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BRIEF THOUGHTS: Oscars 2017 Results

Howdy people of the world, today is the day after the Oscars and like previous years I’m gonna share my thoughts on it.

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Now for the last few years I have made a habit of watching the Oscars because as a film fan I naturally gravitate towards award shows especially one as notable as the Annual Academy Awards. But in recent years it has become apparent that a lot of film fans aren’t as invested in the award show or films/people that get nominated whether its down to generic/obvious Oscar bait films or the voters of the academy being too being blind too old or unaware of specific smaller films that deserve attention. Whatever the case is, there’s a been a decrease in the care relating to this award show from what I’ve noticed online. With all that being said, I was in two minds about watching the Oscars, on one hand I’ve been doing it for years so it felt right to continue, but on the other hand I just wasn’t feeling too good after work to try and stay up. In the end I attempted to start watching, but gave up and watched some anime and YouTube stuff instead. I kept up to date with some of the early winners and then fell asleep around 3am.

So unlike previous years I can’t talk about the show as a whole or know how well Jimmy Kimmel did as a host, but what I will do is talk about some of the wins for this year that stood out to me. So here we go:

  • Mahershala Ali Winning Best Supporting Actor: Of the people who were nominated for awards of the night, this was not only the one that I saw but also the one that I wast he most happy with. While I haven’t seen Moonlight, I’ve seen the strength of Ali’s acting talents elsewhere and when you take into account Moonlight in addition to Luke Cage and Hidden Figures, the guy had one hell of a year. He’s been around, has done great work and I’m glad he’s being recognised for it. His speech was beautiful and just like his interviews, he’s as humble and cool as ever.
  • Zootopia Winning Best Animated Feature: This was something I expected but the same time didn’t. With two Disney films nominated in the same category I knew the outcome would probably come down to these two films, and while I enjoyed Moana a lot, Zootopia was different and was unexpected so I’m happy for its win. However, I REALLY wanted Kubo and the Two Strings to get it, I really loved that film and it would have been great for Laika to get a win for their incredible work.
  • Jungle Book Wins Visual Effects: This was almost a given considering how masterfully that film was put together, though I thought it would be tough considering what Deepwater Horizon and Rogue One. But I am happy for the filmmakers, Jungle Book was a technical masterpiece and it deserves the win.
  • La La Land and it’s awards: Now for me, La La Land was a really fun time in the cinema, but not this amazing masterpiece that some have made it out to be. So while some of the awards I can understand, some of them I’m not too sure about. Firstly when it comes to Best Cinematography and Best Production Design I can get down with those awards because La La Land was shot so well and some of the set design was really great too. And with Best Original Score and Best Original Song anyone had seen the film knew that this film would clean up, I do like “City of Stars” so I’m happy for that win, but if “You’re Welcome” from Moana had been nominated I would have loved that instead. And there’s Damien Chazelle who I thought a great job with this film so I’m okay with Best Director and with Best Leading Actress I’m happy for Emma Stone, she did really well in the film, however, I unfortunately haven’t seen any of the other leading actress film besides Emma Stone so I’m happy for her win also,

Now I can’t really comment on many of the other departments because I’m not all that interested or haven’t seen the films myself, at this point Moonlight, Fences, Manchester By the Sea, Loving, Hacksaw Ridge and Lion are still on the watch list, so I’ve still got research to do.

The full list of winners can be found here:

Best Picture

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hidden Figures
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Manchester By The Sea
  • Moonlight (winner)

Best Director

  • Denis Villeneuve – Arrival
  • Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge
  • Damien Chazelle – La La Land (winner)
  • Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester By The Sea
  • Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  • Casey Affleck – Manchester By The Sea (winner)
  • Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
  • Ryan Gosling – La La Land
  • Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
  • Denzel Washington – Fences

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • Isabelle Huppert – Elle
  • Ruth Negga – Loving
  • Natalie Portman – Jackie
  • Emma Stone – La La Land (winner)
  • Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Supporting Actor

  • Mahershala Ali – Moonlight (winner)
  • Jeff Bridges – Hell Or High Water
  • Lucas Hedges – Manchester By The Sea
  • Dev Patel – Lion
  • Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress

  • Viola Davis – Fences (winner)
  • Naomie Harris – Moonlight
  • Nicole Kidman – Lion
  • Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
  • Michelle Williams – Manchester By The Sea

Best Original Screenplay

  • Hell or High Water
  • La La Land
  • The Lobster
  • Manchester By The Sea (winner)
  • 20th Century Women

