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Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman 2017
Image credits: Warner Bros.

After more than what seemed to be an eternal wait since her first comic-book introduction in “All Star Comics #8” back in 1941, we are finally treated with the first-ever big screen adaptation of “Wonder Woman” this June.

Here are the 5 reasons why we are in love with this superhero film:

1. Gal Gadot

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman 2017
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

Charismatic Gal Gadot might be the only reason you need to decide whether to watch the movie. When Gal Gadot was first cast as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman in “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” (2016), there were plenty of naysayers out there criticising her for “being too skinny”, “not muscular enough” or “her breasts are too small” to play the famous Amazonian warrior from DC Comics. But the 32-year-old actress, best known for her role as Gisele Yashar in “The Fast And The Furious” franchise, proved them all wrong and stole the scene in “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice”. Gal Gadot’s memorable cameo appearance made her an overnight sensation and DC movie “Wonder Woman” starring her as the lead as one of the most highly-anticipated summer blockbusters of 2017.

2. This is really the first “Wonder Woman” in-the-flesh movie

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman 2017
Wonder Woman in the flesh

Despite Wonder Woman’s enormous popularity in the comic-book industry and general pop culture for more than 70 years, her appearance was surprisingly limited to a 1975-79 television series starring Lynda Carter, as well as various animated TV series and animated movies. The closest thing we ever got to a movie was in the 1974 TV movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby as the title character. So, believe it or not, the upcoming “Wonder Woman” feature will make cinematic history as the first movie to feature the most famous and iconic female superhero of all-time. Besides, it’s not every day that we get to watch a female superhero character lead a big-budget blockbuster.

3. The period setting

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman 2017
Looking fashionable in WWI

For a DCEU (DC Extended Universe) movie, the WWI setting is a refreshing change of pace from the rest of the modern-day time period setting previously seen in “Man Of Steel”, “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” and “Suicide Squad”. Besides, “Wonder Woman” looks amazing in this period action adventure.

4. Director Patty Jenkins

Prior to her first big-budget project in “Wonder Woman”, Patty Jenkins is relatively unknown in mainstream Hollywood. Her biggest break came from an acclaimed indie drama titled “Monster” in 2003. The movie, which tells the story of a real-life prostitute-turned-serial killer Aileen Wuornos, famously won Charlize Theron an Oscar for Best Actress. Her other credits include directing acclaimed TV series like “Entourage” and “The Killing”. However, Jenkins was supposed to land her first big-studio stint via “Thor: The Dark World” but sadly left due to creative differences. With “Wonder Woman”, it would be interesting to see Jenkins being the first female director to helm a big-budget superhero blockbuster with a female lead.

5. Chris Pine

Chris Pine in Wonder Woman 2017
Chris Pine as Steve Trevor in “Wonder Woman”

Although the movie is all about Gal Gadot as “Wonder Woman”, let’s not forget a significant supporting actor, Chris Pine. Judging from the trailers and various movie clips so far, Chris Pine seems perfect as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman’s love interest, Steve Trevor. Pine, who is no stranger to big-budget Hollywood blockbusters, given his extensive experiences in the three recent “Star Trek” movies will certainly add to the charm of “Wonder Woman”.

Wonder Woman official trailer:

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Movie still from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Action and Asian is going to be the movie theme for April. While Hollywood is chugging out blockbusters like Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and The Fate of the Furious, April features an outstanding lineup of Asian movies that are worth looking at.

Check out our list of must-watch movies for the month of April 2017.

Smurfs: The Lost Village

The Smurfs are back! Feeling right at home in this fully animated reboot of the franchise with little blue people and their small white caps, Smurfs: The Lost Village is an adventure that takes Smurfette to a lost village of Smurfs. Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty join her on her journey to locate the village before the evil Gargamel does. Pop singer Demi Lovato will give her voice as Smurfette, and there’s even a cameo by Gordon Ramsey.

Release Date: 6 April 2017

Extraordinary Mission

An undercover cop infiltrating a drug ring discovers the mastermind of the operation, a man known as ‘Old Eagle’. After informing his handler of the discovery, they both set out to bring down the entire drug operation. Alan Mak and Anthony Pun from “Infernal Affairs” fame, release their first ‘made in China’ production outside of Hong Kong, delivering an impressive high-octane action thriller. Mainland stars Huang Xuan and Zu Feng are cast as law enforcers trying to bring down Duan Yihong’s syndicate.

