Category Archives: Film

WHY I DEFEND WILL SMITH AS THE GENIE

Let’s be honest, how many people were honestly going to say they wanted to see the 1992 animated classic Aladdin remade in a live-action production? Well, Disney have been taking a huge number of the favourites and bringing them into the 21st century by utilising special effects and techniques which seemed impossible when the cartoon counterparts first debuted. While the various images and clips make the film look amazing, the biggest criticisms seem to come on Will Smith playing the all-powerful Genie of the lamp!

I for one was all up for this casting. We knew that you would never get a Robin Williams type of casting, but then again, I feel that makes casting Smith a better choice anyway as he will indeed be different. Over the last few hours, I have been reading some Twitter and Facebook messages and I will be defending this iteration of the blue being that will be at the centre of this remake!

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“He Is Just Doing Will Smith!”

Really? Well done for working that one out. Now I can not say that Will Smith is the best actor in the world, but when you cast the man, you have a good idea of what you are to get from him. When Robin Williams was cast, it is believed he was just allowed to be himself and become as zany as possible to create a Genie that was much loved and definitely the source of much of the humour in Aladdin. So is an actor being like himself really that bad? Nope!

“Why Was He Cast? He Will Just Play The Same Character He Always Does”

Well, can you really get an idea of the character he is playing from a couple of images and 5 seconds of video? If you can, then well done. Why is it the opinion can be stamped to an actor and/or character before the film comes out. Anyone remember Heath Ledger as The Joker? I think the internet exploded that day when the announcement was made. Everyone only remembered Heath for either his romcoms, A Knights Tale (oh god!) and Brokeback Mountain. But it turned out Ledger was awesome and the Oscar was well deserved.

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“I Had Such High Hopes For This…But I Can’t Get Past The Horrible CGI On Will Smith’s Genie”

If Genie was just a human in blue paint, would you be annoyed? Of course. Does a big imposing Genie with blue skin, otherworldly body and huge presence require CGI to work? I would say so. I can understand why many won’t like the CGI. But remember, this is just a few seconds of what is to come. I honestly think it looks OK, Will Smith looks like the genie with his essence all over it like I would have wanted. Also, am I the only one who likes the CGI?

“…I Wanted Gabriel Iglesias”

NO! OH GOD NO! NO NO NO NO NO!!! If I could have chosen, I would have loved to have seen Matt Lucas to create a truly laid back Genie with a rather animated look in real life.

“I Won’t Watch This Car Crash”

Ok, that is up to you. I honestly see that this film will be much like The Jungle Book and Beauty And The Beast and live up to its legacy and actually appeal to audiences old and new. Aladdin was indeed a great movie in the 90’s and the one thing that does sadden me is that Robin Williams didn’t live to reprise his role as The Genie. Apart from that, I reckon this will be a decent movie. It won’t be the best of all time, but it will be successful.

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So, now that I have gone through my timelines and found some answers to the people complaining about the Will Smith version of the character really needs to either wait until we get a bit more footage or just go into the film with an open mind. I know this will not be the perfect iteration of the character, but no actor can ever top what Robin Williams brought to the part when he got in that voiceover booth and unleashed possibly the most iconic Disney character I have witnessed in my lifetime.

What do you honestly think? Do you believe Will Smith will be good? Do you believe he will sink the film? I for one can’t wait to see this film.

Aladdin will be out in cinemas May 24th 2019!

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Jonjo’s Best Of 2018!

2018 has come and gone! While we have massive events such as Avengers: Endgame, the return of Mr. Robot and the new core Pokemon RPG to make this year an awesome one, this is the perfect time to reflect on what I thought was the best of the past 12 months!

Which film did I most enjoy? What was the best book I read? Which show on Netflix was my go-to binge? What TV show made a massive impact to me away from the online giant? These questions and more are about to be answered in the First Annual Singing Whovian Awards For Excellence And Quality!

Best Film – Avengers: Infinity War

This was not easy! 2018 brought us such gems as Black Panther, Creed II, Mission Impossible: Fallout and Bohemian Rhapsody which I am sure will all do well when it comes to the award season in the US. But, for me, the culmination of ten years in the MCU being presented in this epic movie could not be ignored.

Beginning with Thanos taking down the Asgardian refuge ship and killing half of those on board, we see him begin his quest to wipe out half of all life as he sacrifices everything to achieve this goal. Iron Man, The Guardians Of The Galaxy and the other Avengers all come out to fight in this film which truly is bigger than any other that has come before it.

Could you get a more sympathetic yet terrifying antagonist than Thanos? Has there truly been a better film series which has managed to bring together such a huge list of characters that fans have loved over the past decade? Anthony and Joe Russo show that Marvel Studios can not only create a brilliant film, but have truly made the biggest shocker since Luke Skywalker found out his Dad was Darth Vader!

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Best TV show – Better Call Saul

Well, who thought this would happen? Could it be possible that the spin-off to one of the most successful TV shows of all time may actually be just as good or maybe even better than its predecessor? The tale of Jimmy McGill took possibly its most dramatic step this year as Jimmy has to deal with the loss of his brother and try to get his licence back to practice law.

With Season Four taking the biggest time jump so far, we see Jimmy and Kim slowly grow apart as the lives they live continue to divide them as the Saul Goodman persona begins to emerge as a force to be reckoned with. Kim tries to support Jimmy the best way she can, but can she possibly save him from the man he is destined to become?

While the couple may be on the rocks, we also get to see Gustavo Fring as he begins to grow his empire with the help of the fantastic Mike as he has to deal with the operations and tie up the lose ends. Also, as the series prepares for its fifth season, will we see the show eventually come up to Breaking Bad or even fully embrace a more sequel-based setting? I would like to see the show meet a satisfying conclusion with the chance to tie up all storylines for the man we have come to know as “Slippin’ Jimmy”.

