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By 3 November 2016 | Categories: news

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With the end of year approaching faster than a taxi without brakes, there are at least a few thrilling flicks coming up to help with a time-out from all the madness. Below is what we believe to be the best – from magicians and magic, to Death Stars and deadly assassins.

Doctor Strange
4 Nov

Set to cast his spell this Friday, Doctor Strange is another movie based on a lesser known character from Marvel’s archives. With the massive success of Guardians of the Galaxy still fresh in memory, can the good Doctor be another box office smash for Disney/Marvel?

Looking at its stars it certainly can, with Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes) taking the title role, and a TechSmart favourite, Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer) perfectly presented as the Ancient One.

From the trailers the movie comes across as a mix of The Matrix and Inception with a sprinkle of hardcore Harry Potter wizardry to add to its occult theme. Doctor Strange might not have the pulling power of a Spider-Man or Wolverine, but if there is anything to learn from recent Marvel flicks, it’s that at least you are in for a thrilling ride.

Why watch? Nothing like a bit of mind-bending effects and altered reality to take you out of your comfort zone.

Arrival
11 Nov

The Aliens have finally landed, here to free us from the evil powers of Trump/Clinton and finally releasing us from our monkey minds. Well, actually we first have to figure out what the hell they are saying, since both the Universal translator and Babel Fish were left at home. This task falls into the hands of linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams, The Master), who is roped in to break the ice with our soon to be Alien masters.

Apart from the trailers looking smashing, our big reason for watching is the man filling the director’s chair –Canadian Denis Villeneuve. Known for Sicario, Prisoners and Incendies, he is also directing Blade Runner 2049, so 11 November is definitely booked out on our calendar.  

Why watch: The skills of the master helming the project, Villeneuve.

Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them
25 Nov

Warner Bros. Pictures is betting big on Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, seeing that it’s the first of five films in the series. They are bargaining on the massive following of Harry Potter fans set to fill the cinemas, with Fantastic Beasts a spin-off based on J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World, taking place before the well-known Potter books.

The screenplay is even written by none other than Rowling herself, and the title directed by David Yates who also helmed the majority of Potter movies. Hopefully Fantastic Beasts proves worthy of the franchise, not turning into He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named: Box office failure.    

Why watch? Because the last Harry Potter movie was yonks ago, and you’ve already consumed The Cursed Child on the day of release.  

Star Wars: Rogue One
16 Dec

Pretty much the most obvious choice here, Star Wars: Rogue One is set to be the big blockbuster this December. Supposedly different in tone and feel to the official Star Wars movies, the Rogue One spin-off will introduce us to a whole range of different new characters (our favourite so far is Space Monkey), also bringing back a fan favourite, the man in black, Darth Vader.

Will Rogue One live up to the high standards set by the originals (okay, apart from Episodes 1-3), or will 16 December provide us with a failure of Jar Jar Binks proportions? We certainly hope for the former.

Why watch? We don’t really have to tell you, right?

Assassin’s Creed
23 Dec

The Assassin’s Creed movie is dividing the office a bit. On the one hand, films based on video games have a horrible track record (we’re looking at you here Super Mario Bros.), on the other, it does star Michael Fassbender (Hunger) and the trailers are sufficiently smooth.

Directed by Aussie Justin Kurzel, who took care of Fassbender in last year’s Macbeth, Assassin’s Creed should at the very least be a romp, no better or worse than 2010’s fairly entertaining Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.

Why watch: It opens a week after Rogue One, so if you’re done with that you might as well give this a go.

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