Time: 134 Minutes Age Rating: Violence Cast:
Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso
Diego Luna as Cassian Andor
Ben Mendelsohn as Orson Krennic
Donnie Yen as Chirrut Îmwe
Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso
Alan Tudyk as K-2SO
Riz Ahmed as Bodhi Rook
Jiang Wen as Baze Malbus
Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera Director: Gareth Edwards
All looks lost for the Rebellion against the Empire as they learn of the existence of a new super weapon, the Death Star. Once a possible weakness in its construction is uncovered, the Rebel Alliance must set out on a desperate mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. The future of the entire galaxy now rests upon its success.
I always liked Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ever since its release, it was the first spin off in the Star Wars series and it had me interested in what other spin off movies they could make in the future. I don’t love it as much as I did when I first saw it, and I don’t consider it to be among the best Star Wars movies by any means. I still think it’s quite good though, and has a lot of great parts to it.
Rogue One does very well to establish itself as being very different kind of Star Wars movie, with more of a war movie feel to it. However you still feel like you’re in the Star Wars universe. I’m aware that some people found the movie a little boring. I was interested in the movie all the way through, but I will say it’s not as riveting as it could’ve been for at least the first half or so. This war movie take on a Star Wars movie certainly provided some things that we aren’t used to seeing in the series, with grey areas and darker places that weren’t explored previously (like how the methods by the Rebels weren’t always ethical). There are some callbacks to the original Star Wars, and that makes sense given that it’s a direct prequel, and for the most part it’s actually done quite well. One of the best parts was how they used the plot point from the original Star Wars with the Death Star having a conveniently large enough hole for a single blast from a fighter to explode the entire station. Now there’s an official canon reason for that being the case, with Galen Erso specifically placing that deliberate flaw in the design.
What shines most of all in the movie is the third act. From what I can tell a lot of it was changed with some reshoots, I can’t say which version would’ve been better. However I did like the third act that we got. It’s large scale, entertaining and was really well handled. It was also fitting that all the main characters died on that suicide mission, we haven’t seen the protagonists actually get killed off for good in this series and it worked for the movie. Then there’s the stand out scene of the movie, with Darth Vader mastering a bunch of Rebels at the end as they desperately try to get the Death Star plans out. I’ve seen a lot of positive responses to it, and I’ve also seen some people who don’t really like it. I can see both sides, on one hand this is Vader at his most vicious and powerful, and this is one of his stand out scenes from the entire series. At the same time, I can see how this makes it feel like another main Star Wars movie instead of the ‘grounded’ war movie it was for the rest of the movie, even with the inclusion of a lightsabre alone. I liked it but I can see why people don’t.
The use of Darth Vader was fitting enough, and so was Tarkin. The Princess Leia cameo I guess was alright, and worked as it was directly leading into the events of the original Star Wars. However there are also some weird callback decisions that are just annoying more than anything else. If you remember back to a New Hope, there were two people who attack Luke, who was then saved by Obi Wan Kenobi. Well those two people happen to bump into Jyn Erso while she and Cassian and K-2SO happen to be on Jedha, it was such a bizarre cameo to have and I have no idea why they decided to include that. Also C-3PO and R2-D2 randomly appear at the Rebel base just before the climax, for no reason at all. I guess just to remind audiences that they’re around at the time.
There is a large cast of characters. While the actors generally do well, the characters are hit or miss, and they are generally underdeveloped unfortunately. Felicity Jones is quite good as Jyn Erso, the lead character in the story, and other actors with the likes of Diego Luna, Donnie Yen and Alan Tudyk also do well. Riz Ahmed and Jiang Wen don’t really get to do as much out of the main Rogue One cast. Mads Mikkelsen played a small but critical role as Jyn’s father, who created the Death Star. He did very well in his screentime. There’s also the addition of Grand Moff Tarkin, who was critical in the original Star Wars, so you can see why they wanted to place him in this movie. I liked his addition, you felt his presence yet he wasn’t overbearing or overused. The recreation of original actor’s Peter Cushing’s appearance however was rather mixed. Although the Cushing voice impression is great, the CGI goes from looking good to looking like a decent video game character, not terrible but in a live action movie with real actors definitely seeming off. Of the cast, the actor I liked the most was Ben Mendelsohn as the main antagonist of the film, Orson Krennic, the director of the Death Star. Although he was quite a different type of Star Wars villain, a big part of why he worked was Mendelsohn’s performance, he’s been playing a lot of antagonists recently but Krennic is definitely one of his best.
