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The Best of the Best – Marvel Cinematic Universe

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I was thinking of saving this for later when MCU is ready with its plan but they probably will continue making those films as long as there’s audience for them, so as I really liked new Cap America, let’s list things to celebrate the success of Marvel!  So far there have been 13 films that are part of phases one, two and three. Obviously there are tons of other films that are Marvel branded, e.g. X-Mens but I will only include films surrounding The Avengers.

avengers-age-ultron-hulk-mark-ruffaloUsually I have in my Best of the Best lists some bubbling-unders and will do that this time too. Though there are only three of them. I’m not a big fan of The Incredible Hulk, the whole Hulk-thing didn’t work for me at all until Mark Ruffalo came along. He’s genious. So that is on the bottom of the bunch and next up is Captain America: The First Avenger, it’s way too American for my taste. Plus Cap is kinda boring. And unfortunately I have to leave Ant-Man out of the final Top-10. I love Paul Rudd but that film was just ok.

10)

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Captain America: Winter Soldier

This is really hard as I’m a fan of the whole universe and all these films are entertaining enough and often more. Well, Cap, until the last chapter, has been way too oldie goldie for me and thus this is my number 10 pick.

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Thor

I love, love, love Loki as many of you might know but if you take him away from Thor films, they are not very entertaining. Especially the first one.

8)

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Iron Man 2

Perhaps. I just checked and I’ve given all three Iron Man movies 8/10 at IMDb. So… I don’t know.

7)

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Iron Man

Yeah. Still don’t really know.

6) iron-man-3-poster-ben-kingsley

Iron Man 3

Right now it feels like I enjoyed this one the best, I really liked Ben Kingsley’s character.

5)
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Thor: The Dark World

Loki. And London is a plus. But mainly Loki.

4)
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Avengers: Age of Ultron

It’s a bit messy and too much but I just love it when they’re all together. And Hawkeye’s storyline worked for me. And it was a bit sad too which is usually nice touch to this kind of action films.

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Guardians of the Galaxy

It’s basically tie between this and number two but like said, I love my avengers, so Star Lord and his crew lost. Then again that killer soundtrack gives it an edge. It’s a tie.

2)

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Captain America: Civil War

Like said and like I wrote few days ago, the latest installment to the series is a great one! Go see it! Spidey! Whose side your on?

1) Loki_Empire_header

The Avengers

But it does not beat the original. Josh Whedon is king of this film, the script is absolutely great. And you know; Loki.😉

What do you think? What’s your favourite?

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Captain America: Civil War Review

captainamericaposterCAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (2016)

Directed by Brothers Russo

Written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (comics by Mark Millar, characters by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby)

Starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Daniel Brühl, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Emily VanCamp, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Chadwick Boseman, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd & Tom Holland

Synopsis (IMDb): “Political interference in the Avengers’ activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.”

First of all, Captain America: Civil War is not really a Captain America movie, it’s The Avengers film. To me that means that I like it better than other Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Or at least it has been that way so far. And you know what, it still stands. New Captain is very good.

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The film is a bit too long but as the ass-kicking still looks good, well, actually, I thought that some fight choreographs were even better than in previous MCU films, it hardly matters. Obviously those scenes need to top each other if you want to place your favourite superheros against each other. Apart from fighting or fleeing, the tone of the film is very sobering as the team ponders what is right and what is wrong and are they too far gone. But it’s still classic MCU and there are great, witty lines written for everyone. Especially for Tom Holland who plays new Spider-Man. He’s absolutely great! I kind
of like to think that he steals the show. And is probably the best Spidey on silver screen ever. Perhaps. I need to see the film again to judge that truly. Just wait for the homage to Star Wars, I couldn’t help to cheer a bit in that scene. Yay!sebastian_stan_hot

Tom Holland might steal the show a bit but everyone involved is great. Obviously. They’ve been playing those characters for some time and some of them really have become them (hint: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans). To me it’s funny how much I like Cap these days as the first Cap film wasn’t my cup of tea. Oh, and all you Sebastian Stan fans; this film is for you. He gets A LOT of screentime. Paul Rudd has great scenes too, I loved that! Ja Hawkeye gets much more time too that I expected, yay for that too, I’m still a big Jeremy Renner fan. On the down side, I’m not sure if I was that into Black Panther and he is going to get his own film… I’m a bit worried about it.

