Thursday 31 December 2015

My Top 10 Films of 2015

December is coming to a close, and as is the well-established tradition by now, that means it's time to put together a conclusive list of my Top 10 Films from the year.

2015 has been an absolutely stellar year for movies, with piles upon piles of thrilling, immersive and exciting films landing on our cinema screens across the year. Picking a personal Top 10 might seem a little redundant underneath the hundreds of other end of year lists, but I think it's fun and feels like a nice way to round out the year.

So, which ten flicks made the cut this year?

Tuesday 29 December 2015

Quotes Corner - 2015 Edition

Quotes Corner is a regular feature that I run where I compile the wittiest, snappiest and most memorable lines (for better or worse) from a particular TV show, film or celebrity - in the past I've covered Modern Family, Community and Jennifer Lawrence to name just a few.

But, in the spirit of December and looking back at the year that was, I've decided to collect together a bumper edition of my favourite movie quotes from the year - whether they were great (The Martian) or awful (Fifty Shades of Grey), these one-liners helped shape cinema in 2015. Which are your favourite?

Sunday 27 December 2015

60 Second Film Reviews #24

Quick movie reviews, without the waffle. 60 Second Film Reviews is a regular feature where I compile together brief reviews of recent films I've watched at home or at the movies - and generally couldn't be arsed didn't find time to write a proper review for.

On the slate this month, we have a fresh take on a super sleuth in Mr Holmes, sexy home invaders in Knock Knock and spooky ghouls and monsters for the kiddies to enjoy in Hotel Transylvania 2.

Saturday 26 December 2015

Monday 21 December 2015

My Top 5 TV Shows of 2015

It might be an adage repeated so often that it's lost all meaning, but we're currently enjoying a 'golden age' for TV. When else has there been such a wide-ranging variety of quality shows for viewers to choose from across so many versatile platforms, akin to a delectable buffet where the next engrossing treat is just waiting to be unearthed and gorged upon.  

My 2015 has been filled with some truly amazing TV; from The CW's excellent ongoing superhero shows to the vast array of Netflix Originals arriving on a monthly basis.

Before we start, some ground rules - obviously, I haven't watched every single show that aired in 2015. That'd be ludicrous. I'd never leave the house. Neither have I 'caught up' with every show I do watch (Parks and Recreation Season 7, True Detective Season 2), so I can't judge how good their most recent runs have been. This post is simply to illustrate my TV highlights from what's new in 2015.

Sunday 20 December 2015

My 2015 Movie Soundtrack Playlist

"I want to write and feel the drama. Music is essentially an emotional language, so you want to feel something from the relationships and build music based on those feelings" - Howard Shore

Every December I take a look back at the year that was and cherry pick some musical highlights, whether they be soaring orchestral scores or licensed tracks that have been inserted into films to great effect.

This year we've enjoyed a lot of really great film scores, with both new and returning favourites - from Junkie XL's primal drums in the soundtrack to Mad Max: Fury Road to John Williams reviving the iconic cues we've come to know and love in his wonderful arrangements in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And although the movie itself was a bit of damp squib, Thomas Newman's exotic soundtrack on Spectre proved to be a highlight of my year. Some indie favourites also include the soundtracks behind Ex Machina and It Follows. I've also cheated a little by including some Ramin Djawadi once again proved excellent scoring the latest season of Game of Thrones soundtrack and is well worth being included in the discussion.

Saturday 19 December 2015

Film Review: Star Wars - The Force Awakens

Director: JJ Abrams
Starring: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Lupita N'yongo
Runtime: 135 minutes

It's been ten long years since the last Star Wars film, and a whopping 35 since the last great Star Wars film - until now. Star Wars: The Force Awakens revives the slumbering franchise and injects new characters, adventures and tragedies into the iconic galaxy far, far away.

Tuesday 15 December 2015

Film Review: The Good Dinosaur

Animation deities Pixar return for a second time in 2015 with The Good Dinosaur, a sweet tale of Arlo, a timid dino who forms a close personal friendship with a young human orphan, Spot. 

Monday 14 December 2015

Film Review: The Ridiculous Six

Yeehaw! Saddle up for the nadir of Adam Sandler's career with The Ridiculous Six, his first movie to stream exclusively via Netflix. Lewd, crude and destined to put you in a bad mood, you're better off doing literally anything else with your precious spare time.