I thought that Gareth Edwards’ direction worked very well for the film. The war-movie feel worked so well and it all feels gritty and dirty throughout, as it should’ve. It’s also such a great looking movie, with some really great visuals and very well directed action sequences, the highlights of course being in the final act. I like the music by Michael Giaachino as well, it fit the movie very well, and even gets to shine at certain points. That new Imperial theme in particular is great, creating an alternate theme to one of the most iconic tracks of all time is intimidating for sure, but he managed to create a newer and separate theme which really worked for this film.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story still holds up pretty well a few years later. The direction by Gareth Edwards was great, the cast do quite well in their roles, and it was overall a unique and different entry that we hadn’t seen in the series before this point. It has its annoyances for sure, mostly some lack of characterisation, and parts of the plot could’ve been a little more interesting, but it’s still good on the whole.
Time: 134 Minutes Age Rating: Violence Cast
Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso
Diego Luna as Cassian Andor
Ben Mendelsohn as Orson Krennic
Donnie Yen as Chirrut Îmwe
Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso
Alan Tudyk as K-2SO
Riz Ahmed as Bodhi Rook
Jiang Wen as Baze Malbus
Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera Director: Gareth Edwards
In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.
Rogue One was one of my most anticipated films of 2016. With a very talented cast, a really good director with Gareth Edwards (yes, I really like 2014’s Godzilla) this film looked like it was going to be amazing. Plus, it’s Star Wars, and I loved what Disney has done with The Force Awakens, so I was confident in how Rogue One would turn out. I have to say, Rogue One really surprised me. I loved the tone, the direction, the acting, the story, the connections to Episode 4, I loved everything about this movie. I knew I would love this movie, but I didn’t know that I would love it this much, it’s actually kind of a surprise.
First of all, it needs to be said that this is a very different kind of Star Wars movie. Even the opening credits crawl in the previous Star Wars films is missing here. This film is noticeably more gritty and feels more real than the other Star Wars movies, many people die, the stakes are high, this is a very serious film. There are moral ambigiouties when it comes to certain aspects of the Star Wars universe and characters. For example, the Resistance aren’t perfectly clean and good, some morally ambiguous choices and decisions are made, a lot of it being through Diego Luna’s character Cassian Andor. This film also gave an insight into the inner workings of the Empire (through Ben Mendelsohn’s Director Krennic), which was also really interesting to watch. Rogue One was overall such a different Star Wars movie. Also without spoiling anything, this film links up to Episode 4 in more ways than you would think, there are so many references and Easter Eggs that Star Wars fans such as myself will love. However at the same time it does work as a standalone, it balances both aspects exceptionally And the third act…. the third act is quite simply perfect, I won’t give too much away but everything in the third act works for the movie and is just incredible. Even though this film is dark and gritty, it is still entertaining, the humour was well utilized and used appropriately, and the movie is still fun to watch, this movie is well balanced out. With flaws, I’d say maybe the pacing of the first act could’ve been done better, and I feel like some of the characters could’ve been a little more developed but the characters work very well, so it’s not a major issue for me. Everything else was excellent.
Everyone does a great job in the movie. Felicity Jones is really good as the main lead, she was believable and was a likable protagonist for us to follow. Diego Luna was fantastic, he really conveyed an insight into the rebellion, definitely a strong point in the movie. Other actors of the cast include Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed and Jiang Wen, all of them are great in their roles and really leave impressions. There were particularly 2 showstealers however, one of them was Alan Tudyk who played K-2SO, a former Imperial droid now on the side of the Revels. He was so entertaining to watch, he was hilarious and he stole every scene he was in, and from the sounds of things he’s already becoming a fan favourite (and rightfully so). The other showstealer was Ben Mendelsohn as the villainous and ambitious Director Krennic, who was in charge of creating the Death Star. Mendelsohn is such a talented actor, and he is fantastic in his role. There is also a third character who I want to add in this list but it might be a spoiler, so I won’t say who it is. But if you watch the movie, you’ll know who I’m talking about. Mads Mikkelsen and Forrest Whitaker are both incredible actors and although they aren’t in the movie a lot, they are great in their roles and the scenes they are in. They left very strong impressions on me, especially Mads Mikkelsen. Though I do think they should’ve been in a little more scenes. As for Darth Vader, there’s not a lot of him in this movie, so don’t go into this movie expecting Rebels vs Darth Vader. However he does make a very strong impression, particularly in one scene, which I have to say is one of the best Darth Vader scenes of all time. That’s all I’m going to say.
