14 Film to Look Out for in 2014

2014 is a bit of a sandwhich year for films, there are plenty of blockbusters but a lot of people are looking at 2015 as being a big year for film. That being said there’s still plenty to look forward to this year. So a bit delayed but here is my list of films to look out for in 2014! (Please note that I’m not counting films that have already come out in January and February)

I’ve added links to trailers for the films that already have them.

 

X Men: Days of Future Past

As soon as the entire cast of Days of Future Past appeared on the stage at Comic Con last year, the movie got kicked into high-gear. Reuniting the old cast of the X-Men franchise in the early 00’s with the cast of X-Men: First Class, its sure to make the dreams of geeks everywhere come true.

Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier

The First Avenger is back and firmly in the 21st century and writers have promised that after this movie finishes, the scene will be firmly set for Avengers 2. As well as Chris Evans putting on the suit again as Steve Rogers, Samuel l. Jackson is back as Nick Fury and Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow.

Maleficient

Delayed from last year, Angelina Jolie steps into the role of Sleeping Beauty’s villain to give another take on the classic fairytale. The first trailer has already hit, and it looks visually beautiful

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Andrew Garfield puts on the red and blue suit once more to fight crime, and it looks like the stakes are even higher in this film as he faces off against Jamie Foxx’s villain Electro. It seems that by the end of this film though, Peter Parkers life won’t be the same as its being promised to set up the next film set for release in 2016. One of my most anticipated movies of this year – just looks insane

Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel’s big gamble in its Phase 2 plan was bringing out this film as it’s certainly not a widely known for its characters. However its assembled a crack team of actors, led by Chris Pratt and the trailer has taken a risk in showing off it’s witty script.

Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

The first part of the last book in the Hunger Games series comes to cinemas at the end of this year and its gaining more and more momentum, especially due to the recent success of Catching Fire. Filming continues back to back with Mockingjay Part 2, and you can expect the film to reach high levels of anticipation come

The Hobbit: There and Back Again

The final part of Hobbit trilogy and the prequels to Lord of the Rings; it’ll be a sad state of affairs to think we won’t be visiting Jackson’s Middle Earth again. As the last film ended on a cliff-hanger with Smaug flying off to wreak havoc, there’s no telling what Jackson has in store.

Divergent

The latest Young Adult novel series to do the rounds is the Divergent series by Veronica Roth; the film looks set to rival The Hunger Games franchise and if it is a success at the box office, you can bet a franchise will be made out of the book series.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Michael Bay returns to the directing chair of the Transformers franchise but assembles a brand new cast being led by Mark Wahlberg who’s promised a great film.

Vampire Academy

Another Young Adult book series that’s getting the movie treatment, this revolves around a young girl who is half human/half vampire charged with keeping the peace and helping to protect the Moroi from the more violent bloodthirsty vampires the Strigoi. This film already looks good, and is set to appease the Twilight fans most of all with its vampire sex appeal angle.

Godzilla

A Godzilla reboot? A few raised eyebrows were certainly the first reaction by many. But throw in names like Bryan Cranston and a trailer that looks brilliant and the confused eyebrows are turning into expressions of delight.

Jupiter Ascending

Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis star in this sci-fi adventure from the men that brought us The Matrix trilogy. It does have similarties with that trilogy, but still holds its own, and set for a summer release, it looks set to be a box office success.

Intersellar

Christopher Nolan’s next film after finishing up on the Batman trilogy and he’s reuniting with Anne Hathaway and bringing Oscar winning actor Matthew McConaughey and Jessica Chastain along. It’s so far shrouded in much mystery, but then that’s what fans expect from Nolan.

Transcendence

And finally we have Nolan’s right hand man Wally Pfister’s directorial debut. As the director of photography for many of Nolan’s previous projects, he’s fully stepping behind the lens in this film starring Johnny Depp about a terminally ill scientist that downloads a computer into his mind.

 

Old Charles (to Young Charles) You’re afraid. I remember.

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The Hobbit – Rachel’s Review

thehobbitflatcover

So, I know Kat’s already reviewed this but now that I’ve gotten round to reading it as well, I thought I’d chip in with my own review.

