Things we loved (or loathed) this year ...
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Maybe it’s because it’s an official Harry Potter spin off or maybe it’s because it was so much better than The Cursed Child, but whatever the reason, this is everything I want in a HP movie.
I am a big Star Trek fan and I really enjoyed the first two reboots, but cheesy characters, overly-convenient gadgets, and a pointless villain made Star Trek Beyond unwatchable.
Nine Lives was so awful it’s going to take more than nine lifetimes for me to get over it. I’ll never forgive it for wasting the time of celebrity cats like Nala and Waffles.
I was shocked by how much I loved Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. This cleverly incorporated so many elements from the book and the 1995 BBC adaptation to leave me very, very happy.
Born in China. I’m not a documentary or a Disney fan, but this one won me over. The adventures of the golden monkeys quickly became my favourite with a story of what changes a baby monkey brings her family.
I went into Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them with low expectations. Wow, was I wrong – the film smashed them completely. Thanks for making me a Potterhead again!
I am not an animation or cartoon fan, but I was impressed by Trolls, a 3D computer-animated musical comedy film. The characters and scenes are very colourful and there are well-known songs from popstars to sing along to.
Cold War 2, an action film that depicts how the pursuit of power can corrupt people. Tony Leung Ka-fai depicting his character’s inner struggle is so, so good.
Swiss Army Man is the most zany film I’ve seen this year. Daniel Radcliffe plays a corpse who is brought back to life when he is discovered by a man, played by Paul Dano. The pair go on an adventure full of laughter, songs and ... farting.
Godzilla Resurgence (or Shin Godzilla for the purists) was a pleasant surprise. With Hideaki Anno, the man behind Evangelion, in the director's seat, I expected something different from your usual monster movie experience. I was not disappointed by 'Meeting Simulator 2016 (With extra giant monsters!)'
What we’re looking forward to next year
Gee ... Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, World War Z 2, Trainspotting 2, even Alien is getting dusted off for what looks to be a year of de ja poo. Can’t wait for Hollywood to get out of this rinse-repeat cycle. Of those sequels to be released ... Paddington 2 and the new Star Wars, obvs. And Dunkirk.
The live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. It’s Emma Watson, it’s Disney, and it’s going to be fabulous, I can feel it.
I thought The Lego Movie was hilarious, and loved Batman’s over-inflated ego in it – you can’t tell me you didn’t laugh when he wrote Wyldstyle a song that was all about himself, or when he tells all the other master builders that he only works in black (and sometimes in very, very dark grey). I’m super excited for The Lego Batman Movie – I want more stupid jokes, more terrible puns, and even more Batman being as self-centred as only Batman can be.
Jumanji. Why? Have you seen the original Jumanji from 1995? Or the sort-of sequel, sort-of standalone Zathura from 2005? Then I suggest you use the next 12 months to get familiar with the creative universe of these movies, where old-timey
board games get a little to real for anyone who plays them.
A Dog’s Purpose. Despite the team believing I hate dogs, I just actually prefer cats. And this movie, in which a dog discovers the purpose of his existence through several lifetimes of bringing joy to his humans seems just like the kind of movie I’ll love. I’m already mentally preparing for the tears.
I cannot WAIT for Hidden Figures. The story of how three African American female scientists (triple minorities, and in the 60s, no less) helped get Apollo 11 (and the recently departed John Glenn) into orbit. Inspiring. Plus the cast looks AMAZING: Octavia Spencer RULES.
I’m a big fan of journalist Louis Theroux’s immersive style of reporting and dry sense of humour, so I was excited when I found out he’d by lifting the lid on shady Scientology practices in his new documentary My Scientology Movie.
I can’t wait for The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise. The plane transferring an Egyptian mummy suddenly malfunctions and falls to Earth, killing everyone in it ... or does it? Tom Cruise comes back to life inside a body bag in the trailer! I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Kong: Skull Island. The first King Kong film is a classic, and there’s something timelessly tragic about King Kong’s relationship with humans.
Ghost in the Shell, because it is a Hollywood adaption of an anime (strike one), the source material is heavy on philosophy (combined with Hollywood: stirke two), and the casting criticisms of having a western actress (Scarlett Johansson) in the role of an asian character (strike three).
But at least parts of it were filmed in Hong Kong, right?