Gareth Edward’s direction of the film is excellent. As to be expected, the special effects are fantastic, I didn’t have an issue at any point with them. The action is entertaining, well shot and directed and is incredibly riveting, especially in the third act. This movie really feels gritty and real, and much of it is due to the direction and also the production design. The locations were beautiful, and the scenes were shot beautifully. Also, I won’t spoil anything but let’s just say that a certain special effect was used in this movie that blew me away, it makes me wonder how this will be used in movies in the future. The soundtrack was a bit of a concern for me before watching the movie, as Michael Giacchino had 4 and a half weeks to compose the music after the original composer Alexandre Desplat dropped out. The soundtrack here is pretty good, not really memorable but it worked well for the film. It doesn’t try to imitate John Williams’s scores, instead it goes in its own direction, which I think was the best decision.
Rogue One surpassed my expectations, and that’s saying a lot considering the fact that I had very high expectations for this movie. The characters were great, the acting was very impressive, the movie was entertaining overall and the story was very captivating and never let up. Aside from some more characterisation needed and that the first act’s pacing needing work, I don’t have many problems with this movie. However I do think that in some ways I think that if you’re a Star Wars fan you’ll love this more than people who aren’t such huge fans of the series, due to how much this film connects to episode 4. You won’t get the full experience unless you have seen the Star Wars movies before, however I think it still works as a standalone film. Now after seeing Rogue One, I can’t wait to see the Han Solo movie and I am looking forward to seeing more Star Wars Anthology films.
Because of the big Oscar movies coming out in January-March, I’ll hold off my best and worst of the year for February/March. 2016 will be a big year for movies. It will have many comic book movies, a Star Wars spin off, a Harry Potter spinoffs and some video game movies that might actually be good. Most of these movies look like they are going to be great but then again so did the movies on my most anticipated of 2015 list and many of them disappointed. So this time I’m looking at these movies from different angles and I do hope that they turn out to be good in the end.
The Legend of Tarzan
Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgard), having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.
There has been a lot of live action Disney films, there’s another on the list that I’ll get to. This movie can go both ways, it could be good or could be a failure. I’m starting to feel a little sceptical of these types of movies, we recently had live action interpretations of Maleficent (the story of Sleeping Beauty from a different perspective) and Cinderella. The more modern live action Disney adaptations haven’t always been great, Alice for Wonderland (which is for some reason getting a sequel in 2016 as well) being an example. However given the cast and the director, I think that this movie has a shot at being at least decent. This movie stars such actors like Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson and will be directed by Harry Potter director David Yates. It’s strange since Yates is also directed Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them so 2016 will be a big year for Yates. I’m still interested in this movie, I’m just not holding my breath on it.
The Legend of Tarzan is scheduled to be released on 1 July 2016
A Monster Calls
The monster does not come walking often. This time it comes to Connor, and it asks for the one thing Connor cannot bring himself to do. Tell the truth. This is a very touching story about a boy who feels very damaged, guilty and mostly angry. He struggles at school with bullies, and pity looks from everyone, and at home with his mother’s sickness. Will Connor overcome his problems? Will everything be okay? Will Connor be able to speak the truth?
All I know is the cast and the director and that A Monster Calls is based on a short story. The cast is pretty big with Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones and Toby Kebbell. The director is J.A. Bayona who did The Orphanage and The Impossible and although I haven’t seen The Orphanage, his work on The Impossible was tremendous. The teaser trailer also intrigued me, there is quite a bit of mystery that it had and I am interested. However my lack of knowledge is probably the reason that it doesn’t make my top 20.
A Monster Calls is scheduled to be released on 14 October 2016
A girl named Sophie encounters the Big Friendly Giant who, despite his intimidating appearance, turns out to be a kindhearted soul who is considered an outcast by the other giants because unlike his peers refuses to eat boys and girls.
It’s strange that A Monster Calls and The BFG have very similar teaser trailers. My main interest in this movie is of course the fact that Steven Spielberg is directing. I haven’t actually read the BFG novel, so I don’t know what I’m in for, which is probably why I’m not as hyped to see this movie even though it is Spielberg. However I am still interested in checking this movie out.
