What to look forward to on the big screen in 2019.

    2018 was a pretty huge year in the movie going world with all the social changes that have go one in Hollywood and changes much needed to the casting couch culture. The only sad thing that this meant with an otherwise vitally important cultural change is that the movies themselves were sometimes a little overlooked.

    Hopefully 2019 will be a turning point creatively when Hollywood and its associated locations can get on with the business of telling stories, once it has got its house in order behind the scenes. Here we look at the wide spectrum of movies that is promised for the next calendar year.

    As usual there is a wide mix of different genres and something for everyone, there’s action, romance makes an appearance, drama is there in the mix and naturally there are a few kooky art films to satisfy the more quirky palate, though quite which studio will replace Miramax as the forerunner of championing independent films is anyone’s’ guess, and there are many studios that are looking to take over this obvious gap in the market.

    The empty seats will be filling up fast.

    Detective Pikachu

    Given that Pokémon is established to be the biggest grossing property on the planet, outstripping even Star Wars, any Disney properties, Harry Potter and Games of Thrones, it is perhaps slightly astonishing to consider that there has never been a Hollywood movie connected to the kids and adults-appealing franchise.

    There have been several cartoons and even extended length visuals made for Japanese and global television audiences, but no one has bitten the Pikachu bullet and taken the brave step to make movie magic with this wonderful world. Until now.

    The studio have opted for a mixture of live action and animation, possibly to mirror the strangely mixed success of Pokémon Go. At one stage it seemed as if collecting Pokémon on real live streets would take over the world and all properties would follow suit, but the early huge take up hasn’t translated into lasting revenue streams for Pokémon’s owners, and the rumoured Harry Potter AR game has been in the pipeline a long time. So, arguably this is a leftfield decision to make the movie match the Pokémon Go app-game.

    Apparently, unlike the real Pikachu we all know and love, the newly-forged Detective Pikachu is a fully speaking person, so how they develop the character creatively will be very important for the success of the potential franchise. One excellent piece of news for fans of the property is that they have secured the talents of Ryan Reynolds to voice Pikachu. That’s great news for fans of Ryan and he sounds like a good fit for the job.

    Ryan knows what’s coming up.

    Toy Story 4

    It is almost impossible to imagine modern cinema without the huge impressively creative shadow that the Toy Story series and franchise casts over the present day. It seemed such a mind-bending fact that a feature length film was generated in its totality by computer graphics when the first film was released.

    Thankfully what was ground breaking as a genre was backed up by a pretty brilliantly written script. Could you imagine what might have befallen the genre had the script been mediocre or shoddy?

    Fast forward nearly two decades since the original Toy Story film was released and Pixar have announced that Toy Story 4 is now coming out next summer. In a way this is potentially a huge risk for the studio as critics and general cinema-goers agreed that the end of Toy Story 3 was a superb way to end the trilogy.

    This was borne out with the quite astonishing average mark across the three films of the trilogy on Rotten Tomatoes. It averaged 99 percent across all three. Not even the original Star Wars trilogy can match that.

    So the studio must be confident they have a final script which will not disrupt this nearly immaculate record. The other great news for fans of Woody and the gang are that all the usual cast members are said to be coming back for this reprise.

    Let’s hope that if the film is as good as the previous incarnations, that it would trigger a Star Wars type cycle of trilogies. That Tom Hanks is at the head of the tried and trusted group of voice talent will not come as too much of a surprise, given the no doubt lucrative success of the Pixar brand. Although the studio is taking somewhat of a risk with Jason Cooley as director, if you wanted to make a sporting bet on it, you would be well advised to say he will probably do an excellent job, even though this is his feature length debut.

    Tom Hanks is ready to go.

    Top Gun: Maverick

    One of the surprise hits of the 1980s was Top Gun. An arguably quite cheesy jet-fighters-in-training movie with a predictably heart-pulling romantic plotline. But it has proven a classic with movie goers of all kinds and the macho subtext can be read in a variety of ways, it is arguable the script was as much an examination of male on male friendship as much as female on male romance.

    Allegedly the script for the long desired Top Gun sequel surfaced for the first time in Hollywood in 2010. And it has taken seven long years to get the studio to finally commit. The scraps that we have about sound very promising. The story will focus on Tom Cruise’s character, Maverick, and his mentoring and tutoring of the son of his former colleague, Goose. In the eighties classic Goose met a sad death in the film and reminded us all of the risks the servicemen take to protect our nation’s interests in times of conflict.

    The film studio has secured Val Kilmer to reprise his role as Maverick’s rival, but there is no word on how this storyline will be approached in the script. There is little doubt that with a bit of luck and the cinematic winds blowing in the right direction, this remake should be able to push all the right buttons. Let’s hope they can find a songwriter as strong enough to match the brilliant main song from the soundtrack, Take My Breath Away, by Berlin.

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