Release Date: 6 April 2017

The Fate of the Furious

Seduced back into the criminal life he left behind by a mysterious woman, Dom finds himself back to the world of crime while on honeymoon. The first instalment of “The Fast and Furious” series without the late Paul Walker, “The Fate of the Furious” features familiar faces and adds prolific Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren to the team.

Release Date: 13 April 2017

Shock Wave

Officer Cheung, a the bomb disposal expert of the Hong Kong police force, is someone who honed his expertise from a fugitive serial bomber 7 years ago. When a new series of bombings ignite in the city, Cheung sets off to disarm every one of them to protect the city. Initially marketed as a project with Andy Lau acting as a producer, Lau eventually found himself inside the bomb disposal suit as its main star, reuniting him with director Herman Yau since the 1999’s “Fascination Amour”. This intense game of cat and mouse also stars Jiang Wu’s as the mentor turned criminal bomber.

Release Date: 20 April 2017

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

After saving the galaxy from annihilation a few months ago, the newly minted Guardians of the Galaxy travels to the outer reaches of the cosmos while trying to stay together as a ‘family’. Volume 2’s plot revolves around the Guardians helping Peter Quill (a.k.a. Chris Pratt) learn more about his true parentage. Director and writer James Gunn makes his second outing for this bunch of cosmic misfits, while he introduces Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So put on your headphones and play that mixtape because the galaxy is going to need savin’ again, with old allies, new nemesis, and shocking revelations.

Release Date: 27 April 2017

Baahubali: The Conclusion

After learning the truth of his heritage as the son of Bahubali, Shiva seeks to take his rightful place on the throne of the Mahishmathi empire. Initially planned to be made back-to-back with last year’s opener, director S.S. Rajamouli spared no effort in making “Baahubali: The Conclusion” a movie good enough to stand on its own. This movie will also be the first Indian film to be released in 4K format.

Release Date: 28 April 2017

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Kong: Skull Island

The mighty giant ape is back with a vengeance! One of the must-watch movies this year is definitely Warner Bros’s upcoming big-budget blockbuster, “Kong: Skull Island”.

So far, the marketing team has done a splendid job promoting the movie. From the release of the first trailer at last year’s Comic-Con to gigantic posters and decals plastered all over sliding doors and buildings, the team is making sure that you are not going to miss it. Although we will never know whether “Kong: Skull Island” will rip the big screens apart and rake in millions at the box office until it is released, here are the 5 reasons why this is one “Kong” movie you should watch–if you still need convincing.

1. More Kong than previous Kong movies

King Kong from Kong skull Island
Don’t mess with the Kong

According to “Kong: Skull Island” producer Alex Garcia, he has clarified with Moviefone that “unlike Godzilla, we meet Kong pretty quickly in our movie.” This somewhat sends a clear message to monster genre filmmakers that what audiences really want in a monster movie, is the monster itself–right from the very start and tons of it.

2. Exciting cast

The Kong: Skull Island cast includes (L-R) John Goodman, John C. Reilly, Brie Larson  and Tom Hiddleston
The Kong: Skull Island cast includes (L-R) John Goodman, John C. Reilly, Brie Larson
and Tom Hiddleston
Tom Hiddleston as Captain James Conrad in "Kong: Skull Island"
Tom Hiddleston as Captain James Conrad in “Kong: Skull Island”
Samuel L. Jackson as Lieutenant Colonel Packard
Samuel L. Jackson as Lieutenant Colonel Packard

Kong isn’t the only star here. Kong: Skull Island stars some of Hollywood’s most recognisable and talented actors like of Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, John C. Reilly and Oscar-winning Brie Larson, who won the Best Actress Oscar last year for her role in “Room”.

Best of all, it’s nice to see Tom Hiddleston getting a major Hollywood role in a big-budget studio movie other than being known for mainly his part as Loki in Marvel movies.

3. It’s going to be part of a shared universe with… Godzilla!

Yes, you read that right. “Kong: Skull Island” is actually a part of the shared universe (officially known as MonsterVerse) with Warner Bros’s 2014 reboot of “Godzilla”. Since shared universe means there is going to be a world-building, it comes as no surprise that “Kong: Skull Island” will include a post-credit scene as well.

