Top 10 Christmas Films

It’s that festive time of year again and FilmReviewUK has 10 Christmas films that will make your holiday season a little merrier – view the list and let us know what you think.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

I’m making a bold statement here but National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) has got to be one of the funniest comedies of all time, let alone one of the funniest Christmas films. Starring Chevy ChaseJuliette Lewis, and The Big Bang Theory‘s Johnny GaleckiChristmas Vacation is the third installment of the Griswold Family saga and an absolute must see for anyone mad enough to have not seen it already.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

No list would be complete without an anti-hero who saves the day, and for me that means giving a shout out to Jim Carrey‘s How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000). Perhaps not a film that appears on everyone’s Top 10 Christmas Films, but considering Mr Carrey spent 8 hours a day in the make-up chair becoming The Grinch – no surprise then when this festive gem won the Best Makeup award at the 2001 Oscars.

Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

Based on the 1947 original, Miracle on 34th Street (1994) stars Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle, who after an unfortunate confrontation at a department store, finds himself at the center of a high profile court-case when he claims to be the real Santa Claus. Considering most remakes are known to fail in comparison to their original counterparts, the success of Miracle on 34th Street(1994) can be attributed to it’s talented writer John Hughes, who is renowned for Christmas classics such as Home Alone (1990) and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989).

Elf (2003)

Considering many other entries on this list, Elf (2003) is a relatively young to be called a Christmas classic, but a classic is exactly what this laugh-out-loud festive comedy has become. Starring Will Farrell as a larger-then-life elf who leaves the tranquility of the North Pole for the hustle and bustle of New York City in search of his real father, Elf grossed over $200 million at the worldwide box-office in 2003.

The Great Escape (1963)

Based on the famous true story of a group of Allied P.O.W’s that successfully escaped one of Nazi Germany’s death camps, The Great Escape (1963) is technically not a Christmas film, but considering it’s been a regular favorite for British broadcasters on Christmas Day, it certainly qualifies for this category. Staring Steve McQueenJames Garner, and Richard AttenboroughThe Great Escape is best known for the final scene depicting McQueen on a motorbike as he jumps the barbed-wire fence, that stands between him and freedom.

White Christmas (1954)

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know” – White Christmas (1954) is a musical classic that has remained a popular favorite on Christmas Day. Known for the warm fuzzy feeling it leaves you with, White Christmas follows a successful song-and-dance team (Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye) who become romantically involved with a sister act while trying to save the failing Vermont inn owned by their former World War Two commanding general.

Die Hard (1988)

Perhaps not regarded as a traditional Christmas film, especially in the sense that usually they’re of a lighthearted nature, but Die Hard (1988) is a regular favorite for action junkies over the festive season. As well as receiving 4 Oscar nominations, Die Hard made Bruce Willis a household name and the highest paid actor in a debut leading role ($5 million), that is until 2002, when Dwayne Johnson received a $5.5 million paycheck for The Scorpion King (2002).

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Rated number 26 on IMDb’s Top 100 films of all time, It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) was nominated for an incredible 5 Academy Awards including Best Actor (James Stewart), Best Director (Frank Capra), and the coveted Best Picture.

Home Alone (1990)

Home Alone (1990) is the definition of Christmas film watching and spawned a generation of mischievous kids who decided to booby-trap their own homes. Starring Macaulay Culkin (pre-drugs) as the 12-year old accidentally left home alone over Christmas, Home Alone remains one of the most successful Christmas releases of all time having grossed over $500 million worldwide.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Starring Michael Caine and the Muppets as the classic characters from Scrooge, The Muppet Christmas Carol is a true Christmas classic and a fan favorite for almost every child growing up in the 1990’s.

A Look Ahead To Cinema 2015

10 Reasons 2015 Is Going To Be An Epic Year For Cinema

If there’s one thing we can take away from this year, it’s that it’s been an incredible year for cinema, with some truly timeless gems gracing the silver-screen that will take their place among some of the greatest films ever made – especially blockbuster’s Intersellar (2014) and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) that have made IMDb’s top 50 greatest movies of all-time.

Now however, it’s time to look forward to 2015 which looks set to be even better, thanks to some incredibly exciting releases. So check out filmreviewuk.com‘s, Top 10 for 2015 (no particular order as they’re all awesome!).

1.  Jurassic World

It’s one of the most loved film franchises on the planet, so news of a fourth installment is going to get everyone excited simply by the title alone – but add Hollywood‘s new golden boy Chris Prattto the mix, and you have a recipe for total box-office dominance.

Now, despite the plot currently remaining unknown, one thing we can pretty much guess straight away from the cast lineup, is that it’s going to be a reboot of sorts due to the absence of original stars Sam NeillLaura DernJeff Goldblum, and the late and great Sir Richard Attenborough. Yes it is a shame to not see these much loved characters returns to ‘Dinoworld’, but something tells me the franchise is in very safe hands with Chris ‘Starlord’ Pratt.

Jurassic World opens it’s doors to worldwide audiences on June 12, 2015.

2.  American Sniper

What better way to kick off a new year then with an edge-of-your-seat war biopic directed by Clint Eastwood and starring a beefed-up, almost unrecognizable Bradley Cooper.

Based on the incredible story of US Navy S.E.A.L. sniper Chris Kyle, who just so happened to record over 150 enemy kills during his years of service – something that’s almost certain to make the film a sure-fire hit…I mean just watch the trailer below and tell me you’ll still have finger nails after seeing this film when it’s released.

American Sniper will be aiming into cinemas on January 16, 2015.

3.  Pixels

With a synopsis that reads, “Video game experts are recruited by the military to fight 1980s-era video game characters who’ve attacked New York”, as well as starring everyone’s favourite Game of Thrones star, Peter Dinklage, in a giant mullet, I’d say it’s safe to presume this will be one of 2015’s most talked about films.

Oh and did I also mention that it stars Sean Bean, who has his head well and truly back on his shoulders (Oops, massive series one GoT spoiler) – Let’s just hope he doesn’t die in this one as there’s always a first time for everything!

Pixels will be pixelating into cinemas on August 21, 2015.

4.  Ted 2

He swears, he does an unscrupulous amount of drugs, and he’s hornier then a group of teenagers at the Playboy mansion…that’s right people, everyone’s favourite talking teddy bear is back.