Saturday 12 December 2015

Golden Globes 2016: The Nominations

Roll out the red carpet and flash the fakest grin you can muster because awards season has well and truly arrived! 

The unveiling of the Golden Globe nominations for 2015 signals that it’s time to forget about popcorn-munching blockbusters for a few months and pretend like we’re all really interested in who takes home a shiny piece of metal with their name on it. 

Friday 11 December 2015

Thursday 10 December 2015

Classic Film: The Apartment

Criticised upon release for its smutty depiction of infidelity, The Apartment is a timeless romance that is equal parts sweet and sentimental.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

My Top 5 Worst Films of 2015

For the most part, my blogging experience is for talking about and celebrating awesome movies. Films that make you woop, cheer, punch the air, cry, gasp and sing with joy.

And yet, there is the odd film that sticks out as being utter shite. Every now and again, a movie comes along that is just so bad, so completely crap, that it just has to be ripped apart. Welcome then, to my Top 5 Worst Films of 2015.

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Film Review: Creed

The Italian Stallion is back - sort of! Step into the ring for Creed, a spinoff from the much-loved Rocky franchise that thrusts Michael B. Jordan to the forefront as Adonis Creed, son and heir to the throne of his father Apollo's formidable legacy. 

Monday 7 December 2015

Film Review: In the Heart of the Sea

Ron Howard and Chris Hemsworth join forces once more for another period piece that is based on a true story; however, this time they're not racing cars but hunting whales for In the Heart of the Sea, an adaptation of the novel by the same name.

Sunday 6 December 2015

Film Review: Love the Coopers

Meet the Coopers; they're a everyday American family that suffer from everyday American problems. Oh look, they're getting together for Christmas. Don't bet on anything interesting happening though - this film is about as flat and uninteresting as you can get. 

Monday 30 November 2015

Film Review: A Perfect Day

A unique approach to examining life inside a warzone fails to convince in Fernando Leon de Aranoa’s Balkan dramedy, A Perfect Day.

Saturday 28 November 2015

Classic Film: Casablanca

Take a trip to smoky gin joints and sun-drenched flea markets in Casablanca, a timeless classic that transcended the 1940’s Hollywood studio system to resonate just as strongly to this day.

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Film Review: The Hunger Games - Mockingjay Pt 2

Director: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore.
Runtime: 136 minutes

Jennifer Lawrence leads a grim and emotionally-shattering finale to the Hunger Games series in Mockingjay Part 2.

Friday 20 November 2015

Film Review: Secret in Their Eyes

Adapted from an Argentinian novel of the same name, Secret in Their Eyes is a hit-and-miss affair about two detectives, Ray (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Jess (Julia Roberts), who are tested by a harrowing murder case involving the latter’s daughter, Carolyn (Zoe Graham). 

Thursday 19 November 2015

Film Review: Return of the Jedi

Director: Richard Marquand
Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, James Earl Jones, Billy Dee Williams
Runtime: 134 minutes

Last, but certainly not least, in my series of Star Wars film reviews is Episode VI, Return of the Jedi. Released in 1983 to much fanfare, Return of the Jedi rounded off the Original Trilogy in similar a fashion to its forebears - full of fun, flash and fantastic characters.

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Rank the Films: James Bond (Daniel Craig)

As any regular reader of this blog will know, I think lists are pretty darn nifty. I have a profound appreciation for straight-up lists. This is the thinking behind Rank the Films, a regular feature that pulls apart the pros and cons of a series of films, ranking them in order of bad to good.

Under the microscope this month is 007 himself, James Bond - or more specifically, Daniel Craig's incarnation of the super spy whom has graced our cinema screens since 2006. Starting with his gritty reboot Casino Royale and finishing with the most recent entry into the canon, Spectre, I'm going to be ranking Craig's tenure as the steely-eyed British agent from worst to best. Where did your personal favourite rank on my list? Find out below...