It’s hard to say anything clever of this kind of film. Summer has officially started, popcorn flicks are here (yeah, yeah, there was already one Superman s**t, but who wants to remember that?)! This one is a great one! I recommend to see it. It helps a lot if you’ve seen the other Marvel Cinematic Universe films to keep up. At least the ones with The Avengers. The plot is based on them. Go enjoy! Pure entertainment.

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Soundtrack to My Life Movie Tag

Couple of days ago I read Abbi’s nice post of Soundtrack to my life movie tag that is originally from Le Cinéma en Rose blog and wanted to do my own. So, here we go.

Opening Credits: Favorite Childhood movie

This must be a tie between Star Wars (New Hope) and The Wizard of Oz. I watched them both whenever I went to my grandma’s as we didn’t have VCR at home. Although as this is opening credits, I got to choose Star Wars! What’s more classic?

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Waking up: A film that got you out of a movie watching slump

Well, that actually just happened. I hadn’t watched any films during this month until the day before yesterday and that was The Change-Up that I watched. Hotness of Olivia Wilde gets me out of bed.

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School: A movie you had to watch for school that you ended up loving

Hard one. I got to say Catch Me If You Can. I had seen it before I watched it again and again for my Scriptwriting course but I started to like it much more after analysing it to threads.

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Falling In Love: A director you love so much you want to watch all of their movies

David Fincher is my longest lasting love.

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Fight: Movie with the best action sequences

The Dark Knight. I love those thrilling driving sequences. Very cool bombings also.

 

Break up: A movie you didn’t finish and do not intend to finish

Four Rooms. I just hated it. A lot.

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Hanging With Friends: Movie you think everyone else should watch

Begin Again. I love, love, love it! It made me fly the first time I saw it and world looked so much better afterwards.

 

Breakdown: Movie that seriously affected you/had you crying your eyes out

I’m a huge cry-baby, so there are many but the most… Brokeback Mountain. I might not cry the most but the sadness of it is heart-breaking. “Jack, I swear.” I just watched that final scene (spoiler, obviously) again when I looked it up and yes, it made me tear up.

 

Roadtrip: You favorite series (more than 3 films)

Star Wars. Hands down. Just ditch the first three. I never want to watch them again.

Flashback: Your favorite movie from 5 years ago

Five years ago? I’m just gonna go with my fave that was released about that time. And that’ll be… Wow, there are some very good films released 2010 and -11… But as a favorite that I watch again and again because of them:

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(That’s Thor if you didn’t realise.)

Getting Back Together: What movie can you not stop re-watching

Titanic. I must have seen it something like 50 times.

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Wedding: A movie that is really special to you

Fellowship of the Rings. It reminds me how much I actually love movies and how much I want to be in the industry.

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Moment of Triumph: Longest movie you’ve ever watch

I think it must be Gone With the Wind but it’s not very triumphant as I love the film! But the one that I struggled with is Tarkovsky’s The Mirror. I just don’t get it.

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Death Scene: Movie you wish had ended differently

Friday Night Lights. It is just let down. Way too realistic. And it’s just unbelievably sad if someone’s best days are in high school.

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Funeral: Movie with the best or worst epilogue

The best: Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2. I still love the fact how he named his son.

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Tag can go to anyone who wants to participate! 

 

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The Best of the Best – ROM-COMS

heartsTime for some love and laughs! There’s never enough of those two. Especially these days.

Romantic comedies are my “skeleton in the closet”. I just love them! I can even watch really bad ones. It kind of feels that I’ve seen all romantic comedies. I haven’t really, I do have some kind of limit (read: “made for TV”). Unfortunately there aren’t that many really good ones. Rom-coms are like horror films, only bunch of them are classics. But I do have them on this list (at least almost all of them). I admit, there are some screwball comedies missing, as I still haven’t watched them and the list is also missing When Harry Met Sally because I didn’t really like it. But I did like all these 18 films that I mention next quite a lot.

