With 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ' marking Marvel's fifteenth cinema release, which are the studio's best and worst superhero movies?
Great stories come from times of conflict, confusion and fits of emotion, so it’s no surprise that movies about young people finding their way through life are so timelessly endearing.
2016 was an eventful year for comic book movies, with an array of successes, disappointments, and downright disasters. ‘Deadpool’ was one 2016’s success stories. While the first film’s writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick were talking to Comicbook.com about their new sci-fi-horror ‘Life’, the pair commented on how ‘Deadpool 2’ would be cast imminently.
‘Avatar 2’ was originally set to arrive in cinemas in December 2014. It’s March 2017 now, and director James Cameron has revealed the film has been delayed yet again, and will no longer meet its planned 2018 release date. Cameron took his time with ‘Avatar’, which was released twelve years after his previous feature film ‘Titanic’, and given they’re the two highest-grossing films of all time it makes sense that he’d be given time to develop a sequel. Not just one sequel either, four, in what is sure to be one of the most expensive film productions in history if the films are indeed set to release in quick succession and be shot back-to-back.
It’s also the second film in a Legendary Pictures mega-monster cinematic universe that began with 2014’s ‘Godzilla’. The idea, following 2019’s ‘Godzilla 2’, is for the King of Monsters to face off with King Kong in a earth-shaking, skyscraper-bothering rematch, following their big screen clash in 1962.
The Oscars are typically I signal of filmmaking of the highest quality. We all rant about how the Academy gets it wrong sometimes of course, but it’s not often genuinely bad films are rewarded.
Warren Beatty’s 2001 farce, in which he plays a super-rich architect juggling different women, is one of the biggest bombs in Hollywood history losing over $90m in total for New Line Cinema. Back in the late-1990s, director Peter Chelsom was about to break into the Hollywood big time. “Peter Chelsom was a great guy, really understands cinema, but Warren was off on a track,” said the film’s cinematographer, William Fraker, who called ‘Town & Country’ a “complete disaster”.
In pole position for this year’s prize is ‘La La Land’, a film arriving as much-needed respite following the many shocks, horrors and uncertainties of 2016. ‘La La Land’ is a mug of hot chocolate after getting caught in a sleet storm. It’s a sincere homage to a bygone Hollywood era, and so there are certainly similarities to be drawn with another Oscar-winner – ‘The Artist’, but none favour the 2012 Best Picture winner. What undoes Michel Hazanavicius’ well-meaning ode to silent movies is its knowing winks, and a single line of illusion-cracking dialogue. ‘La La Land’ by contrast is a wholehearted and true resurrection of a long-forgotten form which pays tribute in all the right ways, but is contemporary also, making the genre work for modern audiences but never trampling its legacy.
The return of a heavy-breathing dark lord, first contact like we’ve never seen it before, a humanitarian scrapping with a CGI bear, a 20-storey Paul Rudd – it’s safe to say that in 2016, we’ve seen it all.
Sly Stallone is one of a handful of actors in history to have been Oscar nominated on two separate occasions for playing the same character. Sly simply started running as a crew, including director John G, Avildsen, followed him and shot him in action. Burgess Meredith only got the part of hard-faced trainer Mickey because all the other applicants up for the role felt so insulted that Stallone had asked them to read for it that they rejected it.
Disney have undeniably had roaring success over the past six year after something of a creative slump. Studio Ghibli have arguably been at the forefront of the game for decades, with the Japanese studio producing jaw-dropping feature after jaw-dropping feature. Above: Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar-winning triumph ‘Spirited Away’.
The Royal Family’s relationship with the media is a complicated one, guarded at best and deeply suspicious at worst. Called simply ‘Royal Family’, the fly-on-the-wall doc, directed by the then-head of the BBC’s documentary department Richard Cawston, it aired on June 21, 1969, was repeated one week later on ITV and then variously that year, before being locked away deep in the BBC vaults and never shown again. It represented the first time that TV cameras had been given permission to document the Royals going about their daily business in such a manner, with the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward all featuring, and a voiceover penned by 'Yes Minister’ mastermind Sir Antony Jay.
It’s been over a decade since Sabrina The Teenage Witch wound up its final series (and 20 years since it started, way back in 1996). Based on the Archie comic book series, it centred around Melissa Joan Hart’s sparky sorceress, her aunts Hilda and Zelda and talking cat Salem. The show ran for seven seasons, attracting audiences of up to 12 million in the US in its heyday. But what are its stars doing now?
To say the finale of The Brittas Empire felt like a bit of a cop-out is to understate the matter somewhat. Original writers Andrew Norriss and Richard Fegen left after five series, but it carried on for a further two, winding up with the insane episode ‘The Curse of the Tiger Women’. After leisure centre manager Gordon Brittas (Chris Barrie) is cursed by a gypsy, things get apocalyptic when people start dying after eating his food.