Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Most Anticipated Movies of 2016

2016 looks to be a promising year for movies already. By leaving 2015 with a bang with the success of Star Wars:The Force Awakens. The year will need to have something special to continue the high that we left 2015 with. There is certainly a lot of promise for the upcoming year with a year full of continuations from many franchises. There is a lot to look forward to this year and here are the top 10 movies that I am looking forward to in 2016.

10. The Jungle Book 

Coming out on the 15th of April

The live action version of the Disney classic based on the book by Rudyard Kipling looks to be a cracker. A star studded cast portraying the characters with the likes of Bill Murray voicing Baloo as well as Ben Kingsley, Scarlett Johansson and Idris Elba lending their talents. A film that looks visually beautiful with a lot of CGI effects looks to capture the heart of the animated version which hit screens almost fifty years ago. I have high hopes for this film and with the cast involved I at least hope it is fun and entertaining.

9. Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them 

Coming out on the 18th of November

I thoroughly enjoy the Harry Potter films. I would argue strongly that it is one of the best movie franchises of all time with several great movies. Fantastic Beasts looks to be a prequel of the Harry Potter franchise which seems to be very interesting. With Eddie Redmayne leading the project, I am really looking forward to returning to the world filled with Witchcraft and Wizardry. Another film being based on the writing work of JK Rowling is something to be excited for in 2016. 

8. The Revenant 

Coming out on the 15th of January

Will Leo finally get the Oscar this year for his role in The Revenant? Will Alejandro G. Inarritu pick up another Best Director award? Will Tom Hardy even be nominated for an Oscar? All will be told when The Revenant hits the screens. The film also looks to be beautifully shot which looks to be another reason to see what looks like a certainty to be good. With great reviews already and a fantastic trailer, I have high hopes for The Revenant.

7. Deadpool 

Coming out on the 4th of February

Marvels attempt to re establish the character Deadpool as they messed him up so badly in the Wolverine films. Now Ryan Reynolds is back in this rated R comedy which looks to differentiate from the usual Marvel films. A proper violent and comical film from Marvel looks to be very interesting as it is not what the studio would usually produce in a superhero movie. This may be a breath of fresh air to the superhero genre. As a fan of the Marvel movies, I eagerly anticipate this one. Lets just hope that this is better than Reynolds previous attempts in superhero movies.

6. Creed 

Coming out on the 15th January

As a big fan of the Rocky movies, Some of the most entertaining and also inspiring movies that are very enjoyable to watch. I am very excited to see the newest instalment in Creed. With Sylvester Stallone returning as Rocky who looks to teach the deceased Apollo Creed's son Adonis how to be a boxer. With many obstacles in the way, it will be very interesting to see what new things Creed will bring to the franchise. A must see for me and I cannot wait for this to come out next month.

5. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 

Coming out on the 25th of March

This should be much higher in my list. It's Batman v Superman. Two of the greatest characters ever created coming together on the big screen for the first time in history. This is monumental. However, they released a certain trailer. And then a lot of my excitement went away. Too much was shown which makes this further down in my list. However it is still Batman v Superman and that is something to be excited about. Although I have my concerns, I cannot deny that I am looking forward to seeing this in March.

4. Suicide Squad 

Coming out on the 5th of August

Unlike Batman v Superman, we haven't seen much from Suicide Squad. However from what we have seen so far I have been impressed. I have no qualms about Jared Leto being The Joker and am looking forward to see what new spin he will put on the character. I am also much more interested in the villains of the DC universe so I am looking forward to seeing more of these interesting characters such as Deadshot, Killer Croc and of course Harley Quinn. Also this is the first time we will be watching a movie that is from the view of villains which I feel will be very interesting and fresh. 

3. X-Men Apocalypse (19/05/16)

Coming out on the 19th of May

X-Men First Class and Days of Futures Past have both been some of my favourite superhero movies made. The new cast including James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence have been excellent additions and makes me even more excited for Apocalypse. Also after seeing Oscar Isaac in Ex Machina and Star Wars last year, I am thoroughly looking forward to seeing more of his work. Also with Bryan Singer directing once again, there is high hopes for this one. It is also the first X-Men without Wolverine so it will be interesting to see how they cope without the iconic character.

