Wednesday, 31 December 2014

My Most Anticipated Films Of 2015

Here we go, another year of great films. 2015 is going to be massive! Here are my most anticipated films of 2015:
10. Spectre (November)
I always love a good Bond film, and after the brilliant Skyfall, I can only expect the follow up to be even better. Obviously Sony had a pretty rough year in 2014 so I reckon they will be hoping to make this one as good as possible! Now, there has been a lot of negativity surrounding a leaked script for Spectre, but I imagine that this will just be great motivation for whoever is doing the rewrites to prove everyone wrong. Plus Christoph Waltz was born to play a Bond villain. Bring it on 007! 
9. Jurassic World (June)
The trailer came out to mixed reactions but I have faith that director Colin Trevorrow will do the latest instalment in the franchise justice. His previous film Safety Not Guaranteed was amazing and if he brings that kind of heart to a big blockbuster film then he will be in for a win. Also, I want to see Chris Pratt in more things, he was awesome in Guardians Of The Galaxy. I can't wait to see the Park open and back on the big screen!
8. The Good Dinosaur (November)
Pixar took a break in 2014 and they were definitely missed, so I look forward to their next project. This is the second of two films they have coming out next year and they are both original pieces! The studio is at their best when making new original stories rather than sequels and prequels. I hope The Good Dinosaur brings out the best in Pixar, their other film, Inside Out, looks and sounds great but I really like the premise of this one: 'Arlo, a 70-foot tall teenage Apatosaurus, befriends a young human boy named Spot.'
7. Midnight Special (November)
Jeff Nichols has proven himself to be one of the best directors around at the moment with Take Shelter and Mud. For that reason alone I cannot wait to see what he comes up with next. His new film follows a father and son on the run, after the dad learns his child possesses special powers. With Micheal Shannon attached, this is one is not to be missed.
6. Ant-Man (July)
The second of Marvel's two films for 2015 is Ant-Man. A troubled production may have cast a cloud over this one but I'm sure it will turn out great. Although I would have loved to have seen Edgar Wright's version of this film, I will still be turning up on day one to see if Marvel have produced another gem with Peyton Reed at the helm. Guardians Of The Galaxy proved that they could take any source material and turn it into gold and I hope that they do the same here with the relatively unknown Ant-Man.
5. The Hateful Eight (TBD)
It's always a great year when a new Quentin Tarantino film comes out. The Hateful Eight may have been in and out of development after script leaks but now it will finally be made, and I cannot wait to see what Tarnatino does with this one. His films are always a joy to watch and I imagine this one will not be an exception.
4. Silence (TBD)
Martin Scorsese is my favourite director so I am going to see whatever he makes. His latest is a passion project about two priests in the seventeenth century who travel to Japan to locate their mentor and spread the gospel of Christianity. With two brilliant actors, Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson attached, this will surely be another awesome film added to his list.
3. That's What I'm Talking About (TBD)
For the last two years now, Richard Linklater has topped my favourite films of the year and he may do it again with his 'spiritual sequel' to Dazed And Confused. Not much is known about the film apart that it will follows the lives of college baseball students in the 80's. I have no doubt that Linklater will produce another awesome film, and because of time period it should also feature another one of his epic soundtracks! I for one cannot wait to see this.
2. Avengers: Age Of Ultron (April)
When the first Avengers film came out in 2012 I was over the moon, never did I think I would see these characters on the screen together. Joss Whedon did not disappoint and I have feeling that Avengers: Age Of Ultron will blow the first film out of the water. I cannot wait for this film, the trailer was great and Ultron is even better and more menacing than I expected. I hope this lives up to my expectations.
1. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (December)
I knew this film would be on my list but it wasn't until the awesome teaser trailer appeared that it topped it. When the Millennium Falcon appeared in all it's glory I was taken back to my childhood, watching the films, playing with the action figures and being completely obsessed with the world. From the moment that the trailer ended the excitement started and I only wish the film was coming out earlier, because the anticipation is agonising! This is definitely my most anticipated film of 2015.

