Most Anticipated Films of 2018

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2017 was a big year for film, but more about that in a few weeks time. I want to talk about the upcoming films of 2018 that I’m looking forward to seeing.

1.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure

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Release Date: 26th January 2018

Young hero Thomas embarks on a mission to find a cure for a deadly disease known as the “Flare”. – from IMDb

Ever since The Scorch Trials adaptation came out, I’ve been waiting and waiting for The Death Cure to drop. Unfortunately, due to the star Dylan O’Brien being injured on set, the release date was pushed back nearly a year! We’ve had a three-year drought since the second movie was released, but now it seems like we finally will be getting the third movie in the franchise! Hurrah!

2.

Avengers: Infinity War

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Release Date: 4th May 2018

The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe. – from IMDb

We have been building up to Avengers: Infinity War for years now. Every Avengers film that gets released, there is some reference or credit scene that pieces the puzzle together for the final showdown for the Avengers. With an all-star cast and most of the characters coming together, this is set to be an amazing film!

3.

Mary, Queen of Scots

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Release Date: 2 November 2018

Mary Stuart’s attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England, finds her condemned to years of imprisonment before facing execution. – from IMDb

As you all know, I love Mary, Queen of Scots (thanks to Reign, tbh) and I’m fascinated by her and her place in history. Reign interpreted Mary’s life very differently to the biography I recently read by Margaret George, so I’m excited to see what take director Josie Rourke has on her life.

4.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

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Release Date: 16th November 2018

The second installment of the ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ series which follows the adventures of Newt Scamander. – from IMDb

I have to preface this selection. I WAS excited about seeing the second Fantastic Beasts movie. Then, I heard that the studio had chosen not to re-cast Johnny Depp in light of his domestic violence against his then-wife Amber Heard. JK Rowling posted a very vague response to his continued involvement in the franchise, and whilst there may be legal injunctions to prevent her from speaking about certain things, the fact remains that Grindelwald had another face (Colin Farrell) for ninety percent of the first Fantastic Beasts film, and it would be easy to re-cast with another actor and write into the script that Grindelwald had changed his face yet again. Contractual obligations can be broken, for example, Kevin Spacey was fired from House of Cards due to sexual abuse. It can be done. Anyway, we’ll see what happens between now and when the film is released. But as of right now. I’m not happy.

5.

Mary Poppins Returns

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Release Date: 25 December 2018

In Depression-era London, a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives. – from IMDb

The original Mary Poppins film is one of my absolute favourite films of all time. I adore it. It fills me with so much joy, and when Saving Mr. Banks came out a few years ago I loved it even more. Now, Mary Poppins Returns, with Emily Blunt in the title role, (perfect casting by the way), and Lin-Manuel Miranda as a chim-chiminy cheerful chimney sweep, I can’t wait to watch this film next year and have the Mary Poppins legacy live on!

So these are the movies I’m looking forward to in 2018. Are you looking forward to any of these? Or have I missed a few good ones off the list? Let me know in the comments!

Top 10 Classic Disney Films

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Disney films are the closest thing to real magic (except for Harry Potter). In my expert opinion, there is nothing better than laying down in bed, with a nice hot mug of coffee/tea/hot chocolate/beverage of choice and a good Disney movie. Even the idea alone will turn a bad day into an extremely, awesome, very-good day. 

There are SO MANY Disney films to chose from, so for this list I’ll be examining the classics only. Just to clarify, there won’t be any films on this list released after the year 2000. Maybe I’ll do another list including more recent films, but anyway, here are my top ten favourite classic Disney films.

10

 

Sleeping Beauty (1959)

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After being snubbed by the royal family, a malevolent fairy places a curse on a princess which only a prince can break, along with the help of three good fairies. – from IMDb

Sleeping Beauty is my favourite Disney ‘Princess’. Why I here you ask? Her sole want in life is to marry a man she met once and only has around twenty minutes of dialogue in the whole film. I believe there is much more to Aurora than the film presents. Also, in terms of retellings (which are a firm favourite of mine) there is so much more scope for development and exploration for her character. The film itself is visually stunning, the three fairies are fairy godmother goals af, and Maleficent is probably one of the best villains out there.

9

 The Aristocats (1970)

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With the help of a smooth talking tomcat, a family of Parisian felines set to inherit a fortune from their owner try to make it back home after a jealous butler kidnaps them and leaves them in the country. – from IMDb

Cats. Cat burglars. Cats receiving inheritance. On paper, you would be laughed out of your film pitch meeting. In practice, coming from Disney, it’s certified genius. With jazz music aplenty (played by cats), a road trip from the outer French countryside back to Paris (because cats have excellent navigation skills), and saving the day by sending the mean old butler off to Timbuktu (outwitted by many cats), this cat-crazy-classic is one you won’t forget easily.

