The best films of 2016 so far

THE winter months are creeping up quickly; the dark, cold and rainy nights are upon us. A lot quicker than expected for most of us.

However, it’s not all bad news.  Apart from the obvious celebrations taking place over Winter – Santa’s arrival etc- you are now allowed to be tucked up in bed by 7pm. So what better way to spend your time than recapping some of the box-office favourites of 2016.

In no particular order, here are Tside’s best films of the year to date. Anyone for popcorn?

Deadpool 

Released in February the Marvel addition added an extra layer of comedy upon the expected. Ryan Renolds played the main lead in the ‘superhero-hating’ film.

If Sarcasm is your preferred humour then this one hour and 45-minute length movie will suit you perfectly.

Don’t be put off by the ‘geeky’ superhero cliche, this film doesn’t fit into any stereotype.

Bridget Jones’s Baby

Renée Zellweger returned to our screens in September this year, taking many of us back to our teenage years. The hilarious comedy that runs through all Bridget Jones films certainly wasn’t missed in what is expected to be the last of the set.

You will finally get to see if Bridget bags a guy, emphasis on FINALLY.

This ‘Laugh out loud’ film is the perfect way to spend a girly evening, with a side of pizza and chocolate of course.

Central Intelligence

The popular school kid sticks up for the bullied boy, is that it? Not quite.

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart combine to make this an outstanding, hilarious and action-packed two hours for viewers.

If the world is in danger due to the manipulation of the American Spy satellite system, who better to save the day than The Rock and who better to make you laugh along the way than Kevin Hart.

Ben Hur

Your parents probably went to see this but it is seriously one to consider.

Hitting the big screen in August this year, the retake on the classic story places great emphasis on the power of graphics.

The classic film is brought to life by the imagery of chariot races, war, and the Roman empire.

Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) fights for survival as he endures years of slavery, to later overcome the tragic events in a showstopping finale.

Allegiant

Originating from The Divergent series, Allegiant was released in March, following on with the fight to see over the wall.

Remember to watch the previous films (Divergent and Insurgent) before settling down with a large bag of popcorn for this one, or things may get a little confusing.

The Science fiction film series show Tris (Shailene Woodley) in her fight to save humanity.

The witch

Treat yourself to a thrilling horror film over Halloween. The Witch arrived in cinemas in March and ensured all would have a frightening 92 minutes.

An original take on the much-covered areas of witchcraft and magic. This tale goes back in time to look into one family’s misfortunate events.

A remote area in New England surrounded by an evil spirit that affects children and animals around.

Zootopia 

The perfect animation film to watch after the above, just to calm the nerves before bedtime.

This two-hour long motion picture is the light hearted fun everyone needs, children involved or not.

The police force is a hard employment role for anyone, so what chance has a Rabbit got in it? Well, a pretty good one in Zootopia.

Jason Bateman and Ginnifer Goodwin voice Willy Fox and Judy Hopps in this award winning Disney animation.

Hail, Ceaser!

Ladies, this one is for you.

George Clooney and Channing Tatum in one film. With a little bit of added dancing.

Although this isn’t a remake of Magic Mike; Scarlett Johansson, Jonah Hill and Josh Brolin also play a part in the set. Taking a trip back to the best years of Hollywood the stars wonder if it is all it is made out to be.

Finding Dory

Remember the stress-free years you were going through when Disney-Pixar released Finding Nemo?

Reminisce with the follow-up of the childhood classic, paired with a Freddo chocolate bar you might actually feel a young child again.

The moral of this animation is rather empowering. The journey to finding your place in the world consists of many ups and downs but Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) just keeps swimming.

Bad Moms

Mila Kunis stars in another great comedy of the year. Amy (Mila) seems to have a perfect life, but the exhausted mother of two doesn’t have everything under control.

The successful career woman stops worrying about all expectations of motherhood and breaks every rule in the book on a quest to find a happy balance.

A great one for all over the holidays.

