The trailer for Thor Ragnarok has finally been released! And it looks like it may be the Asgardian’s best solo outing yet!
2016 was a very hit and miss year for films, some were fantastic others not so much and quite a lot of them were just okay.
To start us off with something positive here is a countdown of my favourite Films that came out this past year that I got to see in the cinema so that does mean I can’t include some of the fantastic films I saw at home like Park Chan Wook’s sensational I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK or Guillermo del Toro’s Gothic wonder Crimson Peak.
This film was superb, it delivered a clever storyline with beautifully realised characters and utterly gorgeous cinematography. The overall message of the film was rather brilliant as well, as it could be argued that the misunderstanding that the humans have between the Heptapods Alien race is a direct commentary on human to human misunderstanding due to culture and language barriers, thus calling for a more respectful and globally minded world.
And for these aforementioned reasons Arrival was hands down the best film I saw this year, I loved the plot of the film so much that immediately after seeing it I bought the book Stories of your Life and Others by Ted Chiang to read the short story the film was based on.
Rogue One breathes life into the rebellion mission to recover the Death Star plans that was briefly mentioned in A New Hope. I am so glad (like many star wars fans) that this film actually happened because it was a brilliant entry into the Star Wars saga and gave us all too briefly some really awesome characters, like Donnie Yen’s badass blind warrior monk Chirrut Îmwe. Another thing of note was the film’s portrayal of hope and that each character became a hero in their own right.
Alejandro González Iñárritu’s films are always beautifully shot and The Revenant was no exception, the snowy and punishing terrain of 19th Century America was utterly stunning and seeing the film in a comfortable cinema I even felt myself feeling quite cold because of how immersive the camera work was. The Highlights of the film were Dicaprio and Hardy in their respective roles who were brilliant and the fight scenes with the Indians and that infamous bear were so rawly and beautifully shot.
Okay, I’ll admit that I went to see this film because I was curious as to how it was going to be executed (being live action and all) and to see if it was actually going to be any good as my thinking before going into the cinema was that it possibly would be a little rubbish and unnecessary but I ended up loving it which surprised me. The visuals were stunning, Mowgli was adorable, Idris Elba’s was quite the formidable Shere Khan and rest of the voice cast were brilliant such as Ben Kingsly as Bagheera, Bill Murray as Baloo and Christopher Walken as King Louie. Plus I absolutely love Scarlett Johanson’s version of Trust In Me.
Tom Ford you talented bastard! This film was quite the harrowing watch and much like Amy Adam’s character Susan we get pulled into the second narrative which is the manuscript her previous husband Edward sent her, as the film progresses its clear that this disturbing novel is Edwards revenge for her past actions. One thing I loved about this film was the stark contrast of the narratives, Susan’s world is sophisticated almost to the point of being clinical whereas the world of the novel is dirty and savage.
WTF was this film! I expected so much from this film from the first couple of trailers it looked really interesting but the final product was just so messy and quite boring. The best thing about the film was Jared Leto’s Joker but with the way the plot was he had no real reason to be in the film.
One word…Martha. DC just really suck at making their shared movie universe blend together well, this film was utter nonsense for the most part, and ironically the best part of the film is Wonder Woman who is barely in the film.
Park Chan Wook’s latest film looks so damn interesting and beautiful, but when is it showing in cinemas!! I found out after it happened that there was a film festival in London that was showing a retrospective of Park’s work that included this film and I was so mad that I missed it!! I’ve read on several websites that it may or may not be being released in February or April!! Damn I wish more people would watch foreign cinema so that more films got wider and definitive releases!!
Like with The Handmaiden, The Childhood of a Leader was perhaps a little bit too much of a independent film to get a wide release so I wasn’t able to see the film when it came out in cinemas which is a shame as I was really looking forward to seeing the film on the big screen, oh well I’ll just have to wait for the Blu-Ray.
Truthfully I could have gone to see this film but I was just too busy and a little lazy so I didn’t but I’m sure I will check it out at home at some point and cry my eyes out in private.
Okay, so that concludes my look back at the year of 2016 in Movies but we would love to hear what films you thought were the Best and Worst and the films you didn’t get the chance to see this past year so drop us a message in the comments section down bellow!!
So, I watched The Great Wall Trailer and while the films concept and cinematography looks great… I just can’t get excited about a film that has cast a white male in the lead role of a film set in Ancient China!
Why? What possessed the producers to do this?….money. Apparently, protagonists of colour aren’t bankable, which is a really dumb thing to say in my opinion because lets just take a look at recent history…Jon Favereau’s The Jungle Book starred Neel Sethi as PROTAGONIST Mowgli, Neel Sethi is not white yet the film was fantastically successful at the box office, no doubt executives will claim that this is an exception because it was the spectacle of the CGI animals and the familiar story of The Jungle Book that bought viewers to the cinema.