The BFG is scheduled to be released on 1 July 2016
Two people who once had a passionate affair meet again fifteen years later. Ray (Ben Mendelsohn) is confronted with his past when Una (Rooney Mara) arrives unannounced at his office, and they are forced to revisit their relationship. Ray has made a new life for himself. Una is looking for answers. What follows in this emotional thriller is an unflinching excavation of damaged love. The consequences are shattering.
I’ll be honest, it was Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn’s involvement that caught my interest in this movie. The plot is pretty daring and I was surprised to hear that it was already a stage play. This looks to be a dialogue driven movie and seeing as how it is these two great actors leading the movie, I’m very interested and although I don’t know that much about the movie, just the two lead actors are enough to get me interested.
20. The Jungle Book
This was the second live action Disney movie that I was referring to when I was talking about Tarzan. I was surprised when I heard that there was going to be a live action Jungle Book movie. Jungle Book doesn’t seem like it could translate well as a live action film. From the trailer and the fact that Jon Faverau is directing this though, I’m starting to think that this film might be really good.
An orphan boy is raised in the jungle with the help of a pack of wolves, a bear, and a black panther.
This movie also has voice work from Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Christopher Walken and many other great actors working on the film. I think overall I’m more interested in this movie than Tarzan because visually it looks fascinating and because of how hard it will be to pull off. I just hope that this movie doesn’t result in a live action adaptation of The Lion King, we really don’t need that to be a thing.
The Jungle Book is scheduled to be released on 15 April 2016
Video game movies are at best enjoyable (Mortal Kombat) and at worst painful (Any Uwe Boll video game movie). Mortal Kombat is really the best video game movie we have and that’s not saying a lot. 2016 might be the year when that changes however. Warcraft has some great people working on it and it has a pretty good trailer to showcase it. Duncan Jones, who directed Moon and Source Code (the latter which I’ve seen), is doing this movie and his involvement has me thinking that he has something special planned with the movie. I haven’t played World of Warcraft so this is all new to me but I’m still interested and I hope that it is actually good.
The film portrays the origin story of the initial encounters between the humans and the orcs, with an emphasis upon both the Alliance’s and the Horde’s sides of their conflict. Featuring characters such as Durotan and Lothar, the film will take place in a variety of locations established in the video game series.
The only thing that the movie has to overcome is that a lot of it is CGI. Don’t get me wrong, this movie probably can’t avoid that. I just hope that it doesn’t get tiresome and that it can have a great story attached to it. The trailer makes it look like it has a story and less ‘videogamey’ than most of the other video game movies. I hope that is the case with the entire movie.
Warcraft is scheduled to be released on 10 June 2016
18. Kung Fu Panda 3
It seems like the only sequels that are guaranteed to be good and mostly likely better than the original are from animated movies. Toy Story, How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda have shown that. I really liked the first Kung Fu Panda and I loved the sequel even more so it makes sense that the third film would be even better.
When Po’s long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters. But when the supernatural villain Kai begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible-learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas.
There really isn’t that much to talk about Kung Fu Panda 3. It’s the second sequel to a good animated film and I’m interested in seeing how it delivers. Also Bryan Cranston and J.K. Simmons will be in this movie voicing some characters. Although it’s not really high on my radar I am interested in seeing Kung Fu Panda 3, and I’m sure it will deliver in being a great movie and better than the previous two instalments.
Kung Fu Panda 3 is scheduled to be released on 29 January 2016
17. Hail Caesar!
I generally like the Coen Brothers but haven’t seen many of their movies. The movies I’ve seen by them I really liked though (with the exception of Raising Arizona). Looking at the cast, the director and the premise alone, this has the potential to be a fantastic movie.
A Hollywood fixer (Josh Brolin) springs into action when a movie star (George Clooney) gets kidnapped and an actress becomes pregnant.
This movie has Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johannsson, Channing Tatum, Ralph Fieness, Jonah Hill and many more popular actors, it’s ridiculous how huge this cast is. This movie is one of the Coen Brothers’ comedies, with a bit of mystery in it. As I said before I haven’t watched many of the Coen Brothers’ movies but most of them delivered in what they set out to do. I have a feeling Hail Caesar will do the same.