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Best Netflix Film – Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

2019 may be the year we will get the new series of Black Mirror emerge on Netflix, but I can’t see many people would have expected this to emerge. A late Christmas present from the streaming giant was definitely welcome when Netflix announced that Bandersnatch was to premiere on the 28th December…but the biggest surprise was yet to come.

When the film premiered, it was later discovered that you could choose the path that the episode was to follow. Whether it was what cereal that central character Stefan would start his day with, what cassette would be blasting from his Walkman or even how you would finish a fight scene, Charlie Brooker has given us yet another classic.

While we may be waiting till later in 2019 for a full Season Five of the hit show, I can safely say that this special will keep many people entertained for hours while they attempt to get all the endings.

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Best Netflix TV Show – BoJack Horseman

Can you believe we have already had five seasons of this fantastic series? BoJack Horseman is the perfect show to blend comedy, drama, speak about everyday issues such as anxiety and depression and also involve anthropomorphic animals who inhabit the world that is so similar to our own. If you’ve never seen the show before, its main star is a Horse-Man who used to star in a sitcom which was a big hit and he now gets by each day as a semi-functioning alcoholic with more mummy issues than Norman Bates.

Will Arnett continues to shine as the troubled star who has to not only deal with his own personal demons, but he also has to get through the loss of his mother in what is possibly one of the finest episodes of TV that I have ever witnessed. The supporting cast all bring their best performances in this season, whether its Alison Brie as Diane begins to deal with her split from Mr. Peanutbutter or even Rami Malek or Stephanie Beatriz for their roles as the workforce behind BoJack’s new series called Philbert.

I honestly could not have thought anything would have beaten season four of this fine show, but Arnett and the rest of the stars are all on top form. BoJack Horseman continues to tackle themes that many other shows would never touch, yet we seem to take it in just as much with these animated creations as we would if the people were real. Bring on Season Six!

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Best Playstation 4 Game – Spider-Man

The PS4 has been possibly the greatest console to come out from Sony, with many games that push the boundaries of what we would consider the standard. In the last few years we have had Bloodborne terrify the masses, The Last Of Us bring people to tears and even the latest God Of War show that it just gets better and better.

Truly, the best of all these in my opinions is Spider-Man! The 2018 game which reinvents all we know about the wall-crawler and provides possibly one of the tightest and most enjoyable gaming experiences ever. The game looks visually amazing and it handles almost as well as a certain caped crusader and his series of games set around the famous prison based in his world.

While not the most original idea brought to the console, the execution of the title character and his world is just stunning. The story is indeed a unique one to any Spider-Man canon that has come before it and I am sure there will be millions of people eagerly awaiting the sequel when it his the Playstation 5 in the future!

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Best XBOX ONE Game – Dragonball FighterZ

This is not a console exclusive, its not the biggest title of the year and it may actually not have sold super well compared to others, but I really really really loved this game. Taking on a more hand-drawn style that reflects the anime has really gone in FighterZ favour to produce the most exciting figher of the year.

While it has come out on the PS4 and also amazed me on the Nintendo Switch too, it is the XBOX ONE which sees it really shine with the 4K visuals on the XBOX ONE X and just bringing back the greatest memories of watching the show. When you get such seemless gameplay and beautiful art design like this, how could you not love it?

Including some great multiplayer options and a story mode from original creator Akira Toriyama is indeed the greatest strength of this game. It takes what has come before from titles in the Budokai and Xenoverse series and really puts you into the action in a way that has never been possible before.

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Best Nintendo Switch Game – Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Was there any other choice? Octopath Traveler was a deep tale with some of the best music in video game history, the Bayonetta 2 port was so much fun to play through and Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu was a fun nostalgic trip to Kanto and I loved throwing all my Meltan into the park. While these games scored high for me, I got my biggest joy from bashing buttons as I took either Kirby or Richter Belmont to victory against the 70+ challengers over them 100+ stages.

When this game was first announced, my only experience in the Smash realm was with the Wii edition in the late 2000’s. But with each Nintendo Direct, the excitement just kept getting higher. The idea of throwing these characters from countless franchises to see them fight it out on these wacky stages shouldn’t be so appealing, but it does work well.

Whether you play alone, with friends or with that pro online who kicks your arse every single time, you can’t help but love this game. It’s simple and complex at the same time. It is visually beautiful and straightforward to play.

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Best Book – The Walking Dead Vol. 30: New World Order

I will admit, I haven’t read a lot of books that actually came out this year. The Walking Dead comic series has got a book edition every six months and never fails to succeed in terms of storytelling, intrigue and character development. For a comic that has been going for over 15 years, the concept is still as fresh as ever and the latest chapter has been indeed ambitious.

As Eugene leads the group to Ohio, the survivors are invited to a community that has many people within its walls, approximately 250,000. While the gang begin to learn about the people in Ohio, Michonne discovers that her daughter has come to this settlement and may still be alive.

Like any Walking Dead story, you find that it is the living characters that are dangerous and unpredictable. Where the story will surely only develop further in the next volume, it is good to see more characters enter the fray such as the unhinged ‘Princess’ and the Commonwealth’s governor Pamela Milton (not another Governor!!!!!). Bring on book 31!

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That was my list, did you agree with any of my picks? Are you upset that I didn’t include Red Dead Redemption 2 on my list of games or that I left Venom out of the running? Let me know.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

CREED II. FILM REVIEW

Technically the 8th film in the Rocky franchise, a sequel to the 2015 ‘Creed’ and a follow-up to the fantastic ‘Rocky IV’! This sequel needed to do so much to entertain both old and new fans as well as create a story which felt like a natural progression of everything that we had seen before. Luckily, the movie is crammed with unforgettable performances and so much drama!

As Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) continues his reign as Heavyweight Champion, he is eventually challenged by boxer Viktor Drago. Why is this opponent so significant? He is the son of Ivan Drago, the man who killed Apollo Creed in the ring over 30 years ago. While Adonis is certain he can take on Viktor, Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) says he will have no part in this match and refuses to see his protégé possibly suffer the same fate as his father.

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Just like ‘Creed’ and the other Rocky films, the fights inside the ring can sometimes be as hard-hitting as those outside of it. This time, we see the relationship of Adonis and Bianca (Tessa Thompson) continue to grow as they begin to consider the life they will have together. The two go through some upsetting times, but will they be there for each other in the end?

Also, we get a lot of focus on Drago (Dolph Lundgren) and his son Viktor as we see the former fighter has since been disgraced and even pushed away from his home country of Russia. Ivan and his son have kept up a rigorous training regime in the hopes that they can return to their home and earn back their pride. Did I honestly feel some emotion towards the man who killed Apollo Creed? I did. Damn it!

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The fight choreography in this film is as good as it has ever been. Every punch hits the audience almost as hard as it does to each fighter, the boxing is indeed as epic as ever and the stakes are possibly at the highest in this franchise since the 1980’s. Steven Caple Jr. is the man in charge behind the camera this time and he makes sure that Ryan Coogler’s hard work continues to pay off. Also, with a script co-written by Stallone, the man who created this world, you know you will get the best from both Rocky Balboa and Lundgren’s Drago.

The shadow of what has come before always looms throughout this film. We know that Adonis is always trying to break out of the shadow of his father, and I say that this is the film where we reach that turning point where the torch has truly been passed on to the next generation. Saying that, the past and the future perfectly collide within this sequel and propels the franchise to heights that many would never have had expected it to touch ever again.

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With a number of cameos which will be a treat to lifelong fans, an emotional dent that is delivered by Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson that will bring a tear to your eye and the breathless boxing match which ultimately sees the second generation of Creed and Drago fight both for themselves and for their fathers.

Truly one of the best films to come out in 2018 and personally for me the best Rocky film since 1985!

Final Rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Pokemon: Detective Pikachu! First Trailer Thoughts

As a massive fan of Pokemon, I have probably played every game that has ever been released about the little pocket monsters who roam the world and are either made to battle by their trainers or just be grinded for candy in Pokemon GO! With this week bringing the release of Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, this has got to the perfect timing to unveil the trailer for this upcoming film!

Yes, the little yellow electric mouse is to make his big-screen live-action debut in 2019! The trailer was revealed earlier today and I must say I am favouring it so far. Making a film set within the world of Pokemon was always going to be a challenge, but it looks as if the real world and the creatures are blended quite nicely with some of the animated characters actually looking quite good.

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Seeing this as an adaptation of the popular spin-off game, Ryan Reynolds is bringing the title character to life in what could possibly be the first truly successful video game movie (or maybe it will fall hard). The characterisations seem to blend well and the sets look impressive, but there is something that does really stand out…THE POKEMON! Some actually look fine while others look almost terrifying and hardly anything like the sprites or drawings we are used to. Also, we know this is set in Sinnoh (Pokemon Gen 4) so can incorporate more than the original 151 that we grew up with.

For me, I am looking forward to seeing what this film will bring. I hope we get a fun movie which isn’t taken too seriously and maybe makes these forms of adaptation more acceptable in the future. The cast, aside from Reynolds, looks decent with Justice Smith (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) playing the main human in this story.

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu is out in cinemas May 10th 2019!

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Ant-Man and The Wasp! Review!

Ok, let’s get this over with. Arguably, this is the weakest Marvel film of 2018 so far! But, is it a bad film? Definitely not!

Set some time after Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is near the end of his two-year stint under home arrest. While he has reconnected with his family, Scott has not been in contact with Hope or Hank since his actions in assisting Cap in Germany. But, when the scientists begin work with the quantum realm, it isn’t long until the former con is back in the fold.

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Ok, I will do a more in-depth look at the film at a later time. There is a lot to take from this movie, first of all is the humour. While Avengers: Infinity War was a more intense and serious affair, Ant-Man and The Wasp is definitely the perfect tonic to the higher stakes we have already experienced. With the comedic timing of Paul Rudd and the unbelievably talented Michael Pena as he gives us some more fantastic improv to bring tears of laughter to the eyes of the audience. Also, the size jokes continue to be a thing…a great, funny, silly over-the-top THING!

The film is not all about Rudd and Pena; though they could honestly do a 2-hour feature with just the pair of them and I would be sold! Evangeline Lilly is indeed a highlight portraying the titular Wasp, it marks a great progression from her first MCU appearance as the feisty Hope looking to fill the boots of her mother (and doing a damn good job). Michelle Pfeiffer’ Janet is great and I hope someone we will see more of in Phase Four! Also, could Hannah John-Kamen’s Ghost be one of the most conflicting antagonists to come so far? Also, wasn’t Walton Goggins fun? How about I just say the whole cast was fantastic (Abby Ryder Fortson is just so adorable as Scott’s daughter, you just really hope she wasn’t subjected to that infamous snap!).

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The film, much like the first, does relish in its smaller scale. Whereas Infinity War and Black Panther had worldwide repercussions, this was a more personal story filled with as many Easter eggs as a supermarket the day after Christmas! If you love some comic goodness or just an affiliation with a certain British musician, this will be right up your street! The special effects reflect well with this and again provide many size related spectacles and gags which again mostly all land. Seeing a GIANT Ant-Man in the water was in one way truly amazing and cheesy in equal measure. Also the car collection, why did that work so well?