Sadly the plot remains well and truly locked in Seth MacFarlane‘s head for now (yes a truly scary place), but what we do know is that Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis are returning, along with a few other well known individuals including Liam NeesonAmanda Seyfried, and Morgan Freeman. Carnage is almost certainly going to ensue.

Ted 2 will be swearing it’s way into cinemas worldwide from June 26, 2015.

5.  Minions

They’re yellow, small, and have managed to blunder their way into our hearts thanks to the two Despicable Me films – but now, they’re going solo.

Before there was Gru, the minions wandered the Earth in search of a master to follow, to give their lives meaning and purpose – so just who are they? Well, minions Stuart, Kevin, and Bob will take us on a journey to answer that very question.

With the voicing talents of Michael KeatonSandra Bullock, and Jon Hamm (including his beard), Minions is going to be a must-see for all you Despicable Me fans.

Minions will be causing chaos in cinemas worldwide on June 26, 2015.

6. Child 44
Tom Hardy. Gary Oldman. In a film. Together. Most of us would read this and say “Yes, I’m see that” without even reading the films synopsis.

But just in case you’re wondering what the films about, the plot of the film centers around a disgraced MGB agent in the Stalin-era Soviet Union who must investigate a series of child murders that may just lead all the way to the top of this superpower’s leadership. Put simply, Child 44 is a must-see of 2015.

Child 44 will be covertly placing itself in cinemas on April 17, 2015.

7.  In the Heart of the Sea

Ron Howard takes on another gripping true story that will likely result in most of us experiencing heart palpitations throughout our viewing of it – especially if it shares some similar traits with Apollo 13.

The premise – well it’s 1820, your whaling ship is made of wood, radios don’t exist yet, and there’s a very pissed off, gargantuan Sperm Whale preying on you and your crew…all in a days work for Chris ‘lightening hammer’ Hemsworth.

This tale of survival could very well end up being one of the surprise hits of 2015 especially with a man like Ron Howard at the directors-helm.

In the Heart of the Sea will be fighting for survival in cinemas worldwide from March 13, 2015.

8.  Whiplash

Singers, guitarists, dancers, mathematicians…we’re used to the uplifting, against the odds, making something better of yourself films centered around an average-Joe learning and realising their potential for greatness thanks to a certain talent – but a drummer? It’s certainly a new, unexplored talent area.

Whiplash follows the story of a promising young drummer who enrolls at a cutthroat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential.

The film has actually already opened in the US to rave-reviews, giving the rest of the world a glimpse at the greatness that’s soon to come, including potential awards success.

Whiplash in released in European cinemas from January 16, 2015.

9.  Tomorrowland

The film has already claimed a certain degree of notoriety at this years New York Comic-Con event thanks to the films star George ‘finally married’ Clooneywho publicly apologized for his catastrophic outing as Batman, in 1997’s super-flop, Batman & Robin. But none-the-less this film looks set to be one of the standout hits of the year.

What’s it about?” Well…Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.

George Clooney will be joined by fellow small-screen M.D. Hugh Laurie in former animation heavyweight, Brad Bird‘s, second live-action directional film.

Tomorrowland will be unraveling our minds in cinemas from May 22, 2015.

10.  Avengers: Age of Ultron

What better way to end this epic list, then with what’s certain to be the biggest film of the year, and perhaps even the most successful film of all-time (so long as it can knock Avatar off the top spot).

Avengers: Age of Ultron reunites Earth’s mighiest heroes when Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry for the Avengers, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to the Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for a global adventure.

There’s nothing more that can be said about this film without my head exploding from sheer excitement, so instead I’ll leave you with this cool sneak peak courtesy of those awesomely generous people over at Marvel.

Avengers: Age of Ultron smashes into cinemas worldwide on May 1, 2015.

Robin Williams (1951-2014)

On August 11th 2014 the world seemed to stop for a time, as the sad news of Robin Williams passing reverberated around the globe, sending people into an instant state of mourning for a man beloved by millions.

In a career that spanned almost 40 years, Robin Williams was without a doubt one of the most successful and influential actors and comedians in the history of entertainment, who leaves us a legacy of performances that will continue to be enjoyed for generations to come.

To celebrate the life of this incredibly talented and kindhearted man, journey back to some of his most famous performances and the timeless classics that defined a generations childhood (mine included).

The Early Years

Before becoming one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Robin Williams began his showbiz career as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco in the early 1970′s, and quickly became a major contributor to California’s comedy ‘renaissance’ in the 1970′s and 80′s.

It wasn’t until 1979 that Williams found himself propelled into the spotlight on a worldwide scale when he landed the part of Mork, in the hit television comedy sitcom,

Mork & Mindy (1978-1982)

This cult sitcom followed the story of Mork, a wacky alien who journey’s to Earth to study it’s inhabitants, but soon finds himself the lodger of an unsuspecting woman named Mindy (played by Pam Dawber). The comedy sitcom became an instant hit with audiences around the world, due much in part to the outstanding comedic performances by Williams, who quickly became one of television’s leading actors.

It may be surprising to some fans to know that Mork & Mindy was in fact a spin-off that came about due to Williams successful guest appearance as Mork on the hit show Happy Days in 1978.

Producers at ABC were so impressed by Williams comedic prowess that they quickly devised a pilot for a spin-off show based on the character.

Mork & Mindy lasted four incredibly successful seasons before being cancelled in 1982, but by then Robin Williams was already been propelled to super-stardom in Hollywood. During these four years, Williams had seen his stand-up comedy career continue to blossom having picked up a Grammy Award in 1979 his live show ‘Reality…What a Concept’, as well as gracing the cover of Time magazine in the same year.

Movie Star Teething Problems

For the first part of the 1980’s, Williams found that his movie career was developing some ‘teething problems’ in it’s early stages, with a string on unsuccessful films including Popeye (1980) and The Survivors (1983), though that didn’t signal the end for this talented actor.

In 1986, thanks mainly in part to his success on the small screen as well as his rock solid stand-up career, Williams found himself co-hosting the 58th annual Academy Awards, a moment that would prove to be the turning point in his acting career.

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The Big Break

By now it’s the mid 1980’s and Williams has seen his career take off at alarming rates, first with a hit TV show, then an award-winning stand-up career, and followed up by a co-hosting spot on Hollywood’s biggest night – it’s no surprise then that Williams big break was literally around the corner.

