Film

Best of Entertainment 2016

2016

Has it really been a year already?! As we approach the end of 2016, it’s time to look back on the last 366 days. I feel like I say this every December, but it’s hardly been the most vintage of years – in more ways than one this time, considering the amount of controversy and tragedy that’s happened over the last 12 months. Nevertheless, through all the darkness and fear, the world of entertainment has kept on spinning, churning out the odd gem to keep us smiling onward towards (hopefully) better things in 2017.

So, please join me on a trip down memory lane as I pick out my favourite media releases from the year gone by. It’s not all been bad, after all…!

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Ranked: Star Wars Episodes I – VII

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Not so long ago, in a galaxy that’s… well, this one, actually… Star Wars enjoyed a spectacular revival and has reclaimed its place as an entertainment phenomenon. It’s a saga that’s spanned nearly 40 years, with its two-and-a-bit trilogies (so far) now seen and beloved by different generations. Whether it’s the originals, the prequels, or the sequels, it’s the sci-fi series that serves as a multimedia constant and binds the cinematic universe together. But, as we go full-circle and head back towards the beginning (which is actually more the middle, but whatever) in this year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, one question needs to be asked – which Star Wars films are the best?

It’s no secret that the franchise has been through some ups and downs, so to shamelessly cash in on all the Star Wars hype surrounding Rogue One’s release, here’s my personal rankings for all seven of the main series films we’ve seen so far…

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Review: Bayonetta – Bloody Fate

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Way back in 2009, Platinum Games released a little known game called Bayonetta on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Full of thrills, kills, and *ahem* fanservice, this action-packed title starring an ass-kicking witch was met with rave reviews and soon became a cult classic to many. Since then, the game has received a much-anticipated and much-acclaimed sequel on the Nintendo Wii U in 2014, but the year before, anime studio Gonzo decided to produce a feature-length retelling of the first game’s story in the form of Bayonetta: Bloody Fate. While I’m somewhat late to the party, I’ve finally had a chance to watch this 90 minute animated adventure – but does it live up to the source material’s sterling reputation? Or does it follow the trend of most game-to-movie adaptations and leave nothing but a bitter taste of disappointment?

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Benedict Cumberbatch is The Grinch!

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Last year, Illumination Entertainment announced that a brand new, CG adaptation of Dr Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas was in the works for the end of 2017. Anyone who knows me will know that The Grinch is something I absolutely love, which is why this announcement left me both excited and anxious – I’m always happy to see the character and the story getting some more love, but could a new film really live up to my memories of the Jim Carrey and Boris Karloff originals? A lot of it, of course, would come down to who would be playing the title role…

Well, guess what, it’s now official: Benedict Cumberbatch is The Grinch. Suffering snorkel blatz!

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Best of Entertainment 2015

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The end is nigh for 2015 – it’s been 365 days of thrills, spills, and just about everything in between. It’s the year we finally went Back to the Future, and in true time-travelling style we could delve into the biggest new stories gone by or make predictions for the year ahead… but let’s be honest, all we really want is to be entertained! 2015 has hardly been what I’d consider a vintage year for the entertainment world, somewhat lacking in substance compared to its predecessors in recent memory – however, that’s not to discredit some of the quality output we have received over the last 12 months, because when entertainment in 2015 was good, it was really good. Rather, it’s been a steady drip-feed of smaller, less groundbreaking media that’s mildly satisfying but left you craving just that little more, with the real big hitters fewer and further apart.

Just what was the cream of the crop though? Which stellar examples of entertainment really set my heart alight and left me with a ridiculously stupid grin right across my face? Well, you’re about to find out, as we crown the winners that will stand the test of time and make 2015 an exciting year to look back on…

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SPOILER Review: Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens

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***WARNING! THE SPOILERS ARE STRONG IN THIS ONE!***

The following review contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you haven’t seen the film yet and don’t want to know what happens, steer clear!

Click here for my spoiler-free review or read on for a more detailed, in-depth discussion… you have been warned!

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Spoiler-Free Review: Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens

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In 1977, a certain little film called Star Wars came out that would spawn one of the biggest movie franchises history has ever seen. After three hugely successful entries culminating in 1983, the world would then have to wait until 1999 for a brand new trilogy of prequels telling the story of Darth Vader’s rise to the dark side. The Phantom Menace cleaned up at the box office but ultimately left fans hollow, and unfortunately Attack of the Clones or Revenge of the Sith didn’t do much to aid the cause either, despite having some fleeting glimmers of promise. To say the franchise had ended its cinematic journey on a bit of an anti-climax would be an understatement, and as a result the series lay dormant for 10 long years…

However, against all of the odds, there has been an awakening. The question on everybody’s lips though: is the Force finally strong again with this one?

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