If I had a critical point to make, it is within the post-credit scenes (yes, we get two!). While the first clip gives a great tease of what is to come, the second feels like it could have done with maybe a bit more substance. The second actually gives a great hint of what to expect in the future, but it feels almost wasted for a laugh which barely made a chuckle in the packed cinema screen.

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Overall, I have to say I really had a lot of fun. It’s not the best MCU film of this year and would barely scratch my top 10, but there is an appreciation for this segment of the established universe and I do have a particular love for the lead characters. While this sequel may be the most important, it’s fair to say that a potential Ant-Man 3 would make more than perfect sense considering where we conclude!

Give yourself a laugh this summer and remember that we had to wait 4 more weeks in the UK because they thought this film would tank during the World Cup…I waited and I can’t wait for my second viewing.

Final rating: 8/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP..L to R: Wasp/Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

James Gunn FIRED from Marvel! And Why I Am Conflicted!

First off, I do not want to show myself in defence of the words that James Gunn has been known to deliver on his Twitter account between 2008-2011. The comments are disgusting, horrific and beyond comprehension. Twitter has been seen as a dangerous medium for many users who have experienced a “bump” in their career because of what they have contributed to the social media site. Roseanne Barr saw her sitcom swiftly cancelled following the message she put out about a former advisor of Obama, why she thought a racist post would be OK on such a much used site such as Twitter is just insane and I am glad she felt the repercussions.

While Gunn was indeed apologetic for his comments that he made well in advance and must had been aware to Disney and Marvel before his hiring, the company has in the last 24 hours made the decision to eject Gunn from both Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 and out of Disney altogether. This leaving a sour taste in the mouths of the fans and doubts over the future for the film in question.

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The sacking of James Gunn is indeed a strange case, while I feel that anyone who jokes about paedophilia and rape should be taken extremely seriously and punishment should be delivered to that individual, is it right to punish someone after all these years? As mentioned earlier, I don’t see how Marvel and Disney could not have been made aware of these comments before. Why is it only when he made a comment about Trump, which many have done before, did the historical messages come to light?

The Daily Caller; a website you may not be too familiar with, has also shown their loving support to President Donald Trump in recent years. Not only with the slams against Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, but also co-founder Tucker Carlson has seemingly supported Trump over many of the noteworthy articles to fill the papers and the news sites over the last few years.

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As a British citizen, I will admit I don’t dabble in US politics and I also do not have an opinion over what is right or wrong with the political climate of the United States. I write this article more as a piece to consider, James Gunn was exposed by this site and then had members share the historic tweets over the internet. Gunn has in my opinion served his penance and we are talking about the words (not actions) of a man from nearly a decade ago! If the world is able to allow someone to become a world leader after making comments about grabbing women inappropriately or even letting the MCU’s very own Robert Downey Jr. make a comeback after some very dark days, how is this really any different?

Before I finish this, I want to bring forward just one more person…Frankie Boyle! Frankie is a comedian who has possibly created the most disgusting excuses for jokes I have ever seen or heard in my life. Boyle has made jokes about The Queen, Rebecca Adlington, Katie Price’s son Harvey and even mocked those with Down’s Syndrome after performing a supposed 5-minute skit. But, the so-called comic has been allowed to continue with not only his routine, but still regularly features in his own headline TV shows after repeated offences on those who do not deserve the horrid missiles from this awful excuse of a human being.

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Again, I do not accept James Gunn’s comments as the norm and am sickened with the idea that this guy who brought together two fantastic MCU films would have made these words for all to see. I would only say that for so many people who seem to continue to sicken the public with comments and actions are allowed to stay relevant but one man who made a mistake years ago and apologised for it back then has now suffered!

To all the fans of Disney, Marvel, Guardians Of The Galaxy and of Gunn himself, I would ask not to let this incident ruin what you have enjoyed of his work. I admit I can not see the Director/Writer in the same way as I did before this came up, but I do think the work he has done shouldn’t be tainted by what has been revealed. People will always look to hurt someone for one reason or another, and surprise surprise we all make mistakes that will probably bite us in the arse one day!

In the words of The Five Stairsteps…”O-o-h Child, things are gonna get easier. O-o-h Child, things will get brighter!”

Written by a rather disappointed Jonjo Cosgrove

Seven MCU Films That Should Come After Avengers 4

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has never been hotter! 20 films later and the franchise is not only the most successful movie series of all time, but the quality today is a testament to the hard work and fun execution of each entry. Where the films do vary in genre, it is clear that it is all connected. While characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Black Panther have become household names, other favourites like Hulk and Spider-Man have also seamlessly weaved themselves into the MCU.

While we countdown to 2019 (or August 3rd if like me you are in the UK and trying not to get mad at the fact you have to wait for ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ to come out), I want to discuss the Marvel films that need to happen after Avengers 4 closes the Third Phase. Now, I won’t include ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ or ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3’ as they are officially in production. But I will use the films that have been heavily rumoured and mention what I think they could be about.

BLACK WIDOW

WHY – Why not! Black Widow is all but confirmed since the supposed appointment of Cate Shortland as the director of the much-anticipated solo film.

WHAT IT SHOULD BE ABOUT – While there are a good few people who would like to see a prequel film showing Natasha Romanoff in her younger days before becoming an Avenger. But I think a film where Black Widow actually disappears following Avengers 4 could be intriguing. Maybe we could see the character go off the grid and become a mercenary. How about she later returns to New York to take on the Kingpin (yes, I will keep Vincent D’Onofrio).

We could see a revenge storyline slash team up film where Natasha, wanting to stay away from her former allies after witnessing some truly horrific sights, will unite with Matt Murdoch in and out of costume as both finding a new calling and a new romantic partner. Maybe get some cameos from Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist for a Defenders 2.0! Maybe!

