We’ll never know just how many people watched the vampire movie Twilight when it came out in 2008. The romantic comedy-turned-vampire frenzy became the highest-grossing film of that year, racking up almost $400 million worldwide. And while we may never know just how many people went to see it (or how many saw it on pay-per-view), it’s safe to assume that many people were entranced by this story of a high school girl who falls in love with a vampire. That’s not too far from the truth; this story definitely touched a nerve, especially in its very early chapters. And what’s more, the film’s cinematographer, Claudio Amorth, has revealed that he actually encouraged the crew to put more life into the proceedings, including the use of slow-motion shot. As a result, we now have a truly iconic image of a vampire biting into a girl’s wrist. It’s doubtful that we’ll ever see the likes of this scene again.
But since then, Robert Pattinson’s star has only continued to rise as he takes on more mature and challenging roles. And it seems his work has paid off in spades, as he’s become one of the most bankable young stars in Hollywood. While he may not always gets the plum roles, he certainly makes them count, and he continues to evolve as an actor, which is shown in his filmography.
Another landmark year for Robert Pattinson came in 2015, as he portrayed the tragic Hugh Glass in Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s The Revenant. Based on the Michael Punke novel, the film follows the adventurous life of a man who is mauled by a bear and subsequently finds himself stranded in the winter wilderness. For the majority of the film, we’re presented with a grizzly-bear-biting-into-a-man sequence that is eerily reminiscent of Twilight. This sequence alone brought in over 1.7 million views on YouTube alone, proving yet again that audiences still have strong feelings toward this story. But beyond this jaw-droppingly intense bear sequence, The Revenant is a character-driven drama that explores the lengths to which man will go to survive in this harsh world. Though it’s been met with mixed reviews, many critics laud it as one of the year’s best. From an immersive wilderness experience to compelling characters and performances, it’s safe to say that everyone will have something to say about this film once it comes out on home video.
How to Train Your Dragon
In 2017, Hiccup, the main character of How to Train Your Dragon, becomes the best he can be: a brave, protective, and self-determined man who sets out to unite his friends and defend his village from the ravages of the Vikings. The film, which is directed by David B. Watters and co-written by Chris Sanders, follows the adventures of the eponymous Viking and his friends as they travel to the Far North to restore Hiccup’s honor. Much of the credit for the incredible success of this film goes to the visual effects team, who were responsible for bringing the wonderful creatures to life using their expertise and resources. But it’s also the little things that the team did, like changing the angle of the camera so that it seems as though we’re inside Hiccup’s head, that helped give this film that polished unique look that makes it stand out. Hiccup, the main character, is played by British actor Jay Baruchel, and the film also stars the charming Cressida Dick, Danny Trejo, and Holt McCallany. Though the box office returns for this film haven’t been announced yet, early buzz suggests it could be one of the biggest and most successful Hollywood blockbusters of all time. Who knows? Maybe it will even surpass Twilight in terms of box office returns.
In 2018, another sci-fi epic was released that would become one of the biggest and most successful Hollywood blockbusters of all time. The film, which is based on the novel by Andy Weir, follows an astronaut stranded on Mars after his spaceship is damaged while trying to escape from the Red Planet’s gravitational pull. For the majority of the movie, he must survive as best he can, relying on his wits, and his amazing ability to communicate with the other Martians he comes across to ensure his safety. Though the film received mixed reviews, many critics have hailed it as one of the best of the year and even of all time. From a stunning depiction of Mars to an almost perfect recreation of the environment, it’s clear that Ridley Scott and his team put their hearts and minds into this project. The film also stars Matt Damon, and though this was his first lead role in a while, he definitely didn’t need any lessons in acting. He proved to the world that he was still capable of putting in a performance that would earn him an Academy Award nomination. The Martian is one of the greatest examples of cinematic adaptation ever, and it’s not hard to see why. It was inspired by true events, and the screenplay was even submitted to the actual Astronaut Regiment as a pilot script.
The Last Jedi
As if 2018 wasn’t eventful enough, Disney+ will be releasing all three of the original Star Wars films (The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Last Jedi) on the streaming service on the same day. This will be happening after being held back from release for many years due to the company’s acquisition by Disney. And while The Last Jedi is the follow-up to 2017’s The Force Awakens and will therefore have some significant similarities to that film, it will still be a unique story, filled with new characters, new worlds, and new locations. And with the return of the Emperor and General Leia (along with her Force abilities), this film will have plenty of drama, excitement, and intrigue. The Last Jedi is the final installment of the Skywalker saga, and it’s safe to assume that fans will be going crazy trying to figure out what happens next.
Though it was one of the most highly anticipated horror movies of the year, Suspiria turned out to be one of the most interesting and unique films of the year, and one of the best of the decade. The story follows a young American photo student who travels to Germany to study at a prestigious art school. Upon her arrival, she discovers several peculiarities that set this film apart from other horror movies. First off, rather than focusing on killing sprees and graphic violence, the focus is on how the characters process and experience their daily anxieties, fears, and insecurities. Additionally, the students, faculty, and attendees of this exclusive art school seem to have more of a connection to each other than is usually the case in horror movies; they collaborate and communicate frequently, which serves as a great contrast to the typically stoic faces we’re used to seeing onscreen. From a dream sequence that presents the nature of fear to an almost dance-like battle between students and faculty, the camera work is an extension of the artistry that goes into creating paintings, which are examined and judged critically throughout the film. It’s a visual feast for the eyes, and it would be a crime to not mention the costumes, which are designed by the legendary Mariuccia Millet. Though you might not expect it from a horror movie, Suspiria is definitely a film that will stick with you long after you’ve seen it.
What do you get when you cross the King of Rock and Roll with Richard Simmons, Elton John, and Billy Elliott? You get Rocketman, the biopic about Elton’s journey to the top of the music world, spanning from his days as a shy student who struggled with insecurity to his meteoric rise to fame. The film is set to hit theaters this summer, and though it isn’t a traditional biopic in the sense that we don’t get to follow Elton John from childhood to manhood (the events of his life are represented by a series of flashbacks), it is the story of a shy kid who blossoms into a superstar. It’s therefore only fitting that the film’s debut was accompanied by a performance from Elton, who plays himself, and also happens to be the director. With a screenplay co-written by Evan Dickson, Rocketman is poised to be one of the summer’s most talked-about films. And what’s more, it represents a strong debut for WME, the production company behind the film. With a staggering amount of talent behind and within its walls, it’s easy to see why this film may do well at the box office. Especially when you consider that it’s an origin story for the most popular singer of all time and one of the most recognized celebrities in the world. Though it might be a while before we see Rocketman on the big screen, it certainly won’t be long before we hear his music playing in our heads. Or, if we’re lucky, in our cars. The trailer for Rocketman is just as iconic as the film itself, and it’s already gaining a following.