One of my favourite things to do in my spare time is to pop off to the pictures to take in a movie. To me there is nothing better than seeing a film upon its initial release on a cinema projection screen with surround sound. So what I want to do with this blog is choose my best three cinema trips of 2016, in other words the three movies that I really loved watching. I must say that the three movies I've chosen are movies that I saw purely in the cinema and not at home on Blu Ray, Netflix or any other kind of format. In fact there maybe some films from 2016 that I've seen that I would rate more than the three I've chosen. However I was not surrounded by strangers and eating popcorn when I watched them so they can't make the final cut. Before telling you about my top three cinema trips I have compiled a list of movies that I am still yet to see from last year. Let me know what you thought of them and whether I should be checking them out.
Films to see from 2016:
- Captain America - Civil War
- Hail, Caesar
- Magnificent Seven
- I, Daniel Blake
- Star Trek Beyond
- Finding Dory
Now that is out of the way, here are my three best cinema trips from 2016, don't worry. They are spoiler free.
BRIDGET JONES'S BABY
Director - Sharon Maguire
Screenplay - Helen Fielding, Dan Mazer & Emma Thompson
Starring - Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth & Patrick Dempsey
'Bridget Jones's Diary' was released in 2001, 'Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason' was released in 2004 and in 2016 we saw 'Bridget Jones's Baby'. For many, twelve years had passed since the second instalment. But for me, a newbie to the films, it had actually only been a few months. This really helped when it came to watching BJB because the backstory was still fresh in my mind. 'Bridget Jones Diary' Director is back in the chair and Sharon Maguire does a fantastic job of bringing the characters back to the big screen. Colin Firth returns as Mark Darcy & of course Renee Zellweger is Bridget once again. Zellweger takes to the role as if no time had passed at all & Colin Firth is at his awkward/charming best. I get the sense in this movie that everyone is just revelling in playing their respective roles. One stand out performance is national treasure Emma Thompson as Dr Rawlings. I've only just learned from researching for this blog post that she also had a hand in rewriting parts of the script. Hugh Grant apparently turned down the film because he wasn't thrilled with the initial script. Thompson must have worked some of that Nanny McPhee magic because this script had me belly laughing from start to finish. I knew I would enjoy the film but I was surprised by just exactly how much I did. It was a lovely film to watch and there was a great atmosphere in the cinema. There were so many memorable scenes, my particular favourite involved someone having to be carried rather a long way. So I previously stated that Grant turned down the project, so did the film suffer from no Hugh? Not at all, to be honest I didn't really miss him. I've always been more interested in the relationship between Bridget and Mark. Patrick Dempsey was instead the new love rival. He played the part well and had some great sparring dialogue with Mr Firth. It was a feel good film that I look forward to watching again with Helena.
FANTASTIC BEASTS & WHERE TO FIND THEM
Director - David Yates
Screenplay - JK Rowling
Starring - Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler & Alison Sudol
A few years ago if you'd mentioned Harry Potter I would have sighed and moved the conversation on to something else. For some reason I would dismiss the character, books and films. I think it was because it was so popular that I didn't want to just jump on a band waggon. Saying that, I had still seen Philosophers Stone, Chamber of Secrets and Deathly Hallows Part 2 (A very strange order, yes). However since 2015 my interest and love for the series has grown more and more. The main reason is because of my girlfriend, Helena. Her profound love and passion for all things Potter has been passed onto me. We've watched the movies multiple times, visited Leavesden Warner Bros Studios and been to Harry Potter World at Universal Studios. So when 'Fantastic Beasts' came out, there was no doubt we would be going to see it. It was a joy to watch, it really was. We were transported into that magical world that we have come to love, only this time there was a difference. The magical world has been brought into New York in the 1920's. Eddie Redmayne is at his best playing the charming and ever so slightly nervous Englishman. You can't help but fall in love with his character, he's wide eyed and excited throughout as he details his 'Fantastic Beasts'. His performance to me had something of a Doctorish quality to it, he reminded me a little of Matt Smith in the sense that there is a slight alien quality to him. I couldn't help but also think of his role in 'The Theory of Everything' as Stephen Hawking. This is not a criticism. I think he's taken certain traits from that role and used them to create Newt Scamanda. It is wonderful to see a wizard in full flow, confident in all of his abilities. With Harry we had a young wizard learning the ropes with the supporting characters helping him grow, but with Newt he is the authority on his type of magic. Its a nice twist in this new film series. J.K Rowling is of course the brain behind 'Fantastic Beast' providing the script. It is a pressurised role I'm sure because of what has come before but Rowling continues to deliver quality material with this movie. The world she created all those years ago continues to grow and this fan is very thankful. I'm pleased that JK is still at the helm because like many others, once successful she could have quite easily have sold on the franchise to another company. She has chosen instead to hold the reigns so that her stories can be told the way they should be. Apparently there are several more 'Fantastic Beasts' lined up, let's hope the magic of JK Rowling doesn't run out anytime soon.
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY
Director - Gareth Edwards
Screenplay - Chris Weitz & Tony Gilroy
Starring - Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Mads Mikkelsen & Forest Whitaker
This film tops my list of cinema trips but it also tops my list of favourite movie from 2016. I went along with my Dad which definitely added something special to the outing. I'm living in London these days and my dad is up in Newcastle so it's always lovely to spend time together. I remember purchasing the dvd box set of the original trilogy when I was younger and watching them through with him in his flat in Gosforth. Only fitting that we saw the film that is supposed to come before that trilogy together. This film has had so much hype and I for one didn't know if it could live up to it. I was really impressed with 'The Force Awakens' in 2015 & I had heard many positive things from other people so I was very intrigued. Some people even went as far as saying that they thought it was their favourite Star Wars film. After half an hour of ads and trailers, the film started. There were no scrolling text, but I didn't expect there to be as it is separate from the Episode films (Even though it still factors in it, this is so confusing to describe to someone. Trust me, I've tried.) The opening section of the movie I wasn't too keen on with numerous jumps between planets, but once that settled down and the characters/plot were developed I was entranced by the movie. I actually think I regressed to being a little kid again, as if I was delving into the Star Wars Universe for the first time. It was all so exciting. The film itself looks stunning and I think the CGI is handled well. I've recently been watching the series again from Episode One and I'm thrown a little by the amount of CGI in the prequel Episodes but here it didn't take me out of the story. I know there has been a lot of discussion about one certain effect in the movie, whether it was right or wrong. In my opinion I thought is was a positive move as it helped the film blend into the Star Wars timeline. This film is full of references that die hard fans will notice and with each viewing I think you'll find something new. I personally can't wait to purchase the Blu-Ray so I can watch in-between 'Revenge of The Sith' & 'A New Hope'.
Well now it is 2017! Which means more movie releases & more cinema trips.
What release are you looking forward to?