Good Morning, Vietnam

It was the break his movie career had been waiting for, and man did Williams take the opportunity and spin it into pure magic…magic that resulted in an unforgettable performance, rightfully earning him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Leading Actor.

Set during the Vietnam War, Good Morning Vietnam sees Williams play the character of Adrian Cronauer, a slightly unorthodox radio DJ who decides to shake things up when he’s assigned to the United States Armed Forces radio station.

The film spawned some truly memorable scenes and one-liners that showed the world just why Williams was one of the most talented voice actors in the world.

Hitting the Ground Running

It was official – Williams was now one of Hollywood’s top leading men, capable of taking on any role without fear of failure, and turning in breathtaking performances that made people stand up and notice.

In 1989, only two years after the critical success of Good Morning Vietnam, Williams signed on to star in Peter Weir’s poetic masterpiece, Dead Poets Society, a coming of age drama about an English teacher who sets out to inspire his students to break from the norm that is private school and seize the day through the art of poetry.

The film netted Williams his second Academy Award nomination in the space of two years and cemented his place amongst Hollywood royalty. The film, despite taking on serious connotations, only helped to propel Williams comedic career, with sell out shows across the world, he was a man in demand on a global scale.

Yet the best was yet to come, for this versatile soul, as he was about to enter the golden years of his career, and inspire a generation growing up.

The Golden Years – Inspiring a Generation

The 90’s had arrived and Williams career was on top of the world, with a string of outstanding performances and two Oscar-nominations to his name, you’d forgive him for wondering if it was all about to crash down around him…well the complete opposite occurred, and Williams was about to embark on his journey to legendary status.

In 1991, Williams received yet another Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, taking the total to three, for his portrayal of a troubled homeless man in The Fisher King, co-starring Jeff Bridges.

For a performer like Robin Williams, the dream is to inspire people with the knowledge that anything is possible in this world, so long as you remember to laugh a little…or a lot if Williams has anything to do with it. What I’m sure he didn’t know heading into this pre-millenium decade, was how much of an impact he would have on an entire generation of children (myself included) and parents.

The Fantastic Four

If like me, you were a kid growing up in the 90’s, I’m sure if you think back to the films that stood out the most in your childhood, there will be four that come to the forefront of your mind pretty quickly… Hook (1991), Aladdin (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), and Jumanji (1995).

The Recognition So Rightly Deserved

There’s no denying the 90’s very infinitely better thanks to Williams and his unwavering talent to make us all laugh, cry, and cause mischief wherever possible. But this decade didn’t just belong to comedy, in 1997, a year thought to be one of the greatest in box-office history, Williams gave a career performance that finally secured him that Academy Award that has long since eluded him.

Oscar success: Williams (winner of Best Supporting Actor) alongside Best Original Screenplay winners Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

Good Will Hunting, written by and co-starring Hollywood supremos Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, this Gus Van Sant directed epic, follows Will Hunting (Damon), a troublesome janitor at the prestigious M.I.T university, who upon showcasing a gift for mathematics, seeks the help and guidance of psychologist Sean Maguire (Williams) to get his life back on the right track before it’s too late.

Good Will Hunting, written by and co-starring Hollywood supremos Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, this Gus Van Sant directed epic, follows Will Hunting (Damon), a troublesome janitor at the prestigious M.I.T university, who upon showcasing a gift for mathematics, seeks the help and guidance of psychologist Sean Maguire (Williams) to get his life back on the right track before it’s too late.

Adapting His Craft

Academy Award success, legendary actor status, and command of any film he wanted, Williams career had it all, yet despite the big bucks, he remained committed to what he does best, throwing peoples emotions into chaos with his outstanding performances. As the 90’s came to an end, Williams continued to make memorable characters come to life in ways only he could, and none so poignant then the character of Patch Adams.

Patch Adams (1998)

If there were ever a performance that showcased Williams roar and unchallenged ability to infuse his comedic prowess and heart-felt dramatic emotion, Patch Adams is that exact example.

Based on a true story, Patch Adams charts the life of a medical student, who’s belief that laughter is truly the best medicine, finds himself at logger heads with the medical and scientific community who feel his unorthodox methods of patient care are not welcome in his profession.

As well as being a box-office smash, Patch Adams developed a cult following amongst his fans around the world, with many adamant that Williams deserved Academy recognition for the performance.

Uncharted Territory

The new millennium brought new challenges for Williams actor career, taking a step back from the comedic drama’s we’d come to know him so well for, Williams delivered to incredibly chilling performances in One Hour Photo (2002) and Insomnia (2002). This was certainly a new side of Williams acting ability we had never seen and it only reinforced why he was one of the greatest, most versatile actors in history.

A Testing Time For The Movie Star

In the mid ‘naughties’, despite starring alongside Ben Stiller in the successful Night at the Museum franchise, Williams career seemed to hit a rut, with a string of unsuccessful family comedies including RV (2006), Man of the Year (2006), and Old Dogs (2009). Despite the issues surrounding Williams movie career, his stand-up shows continued to flourish, and in 2013, Williams made a return to the small screen in the comedy series, The Crazy Ones, alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar.

The series followed a slightly crazy advertising agency owner and his daughter (Gellar) and the trials and tribulations that come with owning one of the biggest advertising companies in the world. Despite being cancelled after only one season, The Crazy Ones received critical acclaim and kick-started Williams career again, with sequels to his hit films, Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) and Jumanji (1995) in the pipeline.

Robin Williams alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar in The Crazy Ones (TV, 2013).

Saying Goodbye To An Icon

Looking back over Robin Williams long and illustrious career, you can’t help but feel grateful for the legacy that he left the world, both as a movie star and stand-up comic, but also as a kind-hearted, selfless person who’s dream was to make the world laugh – well it’s a dream that came true over and over again.

Robin Williams, we thank you for the laughter, tears, and unforgettable performances that will continue to inspire generations to come! RIP.

Rockford Files Actor James Garner Dies

Actor James Garner holds out his arms at the 11th annual Screen Actors Guild awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in this February 5, 2005 file photo. Garner, best known for his prime-time television roles as the wisecracking frontier gambler on “Maverick” and as an ex-con turned private eye on “The Rockford Files,” has died at age 86, the celebrity news website TMZ reported on July 20, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Files (UNITED STATES – Tags: ENTERTAINMENT PROFILE OBITUARY)

He’s known to generations of movie and TV fans, but sadly Rockford Files and The Notebookstar, James Garner, passed away yesterday (July 19th) at his home in Los Angeles, California.

