It being the start of Awards Season there is lots of great looking stuff coming out this month; The Favourite, Collete, Mary Queen of Scots, Beautiful Boy, The Mule. For me though there is one I am definitely the most excited about, maybe even more excited than any other film over the next twelve months. My love of Laurel and Hardy goes back as far, possibly further, than my love of film and the two are certainly inextricably linked. In fact Mr. Laurel is my all time hero. I really hope then that Stan and Ollie is everything I want it to be.
Director Robert Rodriquez has done both wonderful and terrible things. In fact you don’t even need to go beyond his Spy Kids series to see some of the best and some of the worst of his work. James Cameron has also made incredible films and incredible trash. Terminator 2 and Aliens are both superb but Avatar, with its amazing commercial success and its ground breaking effects, is proof that you can actually polish a turd. So it is then that Alita: Battle Angel, the film they have made together, might be rubbish. It looks though, like it might be great. Certainly it is the first of a couple of big action films coming out this year with a strong woman at the centre of things…
… and Captain Marvel is the other one. Disney and their Marvel Studios partners had a really good year in 2018 but this year looks to be better. First off is their first female led superhero film with Brie Larson playing the alien juiced mega human who might just hold the key to beating Thanos.
Speaking of Thanos, one month later we get the film that is set to wrap up not only the shockingly downbeat cliffhanger from Avengers: Infinity War but the entire series of twenty one previous movies. I don’t think I’ve had such anticipation for a film since Star Wars: Episode VII. The thing is though that the Force Awakens could have gone either way whereas Avengers: Endgame is going to be amazing, no question. It’s got to work because I don’t know what I’m going to do if it doesn’t.
I’ve never really been a fan of Elton John (although I do love Your Song and Tiny Dancer). I have been a fan of Dexter Fletcher since Press Gang though and as a director he made Eddie the Eagle way more entertaining than it had any right to be. This being the case I am very curious to see what he does with that films lead actor, Taron Egerton, playing Elton in Rocketman.
Toy Story 4.
Do I need to say anything else?
Toy Story 4!
TOY STORY 4!
Marvel’s third film in four months and the first to come after Endgame is Spider-Man: Far From Home. The announcement of this film did rather take something away from the end of Infinity War where Spider-Man was among the many heroes to die. Maybe this is a prequel to Infinity War though, maybe none of those Avengers are coming back. Either way Tom Holland is great as the web-slinger and it should be fun to see him in action again whatever the timeline. Zendaya’s MJ was also good in the first (seventh) Spider-Man movie so I’m intrigued to find out what they do with her intriguing take on that character.
For every series of kid/teen fantasy books that translates to a successful film franchise (Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings) there are any number of others that didn’t get very far at all (Insurgent, Eragon, The Golden Compass, Percy Jackson, Stormbreaker, The Mortal Instruments, Vampire Academy, I Am Number 4, Beautiful Creatures). Frankly Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of the first of the Artemis Fowl novels could go one way or the other but with its mix of espionage, spies and mythical creatures it has potential. Besides, who doesn’t want to see Judi Dench as the tough commander of a fairy strike force?
TV shows that are carried on in cinemas are as varied in their success as the aforementioned young adult books. For every Naked Gun there’s a Mr. Bean, for every Star Trek a Spooks, for every Firefly an Ali G and for every Wayne’s World an Are You Being Served? In fact, as suggested by these example we Brits seem to fail at these small screen to big screen transition more than our friends across the Atlantic. Downton Abbey is set to buck that trend though. If anyone can Lady Mary can. Providing she survives of course, if the previous episodes of Downton are anything to go by this could feature more fatalities than Infinity War. I’ve still not go over Matthew and Sybil.
One film that might involve a lot of people dying only in a more light hearted way is Zombieland 2. Emma Stone starred in the first Zombieland and I have to say it really isn’t the kind of film she is doing now. She’s still back for the sequel though and I don’t think it was contractual. Zombieland was a such a lot of fun and while a second one might seem like stretching it too far, if Emma’s in then so am I.
As it turns out Disney have more up their sleeve this year than an Infinity Gauntlet. November sees the release of Frozen 2 and while some people might have got a bit sick of the last one it was an excellent film. As well as building a snowman, Frozen built the principles and standards that have defined Disney Princesses moving forward; that you don’t need a man to save you and that intelligence, strength and courage define you more than the colour of your dress.
I only said at the start of this that Stan and Ollie may be the film I am most excited about this year but be serious. I know I also just said I was really looking forward to Endgame. If you gave me the choice of one movie trip in Doc’s DeLorean though then I would head straight to December 20th to see Star Wars: Episode IX. The last film split people like nothing we have ever seen, no single issue has divided opinion and caused endless debate more as fans chose to stay with the saga or leave. Finally this year, for good or for bad we will get a resolution to SW:IXit. Personally I remain a true devotee, even after Solo, and for me this puts the 9 in 2019.