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Casting Call: James Bond

With a heritage stretching back over 50 years, the James Bond series is no stranger to switching lead actors; six different men have played the suave English super spy in the official EON Bond canon - Sean Connery (6 appearances), George Lazenby (1), Roger Moore (7), Timothy Dalton (2), Pierce Brosnan (4) and Daniel Craig (4 and counting).

In recent months, and in the wake of some candid comments from current Bond actor Daniel Craig, the chatter on who will be the next actor in line to play 007 has begun to build. Even though Craig reportedly has another Bond film on his contract, Internet speculators love to fancast their perfect Bond - and why should I be any different?

As I have done in the past with characters like Spider-man and Lara Croft, I put my mind to work on who I think should be the next James Bond - these are the choices that I came up with. Enjoy!

Sunday 15 November 2015

Thursday 12 November 2015

Top 5: Bond Villains

Where would James Bond be if it weren't for demented, maniacal villains and their hair-brained schemes of world domination? 

Quietly chilling on a beach in Jamaica with his own personal harem of bikini-clad ladies most likely, but that's by the by. What I'm trying to say is, the Bond series is loaded with iconic and memorable foes for 007 to lock horns with, from Blofeld, the cat-stroking head of Spectre, to Silva, the floppy-haired ex-agent with a vendetta against MI6.

To round out our string of Bond themed posts in the lead-up to Spectre (in cinemas across Australia today!), the Hooked on Film crew - Zach, Tom, Kit, Corey and myself - sat down to compile a list of our favourite Bond enemies across the last 50 years.

Did your personal favourite make the cut? Click here to find out! And, be sure to check back soon - I'll have my own personal thoughts on 007's latest outing in a full length review this Sunday! Thanks for reading.

Wednesday 11 November 2015

Top 5: Bond Theme Songs

Across 50 years and 24 entries, the Bond franchise has a fairly well-established formula; suave spy, sexy vixen, strange enemies. Oh, and belting tunes over swirling opening credits.

Everyone from Paul McCartney to Duran Duran have penned and performed a James Bond theme song over the years, and naturally, people have come to prefer one over the other. Do you have a preference for Bassey, or a Turner?

There are no shortage to choose a favourite from, but the team over at Hooked on Film - Tom, Zach, Kit, Corey and myself - endeavoured to do just that, compiling a Top 5 of our favourite 007 theme songs.

Did yours make the list? Click here to see what we picked, and stay tuned for further Bond lists later in the week!

Tuesday 10 November 2015

Top 5: Bond Gadgets

Where would 007 be without his unending array of snazzy gadgets? Whether it's jetpacks or razor-tipped bowler hats, James Bond movies are littered with quirky and cool tools that have come to encapsulate the spirit of the series, and the wider spy genre.

Continuing our Bond-themed series of lists, the Hooked on Film team - Zach, Tom, Kit, Corey and myself - sat down and came up with our five favourite gadgets that we've seen the series so far.

Did your favourite make the list? Click here to see what we picked, and stay tuned for more Bond lists later in the week!

Monday 9 November 2015

Top 5: Bond Girls

In the 50 years since Dr No burst onto cinema screens, the Bond girl archetype has become something of a badge of honour for the actresses who pop into the series with each passing entry. 

Never staying for long, but always sticking around in our memory long after the credits have rolled, dozens of actresses have joined the esteemed ranks over the years - from Ursula Andress, Honor Blackman and Diana Rigg to Halle Berry, Rosamund Pike and Michelle Yeoh.

To celebrate 007 returning to cinema screens in Spectre later this week, the team over at Hooked on Film - Zach, Tom, Kit, Corey and myself - each picked our favourite Bond girl from history, compiling a Top 5 list in the process.

Click here to see who we picked, and stay tuned for more Bond lists later in the week!

Sunday 8 November 2015

Film Review: Suffragette

Suffragette is a British period drama about the women's right movement of the early 20th Century, in particular focusing on a troop of passionate advocates played by Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne-Marie Duff. 

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Film Review: Bridge of Spies

They've covered the Normandy landings, smooth criminals and airport terminals; now, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg team-up once more to tackle the Cold War in a tense and atmospheric legal drama, Bridge of Spies.

Monday 2 November 2015

Film Review: The Last Witch Hunter

Double, double toil and trouble; Breck Eisner’s The Last Witch Hunter takes a mildly interesting premise and twists it into one of the year’s worst films. 