After Kong: Skull Island, the next MonsterVerse blockbuster is going to be “Godzilla: King Of The Monsters” that is expected to be released in 2019 followed by “Godzilla vs. Kong” in 2020. It will be a dream come true for fans of monster movies to witness Godzilla and the mighty Kong battle each other on the big screen 3 years from now.

4. There will be more creatures than just Kong

Skull Crawlers from Kong Skull Island
Skull Crawlers
Sker Buffalo
Sker Buffalo

It will only be half the fun if the whole Kong movie revolves only around humans going against the mighty ape. In Kong: Skull Island, it will be a monster bonanza, featuring other creatures like giant spiders, Sker Buffalo and a reptilian monster called Skull Crawlers.

5. It’s not your average Kong movies

Helicopters and Kong is kinda iconic in all King Kong movies
Helicopters and Kong is kinda iconic in all King Kong movies

The producers of Kong: Skull Island definitely knows what the audiences wants in a monster movie. Other than providing them with the opportunity to get up-close and personal with the iconic ape, Kong 2017 is also a well executed movie featuring picturesque landscapes set in the 1970s. Whether you are a new fan or a die-hard, watching colossal monsters going a it among mountains and jungles will certainly be an entertaining experience.

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food movies 2017

The nominations for the Academy Awards 2017 were named just a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, none of them thematises food and out favourite pastime of eating. But the Oscars are not everything, as there are many more films to look forward to this year. Here are 5 foodie movies to watch in 2017.

The Founder – The McDonald’s Story

The Founder is the true story about the beginning of McDonald’s. Written by Robert Siegel, the film focuses on how Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers’ speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. Pulling the company into his hands, he creates the billion-dollar empire you know today.

You can catch the film in Singapore. Sunset Cinema is screening it at Tanjong Beach on Friday 12th May at 7:30pm.

RAW – From Vegetarian to Cannibal

Raw premiered at the 41st Annual Toronto Film Festival and caused quite a controversy. The French film depicts how a vegetarian whose hazing ritual in veterinarian school involves the ingestion of a raw rabbit liver, causing her to go full cannibal. Speaking in food terms, this film is not a starter and probably not for every taste. But if you enjoyed Hannibal, you might fancy a bite of this too. The film will be released on March 10th.

Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent – The Untold Story

While celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain will mean something to most foodies, the name Jeremiah Tower is rather unknown to the most of us. Bourdain, who is also the producer of this film, set out to re-write the kitchen history books, enlightening the world about who the ‘real’ first celebrity chef was and what happened to him. Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent is more than yet another biographical documentary, it also is a bit of a thriller.

You can watch the trailer on Vimeo.

How The Taste Of Louisiana Was Born – The Title Says it all

Shown at the Food Film Fest in New York City in 2016, this documentary is simply filled with passion and love for food. You thought Singaporeans are crazy about food? Wait until you meet the catfish-loving folks from Louisiana. Watch out for this film when it comes to a festival near you.

Bitter Harvest – The Starving Epic

Based on true events, Bitter Harvest tells the story of how the Bolshevik leader Joseph Stalin created an artificial famine, starving between 2.4 and 7.5 million Ukrainians, in 1932-33. It is an overlooked story with plenty of drama.

However, considering the present-day conflict between Russia and the Ukraine, the movie offers some interesting background stories – with food (kinda) at the centre of it all.

Article first published on TheFoodstuff.com.

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Sophie Turner plays Jean Grey X-Men: Supernova
Sophie Turner as Jean Grey in 2016's "X-Men: Apocalypse"

Rumours of a seventh “X-Men” movie set in the 1990s period has been recently confirmed by actress Sophie Turner. Not only that, she let slip, intentionally or unintentionally that the movie, currently called “X-Men: Supernova”, will start rolling its cameras this year.

“We’re about to start shooting the next “X-Men”,” said the 20-year-old English actress to HeyUGuys at the red carpet of the recently wrapped up 2017 British Academy Film Awards. “We’ve just finished shooting Season 7 of [Game of] Thrones, and I’ve got a couple of movies to do before X-Men starts,” she added.