Okay, next example Pacific Rim, Mako Mori played by Rinko Kikuchi a Japanese Actress (who has won multiple awards, including an Oscar nomination) was the most interesting character in that film, which is a rarity for a female character let alone one of a different ethnicity and seeing her name on the cast list actually made me interested in watching the film. Fast forward a few months and I hear that Scarlett Johansson has been cast as Major Motoko Kusanagi in the English language adaptation of the popular Manga Ghost in a Shell, surely Kikuchi would have been a much better casting choice? Apparently not. Excuses followed that this was a western adaptation blah blah blah… well my answer is if it’s a western adaptation change her name from Motoko Kusanagi to something less Japanese and more caucasian! Or better still get some good cultural representation and cast a Asian actress in the role.
Also, while the casting of Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One is an inspired choice, it’s also yet another example of whitewashing as in the comics the Ancient One is an elderly Asian male. What Hollywood could have done, if they so desperately wanted to make the character’s gender to be more ambiguous – they could have picked an Asian female actress and androgenised her. But I guess the racial bending casting of Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo was all that Marvel could handle on this film.
Unlike in Film, it would appear that TV is becoming a much more friendly place for diversity, shows such as Marco Polo are breaking barriers and proving race doesn’t hinder but enhances stories. 99% of Marco Polo’s cast are of Asian descent, with the only white man being Marco Polo, played by Italian Actor Lorenzo Richelmy (again its more authentic that Marco Polo is played by an Italian because he has a real Italian accent) this casting is perfect because Polo is the outsider and on screen this shows. One of the main reasons why I love this show because it feels real, it feels like you are being taken through a foreign land with Polo as your guide, if other caucasians were casted in place of the existing Asian actors the Mongolian empire would be far less realistic and the story would weaken.
Hollywood take note, racial diversity is a reality and as films are representations of reality they should be racially diverse…Simple right? So as a rebellion against Hollywood Whitewashing I have my fingers crossed for Idris Elba to become the next Bond to prove that it’s not the colour of James Bond’s skin that defines him but what he as a character stands for which is adventure, danger, intrigue and charm.
Rant over…for the time being anyway.
Let me know in the comment section what your stance on the Hollywood Whitewashing debate is.
So yeah I read Tarzan of the Apes this month in anticipation of this new live action tale of Tarzan which is an adaption as far as I am aware of the second book The Return of Tarzan. Tarzan/John Clayton is played by the delectable Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood’s Eric Northman) who is neither English or dark haired (but who gives a crap about those details anyway, it’s Alexander Skarsgård!) and opposite him as Jane is the stunning Margot Robbie who will hopefully play her with a little more substance than she is given in the books (I suppose it was written 100 years ago). As for the rest of the cast there is the main villain being played by the master of villainy Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson is playing George Washington Williams an ally of Tarzan who is an actual historical figure, and Djimon Hounsou is playing Chief Mbonga the head of the tribe that Tarzan often clashes with in the books (I’m quite interested in how they will explore Mbonga as I felt he was rather underused in Tarzan of the Apes). Basically this film will be amazing because I don’t ever get this excited over crap films. Check out my post on the Trailer here.
I think I pretty much summed up my excitement for this film back when the first trailer showed up and the anticipation for me has not dulled and from also seeing a couple of reviews on how depraved and twisted the film has only heightened my anticipation.
I loved the first two films of the rebooted Stark Trek (Wait a minute Stark! too much Game of Thrones on the Mind) Star Trek films especially Into Darkness thanks to Cumberbatch’s awesome role as Khan the unforgiving superhuman. This time around the stakes look so much higher and chaotic but that may be because the man behind the Fast & Furious franchise Justin Lin is in the directors chair which I’m undecided as to whether that will be a good or bad thing, however I’m hoping that the partial departure of J.J. Abrams (he is still producing) won’t have too much of an impact on story quality. This film adds Idris Elba as the villain unfortunately he is an alien so I can’t swoon over how handsome his is throughout the film (actually perhaps thats a good thing so I won’t get distracted) and Sofia Boutella as an Alien ally which should be really cool. R.I.P Anton Yelchin he was a fine actor (check out 5 to 9, Like Crazy, Only Lover Left Alive) and a brilliant Chekov.
Matt Damon is back as Jason Bourne. That’s all you really need to know to want to watch this film. In the trailer we are teased that their is more to the mystery of what Bourne has already uncovered which is very intriguing. Another reason why I’m looking forward to this film is Alicia Vikander, I have followed her career since A Royal Affair (En Kongelig Affære) and she has not disappointed me once with her chameleonic ability to take on a huge range of complex characters so it will be interesting to see what her character will be in this one.
