Jit Pro Health Tips and Product Reviews

We Got Our Security System Due to Neighborhood Burglaries

My wife and I have been watching the news and reading the newspaper looking for information on the burglaries that have been happening in our neighborhood. We drove around to the different addresses, and we noticed that not one of the places had a yard sign warning about the home having an alarm system. Well, one place did, but they got the alarm after the burglary. To head off our home being on the list of easy to hit targets, I got online and looked for ADT near me. I wanted to get our home outfitted with a modern security system as soon as possible.

The installation was quick. Since there are no wires to run from each door or window, the system installs quickly. The batteries on the sensors last for years before needing to be replaced. When they do need replaced, it is easy to replace them. If you can put batteries in a flashlight, you can switch out the batteries in your ADT wireless sensors and detectors. Read more →

Having Something Stolen from Me Woke Me Up to the Need for Security

Home security never seemed to be a problem when I lived at home with my parents. We lived in an upscale neighborhood built around the edges of a beautiful mountain. It was somewhat hard to get in and out of the neighborhood quickly, so burglars were not enticed by our location. Things changed when I got an apartment of my own in the center of our city where many people have easy access to the location where my apartment building is located. Previously, it never occured to me that people would choose apartments to burglarize, but I’ve learned that criminals find apartments to be easy pickings.

I realized that I was burglarized when I went out to get my bike off my balcony one morning so that I could bike to work, but it was missing. It confused me at first because I live on the second floor of my building. Other units across the way face my balcony. I scratched my head as I looked at the blank space where my bike usually sat on the balcony each day and night. Then, a woman on the balcony across from me came out and said that she heard that someone had shimmied up to my balcony and stolen my bicycle, yet no one had bothered to call the police.

The theft happened over night, and it alarmed me to think about a criminal being so close to me while I slept. He or she could have easily opened my sliding glass door and come into my bedroom. It also bothered me that someone had seen the theft happen, but they didn’t care about calling the police while it was happening. This led me to realize that they only way that I would remain safe is to purchase an alarm system as soon as possible.

ON MY MIND… LEONARDO DICAPRIO

With The Great Gatsby just out and The Wolf of Wall Street on the way, it got me thinking about the career of the lead in both; one Leonardo DiCaprio.

Talk about an impressive CV. Since the early ’90s, he’s dazzled us with a wide range of performances across numerous genres. His filmography reads like a cinephiles ‘best films of the last 20 years’ collection.

And as such I’d like to respectfully nod to his performances that have not only stood out but also stood the test of time. Therefore let’s commence with the first in a series of ‘cinematic living legend’ posts, paying tribute to my favourite roles and performances from actors that just keep on getting better and better.

  • Kid – The Quick and the Dead (1995)
    Young, cocky, but with undeniable screen presence in Sam Raimi’s western, little Leo comfortably held the screen alongside big names: Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe and Sharon Stone.
  • Jim Carroll – The Basketball Diaries (1995)
    His first performance that truly blew me away. When this came out I was 13 and loved basketball. Admittedly the gradual descent into drugs and sleeping rough on the streets was something to which I couldn’t as readily relate.
  • Frank Abagnale Jr – Catch Me If You Can (2002)
    With Gangs out quite soon after, this was an impressive year for Leo. This time going toe-to-toe with Tom Hanks with Spielberg at the helm. Bit of a dream partnership resulting in a fantastic performance and movie.
  • Amsterdam Vallon – Gangs of New York (2002)
    Whilst DiCaprio’s star was flying high by this point, it was never going to be easy going up against a true heavyweight of cinema in Daniel Day Lewis. Nonetheless, his performance as Amsterdam was highly watchable.
  • Howard Hughes – The Aviator (2004)
    A consummate and wholly engrossing performance at the top of his game. He got Hughes’s mannerisms and tics spot on. Watch this original footage of Hughes then compare it to Leo’s similar scene – a master at work.
  • Billy Costigan Jr – The Departed (2006)
    This marked his third collaboration with Scorsese and – for the pair of them – their most profitable partnership to date. An impressively raw and aggressive performance befitting a cop mentally unravelling whilst undercover as a gangster.
  • Danny Archer – Blood Diamond (2006)
    Often overlooked, yet well received critically and commercially, Ed Zwick’s diamond smuggling war film not only showed DiCaprio in a more mature light with a commanding performance, but was an engaging action tale too.
  • Teddy Daniels – Shutter Island (2010)
    Based on a Dennis Lehane novel, this psycho-thriller saw Scorsese direct Leo again and come up trumps. I’ve heard this described as a B-movie with an A-list director and star. Unfair and unjust – it’s genuinely spooky and thrilling.
  • Cobb – Inception (2010)
    Another bumper year following Shutter Island, helping DiCaprio tick another ‘greatest living director I’ve worked with’ off his list in Christopher Nolan. Quite a restrained, nuanced and tender performance, possibly a career best.
  • Calvin Candie – Django Unchained (2012)
    Sadistic, charming, brutal with a god complex – the first time Leo has really had the chance to play a villain and he lapped it up. Tarantino at the helm was no doubt a draw, but his performance, whilst unsettling, was truly mesmerising.