This universally loved actor was best known for the 70’s crime drama series The Rockford Files, in which he played Jim Rockford, a criminal-turned-private eye, between 1974-80, and during it’s run saw Garner receive three Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor in a Drama Series.

Garner, unknown to many nowadays, was a pioneer in Hollywood for being one of the first actors to excel in both Television and Film, and would go on to see his success rewarded with a career that spanned an incredible six decades. He received his first big break back in 1957 when he was cast as Bret Maverick in the critically-acclaimed western series Maverick. Between 1962 and 1974, Garnerwent on to star in two dozen movies including World-War 2 classic The Great Escape (1963) and the Academy-award winning film Grand Prix (1966).

Six years after The Rockford Files ended in 1980, and with a glittering movie career showing no signs of calming down, Garner received an Academy-award nomination for his leading performance in Murphy’s Romance (1985) in which he starred alongside Sally Field.

It would be Garner‘s appearance as Tank Sullivan in Clint Eastwood‘s blockbuster Space Cowboys (2000) and his tear-jerking performance as Duke in 2004’s modern-day romance epic The Notebook, that would adhere him to the latest generation.

Tributes have been pouring in thick and fast since news first broke of the Hollywood legend’s passing, and with a career of unforgettable performances spanning over 50 years, James Garnerwill live on through his characters for generations to come.

A Look Ahead To Cinema 2016

t’s coming up to that festive end of the year again – and what a year 2015 has been for cinema the world over. Not only have we seen some truly incredible, unforgettable and mind-blowing classics (Jurassic WorldFurious 7Avengers: Age of Ultron), but it’s also been a record breaking year for big-screen so far and it’s not even over yet (*cough* Star Wars *cough*).

So what’s in store of us next year you may ask?… Well, let’s just say there’s going to be a war of the studios unlike anything we’ve ever seen before when Marvel and DC Comics go head-to-head. Take a look below at some of 2016’s most anticipated releases:

1BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

Without a doubt one of the biggest releases that will hit 2016, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justicewill see two of the biggest superheroes on the planet go head to head for the first time on the big-screen. Starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams, the upcoming blockbuster has already earned the title of ‘most expensive film ever made’ and will likely earn DC Comics a staggering amount of money when it hits cinemas worldwide.

Is ‘Annie Hall’ The Funniest Screenplay of All Time?

It appears that the ‘Writer’s Guild of America’ has just voted Woody Allen’s 1977 cinematic classic, Annie Hall, the funniest screenplay in history – in a list that counted down the 101 greatest of all time.

Woody Allen is certainly no stranger to the list compiled by members of the elite writers guild, especially considering his work ranked seven times on the list, but despite the filmmakers undeniable gift for comedic writing, is Annie Hall worthy of the top spot? And why are there no twenty-first century screenplays represented in the top ten?

Annie Hall certainly deserves its high ranking, especially considering the cult following that the film has generated since its release back in 1977, not to mention the fact that it won four Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay – but perhaps there are films on the list, and not on the list for that matter, that would rank higher were the votes left in the hands of the public.

Take Groundhog Day for instance – the Bill Murray led comedy is a ‘timeless’ classic (no pun intended) that still captivates new generations, and remains to this day, a beautifully crafted story that offers something for everyone, not to mention an abundance of comedy. It’s worth pointing out that Groundhog Day did finish third on the list, but perhaps it deserves a higher spot due to its incredible reach with audiences. Annie Hall, as incredible a film as it is, is still relatively niche, often known only to select audiences or film buffs.

Another film to hit the top three is the cinematic masterpiece Some Like It Hot (1959) – starring the unforgettable screen-siren Marilyn Monroe, the Award-winning comedy is a bench mark example of the perfect comedy and one that’s studied by film students the world over (myself included). But should it be top?

Perhaps the main talking point of this list, published by the ‘Writer’s Guild of America’, is the obvious comedy classics that didn’t make the top ten. Take the recently released gem, 3 Idiots – the now Bollywood classic is a modern masterpiece of comedy that has seen it rank higher on IMDb’s Top 250 list than any other film featured in the WGA‘s top ten list, yet, like many other twenty-first century masterpieces, has seen itself excluded (*cough* The Big Lebowski *cough*).

Good news however comes with the inclusion famous ‘National Lampoon‘ franchise, though perhaps they’ve included the wrong film, as I’m sure many would agree that the ‘Christmas Vacation‘ screenplay exceeds that of ‘Animal House‘, which made the number ten spot. We all love Chevy Chase, lets be honest.

Nether-the-less, all those that made the list, especially the top ten, are worthy films that will stand the test of time.

View the top ten list below:

1Annie Hall

Written by: Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman | Year released: 1977
Starring: Diane Keaton, Woody Allen

Film Review UK’s 10 Best Disaster Movies

With Dwayne Johnson’s latest mega-blockbuster, San Andreas, making the rounds, Film Review UKtakes a look at 10 of the best disaster movies to grace the big-screen.

Check out the list below and have your say in the comments section.

The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

Disaster-movie heavyweight, Roland Emmerich, brought us this global warming blockbuster, The Day After Tomorrow, back in 2004, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid and Emmy Rossum.

Interesting fact: The film has the biggest opening weekend gross for a film that didnt reach number 1 at the US box office.

Armageddon (1998)

Michael Bay is no stranger to big-budget blockbusters and in 1998 he took on the asteroid disaster epic, Armageddon, starring Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck and Billy Bob Thornton as a group tasked with blowing up a deadly asteroid.

Interesting fact: The NASA spacesuits in the film are genuine and the cast remain the only civilians to have ever worn them – they cost $3 million each.

2012 (2009)

The master of destruction hits the list again with 2012, another global warming blockbuster starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet and Woody Harrelson.

Interesting fact: The film was banned in North Korea because 2012 marked the 100th anniversary of the countries First Great Leader.

The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

Not to be confused with its underwhelming remake, The Poseidon Adventure makes Speed 2: Cruise Control look like a low budget college film. Starring Gene Hackman and Shelley Winters, the film won an Academy Award Original Song.

Interesting fact: Surprisingly, Shelley Winters gained 35 pounds for her role – often mentioning in the subsequent years of her struggles trying to lose it again.

