Meet the superhero that's dead inside
You're not sick of superheroes yet. You can't be. Because there are a tonne of them coming to theatres in 2016. Look at this list: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (March), Captain America: Civil War and X-Men: Apocalypse (May), Suicide Squad (August) and Doctor Strange (November). And that's before you get to the Flash and Arrow TV spin-off Legends of Tomorrow (TV2, February), and Netflix's second season of Daredevil (March) and Luke Cage (tbc). But there's only one superhero I'll be queuing up to see.
He's not super, he loves a good swearword, and he's not really a hero. But that's what makes foul-mouthed genetic mutant Deadpool so damned awesome. Played by Ryan Reynolds, expect to see him slash up cinemas on February 11 - and don't plan to take your kids or nephews and nieces. Deadpool is likely to be strictly R18.
Get your game face on
Be bold, gamers, because 2016 is all about the new. After a couple of years playing it safe with as many reboots and remakes as the movies, many of this year's biggest releases all have a fresh feel about them.
Among them, Firewatch (February) arms you with just a radio and tells the story of the Yellowstone fires of 1988, Quantum Break (April) allows players to bend time and comes with a companion TV series, open world space explorer No Man's Sky (June) offers a whopping 18 quintillion planets to explore, and in the much anticipated, heavily delayed The Last Guardian (TBC), you get to hang out with a giant flying cat-dog beast.
Of course, there's one mammoth title that breaks the mould in a big way. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (April) is the last outing for lovable rogue Nathan Drake, and he's promising to go out with a bang.
Who needs sleep anyway?
Sounds like the '90s
If you've got a faded plaid shirt in the back of your wardrobe, you're in luck, because there's one thing guaranteed to happen in 2016. Your favourite '90s band will definitely release an album this year. On the horizon are records by grunge titans Pearl Jam, rock stalwarts Red Hot Chili Peppers, Trent Reznor's industrial grind machine Nine Inch Nails, nu-metal mainstayers Linkin Park and Incubus, pop-punk acts Blink 182 and The Offspring, and metal beasts Metallica.
That not enough for you? With Slash and Axl Rose kissing, making up and agreeing to tour together this year, you can bet we'll hear new Guns 'n' Roses tunes at some stage too. Smell money? Don't be so jaded. It's all about the music, man.
Nothing new under the sun
When it comes to movies and TV, it's hard to make a call on whether we're more dubious about long-delayed sequels or remakes, but this year we're getting plenty of both. Although My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (March), Finding Dory (June), Independence Day: Resurgence (June), and Bridget Jones's Baby (September) all had very successful originals, it feels oddly like scraping at the bottom of the barrel by making sequels for any of them. Let's hope they surprise us.
When it comes to the remakes, at least an all-female version of Ghostbusters (July) sounds promising (Kristen Wiig for the win!), and now that David Lynch is back on board with the new Twin Peaks series, it might just be awesome. And the one that actually sounds like a smart idea: bringing back The X-Files.
Kiwi film avalanche
After a pretty dry year for New Zealand films in 2015 it seems like there's an avalanche of great local content potentially on the horizon. Taika Waititi's new film Hunt for The Wilderpeople (starring Sam Neill and Julian Dennison) will premiere at the opening weekend of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, and David Farrier's oddball documentary Tickled will also premiere there.
We can also look forward to The Rehearsal, an adaptation of Eleanor Catton's first novel, starring James Rolleston and Marlon Williams; Lee Tamahori's first NZ film since Once Were Warriors, entitled The Patriarch; a comedy set in the islands from The Downlow Concept team called Chief Gary; a thriller called Human Traces, starring Sophie Henderson and Sara Wiseman; plus international co-productions 6 Days (historical thriller directed by Toa Fraser) and Beyond the Known World, a drama about a daughter lost in the Himilayas.
Leisure time music
Apart from the much anticipated second album from Lorde, there are a couple of other local acts we're excited to hear from in 2016. First up is Leisure, five Auckland dudes who came together at a bach in Muriwai, and accidentally stumbled upon making the grooviest damn tunes we've heard in ages. They've played a bunch of shows overseas, and been signed up by Scott McLaughlin (Lorde's ex-manager), but the first chance we'll get to see them is at Laneway Festival.
Another local groove merchant making something of a big stage debut at Laneway is Scuba Diva, aka Jimmy Mac, who's been Lorde's synth man for the past couple of years and is now making his own psychedelic hits, with the help of Kody Nielson. Tasty.
TV is better than film
That's a crazy statement, but in 2016, there's nothing cooler than being a movie star or film director making a TV series. There's 1970s rock n roll record label series Vinyl, brought to you by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger; sci-fi western Westworld, with everyone from Anthony Hopkins, to Evan Rachel Wood involved; James Franco's "high school teacher goes back in time to save JFK" series 11.22.63; Nicole Kidman, Reece Witherspoon and Laura Dern getting together to play murderous kindergarten mothers in Big Little Lies; Tom Hardy heading back to 1813 as an adventurer in Taboo; Tom Hiddleston in BBC spy series The Night Manager; and Baz 70s extravaganza The Get Down. We may never leave the couch.
Stars in our eyes
Yes, just like 2015, and likely every upcoming year until Disney has seared Star Wars permanently on to our retinas, 2016 will end with another Star Wars movie, but rather than a follow-up to The Force Awakens (that's due in 2017), Rogue One is a spin-off instalment that takes place before the events of A New Hope.
Here's what we know: It's directed by Godzilla's Gareth Edwards, it focuses on a group of Rebel fighters attempting to steal plans for the Death Star, its story promises to be far more original than The Force Awakens and it will likely include an appearance by whoever is chosen to play a young Han Solo for another spin-off due in 2018. Peak Star Wars? We're not even close.
- Compiled by Lydia Jenkin, Joanna Hunkin and Chris Schulz