ON MY MIND… ANNA KENDRICK

This week I have mostly been thinking about Anna Kendrick. It’s not my fault I swear. In fact I blame her entirely. It all started with Pitch Perfect. Actually… that’s not true. Whilst watching that film over Christmas did inspire me to write this piece, my little love affair really started with Up In The Air.

She’s a most interesting actress – and if you had to pinpoint her appeal I’d put it down to a few factors. She chooses her roles with care, often playing interesting characters that are put in quite complex situations; also she tends to play characters that develop in subtle and often joyful ways – something difficult to do convincingly.

And finally she manages to bring a wonderfully endearing quality to the parts she plays, whether it’s the lead or a supporting role, she holds the screen well and disarms us with her wit, charm, intelligence and adorable nature – all wrapped up in one tiny, cute package.

In terms of characters played and films in which she’s starred, here are my favourites:

Up In The Air (2009)
Most of us remember our first proper job out of education being tough, but what if your first job is firing others from theirs? In Kendrick’s breakout role she played a rookie ‘downsizer’ brought in to fire people from their jobs in the most efficient way possible. She beat rising star, Ellen Page, to the role, and you can see why – her performance was a delight.

50/50 (2011)
A comedy about cancer? Surely not. Loosely based on the experiences of screenwriter Will Reiser, this film sees Kendrick as young therapist Katherine, helping Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Adam deal with his illness. Kendrick played her part beautifully, giving Katherine real warmth and believability as an inexperienced therapist who has blurred the lines between doctor and patient. Watch the clip below to hear Kendrick’s thoughts on the role.

End Of Watch (2012)
Another role as a supporting girlfriend you say? Well, yes. Here she plays Janet, the girlfriend then wife of Jake Gyllenhaal’s cop, Brian Taylor, in this tough thriller/drama, written and directed by David Ayer and set in South Central Los Angeles. Kendrick’s Janet acts as perfect balance to how Taylor acts when on patrol, softening him in the film’s quieter moments. Watch the non-scripted scene below where the two actors – in character – just improvise. It made the film and you can see why – really touching.

Pitch Perfect (2012)
The second highest grossing musical comedy behind School Of Rock and with a sequel on the way it’s fair to say this film was a success – another to add to the Kendrick filmography. With the tagline ‘Get pitch slapped’ and projectile vomit scenes, this was no Glee. And Kendrick was the smart and sassy centre of it all. In the riff-off scene below there’s a really sweet bit where she turns to her friends with a big ‘look at me’ grin. So cute and so Anna Kendrick.

 

ON MY MIND… CHARLIZE THERON

Having just watched The Burning Plain it’s become clear that we need to discuss the career of Charlize Theron. She doesn’t get anywhere near enough love (or interesting roles) and that needs to change. This isn’t an intervention or a rant. Simply put, this is a frank acknowledgement of talent.

As all the great actresses of our generation tend to do, she mixes blockbusters and smaller projects with consummate ease. Another point to mention is that, like some of Hollywood’s most beautiful actresses, she’s not afraid to remove the glamour and strip things right back, leaving little to hide behind except her performance. This is evident in Monster, but it’s also a strong theme in all of her work highlighted below. Still… I’d love to see her in more. Hollywood, it’s time to step up and send her scripts!

