What To Watch In 2016
Mr Ryan Gosling as Holland March teams up with Mr Russell Crowe as Jackson Healy for thriller The Nice Guys. Photograph courtesy Icon Film Distribution
From <i>The Nice Guys</i> movie to TV’s <i>Better Call Saul</i> – here are eight blockbuster reasons to stay indoors this year.
Cinema in 2016 faces countless threats: the rise of streaming services, and the apparently insatiable desire to make films based on computer games (Ratchet and Clank, The Angry Birds Movie, Assassin’s Creed, Warcraft) to name just two. But, ahead of the Academy Awards and the march of the penguin suits that characterises every Oscars night, it’s time to consider the blockbusters that are going to define our year, whether intended for the small screen or IMAX.
You may have seen one of the biggest releases of 2016 already in The Hateful Eight – but there are still plenty of movies and TV shows to look forward to over the months ahead. From emotionally ravaging passion projects to explosive comic book conflict, here are the on-screen highlights you can’t afford to miss.
Mr Bobby Cannavale as Richie Finestra in Vinyl. Photograph HBO
Vinyl – season one
Combining the talents of Mr Mick Jagger, Mr Martin Scorsese and Sopranos writer Mr Terence Winter, this promises to be the most exciting TV event of the year. Starring Mr Bobby Cannavale (who you’ll recognise from Boardwalk Empire or Will & Grace), Vinyl, set in 1970s New York, tells the tale of a drug-addled impresario who laments that rock ’n’ roll has lost its way. Keep an eye out for Ms Juno Temple as a groupie with a knack for ending up in bed with the next big thing.
Release date: 15 February on Sky Atlantic (UK); 14 February on HBO (US). Watch the trailer here.
Mr Luke Evans as Richard Wilder in High-Rise. Photograph courtesy StudioCanal
The work of Mr JG Ballard has a complicated relationship on screen – from the universally acclaimed Empire Of The Sun to the controversy-mired Crash (not to be confused with the Academy Award-winning 2004 film of the same name). But this adaptation of the postmodern master’s 1975 novel looks to have all the makings of a cult classic. Mr Tom Hiddleston – fresh from roles in The Avengers and as the lead in the Hank Williams biopic – stars as psychologist Dr Robert Laing in this 1970s-set dystopian tale depicting a capitalist society on the cusp of savagery. Watch out for strong supporting roles from Messrs Jeremy Irons and Luke Evans and prepare yourself to covet both Laing’s apartment and Mr Hiddleston’s austere wardrobe.
Release date: 18 March (UK); out now in the US. Watch the trailer here.
Mr Kit Harington as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones. Photograph HBO
Game Of Thrones – season six
Warning: spoilers below
Will Jon Snow (Mr Kit Harington, above) be miraculously resurrected? With the sight of the Night’s Watch stabbing everyone’s favourite Jimmy Choo model still haunting our Twitter timelines, season six is set to return in the same savage style. Our hopes? We hope for scenes that match Cersei Lannister’s Walk Of Shame for spectacle and that Daenerys leaves the dull Dothraki behind. If rumours are to be believed, we may also see the return of Mr Rory McCann’s dogged bruiser The Hound; Mr Iwan Rheon’s reprobate Ramsay Bolton will ravage the North; and we’re also curious whether Mr Richard E Grant will bring Withnail’s finest wines available to humanity to Westeros. The only thing we can be sure of, however, is ever since the plot of the TV series deviated from the novels, no character is truly safe.
Release date: April on Sky Atlantic (UK) and HBO (US). Watch the teaser here.
Mr Ryan Gosling as Holland March and Mr Russell Crowe as Jackson Healy in The Nice Guys. Photograph courtesy Icon Film Distribution
The Nice Guys
Continuing his return to form after the grisly misfire of Only God Forgives, Mr Ryan Gosling is back on the big screen for a 1970s romp directed by veteran screenwriter and director Mr Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3). Mr Gosling stars as private eye Holland March, who teams up with Mr Russell Crowe’s hefty hardman Jackson Healy to investigate the death of a porn star. Mr Gosling himself recently described the film’s retro appeal better than we ever could “If Lethal Weapon and 48 Hours had a kid and he lost his virginity while Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was on the TV, this movie would be that.”
Release date: 20 May (US); 3 June (UK). Watch the trailer here.
Mr Ben Affleck as Batman and Mr Henry Cavill as Superman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Photograph courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/ TM & DC Comics
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Mr Zack Snyder’s latest sees Bruce Wayne’s gloomy billionaire go up against Krypton’s favourite son, in the ultimate comic book face-off. Mr Ben Affleck intends to bring an “older, more broken, kind of f***ed up” vibe to a role he considers to be the “American version of Hamlet”. We’re also looking forward to seeing Mr Henry Cavill’s cape-wearing “illegal alien” showing off his nastier side. However, will the critics savage Mr Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor as revenge for his recent New Yorker satire on film reviewers?
Release date: 25 March (UK and US). Watch the trailer here.
Mr Bob Odenkirk as James Morgan “Jimmy” McGill, also known by the trade name Saul Goodman in season two of Better Call Saul. Photograph courtesy Netflix
Better Call Saul – season two
A rare spin-off which manages to capture the charm and conviction of its original, the first season of Better Call Saul did Breaking Bad more than enough justice when it aired in February last year – much to the relief of die-hard fans. In season two, we’re looking forward to seeing what happens now that “Slippin’ Jimmy” has decided to follow his own path. And we hope to see Mr Bill “Kuby” Burr make a return. Whatever happens, if the writers can come up with anything as remotely compelling as Breaking Bad standout episode “Crawl Space”, we’ll be more than happy. Naturally, the bombastic charm and bold suiting of Mr Bob Odenkirk (together with the remote prospect of seeing a young Jesse Pinkman or a pre-diagnosis Walter White on screen) will keep us watching.
Release date: 15 February on AMC (US); 16 February on Netflix (UK). Visit the website here.
Ms Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Mr Jared Leto as The Joker in Suicide Squad. Photograph by Mr Clay Enos/ TM & DC Comics
The only squad more terrifying than your average group Snapchat from Ms Taylor Swift arrives in cinemas this summer. Pitched as the anti-Avengers, it focuses on a “task force of the most dangerous people on the planet” including Mr Will Smith as Deadshot, Ms Margot Robbie as fan favourite Harley Quinn and Ms Cara Delevingne as a mysterious Megadeth-loving Enchantress. Mr Jared Leto’s performance as The Joker will define the movie’s success: he apparently never broke character during filming, so we can be sure of an intense performance.
Release date: 5 August (UK and US). Watch the trailer here.
From left: Mr Riz Ahmed, Mr Diego Luna, Ms Felicity Jones, Mr Jiang Wen and Mr Donnie Yen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Photograph by Mr Jonathan Olley, Lucasfilm 2016
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Now that we’ve finally stopped talking about Mr JJ Abrams’ The Force Awakens (or have we?) – and the battery has drained from our BB-8 droid toy – it’s time to return to a galaxy far, far away. This film is set before the events depicted in Star Wars: A New Hope and the plot, devised by Disney and Lucasfilm, is stellar in its simplicity: the rebels (led by Burberry favourite Ms Felicity Jones) undertake a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. Directed by Mr Gareth Edwards, the man behind Monsters, we’re most excited about the chance to see Hannibal’s Mr Mads Mikkelsen in a part he can really get his teeth into.
Release date: 16 December (UK and US). Visit the website here.