Other Films Of Note Due For Release In 2017

22 02 2017

the-last-jedi (Lucasfilm - 2017)

As you may know (or not know if this is the first time you have visited, in which case “Hello”), whenever a new year rolls around I like to celebrate my favourite movies of the previous year, and also look ahead into the coming year to see which films are taking my eye. I do this by doing some Top 5/Top 10 posts and choose a selection of which films I am most looking forward to. Sometimes though it can be the case that some films which I also like the look of don’t get much of a mention. This can be particularly sad if those said films turn out to be better than the ones I was looking forward too, and even more if I find out about them later on. Anyway, with a lack of decision-making in terms of posts to write about at the moment, I thought I would do a separate post, highlighting films due out this year that I am also currently looking into.

the-great-wall (Universal Pictures - 2017)

One thing I am going to do though is not rank them. These films look interesting, but at current details are still small in my mind and I don’t want to rank them based on very few details. Instead, I have ordered them by which ones I wrote down first to last when looking them up on Wikipedia (and moved one around for the benefit of the post). So this is more of a general post than a ranked post allowing each one to state their case more equally than based on favoritism. The other rule I have done is; that I think it would be a little unfair to name films that have already been released (at least according to my knowledge), as they may no longer be out and it’s a bit late to mention them (for which I apologize). Anyway, I hope you enjoy this post (I’ll try to be as brief as I can be) and maybe also gain some more insight into this year’s set of movie releases.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (Warner Bros. - 2017)

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – Directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law and Eric Bana; Legend of the Sword follows a young Arthur on his journey to becoming the great King of Legend. Do you remember when back in the summer of 2009 a trailer was released for a Sherlock Holmes film starring Robert Downey Jr? I do quite fondly. It was an interesting idea seeing the American actor of Iron Man playing a role that was quintessentially British; either way it worked out really well. Sherlock Holmes was a terrific film and still stands today as a terrific film. While we wait in the wings to see if a third film gets made, it’s good to see that Guy Ritchie has been at work taking another quintessentially British character on a road leading to another big budget movie. This is of course not the first time that King Arthur has had his time on the big screen, but it has been a while. It’s interesting to see the perspective Ritchie has chosen for this film. Upon looking at the trailer, it goes more down the route of fantasy than historical, but also it appears to carry the traits of Ritchie’s earlier works in British gangster and heist movies, with Arthur being something of a rogue before ascertaining his royal lineage. It’s an interesting looking film so far with some great differences in perspectives and is shaping up nicely to become one of 2017’s biggest epics.

Alien: Covenant (20th Century Fox)

Alien: Covenant – Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Michael Fassbender; Covenant tells the tale of a colony ship which lands on a remote planet, where they discover a lone android and a race of monstrous creatures. Do you remember (again) when Ridley Scott announced plans to make a prequel film to his science fiction classic Alien? It was pretty exciting news, but the more details that were released before and upon release suggested that it was not exactly the prequel we thought it was, rather a film set some time before Alien and featuring a different mythology (I quite enjoyed it). Yes, while technically meant to be a sequel to Prometheus, Scott has decided that instead of taking a proposed long route round, it might be better just drop some Aliens on a planet and let the feast begin. From first looks, it does look pretty much like most Alien films released to date, but the setting looks a lot nicer being on an earth planet like surface with some foliage instead of an inhospitable wasteland made up entirely of rocks and craters. Popular elements of previous Alien films look set to return, but hopefully it won’t entirely involve the same old plot of someone wanting to keep the creatures alive for the sake of financial gain. From the looks of the trailer it’s looking like a nice combination of action meets real horror and it’s going to be fun to see where this one leads us next (maybe even allowing Neill Blomkamp to have a go).

Despicable Me 3 (Universal Pictures - 2017)

Despicable Me 3 – Directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, and starring Steve Carrell and Kristen Wiig; Despicable Me 3 continues the tale of former evil genius Gru now set on his new path as a secret spy trying to bring down a former child star who is obsessed with the 80’s. When the first Despicable Me was released, I was not all that interested, but upon seeing it, I really enjoyed it and was excited to see more. Since then the Minion characters have become stars in their own sense (even though their standalone movie was pretty pants), but have stayed loyal to the series that made them stars. Given the way the story was told for the part of the small girls, with Margo having main light in the first film, and Agnes in 2, it would be nice to see Edith get her turn in this film maybe. Either way, given what the series has delivered so far, hopes are high as Despicable Me returns for a third outing later this year.

