Sci-fi/Fantasy and Superheroes still dominate the Blockbusters
There are so many great movies coming out this year – both original efforts and remakes/reboots/sequels and prequels – that it would be unfair to try and bunch them all into one top ten.So here’s the second of our preview lists, looking at the bigger productions, none of which are outright original features. Still, as last year was a testament to, that’s no longer such a bad thing - 2014 was a massive year for blockbusters, with some truly spectacular efforts, many of which we didn’t see coming. 2015 has, on the other hand, been set in stone as a milestone year for quite some time. We’ve known about plenty of these titles long in advance – not least the two biggest hitters, Star Wars 7 and Avengers 2 – but there’s still a lot hanging in the balance with many of them.
10. Terminator: Genisys (3rd July 2015)
It nearly didn’t make the list. Why? Well, have you seen that Empire photoshoot?! Between the worrying casting, and the silly spelling of the title, people were getting a really bad feeling about this one. And the complete lack of Arnie in any of the press stills was worrying to say the least. Was he even in the movie? Then the trailer hit and two things happened: Arnie was back and the T-1000 was back. Sure, the unfathomable narrative, which literally looks like it’s rewriting history, may turn out to be terrible, but it’s got a nice Back to the Future vibe which, strangely, has got my attention. Yes, I’m not impressed by Arnie’s helicopter-diving antics, but there’s plenty more that does pull me in. I guess only time will tell... we’ll find out this Summer.
9. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (20th November 2015)
Although Part 1 appeared to polarise audiences - some knew what to expect from the book and enjoyed the slow-burn build-up to the events in the second half, whilst others felt the story had already been built up enough and that the splitting of the narrative into two parts was based on purely financial gain on the studio's part, merely serving to delay the meat of this chapter - there's no doubt that this could end up being one of the best films of the year. Sure, it has a lot to live up to, and, for some, a lot to make up for, but Hunger Games has been building towards this, and now is the time to finally deliver on the promise so far. Expect a revolution this Winter.
8. Ant-Man (17th July 2015)
Who would have ever thought that an Ant Man adaptation could end up being one of the most anticipated movies of the year? But after Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel really doesn’t feel like it can do any wrong. Hopefully this new character introduction, with one of the worst Marvel production histories since Iron Man 2, won’t break their run, and the casting craziness of comic Paul Rudd stepping into the shoes of Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym will work out. Ant-Man will go big this Summer.
7. Jurassic World (15th June)
There are still so many places they can go with the material from the late Michael Crichton’s original novels, and it feels like this new reboot/sequel thingy may finally return the franchise to form. Sure, it would have been nice to have more involvement from Spielberg, who put both the grand majesty and the wow factor into the first adaptation, but since this has been rotting in development hell for almost 15 years now, it’ll be nice just to get another chapter. And the director and lead actor choices of Safety Not Guaranteed’s Colin Trevorrow and Guardians of the Galaxy’s Chris Pratt are pretty inspired. The new Park is open for business this Summer.
6. Furious 7 (3rd April 2015)
The Fast and Furious franchise has simply gone from strength to strength, evolving into far more than just a low budget Point Break reworking, done with fast cars and even more paper-thin characters than Bhody and Johnny Utan. Now much more of a heist series – and more – the all-star franchise boasts stunning action in and out of vehicles, and truly memorable fight sequences, often making you wonder where The Expendables went wrong (and The A-Team too!). With even more big players joining the team, and with the tragic loss of one of the biggest series mainstays, this will be a momentous chapter in the saga. We’ll finally get to see Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson fight Jason Statham this spring.
5. Mad Max: Fury Road (15th May 2015)
Another long-gestating sequel to a franchise which was thought dead and buried several decades ago, George Miller’s return to the Mad Max series has not exactly been an auspicious voyage, particularly with Max himself, Mel Gibson, nowhere to be seen. But when Tom Hardy stepped into the role, some glimmer of hope emerged, only to nearly be stifled by delay after delay and being pushed back by what seemed like an eternity. Originally set for 2013, then 2014, it looks like nothing’s going to stop the Road Warrior in 2015. If only he can stop trashing those supposedly rare Interceptors. Crash and burn this spring.
4. Mission: Impossible 5 (26th December 2015)
I love the way that every single Mission: Impossible film gains a different flavour from the distinctive directors that Cruise manages to get on board, and yet retains that trend for blockbuster-scale espionage, with jaw-dropping set-pieces that continue to be carried out by Cruise himself (the latest one hanging onto the outside of a military transport plane, in flight) and action and thrills in equal measure. He’s brought his Jack Reacher director along for the latest chapter; a director, for those who had forgotten, who also did the fantastic The Way of the Gun. Expect the impossible on Boxing Day.
3. Spectre (23rd October 2015)
Although the initial furore and near-universal acclaim for Skyfall appears to have diminished somewhat with time (I’ve still got a soft spot for the 50th Anniversary tribute), it undoubtedly put all of the pieces in place for Bond to be the classic Bond of before, only seen through the more brutal, realistic lens that the Craig incarnation has established. And now, with the rights back to use both Spectre and Blofeld, they’ve definitely gone full tilt toward bringing us the kind of story that they’ve been simply itching to write for literally decades, only again, hopefully retaining all the classic and modern authenticity that Craig’s Bond has established. With Christopher Waltz’s villain and finally a classic Bond girl in the unparalleled Monica Bellucci, I have high hopes for this film – which very nearly ended up being the most expensive movie of all time. Just don’t expect to see any pussy stroking this autumn.
2. Avengers: Age of Ultron (24th April 2015)
With the Marvel line-up announced for the best part of the next decade, Age of Ultron is, on the one hand, just a stepping-stone. But after the shake-up that we’ve encountered through Iron Man 3, Thor 2 and, of course, Winter Soldier, I’m desperate to see what they do next to bring everybody back together again. The Marvel Universe is so damn unstoppable now, it’s hard not to anticipate this being the all-time top film of the year by far. And for many it will be. But we’ll have to wait until just before Christmas to find out whether it trumps the number one title on the list. Still, expect something pretty special come Spring, when we reach the Age of Ultron. Either way, Disney wins!
1. Star Wars: A Force Awakens (18th December 2015)
After the distinctly flawed prequels, getting excited about further Star Wars films seemed simply impossible. The announcement, the director, the returning original cast members – it still couldn’t quite get us excited. Then the preview trailer hit. The Millennium Falcon. X-Wings skating across the water. And that Sith with that crossguard lightsaber. Maybe, just maybe, this’ll bring back the inner child in those of us old enough not to have been brought up with the prequels, and introduce a whole new generation to the majesty of Jedis and a galaxy far far away. The Force Awakens just in time for Christmas.
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