Back in time for Christmas 2017 – Paddington
Published: 6 January, 2017
Dan Carrier takes a look at this year's movies to look out for, from the sequel to Trainspotting, to Paddington 2, which rolls in in the run up to Christmas.
Director Danny Boyle has reunited the gang of Scottish smack-heads to bring us an update in the lives of Renton, Spud, Sick Boy and Begbie. It is 20 years on and Ewan McGregor’s Renton is returning north to find out what came of his friends, while trying to not get caught up in the trials and tribulations of Robert Carlyle’s psychopath character, Begbie.
The original Lego movie was such an incredible ride, so fun, and so surprisingly deep too, it was only a matter of time that we had a sequel. Brace yourselves – this time we join Lego Batman – the undoubted comic star of the first film – as he battles the Joker from taking over Gotham City... expect some homilies about the importance of imaginative play when you’re a kid and remembering what it’s like to be a nipper when you become the joyless ageing parent you promised yourself you’d never become.
Hans Fallada’s extraordinary novel Alone In Berlin – if you’ve not read it, please do so immediately – is brought to the screen by director Vincent Perez. Starring Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson, the heartbreaking tale of Otto and Elsie Hampel, who stood up to the Nazi regime in their own amazing way is one of the most moving stories I have ever come across. I hope they have done the incredible source material justice.
There is something about this film that instantly spells hoot-out-loud disaster – though it may be so bad that it is actually terrific and becomes a late-night cult favourite at the Prince Charles cinema. Directed by Guy Ritchie and featuring Jude Law and Charlie Hunnam, it tells the story of the young Arthur knocking around ancient London, and discovering his royal lineage and then working out what he should do with his new power.
Johnny Depp returns as the Keith Richards lookie-likie pirate, swanning about the high seas on other worldly quests. This time he is hunting for Poseidon’s trident, ably backed by the brilliant Geoffrey Rush. The credits include Paul McCartney (eh?) – but no Keira Knightley, which is a blessing.
We’ve had two Despicable Mes now, and a spin-off with Gru’s Minions taking centre stage. In this instalment, Gru (Steve Carrell) takes on a new character called Balthazar Bratt, with the help of his wife Lucy Wilde (voiced by Kirsten Wiig).
We saw in the Avengers stable Spider-Man become a new character, as Robert Downey Junior’s Tony Stark aka Iron Man went to enrol him. Here Peter Parker continues to be the quiet and fairly nerdy school boy in Queens, New York, with Stark as his mentor. But of course he has to don his Spider-Man onesie, as Stark calls it, and do battle against the Marvel comic baddie The Vulture.
The original 1970s Planet of the Apes franchise ran on and on with some success – and now we have a similar juggernaut building up a head of steam. Rise of Planet of the Apes (2011) and Dawn of Planet of the Apes (2014) have told the back story of the earth Charlton Heston crash-landed on with devastating special effects, and now we have Andy Serkis in motion capture form as ape head Caesar taking on Woody Harrelson’s leader of a ragged batch of humans in the new, simian world. The trailers look seriously bloody, heavy on the weaponry, and as frightening as anything we have seen so far.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve and starring Harrison Ford, the long-awaited sequel to the 1982 smash hit that had Ford as the cop Rick Deckard chasing runway “replicants” – robots that looked and acted human. Ryan Gosling takes on the role of a LAPD officer who uncovers a secret that leads him to try and find Deckard, who has been missing for 30 years. Expect dark and moody urban futurescapes, plenty of neon lights in puddles, and nods to what was widely considered the greatest sci-fi noir flick ever made.
How can you improve on the 1974 original, starring Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Vanessa Redgrave, Jacqueline Bisset and Anthony Perkins? It is one of the greatest, campest and most wonderful period piece adventures of the indomitable Hercule Poirot. This latest edition brings together Jonny Depp and Daisy Ridley and features Kenneth Branagh as Poirot. It will have to be pretty spectacular to beat the original version, especially as surely the whole world knows whodunnit.
The first feature-length film of the cute west London Peruvian immigrant was well received it’s hardly surprising a second helping is served up. The all-star Britflick cast – it reads like a Bafta awards night guest list – includes Hugh Grant, Hugh Bonneville, Brendan Gleeson, Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters, Imelda Staunton, Peter Capaldi and Ben Whishaw as Paddington. It is surely going to be the feelgood film for next Christmas. Apparently the story, directly taken from one of Michael Bond’s tales, focuses on Paddington trying to raise some funds to buy his Great Aunty Lucy a 100th birthday present. Chaos, no doubt, will ensue.