Reasons To Be Excited In 2017

By all accounts, 2016 was a rough year. Fortunately, 2017 promises to be a lot better – or at the very least that’s what people are saying and blind faith is currently preferable to painful realism.

At the very least, in our geeky, little bubble, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about the forthcoming year – so many, in fact, that narrowing it down to 17 was a challenge but that is what has happened. Here are 17 things to get excited about this year.

Wonder Woman (2 June)

This is the first time that I’ve truly been excited for a project by the DCEU and I’m really hoping that they don’t screw it up. Just give us a female hero and let her be as bad-ass as she was originally written to be.

Beauty & The Beast (17 March)

Disney classic, music from my childhood, Emma Watson: what isn’t there to love about this movie? Even Gaston looks good (in a he-seems-to-be-a-more-well-rounded-character kind of way, don’t worry – it looks like he’s still a total bastard).

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Sense8 (5 May)

After the Christmas special at the end of December, I’m absolutely buzzing for this new season. Sense8 is hope and light but it’s also painful and terribly, terribly sad at times. Essentially, it’s the best thing being broadcast at the moment.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (7 July)

Sure, it’s the third reboot of this hero’s franchise but he’s still my favourite and I still can’t wait to see him again.

Cars 3 (14 July)

Never in a million years would I have thought that any member of the Cars franchise would be making it onto a list like this but… never say never. The first teaser trailer got me hooked and now I absolutely have to see it.

Coco (8 December)

I can’t talk about Cars 3 and miss out the other Pixar release for this year. Not a lot of people are talking about Coco at the moment but it’s about the Mexican Day of the Dead and that alone has me very interested. Plus, it’s Pixar – it’s going to be fantastic.

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Orange Is The New Black, Season 5 (June)

The last two episodes of the most recent season of Orange Is The New Black were viewed behind a curtain of tears which is basically the highest praise from me. They ended on a cliffhanger that I couldn’t stop thinking about for days. Dammit, now I’m thinking about it again.

Star Trek: Discovery (May)

I am a part of a new generation of Star Trek fans that jumped onboard after the Pine movies. That huge market is probably one of the main reasons that they decided to launch a new series and I am very grateful for that.

The Oscars (26/2)

Th glitz, the glamour, the terrible jokes: I live for this award ceremony. It’s the one night of the year that I can successfully pull an all-nighter so that I can watch the entire show all the way from England.

Stranger Things (TBC)

I don’t know where they’re going to go from the first season but I am more than happy to find out.

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Justice League (17 November)

My hopes for this movie are slightly lower than those for Wonder Woman but I’m trying to stay optimistic. Most of the characters seem great (with the exception of Batfleck) and if Warner Bros. can get their act together, this could be something amazing.

Hamilton, London (21/11)

I’ve adored this musical for the last year and it is finally coming to London! I won’t be able to afford tickets but at least I’ll be able to walk past the theatre…

Iron Fist (17 March)

Judging by Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, this show is going to be amazing. What’s more, it’s the final piece of the puzzle before we get to…

The Defenders (TBC)

I love what Marvel are doing with their Netflix series and this seems like it’s going to be beyond amazing.

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Star Wars VIII (15 December)

My appreciation for the Star Wars franchise is an even more recent development than my enjoyment of Star Trek. For the first time, I will be waiting with anticipation alongside the other fanboys and fangirls.

Fast & Furious 8 (14 April)

I’m not going to pretend that these movies mean anything more to me than 2 hours of ridiculous stunts and cheesy one-liners but sometimes the world needs crazy stunts and cheesy one-liners.

Logan (2 March)

Is it weird that I feel a little bit scared of this movie? Like I know it’s going to be brilliant but I think that if Logan dies, a little part of my heart may also die.

So those are the 17 things that I am most looking forward to in 2017.

What are you looking forward to? Is there anything on my list that has you pointedly unenthused? Let me know in the comments.

The Circle || Trailer Review

Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, and John Boyega: it was always going to be difficult for me to not like this film.

Based on this trailer, The Circle is about Big Brother and privacy and freedom. It is dealing with huge themes that are becoming more and more relevant in our society every day. More importantly, it looks like it is dealing with these themes in a smart and compelling way. After watching the trailer, I can’t wait to see what happens.

Unlike so many recent trailers, The Circle does not give away the entire plot of the film – a feat that has to be commended when compared to its contemporaries.

This trailer creates a sense of anticipation and urgency but maintains its veil of mystery and that’s why I can’t wait to see more about this film.

What did you think of the trailer? Are you excited about this film? Let me know in the comments.

Alternative Christmas Movies

There are so many Christmas movies on television now and I love that. I am all for a cheesy, heart-warming, festive film but sometimes it gets a little bit too saccharine sweet. If you need to break up some of that unrelenting cheer then I have some films that still feel Christmassy but aren’t what first pops to mind when you hear ‘Christmas movie’.

(1) The Harry Potter Series

Image result for harry potterThe Harry Potter series feels Christmassy. It has been pointed out to me on many occasions that the films span the course of an entire school year so my assessment may have some flaws but I don’t care: Harry Potter is a Christmas thing. Maybe it’s the magic or the over-arching theme of hope… Either way, it’s always a nice thing to watch in December.

(2) Rent

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What do you mean the story about a group of Bohemians suffering from AIDs in New York at the turn of the century isn’t festive? You’re not festive! Besides, Rent is a musical and that adds… infinite Christmas points.

(3) Iron Man 3

Image result for iron man 3Watching Iron Man 3 when it was released in April was surreal. It tried hard to push a Christmas theme, that seemed even more bizarre as a large portion of the film took place in California where it was permanently sunny. Fortunately, we get to re-watch whenever we want and I would suggest now as the perfect time of year.