Like always (see my previous lists like the best cinematographers, directors or TV characters) I have few honorary mentions:

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Sideways that, to me, is more of a buddy dramedy but as all these listed came up from IMDb when searching genres of “romance” and “comedy”, is one of my favourite films that really feel real. And as a wine fan, I love it! Sideways, as a film, is better than some of those in actual TOP-10 but as I don’t see it straightforward rom-com, I left it out. Trainwreck that came out only the last year was a blast and it might end up my eventual TOP-10 but I’ve only seen it once. Pitch Perfect is also great but again, not exactly rom-com. One of the great surprises in the genre lately was Warm Bodies. I’m not a fan of zombies (or movies about them) but this one warmed my heart (and body). One of the classics that I have here bubbling under is Some Like It Hot, that is one great film! And should probably be up there but when I did my list, those 10 were easy to list. Same goes for Groundhog Day. The last one that I have outside of my best ten, is Jerry Maguire. I would have never ever counted it as a rom-com but IMDb does, so here we go. One of the best romantic scenes in films (obviously spoilers):

And now the actual TOP 10.

10) The Proposal

I gave this only 7/10 in IMDb when I first saw it but I’ve seen it since something like five or six times and it always makes me laugh and perhaps tear up a bit. And Sandy is hilarious and you know, I never get tired of watching Ryan Reynolds to take of his clothes.

 

9) Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris is better than it’s standing but as I find the best rom-coms actually laugh out loud funny, this one just isn’t one of those, thus it’s place as number nine. But it is my favourite Woody Allen film and I love the writing and characters in it. I first saw it in the middle of summer and it is beautiful and suited to that warm, dark August night better than anything.

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8) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

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This is what I call rom-com! It even has Matthew McConaughey in it! Before his later years career, obviously. And I loved him already back then. His lovely, cocky Texan ways. I think I’ve seen, if not all, most of his rom-coms because he just is the MAN in them! And Kate Hudson is funny and beautiful and this one is a classic in the genre.

 

7) The Great Race

I actually haven’t seen this oldie with Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood for years and years but it was my favourite when I was a kid and I remember laughing so much. I still remember the funniest stuff. I should definitely watch it again. Great fun!

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Ok, now we come to those six ones that are THE rom-coms to me. I watch them over and over again. And love them! Despite the cheesiness or anything. These are the films to watch when you feel down.

6) Legally Blonde

Some of you might remember how Ally McBeal had a theme song to make her feel more confident with “yes, I can” mentality. Well, Legally Blonde is my theme movie. It’s my encouragement, I always watch it when I feel I can’t. I don’t think it as a rom-com that much but of course it is. BUT the main thing is that Elle doesn’t need a man to be successful and happy and I like that. Plus Reese Witherspoon is genuinely funny.

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5) Never Been Kissed

Yeah, I’ve seen this ten or more times. I’m not a huge fan of Drew Barrymore but here she shines. And all those supporting characters are great too. You should check this to see young Jessica Alba and James Franco. Cheesiness factor is quite high but who cares.

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4) Love Actually

As this is already my Christmas number one and the film that I wish would survive after armageddon (with few people as there wouldn’t be any point otherwise), I’ll let it slip and put it my number four on this list. But it is still ultimate rom-com. And British do it better. They are funnier.

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3) Bridget Jones’s Diary

I hate the fact that Bridget so desperately needs a man in his life (and I don’t like the second part, she’s way too silly in it) and that she looks, well, maybe, actually, real with her idiotic clothes and desperate need of a cut -hair and is way too ridiculous but maybe that’s the point. We can relate. Where’s my Darcy? Plus genuinely funny! The scene where Bridget introduces the author of Kafka’s Motorbike, I still can’t watch it, too humiliating. And super-funny. And come on, Colin Firth is… Well, Colin Firth. Love him. Who wouldn’t like to be liked “just the way you are”?

 

2) Notting Hill

Have you been to Notting Hill? I would love to fall in love there too. Or in London, generally. Like I said, British do it better; they’re funnier, more real and romantic, apparently. Notting Hill with that Ronan Keating song might be too much to some but not to me. I still laugh, especially when Horse & Hound is interviewing other cast members or Spike is doing anything, or when William says “upsy-daisy”, so hard when watching this. Oh, and I cry so much when watching this film. And in the end I’m so in love and uplifted. That’s why this genre exists.

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1)  Four Weddings & a Funeral

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I should probably thank Richard Curtis for making my life better (thank you, Mr. Curtis) as all four in my top-4 are written by him. Four Weddings being THE romantic comedy. (Thanks for Hugh Grant, apparently, too! I didn’t realise before that he is my ultimate rom-com leading man…) I also always say I’m not a big fan of 90’s films. I guess I’m lying. Thank you also introducing me to W.H. Auden.

