Top 10 Most Exciting Films of 2017 (First Among Lists)

4 01 2017

star-wars-episode-eight (Lucasfilm - 2017)

Jasper Fforde is a British bestselling Author whose selected works include the The Eyre Affair, The Last Dragonslayer and Shades of Grey.  He is something of an inspiration to me and someone I have not just met and had books of his signed, but have had the fantastic opportunity to have my work looked at and even edited by him; it was a wonderful opportunity and moment for me and still ranks as one of the best moments in my writing career to date. Anyway, I have been thinking a little bit about Jasper Fforde recently, mainly because of The Last Dragonslayer being shown on Sky 1 on Christmas Day, a book which was one of my favourite reads a couple of years ago.

The Last Dragonslayer (Hodder and Stoughton - 2011)

Anyway, to get back on topic, one of the books in his Thursday Next series is called; First Among Sequels. Well before I began writing this; (having awoken from a small nap on Boxing Day) I thought that it could be fun to give a personal touch to one of my early blog posts, in particular one of the early Top 5-ish posts where I talk about last year and this year in films. I was thinking that I should call it First Among Lists. Then I thought that this could be rather confusing for anyone who came along looking for a post on films, as the tile does not suggest anything along those lines. Then I thought; ‘why not’, and added it in brackets after writing this sentence. See. Just thought I would do something a bit more fun and a lot less like written uniform.

split (Universal Pictures - 2016)

2016 has passed, and 2017 has begun. Yes, it’s that time of year when we can break those freshly made resolutions and convert the newly acquired weight’s beach into a clothes horse. I prefer not to make such resolutions as I don’t see any real point in them. Why not, instead of making pathetic New Year’s Resolutions which you’re not going to complete, find something to look forward to instead, like; I don’t know – movies to be released this year? There are quite a lot of good-looking films to be released this year, including the possibility of a remake of The Empire Strikes Back, something to look forward to for many I’ll bet. As is something of an annual tradition for me and my blog now, I have had a good look through the (Wikipedia) movie release schedules and found a whole load of good-looking films to look forward to this year, and am keen to share this information with you all, including which are the Top 10 films I personally am looking forward to. Now there is quite a lot this coming year I have found, and not all could end up on my Top 10, so I just want to give a shout out to the following films: Wonder (the book is really good), King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Alien Covenant, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Geostorm, Despicable Me 3, Split and The Great Wall. If there is anything you in particular are looking forward to this year but is not mentioned on here, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know; but for now, here is what I am looking forward to this year.

dunkirk (Warner Bros - 2017)

10. Dunkirk – Films set during World War II don’t really get my interest. World War 2 is an important event during the entire history of this planet of course, but the use of the subject matter in the media I feel has been rather overdone; you only need to look at Video Games set during WW2 to see what I mean. Why am I interested in this then, well because Christopher Nolan is directing it, and I feel that that is a good a reason as any to not write it off as of yet. A trailer has been released which I have yet to give a proper look at, and will probably do so when I edit this post in WordPress, the one thing we have to hope for of course is that the film is done right, and does not replace the British, Belgian and French Soldiers with American Ones for the sake of the film (America was actually still one whole year away from joining WW2 during the events of the Dunkirk Evacuation).

return-of-xander-cage (Columbia Pictures - 2017)

9. XXX: Return of Xander Cage – I am surprised how long it has taken to get this film made, as this should have been done nearly 10 years ago. The first Triple X film starring Vin Diesel, Marton Csokas, Samuel L. Jackson and Asia Argento was a film I really liked and was hoping for a sequel. A sequel was what we got, but without 3 of the previous mentioned cast members, try to guess which ones. The first one was a unique blend of modern and traditional spy films with the added bonus of extreme sports and stunts, creating what I think is still quite a cool little film. While this new one may be missing Asia Argento (and Csokas of course for those who have seen the original), I still feel quietly excited by this, and hope that the juices that flowed in the original will blossom once more and possibly create an interesting franchise; 14 years late.

thor-the-dark-world (Marvel Studios - 2013)

