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.

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.

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.

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.

Comic-Con 2015: The Walking Dead (TV) Panel

It’s one of the most loved shows on TV, generating high viewing numbers and boasting a hefty fan base of loyal fans – this evident when the cast of the hit zombie show The Walking Dead took to the stage during Comic Con to promote the upcoming sixth season.

In attendance at the sold out Q&A on Friday (July 10) were stars Andrew Lincoln, Steven Yeun, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride and Lauren Cohan to name just a few – fans didn’t waste any time grilling the group on everything they want and expect to see in the new season.

Despite the upcoming season looking set to be the most hard-hitting yet, stars of the show were rather coy about giving too much away – though they were more than happy to answer fan question regarding their on-screen alter-ego’s.

McBride, who plays abused housewife turned badass zombie killer Carol, was bombarded with questions regarding her unorthodox nature of killing both zombie’s and humans. Smiling broadly, McBride was quick to jump to Carol’s defence, telling eager fans that her character wasn’t as bad as she may seem:

[pull_quote_center]Everything is fueled by the loss of people; that’s why she’s doing what she’s doing… She can’t stand around and watch people die. She’s ready to pay the price or go to hell to try to help… and do whatever she can…[/pull_quote_center]

One added addition to the panel this year was that of Brit actor Lennie James, who you starred in the very first episode as Morgan, only to then mysteriously disappear, until he appeared towards the end of season five.

Well good news for fans is that Morgan is here to stay, for now, and will feature heavily in the new season – something pointed out in the exclusive trailer below:

Though careful not to give anything crucial away, Lennie James did hint to fans that we may finally know what Morgan has been up to all this time, especially considering the added skills he seems to have picked up since the first season.

Michael Cudlitz, who plays short-tempered anti-hero Abraham also hinted during the Q&A that the upcoming season could see his most prominent moment yet… Though what that means is anyone’s guess. The same can be said for Norman Reebus, who plays fan-favourite Daryl – the actor descibed who is characters place with the new community of Alexandria would be tested this season.

Character development – that seems to be the message the stars wanted to get across to fans this year – not surprising that back story will feature heavily considering the spin-off series Fear the Walking Dead premiere this year. The new series which debuted at this years Comic Con will be set during the first weeks of the outbreak – finally giving fans a glimpse of that really happened.

Season six of The Walking Dead kicks off October 12 on Fox | You can also catch Fear the Walking Dead when it’s debuts in September on new UK channel AMC Global.

Check out all the happenings from The Walking Dead Q&A in our image gallery below:

 

Comic-Con 2015: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens Panel

Who’d have ever thought we not only see Star Wars back at Comic-Con, but the original cast members sitting in front of thousands of screaming fans about to showcase a whole new chapter to the world’s most famous intergalactic franchise.

Well surprise guest Harrison Ford sure didn’t – but none the less there he sat alongside his fellow cast members Mark Hamill and Carrie Fischer, as well as a whole new generation of Star Warsalumni at yesterday’s sold out Comic-Con panel.

Star Wars is perhaps one of the most loved and honoured of all at the world famous San Diego Comic-Con, so for fans who had queued for days to see the panel, this was a moment that would go down in history.

Co-writer, director and visionary J.J. Abrams took to the stage along with new cast members Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Gwendoline Christie to dish all the juicy gossip to the world’s media. Fans at the event were treated to an exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette that finally laid to rest any doubts about the new franchise and its ability to deliver what the original did.

For any Star Wars fan this surely left you with goosebumps and a insatiable hunger to watch the next installment, which is sure to break every box office record upon its release – with some experts expecting it to finally dethrone Avatar as the highest grossing movie of all time.

Check out the exclusive featurette below:

Lucasfilm president Kathy Kennedy and original trilogy screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, who has co-wrote the new installment, had nothing but praise for the work Abrams has done of the new film, describing it as a true homage to the original work of George Lucas, who recent sold his company Lucasfilm to Disney.