The Hobbit is a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy in which we are first introduced to the world of Middle Earth through the eyes of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who sets upon an adventure of a lifetime with a company of dwarves to find their lost gold. The story is quite a short read and quite simple to follow, and after seeing the first film adapted I was anxious to find out how the book develops.

I was curious to find out just how much Peter Jackson had added into the film plot from other Tolkien sources and it seems he added in quite a number of different strands. Whilst the movie version follows the basic plot of the book, Jackson added in subtle hints and foreshadowing’s of the Lord of the Rings and also brought back members of the original cast such as Elijah Wood, Ian Holm and Cate Blanchett despite them not being in the book. Despite the comparisons I was making with the first half of the book, it was still entertaining, and I found myself omitting the same emotions through the book as I felt during the movie.

At the point where the film ended and I was entering the unknown in terms of not knowing what would happen next, the book really came into its own. I fell more in love with Bilbo – his courage, his quintessential British nature, his inquisitiveness and moral conscience. The other dwarves each became their own character instead of mingling in with the group and the book kept me engaged throughout. I’m not incredibly interested and excited to see the next two films and how they’ve adapted the rest of the novel and I can certainly recommend this book – a classic to those that like fantasy novels and therefore one that must be tried.

 

“Sorry! I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not today. Good morning. But please come to tea – any time you like!” (The Hobbit)

My Top 10 Films of 2012

Another year of cinema is over and albeit, I still have a long list of films to plough through from 2012 (in fact many films from across a number of years) however, here is a list of my top 10 films of 2012!

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10. Twilight Breaking Dawn part 2

The final instalment of the Twilight franchise made its way onto our screens in November and it’s fair to say it was probably the best one out of the series. The end battle alone was brilliant, especially the ‘it was all a dream’ scenario that helped create it. The actors all stepped up their game (who would’ve thought Kristen Stewart would be less annoying as vampire Bella). Anyway, because of my support of the previous films, and that end battle sequence this sneaks my way onto my top 10.

“You nick-named my daughter after the Loch Ness daughter!” (Bella, Twilight Breaking Dawn part 2)

amazing-spider-man-movie-poster

9. The Amazing Spider-Man

The re-boot of the Spiderman series starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker was sandwiched between the other two major comic book movies of last year and was the weakest of the three movies. That certainly doesn’t mean it wasn’t brilliant though. I mean when you’re up against the juggernaut of Nolan’s Batman series and Marvel’s culmination of their master Phase 1 plan, helmed by the genius of Joss Whedon you know you have a lot to contend with. The film has a lot going for it – the chemistry of real life couple Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone (who plays Gwen Stacy) shines through on screen and Garfield is refreshing as Peter Parker, very different from Tobey Maguire’s version. Add the fact Martin Sheen brings a great performance as Uncle Ben, as well as a great supporting cast including Rhys Ifans and Denis Leary this movie brings intrigue as the mystery of Peter’s parents disappearance deepens. The sequel is set to be released in 2014 and with Jamie Foxx cast as the villain it promises to be one to see.

“We all have secrets: the ones we keep… and the ones that are kept from us.” (Peter Parker, The Amazing Spider-Man)

The Hobbit Review

8. The Hobbit

Peter Jackson returns us to the land of Middle Earth 10 years after the Lord of the Rings trilogy with Tolkein’s prequel and the tale of Bilbo Baggins’ extraordinary adventure. At first this book was going to be adapted into two films, but once filming was complete Jackson changed his mind, stating the wealth of material was enough for three films. The first instalment hit our screens, covering a mere six chapters of the novel, but encompassing a lot of other different sources along with it. It wasn’t as good as The Fellowship of the Ring, and some moments seemed a little self-indulgent, however it was entertaining and certainly took cinema-goers back to the land of Middle Earth. The next instalment comes out at the end of this year, and I’ll be waiting to see the third instalment before making a judgement on the films as a whole.

“I’m looking for someone to share in an adventure” (Gandalf, The Hobbit)

7. This Means War

This romantic comedy had everything – the fabulously gorgeous Reese Witherspoon who was in a bit of a pickle when she inadvertently starts dating two very attractive guys at the same time – it also helps that those two attractive guys are Chris Pine and Tom Hardy, best friends, who are also secret agents. The comedy is funny, sexy and an easy watch for a cosy night in!