lego-ninjago-movie (Warner Bros. - 2017)

The Lego Ninjago Movie – Directed by Charlie Bean and starring Dave Franco and Jackie Chan; The Lego Ninjago Movie sees a group of teenagers hired by an old master to become Ninja Heroes and use spectacular vehicles to protect their home from an old warlord who desires revenge. In honesty I don’t know all that much about this Lego product, I have heard about it and have seen board games of it, but due to my lack of knowledge have not really looked into it. Then when I went to see The Lego Batman Movie last week and saw a trailer for Ninjago, I was mightily impressed. It looked like a good fun animated action film with some level of plot based comedy such as the hero son and villainous father (but not in a way that made me think of Star Wars Episode V, VI; and probably VIII); one thing though that I could not help but think was how similar this looked to Power Rangers.


Geostorm – Directed by Dean Devlin and starring Gerard Butler; Geostorm is about a man who goes into space to try and prevent climate controlling satellites from creating a mega storm, while back on earth; everything is not so rosy. Currently details are rather sketchy with this one, but I do have a major reason to be excited about this one. You see, this is the feature directing debut of Dean Devlin. While that name may not stand out for many people, Devlin does have over 20 years’ experience producing several major titles as a producer; with films to his name including Stargate, Independence Day, Godzilla (1998), The Patriot and Independence Day: Resurgence. OK, yes he has worked a lot with Roland Emmerich, but given what this film currently looks like, and the projects he has worked on over the last 20 years, I think it’s going to be interesting to see how this film translates, and what kind of Director he becomes in the process.

wonder (R.J. Palacio - 2012)

Wonder – Directed by Stephen Chbosky and starring Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts; Wonder follows the story of a young boy born with a facial deformity who tries to fit in at a new school, and in the process teaches others around him that beauty is not constrained to the outside. When I was studying Creative Writing at the University of Central Lancashire, I did a module on Writing for Children, a module I still consider the best and most fun module I studied. During this module, one thing we did as a class was read the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio of which this film is based on. It was a very interesting book (which I managed to complete in one sitting) which really did show what it was like for someone to live with a facial deformity and how it impacted the lives of others around them. Upon hearing about this film earlier this year, my interest was immediately grabbed. It’s a very thought-provoking book and if the film does the same thing it could be an interesting film. One thing that grabbed my attention was the choice of Owen Wilson. Now given that I have not seen him much in a non-comedic role, my thoughts began to wander as to what this film turns out to be like. As I have not seen him in a non-comedic role it would be interesting to see how it turns out, but my one hope is that this film does not accidentally become a comedy for some audiences. One of the real beautiful things about the book is that even though you know the character of Auggie has this deformity, the book is respectful not to describe it, nor have other characters do the same; more just suggest it, keeping a level of respect for those who do. Having seen images of the film, it’s hard to really see how they are going to do it, but given that it appears to be in the third person, it does bring a level of worry and caution that needs to be respected throughout, as in my belief, this film should really be seen from the eyes of Auggie when he is in the scene, keeping that respect and magic from the book into the film, because in the third person I don’t know how respectful some audiences are going to be towards that character.

10-cloverfield-lane (Paramount Pictures - 2016)

God Particle – Directed by Julius Onah and starring Daniel Brühl; God Particle is about a group of Astronauts aboard a space station  who must fight for their survival after the Earth disappears, and a space shuttle appears. Yes, it does sound like Alien, and normally films like these don’t grab my attention, but this one does as it’s a part of the now finally running Cloverfield Franchise. While not a sequel to the wonderful 10 Cloverfield Lane or the first Cloverfield, a spin-off still gets me excited. Details are a bit low right now but one positive is that series creator J.J. Abrams is actively producing it. While it does sound a lot like the original Alien, given what the this franchise has delivered so far, I think it deserves the benefit of the doubt on this one and the allowance to speak for itself.

colossal (Voltage Pictures - 2017)

Colossal – Directed by Nacho Vigalondo and starring Anne Hathaway; Colossal focuses on a young woman who upon losing her job moves back to her hometown. Weirdly however she appears to be very connected with a Giant Monster (or Kaiju) currently in the process of attacking Seoul. This is a pretty recent discovery for me, which is strange given my love for Monster Movies. The trailer looks pretty good and the film is already set to be quite an interesting science fiction as well as a potentially laugh out loud comedy. It has some traits of Godzilla 2014 in its visual effects while also carrying elements of an inspired mix of both The Host and Cloverfield in its look and ideas. I don’t really have an idea of what this going to be like on the whole, but from what I sort of know and have seen so far, I am pretty, if only minorly, excited by this.