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

OK, now I want to watch all these great, feel-good flicks. I’m glad they exist.

The Oscars Review: Room & Brooklyn

I know. I’m late with this and I actually already decided not to write this post at all but as I’m now a bit lazy mood after spending hours reading others’ blogs, I’ll just go with this now. roomthemoviewithbrielarson

ROOM (2015)

Directed by Lenny Abrahamson

Written by Emma Donoghue

Starring Jacob Tremblay & Brie Larson

Synopsis (Imdb): “A kidnapped mother and son make a daring escape, and experience a dramatic homecoming provoking a look into the power of imagination and the unstoppable force of a mother’s love.”

I really, really wanted to love this little film but unfortunately I didn’t. Room was nominated for four Oscars this year including the best picture, actress in a leading role, adapted screenplay and directing. And it should have been nominated for the best actor in a leading role too as Jacob Tremblay is the star of the film (with Larson). It still bugs me that he wasn’t. But thankfully he stole the show in most of the awards shows anyway.

Besides Tremblay, Larson was on top form and I’m very glad she won the best actress. I’ve liked her since seeing her in 21 Jumps Street and in all of the films I’ve seen her since she’s been at least good and very relatable. In Room she’s fantastic. Although I didn’t really like her character. But I think that is a praise to her acting skills as her character has a hard time to adjust and acts like that. It was much easier to like Tremblay’s Jack than Larson’s Ma. The acting is anyway definitely the best part of Room.

I’m not sure if I 100% support Abrahamson’s directing nod. The film is well-done and especially interestingly shot but that’s due to cinematography, I think. It’s amazing how Room looks like before and after. Maybe it’s Abrahamson who got those amazing roles out of his two stars. I don’t know but I’m sure he’ll have bright future ahead. I’m glad Emma Donoghue got a nod for writing as the original novel is hers too. And I do think that if you’re going to nominate something for directing, writing and acting, it should be the best picture contender too, so that was OK.

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When it comes to my opinion outside of acting, I don’t know. I was a bit bored, the story became quite soon an uninteresting one and I just wished that the film would end. It didn’t go under my skin what I was expecting after all the praise. Over-hype made it underachiever to me, I guess. It’s good but nothing spectacular.

Rating: ***½ (out of 5)

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BROOKLYN (2015)

Directed by John Crowley

Written by Nick Hornby (novel by Colm Tóibín)

Starring Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen & Domhnall Gleeson

Synopsis: “An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.”

If Room was boring to me, this was way worse! I think I took three pauses while watching Brooklyn, it just wasn’t interesting enough. Brooklyn was nominated for three Oscars; picture, adapted writing and best actress. And I don’t really know why? OK, I admit, Saoirse Ronan was great but she’s quite often great. Her character is shitty, little bitch who doesn’t appreciate anything. (See, there’s my problem with this film; I couldn’t relate to it at all!) I also think that Emory Cohen was very good, he was like I imagine good Italian boys of that time to be. His character was deffo the best thing in film. Apart from costumes, I liked those!

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When I saw the first trailer for Brooklyn, I thought it would be totally my cup of tea and usually I like this kind of stuff but this time when I wasn’t bored I was frustrated of infuriated with Ronan’s character, Eilis. How annoyingly selfish a person can be? Gosh. Come on, girl! You have your whole life ahead of you and you just whine and whine and stay miserable. Plus the character is really bland. Not good entertainment.

What did I like? Well, it looks pretty, the colours are nice and like I mentioned, I liked the costumes and Emory Cohen. And Irish accents. And New York but I always like New York.

Rating: **½ (out of 5)

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New York by me back in 2009. 

February Films Watched

Update!

So, in February I watched following films:

  1. Enough Said (2013) ***
  2. The Martian (2015) ****
  3. The Voices (2014) **½
  4. The Riot Club (2014) ***
  5. About Time (2013) ***½
  6. The Joneses (2009) ***
  7. The Imitation Game (2014) ****½
  8. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) ****
  9. Clueless (1995)
  10. Pride (2014) ***½
  11. Room (2015) ***½
  12. Brooklyn (2015) ***

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And five seasons of Bones. Yes, Bones is ruining my goal of watching 200 films this year like I decided in my 50/50 challenge this year. I also didn’t manage to read a book in February. I’m still in the beginning of one which is not very good and as an excuse, as I forecasted in my previous update from January, my life changed a bunch when I moved to northern Finland, Lapland, to work at a restaurant during the high tourism season. So, I’ve basically been working and sleeping and watching some Bones during few spare hours since the middle of February. david_duchovny_sexy

Looking that list, you can see I didn’t manage to watch any of the films on IMDb-list of Top-250 and the ones that I saw for the first time weren’t that good. They were OK but not great. The Imitation Game, though, was as good as it was a year ago.  And The Joneses was the best surprise of the month as I had never even heard of the film when we run into it while browsing Canal+ Go selection. It’s always nice to look David Duchovny.

