New Movies Released 2016 December: Star Wars fans

Star Wars fans get an early, but long-awaited, Christmas present this week with the release of the stand-alone story, Rogue One, which takes place before the events in the original Star Wars (1977) movie, and five years after the animated TV series, Star Wars Rebels. Felicity Jones stars as a rebel soldier tasked with stealing the plans for the Death Star. Apparently, the Force is not as great as with previous entries in the franchise, although few fans are likely to allow only faint praise from the critics to dampen their enthusiasm.

Star Wars Rogue One

As always, the release of a major blockbuster sends most other movies running for cover until the hullabaloo has died down, so pickings are rather thin elsewhere. When it comes to the big screen, Larry Charles, who is chiefly known as a producer of high-profile American TV shows like Seinfeld, Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm, is mostly associated with Sacha Baron Cohen’s comedies, but his latest comedy, called Army of One, sees Nicolas Cage (him again), as an American citizen who sets out on his own to find Osama Bin Laden. It received only a limited release in the States before going straight to DVD and it’s critical reception has been lukewarm, so expectations aren’t high.

The rest of this week’s releases in the UK are confined to documentaries. The Eagle Huntress follows 13-year-old nomadic Mongolian Aisholpan as she strives to become her family’s first female eagle huntress in twelve generations, while Howard Brookner, the director of Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989) who was claimed by AIDS before his movie was released, is the subject of his nephew Aaron’s documentary Uncle Howard. Also released is Battle of Soho, a documentary bemoaning the enforced closure of London nightclubs which its makers see as a draconian move by Westminster Council.

Beyonce and Adele Go Head-to-Head at Grammys

The 59th annual Grammy Awards look set to become something of a battle of the Divas with hip-hop queen Beyonce and British songstress Adele – who have already amassed a staggering 30 awards between them – going head to head in three of the four major categories.

The Grammy

Beyonce’s million-selling album Lemonade and Adele’s 10 million-selling 25 are both nominated for Album of the Year, while Beyonce’s Formation and Adele’s Hello will vie for honours as Song of the Year, a writers’ award and Record of the Year.

Beyonce received the most nominations in this year’s Awards with nine bids, closely followed by Drake, Rihanna and Kanye West, who all received eight nominations, while Chance the Rapper, in his first year of eligibility following a change in the rules, received seven nominations.

Also nominated for Album of the Year are Justin Bieber’s “Purpose,” Drake’s “Views,” and progressive country singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson’s “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth”.

The divas’ competition for Record of the Year comes from Danish quarter Lukas Graham’s “7 Years,” Rihanna’s “Work” and Ohio duo Twenty One Pilots’ “Stressed Out,” while other Song of the Year nominees include Mike Posner’s “I Took a Pill in Ibiza,” Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself,” and Lukas Graham’s “7 Years.”

Candidates for the Best New Artist award are country singer Kelsea Ballerini, DJ twosome The Chainsmokers, Chicago-based rapper Chance the Rapper (even though he’s been around for at least 10 years!), country singer-songwriter Maren Morris and rapper Anderson .Paak

The 59th annual Grammy Awards, hosted by James Corden, will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday 12th February 2017.
Nominees for the 59th Annual Grammy Awards

Record of the Year

“Hello” – Adele
“Formation” – Beyonce
“7 Years” – Lukas Graham
“Work” – Rihanna featuring Drake
“Stressed Out” – Twenty One Pilots

Album of the Year

“25” – Adele
“Lemonade” – Beyonce
“Purpose” – Justin Bieber
“Views” – Drake
“A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” – Sturgill Simpson

Song of the Year

“Formation” – Beyonce
“Hello” – Adele
“I Took a Pill in Ibiza” – Mike Posner
“Love Yourself” – Justin Bieber
“7 Years” – Lukas Graham

Best New Artist

Kelsea Ballerini
The Chainsmokers
Chance the Rapper
Maren Morris
Anderson .Paak