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?).





Top 10 Films of 2014 – Part 2

20 03 2015

Film Reel 2014

Continuing on from Part 1; here are my Top 5 Favourite Films of 2014. That’s about all there is to say really. Don’t forget, please feel free to comment, Like, and Rate the post too. Enjoy.

Transformers: Age Of Extinction (Paramount Pictures - 2014)

5. Transformers: Age of Extinction – I absolutely love the Transformers films. Each time a sequel was announced I was so happy and have enjoyed every single one of them. Age of Extinction though is by far the best one to date. Easily the most enjoyable and memorable film in the series to date culminating in a very long film but in my opinion better than the previous 3 put together. The only issue I had with it was that it could have been a bit more violent, but sadly not. A great cast of characters, both human and robotic which includes human stars Stanley Tucci, Mark Wahlberg, Kelsey Grammer and Nicola Peltz. The transformers themselves also featured a great cast which including series regulars Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) and Megatron; now Galvatron (Frank Welker) but also new members including Hound (John Goodman), Drift (Ken Watanabe), Crosshairs (John DiMaggio), Lockdown (Mark Ryan), Stinger and best of all; The Dinobots. One amazing film which instantly jumped up my list after I saw it.

Gone Girl (20th Century Fox - 2014)

4. Gone Girl – When I heard that Gone Girl was coming, I was very interested for one reason more than most; David Fincher was directing it. I had seen the book on shop shelves in train stations for a while now but did not know what it was about. I heard a brief scene on the radio, but then I went to see it. It is a hard film to talk about because in essence, the story involves a really horrible person doing something extremely outlandish to get revenge on the person they married, and in the end getting away with it, forever. It reminds me a lot of a story I heard about the production of the original Alien film, where Ridley Scott wanted the Alien to win by killing Ripley, maybe back then he couldn’t do that, but after the release of Gone Girl; he can now. Gone Girl is an extremely good film and one of the best of 2014, but it’s hard to say that I like it as that statement, just sounds wrong. The film did have some great characters from Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike but top marks (in my opinion) have to go to Carrie Coon for the part of Margo. Brilliantly directed by David Fincher and thoroughly gripping. I don’t think I have been to see a film and heard that much gasping from the audience until I saw Gone Girl.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (Lions Gate - 2014)

3. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1The Hunger Games series continues with the release of Mockingjay Part 1. While I do not fully agree with Hollywood’s part 1 part 2 philosophy of making films as it is mostly just a form of making more money more than anything else; I am however OK with The Hunger Games doing it as it prolongs one of the best film series not just to date but in movie history (at least to me). I was unsure of where the film was going to be split though. Having finally finished the book series back in April I came up with an assumption, and I was right to about 5 minutes. While in essence Part 1 just covers the first half to just before the third part of the book, the film I felt was a lot like the first Hunger Games film. While I still prefer the first two films to this one, the essence and feeling captured in Mockingjay Part 1 reminded me a lot of why I particularly liked the first one and several scenes felt like the first film was being revisited. When it was all over I was singing The Hanging Tree song chorus out of the cinema and all the way home. The films main stars continue to provide excellent characters for the film, plus plenty new characters to enjoy too, but stealing the spot light is still the dynamic duo of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and President Snow (Donald Sutherland). With the scene now setup from another spectacular film, it leaves the stage open and ready for the final act; I’m probably going to cry when it’s all over.

The Raid 2 (XYZ Films - 2014)

2. The Raid 2 – I had heard about The Raid but had not seen it by the time The Raid 2 came out. I went to see 2 at The Dukes in Lancaster and got a huge shock within the first 10 minutes or so which makes it, quite easily; the most violent film I have seen to date. From start to finish it was one huge compilation of fights involving lots of blood, broken limbs and people getting killed in the most brutal of fashions. But the film was another thing as well, it wasn’t just an extremely violent film, it was also FANTASTIC. Really good story telling, terrific fights and spectacular martial arts sequences, brilliant action moments including one amazing car chase taking place inside and outside more than 5 cars and at least one motorbike and on top of that truly terrific characters including series protagonist Rama played by Iko Uwais and especially so to the character of Hammer Girl played by Julie Estelle. Simply Fantastic and Brutal, Awesome.