Anyway, here’s my pick of her best performances to date:

The Devil’s Advocate (1997)
She largely burst onto the scene here – opposite Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino – with a beautiful, tormented and captivating performance. One which set her career standard.

Monster (2003)
A deserved Oscar win for what is considered a powerhouse performance. When one of Hollywood’s most beautiful women transforms herself to this level you sit up and take notice.

North Country (2005)
Continuing a fine run of form she got a best actress nomination for this role in what some critics have argued – in some ways – was a more complex character to portray than her Oscar winning one in Monster.

The Burning Plain (2008)
Guillermo Arriaga (the writer behind Babel) directed this tale of loss and guilt and, whilst the film is somewhat confusingly edited, Theron shone in her scenes with another fine display.

Young Adult (2011)
There’s no doubt that director Jason Reitman’s tale here was both tough, tender and funny throughout. A large part of that was, once again, down to Theron, who balanced the film’s comic and tragic moments with equal skill.

REBECCA HALL

Born on 19 May 1982, Rebecca Maria Hall is a few months older than me. That fact isn’t significant in itself, it’s just one of the little ways I like to think that I identify with her.
She’s the daughter of theatre director and founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Peter Hall, and opera singer, Maria Ewing. Her siblings include theatre directors, designers, writers and painters. So it’s fair to say she’s from a creative background.

And looks wise, she’s striking. A sort of classic yet contemporary English rose. However, it’s worth noting that, whilst she has an English father, her American mother is of Dutch, Scottish, Sioux and African-American origin which, let’s face it, just makes her even more interesting.

Then there’s her acting. Since breaking onto the scene with the first film in my list below, she’s quickly gone from strength to strength, picking her roles in a savvy way. She exudes a natural intelligence that’s hard to hide in the parts she plays (not that it needs to be hidden). Here’s my pick of her top performances:

Starter for Ten (2006)
It says something when gorgeous Miss Hall is cast as the geek. Alice Eve played the sexy one in the sweet, coming-of-age tale, yet it’s Hall’s performance we warm to as the wonderfully endearing love interest to James McAvoy’s rather annoying central character, Brian.

The Prestige (2006)
A magic trick has three parts: the pledge, the turn and the prestige. Did this role represent Hall’s ‘pledge’? Well, it was somewhat of a showcase and a big step up career wise inChistopher Nolan’s convoluted and rather tragic tale of two rival magicians. And Hall more than held her own as the long suffering wife of Christian Bale’s magician.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
Making something of a name for herself playing ‘second fiddle’ to more overtly glamorous women (Alice Eve in Starter for Ten, Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz here) she shone in this movie – one of the best from Woody Allen in recent years – and gave her character real warmth; a performance which got her a Golden Globe nomination.

The Town (2010)
Another role playing the love interest of a mildly conflicted protagonist. This time opposite Ben Affleck’s sensitive bank robber. The film received strong praise for the ensemble performance of its cast, no doubt in part down to Hall’s convincing performance.

Next up for Miss Hall?

Transcendence – UK release 25 April 2014
Wally Pfister, long time cinematographer of Christopher Nolan, steps up to direct for the first time with this one: featuring leads Johnny Depp and one… Rebecca Hall. Another leap forward career wise, opposite one of cinema’s most bankable stars in this sci-fi thriller.

ON MY MIND… PENELOPE CRUZ

Born in Madrid in 1974, Penelope Cruz Sanchez made her acting debut aged 16, before receiving critical acclaim for her role in Jamon Jamon the following year in 1992.

Since then her career has gone from strength to strength. She’s the first Spanish actress to receive an Academy Award (the second ever to be nominated), and the first to receive a star on the Hollywood walk of fame.

She’s also a bit of a force of nature. Think about her performances, each one immediately hooks you in. Screen presence, allure, seductive sex appeal… All that stuff.

In terms of her performances I consider my favourites, it’s a mixed bunch. There is a theme, though, and her work is defined by a level of intensity, conflict and inner fire. Simply put, she compels you to watch her.