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hidden Figures
  • Lion
  • Moonlight (winner)

Best Film Editing

  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge (winner)
  • Hell or High Water
  • La La Land
  • Moonlight

Best Foreign Language Film

  • A Man Called Ove – Sweden
  • Land Of Mine – Denmark
  • The Salesman – Iran
  • Tanna – Australia
  • Toni Erdmann – Germany

Best Animated Feature

  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Moana
  • My Life As A Zucchini
  • The Red Turtle
  • Zootopia (winner)

Best Cinematography

  • Arrival
  • La La Land (winner)
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
  • Silence

Best Production Design

  • Arrival
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Hail, Caesar!
  • La La Land (winner)
  • Passengers

Best Visual Effects

  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Doctor Strange
  • The Jungle Book (winner)
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Make-Up and Hairstyling

  • A Man Called Ove
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • Suicide Squad (winner)

Best Sound Mixing

  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge (winner)
  • La La Land
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Best Sound Editing

  • Arrival (winner)
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • La La Land
  • Sully

Best Costume Design

  • Allied
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (winner)
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Jackie
  • La La Land

Best Original Score

  • Jackie
  • La La Land (winner)
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
  • Passengers

Best Original Song

  • La La Land – Audition
  • La La Land – City of Stars (winner)
  • Moana – How Far I’ll Go
  • Jim: The James Foley Story – The Empty Chair
  • Trolls – Can’t Stop the Feeling

Best Documentary Feature

  • Fire At Sea
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • Life, Animated
  • O.J: Made in America (winner)
  • 13th

Best Documentary Short

  • Extremis
  • 4.1 Miles
  • Joe’s Violin
  • Watani: My Homeland
  • The White Helmets (winner)

Best Live-Action Short

  • Ennemis Intérieurs
  • La Femme et le TGV
  • Silent Nights
  • Sing (winner)
  • Timecode
Best Animated Short
  • Blind Vaysha
  • Borrowed Time
  • Pear Cider and Cigarettes
  • Pearl
  • Piper (winner)

In conclusion the 2017 Oscars wins were partly expected but also not as satisfying as previous years bar a few specific films.

So what do you think of this year’s Oscars? Did these films deserve to win or not? If you watched it this year did it live up to your expectations or were you disappointed? Leave your comments below and I’ll catch ya later. 😀

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Posted by on February 27, 2017 in Films, Media

 

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QUICK REVIEW: The Jungle Book (2016)

Howdy people, FINALLY after being stuck at work for the last week I’m back to my blog to write some stuff, yay! 😛 Anyway everyone has gone on about how great The Jungle Book is, but I haven’t, mainly because I hadn’t seen it…  Until yesterday. Now that I’ve seen it I can gush about how great it is too because the film is awesome and I’ll tell you why in this review. 🙂

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Straight to the point, Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book, much like last year’s Cinderella is an updated version of the classic animated film. So if you’re familiar with the story of the original then this is almost beat-for-beat exactly the same as you remember, however, there have been a good few alterations/modifications to compensate for the transition into live-action but also for the changes in the story. What I really appreciated was how the writers took the foundation of the original film, but modified it so that the story got a little darker, layered and had a greater sense of scale, realism and threat which not only encompassed Mowgli but everyone else in the jungle as well. There was a lovely sense of cohesion and community, and I several of the updates to the story really improve the overall experience much more than the original.

I really liked the cast as well starting with Neel Sethi who was great as Mowgli, for a child actor who essentially had to ask like he was surrounded by talking animals he did a bloody good job. I actually LOVED Mowgli in this film. In the original he was such a whiny little brat who had one or two moments of being likeable, but overall wasn’t one of Disney’s better protagonists, but here he’s young, brash and a little hard-headed, but he’s also resourceful, charming and applies logic to a lot of his situations. As for the voice cast they were awesome across the board. Bill Murray was delightful as Baloo, you can tell that Murray was just having a good time with this material and much of his dialogue felt very much like him more so than Baloo, but for me that was a good thing. Ben Kingsley was spot on as Bagheera, Kingsley was able to be strict, relaxed and hilarious without trying too hard was impressive. Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha had a fierce yet calm and caring demeanour, while Scarlett Johansson was creepy, mysterious and a seductive as Kaa, Giancarlo Esposito brought the right levels of confidence and sincerity to Akela and Christopher Walken as King Louie was simply delightful with Walken really adding something special to all of the scenes he was in whether he was lighthearted or aggressive. But as much as I loved the other voice actors it is Idris Elba who stole the show as Shere Khan. Elba just has one of the best voices ever especially for villainous roles and he commits 100% so when he makes threats or shouts you fear him and I loved it!