8. Thor: Ragnarok – The first Thor film was something of a surprise to me, as I had no idea what to expect, but absolutely loved. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has the feeling about it that it might have begun to start to come to a close as the series for one feels like it’s beginning to drag and feature less of its more prominent characters. I do feel sort of glad though that Thor gets one more solo outing before that happens, but it does come with a bit of un-nerve. I have not really been tracking its production, but it feels wrong that Natalie Portman is not going to be in it. I don’t know as to the why she is not in it, but when you have been using two previous films to create a romance between two characters, only for one to leave with no real reason and probably to be replaced, I feel that is something of a bad idea, because, that previous romance has been developed, this new one won’t be to an audience point of view and will come across as more confusing, than heart-warming. It has been done before, just look at Transformers: Dark of the Moon as an example. Anyway, I still have hope for Thor, as I want it to be just like the previous two films; proper fun, enjoyable films. While the love life maybe completely in the air, what isn’t is the male cast which still includes Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins, as well as newcomers to the Thor films in Avengers regular Mark Ruffalo, and more interestingly; Jeff Goldblum.

war-for-the-planet-of-the-apes (20th Century Fox - 2017)

7. War for the Planet of the Apes – The new Planet of the Apes film series has become one of the standout heavyweights of cinema, and has achieved this with only 2 films released so far. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a wonderfully thought out and brought together film which created truly marvellous moments (including the death of Draco Malfoy), this continued on with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which set man and ape against one another in a brutal fashion while also weaving in a thought-provoking plot. Now, things are set to get even deeper, as audiences have a heavy minded choice to make, as they decide whether to fight with humanity, or with the apes in a battle to decide who will be the new dominant species. Regular ape cast members are set to return, while humanity is represented by former District 12 Winner Woody Harrelson…..should be pretty interesting.

the-shape-of-water (Bull Productions - 2017)

6. The Shape of Water – In all honesty I don’t know much about this film. Wikipedia says its: “An other-worldly story, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1963”. Why do I take an interest in this film you ask? Because Guillermo Del Toro is directing it! While it’s plot is currently vague with not much known about it other than production details including cast members such as Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones, it is hard to expect what it could be, but considering what this film sort of suggests, part of me wonders if this could be Del Toro’s next Pan’s Labyrinth?

the lego-batman movie (Warner Bros - 2017)

5. The Lego Batman Movie – When I went to see The Lego Movie, it was clear to me who the real star of the show was: Batman (voiced by Will Arnett). I loved the portrayal of Batman in the Lego movie, just could not get enough, so was super excited when I found out that he was getting his own movie, and this year it gets released. I can still hear his awesome self-crafted theme tune going through my head right now. Have seen a couple of trailers so far, and it’s hard to work out where it is going or what it is going to do, but as long as Batman is the Lego Movie Batman (which is by far the best Batman to date), then it should be awesome (pun intended).

Power Rangers (Lionsgate - 2017)

4. Power Rangers – Is it excitement or hope why I have put this film so high in this list? I am not going to get too detailed here about this; I made my views very clearly detailed back in September. What I do want to say is that I am excited but still very nervous about the Power Rangers movie due for release in the coming months. The film is not too far from release and the trailer does look pretty promising, but given what we have seen in the past when Power Rangers have taken to the big screen, I think my nerves are a reasonable reaction. I do want this film to work, and do feel that in the right hands and with the right execution, this film could become a worthy rival to the Transformers film series. The trailer and shots from production do look pretty good, but I don’t think any of us who intend to see this film can really hope to relax until this film actually gets released, then we can find out if a third time can be some kind of charm for the Power Rangers.

transformers-the-last-knight (Paramount - 2017)

3. Transformers: The Last Knight – I have been a fan of the Transformers films from day one. It is a series I have enjoyed throughout and have continued to do so to the present day. When Age of Extinction came out in 2014, I was unsure of where the series was heading for, but was blown away by a powerhouse of a film, my favourite entry to date and have been super excited to hear there is not just going to be a sequel, but also returning with the fantastic new cast of Extinction. While Nicola Peltz is a no-show at current, Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci and Josh Duhamel (from the first 3 films) are all confirmed for what is so far looking to what could be the most ‘confusing’ entry in the series to date (and I can’t help but wonder if the title is a reference to something that happens in the film, or is a reference to the status of the series director).