Turner, who plays the young Jean Grey in last film, “X-Men: Apocalypse”, will be reprising her role. There are also speculations that the Dark Phoenix storyline might be incorporated into the new movie. The Dark Phoenix played by Famke Janssen, appeared in the 2006 edition of “X-Men: The Last Stand”.

Word of “Supernova” being set in the ’90s was first revealed by franchise producer Simon Kinberg last year. It follows the timeline which began with 2011’s “First Class”, set in the ’60s, 2014’s “Days of Future Past”, set in the ’70s, and “Apocalypse”, set in the ’80s.

“X-Men: Supernova” may still be years away from release but for now, fans of the franchise can look forward to Hugh Jackman’s “Logan” opening in cinemas 2 March 2017.

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The LEGO Batman movie
The LEGO Batman movie

After Chinese New Year, the cinemas will still receive a couple of happy movies to continue with the festivities. But February will feature a mixed bag of genres like romance, horror and drama perfect for couples planning for a movie date on Valentine’s Day.

Check out our list of must-watch movies for the month of January 2017.

Buddies In India

Right after Jackie Chan’s foray into Bollywood with “Kung Fu Yoga”, Mainland China’s martial arts trained Wong Baoqiang is next to venture into the South Asia country to search for his father’s secret will in this comedic expedition. Wong’s directorial debut reimagines the “Journey to the West” tale and basks the cast in a multicultural and colourful story.

Release Date: 2 February 2017

The LEGO Batman Movie

“The LEGO Batman Movie” is a brilliant spin-off of the famed caped crusader, featuring a more selfish and sarcastic side of the brooding billionaire. Although Phil Lord and Chris Miller are handing off directing duties to Chris McKay, Will Arnett returns to voice his version of the iconic superhero who loves to fight. The voice cast includes familiar characters from Gotham City like Zach Galifianakis as Joker, Michael Cera as Robin, Rosario Dawson as Barbara Gordon and Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth.

Release Date: 9 February 2017

The Space Between Us

If you and your significant other are not keen on seeing “Passengers” for the fifth time, but still hopes to prove that love transcends time and space, then it’s time to bring that love earthbound with “The Space Between Us”. Young Asa Butterfield plays the first human child to be born on Mars who makes a connection with a girl living on Earth. The young Martian gets a chance to visit Earth to connect with his Earthling friend as they go on a road trip to discover themselves.

Release Date: 16 February 2017

John Wick: Chapter 2

After being rudely roused back to the world of assassins, John Wick goes to Rome to fulfil a blood oath that pit him against some of the best assassins in the world. After breaking grounds on the action genre in 2014, John Wick: Chapter 2 is the most hotly anticipated sequel to a potential trilogy-spanning franchise starring Keanu Reeves.

Release Date: 16 February 2017

A Cure for Wellness

Directed by Gore Verbinski who is responsible for the American adaptation of “The Ring” series from Japan, “A Cure for Wellness” is a psychological horror thriller film about an young executive played by Dane DeHaan who is sent to a mysterious rehabilitation center in the Swiss Alps to retrieve his company’s CEO. When DeHaan suffers an accident and is brought within the walls of the institution, he undergoes a treatment that will make you question your own sanity.

Release Date: 16 February 2017

Hidden Figures

Based on the non-fiction book of the same name, “Hidden Figures” is a true story of African-American women mathematicians who were behind the calculations some of the most crucial rocket trajectories for NASA during the space race with Russia.

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Kung Fu Yoga and Jackie Chan
Image credit: Kung Fu Yoga

Martial arts superstar Jackie Chan has already reached the age of 62 and yet, he shows no sign of slowing down. Although he isn’t as agile as he used to be, Jackie is still passionate about making and releasing action movies.

This Chinese New Year, Jackie is back with another action-comedy blockbuster titled “Kung Fu Yoga”. The fearless superstar recently generated a lot of buzz on Chinese social media driving a car with a real lion reportedly owned by a royal family from Dubai in teh backseat of the car.

Before you catch “Kung Fu Yoga” in the cinemas during the holiday break, check out these insane stunts that’s performed by the man himself throughout his illustrious career that we have collated for you.

1. Clock tower fall in “Project A” (1983)

In “Project A”, Jackie Chan paid homage to Harold Lloyd’s legendary clock tower used in the scene of 1923’s “Safety Last!” by plummeting down from the clock face to the ground. The iconic scene was shown twice in the movie to intensify his painful fall that sees his body break through two cloth awnings before his twisted body landed on the ground. Ouch.