 

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Middlesbrough: Raising determined and well-travelled young women

credit: The Guardian

Roseberry Topping, Middlesbrough: The Guardian

Another day, another study claiming that Middlesbrough is the worst place to live as a female.

Originally, the research conducted aimed to shine a light on the inequalities of young women in the UK.

But once again, the stats were angled to give Middlesbrough a battering as it was ranked in the last position for opportunities offered to young women in the town.

The result was decided by five factors; child poverty, life expectancy, teenage pregnancy, GCSE results and numbers Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET).

National newspaper The Daily Mail managed to track down Boro teenager Molly Ryan and compared her upbringing to that of a girl from Surrey – which was ranked the best place to live for girls and young women.

18-year-old Molly was interviewed following the Plan International research.

But how accurate was the article?

Tside reporter Frankie Ahmed caught up with Molly to ask her if she thought the article painted a true picture of her Middlesbrough upbringing.

 

 

Left-Right, Molly Tunn & Molly Ryan: Madagascar Expedition. Credit: Molly Ryan

Left-Right, Molly Tunn & Molly Ryan: Madagascar Expedition. Credit: Molly Ryan

Achieving A*, A, C at A level – Molly’s  impressive results were not included in her Daily Mail profile which included short snippets based around: education, job, plans, home, family, safety and sexual harassment.

Earning £7.70 – higher than the 25 and over minimum wage by 50p.  This factor was left out by the Daily Mail even though she was earning more than the Surrey girl.

Currently Molly is studying for her degree in Journalism at Sheffield University; Teesside was her insurance choice.

However, like most young people across the UK – she wanted to be independent, to move away from home and have the opportunity to meet new people during her time at University.

Molly was mortified to see that she had been tagged with the line in the Daily Mail: ‘One faces daily sexual harassment’  – suggesting that her reasons for moving away from home were to do with constant sexual harassment and concerns for her safety.

She said: “One thing that has been different about Sheffield though is that I have been cat-called so much more than I have ever been in Middlesbrough – clearly Boro and the people in it are not the problem.”

Growing up in Middlesbrough, Molly has never felt hindered or restricted by her hometown, but actually enjoyed growing up here.

Surrounded by a great friendship group, having the facilities and opportunities to succeed.

“I never felt like I couldn’t participate in what I wanted to do because of where I grew up – Middlesbrough has all kinds of clubs for young people offering plenty of opportunities,” She said.

Not only did she achieve excellent results in both school and college, she voluntarily explored her career options across engineering workshops through school.

She decided it wasn’t for her but some of her friends are now in good apprenticeships in the industry.

The opportunities were endless, attending gymnastic and theatre clubs over the years, participating in school productions and events – most recently a World Challenge expedition to Madagascar.

Molly Ryan: World Challenge, Madagascar. Credit: Molly Ryan

Molly Ryan: World Challenge, Madagascar. Credit: Molly Ryan

“This took that drive and determination to raise the money to get there,” She said.

Mayor of Middlesbrough, David Budd, recently told the Gazette that the statistics used against Middlesbrough are dated and unreliable.

“The figures used in this report are from a number of years ago and our success in dealing with them is proven by more recent figures,” he said.

So here is so much more to be positive about in Middlesbrough – for girls in Middlesbrough to be positive about – than the dated data suggests.

Many think that Middlesbrough is some sort of northern, industrial wasteland. As if, it doesn’t have much to offer: forgetting the North Yorkshire moors, our beautiful coastlines, world-class medical centres and excellent university campus.

Not to mention that a multitude of successful females have came out of Middlesbrough: Steph McGovern, Mary Butterwick, Kat Copeland, Jade Jones, Aimee Willmott etc.

To make out as if growing up in Middlesbrough is going to stop women from being successful is ridiculous. It’s hardly fair to make such a harsh statement about such a complex and subjective experience, based on outdated statistics.

For the women of this town, it’s not exactly an empowering statement either. Especially when there are young girls like Molly, doing well with their education, maintaining a well paid job, participating in great activities and opportunities both locally and further afield – while growing up in Middlesbrough.  Clearly not the worst place to be after all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Making mental health funny

LOST handbags, anxiety, toilet humour and mental health. Not your usual topics for a comedy show.

Australian comedian Felicity Ward came to Stockton‘s The Arc with her ‘50% more likely to die’ comedy tour, filled with stories about her own mental health, control issues and relationship problems.

Felicity Ward. Photo: Andy Hollingworth

Felicity Ward. Photo: Andy Hollingworth

Felicity, uses comedy to break down the stigma attached to mental health issues and shows that nothing is off limits when it comes to comedy.

Her previous show (What If There’s No Toilet) is a heavy mix of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and mental health stories, I asked Felicity how this tour differs from her previous show. She said; “This show I wear the mental health stuff a lot more loosely. I mention it at the top and it is occasionally sprinkled out throughout the show. And I make no apologies about it, or having mental illness. But I think this is an easier show for people to get in on the first floor. Then they can come up to the next level with me.”

But it is not just mental health in the show. One of the funniest moments comes from a previously improvised moment when Felicity had been talking about work. This made her chuckle to herself on stage and she had to explain that she and her boyfriend try to amuse themselves by singing songs in the style of chickens. In this case, Rihanna ‘Work’.  Now Chicken Karaoke is a joy to behold and does not fail to send the audience into fits of laughter.

The show, her first UK tour, began at this years Fringe Festival in Edinburgh and Felicity has just finished at the Glasgow Mental Health Arts Festival.

During my interview with Felicity she did ask what she could do while in Stockton (possibly looking for some historical monuments or interesting places to visit). The best I could suggest was the half decent kebab shop at the end of Dovecot Street, something which made the comedian laugh uncontrollably.

The tour continues across the country until December .

 

 

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Emirates Stadium. What’s it like for an away fan?

Bar The Twisted Lip
Address: Baker Street
Offers: Specialist beers, ales and ciders
Tside Rating: Tside Rating: 2 out of 5Tside Rating: 2 out of 5Tside Rating: 2 out of 5Tside Rating: 2 out of 5Tside Rating: 2 out of 5

 

The EMIRATES STADIUM is a beautiful piece of modern stadium architecture, but a dull life-less bowl making for a poor away-day atmosphere.

Many people get excited over a spacious, comfy and large stadia that’s pleasing to the eye – but for the average football fan that’s not too important.

NO ATMOSPHERE: The Emirates Stadium

NO ATMOSPHERE: The Emirates Stadium

The roofing is high and the acoustics are terrible. All noise is lost straight into the North London air. Give me an old-fashioned terrace at Brentford any day of the week.

And it’s not just the eye-catching stuff that lets you down. The all important half-time pie. £3.70!? That makes it the 4th most in the football league.

That’s more shocking when taking into consideration the inflated prices across the entirety of London.

£5.50. If you fancy a pint to keep you warm in the winter months, that’s how much it’s going to set you back.

I’d expect a Peroni for those prices, but instead, a heated up, (I really meant it would keep you warm) watered down Carlsberg. Brilliant.

There was also the same old stereotypical treatment of football fans. Over the top stewarding along with masses of police (and dogs) suspecting everyone was there for trouble.

I suppose it’s not all doom-and-gloom. The transport links are excellent – within walking distance of Kings-Cross and even closer to Finsbury Park underground station – making it ideally placed for those travelling by rail from the North East.

The set-list inside the ground wasn’t too bad either: Oasis, The Jam and a bit of London Calling by The Clash as the teams were lining-up in the tunnel. Perfect for giving you that pre-match buzz.

If it’s an atmospheric away-day you’re after, then this one isn’t for you.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

 

 

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WWE 2K17 review

Game: WWE 2K17
Developer: Yukes and Visual concepts
Genre: Sports/wrestling
Tside Rating: Tside Rating: 2 out of 5Tside Rating: 2 out of 5Tside Rating: 2 out of 5Tside Rating: 2 out of 5Tside Rating: 2 out of 5

WWE 2k17 brings to life all you’re favorite WWE wrestlers, in a mesh of broken tables, bloody faces, and devastating body slams.

Developers promised to give it’s players a more immersive and free flowing gaming experience.

The game offers new character animations, a revamped “Career Mode” and a star-studded playlist composed by P-Diddy himself.

But much of WWE 2k17 is a copy and paste job of the previous instalment. Even acknowledging that it is made my the same team, it still feels lazy.

Yes, there has been graphic improvements and the game offers a crisp playing experience – perhaps the best yet – but it’s a far cry from the perfect game.

For instance, most of the character models hold a life like resemblance to the real life counterpart, but some are still lacking in detail.

The developers still haven’t managed to fix a number of glitches – that have been around since 2k took over the franchise – and while entertaining the first few times, they tend to get old pretty fast.

 One glitch proceeds to make your character slide around the ring on his knees, looking like a mutant snail with muscles.

Career mode has undergone a vast improvement and holds your attention much longer than the previous game.

The only niggle is that the cut-scenes – that throw you into the world of WWE – are still few and far between.

So why does it feel like a copy and paste job?

Simply put, much of the games bare-bones have remained the same and other that the improved career mode, there hasn’t been a significant change.

The likes of FIFA – concentrating entirely on football – have managed to bring new and exciting features to its games year in and year out, so thinking of new ways of approaching wrestling is a must for game-makers.

But despite lack of improvement, fans will continue to buy the annually released game, as I’m sure I will.

Although frustrating, WWE 2k still brings to life some of your favorite WWE moments throughout history and brings out the competitive multiplayer spirit (a thing that I believe is being lost to next gen online gameplay).

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X-Men: Apocalypse Review

Movie Title: X-Men: Apocalypse
Director: Bryan Singer
Release Date: May 9 2016
Tside Rating: Tside Rating: 3 out of 5Tside Rating: 3 out of 5Tside Rating: 3 out of 5Tside Rating: 3 out of 5Tside Rating: 3 out of 5

THE 8th time is not the charm as X-men: Apocalypse fails to outdo previous films.

The X-men are back, and they are up against their strongest foe yet in En Sabah Nur (Oscar Issac), who is believed to be the first ever mutant.

Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and his team of new mutants must figure out a way to defeat the Apocalypse.

Whilst Days of Future Past, this film’s predecessor, brought back the original X-Men cast, this film carries on with the ‘First Class’ generation.

Oscar Isaac, fresh from his success with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, goes against type and takes on the much coveted role of modern comic book villain.

His ‘Apocalypse’ offers glimpses of showmanship in his portrayal, yet fails to impose himself as a particularly menacing villain.

The man with too much control

IVAN OOZE: Isaac is more Power Rangers than X-Men with this design

Michael Fassbender comes out of the film as the real winner of the piece, with his depiction of the mutant Magneto.

He brings new depth to a character we have already seen five times before on the big screen.

However, the best shot scene in the film is the re-introduction of fan-favourite Quicksilver.

If every scene was made with this much creativity and attention to detail the rest of the film would have been a treat.

Michael Fassbender: MVP

STEELY FACED: Fassbender is the real MVP

The film brings the ‘First Class’ story-line arc to a close, a filmic crescendo culminating with X-Men Apocalypse.

The over-hyped nature of the film will leave fans, of the series, disappointed.

One-time Wunderkind of the film universe; Bryan Singer, arguably given to much creative control, flatters to deceive with his over-stuffed direction.

In a summer of disappointing blockbusters X-Men Apocalypse sits below Captain America: Civil War but higher than Batman vs Superman, lying in a sort of purgatory of average superhero flicks.

 

 

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ARROW RETURNS TO TV SCREENS

Title: ARROW
Publisher: CW NETWORK
Release Date: 19/10/16
Tside Rating: Tside Rating: 4 out of 5Tside Rating: 4 out of 5Tside Rating: 4 out of 5Tside Rating: 4 out of 5Tside Rating: 4 out of 5

 

ARROW has returned to television screens and after two sub-par seasons where the once impressive ratings of the show took a sky dive.

During its first and second season Arrow was the pride and joy of the CW Network, but the last two seasons have seen in a clear drop in quality.

With a disappointing flashback story-line and the over dependence on the magical aspect of the show.

arrow-tv-series-free-and

THE GREEN ARROW: THE GLORY DAYS

ARROW put themselves into a sticky position going into their fifth season.

With complaints from the fans over aspects such as fight choreography and relationships in the show ARROW had to deliver in these areas from the get go.

The fight choreography was impressively back to its high standards set in earlier seasons. Every fight scene had an inventiveness to it that hasn’t been there for a long time, with each punch offering power and gusto.

The main complaints for the last two seasons of Arrow have been the writers obsession with the relationship between the main character Oliver Queen (Stephan Amell) and the lead female character Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards).

What once was the focus of the show the relationship between Oliver and Felicity has been much more subdued this season.

The show is now able to focus on the hard hitting crime fighting aspects of the show that made ARROW popular.

 

oliver_felicity_arrow_the-cw

OLIVER AND FELICITY: RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS

The addition of new characters Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez) and Artemis (Madison McLaughlin) have brought a fresh aura to the show.

Removing old characters and replacing them with the new team has removed some of the sour taste and dourness that surrounded the previous season.

The lack of magic so far in the season has definitely added to the realness of the show and has helped in creating a down-to-Earth and realistic Star City.

Star City has been flushed with new life with the action taking places in numerous landmarks around the city and now feels like a fully realised character instead of a simple back drop, something that fellow DC show GOTHAM does well.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- "Star City 2046" -- Image LGN106b_0421.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Caity Lotz as Sara Lance / White Canary, Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer /Atom, Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart/Captain Cold, Ciara Renee as Kendra Saunders / Hawkgirl, Arthur Darvill as Rip Hunter, Franz Drameh as Jefferson "Jax" Jackson, Joseph David-Jones as Connor Hawke / Green Arrow, and Steven Amell as Oliver Queen / Green Arrow -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

TEAM ARROW: THE CREW ENTERS STAR CITY

Arrow has gone from a rough cheap knock off of other shows back to its once beloved roots. The action has returned to its high standard and the relationship which was once suffocated the show has taken a back seat.

Its to early to judge the season five on only three episodes but if It carries on supplying the same excitement and energy every episode ARROW could find itself back on top.

 

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PlayStation:VR

Headset PS:VR
Price: £349.99
Tside Rating: Tside Rating: 4.5 out of 5Tside Rating: 4.5 out of 5Tside Rating: 4.5 out of 5Tside Rating: 4.5 out of 5Tside Rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

PS:VR

VIRTUAL Reality headsets promise a new dimension for gaming. PlayStation:VR lets you fight in ‘RIGS’ and race cars in ‘DriveClub’ from the comfort of your sofa.

However, more expensive competition puts Sony’s ‘cheaper’ headset through it’s paces.

At £349.99 PS:VR can hardly be called cheap for essentially a console ‘add-on’. Costing more than the system needed to run it, PS:VR appears flawed to anyone new to virtual reality.

Sitting pretty in-between VR-enabled phones and the top end HTC: Vive, Sony’s new headset may actually be the cream of the crop.
Vive’s higher resolution provides crisper images – Sony’s new RGB pixel format reduces screen door – resulting in a lesser drop in visuals than expected. Sony’s 1920 x 1080P screen will never look as good as the TV when its an inch from your retina’s. However, it does a fantastic job and your immersed within minutes, forgetting the real world exists at all.

PS:VR offers the most comfort by a mile, resting it’s entire weight across your head. Oculus and HTC both adopt ski-mask like designs, lashing the device to your face with Velcro. Sony have really flexed their excellent product design arms, making PS:VR takes the crown for best looking and most functional of the current devices.
The inevitable draw-back comes from the PS4 Camera. Probably still sat using your TV stand as a grave, your constantly reminded of PlayStation’s rich history of rubbish add-on’s and forgotten devices.

This is where it gets tricky.

