Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Best Movies of 2014

The end of the year is coming folks, which means one thing and one thing only: it's time to list 10 of the best movies I've seen this year.
As I already highlighted last year, picking movies demand me a really long thinking, it's a genuinely tough decision to make for someone as indecisive as I am. Hopefully I survived. So this year I come prepared. At the beginning of the year I thought I will keep a sheet of paper on which I would ad movies along the year in order not to forget any movie; so when time comes and here we are I wouldn't have to torture myself going back to all the movies I've seen all year.

Top 10

Sunday, 28 December 2014

28 Movies and TV Series to Look Forward to in 2015

What have in common Minions, Colin Firth as a very special agent, a superhero assemble, Jurassic World, Channing Tatum in space and Bradley Cooper embodying a US sniper for Clint Eastwood? Well... They'll all mark the beginning of yet another busy year of cinema.
Here's a list of films and series impossible to miss in 2015. Trailer. 

    #1 House of Cards S3 and the Underwood's are back. Netflix announced via twitter the third season of the series premiere date, after teasing that President Underwood (finally!) and the first lady had an announcement. The entire next season of House of Cards will debut on Netflix on February 27, 2015.  
    #2 The Flash is Barry Allen, the fastest man live. In fact, he wakes up 9 months after he was struck by lightning and discovers that the bolt gave him the power of super speed. With his new team and powers, Barry becomes "The Flash" and fights crime in Central City. 
    #3 Agent Carter
After her first appearance in Cap 1 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier This series established itself when Peggy Carter became a S.H.I.E.L.D agent during WW2 after her boyfriend, Steve Rogers (i-e Captain America) is feared dead in an explosion.   

(Tales and Animated)
    #1 Into the Woods is dealing with a witch who tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree.
    #2 Big Hero 6 has been released in November in US. That pop animated movie created a new kind of superhero. The movie evolves around the special bound that develops between pus-sized inflatable robot Baymax, and prodigy Hiro Hamada, who team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.   
    #3 Minions was obvious, taking those adorable little cells of the Despicable Me saga to make a spin-off. This time Minions Stuart, Kevin and Bob are recruited by Scarlet Overkill, a super-villain, alongside her inventor husband Herb, hatches a plot to take over the world.   
    #4 Inside Out could be the new masterpiece of Up's director and last Pixar author. A film told from the perspective of the emotions inside the mind of a little girl. 
    #5 Cinderella is a live action retelling of the classic fairy tale about a servant step-daughter who wins the heart of a Prince. 
    #6 Pan narrates the story of an orphan who is spirited away to the magical Neverland. There, he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately his destiny - to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan. 

      #7 Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens is directed by J. J Abrams. After a year of rumours the first trailer gives us no answers and so many questions. I couldn't stop watching the trailer, I probably watched it 200 times. In the trailer we could see that this movie is obviously hugely inspired by the original source material without copying it still; it has this J. J Abrams style and finally the point of view of a fan making a Star Wars movie. Let's face it there'll be CGI. This teaser trailer is perfect as every single shot in this trailer teases, you don't know what is happening at all. It just shows you some cool shots and lets you think about it. This is my most anticipated movie of 2015 along with the newt movie on this list.  
    #8 Avengers: Age of Ultron settles when Tony Stark tries to jump start a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans. The movie teaser trailer looks AWESOME. I can't describe you how excited I am for this movie. It's going to bring Marvel Cinematic Universe on Earth to a whole new level. Not only do you know how many comic books fan are going to cry when Hulk will face Iron Man Hulk Buster armour?! But James Spader voice is a blessing; that's what I call perfection on every level. He's going to be a FANTASTIC villain, his voice combined with the special effects, he can be as good as Loki with human core emotion and Tom Hiddleston performance. Let's not forget about Darth Vader who is the most iconic villain of all time without even seeing his face. The only nerd-fear I have is Quicksilver. I hope he has a scene that's cooler than the one in X-Men: Days of Future Past  otherwise we are going to talk about Evan Peters performance as Quicksilver (which was pretty amazing) over and over again. That's it I'm in! I cannot wait to see that movie next may.

   #9 Jurassic World takes place 20 years after the events of Jurassic Park (1993), Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. after 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfil a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor's interest, which backfires horribly. It stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Judy Greer. Just by the trailer you can tell that it looks big and the special effects looks convincing enough. A little nostalgia arose when I heard John Williams hybrid melody which is the most beautiful score ever created for a movie. However, I don't really know, I'm a little sceptic about that movie. 
       #10 Spectre is the new 007 film going out November 6, 2015; in which a cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE. 