GENEPOOL (If there is anything else not mentioned here that you are looking forward to, please let me know).

Pretty Good For 5 Minutes – The Case

17 08 2011

Have you watched Super 8 yet? Well if you have not there is (SPOILER ALERT) an extra film in the credits. In Super 8 the children in the main roles make a film for a Film Festival. Well in the films credits you can see the finished film. The film stars the children from Super 8 and was made by them so I am not going to bother mentioning their names.

The film involves a detective who is investigating the murder. He goes to the building of a company and meets the president (of the company). He then goes to check out one of the building’s and gets attacked by a zombie. After defeating the zombie he tries to get his wife to leave the area. While talking to each other at a train station a passing train de-rails and explodes. They both manage to survive the train incident and are then attacked by a zombie the next day. He finds out from an army man that an air force officer has killed himself and he apparently worked for a scientist. He goes to talk with the scientist who turns out to be the one who created the virus to turn people into zombies, the scientist has created a cure but only has enough for one zombie; he is then attacked by a zombie, then he becomes a zombie and is then killed by the detective. When the detective returns home he is attacked by his wife who has turned into a zombie. He uses the cure on her and she returns to normal. The film ends with the film’s director talking about the production of the film before he is attacked by a zombie.

For a short 5 minute film it is very enjoyable. The film has got some really spectacular special effects and it is a great wind down after you have watched the film that came before it (Super 8).


It Came From The Train – Super 8

10 08 2011

How long have you waited for a film to come out? I have waited years for films to be released and I am still waiting for some: District 10, Cloverfield 2, Batman 3 and even though it is going to be 2014 when it is released I am still waiting for the next Japanese Godzilla Film. Well I have also been waiting for a very long time for Super 8 to be released. I first heard about it when I was trying to find out information for Cloverfield 2 and this trailer was talked about which I immediately looked at (this was either late 2009 or early 2010, so I have known about this film for a very long time) and it did have a Cloverfield look about it but apparently it was not related. I liked the look of the trailer and I have been excited about the film for a long time.

The film was created by the intriguing mind of J. J. Abrams who is one of the biggest geniuses of both film and television who has created some of the most extraordinary (and confusing) television shows like Alias, Fringe and Lost. More recently he has been making lots of amazing films like the recent Star Trek film, Cloverfield and now Super 8. The film was produced by Steven Spielberg who does not need an introduction but I am going to make one in case there are still some people who have not heard about him. Steven Spielberg is one of the most successful directors in the world of cinema with many popular films like Jurassic Park and Jaws. With Super 8 there is a bit of an E.T. feel about it which is probably one of the reasons why Spielberg decided to do it. Spielberg has also been the producer for several recent films including the Transformers Films. J. J. Abrams is now tipped to be Spielberg’s successor so you need to wonder, if Super 8 is Abrams E.T. then what are his Jaws and Jurassic Park going to be?

Super 8 starts out with a scene after a funeral where a boy’s mother has died and he (is called Joe) is on the swings, as usual in these kind of scenes the father does not really notice the son. Four months later he is with his friends trying to make a movie and they get a girl involved called Alice. When filming the scene at a train station a train de-rails and the children run for cover. They search the wreckage while a camera the boys have films the whole event. Joe sees a door fly off the train as if somebody was inside. They find lots of plastic Rubik’s Cubes and Joe takes one. Then a man who was driving the truck which caused the train to de-rail threatens the children to keep quiet about it. They run away as the army arrive.

The children talk more about the film they are making and only Joe wants to talk about the crash. A bit of a relationship begins to grow between Joe and Alice. Meanwhile several odd events begin to happen including dogs running away, car engines being stolen and people disappearing. While all this is going on the army is removing stuff from the crashed train and putting it in boxes, the local police deputy (Joe’s Father) tries to find out what’s going on while trying to look after his son.

Alice’s drunk father then gets really mad at her and she runs away, he chases after her and crashes, he then notices a creature kidnap Alice. The army lock the deputy away when he starts asking questions and plan an operation to get rid of the evidence by starting a forest fire nearby and evacuating the town. Joe finds out that the creature took Alice so he and his friends go back into the town to get information from a science teacher who was the one who crashed the train. He formerly worked for the army as a biologist who was working with a department when a UFO crashed on the planet. The creature only wanted to rebuild his ship but the Americans (once again) wanted to use the technology for other purposes and said no and kept the creature prisoner. The scientist made a telepathic bond with the creature and found out it wanted to go home. So he crashes the train to release the creature.