2. The incredible car chase in “Police Story” (1985)

“Police Story” is highly regarded as a landmark action movie in Hong Kong cinema that boasts some of the most insanely-choreographed stunts ever witnessed on screen. During the first 15 minutes of the movie, Jackie drove a car down a steep hillside and crashing through a town on the way down, clung at the side of the speeding double-decker bus with just an umbrella.

3. The shopping mall pole slide in “Police Story” (1985)

In the final 20 minutes of “Police Story”, Jackie single-handedly defeated the villains in a shopping mall and risked his life by sliding down a light bulb covered pole. The electrifying scene was performed using real light bulbs. As a result, he suffered multiple injuries including second-degree burns, back pain and dislocation of his pelvis.

4. Stealth jumping scene in “Police Story 2” (1988)

Now, if you are tailing somebody, how do you get across the street without being spotted? Jackie Chan shows you how to do it the hard way in “Police Story 2”. In demonstrate this, he leaps over the ledge and landed atop a moving container truck before jumping over the top of a passing double-decker bus, dodging two large signboards along the way before he finally crashing through a giant Lee Kum Kee glass signboard.

5. Motorcycle chase in “Armour Of God II: Operation Condor” (1991)

With a budget of HK$115 million, “Armour Of God II: Operation Condor” was the most expensive Hong Kong movie back in 1991. Jackie being Jackie, came up with some of his most incredible stunts ever choreographed in his career. The most memorable stunt among the many had to be the motorcycle chase through the streets of Madrid where he rode his bike over a van, rammed through a painting and performed acrobatic stunts. Towards the end of the chase, Jackie did an stunning flip using the bars at the ceiling of a warehouse as a car flew towards him. The scene ended with Jackie riding his bike off a pier before he leaping and grabbing hold of the cargo net hanging from a crane.

6. Rope ladder and helicopter scene in “Police Story 3: Supercop” (1992)

Although “Police Story 3: Supercop” had not reached the same creative standard set by the original Police Story in 1985, there is one death-defying stunt worth mentioning here. During the finale in Kuala Lumpur, Jackie is seen hanging on a rope ladder dangled beneath a moving helicopter. The scene was done without a stunt double and a safety net.

7. The snowboard chase in “Police Story 4: First Strike” (1996)

“Police Story 4” is the movie that propelled Jackie Chan to international stardom. One of the most spectacular stunts in the movie is the snowboard chase scene where Jackie is being pursued by a group of terrorists. The adrenaline-pumping scene sees Chan leaping over the edge of a cliff and grabbing hold of a helicopter’s landing skid.

8. Free-falling slide on the side of a skyscraper in “Who Am I?” (1998)

What do you do if you are trapped on a rooftop with the bad guys approaching? Well, if you are Jackie Chan you may decide to jump off a building and free-fall to safety. In “Who Am I”, Chan slid down the side of Willemswerf building in Rotterdam without harness and a safety net. And just so you know, fearless Jackie reportedly took two weeks to convince himself before he finally making up his mind to attempt the dangerous stunt. We would have taken a lifetime and still not do it.

“Kung Fu Yoga” opens in cinemas nationwide on 26 January 2017.

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Best movies January 2017, The Wasted Times
The Wasted Times stars Zhang Ziyi

January is often considered the “leftover movies” month that sees studios dumping out movies they want to get over and done with. But not this year. 2017 is already shaping up to be another good year for movie buffs with these notheworty releases filling up the January slots.

Check out our list of must-watch movies for the month of January 2017.

Allied

After getting aquainted during an assassination mission, French-Canadian spy Max Vatan and agent Marianne Beausejour fell in love and got married soon after. But in life, things are hardly so smooth sailing as Max soon finds out that his wife could be a double agent spy for the Nazis. Based on a true story, the movie stars charismatic Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard in this romatic spy thriller.

Release Date: 5 January

The Wasted Times

Set in the Sino-Chinese war period, “The Wasted Times” depicts events that happened in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and the Philippines between 1934 and 1945. The drama centres around a ruthless gangster, Lu, his Japanese brother-in-law, Watabe, and an actress, Xiao Liu. A potential Golden Horse contender, “The Wasted Times” has a cast of heavy hitters like You Ge, Zhang Ziyi and Tadanobu Asano.