     #11 Insurgent is the second part of the Divergent series, following the event; Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart with the help from others on her side. 
     #12 In the Heart of the Sea directed by Ron Howard is retelling the Moby Dick classic story based on the 1820 event, a whaling ship is preyed upon by a sperm whale, stranding its crew at sea for 90 days, thousands of miles from home. 
     #13 Terminator Genisys is from what I've understand from the trailer a retelling of the first Terminator. In fact after finding himself in a new time-line, Kyle Reese teams up with John Connor's mother Sarah and an ageing Terminator to try and stop the one thing that the future fears, "Judgement Day". This movie is doing what J. J Abrams did with Star Trek: it's a sequel dealing with time travel, the time line has changed somehow and now it's kind of a reboot. It's a smart thing to do and I liked it for Star Trek as it worked very well so let's get this movie the benefit of the doubt. 
     #14 Kingsman: The Secret Service is directed by Matthew Vaughn, Colin Firth is the main attraction of the movie. He is a veteran secret agent who takes a young upstart under his wing. 
    #15 Furious 7 is the last part of the Fast and Furious saga, it is a farewell to Paul Walker as well. The movie is directed by James Wan and is following Deckard Shaw seeking revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for the death of his brother. 
    #16 Tomorrowland comes from Walt Disney's concept implanted in his first park. In this film, bound by a share destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.
    #17 Birdman a film already released in US, is dealing with a washed up actor who once played an iconic superhero must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory.
    #18 Jupiter Ascending is the new production of the Wachowski brother's, a mixture of Star Wars and The Matrix. The movie settles in the future, a young destitute human woman gets targeted for assassination by the Queen of the Universe, and begins her destiny to finish the Queen's reign.
    #19 Blackhat is directed by Michael Mann. Chris Hemsworth stars a man who is released from prison to help American and Chinese authorities pursue a mysterious cyber criminal. The dangerous search leads them from Chicago to Hong Kong.
    #20 Mad Max: Fury Road is an apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and almost everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order. There's Max, a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following loss of his wife and child in the after math of the chaos. And Furiosa, a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland. 
    #21 Insidious: Chapter 3 is a prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.
(Love Story)
   #22 Fifty Shades of Grey follows success of the bestselling book written by E.L James which displays the story of literature student Anastasia Steele's life changes forever when she meets handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey.
    #23 Big Eyes is directed by Tim Burton, it's a drama about the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950's, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960's.  
    #24 Inherent Vice takes place in 1970, drug fuelled Los Angles detective Larry "Doc" Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend. 

      #25 American Sniper is directed by Clint Eastwood, adapting Chris Kyle autobiography. A Navy SEAL sniper pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind. 

Friday, 26 December 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings

The defiant leader Moses rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues. 

Exodus: Gods and kings is directed by Ridley Scott, stars Christian Bale as Moses and Joel Edgerton as Ramses. There are a lot of controversy around this movie. I really do love Ridley Scott. I have a huge respect for his work as he made some of the best sci-fie movies of all time and he continues to make a tone of films. First of all the opening battle sequence is spectacular and beautifully filmed. Everything from the ten plagues to the end of the Red Sea sequence is absolutely fantastic as well; though somethings in between are a bit hard to get through. Secondly, Joel Edgerton's character is good and he is a great actor, but not for that part; John Turturro stands out as an actor, he's almost comical. It's great to see Sigourney Weaver back in a Ridley Scott film even if she has like two lines so there's not much to be excited about. Plus, Ben Kingsley and Chistian Bale deliver really good performances. In fact Christian Bale ads a lot of emotion to Moses' character, as you can perfectly understand his family position and his life once he discovers about his youth. Moses is depicted differently than before as he really is human in this film and not this faithful unbreakable rock. However, it missed something about the brotherhood relationship between Moses and Ramses as they never really get to face each other till the end of the movie, we don't get to see their evolution. Finally, the last scene of the Red Sea is so well done, Ridley Scott genuinely knows epic and clearly understands how to show an awesome battle scene. The scope of this film is huge displaying a modern tale of Moses story in which Egypt never looked so big and grand; just like it should have been at that time.

Overall the entire film looks beautiful with great performances from leading actors, I loved the epic scope but it may be a bit too long.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Bilbo and Company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the terrifying Smaug from acquiring a kingdom of treasure and obliterating all of Middle-Earth. 