Open Your Eyes (1997)
One of her first major roles. One which saw her receive critical acclaim for a film praised for its intelligence and complexity. It got the inevitable Hollywood remake, with Cruz reprising her role as the seductive Sofia.

Blow (2001)
Critically this film didn’t do that well. Cruz, too, suffered the wrath of the critics, receiving a Golden Raspberry Award for her performance. Perhaps a bit of a harsh assessment. Still, it led to bigger and better things.

Vanilla Sky (2001)
Reprising her role from Open Your Eyes, Cruz gave a solid, if unspectacular performance in this remake. Overall, the film perhaps suffered from being even more confusing than the original, thus dividing people’s opinions.

Volver (2006)
A high point in her career, particularly in terms of working with acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodovar. This film drew together many complex themes, all of which Cruz and Almodovar weaved together elegantly.

Elegy (2008)
A restrained, mature and utterly heartbreaking performance in this tale which had Cruz as the on/off cancer suffering girlfriend of Ben Kingsley’s misogynistic Professor. A surprise of a film and worth a watch if you get the chance.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
My pick of the bunch. A beautiful film and a hypnotic, wild performance from Penelope, opposite a cast that were far too sexy for their own good. This one won her an Academy Award (the first Spanish actress in history to achieve this).

So what’s next for Penelope?

Well, rumours keep surfacing of her involvement in the next Bond film  – Sam Mendes’ follow up to Skyfall – as the new Bond girl. She’s also recently written, directed – and starred in – the latest Agent Provocateur advert. Nothing to do with film, but Bond girls are glamorous, sexy and exotic. And if this ad isn’t that, then I don’t know what is.

Either way, it’s nice to have Cruz maintain her presence on screen. whether it’s adverts or films or – dare I say it – TV shows. Here’s to whatever comes next in the world of Penelope.

ON MY MIND… BILL NIGHY

Bill Nighy is the Godfather. Of what, I’m not sure. He probably is someone’s godfather thinking about it. Maybe he’s the Godfather of rather dry, distinctly witty and faintly amusing supporting roles in British comedies?

Yeah, that sounds about right.

As some of you may or may not know, William Francis Nighy is one cool cat. And in the last few years or so he’s got even more Bill Nighy-like. Concentrated Nighy you might say. It’s always a delight when he pops up on screen, seemingly playing the same role no matter the film. Maybe he just plays himself? Maybe that’s his charm?

Whatever… his appeal is there, however elusive. And to pay our respects (I know he’s not dead, but we can still pay our respects) here’s my selection of his best performances.

Cameron Foster – State of Play (2003)
Brilliant writing with a great cast which included John Simm and James McAvoy, this TV miniseries introduced a lot of people to his work and probably launched him onto the A-list.

Billy Mack – Love Actually (2003)
With such a big cast in this film each was left with little screen time, Nighy made his count with some tender scenes as an aging rocker in this Richard Curtis love-in.

Philip – Shaun of the Dead (2004)
It’s often hard to describe his style as an actor. So understated, almost like he’s barely doing anything – as demonstrated opposite Simon Pegg in this modern zom-com classic.

Davy Jones – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
No matter the actor, they all love a chance to play dress up and get big and silly. And if you’re going to be in a Pirates movie, go large. Nighy obliged bringing Davy Jones to life with aplomb.

Quentin – The Boat That Rocked (2009)
The sauve leader of a group of pirate radio DJs at sea, Nighy’s role is not a big one in this film, but he managed to steal all his scenes with a raised eyebrow or a twitch of a smile.

Dad – About Time (2013)
Apparently this film about family, friendship and making the most out of life was a wake-up call for Nighy. Whatever it was, it was another great collaboration with Richard Curtis.

Cliff – Pride (2014)
Playing a Welsh miner protesting the strikes in the ’80s, Nighy gave one of the most restrained performances in years and, in some ways, all the better for it. More of this please.

ON MY MIND… KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

A lot of ladies seem to hate her. I sort of see why. She can come across – in her performances at least – as a little smug. Yet in press interviews and chat shows she’s warm, personable, enthusiastic about her roles and really quite endearing.

