The clocks have gone back. The days are shorter, the nights are longer. The weather is colder and the Christmas songs are gradually creeping onto the radio. Yep, we're slowly edging towards the new year.
The clock ticking round to 2016 means that we have a whole new year of films ahead of us. There's buzz building already for the release of many of 2016's films, and there are some that I can't wait to go and see!
Director: Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu
Starring: Leonardo Di Caprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter
I suppose you could argue that The Revenant is a 2015 film, with its initial limited release coming on Christmas Day. But it won't get a wide release until January, and that's when it comes out here in the UK too.
The Revenant is Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu's follow-up to the Oscar winning Birdman, and it looks like the Mexican director hasn't toned down any of his technical audacity.
The film is a real life tale of betrayal and revenge set in the American wilderness, and filmed entirely in natural light (which explains why it took so long to shoot) starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Tom Hardy.
I for one can't wait for this one! I've been a fan of Inarritu since 21 Grams and found Birdman endlessly entertaining. Di Caprio and Hardy are actors who can do no wrong these days, and having all three men on top of their game means this one shouldn't be missed.
Untitled Bourne Sequel
Director: Paul Greengrass
Starring: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Julia Stiles
We don't know much about the return of the Bourne series at the moment - but we do know director Paul Greengrass and star Matt Damon are back after the misstep of The Bourne Legacy. Damon had previously joked that this fifth outing might be called The Bourne Redundancy or even The Bourne Austerity, but I'll be watching whatever they call it!
For a long time both Damon and Greengrass refused to come back for another Bourne film, saying that the story concluded with 2007's The Bourne Ultimatum. I really hope that they have decided to come back because they have a story worthy of continuing the series.
The original trilogy was a rarity in cinema - a trilogy without a weak film. With the main duo on board, plus newcomer to the franchise Tommy Lee Jones, I'm looking forward to seeing Bourne show Bond how modern espionage is done (again)!
Directors: Joel & Ethan Coen
Starring: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton
A Coen brothers film is always something to look forward to. [Hail, Caesar!](tag:1199743) is the story of a Hollywood fixer in the 1950s dealing with a kidnapping plot against one of his studio's biggest stars, and it has one hell of an ensemble cast.
Seriously, check out these names: George Clooney, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Dolph Lundgren (yep, really!), Josh Brolin, Jonah Hill and Frances McDormand...the list is (figuratively) endless!
I'm hoping Hail, Caesar! will be a return to form for the Coens. I did not enjoy Inside Llewyn Davis as much as I had expected to, and the same is true of True Grit and Burn After Reading (I haven't yet seen A Serious Man). The film looks like it has a skip in its step, a little reminiscent of a mix between Fargo, The Big Lebowski and O Brother, Where Art Thou?, my Coen favourites.
We'll have to wait until February to see if this film returns the Coens to their glory days. It may not win any Oscars, but it's going to be really fun!
The Hateful Eight
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen
Like The Revenant, Quentin Tarantino's new film will get a limited Christmas release before hitting all the theatres in January. So I'm counting it as a 2016 film even though some people might see it this year.
I must admit that I was a little disappointed by Django Unchained. The reasons why would make a post on their own; I'll keep it short and just say it was too long, Django was a dull main character and Tarantino's Australian accent was the worst thing the legendary director has ever put to film. With that in mind, I'm hoping The Hateful Eight will see QT return to top form.
Hopefully the tight setting - the eight characters in a cabin together - will give the film a claustrophobic feel like the one that characterised his breakthrough Reservoir Dogs. Plus, Samuel L. Jackson is always worth watching.
Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice
Director: Zach Snyder
Starring: Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Jesse Eisenberg, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams
You didn't think I'd miss this one, did you?
First, a confession: I'm not a big superhero fan. I don't read the comics, I only occasionally watch the films. But, that said, Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice feels like the kind of cinematic event that no one wants to miss.
The film that began life as a sequel to Man Of Steel looks set to kick start DC's own cinematic universe which they want to rival that of Marvel. To reach that goal they're throwing everything at this one to make it a success.
There's a chance that the film could be a bit bloated. After all, they need to give screen time to Superman, Batman, Lex Luthor, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Lois Lane, Alfred the butler, General Zod and not to mention potential cameos from members of Suicide Squad (another 2016 DC film). It could be an absolute classic like The Dark Knight trilogy films were, or it could be a bloated, over-stuffed mess.
At this point it's too early to say which it will be, but I wouldn't want to miss it. It's going to be one of the pop culture events of the year, without question!
Here are some films that didn't make my top five, but that I still want to check out:
- Finding Dory
- London Has Fallen
- Zoolander 2
- Patient Zero
What film are you looking forward to in the coming year? Let me know below!