(Did I mention it’s got cats in it?)

8

Peter Pan (1953)

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Wendy and her brothers are whisked away to the magical world of Neverland with the hero of their stories, Peter Pan. – from IMDb

How many children have dreamed of being visited by Peter Pan in the middle of the night and swept off to Neverland for fun, frolics and flying!? Just don’t mention the pirates… or the crocodile… Anyway, despite being based off of JM Barrie‘s original book, Disney‘s image of Peter Pan is what makes this film bonafide classic in it’s own right.

7

Mulan (1998)

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To save her father from death in the army, a young maiden secretly goes in his place and becomes one of China’s greatest heroines in the process. – from IMDb

Mulan is my favourite Disney ‘Warrior’. Notice I didn’t say she was a Princess, because she isn’t, and that’s why I love her. Mulan is an ordinary girl who goes to extraordinary lengths to defend her family and her country. Her passion and drive is something I admire in her, and coupled with her feel-good friend Mushu (my personal highlight of the film) this film is Disney at it’s finest.

6

Aladdin (1992)

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When a street urchin vies for the love of a beautiful princess, he uses a genie’s magic power to make himself off as a prince in order to marry her. – from IMDb

My love for Aladdin stems for my love of Robin Williams. Even though the film is called Aladdin, it’s the Genie voiced by Williams himself, that steals the show. One of my favourite trivia facts from Aladdin was that Disney had over sixteen hours of material from Robin Williams ad-lib-ing throughout the recording. Also, it’s a very bittersweet feeling knowing we can keep Robin Williams’ memory alive through watching this film, knowing our genie, is in fact, free at last.

5

Alice in Wonderland (1951)

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Alice stumbles into the world of Wonderland. Will she get home? Not if the Queen of Hearts has her way. – from IMDb

As we’re getting into the top five now, it’s difficult to detach my personal feelings from the following films. Created from Lewis Carroll‘s bizarre novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, this adaptation serves as one of the most recognisable. Despite a lack of structure, and flitting from one sub-plot to the next, it’s Alice in Wonderland‘s scatty charm that makes this film so appealing.

4

Robin Hood (1973)

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The story of the legendary outlaw is portrayed with the characters as humanoid animals. – from IMDb

Cheeky Robin Hood and charming Little John are the perfect double act. But it’s the community that suffers under the reign of King John that makes this film such a classic. The story of robbing the rich to feed the poor is one we can all sympathise with, and it’s Robin Hood determination to end the poverty of his friends that strikes a chord in the hearts of the viewers.

 3

The Sword in the Stone (1963)

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The wizard Merlin teaches a young boy who is destined to be King Arthur. – from IMDb

The tale of King Arthur and Merlin is one that is so well known that it’s almost not worth repeating, but it’s this particular adaptation of the tale that I find myself watching again and again. If it’s not the endearing grumpiness of Archimedes the owl, or the scatty charm of Merlin, it’s the childhood wonder of Arthur, or Wart, that makes this film one of my top three.

2

Mary Poppins (1964)

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A magic nanny comes to work for a cold banker’s unhappy family. – from IMDb

I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone who wouldn’t have Mary Poppins in their top ten. This movie musical captured the hearts of many when it was adapted from the original novel by PL Travers. This adaptation process was documented in the incredibly crafted Saving Mr Banks, which made me love the film even more than I already do.

And finally at number one…

1

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

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An apprentice witch, three kids and a cynical conman search for the missing component to a magic spell useful to the defense of Britain. – from IMDb

You may find my number one choice to be a slightly strange one, but I’ve already said how difficult I may find it to stay impartial when choosing my top five. My ultimate go-to Disney film is Bedknobs and Broomsticks, just filled with such song-driven delight, a mixture of animation and life action, with a rich depth of history and mystical happenings.

I’ve so enjoyed making this list! Let me know if you’d like to see more top ten’s, and get talking in the comments if you agree or disagree with me.

My Top 10 Movie Musicals

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The “movie musical” is a genre that has become increasingly popular over the years. With West End shows more popular than ever, it seems every director is jumping on the all-singing, all-dancing bandwagon. Recently, classics such as Les Miserables and Into the Woods have taken the leap from Stage to Screen starring big names like Hugh Jackman, Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep. I’ve watched a fair few myself, taking pride of place in my illustrious DVD collection, so I’ll be ranking my favourites from ten to one. As always, I’ll only include films I’ve seen and can vouch for, and I’ll only include titles that have appeared on both the stage and the screen.