2015 is going to be an awesome year for film, there are loads more that I am excited for, not just the ones above. I hope everyone has a great New Year and remember to keep up with my blog to find out what I think about these films when they come out and more!

What are you looking forward to watching? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 28 December 2014

My Top Ten Films Of 2014

So it has been another great year for film. Below are my top ten favourites of 2014, I personally feel that these are all awesome films and everybody should go and check them out. So read, find out my opinion and then go and watch them before the end of the year! Now just a reminder that I am going on US release dates so this also means that films like Birdman and Whiplash (which I cannot wait to see!) won't be out over here in the UK until next month, but I have feeling they may have made it onto my list if the reviews are to be believed! Here are my top ten: 

10. The Lego Movie
The Lego Movie is one of the funniest films this year. I didn't realise going in just how much I would be enjoying myself in the cinema and then subsequently, in the many viewings after within the comfort of my own home. It's just stupidly enjoyable and gives a very good commentary on the monopoly of the media and political world. I wish every family film was made with as much love and care as this. You can read my full review of The Lego Movie here.
9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Marvel have had another great year in 2014, as both their latest films turned out be some of the best they have ever made. Captain America: The Winter Soldier came and put the once laughed at hero on the map as somebody you might want to take notice of, because he kicked some serious ass! Unlike last years two films, The Winter Soldier blended the amount of action and comedy perfectly, creating a solid superhero flick that isn't all just mind numbing action but a political piece as well. Captain America will be your new favourite Avenger! Read my full review here.
8. The Grand Budapest Hotel
I have a love/hate relationship with Wes Anderson sometimes, I don't know whether he is a cinematic genius or just a parody of himself. This film showed his genius. The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of his strongest films and really uses his quirks to the most in order to tell a really great story of a friendship between this year's best comedy duo, Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori. The film is very sweet and incredibly well made and original. You can read my full review here.
7. Cold in July
Cold In July was one of those films I had never heard of before it's release but when I did finally watch it, I loved it! The film twists and turns its way through its ever changing story and it is a great joy to watch when you have no idea what's coming next. It's very stylish and dark with a great cast of characters that come together in the most unlikely of ways. I don't want to say too much about it, just go and watch it, you won't be disappointed! Ready my mini review of it here.
6.Guardians Of The Galaxy
I don't think you could have any more fun watching a film in the cinema this year than Guardians Of The Galaxy. Marvel hit another home run with this unlikely hit that cemented the fact that you could slap Marvel on to anything and it will make money. I'm so glad this did well because it deserved too, it was hilariously funny and featured some awesome actions and visuals along the way. James Gunn, the director was able to make us believe in a talking raccoon and a humanoid tree! He also turned Chris Pratt into the next action film star. This film is awesome and I have seen it multiple times already and I will see it multiple times more! Read my full review here.
 5. Gone Girl
Gone Girl was another entry on David Fincher's list of amazing films. He is definitely one of the best directors around. It also made you wonder why you had only just heard of Rosamund Pike? She stole the show in this adaptation. The film was dark and moody and travelled along it's weird mystery plot at a pace that never left you bored. It stayed close to the books and really translated the material well onto the big screen. Go see it if you haven't because you won't be disappointed. Don't read up on it so you won't be spoiled, unless you want to read the book, because it's just as good. Read my full review here.
4. Interstellar
It seems to be the cool thing at the moment to jump on the bandwagon and dislike this film. I'm not saying that those people are wrong, but I think we are maybe scrutinising this a film a little too much because it's come from Christopher Nolan who is only known for making epic masterpieces. I think Interstellar is another one of his epic masterpieces that is unlike any other film this year. I was truly blown away by its scale and I connected emotionally with most of the characters, making it for me, a really powerful film and story. I really dug it as a sci-fi and Nolan fan. I wish more blockbuster films were made like this. Read my full review here.
3. Frank
One of my most loved films of the year is also the only one I haven't written a review on. That's because I came late to the Frank party and was completely taken by it when I saw it recently. In fact, after I watched it once, I went back and watched it again. It is a really sweet film that makes you fall in love with its characters and heartfelt story about music, fitting in and mental illness. Like I said, I was just really taken back by it and loved every element of it, I even went and bought the soundtrack right after I had finished watching it. Domhnall Gleeson and Michael Fassbender act their socks off and really take you on a great roller coaster ride of a film. Definitely deserving of number three on this list as it truly is one my most loved film of this year. Go watch it!
2. Nightcrawler
At number two is Nightcrawler. It is easily one of the best written films this year and features an awesome performance from Jake Gyllenhaal, who I hope will get a lot of recognition at the Oscars for his disturbing role. This dark, gritty and fast paced thriller will have you on the edge of your seat for the duration of the film. It's the directorial debut of Dan Gilroy and it's one hell of a film to begin with! It feels very relevant with its commentary on the class system and media industry, it's just a treat to watch with it's beautiful cinematography. Not just one of the best films of this year but also one of the best films I have ever seen! Read my full review here.
1. Boyhood
Talking about some of the best films I have ever seen, Boyhood is yet another classic from Richard Linklater and the second time in a row one of his films has topped my best of the year list! Boyhood is not just an ambitious premise but a film that manages to pull it off with such ease that you wonder why it has never been done before? Linklater has really captured the feeling of growing up and the three hour film flies by as you watch actor Ellar Coltrane's life flash before your eyes. By the time it is over you too will feel as if you are sending young Mason to College. There is something for everybody here and it was moving for myself being a similar age to Mason throughout the last 12 years and sharing some of his experiences. It really is a film that will stay with you forever and one that was pretty easy to decide as my favourite film of 2014. You can read my full review of the masterpiece here.

