2016: Five Films To Look Forward To

2016 is just around the corner and with it comes a fresh new batch of movies. Below are just a few of many that will grace our big and small screens in the New Year in a super speedy round-up of what to look out for. Watch out for an indie version coming soon!

And kind folks of the interwebs, this is based on UK release dates.

jordan and stallone in creed

jordan and stallone in creed

Creed – Director: Ryan Coogler, Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Tompson

2016 appears to be the year for filmic revivals, Creed being a spin-off of the much loved Rocky series. There are myriad reasons in which to get excited for this early-year release, including the direction of Ryan Coogler; the presence of his Fruitvale Station collaborator Michael B. Jordan; a return to the world of boxing, as seen through the tinted eye glass of Mr Sylvester Stallone, and a contemporary spin on a series that was becoming tired after six installments.

Suicide Squad – Director: David Ayer, Cast: EVERYBODY..Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevingne 

David Ayer meets DC? Surely that’s a quick winner in itself. It’s a long wait until August to see this supervillain film which boasts the best in Hollywood acting talent, but if the trailer is anything to go by, Ayer’s portrayal of an America brimming with ‘gifted’ bad-guys is going to change the game for comic-book adaptations. With a Watchmen aura to it and an ensemble cast to please any cinephile, Suicide Squad and its team of anti-hero’s could just be the one to sway naysayers of the genre. Watch this space.

X-Men: Apocalypse – Director: Bryan Singer, Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult

The new reboot of X-Men, in which Matthew Vaughn revitalised the old-hat series alongside a fresh-faced young cast of men and women was initially really pretty good. It all changed with the second installment which saw original director Bryan Singer come back on board. But, we can forgive the faux-pauses of Days of Future Past and gleefully welcome Apocalypse. Why, you ask? As briefly as it can be:

  • Tye Sheridan, Sophie Smith and Evan Peters are just three of many new actors joining the already beloved ensemble, with Apocalypse shaping up to be a satisfying entry into the series.
  • Apocalypse himself, played by Ex_Machina‘s shining star Oscar Isaac, looks like one of the most malevolent antagonists the franchise has had (and that’s really saying something).
  • The presence of Rose McGowan is always welcomed. Clearly.
russell and jackson in the hateful eight

russell and jackson in the hateful eight

The Hateful Eight – Director: Quentin Tarantino, Cast: Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen

Quentin Tarantino’s latest foray into the Western might seem like an obvious choice, but the auteur always surprises his audience with one or two tricks. He also always manages to nab a bloody fantastic cast of veteran actors who you kind of forgot about but who’s acting abilities are drawn out through the magic of the Tarantino vision. Django Unchained was universally loved and it wasn’t anywhere close to the directors best efforts (yes, Jackie Brown could just be the best) so its likely that The Hateful Eight will be on a similar par. A return from Reservoir Dogs co-stars Tim Roth and Michael Madsen will no doubt bring about nostalgia for long-standing fans of the enigma of a director, and it’s always Tarantino himself who audiences are so beguiled by.

Chi-Raq – Director: Spike Lee, Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Angela Bassett

Spike Lee’s latest cinematic effort is already out, but I figured it would probably take most us until the New Year to make the effort in viewing it. In a joint partnership with Amazon Studios, Lee brings back his urgent thematic content surrounding race and America with Chi-Raq, a film that – if it’s anything like its trailer portrays it to be – is unsure of its genre. It’s all a little up in the air thus far, with critical consensus being positive but public response drawing controversies from Lee’s portrayal of a contemporary Chicago swarmed in gun crime. Either way, Lee is back on our radar and his material is generally a winner – make this one to see.

 

 

Quentin Tarantino set to retire

Rumors are flying that Tarantino, a cult director known for directing some of the best cinema of the past twelve years, is set to retire after the filming and release of his up-and-coming Western The Hateful Eight. While at a Q&A for what is said to be his last release, Tarantino made comments about his future in the film industry; “I do think directing is a young man’s game, and I like the idea of an umbilical cord connection from my first to my last movie. I’m not trying to ridicule anyone who thinks differently, but I want to go out while I’m still hard.”. While many may find themselves forlorn at the thought of no more Tarantino, the directors idea of going out gracefully is certainly admirable.

quentin tarantino

quentin tarantino

Starting his career off with Reservoir Dogs (1992), Tarantino’s career fell into place after working in a video-rental store. During this time he worked on scripts based around narratives he believed an audience would be interested in, and first became a screenwriter, (co) penning Past Midnight (1991) and later (after his feature debut) True Romance (1993). Writing, directing and starring in ‘Dogs cemented Tarantino’s directorial style as one which is both favored by audiences and beautifully (or more appropriately, violently) unique. Two years later came Pulp Fiction, a firm favorite for many Tarantino fans, and the film that gave the director world-wide acclaim, as well as art-house success. Following ‘Fiction Tarantino was involved in sixteen more features, as either a writer, producer, director or actor (titles include his collaboration with friend Rodriguez for vamp thriller From Dusk Till Dawn and personal favorite Jackie Brown).

While his career took a slight U-turn after the popularity of the blood bath franchise Kill Bill (2003 and 2004 respectively), Tarantino reclaimed his title as king of mainstream indie cinema with his spin on World War 2 seen in Inglorious Basterds, and his slavery-themed Western Django Unchained. Known for his use of music, his violent aesthetic and the use of narratives that are often controversially violent, Tarantino has given us a selection of films that range in narrative, location, and time. While I’m of the opinion that Kill Bill is over-hyped, and Jackie Brown under-appreciated, the auteur has catered to audiences whims, and produced cinema that both challenges and entertains. Disastrously off the mark, or right on the money, you never get something in-between with this classic director.

The Hateful Eight will be released next year, and will star long-time collaborator Samuel L. Jackson in a story that doesn’t sound too far removed from that of Django. Let me know what is your favorite effort from Tarantino, and your opinions on his sudden retirement plans in the comments box below.