Friday, 16 December 2016

Most Anticipated Films of 2016/17

(image via Summit Entertainment)

As always, Uni has gotten in the way of everything and anything to do with this blog. Today marks the end of this semester, meaning that I have six weeks off for Christmas...bearing in mind that I have three essays and a dissertation chapter to complete. 

Thankfully though, I still have a vast amount of time to focus on this blog alongside my Uni work. This post, for instance, has been stuck in my drafts for at least two months. Whilst I've been dying over lectures, seminars and essays, I've been inwardly excited for several films that are due to be released in 2017 and the remainder of this year. And some have already been released, but I haven't gotten the chance to see them yet. 

Note: The date of the following films are when they are released in the UK. 

If you're an avid reader of this blog (I love you if you are, even though it's probably just my Dad), you'll know that I previously wrote an article about the women behind NASA and my excitement for Hidden Figures

I feel as though Hidden Figures will be a cultural milestone when its released. Recounting the legendary but seemingly unheard stories of the women behind NASA, Hidden Figures showcases how Project Mercury and the 1969 Apollo mission would not have taken place without Katherine Johnson (portrayed by Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (portrayed by Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (portrayed by Janelle Monae). 

Not only that, it also represents the African-American community at the height of the civil rights movement of the 60s, where segregation even traveled as far as the West Area Computers division of the Langely Research Center. 

Hidden Figures will be released 17 February, 2017

Trapped in a remote location with an unknown organism. Sound familiar? In a Thing-esce turn of events, the six-member crew of the International Space Station are tested when an organism found on Mars is more intelligent than it seems. Not only that, but this discovery changes the atmosphere within the crew, ultimately causing a loss of trust and a development of underlying fear.

Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Easy Money, Safe House), and starring Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson and Jake Gyllenhaal, Life is already dividing opinions among critics and film-goers from the trailer alone. I must say, I'm intrigued with Life, but not overtly sold. If it can managed to avoid being The Thing in space, be superbly directed and have a solid screenplay, I can see Life being one of the best science-fiction films of 2017. 

I'm definitely holding out hope for this one. 

Life will be released 12 May, 2017

Independent, coming-of-age films are one of my favourite genres in cinema. From Rebel Without a Cause to The Way Way Back, they always capture my imagination through their cinematography, comedic elements and revelation-inducing screenplays. So of course, there are two films on this list that fall into this category; one of them being 20th Century Women

Not only does this film fall into one of my favourite genres, but it also is set in one of my favourite decades; the 70s. The aesthetics in this poster alone fill me with so much joy and wonder with the mere concept of this film, alongside the trailer (GOD I could go on about the trailer for hours; the archival footage, the cinematography, the colour correction, the Talking Heads song...everything I love in a film brought into one). 

Set in Santa Barbara in the late 1970s, 20th Century Women explores the lives of three women - especially mother Dorothea (portrayed by Annette Bening) - who navigate love, freedom and parenting. It is also semi-biographical on director Mike Mills part, based partly on his childhood in California. 

20th Century Women will be released 10 February, 2017

This, of course, is the second coming-of-age film to feature on this list. The Edge of Seventeen follows the trials and tribulations of seventeen-year-old Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), as she comes to terms with her popular older brother Darian (Blake Jenner) dating her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson). Nadine already feels more alone than most teenagers, due to her seemingly distant mother and 'perfect' brother. So for her best friend to suddenly start dating her brother leaves Nadine feeling abandoned. 

Full of angst, sensitivity and the comedic-timing of both Steinfeld and the appearances of Woody Harrelson, The Edge of Seventeen is the epitome of the coming-of-age film, albeit in a more John Hughes-esce manner. It's a film that has surprisingly won over most critics, mainly from expecting the film to be your typical high-school teenage movie. 

I've been dying to see this in the cinema, but by this rate I'm probably going to wait for the Blu-Ray release. Either way, I cannot wait. 

The Edge of Seventeen is out in cinemas now

Another space film is set to hit the cinema next week, this one involving Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence travelling to a distant colony only to be awoken 90 years away from their destination. 

Don't you just hate it when you look forward to a film so much (and it hasn't been released in your country yet), to find that all the critics that have seen it proceed to shit on it? That's what seems to be happening with Passengers at the moment. 

For all I know, this film (and script, apparently) could be terrible. I'm holding my judgments until I actually see it, but just the knowing that 'ts not being received very well is disconcerting. 

Passengers will be released 21 December, 2016

I want to say the reason I'm going to see this is because of my interest in the history and legend surrounding King Arthur, I really do. But Charlie Hunnam. Charlie. Hunnam. Have you seen him? I had an undying thirst for him in Sons of Anarchy, but this... I don't think I'm going to be able to take in any of the narrative revolving around this film; I'll probably end up on the floor just staring at Hunnam the whole way through King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Although, there is the added aesthetic that director Guy Ritchie brings to the table, adding his gritty retelling of the story to the big screen as he did with the Sherlock Holmes series. Maybe I won't only be staring at Hunnam after all. 

Apparently this is the first installment of six films, which I'll be more than happy with if this one succeeds. 

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword will be released 12 May, 2017

Once in a blue moon, there is a film that suits every need that I'm looking to fulfill. I think La La Land is going to fill that quota. Not only does it star two of my favourite actors/actresses, but it takes place in the often-surreal setting of Los Angeles, and is directed by a visionary film artist. 

Directed by Damien Chazelle (Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, Whiplash), starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, La La Land follows the story of a musician and an aspiring actress who fall in love in LA under the guise of a musical. 

I'm a sucker for a good musical, especially one that manages to successfully suspend your disbelief which it appears La La Land is going to achieve. There hasn't really been an outstanding musical on film as of late that isn't a remake or sequel to something else. La La Land is looking to change that, hopefully. 

La La Land will be released 13 January, 2017

Moana is the only film on this list that I've managed to see. In fact, I saw it the day it was released. I've been waiting for this film ever since Disney first announced it, for two reasons: That it was going to be directed by John Musker and Ron Clements (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules), and its focus on Polynesian mythology. 

The only other Disney film that we have that delves into this side of the Pacific is Lilo and Stitch, which is one of my favourite Disney films. So to hear that Disney had decided to use the minds behind Hercules to create a film exploring Polynesia with a female lead, I was already in love before it was conceptualized and animated. 

Lo and behold, I adored the film. If I could have sat in the screening to see multiple viewings, I would have. I reviewed the film over at The Edge if you want to delve further into my obsession with this movie, but I think it's kind of obvious how much I loved Moana

Moana is out in cinemas now


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