Deep Impact (1998)

In 1998, director Mimi Leder tackled the ‘Armageddon’ genre with her blockbuster Deep Impact, starring Robert Duvall, Elijah Wood and Tea Leoni.

Interesting fact: Before Mimi Leder joined the project, Steven Spielberg was attached to direct.

The Towering Inferno (1974)

This entry is defined simply as a classic – starring Paul Newman and Steve McQueen, The Towering Inferno follows a group of party goers who find themselves trapped in a burning skyscraper. The old school blockbuster was nominated for an incredible 8 Oscars, picking up 3 of them including Best Cinematography.

Interesting fact: During filming, an actual fire broke out on set – being the legend he was, Steve McQueen helped firefighters tackle the blaze.

Twister (1996)

As far as tornado’s go, Jan De Bont’s 1997 blockbuster is the daddy of them all – starring Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, Twister made over $500 million worldwide and was nominated for 2 Academy Awards.

Interesting fact: Twister was the first ever film to be released on DVD.

Dante’s Peak (1997)

Perhaps not so mainstream as others on this list, but Dante’s Peak was an eary, nerve-wrangling disaster film about a volcano in a remote US town that unexpectedly erupts – the film starred Pierce Brosnan and Linda Hamilton.

Interesting fact: Before Pierce Brosnan accepted the lead, Michael Douglas was heavily linked to the part.

Titanic (1997)

By far the most successful of all entries on the list, James Cameron drama blockbuster, Titanic, remains the second highest grossing film of all time and one of the biggest winners in Academy history, having won 11 Oscars.

Interesting fact: At $200 million, the film cost more than the Titanic itself, which today would have cost around $150 million to build.

Independence Day (1996)

When you think of disaster films, Independence Day has to be one of the most iconic – the third entry for Roland Emmerich, and one that earned an Oscar for Best Visual Effects, Independence Day saw an alien invasion of epic proportions and starred Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman.

Interesting fact: Over 70 mock news broadcasts were created for the film.

Film Review UK’s 10 Worst Hollywood Remakes

If there’s one thing Hollywood loves more than anything else, it’s a remake – whether it be a Japanese horror classic or a French love story, Hollywood is bound to remake it in it’s own special way – that doesn’t make it the right decision though.

With films being shipped out like a never ending conveyor belt, there seems to be a growing number of horrific remakes hell-bent on ruining their original counterparts. Check out Film Review UK‘s 10 Hollywood remakes that should never have happened.

The Women (2008)

Plot: A wealthy New Yorker wrestles with the decision to leave her cheating husband, as she and her friends discover that women really can have it all.

Starring: Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Jada Pinkett Smith

Original: The Women (1939)

Conan the Barbarian (2011)

Plot: A vengeful barbarian warrior sets off to get his revenge on the evil warlord who attacked his village and murdered his father when he was a boy.

Starring: Jason Momoa, Ron Perlman, Rachel Nichols, Stephen Lang

Original: Conan the Barbarian (1982) – starring Arnold Schwarzenegger

The Stepford Wives (2004)

Plot: What does it take to become a Stepford wife, a woman perfect beyond belief? Ask the Stepford husbands, who’ve created this high-tech terrifying little town, in a very modern comedy-thriller.

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler, Glenn Close, Matthew Broderick, Christopher Walken

Original: The Stepford Wives (1975)

Planet of the Apes (2001)

Plot: An Air Force astronaut crash lands on a mysterious planet where evolved, talking apes dominate a race of primitive humans.

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan

Original: Planet of the Apes (1968)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Plot: A young boy wins a tour through the most magnificent chocolate factory in the world, led by the world’s most unusual candy maker.

Starring: Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, Helena Bonham Carter

Original: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Poseidon (2006)

Plot: On New Year’s Eve, the luxury ocean liner, Poseidon, capsizes after being swamped by a rogue wave. The survivors are left to fight for survival as they attempt to escape the sinking ship.

Starring: Kurt Russell, Josh Lucas, Richard Dreyfuss, Emmy Rossum

Original: The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

Plot: A remake of the 1951 classic sci-fi film about an alien visitor and his giant robot counterpart who visit Earth.

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Kathy Bates, Jaden Smith

Original: The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

The Wicker Man (2006)

Plot: A sheriff investigating the disappearance of a young girl from a small island discovers there’s a larger mystery to solve among the island’s secretive, neo-pagan community.

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Leelee Sobieski, Ellen Burstyn

Original: The Wicker Man (1973)

Psycho (1998)

Plot: A young female embezzeler arrives at the Bates Motel which has terrible secrets of its own.

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, Julianne Moore, Viggo Mortensen

Original: Psycho (1960) – Hitchcock classic

The Thing (2011)

Plot: At an Antarctica research site, the discovery of an alien craft leads to a confrontation between graduate student Kate Lloyd and scientist Dr. Sander Halvorson.

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Tomson

Original: The Thing (1982)

Film Review UK’s Greatest Ever Movie Sequels

We live in a world of sequels – no matter what the film, if it’s remotely successful there’s normally a sequel just around the corner. Yet we very rarely sit back and think whether or not a film is worthy of a follow-up or even if it will outshine the original.

So take a trip back in time as we count down the most influential sequels that have supposed their predecessors both critical and commercially.

Sharknado 2: The Second One

Let’s start off the list with this little diamond in the rough – and odd entry I know, but considering the phenomenal cult following this franchise has managed to amass in such a short space of time, it deserves its place in the list. It also helps that the film surpassed its predecessor in every way. Taking cringe to a whole new level of awesome.

Blade 2

Wesley Snipes could possibly hold the title as the first Marvel franchise hero – the Godfather of a superhero universe that has exploded to heights no-one could have imagined. The first film was an action-horror classic that brought vampire gore to the mainstream, but it’s sequel went to a whole new level. Pure action horror at its finest, Blade 2 also earn more at the worldwide box-office than the first.

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

The classic family Christmas tale of disaster, family, disaster, kidnappings, and more disaster all wrapped into one hilarious movie. Christmas Vacation, starring SNL comedy legend Chevy Chase, has become one of the most loved, and watched, Holiday films in history and far surpassed the original. If for some bizarre reason you have yet to experience the unique family that are the Griswold’s, do so as soon as possible – it will be well worth it.