2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (16/12/16)

Coming out on the 16th of December

I need more Star Wars. It's such a shame that we don't get Episode VIII until 2017 but at least we have Rogue One to keep us occupied until then. I will take any Star Wars right now but we also have to wait until December for this part of the Star Wars saga. A new look at Star Wars as it looks to follow the fighter pilots looks to be interesting especially with Poe Dameron being one of my favourite characters from The Force Awakens. The magic of Star Wars is back and quite frankly, I'd be excited for anything Star Wars right now. 

1. Captain America: Civil War 

Coming out on the 29th of April

My number one most anticipated film for 2016 is Civil War. I'm a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Civil War looks to feature almost all of the characters we love and will also be interesting many new ones. Also with it being a major story in the comic books, it shall be interesting to see how they compare and if it will do it justice. By far Marvels biggest movie this year has a lot of mouths to feed in what looks to be great. Another huge blockbuster coming from Marvel which has the potential to be their biggest hit yet. The footage that we have seen and the story has made me very excited for Civil War as it tops my list for my most anticipated movie in 2016.

2016 looks to certainly be an exciting year for movies. The superhero genre seems to be taking control over this year with many huge and monumental movies coming from Marvel and DC. A lot of additions to franchises with new stories from the worlds of Harry Potter and Star Wars. 2016 will most definitely be an exciting year with hopefully a lot of great action. There are obviously a lot of films that will be coming out that did not make my list so if there is something that you don't see on here and that you are looking forward to seeing, feel free to comment and say what you are looking forward to. Once again, thank you for reading and I hope you have a happy new year!

By Angus McGregor

Friday, 25 December 2015

My Top 10 Movies of 2015

2015 was filled with many great movies. We had some great blockbusters. We had a huge influx of spy movies this year. A lot of revivals of franchises of yesteryear. The Oscars were filled with many great movies with some even better performances. In this post I am going to be going through my picks for my top 10 movies of 2015. To decide this I will be using a combination of how good the movie was and also just how much I enjoyed it to come up with my list. The film must of been theatrically released in 2015 in the UK for it count so if a film came out before 2015 elsewhere in the world, it will be in due to it's UK release date. I also haven't seen every film this year so if there is a favourite of yours that isn't on this list, feel free to comment saying what should be there and why I should see it. So lets get started!

Honourable mentions 

Due to there being a lot of great movies this year there are of course some honourable mentions. Jurassic World was a fun and enjoyable movie despite many flaws. An entertaining film and nothing more really. Marvels Ant Man was a huge surprise too in which was another entertaining movie from the juggernaut studio. Jake Gyllenhall's performance in Southpaw was incredible in which was another great movie of 2015. It did follow the standard boxing movie routine but did feel pretty fresh as it narrowly missed out on the list. A shout out also to The Gift which I thought was very good and felt pretty unnerving. It also brought us Jason Bateman portraying one of the least likeable characters we seen this year. Many spy films were released his year with Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Spy and Kingsman missing out. John Wick was another of my favourites but also just missed the cut. Now that the honourable mentions have been credited, lets start with number 10!

10. Avengers: Age of Ultron

UK release date: April 23rd 2015

The list starts off with Marvels main blockbuster this year, Avengers: Age of Ultron. The sequel to Avengers brought in the big bucks as it grossed over a billion dollars worldwide. I had a great time with this and was overall satisfied with Age of Ultron. I do understand some of the criticism that does come in it's direction as it does look to set up other Marvel projects in which will be their phase 3. However as a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe I really enjoyed this film. Possibly due to the recent films building these characters and making me care for them helped do so. The introduction of the new characters such as Ultron, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were all welcome and good inclusions. The great characters as well as the phenomenal action makes for a great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