This Danish film just looks so bloody bizarre but equally funny (kind of like how amazingly weird but hilarious The Lobster was) and it stars Mads Mikkelsen so it must be good because lets just face it Mads Mikkelsen is awesome. I don’t know whether I’ll get a chance to see the film in theatres as it will most likely be a very small release but I will try and get to if I possibly can.
Jon Favreau’s live action adaptation mixes the Mowgli Stories of The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling and the iconic Disney Animated adaptation together for a very entertaining reimagining. So many things could have gone wrong for this film but luckily they didn’t and it may just be my favourite film of the year so far which I really didn’t expect.
The cast was perfect. Neel Sethi as the adorably brave Mowgli was a revelation, he really brought the character to life and as the only human in the film a lot rested on his shoulders but he indeed delivered far beyond my expectations, in my opinion he is really going to go far in the film industry. Idris Elba’s voice was excellent as Shere Khan Mowgli’s formidable foe, it was a mix of menacing and regality as one would expect from a majestic Tiger, However I do think they could have made him a tad little bit more scary, so for that reason I think Benedict Cumberbatch’s Shere Khan in 2018’s Jungle Book (From Andy Serkis the King of Motion Capture) could be a more menacing version especially after his stellar mo-cap performance as Smaug in The Hobbit. Probably the best voices have to go to Ben Kingsley’s Bagheera whose voice was stern but friendly, Bill Murray’s Baloo who was excellently cast (his rendition of The Bear Necessities was great it bought a massive smile to my face) as the films comic relief and Christoper Walken’s King Louie was superb I might be slightly biased because I just think that Waltz has such a great voice regardless of what he’s in he is just awesome. I have long liked Scarlett Johansson’s work ever since I saw her in Lost in Translation (One of my favourite movies ever) however I had mixed feelings about her turn as Kaa but Trust in Me which she sung for the end credits is sublimely hypnotic (I’ve had it on replay ever since seeing the film) and personally I am a little disappointed that it wasn’t used in Johansson’s part of the film as it could have been a really cool moment.
By jove the CGI was amazing, everything felt so real which made the film so great as it sucked you in immediately. The details in both the settings and the animals were stunningly realised which must have taken such a long time and effort and it really pays of as this has to be one of the most stunning films of resent times. I am literally still in awe of the film and for me it was a perfect live action adaptation which really surprised me as I was prepared to come out the cinema still thinking that the Disney Cartoon was superior in every way.
I love the change that Favreau made to King Louie by changing him from an Orangutan to a Gigantopithecus (Thats a mouthful) to make him more 0f an imposing threat to Mowgli, this was in part inspired by the sensational film Apocalypse Now (Another favourite film of mine) in which Marlon Brando played the crazy and looming Colonel Walter E. Kurtz who lingers in the shadows manipulating everyone people around him.
I really loved this heartwarming tale of a boy raised in the wild growing up and accepting his difference as something to be proud of and utilised rather than cast aside and hidden. The performances were exceptional and the CGI was beautiful, Jon Favreau you have exceeded my expectations for this film which in itself was delightful as theirs nothing better than going to see a film and it being much better than you thought it would be.
April means two things to me, the Dawn of Spring and Game of Thrones. And occasionally a great movie or two to check out at the cinema. So here’s what I’m looking forward to this month:
Just look at the CGI, its fantastic! It is crazy how far special effects have come in the last 10 years. Also the voice cast are fabulous, Idris Elba sounds brilliant as the powerful Shere Khan, Bill Murray as Baloo and Christopher Walken as King Louie are genius as their voices are so iconic and they just seem to go very well with the characters they are playing. And the kid playing Mowgli is so cute!
While America got this movie at the beginning of March we are finally getting to see it towards the end of April. Normally I don’t really go see comedies at the cinema because I never normally find the trailers funny. However this one looks rather amusing and Tina Fey is usually hilarious. The supporting cast also looks great with Martin Freeman, Margot Robbie, Billy Bob Thornton, Alfred Molina and Christopher Abbott.
Well this may be titled Captain America: Civil War but its basically another avengers film, which is not a bad thing by any means and too be honest it looks like it will be more interesting than Avengers: Age of Ultron. Also I am really looking forward to seeing Black Panther brought to the big screen, his story is so interesting and its about time this iconic character got his due.
So thats my list of my most anticipated movies of April. What films are you looking forward to this month? let me know in the comment section.
Okay I’m going to be honest I was a little underwhelmed by this trailer.
What I liked:
What I didn’t like:
Hopefully Favreau’s next trailer will give us a little more in the way of Baloo and Shere Khan (just a little but not too much)