So, that concludes it for my top films this year! Stay tuned for my most anticipated films of next year list that should make it online just before the New Year!

Let me know what were your favourite films of the year in the comments below.

I hope you have all had a great Christmas.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

I'm only going to give you a quick run-through of my thoughts on this film as I haven't had a lot of spare time to write and I am also trying to compile my top ten films of this year and most anticipated of next year lists!

So The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies. If you have kept up with my reviews of these films for the last couple years then you will remember that I enjoyed the first one, and very much disliked the second one. This one is... alright. My expectations were low but I found myself enjoying certain parts of this epic climax. The beginning was very cool and I really liked Smaug but I did feel this segment would have been better at the end of the last film, because when you come out of the cinema the opening is just a kind of an afterthought. The rest of the film has it's moments but is still bogged down by the worst aspects of the prequel trilogy; the overuse of CGI and no main character (or not enough use of Bilbo!). I mean come on, the film is called The Hobbit! And Martin Freeman is awesome, give him more to do in his own film! I did however enjoy the dynamics between Thorin and Bilbo in this film which I feel the last one kind of forgot about. Other actors I liked were Evangeline Lily, though her character was nothing more than a love interest, Lee Pace (did anyone else think it looked like he had pen marks on his face at the end of the battle?), Luke Evans and obviously Ian Mckellen who I believe may actually be Gandalf in real life... Anybody looking forward to seeing Billy Connolly in this film will be disappointed when he turns up as a cluster of pixels.

This film has good moments, a lot of the action is pretty cool looking, but never reaches the awesomeness or realisticness of Helms Deep or Minas Tirith. I'm very happy The Lord Of The Rings got made when it did, because Peter Jackson has definitely had a case of the George Lucas flu whilst making these prequels! The finale is epic in scale and Peter Jackson closes his trilogy a lot smoother than The Return Of The King. I wasn't left disappointed by this Hobbit film. The films won't hold up well over time but at least we'll still have The Lord Of The Rings to satisfy all our Middle Earth needs. I know this all sounds like negative points but I did enjoy the film I swear! It just wasn't anything special, that's all. It had the pressure of The Lord Of The Rings on it's back and was being adapted from a 300 page kids book, stretched into three really long films...

Look, I liked it, didn't love it, but it'll do. I am giving The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies a rating of 3/5.