Many had wondered if the original trio would be in attendance, with Harrison Ford’s recent plane crash laying doubt in the minds of fans – something instantly quashed though when the man himself surprised everyone by taking a seat on the panel.

The cast, both old and new, shared their experiences of working on the Star Wars set, as well as dropping some very subtle hints of what to expect – though most of the plot and synopsis remains a mystery, something that makes its release all the more exciting.

Check out highlights of the star-studded panel below:

 

 

Comic-Con 2015 – What To Expect

It’s less than two days until Comic-Con 2015 kicks off in San Diego and there’s a lot to look forward to at this years fan-favourite event.

Check out the schedule below and stay tuned for all the latest news and exclusives from some of the most hotly anticipated films including Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.

Thursday (July 9)

STAR PANEL: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 | It’s the final installment in the blockbuster franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson.

What to expect: It’s safe to say most of the franchises cast will be in attendance promoting exclusive trailer and clips – the film’s star Jennifer Lawrence has yet to be confirmed at the event which will likely come as a disappointment for most fans in attendance.

Limitless (TV Movie) | TV adaptation of Bradley Cooper’s 2011 hit film Limitless is making its debut at Comic-Con.

What to expect: Much of the film’s synopsis is still in the dark, though this will surely be cleared up once the audience are set lose on the panelists, which could include Bradley Cooper himself.

The Last Ship (TV Series) | Entering it’s second season, The Last Ship is produced by Michael Bay and stars Eric Dane, Rhona Mitra and Adam Baldwin.

What to expect: All the latest exclusives from the action-packed series that’s sure to have all the cast populating the panel – though it’s unlikely that Executive Producer Michael Bay will be in attendance.

Friday (July 10)

Fear the Walking Dead (TV Series) | Brand new spin-off of Fox’s hit show The Walking Dead makes its much anticipated debut at Comic-Con.

What to expect: There’s sure to be extensive discussion regarding the plot, which explores the early time of the virus – hopefully clarifying some nagging questions that have been on the minds of Walking Dead fans.

STAR PANEL: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens | So hotly anticipated that there’s not going to be a single inch of free space when the panel takes its seats.

What to expect: Everything. There’s surely going to be an appearance by original cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fischer and Mark Hamill – not to mention director J.J. Abrams, who’s likely to tease fans with as little information as possible. We could also see some exclusive new trailers and features ahead of it’s December release.

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (TV Movie) | It’s not quite Star Wars, but this Sci-Fi Channel produced TV movie has it’s fair share of fans that will surely give the panel a rousing reception.

What to expect: Most of the cast including the latest addition David Hasselhoff, as well as discussion on ten future of the ever growing franchise that’s likely to spawn at least another 500 sequels.

Saturday (July 11)

STAR PANEL: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice | Perhaps one of the most eagerly anticipated panel’s of the event. I mean how can it not when Batman and Superman square off on stage.

What to expect: The cast including Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jason Mamoa and Jesse Eisenberg will take the stage – there’s bound to be an exclusive new trailer and talk regarding the upcoming Justice League films that are due to feature a whole host of well known heroes from the DC Universe.

The Hateful Eight | Tarantino’s secretive post-Civil War Western starring Channing Tatum, Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell will feature at the event.

What to expect: Firstly we’re likely to learn more about the plot and hopefully see the first trailer that’s so far eluded eager fans of the auteur filmmaker. Not much is known as to who will be in attendance except for Tarantino himself.

Warcraft | A film adaptation of the best-selling online role-playing game World of Warcraft, starring Ben Foster, Paula Patton and Dominic Cooper.

What to expect: To be honest, I’m not sure what we can expect. Publicity and marketing surrounding this project has been almost non-existent so expect anything. Plot and trailers are likely to be showcased.

It’s certainly going to be a record turnout for the California-based Comic-Con event and Film Review UK will bring all the latest and best from it. For more information and a full list of who’s paneling,