Release Date: 5 January

Patriots Day

Based on the bombing of the Boston Marathon in 2013 that killed 3 people and injuring hundreds, “Patriots Day” follows the events of that fateful day and the state-wide manhunt for the perpetrators. Following the successful depiction of the oil rig disaster in 2016 with “Deepwater Horizon”, the Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg combo are back with another impactful re-enactment of another recent tragedy that haunted many. Taking only 8 months to film, “Patriots Day” more than make up for its smaller scale location set with a strong cast of Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, J.K. Simmons, and Michelle Monaghan and moving soundtrack provided by musical duo Trent Razor and Atticus Ross.

Release Date: 12 January

Arrival

A team of elite is assembled to come up with a response when mysterious curved alien crafts are spooted around the world. Linguist professor Louise Banks is tasked with making first contact with aliens inside their ship to find out if these extra-terrestrials come in peace. Although this is director Denis Villeneuve’s first foray into the sci-fi genre, don’t expect him to be playing to the tunes and tropes of the cliche plot of making contact with aliens. Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner are supported by Forest Whitaker in this adapted short story by Ted Chiang.

Release Date: 12 January

Live By Night

Joe Caughlin is the prodigal son of a Boston police captain who moves to Ybor City, in Tampa, Florida during the Prohibition. From a bootlegger, Joe slowly rises to the top of the criminal world to become one of the most notorious gangsters of Florida. After taking down corrupted officials in “The Accountant”, Ben Affleck switches gear to play the baddie in the adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s “Live By Night”.

Release Date: 12 January

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage

Extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage is called back to perform a mission after his self-imposed exile to recover a dangerous weapon called the Pandora’s Box. He recruits a team of thrill-seekers for the mission, Xander finds himself entangled in a web of deadly conspiracy of corruption among world leaders. The movie stars Donnie Yen as villian Xiang, Samuel L. Jackson as Xander’s handler and Deepika Padukone, Nina Dobrev, Ruby Rose and Toni Collette as his team of thrill-seekers.

Release Date: 19 January

Kung Fu Yoga

When a key to the lost treasures of Magadha was stolen, it is up to Jack (Jackie Chan) renowned professor of archaeology at the Terracotta Warriors Museum in Xi’an and young Indian professor Ashmita and her assistant Kyra to locate it from the rebel army leader before being auctioned off in Dubai. Directed by Stanley Tong, the movie takes you on an adventure through India, Tibet and China. The Indian-Chinese production also features Amyra Dastur and Disha Patani as Jackie’s beautiful sidekicks.

Release Date: 26 January

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Movie buffs have a lot to be excited about in 2017, as the year is packed with heaps of blockbusters and highly anticipated sequels like World War Z 2 and Despicable Me 3. Whether you’re a Marvel fan or romantic ready-to-die, there’s something for everyone in our list of the top 10 movies to watch in 2017 — in the order of their release dates.

50 Shades Darker

The first installment 50 Shades of Grey wasn’t really our thing, but we included 50 Shades Darker in this round up as we expect fans of the Christian- and-Anatasia love web to be eagerly anticipating the sequel. The duo rekindle their engagement when Christian proposes a new arrangement, pulling them back into a searing sexual affair.

Expected release date: 9 February 2017

The Great Wall

The Great Wall is Zhang Yimou’s first English film that boosts a strong international cast including Matt Damon. Yes, you read that right, the Chinese epic film counts the British actor as one of its main cast, along with Andy Lau, Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal and Willem Dafoe. The fantasy movie tells the story of how the warriors from an elite force risk their lives to battle against monsters at The Great Wall of China.

Expected release date: 17 February 2017

Logan

Logan, which is the third Wolverine movie, takes place in 2024. It is the year where people are seeing a unexplained decline in mutant births. It turns out that a goverrnment linked operation known as ‘Transigen’ is turning mutant children into killing machines. Logan (Hugh Jackman) ends up mentoring and protecting a girl against Transigen, while battling with his body’s diminishing healing abilities.

Expected release date: 3 March 2017

Kong: Skull Island

A group of soldiers and scientists sets out on an expedition to an unchartered island in the Pacific. They soon find themselves trespassing into the teritory of the mighty King Kong, sparking off a terrifying war of man vs nature.

