Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

“Suited vs. Booted”

Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Starring Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Halle Berry, Elton John, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges

Flush with recent successes, the Kingsman private intelligence service comes under fire from treacherous former recruit Charlie (Edward Holcroft) and his boss, Poppy Adams (Moore). Intent on expanding the power of her drugs empire, the Golden Circle, Adams launches a pre-emptive strike on Kingsman, killing all of its agents except for Eggsy (Egerton) and Merlin (Strong), the head of strategic services.

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Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)

“Drac’s pack is back.”

Directed by Genddy Tartakovsky
Starring Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Mel Brooks

Dracula (Sandler) oversees the marriage of his daughter Mavis (Gomez) and her human boyfriend Johnny (Samberg), opening the Hotel Transylvania to non-monsters with the aid of buddies Frank (James), Wayne (Buscemi), Griffin (Spade) and Murray (Key) (Frankenstein’s monster, a werewolf, the Invisible Man and a mummy.) Not long after, Mavis announces her pregnancy, and soon the family is joined by Dennis (Asher Blinkoff).

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The Dark Tower (2017)

“There are other worlds than these.”

Directed by Nikolaj Arcel
Starring Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Claudia Kim, Fran Kranz, Abbey Lee, Jackie Earle Haley

Troubled New York teen, Jake Chambers (Taylor), dreams of a strange pyramid, where teenagers from a weird little model suburbia deal are used to power Starkiller Base and attack the colossal Dark Tower. Convinced that his dreams are true, Jake flees from representatives of a sleep clinic and finds his way to an abandoned house with an interdimensional portal in the basement. This catapults him from Keystone Earth to Mid-World, and into the conflict between Jerkass-Good last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Elba), and the Affable-Evil immortal devil sorcerer Walter Padick (McConaughey), aka the Man in Black.

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Must See Movies Before You Grow Up

Must See Movies Before You Grow Up is a list compiled by Into Film, a charity devoted to the use of film in children’s education. The list is as follows:

  • 101 Dalmatians (1961)
  • A Little Princess (1995)
  • Annie (1982)*
  • Babe (1995)
  • Beauty and the Beast (1991)*
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)*
  • Coraline (2009)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)
  • Dumbo (1941)
  • ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)*
  • Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)
  • Free Willy (1993)
  • Frozen (2013)*
  • Home (2015)*
  • Hook (1991)*
  • Hotel Transylvania (2012)*
  • How to Train Your Dragon (2010)*
  • Jumanji (1995)*
  • Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)*
  • Mary Poppins (1964)*
  • Matilda (1996)*
  • Nanny McPhee (2005)*
  • Night at the Museum (2006)
  • Oliver! (1968)*
  • Paddington (2014)
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)*
  • Shrek (2001)*
  • Space Jam (1996)
  • Spirited Away (2001)
  • Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)*
  • Swallows and Amazons (2016)
  • The Adventures of Tintin (2011)*
  • The BFG (2016)
  • The Gruffalo (2009)*
  • The Iron Giant (1999)*
  • The Jungle Book (1967)*
  • The LEGO Movie (2014)*
  • The Lion King (1994)*
  • The Lorax (2012)
  • The Never-Ending Story (1984)*
  • The Princess Bride (1987)*
  • The Secret Garden (1993)
  • The Secret Life of Pets (2016)
  • The Witches (1990)*
  • Toy Story (1995)*
  • Trolls (2016)
  • Up (2009)*
  • Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)*
  • Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)*
  • Zootropolis (2016)*

But is this really the ultimate list of childhood movies?

Disclaimer: This is my own take on the matter and I make no pretense to some superior status of judgement. Full disclosure, those films marked with an asterisk are the ones that I have seen an which I will be discussing most closely.

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War For the Planet of the Apes (2017)

“For freedom. For family. For the planet.”

Directed by Matt Reeves
Starring Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval, Terry Notary and Amiah Miller

Two years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a military force led by a ruthless special forces Colonel (Harrelson) are hunting for the tribe of intelligent apes led by Caesar (Serkis). With the aid of their ‘Donkeys’ – apes formerly loyal to Koba (Toby Kebbell) and now working as weapon carriers and scouts for the humans – a unit of this force attacks an Ape outpost, but is defested. Wanting to avoid all-out war, Caesar spares a number of human captives and determines to set out for a new home scouted by his son, Blue-Eyes (Max Lloyd-Jones), and trusted aide Rocket (Notary). Unfortunately, he is betrayed, and his wife Cornelia (Judy Greer) and Blue-Eyes are killed.

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Sing (2016)

“Auditions begin 2016”

Directed by Garth Jennings
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly

Theatrical impresario Buster Moon (McConaughey) attempts to revitalise his failing theatre with a singing competition, accidentally offering a $100,000 prize. While Rosita (Witherspoon), Mike (MacFarlane), Ash (Johanssen), Meena (Kelly) and Johnny (Egerton) are all drawn to the competition for their own reasons, Buster’s best friend Eddie (Reilly) tries to persuade him that perhaps he needs to give up the theatre before it breaks him.

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Baby Driver (2017)

“All you need is one killer track.”

Directed by Edgar Wright
Starring Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Eiza Gonzalez, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx

Baby (Elgort) is a crack getaway driver, working for a fixer known as Doc (Spacey), after stealing Doc’s car as a tearway youth. With his debt almost paid up, he is looking forward to hitting the straight and narrow, especially when he meets waitress Debora (James), who shares his love of music and driving.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

“Homework can wait. The city can’t.”

Directed by Jon Watts
Starring Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr.

After his debut in Civil War, Peter Parker (Holland), aka Spider-Man, is keen to get his teeth into superheroing. With Tony Stark (Downey) keeping him at arm’s length from the Avengers, he fights local crime while reporting to Happy Hogan (Favreau) and cutting back on his extra-curricular activities – including academic decathlon with love interest Liz (Laura Harrier), best mate Ned (Jacob Batalon), jerk jock (in as much as a tech academy has jocks) Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori) and girl of mystery Michelle (Zendaya) – in preparation for his next mission.

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Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)

“For one world to live, the other must die.”

Directed by Michael Bay
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Laura Haddock, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Hopkins, Santiago Cabrera and Peter Cullen

In the wayback, King Arthur and his knights triumph over the Saxon hordes when the ‘wizard’ Merlin (Stanley Tucci) brings a group of twelve Autobots to join them in the form of King Gidhora.

Yep. That just happened.

Centuries later, Optimus Prime (Cullen) is drawn back to Cybertron, where his mission to destroy his creator is interrupted as Quintessa (Gemma Chan), self-styled ‘goddess of life’, delivers the bitch-slap of obedience and tasks Prime to retrieve her staff of power, given to Merlin long ago.

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10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

“Monsters Come in Many Forms”

Directed by Dan Trachtenberg
Starring John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr.

Following an argument, Michelle (Winstead) leaves her home – in an opening scene clearly derived from Psycho – and drives through rural Louisiana, where her car is hit and pushed off the road. She wakes up, chained to a wall in a bunker belonging to Howard (Goodman), a prepper who tells her he saved her life from an attack by party or parties unknown which has left the world’s air contaminated. The two of them and Emmett (Gallagher), a young man who helped Howard to construct their shelter, are sealed into the bunker to wait out the worst.

Continue reading 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

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