After fifteen years, five films and countless hours of onscreen magic depending on whether you were hardcore enough to sit through the extended editions and features of each films; Peter Jackson brings this journey to a close and to what now ranks as one of the most monumental work ever completed by a single filmmaker. It's also arguably his biggest challenge. Without wasting time on any kind of flashback or prologue, the film plunges right in where The Desolation of Smaug left off; It's like beginning The Empire Strike Back with Luke Skywalker blowing up the Death Star. Here opening with Smaug swooping down in a blaze of vengeance, while the panicked Lake Town locals disperse. It's an exciting sequence animated by a real sense of danger and by the nightmare figure of Smaug himself: one of the movie's most special effect, again voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. Plus, we are launched into nearly an hour or arguing and reflecting as various armies get ready for war. This is an effective crescendo to battle and when the things do finally kick off, the fight worth the wait. The battle is endlessly inventive. From all corner of the land, and the frame, they come: dwarfs, elves, men, assorted forest creatures and orcs; all displaying numerous ingenious tactics to sustain pretty much every verse. In fact, Peter Jackson is able to give an intimacy to even the biggest, noisiest battle scenes. This final instalment of The Hobbit trilogy ties very well onto the last two films but also with the beginning of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It does feel like The Return of the King at times, when bodies are just flying everywhere and heads rolling all over the place. It is long and epic. The Battle of the Five Armies is the strongest, boldest film in this trilogy and provides just the send off that this series deserves. Peter Jackson knows when to punctuate the carnage with a gag or a tender moment as it's not focusing on the action and the battle itself. This film is rewarding all the characters built up over two and a bit movies, all f them flawed. With Martin Freeman ever-excellent Bilbo more of a player this time. Indeed some conversation between Bilbo and Thorin create the most interesting moment of the movie, as Bilbo has the Arkenstone and Thorin really wants it. It's starting to drive him mad, almost like Gollum towards the ring. This film feels psychologically weightier than the previous one, largely a credit to Richard Armitage who plays Thorin with the paranoid despotic rage of a Shakespearean King. Yet he never allows him to become a monster. Gandalf: Sir Ian McKellen, of course everybody knows he is awesome and knocks out the part. 

The Stage is set for other characters to stand out, such as Luke Evans, as Bard, a genuine leader and maybe the most human character ever in Middle-Earth; while Kili (starring Aidan Turner) and Tauriel's (Evangeline Lilly) romance is undeniably touching. At the end all of the key players are where they need to be. Wrapping things up with a suitably return to the Shire that effectively brings the saga full circle. It's hard not to marvel at Peter Jackson's facility with these characters and this world, which he seems to know as well as John Ford knew his Monument Valley. It's easier to see now that it stops the entire Hobbit project as a labour of love on Jackson's part, rather than a descent into the box-office opportunism. This film is a fitting cap to an extended series that, if nothing else, has transformed Tolkien's place in the wider culture. His books were once strictly for teen nerds (we've all been there), while The Battle of the Five Armies is just as enjoyable as each of the five movies that came before it. I'm part of these nerds and I've always been a huge fan of Tolkien's work. Much of the movie is not like the book at all but I was aware of if that going in: there are a tone of added characters. Purists have to deal with it I guess! The most important point is that Peter Jackson captured perfectly the tone of the source material he has adapted. If a filmmaker is able to capture the feels and tone of the source material then he has succeeded and Jackson's vision of Middle-Earth is as good as we'll ever see. Moreover, Howard Store contributes another dynamically present score, from gentle Celtic melodies to those sleek battle effects. Other tech contributions such as set designers, costumers, armourers and artists are one again delivering us the best that Hollywood dollars can buy. Ultimately it feels like a lovely and bittersweet ending but Bilbo realises as perhaps the fans did when we came to the first two meandering Hobbit films, that he can't really go home. The Battle of the Five Armies is definitely my favourite of The Hobbit trilogy. It starts to lead us tonally towards The Fellowship of the Ring which is as well probably my favourite of The Lord of the Rings and it starts to get heavier, more intense, to get deeper and the stakes get higher. We began this journey with a light hearted jovial story and we finish it with a lot more darker part. The result is at once the trilogy's most expeditious and also its darkest - both visually and tonally - movie. Finally, Peter Jackson has pulled it together in a way that makes me glad I took this journey. This is a world that feels fully realised, a place you can go, a tactile triumph in world building. It goes leaps and bounds beyond what most filmmakers would attempt, and if this is the end of Middle-Earth, then I a proud to have been here to see it. Either way his legacy is something that will live long into the future. 

Overall The Battle of the Five Armies is the final instalment of one of the greatest cinematic achievement of all time. Displaying a very cool opening scene, really awesome characters, amazing battle sequences and some really well built smaller moment between characters. It is a fitting end or should that be middle to this epic saga?!