Godzilla 2014 (Legendary Pictures - 2014)

1. Godzilla – My year in 2014 can be summarised by my excitement and expectancy to one particular film. From the first trailer to opening night, the one thing I was most looking forward too was the New Godzilla, and I wasn’t disappointed one bit. I saw it on the big screen 3 times during its release. Every second was movie gold to me. The film was led by a really good cast including Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Bryan Cranston, Sally Hawkins, Elizabeth Olsen, David Strathairn and (briefly) Juliette Binoche. But the biggest star was of course Godzilla himself. While it does take a while for him to appear on the screen in full force, the film includes little sightings and mentioning’s of him here and there including the terrific opening intro, but while it may take time for him to appear in full view, it makes that first moment in full view all the more special and spectacular. While it has been pointed out that he had little screen time, I feel he had plenty for now, and overall was a great introduction for new audiences. For me though I was more pleased over that it wasn’t just a creature called Godzilla or looked like Godzilla, but that it was Godzilla on-screen, right down to the iconic Atomic Deathray. One absolutely, fantastic film that I consider not just the best film of 2014, but also; one of the best, Godzilla films.

GENEPOOL






Top 10 Most Exciting Films in 2014

22 01 2014

Film Reel 2014

You may remember that last year when writing this post for last years films, I stated (more like implied) that 2013 was going to be rubbish compared to 2014. Well, since then the world has sort of changed a bit. Jurassic Park 4 (Jurassic World) has been pushed back to 2015, but at least it looks like it is finally going to happen at long last and Seventh Son which was due for release last year has now been pushed back to 2015 despite the fact that the trailer has already been released (which means the film is probably finished). When looking at the films due for release this year, I came to the point of realisation that there is only about 10 in total which look exciting (at least to me). While there is the upcoming Divergent which may apply to my interest, I don’t know much about it other than it being based on a book, which I got a mini supplement of when I went to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which I still have to read (the supplement not The Hunger Games: Catching Fire). I am also not planning on watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier or the next Amazing Spider-man film either. Even the bottom two at the time of compiling the list, I was unsure about, however the top 8 films look promising. So while the selection of films due for release is relatively short, the quality of the top lot, looks fantastic and so this could be one of those few years where quality takes over quantity.

Muppets Most Wanted (Walt Disney Pictures - 2014)

10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Muppets Most Wanted – These are the bottom two films I mentioned in the above paragraph. They share this spot due to me being very unsure about them. Firstly, The Muppets. This is the sequel to The Muppets from 2012. Quite a good film all in all and very enjoyable and so when the sequel was announced I was already excited. This all changed though when I found out who was in the film; Ricky Gervais. The problem I have with him being in this film in particular is that I don’t think he can act all that well. My opinion on him being in it has lowered my expectations for the film overall. I did though see a trailer for the film a few weeks ago, and his position in the film is more clear, however, I am still very unsure.

TMNT (Imagi Animation Studios - 2007)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles though sounded promising. My hope was that it was going to be like TMNT back in 2007. Brilliant piece of Animation and a generally fun film. I had hopes of this happening again, then I found on-set pictures; its live action. This has me in a nervous position. Either it could be, and probably will be CGI creatures, which would be a good thing, or if they are suits, it could be a bad thing. My opinion is still split, but who knows, it might work, or it might be the silliest film of the year, but on the bright side of all this, Michael Bay is producing it, and he did do a Great Job with Transformers.

Edge Of Tomorrow (Village Roadshow Pictures - 2014)

9. Edge of Tomorrow – Another film I am also not so sure about, but at the moment appears to have more legs than the above two films. I don’t know much about this other than from what I have read and saw in the trailer. The film stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt and is based on the Japanese Novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka and appears to be set in the not too distant future where Man appears to be at war with some alien race known as Mimics. However, Mr. Cruise is constantly caught in a time loop and keeps returning to battle all the while dying. From my first impressions, it does sound silly, but after watching the trailer, it brought me to think about Battle Los Angeles, and in particular the trailer for it. It got my interest just enough, to be excited about it. While I still don’t know all that much about the film, it does show a little promise, and who knows, it may be a great film after all.

Transcendence (Alcon Entertainment - 2014)

8. Transcendence – The directorial debut of Christopher Nolan‘s long time Cinematographer; Wally Pfister. Not much is yet known about this film other than a basic plot line. Basically Johnny Depp is an Artificial Intelligence researcher who is targeted by technology terrorists but this pushes him in his research, which as he continues makes him want to be a part of it. Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara and Morgan Freeman will also be staring and Christopher Nolan will be producing the film. Pfister is a great Cinematographer, as shown with his work alongside Nolan, but what is he going to be like as a Director. Well, it is more than likely that Nolan will be helping him along the way. Transcendence does look promising on all counts, but it is still a mystery and only time will tell if Pfister will be any good as a Director (especially seeing as I am getting the feeling that this is a sort of Black Sheep of all the films being released this year).