Sticking to her acting abilities, she does have talent. And despite being lumbered with the posh tag, she’s played a variety of other types of roles with varying degrees of success.

Born in southwest London in 1985, Kiera Christina Knightley broke onto the scene with a film called The Hole, then Pride & Prejudice and Atonement earnt her critical acclaim and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies gave her box office clout.

However, beyond the posh parts and the popcorn offerings, she’s chosen some interesting roles in her career to date. Here are some I’d like to highlight.

For me, these show the true Knightley.

Never Let Me Go (2010)
Opposite Andrew Garfield and Carey Mulligan in this rather sad and ponderous Kazuo Ishiguro adaptation, Knightley had her work cut out, but she put in a good performance.

A Dangerous Method (2011)
Opposite Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen she really had to up her game in this David Cronenberg directed tale of two heavyweight psychologists.

Anna Karenina (2012)
This epic tale marked the third collaboration between Knightley and director Joe Wright (the others being Atonement and Pride & Prejudice) and received high praise from critics.

Begin Again (2013)
Well received, critically and commercially, this sweet story had Knightley’s singer-songwriter character team up with Mark Ruffalo’s record label executive to record a new album.

So what’s next?

Well, she’s got The Imitation Game out now (or soon), the tale of Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), the man who cracked the enigma device in World War II, which looks good and has a cracking cast.

Then epic survival yarn Everest, based on a true story – with a cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin and John Hawkes.

What’s your favourite Knightley performance?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – thoughts?

Let’s be honest, J.J. Abrams would have had to monumentally and catastrophically mess up the new Star Wars teaser trailer for the fans to descend upon him, venting their wrath.

That said, there’s some intriguing imagery and things to consider. Whilst the internet is ablaze with speculation as to what these visual clues could mean, they could simply just be tasty shots of the upcoming film. Ever considered that?

What we DO know is: there will be stormtroopers (or at least a character played by John Boyega dressed as one for a brief moment in the trailer); there will be Sith (or at least one Sith with a light sabre shaped like a greatsword); there will be X-Wing fighter jets; there will be… the Millenium Falcon.

And there will be a girl in desert robes (Daisy Ridley) who appears to be on Tatooine, but we don’t know for sure.

That’s about all you can say.

The release date of the film is a year away, so there’s bound to be more clues, but to go overboard now seems premature. Save your excitement I say. At least until the next trailer comes out and we have a bit more to go on.

One thing I WILL say, from the scant scenes shown in this teaser, Abrams looks to have the nailed the tone. It looks exciting. Modern, fresh, slightly dark and gritty, yet light and adventurous. Exactly what you’d have hoped he would bring to this franchise. However, we all interpret things differently.

So, judge for yourself. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Time for a quick look ahead at the trailers of some films coming up. If you’re unfamiliar, I do these little ‘trailer park’ blogs from time to time of upcoming films that I’d like to see.

For this one, I’m focusing on one out now and two out soon: a gritty historical action tale, an alternative type of sci-fi and a tongue-in-cheek action flick.

’71 (out now)
Out in cinemas now, this tale is set in Northern Ireland and follows a young British soldier (Jack O’Connell) after he becomes separated from his unit during a riot. His performance has already impressed the critics and this looks like one to see before its cinema run ends.

Monsters: Dark Continent (UK release 28 October)
The follow up to Gareth Edwards’ 2010 original – this time directed by up-and-coming chap Tom Green – sees a soldier searching for his comrade in the desert. This looks to follow the nuanced and stylish aesthetic of the original and build on it in a promising way.

Kingsman: The Secret Service (UK release 12 Feb, US release 13 Feb)
Has director Matthew Vaughn been in the wilderness for the last few years? Perhaps he has, however this looks like him back to his best in this action spy flick, based on a Mark Millar graphic novel and starring Colin Firth as you’ve never seen him before.

Trailer park: Ultron, Tomorrowland, Crimson Peak and Aloha

To butcher Led Zeppelin lyrics a little, there’s a whole lotta love out there for a whole lotta films coming out in the next few months. Too many to go through in much depth, but here’s a few I’d like to briefly pick out for your consideration.