Mission: Impossible 2

He’s the United States answer to James Bond and one of the greatest action stars to have ever graced the silver-screen – so the list wouldn’t be complete without Mr Tom ‘run everywhere’ Cruise. The first film in the ever-growing Mission: Impossible series was a classic, but the second seemed to blow he first out the water with its insane action scenes. Perhaps the fact that it was directed by Action director John Woo helped it earn the $600 million worldwide gross.

Batman Returns

Following on from the phenomenal success of Batman (1989), it wasn’t going to be an easy task for Tim Burton to create a sequel that would out do the original – he did though. Considering Jack Nicholson’s show stealing performance as the Joker in the first, it made sense to bring in three stars for the sequel to boost it that bit further. Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken gave Michael Keaton’s Batman more than enough trouble to ensure the film out did its predecessor.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Technically most fans will argue that this was not a sequel and in fact the three Lord of the Rings films were in fact one giant movie that spanned three years. However, in the eyes of the global box-office, it was a sequel and as such belongs on the list. The film is seen as the best of the trilogy by both fans and critics and earned over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. It also has some of the best fight scenes ever seen in a movie.

Skyfall

British engineering at its finest – James Bond is the UK’s biggest ever film export and the longest running film franchise in history – 24 films in total including the soon-to-be released Spectre. Starring Daniel Craig and directed by Sam Mendes, Skyfall became the UK’s highest grossing film of all time, earning over $1.1 billion worldwide ($100 million in the UK alone), and was also nominated for five Academy Awards, winning two including Best Achievement in Music and Best Achievement in Sound.

Back to the Future – Part 2

Purely coincidental but this year is the year of Back to the Future – most fans will remember that the year Marty McFly travels foward to in the sequel is 2015. Although many of the futuristic things are yet to still come true, many already have including just recently, the Hoverboard. Considering the film contains both the past and the future, there’s no doubt it was the better of the three.

Shrek 2

Everyone’s favourite Ogre and talking Donkey appeared in a very successful follow up sequel to the 2001 animated family classic Shrek. The Sequel was a triumphant success over its older brother, earning just over $950 million worldwide, more than double what the original pulled in during its release. As the only animated film on the list, Shrek 2 must be regarded as one of the best animated films of all time, perhaps only beaten out by last years mega-release Frozen, which is also due a sequel in the coming years.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day

He did say he’d be back – and he did so with spectacularly. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most famous role is that of Machine-turned-hero, the Terminator, in James Cameron’s timeless classic Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Argued as the one of the greatest sequels in history, the film eclipsed the original both critically and commercially, earning over $500 million at the box office and winning four Oscars for its technological prowess at the time. The franchise has since continued strongly with Arnie set to star once again in the role for the upcoming Terminator: Genysis.

The Dark Knight

Another Batman entry – though this time not just one of the greatest sequels, but perhaps one of the greatest films ever made. The Christopher Nolan created epic sits at #4 on IMDb’s all time greatest films list as outperformed its predecessor Batman Begins in every way possible. The film raked in $1.2 billion worldwide and earned 8 Academy Award nominations, winning 2 including Best Supporting Actor for Heath Ledger in a performance regarded as one for the best ever seen. It’s a classic that will remain a classic until the end of time.

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

The daddy of them all – always has been, always will be the greatest sequel triumph in movie history. The Empire Strikes Back received unparalleled critical-acclaim over the first Star Wars release back in the 1970’s. It’s a fan boy classic, and most movie fans will be quick to agree that it remains the greatest movie sequel of all time. Though it’s worth noting, that with J.J. Abrams set to release another trilogy of films with the original cast attached, there could just possibly be some stiff competition for this title in the coming years.

 

Film Review UK’s 12 Career Defining Performances

Every actor and actress dreams of that career defining performance that will cement them as one of the best, perhaps win them an Oscar, and above most, ensure they’re remembered long after their time.

Having just witnessed Ryan Reynolds give perhaps his career defining performance in new film, The Voices, Film Review UK looks back at some of those most iconic and timeless performances that still leave us in awe.

Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump (Forrest Gump, 1994)

“I may not be smart man, Jenny…but I know what love is.”

This film is not only a classic in its own right but an absolute triumph of filmmaking, much of that thanks to Tom Hanks’ incredibly moving performance as Forrest Gump, a ‘slow man’ who proves that we are all capable of amazing things, no matter what our IQ.

The film won Hanks his first Academy Award and made him a household name in Hollywood – the film is also one of the most Oscar-nominated in history (13 nominations), managing to win 6 out of the 13 it was nominated for in 1995.

Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof (Dallas Buyers Club, 2013)

This is a recent addition considering the film was only released in 2013, but considering the scale of Matthew McConaughey’s performance as real life AIDS victim Ron Woodroof, it has to be included.

Not on did the Texan actor win the Best Actor Oscar for the role, he also lost an incredible 47 pounds to accurately portray the character who in the 1980’s worked around the US medical system to smuggle much needed HIV medication from Mexico to those I need.

Charlize Theron as Aileen Wuornos (Monster, 2003)

Terrifyingly real. In a nutshell, the most accurate way to discribe Charlize Theron’s performance as convicted US serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the 2003 thriller Monster.

For the role, Theron gained a significant amount of weight and went through extensive facial protetic treatment every morning to look as much like her characters real life counter part. The chilling performance about Aileen’s unrelenting killing spree in Deytona Beech in the 90’s, earned Theron the Best Actress Oscar.

Jake Gyllenhaal as Louis Bloom (Nightcrawler, 2014)

Another newcomer, but it cannot be left out considering the spine-chilling performance that Jake Gyllenhaal gave as Louis Bloom, a freelance news cameraman that harbars an unhealthy obsession with crime scenes.

Gyllenhaal’s unwavering dedication to the character, which included him losing over 40lbs to show a man who struggles to pay for his next meal, earn’t the Jarhead actor an Academy Award nomination, though he sadly lost out to another man in this list.

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man (Iron Man, 2008)

Now this may seem like a head-scratching entry to the list, but when you consider the impact that this character has had on not only Robert Downey Jr’s career but also the superhero genre as a whole, it deserves its place among the other names.

RDJ has redefined the iconic character of Tony Stark in such as way that it would be next to impossible to replace him or invision anyone else in the famous suit. He’s helped turn Marvel Studios into the biggest and most profitable movie studio on the planet.

Denzel Washington as Alonzo Harris (Training Day, 2001)

Bad-ass! The defining word for describe Densel Washington’s performance as crocked gangster cop Alonzo Harris in the award-winning Training Day.