Expected release date: 10 March 2017

Beauty and The Beast

The story of this Disney classic needs no introduction. So let’s jump straight into the one of the key highlights of the movie –Emma Watson’s (Belle) singing. According to a short audio clip released by Disney, her crooning is not shabby at all. Other casts in the movie include Dan Stevens (Beast), Ewen McGregor (Lumiere) and Emma Thompson (Mrs Potts).

Expected release date: 16 March 2017

The Belko Experiment

Directed by James Gunn (The Guardians of the Galaxy), The Belko Experiment is a twisted game of kill or be killed. Eighty Amercians find themselves being locked into a remote high-rise office building in Colombia where they are forced to kill each other or risk an explosive in their heads being detonated.

Expected release date: 17 March 2017

Transformers: The Last Knight

Featuring Anthony Hopkins, Mark Wahlberg and Laura Haddock, the 5th installment of The Transformers: The Last Knight, is set to thrill fans in 2017. The Last Knight has Optimus Prime searching for the creators of the Transformer race, Quintessons. Perhaps one of the most anticipated scenes is the one where Optimus Prime is locked in fierce battle with Bumblebee. The Transformers series of movies is directed by Michael Bay.

Expected release date: 23 June 2017

Despicable Me 3

Despicable Me 3 will have you seeing double – of Gru. But wait, the other Gru lookalike is actually his long-lost identical twin, Drew. This third part of the animation series will centre on — you guessed it — sibling rivalry between the two brothers, both voiced by Steve Carell. To spice things up further, we have villian Balthazar Bratt who’s bent on taking over the world.

Expected release date: 30 June 2017

World War Z 2

Who could get enough of zombie movies? Not us, for sure. Four years after the first successful installment of the Max Brooks novel was made into the film, we are once again brought back into the chaotic world of man vs zombies 2. This time the movie is reportedly set mostly in India with Brad Pitt continuining to play the role of UN investigator Gerry Lane. In World War Z 1, we saw that Lane and his team have found the way to make themselves temporarily invisible to zombies by deliberately infecting themselves with harmful bacteria – but this is only the beginning of their salvation. Catch the sequel to find out their struggles to save the human race.

Expected release date: 9 June 2017

Spider Man: Homecoming

The Marvel hero is upon us again. But so far, the movie producers are still mum on the plot. Based on the official trailer, we could only hazard a guess that the movie will give us a glimpse into the life of young Peter Parker (Spider Man), played by Tom Holland, how he juggles the transformation into Superman, high-school and well, puberty.

Expected release date: 7 July

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Illumination Entertainment, the production company behind some of the recent animation hits including the first two “Despicable Me” features, “Minions” and this year’s “The Secret Life Of Pets”, is back with another surefire hit titled “Sing”.

With a starry voice-cast such as Matthew McConaughey, Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane and Taron Egerton, it’s hard not to get excited about this upcoming animated movie. As if that’s not enough, “Sing” will feature over 85 original and cover songs!

So, while waiting for the release of “Sing” on 8 December 2016, find out who’s who in the movie:

1. Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey)

Matthew McConaughey as Buster in Sing
Matthew McConaughey as Buster

An optimistic koala who dares to dream big and accomplish the impossible, Buster Moon will do anything to bring back his dying theatre to its former glory. His solution? Setting up the world’s greatest singing competition in his very theatre!

The Texas heartthrob needs no introduction. Already a Hollywood star since the late-1990s with movies like “Contact” and “A Time To Kill”, he underwent a career renaissance in the 2010s as he began to play a number of acclaimed dramatic roles. Among some of his movies that are worth mentioning here are “The Lincoln Lawyer”, “Killer Joe”, “Interstellar” and TV’s “True Detective”. In 2014, he famously won the coveted Best Actor Oscar for his role as the AIDS-infected hustler Ron Woodroof in “Dallas Buyers Club” (2013). With “Sing”, this will mark McConaughey’s second role in an animated movie after “Kubo And The Two Strings” just a few months ago. And yes, you will get to hear him doing his own singing as well!