Oh and let’s talk about that presentation. Do I even have to say it? It was amazing. Visually the film was fantastic, from the time the film opens with the Disney logo you are treated to a visual treat for the eyes with some of the most impression CGI to date. The fact that like 90% maybe 95% of the film was made up of visual effects in mental when you consider all of the landscapes, animals, weather effects and so on that had to be done, but was incredibly realistic, sharp and the attention to detail was insane. I also loved the realism applied to the animals, even though they talked, the facial movements were relatable and had great subtle movements with ears or blinking eyes. Though if I can fault the visual effects in any way I found say that there are sequences at night where things got a little too dark, but that’s about it. And I also really liked the film score by John Debney who captured the spirit of the original music with the pieces he included, but also added a sense of drama and tension not found in the original too.

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In conclusion The Jungle Book was just awesome. There was just the right balance of nostalgia and freshness to justify this film’s existence and with it being executed so well I can’t help but be excited for where Disney and their talented filmmakers go next with their live-action material. 🙂

Rating: 8.5/10 (It was almost a 9!)

So have you seen The Jungle Book and if so what did you think of it? And if you’ve seen the original as well which do you prefer? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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My Top 11 Most Anticipated Films of 2016

Howdy people of the internet, time for the penultimate blog post in this series based on upcoming films in 2016 with my top 11 most anticipated films of the year.  If you haven’t already, check out PART 1, 2 & 3 of my 2016 film preview. It’s a little late considering that we’re three weeks into January, but hey its better late than never right? Unlike last year this year’s list won’t be in any particular order.

Triple Nine

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This is a film I’ve been looking forward to for a good while, I just like the concept of the story and the blackmail and corruption involved, plus the choice of actors and actresses is so good and its crazy to see some of these TV and film stars together in one place. I’m really interested in seeing how these actors come together especially when it comes to Norman Reedus, Aaron Paul, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Anthony Mackie.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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I believe my hype for this film has dropped a good deal since the release of the second trailer, but my hype for the film isn’t dead. For me what I like about this film so far is the initial tension between Bruce and Clark, the differences in their ideals, their main confrontation and the amount of chaotic action that ensues. But I am concerned about Lex Luthor, what will happen after the Batman and Superman beef is over with the Doomsday Troll monster and how this film will introduce Wonder Woman and the other Justice League members, but here’s hoping it’ll work out and be badass.

Deadpool

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When it comes to Deadpool I am a massive fan of the character and his insane backstory, self-aware humour, violent and crazy personality. And for the longest time I’ve wanted to see a proper live-action version of this character and the trailers so far seem to be delivering all of the action, humour and violence that the character’s been known for. That being said I am concerned for the humour and the sexual references and I hope that the film will have better humour than most adult comedies.

Free State of Jones

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Since I saw the trailer for this I’ve been very intrigued, not only does the subject matter make for an interesting tale in film, but I’m also very curious to see what the cast do with this material and whether it’ll be as dramatic and emotionally engaging as I hope it’ll be.

The Jungle Book

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This film just has me full of curiosity and fascination, having a live-action/CGI hybrid adaptation of The Jungle Book is bizarre to me, but seeing the trailers leads me to believe that it’ll be cinematic experience worth seeing in the opening weekend. So far I’m liking the incredible visuals and the impressive voice cast as well, I can only hope that this film will be just as, if not more successful than Cinderella.

Suicide Squad

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I’ve already said how much I’m looking forward to this film, but for the sake of this post I’ll mention it again, I am really looking forward to this. The concept of getting some villains and forcing them to work together on a dangerous mission that could involve death has my interest. But more so than that I want to see if David Ayer can make these characters work because if so then the possibilities for future DC films are endless.

The Girl on the Train

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I haven’t even seen a trailer for this film, but the story and cast members Emily Blunt and Rebecca Ferguson has my attention so that I don’t need any more of a reason to watch this. I can only hope the subsequent trailers and eventual film will be worth the wait.