Such was the rawness of the performance, it’s been a baseline for many actors since, though no one will be able to replicate such a complex and compelling character, one that earn’t Washington an Academy Award for Best Actor.

Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden (Fight Club, 1999)

Forgive me, I’m breaking the first rule of Fight Club…but I have to talk about it for the sake of it’s star, Brad Pitt.

To say Pitt has enjoyed a successful career would be severe understatement, but there is one film that will remain as the pinnacle of his career, and that is of course, Fight Club. Since it’s release, Tyler Durden has been seen as somewhat of a cult hero, often making lists of the top film characters of all time.

Eddie Redmayne as Dr. Stephen Hawking (The Theory of Everything, 2014)

It was a performance that only took place less than a year ago, but Eddie Redmayne’s portrayal as the renowned physicist Dr. Stephen Hawking has to go down as one of the most authentically accurate of all time.

It is certainly an incredible achievement in the art of acting that deservedly won Redmayne the 2015 Academy Award for Best Actor. There’s no doubt that this young British actors career will go from strength to strength of the coming years, but this performance will probably remaining his defining moment.

Hilary Swank as Brandon Teena (Boys Don’t Cry, 1999)

Based on the story of female-born Nebraska teenager Teena Brendon who realises he was born in the wrong body and sets about becoming Brandon Teena in a bid to find himself and explore the true meaning of love.

Hilary Swank’s performance as the transgender teen was the defining moment in her career, not only winning her an Academy Award, but also drawing attention to the social issue of how transgender people are perceived in the world.

Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs, 1991)

He’s one of the most frighteningly real characters to have ever graced the big screen and one that sends shivers down the spines of people the world over. Anthony Hopkins portrayal of the sinister, cannibalistic doctor Hannibal Lecter is said to be one of the greatest villainous performances of all time.

The role proved to be the defining moment of his illustrious career, helping Hopkins win a Best Actor Oscar and inspiring a host of other actors craft their own evil characters.

Heath Ledger as The Joker (The Dark Knight, 2008)

There are not enough words to describe the masterful creation that is Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight – the performance is one of, if not the greatest, in history.

Chilling, complex, unrelenting…The Joker was near perfection in terms of it’s creation and a definite career highlight for Ledger, who’s life was cut terribly short after the completion of the film. A fitting tribute then that this career defining performance was immortalized in film history and recognized by his peers with the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Russell Crowe as Maximus (Gladiator, 2000)

One of the greatest performances in history?…perhaps so. Certainly one of the most memorable.

Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott brought the brutality and beauty of the Roman empire to life in a way that had never been seen before. Crowe’s Oscar-winning portrayal of Maximus, the Roman General turned slave fighter, is often seen as the ‘Godfather’ of film heroes. The film didn’t do too bad either, winning 5 out of 12 Academy Award nominations, and ranking in IMDb’s Top 50 greatest films of all time.

10 Most Talked-about Superhero Reboots

Superheroes and reboots go almost hand-in-hand when it comes to Hollywood these days – no matter the superhero, there is always a reboot just around the corner.

Check out Film Review UK‘s 10 greatest superhero reboots and have your say below.

X-Men: First Class (2011)

These two box-office hits, that have so far accumulated over $1 billion at the box-office, were reboots of the original X-Men trilogy starring Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry and Ian McKellen. Instead of re-launching the series again, filmmakers Matthew Vaughn and Bryan Singer decided to explore the younger years of Professor X and Magneto, depicting how these two influential characters became enemies.

The new trilogy stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult – one thing that’s proved to be a popular choice with audiences, is the decision to merge the new and old franchises into one, as seen in X-Men: Days of Future Past that included most of the original X-Men cast.

Batman Forever (1995)

Many at the time thought director Joel Schumacher was slightly made to reboot one of the most iconic superheroes in history, especially only three years after Michael Keaton hung up his cape after two successful outings as the Dark Knight.

Despite being nominated for three Oscars, earning $350 million worldwide and boasting a all-star cast including Val Kilmer, Nicole Kidman, Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones, Batman Forever promised a lot but sadly bombed with critics after it’s release – perhaps due to it’s introduction of Robin (Batman’s less than popular sidekick).

Verdict: Success with me, but failure in Hollywood’s eyes.

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Like Batman, Bruce Banner’s Hulk started off successfully on the small screen back in 1978, then in 2003 Eric Bana helped bring the Hulk to the big screen in Ang Lee’s blockbuster adaptation. Sadly the film bombed at the box-office and it was another five years until Edward Norton starred in the reboot, The Incredible Hulk.

Yet again though the world’s strongest superhero failed to win people over and the film only managed to earn $240 million worldwide, almost certainly ruling out any regular big screen appearance for the Hulk – that is until The Avengers.

Verdict: Not bad, but not great either.

Superman Returns (2008)

Well known for all the wrong reasons, Superman Returns was the first reboot since the late and great Christopher Reeve hung up his cape back in the 80’s. At the time it was the most expensive film ever made and promised so much but sadly failed to live up to all the hype.

Considering the stellar-cast including Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, James Marsden and new-comer Brendon Routh in the title role, who seemed to have the Superman look down to a tee, the film only made $319 million worldwide.

Perhaps it’s failure was down to the writers decision not to re-launch the franchise from the beginning, but instead carry on the story from where Superman 3 ended all those years ago. It just seemed impossible to embrace the characters.

Verdict: Epic CGI but snooze-fest of a storyline.

Fantastic Four (2015) – yet to be released

It was without a doubt the start of the epic Marvel reboot-a-thon that’s taken the world by storm (no pun intended), but after the somewhat mediocre performance of The Fantastic Four (2005) and The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), Marvel have decided to re-launch the franchise with a whole new look.

The biggest change is the character of Johnny Storm, who up until now has been portrayed by only white actors, most recently Captain America himself, Mr Chris Evans. Now however, Marvel has decided to break down the race barriers and rejuvenize the character, who will now be played by Michael B. Jordan (That Awkward Moment).

With a sequel already confirmed before the first has even hit cinema screens, studio execs are clearly expecting a massive return on investment.

Verdict: Ask me again in a month or two.

Captain America: The First Avenger (2012)

Many are usually surprised to hear that Chris Evans’ Captain America is in fact a reboot of a hugely unsuccessful straight-to-video film made in the 90’s.