9. Steve Jobs

UK release date: November 13th 2015

I didn't have huge expectations for Steve Jobs. I thought it would be a solid film. However it was much better than that. With Michael Fassbender as Jobs, he gives an incredible performance which may very well gain him an Oscar nod. As someone who doesn't really know much about Steve Jobs, I found myself thoroughly invested in this movie and actually learned quite a lot. This really is solely a film with a lot of talking but the combination of Aaron Sorkin's writing being magnificent and the actors performances allowed this to be very interesting and kept my attention for the whole time. Other performances from Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels were also great but Fassbender is the clear star. Right now I feel that Fassbender could be in nearly anything and I would be captivated by him. One of the best today and his performance makes this film incredible.

8. It Follows 

UK release date: February 27th 2015

Although not being a particular fan of the scary/horror genre, I found a great deal of enjoyment from It Follows. This film could of quite easily been very silly due to it's plot and what the story is based around. However It Follows is a very creepy film and makes you wonder how you would act if in this situation. We get to see our main character constantly breaking down and feeling the effects of paranoia due to what is constantly happening to her. The score from this film helps this mood be conveyed and it does an incredible job in doing so. I enjoyed this film a whole lot more than I expected to and would highly recommend It Follows. A very eery and unsettling movie that movie fans will enjoy from start to finish.

7. Inside Out

UK release date: July 24th 2015

Damn you Pixar you did it again. Once again the animation studio have done an incredible job of making a fun, entertaining family movie, Once again they also made a film with a much deeper meaning so that it can relate to adults as well. Another great from Pixar as they continue to show how animation should be done. Amy Poelher as Joy was a perfect casting for the voice as all of the different emotions were great. The story for this was great and both kids and adults will get huge enjoyment from this film. It's incredible how Pixar can make you laugh so much and then in one second hit you with something hard so you get the emotional side as well. A great movie to add to the long list of incredible movies from Pixar. Even though it ripped off The Numskulls comic from the Beano.

6. Bridge of Spies

UK release date: November 27th 2015

Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks are back in work together for the fourth time. Whenever one of the greatest directors and greatest actors team up it cannot be missed. And Bridge of Spies should not be missed. A very intriguing tale during the Cold War as we follow Hanks character James B Donovan as he negotiates to trade a Russian spy in return to bring an American pilot and student back home. The dialogue in this has to be great as it is indeed a talking film. Thankfully the dialogue is magnificent and makes you so intrigued in what is happening. Bridge of Spies is an incredible film telling the story of an American hero unbelievably well. Tom Hanks brings a great performance which makes you care about Donovan as he faces all of the struggles to accomplish his mission. 

5. Ex-Machina

UK release date: January 21st 2015

Ex Machina is a great sci-fi thriller featuring only four characters. Doomhnall Gleeson is invited by his employer Oscar Isaac to participate in a test in order to test his newly created Artificial Intelligence played by Alicia Vikander. Gleesons character starts to develop a liking to the A.I and he must decide where his loyalties lie- with his employer or with a machine. This was actually director Alex Garland's first outing which is incredible as he has made one of the best films of the year. A very interesting and intriguing film with great performances given by Isaac and also by Vikander. Oscar Isaac's charisma in Ex Mahina steals the show as he plays one of the more interesting characters of recent times. Filled with great dialogue which it needs as you would really not care about the characters if what they were saying wasn't interesting. A great film with a very interesting plot with many twists.

4. Whiplash

UK release date: January 16th 2015

First of all, JK Simmons was absolutely phenomenal in this movie. It is 100% clear to why he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor as this was an incredible performance. This film completely captivated me from start to finish in what was an excellent film. Credits also to Miles Tellar who was also great in this movie. If you have not seen this film you really have to. One of the most intriguing films that shows the struggle for Andrew Neiman (Tellar) as he aspires to be a top jazz drummer under the demanding and relentless Terrence Fletcher (Simmons). We see many highs and lows which show the demands from Fletcher as he and Neiman strive for the best and will do anything to try and achieve so. One of the best films of recent times and a must see for movie fans.

3. Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

UK release date: January 2nd 2015

Only recently I watched Birdman and it was one of the best decisions I have made. This is a true masterpiece created by Alejandro G. Inarritu showing the struggle of an actor best known for being the superhero "Birdman" as he tries to make it on Broadway. Michael Keaton, a former Batman, gives one of the best performances of his career as he stands out in a film full of terrific performances from the likes of Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis and Emma Stone. This film is beautifully shot and makes me look forward to Inarritu's next highly tipped Oscar nominee film, The Revenant. It is clear to see why Birdman was up for nine Academy Awards and also why it won many including Best Picture and Best Director. Very intriguing film that looks at the life of this struggling actor as he seeks to make a name for himself and prove that he is not just a has been. A true masterpiece of film making which is definitely worth seeing.

2. Mad Max: Fury Road

UK release date: May 14th 2015

 George Miller came back for another instalment to the 80's action franchise Mad Max. Now in most cases of recent continuations or of remakes of past franchises, they haven't gone too well- see Total Recall or any of the recent Terminators. Fury Road is nothing like that. Fury Road is a true spectacle. An incredible action movie that is better than any of the previous Mad Max's and will also go down in history as one of the best films of all time in the action genre. As a big fan of the action genre, this was the perfect movie for me. A non stop thrill ride from start to finish, Fury Road is one of the most wild films you will ever see. Loved by fans and critics alike, it was a very successful return from the Mad Max franchise. Tom Hardy takes up the role of Max with Charlize Theron starring alongside him as the incredible Furiosa. Miller brought us one of the best heroes of all time in Furiosa in this instalment to the franchise. Everything you'd want from an action movie with amazing sets, stunts and characters that pull you into the world of Mad Max. Fury Road was my favourite movie of the year and showed directors how action should be done. So many great moments and I cannot wait to see what is in store for us in the future. Definitely one of the best action movies of all time.

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens 

UK release date: December 17th 2015 

 This film is exactly why I go to the cinema. This is everything that a movie should be. This film is why I love movies. I haven't had a better experience this year at the cinema than with The Force Awakens. I haven't had so much buzz about a film ever. Everyone talked about it beforehand and everyone is talking about it now. I haven't ever experienced something that has consumed the whole world like Star Wars. And boy did it deliver. For a film that was built up so much and that I had been looking forward ever since it had been announced. Also as a huge fan of the franchise my excitement for this movie could not be contained. Quite frankly I haven't enjoyed a film in 2015 as much as I did The Force Awakens. This movie had me constantly smiling, laughing, hurting at it's twists and was constantly on the edge of my seat. Maybe my inner fan boy was taking over but I couldn't help but fall in love with this film. The returning characters such as Han Solo and Chewbacca along with the new exciting, interesting characters like Kylo Ren and Rey made this experience even better as my love for these characters grew as the film went on.. JJ Abrams did a great job of creating a great Star Wars story 30 years after The Return of the Jedi and we can be excited for Episode VIII. Quite easily my favourite movie of the year. Star Wars is well and truly back!

So that was my list for my top 10 movies of 2015. 2015 was a great year for movies. We had the return and continuations of many great franchises. We've had many great performances this year with some actors really stepping up to the plate. A very enjoyable year at the cinema. Lets hope that 2016 can keep up and make another great year for us fans. I will be making another post showing the films that I am most looking forward to seeing in 2016 which I would appreciate you looking out for. Until then, thank you for reading.

By Angus McGregor

Sunday, 20 December 2015


Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SPOILER FREE)

There's been an awakening indeed.

There will be no spoilers in this review so if you have not seen the movie yet, you will be safe.

The Star Wars saga returned to the big screen 10 years after the last of the prequels which were commercial successes although not particularly liked by many fans. The Force Awakens was by far the most hyped movie of the year and quite possibly of all time so it faced a lot of pressure to be a huge success.

First of all, huge credit has to go to J.J Abrams. He faced a huge task of cramming 30 years worth of story into this movie and does so very well. Even just from the opening scroll, you feel caught up and are immediately ready to go.