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DOCTOR STRANGE 2

WHY – Doctor Strange was one of the most visually stunning films of recent times. While the character has only been part of the MCU since 2016, he played his part as one of the central characters in Avengers: Infinity War. He actually got more screen time than Cap, Hulk, Black Widow, the majority of the Guardians and even Spider-Man! While viewers of that film may doubt his future, this is one character that still has a lot to give.

WHAT IT SHOULD BE ABOUT – The first film saw the rivalry grow between Strange and Mordo, we can only hope that this expands over the sequel and see more screen time for Wong and maybe introduce Brother Voodoo as another ally.

In terms of plot, Mordo could possibly work with another powerful villain to take on the Sorcerer Supreme. Mephisto is one villain that deserves to be brought in, but this could also be a backdoor way to introduce Ghost Rider to the MCU (not counting Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.). Mephisto is super evil and could ultimately trick Mordo and attempt to take over the universe. Maybe a Loki-esque redemption story for the powerful antagonist could see him re-join Strange for a final battle. Introduce hell to the cinematic universe? Could make for a great battleground for the heroes and villians.

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FANTASTIC FOUR

WHY – How many times can FOX royally screw up Marvel’s first family? Well, hopefully that will not be an obstacle for long. With the imminent purchase of 20th Century Fox, Disney will finally be able to bring the Fantastic Four into the MCU. We need another team to rival the Avengers in this cinematic world, plus Ant-Man director Peyton Reed wants to make this film a reality…and I would happily let him.

WHAT IT SHOULD BE ABOUT – With the opportunity to introduce Doctor Doom and Galactus to the MCU, we could see two films centred on Reed Richards and his team as they face off Doctor Doom in the first movie (with assistance from Silver Surfer) and then maybe a sequel which goes between Earth and the Cosmos as the Fantastic Four team up with the Surfer to take on Galactus (or maybe save the almighty villain for another Avengers film in a few years).

We could also see the Fantastic Four debut in the very likely Black Panther sequel, seeing as T’Challa originally came from their comic book, it could be a fitting link and brilliant Easter Egg. Also, maybe this first film could see some distortion in the space/time continuum to retcon them into the MCU…it could work!

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CAPTAIN BRITAIN

WHY – Possibly one of the hardest ones to bring over (his sister is X-Men fave Psylocke), but as Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver managed to cross into the established film series with ease, we could also see Brian Braddock join in very soon. Also, as the franchise has been in the US for its majority with odd spells in Africa and Europe, a UK based hero could be a fun change.

WHAT IT SHOULD BE ABOUT – Brian Braddock could be seen as a scientist who is working on a potential cure for a disease that could be alien related, with him receiving the “Amulet Of Right” as payment from Merlyn. Similar to Doctor Strange, we could see Cap (Britain) learn a new side to his own world and Modred The Mystic could be seen as both the antagonist of the film and a long term rival/former ally to Merlyn.

We could also get some great scenes in Maldon, Essex. As this is where the character originates, it would be fun for me at least to see a truly nice place in the UK on the big screen. We could also see Braddock begin to doubt his might as a superhero and see him try to get back to his life as a renowned man of science.

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WHY – Since taking the title from Carol Danvers, Kamala Kahn has made a great impression with her own adventures which began in 2013 when the character was exposed to them damn Terrigen Mists and discovered her Inhuman capabilities. As proven with Spider-Man, a youthful perspective is never a bad thing.

WHAT IT SHOULD BE ABOUT – Whereas Peter Parker was a more immature yet grounded character, Kahn could possibly go a bit wackier while also highlighting her struggles in her family and with the Muslim faith. We could also see her get help from Captain Marvel and see her take on The Inventor, who was her first villain in her own comic.

What more could we have in this film? As Ms. Marvel is able to shapeshift, we could see some great scenes that involve the title character to disguise herself to find out information or to have some potentially humourous interactions with the Avengers (imagine if Kamala tried to disguise herself as Captain Marvel?). This could be a movie which has that ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ spirit with a dash of Ant-Man for good measure.

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SHE-HULK

WHY – Bruce Banner has unfortunately not seen many of the characters specifically from his comic translate to the MCU. If we didn’t include the 2008 film ‘The Incredible Hulk’, we have only had General Ross and Korg as the standouts. Kevin Fiege has said that there will be more women superheroes, and this one could have the perfect entry. Hulk is likely to stay within the film universe for some time, but it would be good to see his cousin Jennifer enter the frey.

WHAT IT SHOULD BE ABOUT – After receiving a blood transfusion from Bruce Banner, she begins to transform into a milder version of the Hulk. While super strong, Jennifer Walters maintains her personality and intelligence and becomes a powerful ally of The Avengers. We could maybe see She-Hulk and Hulk team up to fight another villain we have almost forgot about…The Leader!

For anyone who saw the 2008 film, there was a small glimpse of Samuel Sterns as he begun to transform into the supervillain with the intelligence to rival the world’s top minds. While Hulk may not be a match for the character on a battle of the brains, She-Hulk could possibly be the one who takes on this almighty foe and give us a conclusion to a long-left plot thread!

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ETERNALS

WHY – We have had enhanced Super Soldiers, Inhumans, Asgardians and even a Hulk! But, how about the offshoots of humanity who are near-immortal? These guys have got some great potential to cause a big threat to the universe and could possibly be the next big clash that could come following the final fight with Thanos.

WHAT IT SHOULD BE ABOUT – These beings are super powerful and have been around since the dawn of man, so how about another space epic which shows a clash that goes between Earth in the distant past and the world as we know it today! We could see The Eternals in their war with The Deviants.