Hail Caesar! is scheduled to be released on 5 February 2016
16. Assassins Creed
It’s weird when I’m living at a time when two video game movies are some of my most anticipated movies of the year. With Warcraft, it’s pretty clear that movie will be visually appealing at the very least. But what about a movie that has a focussed story with not as much fantasy elements? It didn’t seem like Assassins Creed would be a great adaptation. However the fact that this stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard and is directed by Justin Kurzel (who worked with both Fassbender and Cotillard on Macbeth), makes me think that this might be something interesting.
Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.
As I said earlier, I initially thought that it would just be another ‘fun’ video game movie and that there probably wouldn’t be a lot of depth put into the movie. This movie not only attracted the director of 2015’s Macbeth, but actors like Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons and Brendan Gleeson, which makes me think that Kurzel has something interesting planned. From what I can tell, this film won’t be based on any of the Assassins Creed videogames but will be pretty similar. Often video game movies are restricted to their story, which can often lead to their failure and having an original story is probably the best way to go. From what I can see this movie could be something special but only time will tell if it will actually deliver. If both Warcraft and Assassins Creed end up to be great than there might be a resurgence in video game movies (hopefully for the better).
Assassins Creed is scheduled to be released on 21 December 2016
15. John Wick 2
2014’s John Wick was one of the year’s best surprises, not only was it Keanu Reeves’s best performance (and in my opinion his best movie), it was also a very fun movie with a great world. I personally would’ve liked to have seen a prequel, to show some of John’s previous adventures before but looking at the world that the first film established, I think there’s plenty of opportunities for a fun movie.
Thankfully, one of the two John Wick directors Chad Stahelski (the other is David Leitch who is instead working on The Coldest City) is returning for the sequel, one of the best aspects of that original film is how the action was done. Instead of a lot of shaky cam, close up shots and fast cuts to create their action like a lot of modern action movies use, they let us to actually see the action unfold, allowing us to get more into it. Common is playing the villain, and he was effective as a villain in Run All Night (even though he could’ve been used more), so I think he will be quite effective here. I sure do hope that it lives up to the previous movie, the only possible way that I think this film could be flawed is that only one of the director is returning, we can only hope that one of the directors can deliver the same amount (if not more) as the previous film.
14. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Star Wars isn’t the only franchise to have spin offs in 2016. Harry Potter gets its own spin offs, following a briefly mentioned character in the books, Newt Scamander. This film will be ‘at least’ part of a trilogy, with an instalment being released every 2 years. This is definitely a movie I’m interested in as it’s not only part of the Harry Potter universe, it is also expanding it.
The adventures of writer Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.
David Yates will be directing this movie and seeing as he directed many of the Harry Potter films, I think he’ll do a good job. One advantage to this film over the Harry Potter films is that although it’s based on a character in the same universe, this is an original film and not based on any of the books, so it won’t receive criticism for ‘not being accurate to the book’. It also helps that the script is written by J.K. Rowling, and because she knows the Harry Potter universe better than anyone else, it is safe to say that it’s in the right hands. Eddie Redmayne has been making quite a name for himself with performances in movies such as The Theory of Everything and I think that he will be even more known after the release of this film. This movie will probably explore more of the wizarding world and has no limitations, there are no strings attached. I have no idea what the plot is yet but because it’s connected to the Harry Potter universe I’m already sold.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is scheduled to be released on 18 November 2016
13. The Neon Demon
I’ve seen one of director Nicolas Winding Refn’s films, Drive, and was very impressed by what I saw. One thing that you can definitely count on him is that the film will look great, and the cast looks quite good.
When aspiring model Jesse (Elle Fanning) moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.
Although I haven’t seen the movie, the trailer for Only God Forgives looks very nightmare esque, and ever since then I’ve thought that Winding Refn’s style would be great for a horror film and it’s great to see him actually doing it. It’s also got a pretty good cast, with Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves, Elle Fanning and Jena Malone. But mainly it was Nicolas Winding Refn’s involvement that interested me, Drive was a fantastic movie and I’m looking forward to seeing how he does with this.
12. Bourne 5
Not much is known about the upcoming Bourne film, which sees Matt Damon returning (not Jeremy Renner) as Jason Bourne as well as Bourne Supremacy and Bourney Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass. But just the fact that those two are returning, as well as the fact that we are getting another Bourne movie excites me a lot.