kong-skull-island (Legendary Pictures - 2017)

2. Kong: Skull Island – Soon after the release of Godzilla in 2014; Legendary Pictures announced that they were going to make some more Godzilla films, as well as possibly creating a shared universe which would also include King Kong. Well; King Kong is set to return this year with his very own reboot, as a stellar cast of actors including (but not limited to) Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman decide to explore an uncharted island occupied by a variety of horrific monsters, all of it overseen under the might of the Great Ape known mainly as KONG. So far the film is looking really good; Kong’s design especially looks terrific and while details of the story are still relatively unknown, the current premise looks pretty cool. How it will turn out is another thing, but so far, I am really excited for this one (let’s just hope Peter Jackson didn’t accidentally walk onto the set during production).

logan (20th Century Fox - 2017)

1. Logan – A lot of things have happened in cinema over the last 17 years, but one of the very few constants is the portrayal of Wolverine in the X-Men Film Series. Since the series began, Wolverine has been portrayed by Hugh Jackman, and has helped not just kick-start his movie career, but made him a household name. “But all good things must come to an end” many pessimistic people have said, and this appears to be true for the relationship between High Jackman and Wolverine, but the animal is not going to bow out without one last bloodbath. Set for release this year: Logan looks to tie up the loose ends of the series so far, as the X-Men head to bold new directions (especially with Deadpool looking set to become the series main star). Expect possible tears, as well as a lot of blood as Wolverine bows out in more ways than one, delivering potentially his final chapter, with support from his long-time friend and series heavyweight Patrick Stewart returning once more to play Charles Xavier, as they face one last enemy together, possibly in the rumoured form of Mr. Sinister.

GENEPOOL (Well that is my list, what movies are you looking forward to this year?).

Thor Review: Lightning Hammer

9 05 2011

I like Superhero Films, Films like The Dark Knight, Iron Man and my Favourite (Superhero Film) X-Men 2. These films have the Good Old tale of Hero vs Villain. Every Superhero has abilities and these abilities always have origin stories of how they gained these abilities. Wolverine has Steel Claws, Iron Man has a mechanical suit and Thor has a Hammer and the power of Lightning.

Now before you start thinking you know what this is, Thor is not based on the Norse Legend. Thor is based on a Comic Book Character that is based on the Norse Legend. So if you see a trailer for the film or a poster for the film, it is not based on the Norse Legend it is based on a Marvel Comic Book Character (which is based on the Norse Legend). Thor is a Superhero from Asgard. He is the Norse God of Thunder wielding a Giant Hammer. He uses this hammer as a weapon to slay his foes and uses Lightning as a weapon too. He is a member of the Superhero Team the Avengers alongside Iron man, Captain America and The Hulk to name but a few. He is the Son of Odin, King of Asgard.

The film starts with the retelling of a war between the Asgard and The Frost Giants. Asgard Won and seized the power of the Frost Giants, The Casket of Ancient Winters. In the present day Odin’s son Thor is about to ascend to the throne of Asgard when Frost Giants try to take the Casket. Thor, his brother Loki and his friend’s Sif, Volstagg, Fandral and Hogun journey to the home of the Frost Giants, Jotunheim. There a battle ensues and Odin arrives to save Thor, Loki and his Friends destroying the fragile truce between the 2 races. For his arrogance Odin strips Thor of his power and exiles him to Earth along with his Hammer Mjolnir which Odin put has put a spell on so only the worthy can use it.