With a tale that could go between Earth, Uranus and Titan (yes, the same Titan that Thanos is from…and he is technically an Eternal). We could see a story which establishes how Thanos’ home world fell to the destruction we saw in Infinity War and see a story which would make it look like the Marvel Cinematic Universe had just been fused with the fighters of Dragonball Z! Now that is a film I really want to see!!!!!!

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Well that is a selection of the films I really want to see in the MCU, and maybe these will form what Phase Four could be! But what films or characters would you like to see? Are you annoyed I didn’t put Black Panther 2 on the list? (let’s be honest, you all know it is going to happen!). Also, could we see the X-Men join in the action? Well, let me know what you think below.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Avengers: Infinity War. REVIEW (non-spoiler)

Marvel has been building this Cinematic Universe for a decade now and we have very much seen the culmination of an 19-movie arc result in possibly the grandest film spectacle of all time!

With this film following on from Thor: Ragnarok, Captain America: Civil War and several other previous releases, we are immediately thrown into the action as Thanos immediately makes his presence known after finding the Asgardian refugee ship in 2017’s Ragnarok! Without giving too much away, this interaction is then what helps connect The Avengers to the other MCU characters who have yet to come together.

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Back on earth, we catch up with our heroes who are just going through everyday life. The threat of Thanos and his hunt for the Infinity Stones is enough to rally earth’s mightiest heroes to protect the planet and prepare for a climactic showdown. In a film which has SO MANY CHARACTERS, there is never a moment where a presence or personality is out of place or not required.

The cast is rich with MCU favourites, and when you see Doctor Strange and Iron Man in one quadrant and Thor kicking it with the Guardians Of The Galaxy in another, I just straight away thought this is the first true COMIC BOOK film. Watching this movie not only flits between these difference characters with ease like in a comic, but the tone and look are all perfectly complimented for each character and the image we represent them with.

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Looking at the newer cast members, we are introduced to the Black Order or “Children Of Thanos” in Infinity War. While we probably don’t get to learn a lot about them, they are all formidable fighters and more than a challenge for the heroes. If I could point out a particular favourite, it would possibly be Ebony Maw who specialises in telepathy and telekinesis. This character also makes himself sound like a preacher who is happy to honour his “god” Thanos and do all he can to fulfil his plans.

The pace of the film is consistent throughout its 2-and-a-half-hour runtime, we are constantly on GO and there is never a dull moment. At the same time, there is almost no opportunity to reflect on what happened 10 minutes previously as you feel like you are living through this film. When I reached the end, there was this weird feeling of joy and delight mixed with frustration and upset, but that’s what you needed when you got to this point. The ending rallies up a number of emotions and I can honestly say I have never experienced a film like this before. Because of the MCU and its rich history over the last decade, that is why I felt this mix of emotion. Can I just say, this was the perfect ending for the movie and perfectly sets up what is to come in the next 12 months.

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While writing up this review, I really wanted to say which character I thought was the best performed or the highlight of the movie. I would probably have to say Thanos is the star and actor Josh Brolin makes the mad titan one of the more satisfying villains in comic book movie history. While Kilmonger in Black Panther made the audience sympathetic and Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming saw a family man doing all he can, Thanos is doing what he honestly believes is the best for all of existence.

In a film with such a bloated cast, there is very little to complain about in terms of characterisation and enjoyment. Everybody plays their part and no single cast member is wasted. Some characters do get more screen time than others, but maybe this will be balanced out in Avengers 4 next year. The special effects are all top-notch and every little detail is presented perfectly. The BIGGEST congratulations though must go to directors Anthony and Joe Russo who took the reigns from Joss Whedon and have created The Avengers film that we needed. There isn’t a lot of films that can take pre-established characters and throw them together into a situation with worldwide implications, but Avengers: Infinity War shows the stakes are at their highest as every corner of the MCU is pulled into this adventure which will forever alter the cinematic Universe that we have come to know.

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The humour is still fantastic throughout, the laughs do still come in great supply and it never throws us off on the emotional scenes and no death is ever underplayed! The action is unparalleled and breath-taking. Plus, how many films will you see Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Doctor Strange, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy…you get the point! As long as you know some background knowledge on the film franchise, you can enjoy this film thoroughly. If you have been with the Marvel Cinematic Universe since day one, I will give you an air high five as we celebrate what is definitely the pay-off for ten years of dedication to this cultural phenomenon we have lived through.

Well done to The Russo Brothers, THIS was the comic book film to beat them all!

So we still have a year to wait for Avengers 4? I may need to watch Infinity War a few more times before that…and so will you!

Final rating: 10/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Look out for my future article where I discuss in detail more plot points and theories for the next film!

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi. FILM REVIEW

*VERY MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD*

“Amazing. Every Word Of What You Just Said Was Wrong” – Luke Skywalker

2015’s The Force Awakens not only established a new trilogy in the Star Wars saga, the film also paved the way for many more exciting adventures and characters to come to us. While the last film was merely the stepping stones to the sequel trilogy, The Last Jedi shows the full potential of a Star Wars movie in this millennium and gives us the best entry since The Empire Strikes Back.

Beginning very shortly after the last film, the rebels are trying to escape the advances of The First Order in one of the greatest cinematic space battles I have ever seen. At the same time, we finally get to see what happens as Rey meets Luke Skywalker (yes, he does get to speak in this one). Rey needs Luke to help with both her own understanding of the force and help the resistance in their fight against the darkness.

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Early in the film, we catch up with Finn, Poe, Leia, Chewie and well…everyone! We also get to see just how much of an impact the destruction of Starkiller Base has had on The First Order. The war is at its high point in this movie and the stakes have never been higher. The shocks are there and the action is breathless throughout, whether it was in space or amongst allies.