Paul Greengrass is a great director of action and seeing him return with Damon to the Bourne franchise is really exciting. This movie also has a great cast with Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones as well as Vincent Cassel as the main villain. As I said before, nothing yet is known about the plot but the fact that it was a Bourne movie intrigued me by default.
Bourne 5 is scheduled to be released on 29 July 2016
11. Star Trek Beyond
Star Trek returns for its third movie in the rebooted franchise. I’ve liked the previous two movies and I’m interested in seeing how it is, with a few doubts in mind though. From the trailer it seems much more action packed (as if the past movies weren’t action packed enough) but at the same time I’m not complaining. Its only problems is the direction they’re going in but we’ll find out when the movie is finally released.
Stranded on a hostile planet, Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the Enterprise crew face an alien threat.
The cast from the previous two instalments will be in this movie, which of course I’m happy with. These actors played very well off each other and it will be entertaining to see them in this movie. I am also excited with the fact that Idris Elba will be playing the main villain, it’s a hard act to follow Benedict Cumberbatch but I’m certain that he will be great. Because of his involvement in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, JJ Abrams isn’t involved in the making of this film, instead we have Fast and Furious director James Wan. While I do like a lot of his movies, I’m not exactly sure that he’s the best guy for the job. From the trailers, it seemed a little like Fast and Furious in space, however seeing as how Star Trek Beyond writer and actor Simon Pegg didn’t like the trailer and says there’s more to come, the trailer is probably the product of mis-marketing. I’m still interested to see how this plays out, I just hope that Justin Lin can make a film as good as the previous two instalments.
Star Trek Beyond is scheduled to be released on 22 July 2016
10. Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange is a big risk on the part of Marvel as it’s going to a direction that it hasn’t gone before – magic. However if it’s anything that Thor, Ant Man and Guardians of the Galaxy has proven, Marvel can do no wrong (and yes, I enjoyed Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World).
After his career is destroyed, a brilliant but arrogant surgeon (Benedict Cumberbatch) gets a new lease on life when a sorcerer takes him under his wing and trains him to defend the world against evil.
Benedict Cumberbatch is on the rise and it’s only natural that he’s finally playing a comic book character. There was a recent picture of him as Doctor Strange and he looks great, it looks exactly like he does in the comic books and I am hyped to see how he does in the movie. This movie also has Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, Chiwetal Ejiofor as Baron Mordo as well as Mads Mikkelsen possibly starring as a villain (hopefully Dormammu). I think that this film is going to be very different from the Marvel movies, seeing as how director Scott Derrickson had directed movies like Sinister and Deliver Us from Evil, both horror movies. This is a bit of a wild card for Marvel, but I’m pretty sure that we will be getting something special that can expand the MCU.
Doctor Strange is scheduled to be released on 4 November 2016
9. The Disaster Artist
The Disaster Artist is the story behind The Room, one of the worst movies of all time. Although I haven’t seen all of it, I’ve seen many scenes from it and it is definitely something I want to check out. This movie is based off the book of the same name by Greg Sestero, actor from The Room and friend of Tommy Wiseau, the star, writer, producer and director of The Room. I myself have read the book, and was fascinated in how the making of the film went. This adaptation has the potential to be a modern day Ed Wood.
A behind-the-scenes look at the making of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room (2003).
The Disaster Artist has a great cast, with James Franco as Tommy Wiseau, Dave Franco as Greg Sestero as well as Josh Hutcherson, Seth Rogen and Zac Efron and others playing real life people who worked on The Room. From the set photos, the actors even looked like the characters/people, so I think that they are doing it right. I think my biggest concern is how Franco can portray Tommy. Look at any clips of The Room, Wiseau acts a certain way and it’s hard to act like Tommy Wiseau without making it look like an imitation. Franco also has to nail the inner emotions of Tommy, as there are moments in the book where there are moments where that happens. I’ve been hearing about this movie for a while and seeing it finally get made is really exciting.
8. Story of Your Life
Denis Villeneuve has been making a great career recently with films like Prisoners, Enemy and Sicario (I still have to see that last one). I don’t know much about the plot but apparently it’s based on a short story. Just the fact that Denis Villeneuve is directing a movie made me very interested alone. Denis’s films are usually set in reality so it will be interesting to see him taking on a Sci-Fi film. I think it will be a realistic take on this type of story that has been done many times before.