Avengers: Age of Ultron
Ok, not everyone is a fan of this current glut of superhero films, yet this one really does look impressive. And so it should, given the budget, cast and studio muscle. At one point or another it’s all going to implode, it has to. But for now, I’m on board.

Tomorrowland
This film started life as a theme park ride and whether it turns out to be a franchise behemoth a la Pirates of the Caribbean remains to be seen. What we do know is that Clooney is attached, and he rarely joins doomed projects, so it could be a blast.

Crimson Peak
It’s high time Guillermo del Toro got back to what he does best… inhibiting a niche genre perhaps only rivalled by Tim Burton. But where Burton comes at his stories from more of an oddball outsider perspective, del Toro opts for horror and macabre fantasy.

Aloha
Ah, the sweet and observant writer-director Cameron Crowe, who doesn’t love his films? His last beautiful little story was We Bought a Zoo in 2011, so he’s been out the game a while. This looks like a good return to form with a cracking cast to boot.

As 2014 draws to a close I thought a quick look ahead to three rather exciting films out next year wouldn’t be amiss. (Obviously, there’s lots more, but for these little trailer park breakdowns, three is the magic number.)

Focus (In cinemas February 2015)
Will Smith and Margot Robbie (her from The Wolf of Wall Street) star in this rom-com-con, as it’s a film about a con artist who falls for his hot protégé. Based on the trailer, Robbie looks to be giving Amber Heard a run for her money in the old school Hollywood glamour stakes.

Ex Machina (In cinemas April 2015)
Written and directed by Alex Garland (making his debut as a director) this films tells the story of a computer coder (Domhnall Gleeson) who thinks he’s won a chance to stay at the house of his CEO for a week, but is actually participating in an experiment involving artificial intelligence (namely, Alicia Vikander’s character).

Mad Max: Fury Road (In cinemas May 2015)
Make no mistake, this film is part of a franchise. And there’s been a gap of 30 years between the last film and this one. Originally starring Mel Gibson, we now have Hollywood’s go-to guy for intensity as the lead, Tom Hardy. Charlize Theron is also thrown in for good measure, as the fantastically named Imperator Furiosa.

 

Trailer park: Now You See Me 2, The Hateful Eight, Point Break

Next up for the ‘trailer park’ we have an odd mix: a comedy focused on the zeitgeist-y hot topic of magic, the cinematic event that’s a Tarantino release and the remake of a ’90s cult classic (to some at least).

Now You See Me 2
(out June 2016)
A surprise hit a few years ago, this ensemble cast gelled well and were a treat to watch. From the trailer you’ll see it’s more of the same, but with a few additions including Lizzy Caplan and – in an inspired touch – Daniel Radcliffe.

The Hateful Eight
(out Dec 2015/Jan 2016)
Tarantino threw his toys out the pram a few times during the evolution of this film due to script leaks but thankfully he manned up and made it. It will be interesting to see how this fits into his legendary filmography, as it has lashings of Reservoir Dogs and touches of Django about it.

Point Break
(out Dec 2015/Jan 2016)
Kathryn Bigelow made her name directing this 1991 action flick with Keanu Reeves as a young, dumb cop chasing Patrick Swayze’s thrill-seeking criminal. Originally Gerard Butler was set to play Brodie but pulled out, so they’ve got a lookalike. And in Keanu’s role they’ve got a hybrid of Paul Walker and Heath Ledger, so we’ll see how it pans out.

Good tidings we bring to you and your, er, fellow cinema fans. Here’s my latest ‘trailer park’ entry, highlighting a few that have caught my eye for films coming up soon.

Victor Frankenstein
Seemingly stealing the style straight from Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock films, here we have James McAvoy’s Dr Frankenstein and Daniel Radcliffe’s Igor in a sort of irreverent buddy movie – with monsters. And Andrew Scott, naturally.

Joy
David O. Russell reunites the dream team of Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert de Niro (after Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle) once again for this hugely obvious Oscar grab. That said, it looks really good, and Lawrence looks to be on fine form.