One thing we needed in this film was an answer to some of the big mysteries. We get a few answers and there is maybe one or two times in the movie where we have to accept we aren’t gonna be given everything! We also get to physically see Snoke, who inspires much evil and fear in his prominent appearance. Then we have Luke, we get to see what kept him away for all this time and we see just exactly how he feels about the war and his feelings about his nephew, Kylo!

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Same as The Force Awakens before it and the spin-off hit Rogue One, The Last Jedi is a spectacle beyond my mere skills of explanation. The blend of practical effects and the best CGI that money can buy presents us with a depiction of the Star Wars universe that is impossible to hate. While a certain appearance will please the fans of old, one seen of a ship going into lightspeed presents possibly the greatest jaw-drop of the whole film.

Where as Episode VII was the first step back into this world, the new movie embraces what has come before it and ensures us that Star Wars is not afraid to break the cycle. Too many fans were possibly expecting a 2017 edition of The Empire Strikes Back, but that is not the case! Rian Johnson has created a piece which not only slots in perfectly to the established narrative, the film gives a sense of closure to some highly debated questions while keeping our excitement for Episode IX.

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If I could pick my favourite character, I would only change my mind 5 minutes later. Mark Hamill does in this film what Harrison Ford did in The Force Awakens, this is a LUKE SKYWALKER film where as the last part was a HAN SOLO film. Without too much of a spoiler, we get to see a complete story for Luke and the pay-off is incredible.

Daisy Ridley is indeed the heart of the film, Rey is the character we are on the journey with and we do feel her need to learn and embrace the emotions she experiences on this story. Rey and Luke have a dynamic which is reminiscent to Luke and Yoda, but a lot more conflicted. Also, if you had any doubt about Kylo Ren as a villain, Adam Driver shows you in this movie that he is the most dangerous person (if still conflicted within himself) in this universe and someone you do not want to mess with.

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We also get some other characters who shine in the extra screen time. Oscar Isaac’s Poe is fun and inspiring, Anthony Daniel’s C3PO gets a few decent laughs and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran gets to have a lot of fun with John Boyega’s Finn! We also sadly say goodbye to our Princess in this entry. Carrie Fisher has had a lot of attention on her in the last few years and it was her passing which really hit the fans hard. We all knew The Last Jedi was her last filmed appearance in this universe, but I can honestly say that Leia will be going out on such a great note. Nobody could ever replace Carrie Fisher and all I can say is that I wish we had maybe just a bit more from Carrie in this film.

The few gripes I have are just that, almost not worth the hassle. The film is a spectacle throughout and embraces the emotional and intimate beats perfectly. The action scenes remain fantastic and breathless as before. The only main issue I would have would be in the lightsaber battles, you need to watch the film to fully understand why. I just want to say I do like them, but there is nothing that compares to that fight in The Force Awakens!

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With great character progression on multiple fronts, a real push in the story and a great set-up that will probably help for an easier wait for the fans wanting to see Episode IX, this film delivers all it needed to. Sure a few people may not like some of the choices, but you will indeed be surprised by this film and I for one can not wait to see what happens when J.J. Abrams comes back to conclude the trilogy.

Final rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

18 FILMS TO SEE IN 2018

2017! What a great year for cinema!

We had a great share of comic book films, some top action picks and some fantastic comedies and dramas for all to see. Will 2018 be able to give us another Wonder Woman or Thor: Ragnarok? How about a horror to match the awesome IT or 47 Meters Down? What about another great comedy like The Disaster Artist? We have got so much to see in the coming 12 months, so where do we begin? No Fifty Shades on this list!

Insidious: The Last Key

One for the horror fans, this will actually be the fourth entry in the popular franchise! Lin Shaye returns in her battle against the Supernatural, yet again! I will be honest, I only watched the first Insidious film, but for a decent scarefest and an easy film for early 2018 I am sure this will do.

Plus, if you have seen the last three movies, why would you not watch the next one?

Peter Rabbit

Fancy an update on a literary classic voiced by Mr James Corden? Well…it’s coming. While many may not picture the funny man to be the ideal casting for the role, the trailer shows a lot of promise in a tale which will surely appeal to an audience of all ages.

Peter Rabbit will be a thrill to all fans of Beatrix Potter’s legendary characters!

Black Panther/Ant-Man And The Wasp

The Marvel Cinematic Universe proved last year they could produce three greatly received films in one year, and 2018 looks like they will do that all over again. While we will have our first full trip to Wakanda next year in Black Panther where Chadwick Boseman will return as King T’Challa, Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly will always make a comeback as the titular heroes in their own film to come in the summer.

The MCU is about to take its biggest steps this year, and these two film sandwich the almighty blockbuster I will mention in a short while.

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Game Night

Comedy films have worked best when exploring new genres to combine them with. Shaun Of The Dead worked well by blending laughs with zombies and it looks like Game Night will bring in a good murder mystery to this story. A group of friends meet up for their regular game night and it heats up when they end up investigating a suspicious death.

The trailer shows some great quotes from Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman in what might be a surprise hit.

Red Sparrow

Can you imagine if Black Widow from The Avengers was taken away from the comic book world? Well, maybe the story is a bit more original than that. Jennifer Lawrence is a Russian Spy who is trained to gain any intel she needs and takes down her targets by seducing them, which she is taught over her life.

Boasting a great cast, this thriller could be a big hit!

Tomb Raider

Angelina Jolie’s take on the video game character Lara Croft wasn’t exactly the home run many hoped for. The films she starred in were indeed fun, but it looks like the new version brought to the big screen by academy award winner Alicia Vikander will win many over. Swapping the well-polished editions from the early 2000’s is a more gritty and darker entry which I can’t wait to experience upon its release.