2. Ash (Scarlett Johansson)

Scarlett Johansson as Ash in Sing
Scarlett Johansson as Ash

Ash is a teenage porcupine singer who loves to sing Rock music. In “Sing”, Scarlett Johansson described her character as “an artist at heart who discovers her true voice with the support of her friends and fellows artists [while] representing a lot of teenagers going through the same experience of embracing their true selves as they come of age.”

Best known to today’s mainstream audiences for her iconic role as Black Widow in some of the Marvel movies, Johansson already had prior experiences lending her voice talents. In early 2016, she voiced the role of a python named Kaa in “The Jungle Book”. Some of her notable voice performances in animated movies include TV’s “Robot Chicken” and “The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie”.

3. Rosita (Reese Witherspoon)

Reese Witherspoon as Rosita in Sing
Reese Witherspoon as Rosita

Despite being a dedicated mother to her 25 piglets, Rosita is still harbouring her unfulfilled dream as a singer ever since she was a teenager. After stumbling upon a flyer for the singing competition, she finally sees this as her golden opportunity to make her dream come true. As Reese Witherspoon would put it, “It’s the love and passion Rosita’s given and received that pours out of her when she embraces her inner diva and lets loose”.

This is not the first time that Reese Witherspoon has voiced a role in an animated movie. Back in 2009, she lent her voice for the role of Susan Murphy/Ginormica in “Monsters vs. Aliens”. She is also famously known for her comedy roles in “Legally Blonde”, “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Just Like Heaven”. From 2000 onwards, she diversified her acting career by picking up numerous dramatic roles in movies like “Walk The Line” (for which she won an Oscar for Best Actress), “Rendition” and “Wild”.

4. Mike (Seth MacFarlane)

Seth Macfarlane as Mike  in Sing
Seth Macfarlane as Mike

Mike may look like a tiny white mouse but when it comes to singing, he possesses a robust Frank Sinatra-like voice. He is also a con man and a gambler who “needs the contest money because he’s made some very poor decisions and he’s certain that his larger-than-life personality and stage persona hold the ticket to winning”.

No stranger to voicing animated roles, Seth MacFarlane is best known for his popular animated TV series in “Family Guy”. And who can forget his voice as the profanity-laden teddy bear in “Ted”?

5. Johnny (Taron Egerton)

Taron Egerton as Johnny in Sing
Taron Egerton as Johnny

Johnny is a mountain gorilla who doesn’t want to follow the footsteps of his dad as a bank robber. Deep inside, he is actually an aspiring singer looking for a golden opportunity to prove his real talent.

With “Sing”, this will mark the first time that Taron Egerton is voicing a role in an animated movie. Prior to “Sing”, he made his first Hollywood breakthrough in 2014’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service” and will reprise his role again next year in “Kingsman: The Golden Circle”.

6. Meena (Tori Kelly)

Tori Kelly as Meena in Sing
Tori Kelly as Meena

Meena is a teenage elephant who has a powerful voice deep inside her. However, she afraid to show it due to stage fright.

“Sing” marks her voice performance in an animated movie. Tori Kelly is, of course, a singer who formerly appeared in two reality singing shows, “American Idol” and “The Voice”. Last year, she released her debut album “Unbreakable Smile”.

7. Eddie (John C. Reilly)

Eddie is a Suffolk sheep who helps manage Buster’s theatre. Unlike Buster’s sheer optimism to revive his dying theatre, Eddie doesn’t exactly feel the same way. However, he ends up joining him in a quest to fulfil the impossible.

Even though John C. Reilly played a number of dramatic roles before with the likes of “The Thin Red Line” and “The Aviator”, he is better known for his comedy performances in “Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby” and “Step Brothers” alongside fellow comedian Will Ferrell. And yes, he is also known for voicing Ralph in “Wreck-It Ralph”.

8. Gunter (Nick Kroll)

Nick Kroll as Gunter in Sing
Nick Kroll as Gunter

Gunter may not possess a real singing talent like Rosita, but he manages to overcome his weakness by proving his stellar showmanship on the stage while dressed in a glittering gold tracksuit.

Apart from voicing an animated role in “Sing”, Nick Kroll also voiced the role of Douche in “Sausage Party”. He is better known for his comedy roles in television sitcoms and series such as “Community”, “American Dad!” as well as “Parks And Recreation”.

“Sing” opens in the cinemas islandwide on 8 December 2016. Also, check out our must-watch movies this December 2016.