Star Wars: Rogue One

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Also known as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (still is a horrible name) is the next Star Wars film, it’s a spin-off/prequel and there’s a lot of hype and speculation behind this from fans and critics. Since it’s set before A New Hope I’m curious to see what kind of stakes the heroes will take on and there are questions to ask like: 1) Who will survive? 2) What original characters will make cameos? 3) Will Darth Vader make an appearance? 4) Will there be any tie-ins to Episodes VII, VIII and IX? Regardless of the answers I’m curious to see what Gareth Edwards does with this film and what Donnie Yen will do in the film as well.

Doctor Strange

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So Doctor Strange, ah man, I have so much hype for this film its mad. Marvel Studios have taken a good deal of risks over the years with Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy and recently with Ant-Man, and each of those films have introduced some new and creative elements to not only the MCU, but also to superhero films in general and I believe this film won’t be any different. Doctor strange is one of the most interesting character with his characters, backstory and mythos relating to the villains, different realms and magical abilities. I want to see how the supernatural elements get incorporated into the MCU and if this film is good then I’m gonna freak out yo!

Bourne 5

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It’s the return of the Bourne series, with Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass, what’s not to like? I know I never wanted a sequel to Ultimatum, but hell if Greengrass and Damon have a relevant story that they feel like telling that would further this franchise want to see it.

Captain America: Civil War

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And of course I had to have Civil War on this list. 🙂 The MCU has been forming nicely over the years and while not all of the films have been hits, the Captain America series so far has done well especially with Winter Soldier and Civil War may be the best entry in the trilogy. This film looks to change the way the heroes function in the world with superhero accountability from the government and pitting Cap against Iron Man for a superhero royal rumble. With friends on opposing sides, new heroes like Black Panther and Spider-Man showing up and a tone similar to Winter Solider, I believe that this will be the ultimate Marvel sequel. Now I got overly hyped about Age of Ultron, so I’m learning to manage my expectations, but I believe the Russo brothers and Marvel Studios have gotten this one right though.

So that’s my top 11 list done, hope you enjoyed my choices. So what are your most anticipated films of 2016 and are any of your entires on my list? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see you on the next post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2016 in Films, Media

 

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Films To Look Out For In 2016 Part 2

Howdy people of the interweb and welcome to Films to look out for in 2016! This is my preview of upcoming films that I believe deserve your attention. In PART 1 I covered films from January to March, and in this post I’ll be covering April to July.

Now before we begin I have two main things I need yo point out:

  1. Obviously a lot films come out, so if they’re not on my list it’s either because I don’t know about them or I don’t care…
  2. 2015 films getting their UK releases this year don’t count! So there. 😛

Okay then, let’s start 😀

Elvis & Nixon

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Release Date: April 15th (USA), April 29th (UK)

Trailer:

I only found out about this film around a month or so ago, but after reading about it and seeing this trailer I’m very intrigued to see more. This whole story sounds absurd and it is made even stranger by the fact that Kevin Spacey and Michael Shannon are playing Nixon and Elvis, but I love those actors and want to see more of this madness when it’s eventually released.

The Jungle Book

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Release Date: April 15th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

So here we are again with another live-action adaptation of Disney classic animated film, but I’m down for this one. So far not all of these adaptations have worked (Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent come to mind) however, last year’s Cinderella was the first film to really demonstrate how a live-action adaptation could be done in new ways while preserving the original material. And now I’m very interested in seeing what Jon Favreau does with this version of Jungle Book because it’s live-action, but only has one human character, the rest are CGI talking animals and I want to see how this turns out. The voice talent is impressive and this film looks a lot more dramatic and action-heavy than the old cartoon and from a visual standpoint the film looks damn good and I can’t to see how it turns out in the cinema.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War

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Release Date: April 22nd (USA), April 8th (UK)

Trailer:

I didn’t mind Snow White and the Huntsman, but it wasn’t that memorable beside Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron as the Huntsman and the Queen. So I guess they removed the weakest element from the picture (Kristen Stewart as Snow White) and decided to focus on a new story and it actually looks better than I expected. Adding Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain to the mix is never bad thing and while it could end up being an average film with standard plot elements and decent action sequences, I’m still curious.

Captain America: Civil War

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Release Date: May 6th (USA), April 29th (UK)

Trailer:

Ah man, this film, this film has me all giddy at the moment, but also has me SO concerned. On one hand you have the Russo brothers returning to direct after their great work on The Winter Soldier, we’re also seeing the introduction of Black Panther and Spider-Man into the MCU, but most importantly we’re seeing Cap go against Iron Man in an adaptation of the popular Civil War comic. My only fears about the film is that it won’t be serious enough, certain characters won’t get enough screen time and there won’t be any major ramifications. However I have faith in the Russos and the trailer makes me believe like this will be the next chapter in the MCU that will affect us fans to the core.