Taking place after alien crafts land around the world, an expert linguist is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat.
The movie also has a great cast, which consists of Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forrest Whitaker. Once again I don’t know much about what the movie is about but the director, the cast and the premise are enough to get me interested to seeing the movie on the big screen.
Last year I had Silence on my most anticipated movies of 2015 list. However it looks like it will be released in 2016. My thoughts on the movie are pretty much what I said back then so I might as well show what I thought to begin with:
Martin Scorsese is one of my favourite directors and has so far never failed in making a great movie. He just directs everything with style and every movie he makes feels complete, so naturally I would be very interested in him making a new movie. This type of story is much different than his previous film The Wolf of Wall Street, it’s more closely related to Kundun and The Last Temptation of Christ. I haven’t read the book it’s based on but nonetheless, I’m hyped to see it.
Two Jesuit priests, Sebastião Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Francis Garrpe (Adam Driver), travel to track down their mentor, Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson) in seventeenth century Japan which has, under the Tokugawa shogunate, banned Catholicism and almost all foreign contact. There they witness the persecution of Japanese Christians at the hands of their own government which wishes to purge Japan of all western influence. The film also stars Tadanobu Asano.
Silence is based off the book of the same name by Shūsaku Endō which is a historical fiction novel set in the 17th century. I’m looking forward to what Scorsese can bring to this movie, he has some good material to adapt and work with. The film also has a great cast, particularly Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver and I’m looking forward to seeing their performances. Everything I’ve heard so far about Silence is great and I can’t wait to see it when it comes out.
Silence is scheduled to be released in 2016
Fox’s non X-Men superhero movies aren’t really good (Fantastic Four, Origins Wolverine), which is why I was nervous about Gambit, directed by Doug Liman and starring Channing Tatum. It has potential but it has the problem with it being a standalone Fox movie, it didn’t make the list because it is very unlikely that it will be released in 2016, it’s more likely to be released in 2017. Deadpool however looks like it might break the mold and become something great. Ever since the Deadpool test footage was leaked, people have been hyped to see him portrayed on screen. This will be groundbreaking for the comicbook genre, an R rated superhero movie, which hasn’t been done since Blade.
Based upon Marvel Comics most unconventional anti-hero, DEADPOOL tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.
Although I was initially sceptical of Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool (because X-Men Origins Wolverine wasn’t a great movie) from everything that I’ve seen, I don’t think anyone else is as well suited for the role. It is going to be an R-rated superhero movie, and may lead the way for more of these types of movies. On top of that, the film looks like it’s doing the character justice, just based on the marketing alone. It will be the first comic book movie of 2016 and I am really looking forward to how it turns out.
Deadpool is scheduled to be released on 12 February 2016
5. X-Men Apocalypse
The X-Men franchised returned to form with 2014’s X-Men Days of Future Past. Bryan Singer (director of X Men, X Men 2 and X Men Days of Future Past) is returning to deliver what is probably the darkest entry in the X-Men universe. It will be the end of the trilogy featuring the newer cast (James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, etc) and it will feature one of the X Men’s biggest foes, Apocalypse. Everything looks perfect, the cast, the director, the characters used, I find it hard to imagine a world where X Men Apocalypse isn’t a great movie.
Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshiped as a god. Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.
The film will have younger versions of older mutants, Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Storm (Alexandra Shipp) and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and introduce many new characters like Jubilee, Psylocke and of course one of the X-Men’s most dangerous enemies, Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac). I’ve not seen Oscar Isaac in much, I’ve seen him in The Force Awakens and Drive and from that I can tell that he’s a great actor, so I think he will do a phenomenal job as seen in the trailer. As I said earlier, it will end the trilogy of the newer cast (X-Men First Class, X-Men Days of Future Past and X-Men Apocalypse). X Men Apocalypse from the trailer looks great and seeing everything unfold will be a real treat.
X-Men Apocalypse is scheduled to be released on 27 May 2016
4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One is the first live action anthology movie in the Star Wars universe. This is very intriguing and I think that it will pave the way for more spin offs, with a Han Solo spin off in the works and potentially and Obi Wan Kenobi and a Boba Fett spin off. I loved The Force Awakens but I hope that there is a strong distinction between the trilogies and Rogue One. It needs to stand on its own as a great movie, with maybe some references to the other films and potentially a cameo from Darth Vader.
