I am learning not to give in to the hype. Hype raises your expectations, which is a sure fire way to be disappointed (I’m looking at you Prometheus). It’s not all bad, I had high expectations for Mad Max: Fury Road and the film greatly exceeded them. I’m just being cautious entering 2016 as I’ve been hurt before.

With that, here’s what I’m looking forward to in 2016.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

supermanI have mixed feelings about this film. It’s not Ben Affleck being cast as Batman or Zack Snyder’s passion for excessive, Michael Bay-esque destruction. I fear the film will be overcrowded. The newest trailer features Wonder Woman assisting the heroes while they battle a large CGI villain that looks a lot like Doomsday. It has also been announced that Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg will all have roles in the film. It’s not necessary. I believe there is enough of a legacy between the two main characters that they deserve a film to themselves before introducing the entire Justice League.

On a positive note, the film is the beginning of a cinematic DC universe. Batman V Superman will be released in March with Suicide Squad following less than five months later. It feels like the film studios are finally paying attention and giving audiences what they want. Last year fandom grew to a new level with the Mad Max, Jurassic park, Star Wars and Marvel franchises all receiving sequels. As a pop culture fanatic who grew up with comics, sci-fi and action films, a cinematic DC universe is exactly what I need.

WESTWORLD

westworldI know very little about this new series beyond a short teaser trailer, although I am already predicting it to be the best new program of 2016. Westworld is a new HBO series from creator Jonathan Nolan (Person of Interest) and executive producer J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens & Lost … Remember Lost? – Ed) and centres around a western style theme park full of androids called Westworld.

The program is described as a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness. It features acclaimed actors Sir Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris and combines my two favourite genres: Sci-Fi and the western.

The series is based around a 1973 film by author/director Michael Crichton where two friends attempt to survive a theme park of murderous androids. This is possibly the inspiration for Itchy & Scratchy land episode of The Simpsons. As the program will air on HBO, we can expect it to be very adult and complex. The 2015 indie hit Ex Machina piqued my interest in tales of artificial intelligence and I need a new western to fill the void left by Deadwood.

Can’t wait!

THE OFFICIAL NINTENDO NX ANNOUNCEMENT

ReggieScepticism appears to be the new trend of 2016, as I also have serious doubts about the success of Nintendo’s new console labelled the NX. Nintendo are renowned for innovation when it comes to console design. Unfortunately it has been at the expense of sacrificing the mainstream gaming audience. The Wii U is Nintendo’s worst selling console and while the Wii sold over 100 million units worldwide, its hardware limitations and motion controllers resulted in many developers steering clear.

Within the first half of 2016, we should receive official details of the NX. I would love to see Nintendo return to conventional console design and create something that can compete with Microsoft and Sony. Nintendo’s president Tatsumi Kmishima has stated that the console will be unique and offer a new experience. This has me worried.

So why has the NX made my list if I am so negative? Because Nintendo consistently make excellent first party games. Almost every entry in the Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Mario Kart and Smash Bros franchises are of high quality. The possibility of new first party titles is more exciting than any one game, even if I’m forced to play them with an annoying new peripheral.

THE 2016 RIO OLYMPIC GAMES

2016_Summer_Olympics_logoI’m not a big sports fan, but every four years I gain a strong sense of patriotism while supporting Aussie athletes at the Olympic Games. It’s not really about the sports. I know nothing about our athletes or the events that they perform in. It is about our small nation earning a place amongst the giants. Australia’s population is nothing compared to other nations, yet we manage to finish quite high on the medal tally. In 2012 Australia finished 10th ahead of Japan.

The Olympics are a rare form of entertainment and it would be a waste to pass up the opportunity to view them. They can be peculiar and not at all what we are used to viewing as sports. It’s also hilarious when someone messes up. My flatmates and I are planning beer and betting nights for some of the events we know nothing about. Overall there is a lot to look forward to when the Olympics open in August. It is also the only time there is anything decent on free to air television.

// MIKE

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