The Revenant
In this film DiCaprio plays a fur trapper left for dead by his hunting party and then hunts them down seeking revenge. With credible Oscar talk this could be DiCaprio’s time to win one. And with Tom Hardy as the bad guy and Alejandro G. Iñárritu directing this promises to be an epic Western survival yarn.

First things first, let’s get the big guns out of the way. As far as new trailers go, the latest Bond film gets top billing. There’s also one from Jake Gyllenhaal – who’s in a bit of a purple patch – and some spy thingy set in London and starring ‘fit Kit’ Harington (him off Game of Thrones).

Spectre
Bond is back baby, oh yes. Tying up the Skyfall and Quantum of Solace storylines nicely, this sees the return of his biggest foe, evil network SPECTRE. Mr White is back looking harrowed, Bond calm and collected, and, the thing that’s going to get most fanboys excited, Christoph Waltz as the big baddie. With Sam Mendes again directing and new additions Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux joining the cast expect another triumph.

Southpaw
My top film of last year was Nightcrawler, with Gyllenhaal putting in a phenomenally chameleonic performance. Physically he changes tack here to beef up for this tale of a boxer out to do right by his little girl and return to the ring. Interestingly, the UK’s very own Rita Ora plays a drug addict in it too.

Spooks: The Greater Good
It’s impossible to mention this film’s title without bringing to mind a certain scene in Hot Fuzz. That aside, it’s nice to see the Game of Thrones lot branch out. We’ve recently had Richard Madden (Rob Stark) in Cinderella, and now here’s Kit Harington (Jon Snow) tearing around London as an MI5 agent trying to uncover a conspiracy, doing what we can hope is a darn better job than Jack Bauer did in the last season of 24.

Trailer Park: The Nice Guys, Jane Got A Gun

For the latest in my ‘trailer park’ series I wish to draw your attention to a couple of films that look like they’re going to kick ass and entertain in equal measure. Shane Black, last seen as writer-director of Iron Man 3brings us a cop caper with an unlikely – but brilliant looking, at least in the trailer – pair of misfits. And Natalie Portman makes a welcome return after a few years of misfiring duds (bar the Thor films) in a rather sumptous looking Western.

The Nice Guys
Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe might sound an unlikely duo on paper, but from the trailer their chemistry looks evident and this looks a genuinely funny prospect.

Jane Got A Gun
Natalie Portman is due a return to form I’d say, and here she might have it, in a Western which sees her team up with Joel Edgerton to thwart an evil Ewan McGregor.

Start small and go large. That’s the name of the game. Trailer wise the BFG could be that ‘small’ film, but I doubt it. So forget what I’ve said and check out this lot.

The BFG
(out July 2016)
In order to do a story like this Roald Dahl 1982 classic justice you need someone who can do wonder and character and, generally, is one of the world’s best storytellers. Step forward Steven Spielberg. This should be quite a treat.

Captain America: Civil War
(out April/May 2016)
Hard to say how much of Mark Millar’s graphic novel this latest Marvel Studios film will mine, but pitting Tony Stark against Steve Rodgers seems like a great idea on paper. This may be the last outing for some of the existing team, so let’s hope it’s a good one.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
(out March 2016)
What Marvel can do, DC can do better (or differently at least). Here they’ve betted the house by facing off their two biggest properties. It looks good though, dark, gritty and really rather an exciting movie for the first half of next year.

Continuing my run of ‘trailer park’ blogs, here’s another. This one focusing on sci-fi, fantasy, adventure and action. ‘Tis the season to fight monsters, tra la la la laa.

The Jungle Book
(out April 2016)
Picking up (in a way) where Life of Pi left off, this film takes the technology further in what looks to be a frankly awe-inspiring version of this classic story. With a strong cast expect to be dazzled and delighted.

X-Men: Apocalypse
(out May 2016)
Upping the ante, that’s what superhero films are all about. For the latest in this franchise the gang face Oscar Isaac’s Apocalypse, the first mutant, and immensely powerful to boot. This has promise.

Warcraft
(out June 2016)
Aiming to be perhaps the first director to create a successful film based on a computer game, Duncan Jones could well pull this off. It’s not holding back either, with an epic trailer promising spectacle and character in spades.