The Handbook
7th January 2019

With the cold finally setting in (I’m typing this in fingerless gloves, y’all), there’s one place where you’re guaranteed to stay warm for at least an hour and a half, where you can buy a two gallon bucket of Diet Coke, pick’n’mix and some of the most expensive popped corn in the world. Yes, it’s the cinema. And now we’re in film awards territory (Golden Globes through to Oscars) it’s only right that we whet our appetites for what’s coming up.

Pokemon Detective Pikachu

Remember how the internet broke in 2018 because the latest imagining of Pikachu is furry? Well expect to hear from the hordes of internet Pokemon shavers again, because Pokemon Detective Pikachu is coming. And I have to admit that from the trailer it does actually look pretty decent. Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith and Suki Waterhouse join with a host of computer generated critters in a detective

The Favourite

Just released, 20th Century Fox managed to squeeze this out in time to make the 2018 cut for the Golden Globes where Olivia Coleman won Best Actress for her performance as Queen Anne. The film, released here this week, stars Rachel Weiss and Emma Stone, not to mention Taylor Swift’s boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. So that’s fun.


If you’re waiting until you see an elephant fly to see this, don’t worry, just hang on until March. Billed at the start of the trailer as ‘from the imagination of Tim Burton’, which is stretching it given we’ve literally all seen the original Disney cartoon, this is nevertheless looks like it’ll be a stunning reworking of a classic staring Colin Farrell, Eva Green and Danny DeVito.

Downton Abbey

The TV series may have ended, but there’s screen time left for Julian Fellowes’ most lucrative franchise thanks to the feature film due out this year. I once interviewed the Jim Carter, who plays butler Carson, and he was the most unpleasant person ever. Total stinker. I’m sure the rest of them are alright.

Mary Queen of Scots

Saoirse Ronan plays a Mary Queen of Scots character apparently inspired by Philomena Cunk in one of the year’s most anticipated dramas. Alongside Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I look forward to what looks like a brilliant retelling of this key moment in British history.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

The original Lego Movie, made for $60m and grossing over $460, did so well five years ago that the accountants must’ve insisted on a second instalment. Welcome The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. And it looks very much like the film, bringing together Chris Pratt, Channing Tatum and Elizabeth Banks will be more of the same, doubtless a box office success but hopefully a critical one too.

The Upside

This looks uplifting. Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart star with Nicole Kidman in this remake of 2011’s The Untouchables. The film tells the story of a wealthy man (Cranston) with quadriplegia and a hitherto unemployed man with a criminal record (Hart) who hit it off. The critics already hate it, but maybe it’ll be more special than that (Charlotte, in The Handbook office thinks it will be, but then she loved the universally panned Holmes and Watson, the one with Will Farrell in).

Bill And Ted Face The Music

The rumours have been about for years, but Bill And Ted 3 really is happening. We left the duo, played by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves, 30 years ago being told that their music would save the world. Well now they’re pushing 50 and that hasn’t happened. The film explores how this has affected them, and what they do next. Might be great, could crash-and-burn. Excellent!

The Lion King

Did this need making? I mean, really? Okay, Dumbo is slightly outdated and racist 70 years on, but The Lion King? It’s such a recent classic, will making the fur furrier make the film better? There’s a whole bunch of hype around this remake and the cast is stellar, with Donald Glover playing Simba, James Earl Jones as Mustafa, Seth Rogan as Pumba and John Oliver taking the role of Zazu. So yeah, maybe it’ll be fine.