Thor is run over by Jane Foster (Played by Natalie Portman) in New Mexico. Foster and her group of researchers take him to a local hospital where he continuously tries to escape and return to Asgard. The Scientists think he is a bit strange. Meanwhile a Hammer is discovered in the New Mexico Desert and many people try to lift it but are unable to do so (it’s like the sword of King Arthur). SHIELD Arrive and take control of the site and take Fosters Research. Thor escapes the Hospital and tries to recover his Hammer. He goes through the entire base and no one is able to stop him but when he tries to lift his hammer the Spell Odin put on it stops Thor from lifting it.  Thor is captured and gets interrogated by SHIELD Operative Phil Coulson.

Back in Asgard Loki discovers that he was an adopted son, he is actually a frost giant adopted by Odin. Overcome with Stress Odin falls asleep to recuperate. Loki takes charge and offers the Frost Giants the chance to Kill Odin and take the Casket, They accept. Meanwhile Sif, Volstagg, Fandral and Hogun are unhappy with Thor’s Exile and convince Heimdall Gate Keeper of the Bifrost Bridge (a way of travelling between worlds) to allow them to travel to Earth and bring back Thor.

Thor manages to escape from SHILED with the help of Fosters Mentor Dr. Selvig.  Thor tells Jane of Asgard and the bridges that connect the worlds. Sif, Volstagg, Fandral and Hogun arrive on Earth and locate Thor. Loki knows of their plan and sends The Destroyer. A Big Indestructible Automaton and tells it to kill Thor and his Friends. Thor’s friends are defeated by it and Thor asks Loki to kill him and spare his friends. The Destroyer attacks Thor and nearly kills him; however this is a cause worthy enough for him to wield the Mjolnir. The Hammer flies out of the ground and returns to Thor giving him back his Power. Thor defeats the Destroyer and returns to Asgard with his Friends Kissing Jane Goodbye and vowing to return.

Back on Asgard Loki reveals his true plan, he kills the Frost Giants sent to kill Odin, he can then use this attempt on Odin’s life to destroy Jotunheim with the Bifrost  Bridge proving himself to Odin. Thor battles Loki and destroys the Bifrost  Bridge stranding himself on Asgard. Odin reawakens and saves the brothers falling through the worlds. Loki allows himself to fall to his death knowing that he has disappointed Odin once again. Thor makes amends with his father Odin and admits that he is not ready to be king. Meanwhile on Earth Jane and her team look for a way to open a portal to Asgard so she can reunite with Thor.

With this being a Marvel Film there is an extra scene after the Credits but you are going to have to find that out about that yourself.

Thor is a Very Good Film. It has a story which is set in a simple layout of Beginning, Middle and End. It is not too complicated either which makes it a thrilling story and very interesting as well. The Cast help the story out with Chris Hemsworth playing Thor. Hemsworth is not playing Thor; He is Thor, the role was made for Hemsworth. Natalie Portman plays Jane Foster in another amazing role; this along with Star Wars and V for Vendetta is another brilliant film role for Portman. Anthony Hopkins plays Odin, I have not seen many Anthony Hopkins films, alright one and that was The Mask of Zorro but he was brilliant in this as well as he was in Zorro. Idris Elba plays Heimdall the Gate Keeper. His non emotional look makes him look fearsome and dangerous. Heimdall does not appear as much as the other characters but his scenes are very Good. The cast includes many other characters like Dr. Selvig played by Stellan Skarsgård. Kat Dennings character Darcy Lewis is very good as one of Jane Fosters Assistants.

In terms of a soundtrack you don’t really notice one because you are engrossed in the film. I do think for this film the perfect choice for the music would be some Heavy Metal; it just seems to come together when you think about it. The films effects are also well made; it is one of those now rare occurrences where the film makers stopped working on the effect when the effect was achieved. They got to a point where they achieved a realistic effect and just left it there, they did not do anymore to it they just left it and it works. I was a bit sceptical about the choice of Director for the film. I was unsure how Kenneth Branagh was going to make a Superhero Movie, but it was a very Good film and he has made something Special.

Overall Thor is an amazing film with a Brilliant Story, Brilliant Characters and Brilliant Effects. It is an amazing film and if you like Superhero movies you will love this, Watch Thor it is one of the Movie Events of the Year (along with Transformers 3, Sherlock Holmes 2 and Battle Los Angeles).


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