(4) The Perks of Being A Wallflower

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I won’t lie – this is likely on this list just because I only ever watch it in December but hey, if you feel like crying into your turkey…

What other non-Christmas movies do you watch in December? Let me know in the comments.

Exclusivity in Cinema

I like to complain – you know that. There are a lot of things to complain about in the world: poverty, discrimination, the fact that both geography and my bank balance prevent me from watching Hamilton live in the Richard Rodgers Theatre… In a world of minor inconveniences and major injustices the cinema is a refuge, a place to escape reality.

For the longest time cinema has been the widely preferred alternative to the theatre. As much as I love to see live performances, the theatre is expensive and often poses a barrier in the form of location for many people. I may have never seen Hairspray or Grease performed on stage but thanks to cinema, I have been able to experience those stories.

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However, when I began university last year I moved 200 miles away from my home to a much smaller town and I discovered that a lot of the films that I wanted to watch simply did not show here.

In the last year I distinctly remember my excitement at the lead-up to the releases of The Edge of Seventeen and Everybody Wants Some!! only to find that they would not be shown in this town. It was then that I started to realise that cinema isn’t as accessible to everybody as I had once believed it to be.

No matter how wrong it is, there is a stereotype that exists in which the sort of people that go to the theatre are typically wealthy, middle-class liberals. Similarly, when you hear that somebody loves independent cinema, an idea of who that person is forms in your mind. Cinemas aren’t going to pay to screen a movie if they don’t think that they’ll make money back from it and so, smaller niche films are reserved for bigger cities and specific types of cinemas.

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The little town where I live for the majority of the year is a great place, full of students from a variety of backgrounds and with a range of interests but that variety isn’t reflected in the cinema listings. Of course, I can watch Rogue One: A Star Wars Story or Moana but if I want to watch Snowden or The Birth of a Nation I have to travel for two hours.

I understand that the film industry is an industry: there are big businesses involved and ultimately they’re trying to make a profit but it doesn’t seem right.

Do you think that films should be more widely distributed? Or that there’s no need to do so? Let me know in the comments.

A Beginner’s Guide To Office Christmas Party

Everything you need to know before Office Christmas Party comes out tomorrow.

What is it?
Office Christmas Party is a festive comedy film about – you guessed it – an office Christmas party.

That doesn’t sound very funny.
Yeah… but there’s this growing trend in comedy where boring, middle class people are put into “extreme” situations and in the end they decide that their lives are actually pretty great and they return to them. I’m not saying that that’s what happens here, but I’m guessing it’s pretty close.

What is it actually about?
Officially:

When Zenotek CEO Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston) tries to close the branch of her hard-partying brother Clay (T. J. Miller), he and his Chief Technical Officer must rally their co-workers and host an epic office Christmas party in an effort to impress a potential client and close a sale that will save their jobs.

Not that that doesn’t sound great but are there any other Christmas movies?
There’s this and Bad Santa 2. Take your pick.

Who’s in this movie?
Oooh, the cast is pretty great: Jennifer Aniston, T.J. Miller, Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, and Kate McKinnon are just a few of the huge ensemble cast. It was directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck.

The guys who did The Switch?
Well, yeah but they also did Blades of Glory so this film could go either way.

Finally, is it any good?
The reviews aren’t in yet so I have nothing to base my opinion on except for the trailer. Personally, I think that it could be a fun watch but the trailer is below – see what you think.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 || Trailer Review

I watched this trailer twice before I realised that I have no idea what this movie is about but I don’t even care. I mean, there’s a baby groot – it doesn’t get more adorable than that.

With that said I think that it’s pretty safe to assume that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is going to involve the team saving the galaxy in some way or another. The first film was an underdog because it was so very out there and when it turned out to be amazing, it was a shock to most people. This one has a lot more pressure on it.

Whilst the trailer doesn’t say much about the plot of the movie, it promises that this film will be at least as funny as the last and twice as cute (thanks to one baby groot). Hopefully it also has a great story that isn’t just there to pull the Guardians closer to the rest of the MCU in preparation for the next Avengers movie.

How many times have you watched the trailer? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.

Moana || Review

10/10

Moana packed a much bigger emotional whallop than I ever imagined it would when I walked into the cinema. There were not twenty consecutive minutes that went by in which I wasn’t crying at some point. That’s not to say that this is a sad movie: it’s simply a powerful movie. Joy, loss, adventure, sorrow – every feeling that is expressed feels concentrated and heightened.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson plays the demi-god, Maui, and with that kind of star-power you might just expect him to be the biggest draw in the film. Whilst his famous charisma definitely translates with just his voice – although a few of his jokes fell flat – the character of Moana was by far the star of the movie. Duh, her name’s kind of in the title.

Everybody is fond of describing the new Disney heroes as ‘not your typical princess’ but you could say that of any of the protagonists since Aladdin‘s Jasmine in 1992 – and arguments could be made for before even then. Disney are producing complex, relatable, an extraordinary female characters and Moana is a prime example of that. That’s not to say that they don’t sing and have animal sidekicks – they haven’t gone mad.

Speaking of singing, the songs in this film are sublime. It’s the sort of music that you leave the cinema singing – I say that, because as I write this, How Far I’ll Go is playing on repeat in my head. With a mixture of songs in English and Tokelauan, the music creates this beautiful atmosphere where everything seems possible and it fully embraces its Polynesian roots.

Ultimately, Moana is a film that will make you feel good. More than that, it’s a film with a strong message about family, following your heart, and believing in yourself. I implore you to watch it (but take tissues).

Have you seen Moana yet? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.