The army then find the children and take them to the evacuation zone. The Deputy escapes from the army and then finds Alice’s dad and they go searching for their children. On the way to the evacuation zone the bus carrying the boys is attacked by the creature and the boys manage to escape. They then go into town when problems happen all over the place when military equipment starts going off for no apparent reason. Joe and one of his friends find the creature underground and Alice, they also discover that the creature eats people. Joe’s friend distracts the creature while Joe rescues Alice. They try to escape but the creature catches them and grabs Joe. At that moment Joe talks to the creature and the creature understands him and Joe understand the creature. The creature lets them go and returns to finish his spaceship. Joe and Alice see metallic objects begin to attach to the Water tower. The Deputy and Alice’s Father find their children and hug them. They then watch as the Water Tower becomes the spaceship and then flies off into the night as Joe and Alice watch.

Super 8 is hard to describe in easy form because there are many different ways to explain it. It is a combination of Alien film, Disaster, Action, Love and Monster movie. The effects were very good with many things looking both odd and amazing. The train crash scene is amazing with bits flying all over the place and huge explosions, think of it like if it was Unstoppable but the train crashed.

The creature is one really clever piece of effects. The idea is that you see the creature but not very clearly. So it does not spoil the creature early on, it’s not until the last few scenes you actually see the creature clearly. There are also good effects from something I call dark lighting. Lighting which is so dark it’s hard to see anything and this helps the night scenes but also when you see something behind the characters but it is so blurry you still can’t clearly see it and it brings mystery to it and guess-work at wondering what the creature looks like, I like that. Not to spoil the story or anything but I do think the creature does have a Cloverfield look about it, it looks like the Cloverfield monster in a way but it’s hard to see a good clear image of the monster in Cloverfield so you may have trouble with that.

It was good to see it in 2D; there was no need for 3D with this film because you felt the fear and terror the film was portraying (I remember I was shivering at one point). 3D probably would not have helped in anyway; a 4D film might with shaking chairs and stuff (there is a 4D cinema at Blackpool Pleasure Beach) but watch it in 2D because it is amazing to see in 2D and is also cheaper to watch as well. Is there a 3D version of Super 8 at all?

With an excellent range of characters and a Mysterious Creature Super 8 is an incredibly enjoyable film. If you are a fan of Sci-Fi you will enjoy this but more than likely anyone who wants to watch an enjoyable film will enjoy Super 8. Super 8 has an E.T. feel about it but has other cinema experiences to it than E.T. does (like train crashes and Monsters). Super 8 is a good film to add to J. J. Abrams catalogue and is one of my favourite films this year. It currently stands at joint second with THOR. Super 8 is an amazing piece of story and imagination and is not only one of the Summers Best Films but one of the Best films in 2011.

Next week there is a bonus film review relating to Super 8. So it is probably a good idea to watch Super 8 if you have not seen it already.


Hold That Camera Still: Cloverfield

22 06 2011

New York City – Why does it always get attacked by Giant Monsters? In the past it has been attacked by 3 Giant Apes (all of them called King Kong), 2 Giant Lizards and several other Monsters. In these days of Personal Cameras people can always find a way of documenting their life, including Giant Monster attacks. It would have been difficult during the original Ape attack to film a Monster attacking the city; cameras today are a lot more advanced and smaller than what they were back then. However these days we can all film a monster attacking our own city with our own personal cameras, just like some people did when another Giant Monster attacked New York in 2008.

Cloverfield is a clever film, the film is told through a video camera, it is about how a few friends try to survive something happening in the city. Instead of being shown in the traditional way it is shown in a completely different and unique way.

The film was created by TV Mastermind J. J. Abrams who through his Production Company Bad Robot Productions has created many TV hits like Alias, Fringe and Lost. He has also made many films including the recent Star Trek film and the upcoming Super 8. J. J. Abrams came up with the Idea for Cloverfield while he was in Japan and saw all the Godzilla Toys and came up with the idea that America should have their own Giant Monster. “We saw all these Godzilla toys, and I thought, we need our own American monster, and not like King Kong. I love King Kong. King Kong is adorable. And Godzilla is a charming monster. We love Godzilla. But I wanted something that was just insane, and intense.” Another inspiration for the film was the poster for Escape From New York, You’ll see why later. The film also contains quick flash scenes from the Monster Movies
King Kong, Them! and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.