The franchise welcomed a whole bunch of new faces to the Star Wars cinematic universe and each of them bring their own bit of greatness to the film. Oscar Isaac joins as the best pilot of the Resistance Poe Dameron who's cool demeanour makes him an instant favourite who you will care and want to learn more about. John Boyega brings great comedy to the film as Fin in another likeable role. Our new villain Kylo Ren played by Adam Driver is fantastic. This character was played perfectly by Driver and is one of the stand outs of the film. This performance shows us the character of Kylo Ren incredibly and brings a fresh villain to the franchise. The stand out performance in this whole film is from Daisy Ridley who takes they role of Rey. A new fresh faced hero who will be one for the ages due to her incredible likeability and her ability to hold her own up against the best of them. A hero worthy of bringing the franchise further forward. There isn't a poor performance from any of the newbies as they bring so much more to The Force Awakens.

Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)

A special mention has to go out to the wonderful creation that is the BB-8. This new droid like none that we have seen before is incredible. This practical droid that simply rolls everywhere has taken up the reigns from R2D2 and C3PO as being the main non living character in the movie. Through the many sounds the BB-8 makes, it clearly shows plenty of emotion either it been sad or happy. It also provides us with many laughs which makes it a great addition to Star Wars. It also leaves us all wishing that we had one as well!
BB-8 Droid

Although the new stars are great, there is still a lot of throwbacks in The Force Awakens. It does not feel overdone though. Harrison Ford is back as Han Solo and it was just great seeing him return to role he perfected in the original trilogy. You wouldn't think Harrison Ford was acting in The Force Awakens. Quite simply, he is Han Solo. Carrie Fisher is back as Leia Organa who takes up a lesser role than Han but is still ever as effective. Characters such as C3PO, R2D2 and Admiral Ackbar are back but none play huge roles in the film. Only Han Solo plays a main role through this film of the original cast which is good to see that J.J didn't have to rely heavily on the old characters to take Star Wars further forward. The use of Luke Skywalker in the story for me was more than satisfying but could see why people would've liked to of seen a lot more from him.
Returning heroes Han Solo (Harrison Ford) & Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew)

Don't get me wrong though, The Force Awakens does use a lot of nostalgia throughout the film. However this is done in the right way. From the reveal of the Millennium Falcon to the mask of the deceased Darth Vader, great memories come rushing back. But these are just moments and don't linger on. They are used to an extent but are used very effectively.

Many CGI and practical effects are used to bring these old memories back to us and mainly everything looks great. The CGI used to create the larger than life sets in the backgrounds are truly breathtaking and some of the best that you will ever see.  There is one scene that involves certain creatures that the CGI does not feel up to the scratch but everything else looks amazing.  This is a visually stunning film and it needs to be otherwise it just looks ridiculous and would pull you out of the Star Wars universe.

This felt like the old Star Wars. There was no boring meetings. No midichlorians. No gungans. No boring, one dimensional characters. There are shocks. There is great action. There are heartfelt moments. There are laughs. The Force Awakens was a great, fun movie in which Star Wars should be. Probably the most funny Star Wars there has been but it does not get in the way of the story and isn't the main focal point. This is helped mainly due to the charismatic performance given by John Boyega who shows his comedic abilities very well in this role.
Newbie John Boyega as Fin

Overall The Force Awakens is an excellent film. Fans of the franchise will certainly love this as it is a return to the greatness of the originals. There are a few minor problems but the good heavily outweighs the bad. This will be one of the most enjoyable films of the year and I would be lying if I said I didn't love this film. The Star Wars that we know and love is back! Now just until 2017 for Episode VIII.

Final Verdict: Star Wars: The Force Awakens = A-
The latest instalment of the Star Wars saga is definitely worth checking out for both fans and newbies to Star Wars. A fun, compelling story which will have you wanting more as soon as the credits hit makes The Force Awakens one of the most entertaining movies of the year.

By Angus McGregor