, am excited to see what they have in store for us in 2016.