The film starts out with a piece of footage found by the US Government in the area formerly known as Central Park. There are two People who are in a flat, one of them is filming the other with a camera, his name is Rob Hawkins (Michael Stahl-David) and he is filming his Girl Friend Beth (Odette Yustman). They talk about going out for the day (you will notice that throughout the film the camera displays the date and time). The next scene shows something about a month later as a man called Jason Hawkins (Mike Vogel) is with his Girl Friend Lily (Jessica Lucas) and they are getting ready for a party. Rob is about to leave for Japan and is having a Going Away Party (the film goes back and forth from the original date to the day the film takes place, the 2 events were on the same tape). Jason gets his friend Hud (T. J. Miller) to tape people’s good luck wishes for Rob. Hud also has a crush on a girl that has come to the party called Marlena (Lizzy Caplan). There are several things happening at the party including some issues with Rob and Beth. Beth leaves and Jason and Hud go to talk to him, all of a sudden there is a quick earthquake and a blackout. They go back inside and see a news report of an oil tanker capsizing. They go to the roof to see if they can see anything, they notice a Large Explosion and evacuate the building, they then see the Head of the statue of liberty get thrown across the street and land near them. They then run to a shop as a building nearby collapses causing lots of dust. There are also talks of something moving. As the immediate danger passes they all argue about seeing something and decide to cross the Brooklyn Bridge to safety. As they cross over a Giant tail crashes on the bridge and destroys the bridge killing Jason and several others. Lily, Rob, Hud and Marlena run back to Manhattan.

Rob gets a message from Beth and loots around in a shop for a phone battery, there is also several news reports of the thing in New York including video footage of it and things falling off it. It is also not far from the shop. Rob decides to try and find Beth with Marlena, Lily and Hud going along with him. They eventually run into the creature just as it is about to be attacked by several soldiers and a Tank. They all manage to dodge to explosions around them and run into a subway station. They eventually decide to walk through the tunnels to the apartment, as they go through the tunnel they are attacked by strange creatures and manage to hide in a room between stations, however Marlena has a giant bite mark on her shoulder. They manage to open another door into a shopping mall and are found by some soldiers who take them to their base. Marlena gets really dizzy and is surrounded by doctors and taken to a room where her body appears to explode. Rob still decides to go look for Beth as lily and Hud go with him. They get to the apartment complex and see it has fallen onto another building. They manage to get to her room and get out her out of there. They manage to get to a helicopter evacuation zone and lily manages to get away while the others go in a second helicopter.

During the flight they see the army attacking the creature and manage to hit it, the creature then attacks the helicopter and it crashes in Central Park. They all wake up (except for the Helicopter Pilots) and try to escape; The Monster arrives and looks at the camera for a few seconds before eating Hud. Rob and Beth hide under a bridge and talk to the camera for a few seconds before sirens start. The army then initiates The Hammer Down Protocol.

Cloverfield is an amazing film and is as good as some of the best Monster Movies. It is better than the 1998 (RUBBISH AMERICAN) Godzilla film but is not as good as some of the films in the Japanese Series. However it is hard to decide which is better between Cloverfield and The Host. The Cloverfield Monster is Gigantic where as the Host is a lot smaller but The host is slightly easier to understand than Cloverfield due to the fact that the host is filmed in the traditional way. The film also does not have a scientist coming in explaining where the creature came from, making you think more and more and still not knowing the answers.

The cast is made up of some brilliant characters but they are not as good as The Monster. Marlena and Jason are both very good characters and it is a shame that don’t last throughout the whole film.

Even though the film came out in 2008 there is still hope for a potential sequel. The director of Cloverfield Matt Reeves recently stated “Getting the right idea together has been taking a long time. You are going to see it – we just don’t know when [laughs]. At the moment we are talking about the story quite a lot. Drew Goddard, who wrote the original, is going to pen the sequel and JJ Abrams is very much involved. However, the three of us have been so busy that getting the right idea together has been taking a long time”. I want there to be a sequel. Cloverfield has got people thinking about Giant Monster Movies again and in my opinion the film that is kick starting the new age of Monster Movies.

Cloverfield is a unique film with several great ideas and a Monster. With so many different themes in cinema these days it is still good to see that Monster Movies are still one of the Top Themes in cinema. I love Monster Movies, they are the Best films in the world and Cloverfield is one of the Best (Not The Best, That’s Next Week). Cloverfield is a very enjoyable film and even though you may not like Monster Movies as much as me you may still enjoy Cloverfield. It is not only a Monster Movie it is also a Monster of a Movie.


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