“Sometimes falling is the best part.” (Tuck, This Means War)

6. The Hunger Games

The next big movie adaptation series after Twilight, the movie was one of the first biggest blockbusters and made a great start to the franchise. Jennifer Lawrence was brilliant as Catniss, the ‘girl on fire’, continuing her reign of Hollywood domination after X Men First Class. She was joined by Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth and star power of Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson. The movie sparked more intrigue into this already beloved book series, and the box office success ensured that the series got sequels, with the second film due out at the end of this year. Jennifer Lawrence has since gone to show she is not just a pretty face, capable of carrying a successful franchise, having been Oscar nominated for Silver Linings Playbook. Hopefully the next movie will live up to the first movie and help build on the franchise’s success.

“We salute your courage and your sacrifice and we wish you Happy Hunger Games!” (President Snow, The Hunger Games)

 

5. Looper

The sci-fi film starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt opened to fantastic reviews, and it deserved them; a great chemistry between Willis and Levitt, both playing the same character but older and younger versions of themselves. The intelligent writing and plot, and the other supporting cast including Emily Blunt meant that this became one of the most enjoyable movies of the year.

“Then I saw it, I saw a mom who would die for her son, a man who would kill for his wife, a boy, angry & alone, laid out in front of him the bad path. I saw it & the path was a circle, round & round. So I changed it.” (Joe, Looper)

4. Argo

As soon as I saw the trailer for this film, I knew I had to see it. Once I saw it, I thought it was amazing and saw potential for it to triumph at awards season. So far it is doing me proud, sweeping its way picking up award after award. The film itself is awesome, witty, darkly comedic and tense. My top 4 are very similar in their sheer awesomeness and I have my fingers crossed that Argo will triumph at the Oscars.

“If I’m going to make a fake movie, it’s going to be a fake hit.” (Lestor, Argo)

3. Skyfall

James Bond returned with a definite bang in the 23rd Bond film (Daniel Craig’s 3rd outing as 007), as Bond also celebrated its 50th anniversary. The movie helmed by Sam Mendes brought Bond back to its glory and cemented Craig as a Bond to remember. Add stellar performances from Judi Dench who in effect became the Bond girl of the movie and Javier Bardem as a chilling villain and you get Skyfall. Craig is already slated to return for at least another 2 Bond movies and with the same writing team behind those, surely things can only continue to be stronger for the James Bond franchise.

“Some men are coming to kill us. We’re going to kill them first.” (James Bond, Skyfall)

2. The Dark Knight Rises

My top two were very close but The Dark Knight Rises was just pipped to the number one spot. The ending to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy was one I certainly couldn’t wait for (and the fact the film opened on my birthday also added to the excitement.) Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman returned to the film and Nolan added a couple other powerhouses including Joseph Gordon-Levitt as rookie cop John Blake, Tom Hardy as our villain Bane, completely transforming himself in the process, and the beautiful Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman). The film albeit was not as good as The Dark Knight but quite honestly, it was always going to be tough to follow that. However, the film was still a major box office success and an amazing end to the Dark Knight trilogy that Nolan created, giving the Batman series a film to shout about, and restoring some of its darker themes.

“There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you’re all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.” (Selina Kyle, The Dark Knight Rises)

1. Avengers Assemble

And finally….my number one choice. The first major superhero movie of the summer of 2012 and the culmination of Marvel’s phase one plan. As soon as it was announced that Joss Whedon was writing and directing the film, I knew it was going to be amazing and I felt proud knowing that a wider audience were finally going to see the awesomeness of Whedon’s work. Perhaps I’m biased towards him, but I honestly couldn’t care. The film incorporated Whedon’s wittiness and it matched perfectly to Robert Downey Jr. comedy finesse, add in the likes of Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Tom Hiddelston and new to the series Mark Ruffalo (who made a fantastic Hulk) and Jeremy Renner and you have the groundings of a brilliant film. The ability for the cast, crew and Joss Whedon to tackle this mammoth task giving each one of the superhero characters fair screen time, and weave a great plot through the film just proves how awesome it is. It helped that the film did fantastically at the box office, thus giving Marvel the full green light to unleash Phase 2 with sequels for Iron Man, Captain America and Thor leading up to Avengers 2 again helmed by Whedon due out in 2015. The future certainly looks bright (and prosperous) for the Marvel franchise and I will be first in line for all of these movies.

