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Film Review

Another Great Year of Cinema By Mike Kemble

Looking forward over the calendar year things look tantilisingly promising as a whole host of cinematic releases are due to hit the big screen. Sci-fi lovers will be in for a real treat with some massively anticipated follow-ups due for release, with spring seeing Ridley Scott’s follow-up to Prometheus in Alien: Covenant, which is a prequel sequel if that makes any sense? Sometime later in the year sees another Ridley Scott associated feature with the long-awaited and overdue Blade Runner 2049, set 30 years after the original and again starring Harrison Ford along with Ryan Gosling this time around. No doubt the Sci-fi spectacular year will close with Star Wars: Episode VIII and what will more than likely be the biggest hit of 2017 as the story re-centres on Luke Skywalker and his return from self-exile. However, the release of the film will be tinged with sadness following the passing of Carrie Fischer over Christmas. Carrie played the icon character Princess Leia, and was a favourite amongst fans and co-stars alike.

Comedic gems to look forward to over the year include Baywatch, with Dwain ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Zac Efron in fine form. While Woody Harrelson goes back to his roots in Lost in London, which will be his first foray in the director’s chair as he shares with us his personal exploits from 2002 culminating in a night in the cells. Sequels will continue to dominate the headlines again with the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Fast and Furious 8 (how many more you ask). And whisper it, but the un-deadly follow-up to World War Z is coming with Director David Fincher, along with Brad Pitt in the lead role again.

Those of a more serious disposition have some crackers on the cards, with the likes of T2: Trainspotting (further mentioned below). An as yet untitled repairing of Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day Lewis who last got together in the magnificent ‘There Will Be Blood’ (2007). A further offering from the waning master Terence Malick in Weightless featuring a stellar cast in Ryan Gosling, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Michael Fassbender, Christian Bale, Rooney Mara and Benicio del Toro. While my personal favourite director, Michael Haneke reunites with Isabelle Huppert, who seems to be having a late flurry of fantastic parts in her twilight years, in Happy End about a not-so-happy story that has the migrant crisis as the backdrop and will no doubt frame this setting against telling questions relating to our ignorance, disposition and worth as human beings.

Films to look out for over the coming months...

A Monster Calls (6th January) A lovely children’s fantasy drama that will even have adults in tears, about a young boy finding his way in life through a most unlikely ally in an ancient monster (voiced by Liam Neeson).

Manchester by the Sea (13th January): Casey Affleck stars as an affected loner, who suddenly finds himself the sole guardian of his 16 year old nephew in this emotional story about loss, grief and coming to terms with life’s difficulties.

T2: Trainspotting (27th January): Twenty years on from the original and the crew are back as we catch-up with Begbie, Renton, Sick Boy and Spud in probably the most eagerly anticipated British film in years.

Loving (3rd February): Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga star in this real-life retelling of an interracial couple who fought all the way to the Supreme Court in 1967 to ensure their right to marry and live as a family, and thereby setting the precedent for all future generations to come.

The Handmaiden (17th February): Old Boy director, Park Chan-wook tries his hand at an altogether more different film in this sumptuous study of love and deception in

what looks like another visually stunning piece of film making. Happy New Year and see you next time! around SADDLEWORTH 38

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