Friday 30 October 2015

Thursday 29 October 2015

Film Review: Burnt

As the old adage goes, "if you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen". It's a mantra that is echoed by an the elite cult of celebrity chefs - Ramsey, Oliver, uh...those hairy biker dudes - and for Bradley Cooper's character in Burnt, it couldn't be more appropriate. 

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Film Review: Sleeping With Other People

Sex! Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about Sleeping With Other People, a raunchy adult rom-com starring Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis.

Thursday 22 October 2015

Film Review: Back to the Future III

We've seen the past, the present and the future; now, in the third and final Back to the Future film, director Robert Zemeckis transports us back in time further than ever before to 1885 and the Old gun-slinging West. Here are my thoughts on the concluding chapter of this iconic cinema series.

Wednesday 21 October 2015

Film Review: Back to the Future II

What do you think when you think Back to the Future II? Hoverboards? Flying cars? Pizza hydrators? Renowned for its outlandish predictions about life 30 years down the track, Back to the Future Part II sees the Doc and Marty jetting off on another adventure - but this time, their destination is the far-flung future of...2015! 

Tuesday 20 October 2015

Classic Film: Back to the Future

"This is heavy" - Marty McFly

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover
Runtime: 116 minutes

Very few films stand the test of time, and even fewer of those are about having a crush on your own mother. Weirdly enough, Back to the Future pulls this off; regarded as a 80's classic that is as good today as it was upon its release 30 years ago, Back to the Future isn't just an all-round fantastic film - it's a bonafide icon of cinema. 

Monday 19 October 2015

Film Review: Crimson Peak

Less frighty and more frilly nightie; Guillermo del Toro’s sumptuous Crimson Peak is a classic romance tale disguised as a haunted house horror. 

Sunday 18 October 2015

Film Review: The Walk

The original tagline for Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman film was “You’ll believe a man can fly”, but even that doesn’t compare to the sense of awe you’ll feel while witnessing Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk

Saturday 17 October 2015

Film Review: Legend

Brian Helgeland's stylish gangster film Legend has a lot going for it - but it falls a little short of attaining true greatness through a needlessly winding narrative and misguided messaging. 

Monday 12 October 2015

Verdict: Fear the Walking Dead Season 1

This post contains spoilers for season 1 of Fear the Walking Dead - you have been warned.

Fear the Walking Dead is a spinoff of AMC's highly-successful, The Walking Dead. With an entirely new cast and fresh locale (Los Angeles rather than Atlanta), Fear the Walking Dead winds back the clock and gives audiences a glimpse at how things began through an inconsistent and sometimes straight-up dull first season.

Sunday 4 October 2015

Film Review: The Martian

Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Sean Bean
Runtime: 141 minutes

The red planet is no stranger to cinematic visitors, but nothing has committed it to film so strikingly as Ridley Scott's The Martian

Saturday 3 October 2015

Film Review: The Intern

The Intern is a comedy/drama film by director Nancy Meyers - starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, this sweet story of two unlikely friends is the perfect date movie, regardless of whether you're 18 or 80.

Tuesday 29 September 2015

Film Review: Pan

Ever wondered how Peter Pan and Captain Hook became mortal enemies? Well, prepare to continue wondering as Joe Wright's Pan completely misses the point and dumps a steaming pile of unoriginal crap onto our laps.

Sunday 27 September 2015

Film Review: Sicario

Here we go yo, here we go yo, so what's the (what's the) sicario...

Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro join the war on the drugs (the actual war, not the band) in Denis Villeneuve's sublime suspense thriller, Sicario.

Thursday 24 September 2015

Film Review: The Visit

M Night Shyamalan’s The Visit melds genuine horror thrills with tongue-in-cheek gags to create something truly unique; a lo-fi found-footage flick where is the best plot twist is simply how good the end result is.

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Film Review: The Diary of a Teenage Girl

We all remember our first time, right? C’mon, you know what I mean. Don’t be shy. I’m not talking overseas trips here. If you catch my eyebrow-wiggling drift and can cast your mind back that far, you’ll probably have a fondness for Marielle Heller’s nostalgic and racy coming-of-age tale, The Diary of a Teenage Girl.


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