Free State of Jones

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Release Date: April 16th (USA), May 27th (UK)

Trailer:

This film looks really good. I like the story about people banding together and fighting for survival but also for justice and freedom, and this film looks very intense and dramatic in the ways that I like to be engaged when watching films. I only saw the trailer today and now I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Bad Neighbours 2 (Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising)

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Release Date: May 20th (USA), May 6th (UK)

Neighbors (or Bad Neighbours as it was known here in the UK) was a decent comedy and probably one of the few I’ve liked in a while (I’m a hard man to please haha) and while I didn’t need a sequel, at the same time I am curious to see these character reunite for another crazy adventure and see what kind of foolish fun they’ll get up to.

The Nice Guys

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Release Date: May 20th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I have a lot of hope for this film. It is another film from Shane Black, the wonderful man behind the brilliant Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and the divisive Iron Man 3, and I am just liking the sound of the story and the pairing of Russell Crowe with Ryan Gosling, but more so than that is the style of humour, it is so Shane Black it is insane and I love it.

X-Men: Apocalypse

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Release Date: May 27th (USA), May 19th (UK)

Trailer:

X-Men: Apocalypse, man I want to love this film but I’m unsure about it. On one hand I like the fact that we’ll get to see younger incarnations of Jean, Cyclops, Storm and Nightcrawler, and the concept of Apocalypse as the main villain and his powers and history seems so engaging. However, the first trailer didn’t blow me away and I’m concerned about the fact that some of the main characters will be mind-controlled slaves for a good chuck of the film which means that we won’t see them as themselves and that would be unfortunate.

Now You See Me 2

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Release Date: June 10th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

This first film was surprisingly good and I really enjoyed it, and while I didn’t want a sequel I am interested in seeing where things go for the returning characters. The tricks and stunts look crazier, larger in scope and more impossible than before and I can’t wait.

Warcraft

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Release Date: June 10th (USA), June 3rd (UK)

Trailer:

I don’t think many people realise how important this film is, if Warcraft works then it’ll open the floodgates to other video games adaptations in the future. Most video game films have failed both as adaptations and singular films as well due to the lack of care for the source material, but also due to bad writing, direction, visual effects and so on. I hope Duncan Jones has crafted something worth watching, I mean I like a lot of the cast and the visual effects and story seems engaging, however, I’m not sure about the CGI, it looks a little too fake like the Hobbit films but that could probably change closer to the film’s release.

Independence Day: Resurgence

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Release Date: June 24th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I never wanted this sequel, I thought it was a stupid idea, but hell it’s coming and I’m actually interested in this sequel. The trailer was the main thing that sold me on this film, I just like the sense of scope, new technology and destruction that has come with the return of the aliens and I’m down to see Jeff Goldblum again in this franchise.

The BFG

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Release Date: July 1st (USA), July 22nd (UK)

Trailer:

I really enjoyed the animated BFG film as a kid back int school, but I’ve never been entirely in love with it or the orignal book, but I have to say the teaser trailer looks interesting. Whenever something is being done in live-action there is some hesitation, but since Steven Spielberg is behind it I’m gonna give this film a shot.

Star Trek Beyond

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Release Date: July 22nd (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I’ve already make it apparent how I didn’t care for this trailer, but I am still interested in seeing how Star Trek Beyond turns out. This film certainly hast he action side of things down, but I’m very concerned that it will be the only element this film gets right. From the look of things so far there won’t be any of the older/conventional sci-fi elements that Star Trek has been known for and I’m not seeing any deep character-driven moments, but I hope that I’m wrong and that this film can be fun, adventurous, but also dramatic and rooted in the realm of sci-fi.

Bourne 5

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Release Date: July 29th (USA), July 28th (UK)

Ah the return of the Bourne series with Matt Damon, just the concept of this film makes me smile. While I wanted to leave Jason Bourne’s adventures back in 2007 with Ultimatum, after the disappointing adventure with Legacy in 2012, I need my Bourne fix with Damon and Paul Greengrass together again. This film could end up being a mistake, but considering the track record of Greengrass and the story details revealed so far it sound like it’ll be great.

Alrighty then, that’s PART 2 done. Thanks a lot for reading. Are any of the films listed on your personal list of films to watch? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and I’ll see you for PART 3! Laters 😀

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2016 in Films, Media

 

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