“It’s good to meet you, Dr. Banner. Your work on anti-electron collisions is unparalleled. And I’m a huge fan of the way you lose control and turn into an enormous green rage monster.” (Tony Stark, The Avengers)

 

So there you have it, my top 10 films of 2012 – feel free to comment and let me know what your favourites were and if you agree/disagree!

 

 

The Hobbit Review

Peter Jackson brings us back into the world of Tolkein 10 years after The Fellowship of the Ring was first released. New Zealand still looks amazing on screen – the familiar surroundings of Hobbiton, the great hilly plains, Rivendell and those amazing set pieces are still a integral part of Jackson’s interpretation of Tolkein.

Along with some familiar faces from the Lord of the Rings series such as Ian McKellon, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett and Christopher Lee (as well as a cameo from Elijah Wood and Ian Holm) we get the perfectly cast Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, the reluctant hobbit who’s catapulted into the adventure of a lifetime. He’s a perfect representation of a hobbit, completely down-to-earth, positive and inquisitive – a contrast to an always moody Frodo. We also have the gang of dwarves, loveable and loud, each with their own personality and character. We have the delicious and delectable Richard Armitage as Thorin, the leader of the dwarves: to me Armitage is the Viggo Mortesen/Aragorn of these movies – he has a great story arc and doesn’t disappoint. After being a fan of his for a while, I’m glad he’s been given a big stage such as this to shine on. The company of dwarves, Gandalf and Bilbo are trying to take back Erebor, the true home of the dwarves from the dragon Smaug. We get a glimpse of it in the beginning of the movie and even if it was only on screen for 5 minutes, the shots of Erebor look spectacular. James Nesbitt and Aidan Turner also star as two of the 12 dwarf company and also Slyvester McCoy stars as the eccentric, but loveable wizard Radagast, putting in a spirited performance (who didn’t think Sebastian the hedgehog was cute).

The first 40 minutes or so of the film for me, dragged a little – even though it was nice to see Elijah Wood back in his Frodo outfit I thought it was a little indulgent and unnecessary. Although I suppose thinking back to Fellowship of the Ring the first part of that is certainly not as exciting as the rest of it.  The introduction of the dwarves and their songs, and also the opening tale of Smaug taking over Erebor were the highlights for me, and it isn’t really until the sequence with the trolls that the movie picks up the pace building the excitement and tension, turning it into a movie of epic proportions – those shots of the company running across the plain from the pack of Orcs are stunning. The feeling of epic crops up constantly in the movie, from those mountain battle scenes, to the scenes in the cavernous home of the Orcs. Throughout the movie you get the feeling of love and care from the dwarf company – they are constantly bantering, and joking around and I really enjoyed the interaction with the different personalities coming through.

One sequence that had to be a stand out was the ‘Riddles in the Dark’ scene which saw the return of Andy Serkis as Gollum. Serkis slips right back into the role and despite the scene only lasting around 10 minutes it was a stand out for the film. It’s tension-building, it’s character driven and wonderfully performed, showing the film does not need to rely on huge action pieces.

Fans of Lord of the Rings that have not necessarily read The Hobbit can certainly get their geek moments with mentions of the mines of Moria, the moment that Bilbo gets the ring, the sword that glows when orcs are near that Frodo inherits, Mr Bilbo’s trolls, (I’m pretty sure we see Weathertop), and the mention of the Witch King and his sword.

Even though I haven’t read The Hobbit (I plan to) I can’t imagine there are many deleted or extended scenes. This film only covers the first six chapters of the novel, with Jackson choosing to flesh out the story using various sources of Tolkein material, to give the story the feel of it being a prequel to Rings trilogy. It will be interesting to see the rest of the trilogy unfold and I think only after we have seen the full 3 films, we will know whether the trilogy was fully necessary or more of an indulgence. Even so, I think it is definitely worth sitting through the 2 hour 50 minutes to see this film – even if you haven’t read the book, it’s easy enough to follow and especially if you’re a fan of LOTR you should certainly see this film.

Thorin: I cannot guarantee his safety.
Gandalf: Understood.
Thorin: Nor will I be responsible for his fate.
Gandalf: Agreed.    (The Hobbit)