What did you think of the final Hobbit film? Are you happy it's over or have you been left wanting more adventures in Middle Earth? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Come back soon for my review of the year and what I am most looking forward to in 2015!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

My Top 10 TV Shows Of 2014

Usually I do a review of the year near the end of December, that has my top 10 films and top 5 TV shows. This year I have decided to do it differently because there has been a lot of good TV I wanted to talk about! So my top 10 films will come later this month, as there are still a few films left to come out. Here are my top 10 shows of 2014:

10. Boardwalk Empire Season 5
Boardwalk Empire has been one of the best shows on TV for the last 5 years. I started watching it from day one and have not been disappointed since. It's had ups and downs every season but thankfully the final season was overall very good. I do feel the finale lacked slightly and cast a shadow over the season but it will still go down as one of the best crime shows ever to be made. 
9. Arrow Season 3
There have been a lot of comic book TV shows this year but Arrow still tops the lot of them. After a stellar second season, the show proved that it was more than just good looks and decent action. Although I don't believe the third season has started as strong as the second it is still pulling its punches and keeping me entertained week after week. I've grown to love all the characters and I can't wait to see what's in store for the rest of the season, especially after it's insane mid-season finale!
8. The Strain Season 1
For me The Strain was the biggest surprise of this list. I never intended on watching this show but one night I sat down and started it. I was not disappointed. The cast is great and the story is gripping. These vampires are real ones and proper scary! It has been a great first season and I cannot wait to see what the show has got in store for it's second.
7. True Detective Season 1
I was really looking forward to True Detective and although it was an incredible piece of drama, it did take a few episodes for me to get into. I may not have loved it as much as some critics claimed too but overall it was an amazing philosophical story. That tracking shot at the end of episode 4 (I think) was also one of the greatest pieces of camera work I have ever seen! It will be interesting to see what the writer does for a follow up.
6. The Leftovers Season 1
The Leftovers has seemed to become one of those shows that you either love of hate. I binge watched it over a weekend and I loved it! I wasn't one hundred percent sure what the show was about but was really surprised and happy to see them jump ahead after such a big supernatural event and look at how the world was affected by it. It was a brilliantly made and a very good looking TV show, I cannot wait to see the story evolve.
5. Homeland Season 4
I've been watching Homeland since day one but never loved it as much as other audience members have, in fact I have almost quit watching it a few times. This season however has really surprised me because I have absolutely loved it! They have done a complete revamp of the show and it now moves at faster pace with big exciting things happening every episode. It feels to me more like a TV version of the Bourne films. Carrie still isn't a very likable character but there has not been a TV show this year that has had me quite as gripped. 
4. Orange Is The New Black Season 2
I loved the first season of Orange Is The New Black and was really looking forward to the second one. Thankfully it did not disappoint and in fact I would say it improved on the first one! I actually like Piper now and there were characters from season one that disliked and now like and characters I liked and now hate. There has been some great writing on the show and some great moments which have been very powerful. Netflix is proving to be one of the best providers of original television, who would have guessed? Bring on season three!
3. House Of Cards Season 2
Yet again another Netflix TV show that improved on it's first season and provided some of the best television this year. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are incredible in their roles and every season the dynamics have changed and I can't wait knowing that season three is going to be even bigger and better than the last. The final moment of the season had me cheering at the TV for more. Such an awesome show!
2. Fargo Season 1
I made sure to watch the film just before starting the show, after doing so I loved how much the series captured the spirit of the original. I think in the end that the show may have even been better than the brilliant film. Martin Freeman showed that he was a very capable actor and the show even put Billy Bob Thornton back on the radar. Such a great and gripping show which had me obsessed from episode one.
1. Game Of Thrones Season 4
After the departure of Breaking Bad last year it was only obvious that Game Of Thrones was going to take it's place as the best show on TV. The world and the characters are so diverse and complex that every episode delivered with a big bang or an important piece of information that changed the dynamic of the war for the Iron Throne. I think the show has really found its legs now and is carrying on with some of the best writing, acting and cinematography not only in the world of TV but in the world of film as well. TV doesn't get better than this! Expect to see this show in the top spot of my list next year as well (I hope!).

Well that concludes my top ten shows of this year. I want to add that shows such as Halt And Catch Fire and The Newsroom were also very close into making it on the list. 

See you soon for my top ten films of the year.

What were your favourite shows of 2014? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!