Oh, I did spend hours for this list of possible future Oscar contenders, take a look!😉

Past-Oscar Thoughts And Some for the Future too…

leonardo-dicaprio-oscarsIt’s over again. The awards season and especially the Oscars weekend. This year I was “forced” to spend it alone compared to those past Oscar weekends that I’ve spent with friends watching films and eating well and debating about dresses and who should or should not win. But thanks to social media, it was very easy to stay touch with my girls and continue debating during the red carpet and show itself even when there’s 1000 km between us.:)

Thoughts… Well, apart from Sam Smith winning over Lady Gaga I thought all winners were deserving and none of the wins made me angry, quite the opposite. Especially happy I was obviously for Leo (I think everyone was!), Lubezki (again), Mark Rylance (which I predicted correctly!), Morricone for music, Ex Machina for visual effects and of course for the Best Picture going to Spotlight which was my favourite film of the season! Here’s my review of it if interested. I still don’t get why people were so surprised by its win? Justin Chang of Variety puts it to words why it was the best choice to win.

When it comes to the show itself, I wasn’t a fan. I don’t like Chris Rock and especially now when the whole attention was on #OscarsSoWhite discussion, the show was awfully repetitive and not very funny. And really; bringing out all these minority representatives? Kind of obvious and a bit weird. At least to me. Thankfully many of the attendees made the point clear; there should be better offers for people of minorities in movies and from my point of view, I believe we’re on a right track where TV is leading the field (think of Scandal or anything from Shonda Rhimes or Orange is the New Black or Modern Family etc.). It’s good to make people think but as the winners proved, Hollywood hardly is the racist part of the US as already the best director and cinematographer  of the year (and the year before that too) are Mexican.

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In reference to my predictions, this year I got 75% correct which is good but not my best (that being 82% if I remember correctly). The ones that I got wrong were the best song, visual effects (wonder if anyone got that right?!), two short categories I predicted wrong (hard ones as I hadn’t seen any of them) and I got sound mixing wrong when I chose The Revenant instead of Mad Max and also editing when I had The Big Short instead of Mad Max. Oh, I’m also very glad that Mad Max won that many Oscars! Go Aussies!❤ Btw, I always predict at Gold Derby site and again those “experts” lost to users and I keep wondering why they call them Experts?! Even I beat most of them…

What about the future? Well, I already have my short list of possible contenders here at IMDb, check it out! There’s Michael Fassbender with two films, The Light Between Oceans from Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) with bo and brand new Oscar winner, Alicia Vikander, and Weightless from Terrence Malick with cinematography by Lubezki and co-acting by e.g. Natalie Portman, Benicio Del Toro, Christian Bale, Holly Hunter, Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling and Cate Blanchett (some cast, huh?!). There’s also (for techs) Star Wars spin-off and new X-Men and Star Trek movies coming out this year and there’s Morten Tyldum’s (The Imitation Game) Passengers with JLaw and Chris Pratt (he’s also in Magnificent Seven this year). Btw, I just noticed that this girl, Haley Bennett, is in three of these films mentioned so far, ryangosling_emmastonebet she’s the It Girl of 2016. Never heard of her before, remember the name! What else?! There’s already Sundance certified Manchester by the Sea (Casey Affleck getting the most of the mentions and also Michelle Williams), another Michelle Williams vehicle in Certain Women and of course The Birth of the Nation that was bought by Fox Searchlight with $17,5 million and will be released in October to be ready for the awards season. And there’s also my “the most awaited” film, La La Land, a film by Damien Chazelle who did amazing Whiplash, the best debut for ages, and stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.❤ There’s also so, so many other “looks great on a paper” films that makes 2017 look promising again. Go and see yourself. I’ll get back to that list in May when Cannes has had its say.

P.S. I liked Cate Blanchett’s dress the best but only she could’ve wear that dress. Only she.

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