If you enjoyed the recent Tomb Raider video game reboot, then you will possibly love this!

The New Mutants

The X-Men may be heading to the MCU in the next few years, but we still have some potentially great blockbusters to come before they enter the successful universe. While we have had a huge focus on the core mutants from Xavier’s school and spin-offs with Wolverine and Deadpool, The New Mutants will be a more horror-influenced entry set to scare and entertain. With Arya from Game Of Thrones and Jonathan Byers from Stranger Things, the cast is impressive and up and coming.

Before Deadpool sets his foul mouth upon the world again, lets see what this side of the X universe holds!

Avengers: Infinity War

The last 10 years have led to this moment! Thanos, the mad titan who was first teased in 2012’s Avengers, finally comes to wreak havoc on our heroes and upon the earth. With Thor, Cap, Iron Man, Hulk, The Guardians Of The Galaxy and many more coming together, can the heroes stop Thanos and his Black Order? The stakes have never been higher and it will be fun to see Josh Brolin take centre stage as the ultimate foe of the MCU!

The most ambitious superhero film is nearly here!

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Disney have already given us two solid entries in the established saga of Star Wars and Rogue One was a worthy entry to enjoy. But, Solo will certainly be a different beast altogether. With the sacking of Lord and Miller as directors and their replacement Ron Howard taking over and re-shooting approximately 80% of the film, will it be good? Well, I will still watch it. It’s Star Wars after all!

It’s time to learn how that scruffy looking Nerf Herder met the Wookie!

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Deadpool 2

Let’s set this straight, Fox basically f**ked up Deadpool in 2009 by making the “Merc With A Mouth” a SILENT antagonist! But then we finally got the Deadpool movie we deserved in 2016 and it was fantastic. Ryan Reynolds will return for Round Two and will bring with him Cable and Domino as well as some other familiar faces. While little is known on the story, we can expect more F bombs and blood and laughs!

Get the family together and warn them before they watch this rather naughty sequel!

Incredibles 2

Possibly my favourite film to come from Pixar, The Incredibles was just so much fun and a heart-warming venture for all the family. While we have had to wait 14 years for this sequel, it is good to know that the film will pick up directly where the first finished and that the majority of the original cast will return. Will lightning strike twice and provide yet another great film which will show up Fantastic Four once again (look it up, a big thing online for many fans)? Yes!

Summer 2018, can you please hurry up?

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

When you bring back a franchise and it ends up being the highest-earning film in the series, why not make a sequel! Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return with Jeff Goldblum (yes, HE. IS. BACK.) and B.D. Wong for a trip back to Isla Nublar as a volcanic eruption begins, threatening the dinosaurs still on the island. Though this looks like a rescue film, there does appear to be a lot more happening in the background.

If only we could get Sam Neill back, this would be awesome!

Mission: Impossible 6

I will tell you this, I did not like Mission: Impossible originally. The first film was ok and the second and third were just shambles in my opinion. But, Ghost Protocol was a lot of fun and Rogue Nation was action packed from beginning to end. If M:I6 is anything to go by, we can expect a lot more excitement with Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson and Henry Cavill’s Moustache!

The clock is ticking on another instalment, fingers crossed it will be an adventure to enjoy!

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The Predator

Remember that brilliant 1987 Predator film where Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers and a gang of other film tough guys? Yes, it was a classic and still looks great today. Shane Black, a star of the original, will helm this follow-up which will bring a new team up against a new alien invader or invaders! Ok, not the most original concept, but who doesn’t want to see Olivia Munn and Boyd Holbrook take on that ugly motherf***er?

Is it too much to ask for a cameo from Arnie?

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Venom

God only knows that is happening with this film. Amy “I F’ed up so many times” Pascal has confused us all and Kevin Feige is probably just as perplexed about how this may or may not fit into the MCU, but there are some positives from this. First, Tom Hardy will take on the title role! Second, Carnage is rumoured to be the main villain and I should note that Ruben Fleischer (Director of Zombieland) is crafting this picture.

Whether or not it is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tom Hardy will certainly be better than Topher “Goddamn” Grace (though he was good in That 70’s Show)!

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Halloween

Halloween by Rob Zombie was fine, but not a touch on the John Carpenter masterpiece from 1978. With a direct sequel coming 40 years later and ignoring all other sequels, Jamie Lee Curtis will return as Laurie Strode and Nick Castle will be back as Michael Myers. John Carpenter may have a back seat to this entry, but be sure to feel his influence when this film comes out in October just before…Halloween!

Embrace the iconic villain that came before Alien, Jason, Freddy, Pinhead, Predator and Jigsaw one last time!

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelward

The first one was fine, I am sure this one will be successful too.

I preferred the Harry Potter films!

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Aquaman

Hire a bad-ass to play Aquaman! Get a great director to helm the film! Get a supporting cast with buckets of talent! Well, the odds are in Aquaman’s favour for this one. Jason Momoa reprises his role of Arthur Curry in the DCEU for his own solo film. With James Wan in the directing chair and co-stars such as Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe and Dolph Lundgren bringing this film together, Christmas 2018 will indeed be a two horse race between this and the last entry on the list.

The Aquaman may still be new for film fans, but this film will surely rocket him to super stardom!

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Bohemian Rhapsody

A biographical film of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen and one of the greatest singer/songwriter’s the world has ever seen sounds like a sure hit. Rami Malek (lead star of Mr. Robot) takes on the role of the Queen frontman and he certainly does look the part. Though with the recent sacking of director Bryan Singer and hiring of Dexter Fletcher in his place, could this dampen the film? We will find out at Christmas 2018.

We Will, We Will…WATCH THIS!

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What films are you looking forward to watch in 2018? Is there a film you feel I should have mentioned? Let me know in the comments.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove