Thanks to a busy weekend of TV binge watching; A Series of Unfortunate Events=dark, witty, playful and graced with some wry wonderful dialogue, final ever(?) Sherlock=plot a bit thick but a solid emotional payoff and a great send-off, and Taboo; murky, miserable and a tad slow but a primal guttural performance from Tom Hardy, I’ve neglected my hangover a little bit. So here comes the first Movie Shot of 2017, let’s take a look at the big stories from the first two weeks of the year:

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  • First up, and based on the above pic, it’s the reveal that the quietly spoken expertly played Gus Fring by Giancarlo Esposito will return in Better Call Saul S3. An utterly awesome show that manages to flesh out a world we thought did not need fleshing out with an unpredictability and some of the best directing ever seen in a TV show. The Breaking Bad prequel will sadly not be returning in Feb as per the last seasons but arrive April 10th. BOO!!
  • We got our first glimpse at Emma Watson’s singing in the upcoming Beauty and the Beast. It is hard to tell from such a small snippet but similar to Emma Stone in La La Land it is rough around the edges but carries more soul because of it. Unfortunately this little sneak peek was somewhat overshadowed by the reveal of a new Belle toy doll which somehow manages to look like Justin Bieber’s slightly melted younger sister, it is horrifying:

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OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD!!

Jesus this film is going to take all the money isn’t it?!

  • Hidden Figures has maintained its hold on top of the US box office after knocking Rogue One from number one after 4 weeks on top. Standing at $59 million after two weeks it is proof that despite the naysayers audiences are more than ready for a female centric, black centric low-key drama. Reviews have been great with this true life tale of the 3 coloured women responsible for getting man into space opening here on Feb 3rd.
  • Alas with the rise of a female-dominated picture comes the decline of Ben Affleck and Scorsese. Both whose films opened in the US this week to less than sterling numbers. Live by Night just about scraping $6 million for 8th place and Silence faring even worse coming in at less than $2 million despite the universal praise. Although a familiar looking gangster film and a 3hr epic about 16th Century Jesuit priests were never going to set the world alight.
  • In a move to the relief of fans everywhere Lucasfilm released a statement to declare that the dearly departed Carrie Fisher would not be replaced with a CGI version in 2019s Episode IX. Briefly appearing as a CG character in December’s Rogue One, but that was done with her blessings and a very very blink and you’ll miss it scene. Although her Leia is rumoured to have been a major part of the final chapter of the new saga trilogy, the team at Lucasfilm has apparently met to discuss options in how to alter the story to factor in her tragic loss.
  • DCs film universe continues apace with the recruitment of Batman Begins scripter David Goyer and Justin Rhodes to write the Green Lantern Corps film. Set to feature John Stewert and Hal Jordan as earthlings who don the alien rings of power. Let’s just hope that they avoid watching the Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern film for inspiration. I place my bets on Mahershala Ali for Stewert:

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  • Variety reports that Peter ‘Best thing in GoT’ Dinklage will be featuring in the two-parter Avengers: Infinity War film. No word yet on who he may play, but it is another casting coup for a studio that knows no bounds when it comes to great casting decisions.
  • Cars 3 followed up that surprisingly bleak and grey first teaser with a second that disappointingly ends up looking very similar to the second extremely childish film. Hints abound that some dimensions may be at play here but overall it appears to be another superficial silly picture, although the lack of Mater is a plus. Fingers crossed that Pixar have some surprises up their sleeve but I’m feeling doubtful.
  • The big Marvel/Netflix team-up miniseries The Defenders finally revealed an early glimpse at the central team. Very much is known at this point but we know Sigourney Weaver plays the main villain generically named Alexandra, that the foursome will fight each other in a hallway (that most popular setting of Netflix’s Marvel shows) and The Punisher may make an appearance before his own show debuts this Winter. The Defenders lands this summer after the Iron Fist origin series arrives in March.

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  • The Young Han Solo film has added another outstanding member to the cast with Woody Harrelson. Set to play the mentor to Han I cannot think of anyone who would be better at training up a wisecracking, confident scoundrel than one of our finest movie scoundrels!
  • Yes the Golden Globes were last weekend and I did not report on them simply for the fact that no movie fan worth his salt gives them the light of day. Voted on by only 90 members of the backslapping Hollywood Foreign Press Association, instead of the 3000+ actors, writers, directors and production talent that make up the Academy. The fact the Globes have a Musical/Comedy category as well as a Drama one is proof that they’re only in this to hobnob with the creme de la creme rather than making any hard choices. That being said I was very glad to see La La Land clean up and Meryl Streep’s heartfelt pertinent speech was a highlight but the saving grace was the opening number by Jimmy Fallon, a spot on ode to Damien Chazelle’s masterpiece:
  • New Logan trailer arrives this Thursday, nuff said!!
  • The first peek at Margot Robbie’s Oscars 2018 bid as figure skater Tonya Harding arrived this week, and it is a sea of big hair, high waisted trousers and well the 90s! Based on the account of her attempt to sway the 1994 Olympic Games by having her rival Nancy Kerrigan attacked, I, Tonya is directed by Craig Gillespie, and scripted by Steven Rogers. He of P.S I Love You fame, so I am slightly wary of its prospects, but Robbie will inevitably be a major draw. It opens this Christmas or early next year:

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  • Finally Disney’s live action Dumbo film directed by Tim Burton is circling Will Smith for a main role as the father of the kids who befriend the titular big-eared elephant, whilst Tom Hanks is being courted as the films big bad. If Smith does sign on it will push back the Joe Carnahan directed Bad Boys 3 which is set to film at the same time. I’m sure the much bigger paycheck from Disney will not influence his decision at all!

Til the next hangover….

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