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Films to look forward to: Early 2016

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With 2015 being a stellar year in the world of film and culminating in the release of the best thing since sliced bread in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it would be understandable if people couldn't find equally compellng reasons to go to the cinema in the new year.

Moreover, it would be easier to understand why people may prefer to save their money, with today's extortionate ticket prices and with an increasing amount of people becoming members of the "seen Star Wars multiple times" club. This article will dispel people's reservations about going to the cinema in those first few months of the new year, by highlighting the plethora of great films about to hit UK screens.

Joy

Joy is the semi-biographical story of entreprenuer Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence) and her Italian-American family across four generations. The film charts her struggle in creating her most renowned product, the Miracle Mop, and the conflict she faces from both inside the family and outside it.

Alongside leading star Jennifer Lawrence, the film also stars Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper and is director David O. Russell's follow up to recent triumphs like The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle. Expect David O. Russell's usual blend of drama and comedy, eccentric characters and family dynamics, as well as career highlight performances from his core cast.

Release Date: 1st January 2016.

The Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight is set in post-civil war Wyoming and focuses on eight equally despicable killers, who are forced to take shelter under the same roof during a ferocious blizzard. Treachery and betrayal follow as the audience is forced to speculate on who is allied with who and who is not what they seem.

Tarantino's eighth film, like his others, will contain verbose and larger than life chracters and of course, plenty of blood and violence. Among these eight are Tarantino veterans Samuel L. Jackson and Tim Roth and newcomers like Jennifer Jason Leigh. A post-civil war setting seems perfect for Tarantino to explore his most visited theme of race relations, with the aid of a typically non-linear structure.

Release Date: 8th January 2016.

The Revenant

The Revenant is set in the early 19th century and is based on frontiersman Hugh Glass' (Leonardo DiCaprio) quest for vengeance against those who left him for dead in the aftermath of being mauled by a bear.

The film is very loosely inspired by true events. With Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy in the two leading roles and with Birdman director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu at the helm, expectation for this film is high.  A beautifully shot, brutal survival tale that transcends the overly familiar theme of revenege is what this film promises. With the talent involved both in front of and behind the camera, there is a strong belief that this promise can and will be fulfilled.

Release Date: 15th January 2016.

Spotlight

Spotlight is the true story of how a group of Boston Globe reporters unraveled a huge child molestation scandal within the Cathloic Church. As the story develops, the scope of this decades-long cover-up comes to the forefront.

A fantastic ensemble has been assembled for this film, with great actors Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Liev Schreiber forming the Boston Globe team. Spotlight looks to be a compelling drama that will resurrect your belief in not only investigative journalism but journalism as a whole. The conduct of the Catholic Church is a very sensitive subject and it's refreshing to see an American film that has the confidence to confront this topic in an uncomprimising way.

Release Date: 29th January 2016.

Trumbo

Trumbo is the true story of Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) who was one of Hollywood's top screenwriters. Set in 1947, the film explores how Trumbo and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs. This is Bryan Cranston's first prestigious lead role since the end of Breaking Bad, and that alone should be exciting enough for fans of the show or for fans of great acting in general. The film's look into post-war America's extreme fear and paranoia of Communism makes it very relevant. In today's world where people are being increasingly persecuted for their political beliefs and where political correctness is so prominent, Trumbo has a very salient message.

Release Date: 5th February 2016.

Deadpool

Deadpool revolves around a wise cracking former Special Forces operative turned mercenary (Ryan Reynolds), who is subjected to extreme experimentation. With his newfound accelerated healing powers, he adopts the alter ego Deadpool and havoc ensues.

This film represents a bold new step for Marvel as it's their first adult comic book film, and that alone sells the film. A comic book film with graphic violence, foul language and more adult themes is a very refreshing prospect, in this world where we have a glut of homogenous family friendly adventures. Reynolds has owned this role ever since the ill-fated Wolverine Origins film and it will be great to see him back in the role.

Release Date: 10th February 2016.

Hail, Caesar!

Hail, Caesar! is set in 1950's America and focuses on a Hollywood fixer (Josh Brolin) who works to keep a film studio's stars in line. When famous actor Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) is kidnapped, a plan is set in motion to collect the $100,000 ransom and rescue him. The Coen brothers are among the finest directors of our time and with an ensemble cast that contains none other than Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton and Channing Tatum, this is definitely a must see film. Expect the unexpected with a plot that contains many twists and turns and has you laughing, cheering, gasping and crying in eqaul measure.

Release Date: 26th February 2016.

Kung Fu Panda 3

Kung Fu Panda 3 is the third chapter of Po's (Jack Black) story as his long-lost panda father (Bryan Cranston) reunites with him and the two journey to a secret panda village. When a new threat to China emerges, Po must train the passive pandas to fight. The first two Kung Fu Panda films were amongst the best animated family films in recent years and this third installment has been long awaited and anticipated. The two previous films had a perfect blend of comedy and action and the trailer gives that same impression, as all the talented voice actors from Jack Black to Angelina Jolie to Dustin Hoffman look to be in typically top form.

Release Date: 11th March 2016.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman picks up after the events of Man of Steel as renowned vigilante Batman fears the prospect of a powerful Superman going unchecked, setting up the greatest gladitorial match of all time. Meanwhile while these two heroes are at war, a great threat to mankind emerges. The dreams of comic book nerds and film fans alike will finally be answered as pop culture icons Batman and Superman will finally face off on the big screen. On top of this, you have the well documented polarizing casting of Ben Affleck in the role of Batman and it will very interesting to see what his new perspective on the character is, in what is sure to be the biggest comic book film of 2016.

Release Date: 25th March 2016.




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