PS:VR relies on the very same camera. Once set up, this means you have limited movement if you want to keep the headset working. It can also struggle to pick up the headset tracking lights in sunny conditions. Leaving you to become a sweaty, nerdy hermit enclosed behind masses of blinds and curtains. Relic PS Move controllers also appear for a second outing. Despite negative reaction, the move controllers offer intuitive VR hand tracking. Infact, maybe Sony had bigger plans all along with the move controllers. Dualshock 4 and VR headset also use the same light bars.

psvr-demos

Now that the drawbacks are covered, here is perhaps the best point; the games.

PS:VR is housed by PlayStation which happens to have the most first party developers of any console manufacturer. They have huge deals with most third party developers too meaning that of all current VR headsets, PlayStation already have the best games. This will continue through the products life-cycle and should produce weird, wonderful and whacky games for all ages.

Playstation:VR is truly the first mass market virtual reality system. It merges fantastic design with great tech specs and is available to any of the over 40 million PS4 owners world wide. It is the easiest to set-up and the fastest to get playing. With a decent install price and a swamp of amazing launch games, it is hard to criticise Sony’s valiant effort.

VR is here and I couldn’t be more excited!

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – All you need to know

Movie Title: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Director: Gareth Edwards
Release Date: 15/12/16
Tside Rating: Tside Rating: 0 out of 5Tside Rating: 0 out of 5Tside Rating: 0 out of 5Tside Rating: 0 out of 5Tside Rating: 0 out of 5

What is Rogue One about?

In a nutshell, Rogue One is set to be the story of the Rebel Alliance and their attempt to conduct a daring mission, the goal of which is to steal the plans for the evil Empire’s infamous super weapon, The Death Star.

When is Rogue One set?

This movie is set just before the original Star Wars (A New Hope), so it’s technically a prequel. Expect to see lots of Imperial Stormtroopers and AT-ATs, please don’t go into the movie asking where’s Rey, Finn and Kylo Ren? or why is the Death Star back? You’re after Episode VIII, which is out next year!

rogueone578eb3b2ae537-h_2016

Why is Rogue One a thing?

When Disney bought the franchise off of George Lucas back in 2012, they announced that as well as three new main saga movies (episodes 7, 8 and 9) they would be making several standalone ‘anthology’ movies in order to ship out a new Star Wars movie every year until pretty much the end of time.

Rogue One is set to be the first of these standalone films and it allows for more depth to be added to the ever-expanding Star Wars universe. It also means that the movies are able to take a step back from the Skywalker based saga movies and to tell some different stories set in the galaxy far, far away.

Who’s in Rogue One?

The ensemble cast of the movie shows promise with names such as Felicity Jones, Forest Whittaker, Mads Mikkelsen and Ben Mendelsohn all starring amongst others.

Felicity Jones stars as the rebellious soldier, Jyn Erso. The film’s trailers show her off to be very independent and exceptionally bad-ass after being left to fend for herself from the age of fifteen.

screenshot2016-04-07at13-03-30-ed

Felicity Jones as the rebellious lead character Jyn Erso

Diego Luna plays captain Cassian Andor, a rebel intellignece officer and companion of Erso’s in the quest to steal the plans for the Death Star.

diego-luna-1

Diego Luna as Capt. Cassian Andor

Ben Mendelsohn is the Australian actor charged with bringing the Imperial Director Orson Krennic to life. He looks set to bring a degree of power-hungry determination to the movie’s primary antagonist.

ben-mendelsohn

Ben Mendelsohn as the menacing, cape-wearing, Director Krennic

Mads Mikkelsen’s role in this movie was kept under wraps for a long time in the lead up to this film but the rumours were proved true as he was confirmed as Jyn’s father in the final trailer. Mikkelsen, of James Bond and Hannibal fame, will be playing the man behind the construction of the Death Star.

madsmikkelsen

Mads Mikkelsen, who plays Jyn’s father and Imperial scientist

Forest Whitaker plays Saw Gerrera a character previously seen in the Star Wars universe already, in the Clone Wars animated TV show. “Consider him a battered veteran who leads a band of rebel extremists” said Kathleen Kennedy (President of LucasFilm) in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

forest-whitaker

Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera

Others appearing in the film include:

Donnie Yen, who plays Chirrut Imwe, a blind warrior monk with strong beliefs in the Jedi and the Force.

Donnie Yen

Donnie Yen as Chirrut Imwe


Riz Ahmed, plays Bohdi Rook, a pilot in the Rebeillion and part of Andor and Erso’s crew.

Riz Ahmed

Riz Ahmed as Bohdi Rook

Alan Tudyck, voices the droid K2-SO a former imperial security droid who has been reprogrammed for good.

Alan Tudyck's character K2-SO

K2-SO, the character to be voiced by Alan Tudyck

Jiang Wen, who plays Baze Malbus, a friend of Chirrut’s and a dab-hand with a blaster.

There’s such a wide variety of different talents on offer that it provides a real chance for this film to experiment in ways that no other ‘traditional’ Star Wars movie has ever done before.

Who’s directing Rogue One?

Gareth Edwards, the director of Rogue One is in my mind the perfect choice to take charge of this film. Not only is he a huge fan of Star Wars himself, but if his previous movies Godzilla and Monsters, to name but two, are anything to go by then Rogue One should be an absolute treat, particularly in terms of the visuals and aesthetic of the film.

gareth-edwards

Gareth Edwards, Director of Rogue One

What to expect

Unlike any of the saga movies which follow the Skywalker line, Rogue One is set to take on a whole different style and tone as it has been described as a war movie based in the dirty, gritty and lived-in Star Wars universe. Bascially, try and picture a Saving Private Ryan-esque film with Stormtroopers, blaster rifles and a whole host of cool new ships.

Trailers

The teaser and two trailers that have been released so far have only added momentum to the ever accelerating hype train that is Rogue One. And the fleeting, almost teasing glimpses of a certain Mr D Vader have only put Star Wars nerds like myself into a quivering frenzy of excitement for this new, yet old addition to the Star Wars cinematic universe.

Teaser Trailer:

Star Wars Celebration Reel:

Trailer #1:

Trailer #2:

When is it out?

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set for release in UK cinemas on December 15.

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Still Game returns to the BBC

TV Series Still Game
Series 7
Station BBC 1, Friday, 2130
Tside Rating: Tside Rating: 4 out of 5Tside Rating: 4 out of 5Tside Rating: 4 out of 5Tside Rating: 4 out of 5Tside Rating: 4 out of 5

THE new series of Still Game sees the return of japing duo Jack and Victor and the rest of the ageing Craiglang gang.

Returning after a nine-year hiatus from television, the show has graduated to BBC1 from their previous position on BBC Scotland.

In the pair’s latest adventures the clever jigsaw narratives continue, albeit with a greater reliance on physical humour than ever before.

Episode three saw Winston receive a hefty parking ticket and Jack, Victor and Isa prepare ‘Methadone’ Mick to attend a job interview. Boabby also made an appearance to receive an honour for his work with Pete ‘The Jakie’.

There was great worry amongst fans of the earlier series’ that it would not live up to the hype whipped up during the time off air- during which the cast toured sell-out theatres, their original home- but I see no issue there. The double-threat actors/writers have hit-the-ground-running.

Admittedly, though, it is obvious that the pair are feeling the pressure. The first three episodes in the series have seen the addition of slapstick comedy- slips, trips, falls, toilet humour. Most of this merited the odd chuckle but the deviation from the original dry quips is clear. It seems to me that with time and a return to stride, the usual intelligent humour will prevail.

Aside from this, the show is deserving of its hype. The pair continue to cast their observational eye over the lives of working-class pensioners in this country, in which viewers can see their ageing relatives amongst the high-rises of Craiglang.

It’s obvious that the show has created a loyal following, especially in its native Glasgow. Before starting the new series, Still Game quickly sold out a run of 16 shows in the City alone.

Welcome back, boys!

Image result for still game

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