Sunday 4 December 2016

The ten most anticipated films coming your way for the rest of the year

Jennifer Wilson

Published 18/08/2016 | 13:17

Kirsten Stewart in Woody Allen's Cafe Society.
Kirsten Stewart in Woody Allen's Cafe Society.

From Woody Allen to Louis Theroux, the coming autum/winter season promises to excite cinema audiences.

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1) Cafe Society - September 2

Woody Allen’s latest stab at the institution has resulted in Café Society, a film centring on Hollywood’s Golden Age punctuated of course by Allen’s infamous cynicism. With a stellar cast that makes use of the most promising young actors, Cafe Society was received well by critics when it opened the 69th Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

Jesse Eisenberg squeaks his way through as a Bronx boy that tangles himself up in 1950’s Hollywood. Kristen Stewart and Blake Lively excel in their roles in opposite corners of the films love triangle, with Lively in particular bringing a composure not dissimilar to a combination of the Hollywood starlets she portrays. Its nostalgic sepia tones plant this film firmly in the realm of a fascinating time period where debauchery and clandestine dealings are everywhere, yet people still manage to have a great time.

Woody Allen is very much in control of his material here and his latest offering is not to be missed.

2) The Magnificent Seven - September 23

Last year, Tarantino tried his hand at a western with The Hateful Eight but failed to make ripples for the genre. Closing this year's Venice Film Festival, will see Antoine Fuqua’s remake of John Sturges 1960 classic, The Magnificent Seven.

Sturges was ahead of his time, bringing together an ensemble cast that had their own unique offerings and Fuqua appears to be following this trail.

The cast includes Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Martin Sensmeier. The Magnificent Seven follows a band of gun men in the old west resolved to prevent a poor village falling victim to savage thieves.

3) My Scientology Movie - October7

Much like the controversial religion in question, Louis Theroux’s latest documentary entitled My Scientology Movie also remains shrouded in secrecy.

What has been revealed is that an alternative approach will be taken, where the documentary will use professional actors to demonstrate the investigative reports uncovered by Theroux and his team.

Theroux’s unique interview stance should make for compelling revelations. His tactic of conveying a placid expression, while simultaneously pressing interviewee’s for solid answers will be needed now more than ever as Theroux attempts to examine Ron L. Hubbard’s clandestine religion.

4) Inferno - October 14

Like Damon with the Bourne franchises, Downey Jr. with Iron Man and Craig (however reluctantly) with Bond, many actors latch on to franchises, becoming inseparable with their alter-egos.

Tom Hanks has found his niche with The Da Vinci Code franchise, reprising his role as Robert Langdon alongside Felicity Jones, who plays Dr. Sienna Brooks. Langdon wakes suddenly in a Florence hospital room with amnesia, none the wiser as to how he arrived there or what events previously unfolded leading to his hospitalization. Hanks and Jones are expected to do justice to Dan Brown’s novels as they race to foil a global plot. Ron Howard has returned to direct, having accompanied Hanks through his career since their first actor-director partnership with 1984’s Splash.

5) I, Daniel Blake - October 21

Ken Loach astounded critics and judges alike when his latest directorial turn I, Daniel Blake took home Cannes Film Festival’s most revered prize, The Palme D’Or.

Filmed in Newcastle Upon-Tyne, Loach captures the struggles of Dave Johns’ Daniel who must apply for state welfare after he takes ill with a heart defect. Daniel meets a single mother in a similar situation and by joining forces, they vow to escape a homeless hostel in favour of travelling to a better living situation hundreds of miles away.

I, Daniel Blake will likely not get the praise it deserves by way of ticket sales but it one of the most promising low-budget film to watch out for this year.

6) Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them - November 16

J.K Rowling’s novel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them gets the Warner Brothers treatment with this hotly anticipated adaptation.

Set in the same wizarding world Harry Potter and his troupe of comrades exist in (just seventy years earlier), Fantastic Beasts follows Oscar-winning Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander as a writer in New York City, tracking down rogue magical creatures.

Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Zoe Kravitz and Jon Voight also star in veteran Harry Potter director, David Yates latest wizarding film.

7) Moana - December 2

Following on from Frozen’s worldwide success, Disney has recently released details of its next animated feature, Moana.

The principal character is Moana Waialiki, a Polynesian born-navigator that sets off on a quest in search of a mythical island.

On her adventure, she encounters Maui, a demi-god appropriately voiced by Dwayne the Rock Johnson.

Moana is likely to prevail as a success for Disney, signalling their new direction in tackling the conventional princess stereotype with this fresh Polynesian tale.

8) Sully - December 2

Despite insisting that he was due a long awaited break from the film industry, Sully will be Tom Hanks' third feature released this year.

With platinum blonde hair, Hanks takes on the role of Chesley Sullenberg the US Airways A380 pilot that was at the helm when a sudden bird strike rendered both engines unusable.

Sullenberg, or ‘Sully’ was praised a hero when he safely landed the A380 in New York’s Hudson River. Clint Eastwood directs this near-disaster thriller. He is expected to bring palpable tension to the crisis itself, but will also focus on the aftermath of the event as Sully is plagued with investigations attempting to determine whether his ditch into the Hudson could have been avoided. Sully has the potential to cause major waves on the Oscar radar.

9) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - December 16

Set for release one year after the success of The Force Awakens, it is hoped that this spin-off will be well-received by fans, cementing the future prospects for this franchise.

The first deliberate deviation from the Star Wars saga sees Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso in this standalone story, leading a band of rebels bound together in their quest to steal the plans for the Death Star.

Boasting a superb cast that includes Forest Whitaker, Warwick Davis, Genevieve O’Reilly and Mads Mikkelsen, hype for Rogue One in on track to reach fever pitch with four months still to go until release.

10) Passengers - December 23

New sci-fi thriller Passengers, has had its premise floating around aimlessly since featuring on the 2007 Blacklist of most-liked scripts.

Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt star in this intriguing take on a potential distant issue to face humanity.

Passengers follows the flight path of the Starship Avalon on a voyage bound for another colony planet, transporting thousands on board. A glitch in the system of one of the sleeping chambers, means two passengers Pratt and Lawrence are woken prematurely, sixty years from their destination. Alone on the Avalon, Aurora and Jim are thrown together as a consequence of this malfunction.

Billed as more romance than sci-fi, Lawrence and Pratt should deliver.

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