Rebels set out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.
Rogue One really interests me because from what I can tell, this is going to be a very different Star Wars movie. It’s pretty much a war movie and from this picture, it can be seen that it’s going to be gritty and realistic. With Godzilla (2014) director Gareth Edwards directing it and a cast which features such actors like Felicity Jones, Forrest Whitaker and Mads Mikkelsen, I’m hyped.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is scheduled to be released on 16 December 2016.
3. Suicide Squad
Suicide Squad initially looked like DC’s biggest risk (we’ll get to the biggest risk later). It has a lot of characters that most audiences don’t know of, except for maybe Harley Quinn and of course The Joker. However given the fact that more people have viewed the Suicide Squad trailer than the Comic Con Batman V Superman trailer released around the same time indicates that more and more people are learning about this movie, and are being intrigued by it.
A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency.
This film is definitely taking a more realistic take on the comic book genre, which could be seen as David Ayer is the director, who did films such as Fury, End of Watch and Sabotage. The film also has perfect casting from Harley Quinn played by Margot Robbie (who I’m sure will steal the show) to Will Smith as Deadshot. It’s great that we can finally have villains as the main characters in a comic book movie. We will also get a bit of Jared Leto’s Joker, who I’m sure will do a phenomenal job. Although I was a little worried with his look at first, I think that it’s a very different take on the Joker that I think could be great and potentially the scariest Joker performance. I think that his overall design is nothing that we’ve seen before and it could actually work for the film. Except for that ‘Damaged’ tattoo on his forehead.
Suicide Squad is scheduled to be released on 5 August 2016.
2. Captain America: Civil War
This film has the potential to be the best movie yet in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is so far my favourite movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it would only make sense that a film which has one of the biggest events in the Marvel Comics would be the best in the series.
After another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps, one led by Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr) surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.
Civil War for those who don’t know is a major event in the Marvel Comics, the film will be different from the comics however. Civil War in the comics were about superhero registration but in the film it will be more about world governments demanding accountability and oversight of superheroes, probably because identities don’t exist in this universe and the MCU isn’t that big. However this will still have the aspect of the Avengers split in two (except for Thor and Hulk, who will star in 2017’s Thor Ragnarok), Captain America’s team and Iron Man’s team. This film also introduces Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Tom Holland as the (Sony) Spiderman and (hopefully good for a change) villain Baron Zemo played by Daniel Bruhl. This film looks like it may be the darkest movie entry in the MCU and like Winter Soldier, will have significant consequences on the rest of the movies.
Captain America: Civil War is scheduled to be released on 6 May 2016
1. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
I would never predict years ago that there would ever be a crossover between DC heroes. This film is written by Chris Terrio (Argo) and with his involvement, this film looks to be a great film. Even though I’m looking forward to this film the most, it’s also the film that I’m most nervous about. Suicide Squad has a better chance of succeeding because its biggest risk is having a lot of characters that most people don’t know, but that has been done well in the past (Guardians of the Galaxy). Other comic book movies that have so much in it have failed however, so with Batman fighting Superman, fighting a ‘threat’ (I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen the latest trailer) as well as the forming of the Justice League (and cameos from Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg), this film could end up as a disaster. However if this movie succeeds, it could end up as one of the best superhero movies to date.
Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’ most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.
Man of Steel was a very dividing movie and one of the most divisive elements for some was the destruction of Metropolis. This film is taking that aspect and making it the catalyst for bringing Batman to fight Superman. The writing was really the weakest aspect of Man of Steel but with Chris Terrio writing the script, I have a feeling that there is something special. Although I was initially sceptical with Ben Affleck playing Batman, after seeing the trailers he has the potential to be the best live action Batman yet.
Now there are some things that I’m still not certain about. We don’t know what Wonder Woman’s part in this film will be, we don’t know how the film will introduce the Justice League without it being rushed and Jesse Eisenberg is playing Lex Luthor, although I’m starting to see him in the role, I’m not completely sold on him yet. There’s also potential for this film to feel bloated, with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor and cameos from Aquaman, Cyborg and potentially The Flash. It’s my most anticipated movie of 2016 but out of all of the movies on the list, it has a lot of potential to fail, and we can only hope that it delivers in the end.
Batman V Superman is scheduled to be released on 25 March 2016