After the mouth-watering triumph that was Iron Man in 2008, Captain America: The First Avengerwas the beginning of the Avengers series that has now spanned nine hit films and over $4 billion in box-office revenue.

With a hit in the bag last year with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War confirmed to be starring Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man, this reboot was clearly an epic descision.

Verdict: Brilliant, epic, and awesome all wrapped up with a bow on top.

Batman & Robin (1997)

Just why?…why does this film exist and why on Earth would half of Hollywood’s elite chose to star in it?

This film was infact a reboot / follow-on to Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever – the only reason this can’t be described as a full reboot in the fact that Chris O’Donnell once again reprised his role of the annoying and whimlish sidekick Robin. Probably explains why the film only made $200 million at the box-office.

Yet despite the horrific script and subsidized budget, the film still managed to attract George Clooney, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Uma Thurman – Clooney also recently apologized for his performance as Batman at last years New York Comic-Con.

Verdict: I shall give none, it’s just rubbish.

Man of Steel (2013)

With 300 director Zack Snyder at the helm and The Dark Knight trilogy mastermind Christopher Nolan writing the script, Man of Steel was always going to something special, even as a spectacle, we were sure to see something epic.

And in many ways this reboot of the box-office flop Superman Returns gave us just that – the story was enthralling, the special effects mesmerizing, and the cast…well what can I say?…when you’ve got Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Lawrence Fishburne and Russell Crowe all sharing screen-time, it’s definitely going to be good.

Of course, you can’t always please everyone, and Man of Steel had it’s fair share of critics, but when you earn over $600 million at the box-office, it’s can’t be all bad – and it’s already spawned an upcoming reboot of Batman, when he and Superman square off in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Verdict: Successful start to what should be a successful franchise for DC Comics.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Spider-Man actually has some claim to fame in this list for being the first superhero to successfully star in a big-screen trilogy – back in 2002, Toby Maguire teamed up with filmmaker Sam Raimi to bring the web-slinging superhero to life. Commercially the trilogy was a success, generating over $1.5 billion at the box-office. There was however a draw back – the third film left something of a sour taste for most movie fans.

Not surprising then, that with the success of Marvel’s blockbusters, Sony decided to reboot the franchise with Andrew Garfield in the title role, and in the process eliminating Mary-Jane Watson in favour of Gwen Stacey. The first film was a gargantuan success, earning over $750 million and immediately green-lighting the sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Sadly though, the second film couldn’t muster the same sort of critical praise, despite earning over $700 million and actually being a pretty decent film, especially it’s score that I still think should have received some sort of award recognition. Still, perhaps the upcoming reboot will give this popular superhero the praise he deserves.

Verdict: A great success in my eyes, shame about the lack of a third installment.

The Dark Knight trilogy (2005-2012)

The pièce de résistance of reboots – seriously they don’t come any better than this work of art. The Dark Knight trilogy, written and directed by Christopher ‘seriously needs to win an Oscar’ Nolan and starring Christian Bale as arguably the best superhero actor of all time, still is the crowing gem of DC Comics.

During it’s three installments, the franchise accumulated nine Academy Award nominations including a Best Supporting Actor win for the late Heath Ledger and amassed over $2.5 billion at the global box-office. The Dark Knight (2008) currently resides at #4 in IMDb’s top ten greatest films list.

Christopher Nolan certainly set the bench mark for reboots and it will not be easy to surpass the shear brilliance of this reboot.

Verdict: Genius, pure and simple.

 

Back to the Future 2 – Predicting 2015

It’s been 26 years since we saw Marty McFly and Doc Brown jump forward in time to 2015 in Back to the Future 2 (1989), and now that the year is finally upon us, what exactly did the Robert Zemeckis blockbuster correctly predict?

Hoverboards, microwaves that cook food instantly and auto-dry jackets, Back to the Future 2offered an exciting glimpse at what the future could look like in the 21st Century, but it now seems our modern technological world is further behind then we may have hoped.

Automatic dog walkers

There’s no denying it’s a genius invention, especially for those who hate walking their dogs – but then again, if you can’t be bothered to walk your dog, you probably shouldn’t have one in the first place.

Future prediction: Someone’s bound to design one at some point, though it’s more likely our dogs will be taking us for walks one day.

Fingerprint recognition locks

Prone to losing your keys? Always find yourself locked out of your house?…Back to the Future 2predicted we’d all be using fingerprint scanners to gain access through our front doors.

Well this prediction did come true with the introduction of biometric scanners, unfortunately for most of us, these locks are usually used by banks and government facilities due to their expensive costs.

There is some saving grace for us average-Joe’s who want to use our fingerprints more often – Apple‘s iPhone 5s and 6 models use a fingerprint scanner, coded to a specific users fingerprint, for unlocking the phone and making purchases.

Instant cooking microwaves

If there’s one thing we all wish would exist in 2015, it’s a microwave that cooks food instantly – no more cooking, just whack a tiny pizza in the microwave and BAM! Instant pepperoni stuff-crust.

Sadly however this prediction hasn’t come true…yet. Let’s just hope Black & Decker invent one soon.

Robot Petrol Station

Back to the Future 2 showed us brief glimpse of robot petrol stations – no more having to get out your car in the freezing cold, just to stand around while your petrol tank fills up.

Future prediction: I wouldn’t hold your breath with this one, just who knows what will happen in the next 30 years.

Nike Powerlace Shoes

Hi-tops with instant fasten laces looked awesome back in the 80’s and look even more awesome now that 2015 has rolled around…and the most amazing thing still is that these shoes will soon be in existence thanks to Nike’s creative teams. 2015 top Christmas wishlist item? Yep.

Hoverboards

The pièce de résistance in the Back to the Future 2 arsenal is the hoverboard. Made famous by Mart McFly, the hoverboard will actually be a 2015 reality thanks to a team of geniuses over at Hendowho’ve developed a board that works on high powered magnets.


It may seem like a gift to humanity that a hoverboard now exists, but considering one costs upwards of $10,000 it may be a while still until most of us can hit the streets with one.

Considering Back to the Future 2 was released 26 years ago, it’s quite incredible how many of the cool, innovative gadgets seen in the film are now in existence – sadly though many of them, including the Black & Decker Hydrator and the automatic dog walker, are yet to be invented, meaning we could have to wait another 26 years before these become every day items.