Happy New Year! As we begin the anew with 2015, it’s time to look forward to the upcoming films that are sure to thrill us throughout this year. While my list might not compare to others, we all can’t agree, can we?
15) Chappie – March 6
It seems like artificial intelligence might be a trend this year in science fiction films this year. First up is Chappie. At first, he is engineered as a security drone for Johannesburg’s police force in a crumbling, not-too-distant future South Africa. He is rebooted by a scientist to think and feel for itself but he is kidnapped by local gangsters for their own gains. This movie is from the director of District 9 and stars Sharlto Copley from the same film. Based on how successful District 9 was, this could be a sleeper pick for the new year.
14) The Divergent Series – Insurgent – March 20
Society is going to war as we pick up with Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) on the run and forming the resistance against the corrupt government, led by Jeanine (Kate Winslet). Jeanine seeks to stop Tris and her friends as they seek to disturb the peace that Jeanine created. We’ll see how far the film will go away from the source material. Woodley has said that the plot will turn away from author’s Veronica Roth’s book. Whether this will be a good thing or hurt the movie will be determined when released. One thing is for sure: this series will be increase in popularity.
13) Focus – February 27
Will Smith has not had a good film, or at least a decent film, in a while. With him being announced to wear Deadshot’s eye-patch in 2016’s Suicide Squad, Smith needs a good film to head into that superhero flick. Part romantic-comedy and part crime-saga, Will Smith plays seasoned con-man Nicky Spurgeon who takes on an apprentice in Jess Barrett (The Wolf of Wall Street’s Margot Robbie) who fall for each other while committing their frauds but everything is not as it seems for this couple. Emotions are exploited and shows that love is not a part of a good con-game.
12) Mad Max: Fury Road – May 15
A franchise gets a reboot facelift as Tom Hardy takes over the role of Mad Max. In an post-apocalyptic wasteland, Max (Hardy) meets Furiosa (Charlize Theron), who seeks to cross the desert but things aren’t that easy in a land of lawlessness as the duo comes across a common enemy in a warlord (Nicholas Hoult’s Nux is a devotee). We’ll see who comes out of this battle for survival.
11) Pan – July 24
Hollywood takes another voyage to Neverland with this origin story. Peter (Levi Miller) and Hook (Garrett Hedlund) appear to be partners who, along with Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara), try to escape the clutches of legendary pirate Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman). Hook is not a villain in this film but that doesn’t mean that his other qualities are not apparent. Let’s just say that I’m “hooked” to this return to Neverland.
10) Ted 2 – June 26
That’s right. Everyone’s foul-mouthed teddy bear is back in action! Seth MacFarlane has not revealed any plot details but the casting news has certainly kept us interested. Mark Wahlberg returns as John Bennett and Amanda Seyfried has joined the cast as Samantha Jackson, Bennett’s new love interest with Mila Kunis’ not making a return. One great thing is that there will be no other talking toys to join the bear. Newcomers to the cast include Liam Nesson, Morgan Freeman, David Hasselhoff, and TOM BRADY (really?). Given how popular the original film was, Ted 2 has the potential to be just as exciting.
9) The Walk – October 2
I’ve been a fan of the multi-talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt. From his foundation of his online production company hitRECord in 2004 and his own TV Series, HitRECord on TV in 2014 to his directorial debut with the sleeper hit Don Jon in 2013. His next feature film, The Walk, will see Levitt go to new heights (literally) as he stars as Philippe Petit, the French high-wire-walking daredevil who strung a cable between the two World Trade Center’s 110-story skyscrapers in 1974 and walked across it. You can be assured that the visual aspects of the film will be epic in scale as Robert Zemeckis (Director of Forrest Gump, Flight, and Back to the Future) will add a human factor to this film.
8) Jurassic World – June 15
Set 22 years after Steven Spielberg’s original classic, Isla Nublar finally features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park. It’s a thriving attraction but in an effort to create more buzz, the island’s scientists create a ferocious hybrid dinosaur who, of course, breaks out and brings death and destruction to the island and its human visitors. Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) is Owen, part of the park’s on-site staff, who teams up with the park’s operations manager (Bryce Dallas Howard) to stop the giant man-made creation.
7) Tomorrowland – May 22
In this film directed by Brad Bird (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), George Clooney stars as Frank who, along with Casey (Britt Robertson) travel to a hidden place in space and time only known as Tomorrowland where their actions have a direct affect on the world and themselves. Other reports state that Frank is an exile of Tomorrowland and acts as a guide for Casey but why this world has been kept a secret and why Frank is on the outside of that world will definitely help support this smart movie.
6) Furious 7 – April 3
I’m sure everyone has seen the first preview for this sequel for the fast-paced series. Taking place after Fast and Furious 6, Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker), and their crew are back in the United States and returning to their normal lives (causing trouble like always). Owen Shaw’s older brother, Ian (Jason Statham), is seeking revenge against Dominic. After Han’s death, Dominic and his crew go on their own path of vengeance against the older Shaw, taking the franchise down a darker road.
5) Terminator Genisys – July 1
The future has been reset in this sequel, prequel, and reboot of the Terminator franchise. John Connor (Jason Clarke) sends soldier Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) into the past to help protect his mother, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke). Sounds exactly like the original film, right? It’s not. Sarah isn’t the scared woman we remember. The original past has changed where Sarah was orphaned at nine years old and brought up by another T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who trains her for her destiny. Now Kyle and Sarah must go up against a T-1000 to save the future.
4) Spectre – November 6
007 makes his return in his 24th film and Daniel Craig’s fourth outing. A cryptic message sends James Bond (Daniel Craig) into the layers of a sinister organization known as SPECTRE. While M fights political pressure that threaten the future of MI6, Bond gets closer to uncovering a hidden truth that threatens to destroy everything he has sought to protect. The return of SPECTRE to the current James Bond timeline is a spectacular decision and could help build on the success brought on by Skyfall.
3) Avengers: Age of Ultron – May 1
Earth’s Mightest Heroes return to defend our world against a threat of their own creation, or more of Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr) creation. With S.H.I.E.L.D. destroyed and the Avengers needing a break from stopping threats around the world, Tony Stark jumpstarts a dormant peacekeeping program with Ultron (voiced by James Spader), a self-aware, self-teaching, artificial intelligence. When Ultron decides that humans are the main enemy and seeks to eliminate the human race. Iron Man, Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and the rest of the Avengers, along with the support of Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) seek to stop the Ultron. Along the way, our heroes encounter the miracle twins, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen) and the familiar Vision (Paul Bettany). Looking at the trailer, this film has a certain Empire Strikes Back feel to it and that’s not a bad thing at all.
2) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 – November 20
The Hunger Games film saga comes to an end with Mockingjay Part II. Mockingjay – Part I did a great job, setting the stage for the conclusion. After being officially symbolized as the “Mockingjay”, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), her friends, and District 13 wage an all-out revolution against President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and the Capitol. Where Mockingjay – Part 1 ended, I’m interested to see how they will end the series and how close to author’s Suzanne Collins book the film will stay.
1) Star Wars: The Force Awakens – December 18
It was close but the return of Star Wars tops the list. The film is set thirty years after the events of Return of the Jedi. We’ve all seen the preview by now and seeing two of the possible new three leads (John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Oscar Issac) who will join the returning characters from the original trilogy. I’m looking forward to seeing the next preview, hoping for a glimpse of Han, Leia, or Luke. We’re promised stormtroopers, a return to Tattooine, and the Millennium Falcon takes flight again…and let’s not forget that red badass lightsaber wielded by Sith Lord Kylo Ren. May the Force be with You!
Happy New Year again and Happy Movie Going!