10

Sweeney Todd

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The infamous story of Benjamin Barker, AKA Sweeney Todd, who sets up a barber shop down in London which is the basis for a sinister partnership with his fellow tenant, Mrs. Lovett. Based on the hit Broadway musical. – from IMDb

The Burton/Depp/Bonham-Carter conglomerate has been a bit hit and miss (let’s not talking about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), but Burton definitely got a hit with his re-imagining of the Tale of Sweeney Todd. The cinematography is sufficiently creepy, with fantastic performances from Sacha Baron Cohen as Pirelli, Jamie Campell Bower as Anthony, Ed Saunders as Toby, and Alan Rickman (RIP) as Judge Turpin.

9

Les Miserables

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In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker’s daughter. The decision changes their lives for ever. – from IMDb

One of the more recent movie-musicals to hit the screen, and one of the most incredible all-star casts since Love Actually. The only reason this film doesn’t chart higher on the list is because it’s so long! The stage musical itself is generous in length, but I often don’t watch the DVD because I don’t have time to watch it in it’s entirety. Anne Hathaway and Samantha Barks give standout performances, and it’s interesting to observe these stars singing live, which has never been done in a movie-musical before.

8

The Sound of Music

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A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower. – from IMDb

On paper, this film shouldn’t work. Singing nuns, seven children, clothes made out of curtains, yodeling, goats and Nazis! But there’s something familiar and warm about the Sound of Music, and Julie Andrew’s portrayal of the naive and feisty Maria. In my house, it’s practically tradition to watch this ever Christmas.

7

Love Never Dies

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10 years has passed since a fire broke out in Paris – leaving only a mask behind… As the love story continues in Coney Island, NY. – from IMDb

This musical is my guilty pleasure. It seems like someone has turned Phantom of the Opera into a sticky soap-like fan-fiction, and is loosely based off of The Phantom of Manhattan by Frederick Forsyth, the unofficial sequel to the original novel by Gaston Leroux. I’m not quite sure what Andrew Lloyd Webber was on when he wrote this musical, but there’s something beautifully bizarre that keeps me coming back.

6

Billy Elliot

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A talented young dancer has to learn to fight for his dream despite social and parental disapproval. – from IMDb

So this is a slight cheat here. Billy Elliot the original film had music in it, but wasn’t necessarily a musical. It was adapted to stage in 2005 and most recently, the live production was streamed out to hundreds of cinemas around the country, and was released on DVD. I’ve seen Billy Elliot in London four times, and I love having a piece of it to watch at home.

5

The Phantom of the Opera

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A disfigured musical genius, hidden away in the Paris Opera House, terrorizes the opera company for the unwitting benefit of a young protégée whom he trains and loves. – from IMDb

Okay, slight cheat numero dos. I haven’t ever seen The Phantom of the Opera film starring Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum (can you blame me? I’ve only heard bad things), so I prefer to watch and listen to the 25th Anniversary Live performance with the Holy Trinity (Karimloo/Boggess/Fraser). I know some parts were tweeked from the stage version normally shown in London, but I really enjoy watching the Holy Trinity at their best.

4

Into the Woods

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A witch tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree. – from IMDb

This film was my most favourite of 2015, with another all-star cast, all of whom had fantastic voices and an imaginative reworking of Sondheim’s classic tale. Meryl Streep’s performance as the Witch particularly stands out, and Corden and Blunt’s chemistry leaps off the screen, perfectly complimented by Anna Kendrick as Cinderella. The list is endless for reasons why I love this film.

3

Rent

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This is the film version of the Pulitzer and Tony Award winning musical about Bohemians in the East Village of New York City struggling with life, love and AIDS, and the impacts they have on America. – from IMDb

This film was what kick-started my love for Rent. I know this ensemble doesn’t contain entirely the original cast, but having most of the originals there made it so much more special. The screenplay was also written by one of my favourite writers Stephen Chbosky who famously wrote The Perks of Being a Wallflower (book and screenplay).

2

Jersey Boys

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The story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons. – from IMDb

My Jersey Boys obsession has been a recent discovery, as last year I saw the musical for the first time when it came nearby on tour. There’s something so electric and charming about these four guys and their dynamic that keeps their story timeless. The movie is directed by Clint Eastwood and instead of casting well known actors in the roles, Eastwood decided to cast actors who had played the roles on the stage, including John Lloyd Young, who won a Tony for his performance as Frankie Valli on Broadway.

1

Mary Poppins

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A magic nanny comes to work for a cold banker’s unhappy family. – from IMDb

Mary Poppins is probably one of the greatest musicals ever written. Originally adapted from the book written by PL Travers, into the Disney Classic we know and love today. The story was then adapted onto the stage, starring a young Carrie Hope Fletcher, and closely resembled the book, rather than the sugary-sweet practically-perfect Mary that we were closely affiliated with. To me, Julie Andrews is at her best in this role and is my all time favourite movie-musical.

What do you guys think about my top ten? Have I missed any out? And do you agree or would you rather see a different film take the top spot? Let me know in the comments.