Interstellar (Syncopy - 2014)

7. Interstellar – Christopher Nolan returns with a brand new film starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. Details of the film are being kept under wraps. The basic plot revolves around the opening of a wormhole allowing the human race to travel large distances and explore space. Sounds like a good version of Star Trek. While Details are currently sketchy, the simple fact that Nolan is Directing a new film is enough to get me excited.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (20th Century Fox - 2014)

6. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – After the success of the wonderful Rise of the Planet of the Apes back in 2011, it is nice to see that they are going ahead with this series, and that it has nothing in common with the Tim Burton Planet of the Apes about 13 years ago. Andy Serkis returns as the role of Caesar with a whole new male cast including Gary Oldman and Keri Russell and new Director in the form of Matt Reeves. Eight years have passed by since a deadly virus emerged and Caesar and his race of genetically altered Apes have reached a truce with a band of human survivors, however war is on the horizon to determine the new dominant species. With a great first film in a potentially new series, this film shows a lot of hope, and while it is very different to most of the films being released in 2014, that doesn’t mean it is an outsider in any shape or form, it actually has great potential in becoming one of the hit films of 2014.

Transformers: Age of Extinction (Paramount Pictures - 2014)

5. Transformers: Age of Extinction – I am a big fan of the Transformers series. Since watching the first one in 2007, I have been a loyal fan of the series. While I do prefer Megan Fox’s character over that of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s, to me, the main part of these films are the machines themselves. This time around though, it is a brand new cast (except for Peter Cullen of course), but thankfully not a reboot. It is Mark Wahlberg who takes the centre stage this time around with Michael Bay returning to direct. Not much is known about the plot so far and there is yet to be a trailer, but the title sounds interesting.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (20th Century Fox - 2014)

4. X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Sequel to one of the best Marvel films to date. X-Men Days of Future Past brings together the cast of X-Men: First Class with that of the original X-Men Trilogy plus some new characters to the film series including Bishop (but sadly no sign of Gambit). The film appears to take the point of view in three dimensions, that of the original trilogy, the future and the past. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender return alongside their older counterparts, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen for the parts of Professor X and Magneto. Hugh Jackman and Ellen Page return as Wolverine and Kitty Pryde (sadly Anna Paquin‘s scene has apparently been cut) along with Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. This time The X-Men are facing potential extinction from the human race and must travel back in time to prevent the future from happening. The cast is great and it deals with one of the best known stories in comic books. Days of Future Past, looks to be the best Comic Book film of the year, I am really excited about this one.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Book)

3. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – The series continues as Katniss Everdeen played by the terrific Jennifer Lawrence returns as the unlikely symbol of the suppressed regions of Panem and lead them into battle in the hope of bringing down the Capitol. Alongside Jennifer Lawrence, series regulars Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson return alongside the Legendary Donald Sutherland as well as new cast members including Julianne Moore. While I don’t like the idea of two films being made for the final book for the basis of money, I do like the fact that it is going to be in two parts……….because it prolongs the series. I have yet to read the third book, but the films and books are working in tandem quite well producing a great experience and from what the series has produced so far, I can’t wait for more.

The Host (ShowBox - 2006)

2. The Host 2 – Here we are again. Talk of a sequel to the magnificent 2006 South Korean Monster Movie directed by Bong Joon-ho; The Host (or Gwoemul as it is sometimes known) have been going round since 2007. It is very hard to find information on the sequel, mostly due to a film released in 2013 under the same name but shares no similarities with the far better South Korean film. But on the odd occasion where I am able to find information on the film, the release date for it points to this year. So with some hope, we should finally see the sequel/prequel to one of the best films of the last decade. It is likely of course to be released in South Korea first of course, but with hope there should at least a limited release due to the film’s popularity overseas. While I can’t provide definite information other than the plan for the film to actually happen, I really do hope this film comes out sooner rather than later. If you have not seen the first film, I recommend you do.

Godzilla 2014 (Legendary Pictures - 2014)

1. Godzilla – After long last, the Legendary Pictures Godzilla film is finally going to be released this year. After about 4 years of waiting, when the announcement came that Legendary had been given permission to do it, Godzilla is set to return to the big screen. This film (thankfully) has no relation to the 1998 film and is related to that of the original Japanese Monster. So far details of the plot have yet to be announced but it is stated that Godzilla will be fighting two other monsters and that the Big Lizard himself will look like the original Toho Monster. Just a couple of months ago, the first trailer was released, and it looks Fantastic, only a silhouette of Godzilla can be spotted in it, but it looks like he should. Along side the King of the Monsters, the film stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe and apparently a cameo appearance from Akira Takarada (who appeared in the original film Sixty years ago). Providing that Gareth Edwards brings the film together, Godzilla will no longer have his name tarnished by a film in the late 1990’s, and possibly, a great film to celebrate his 60th Anniversary. 2014 is the year of The King of the Monsters.

GENEPOOL








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