I like to take time every year to look at what is coming, and what there is to look forward to entertainment-wise lurking just over the horizon. For an entertainment junkie like myself, these are like the major highs I look forward to. When I populate these lists, I look not for artsy flicks, or obvious Oscar bait. Rather, I look for things that I hope to be jolts to the pleasure centers of my brain. I think back to things like the Battle of New York from the Avengers, and my mind goes into convulsions of pleasure. This is the kind of psychological high that I am seeking. I want something that is simultaneously fun, and offers up more than just mere spectacle. It is for that reason, that a Michael Bay film is not likely to ever show up on the list.
It should be said, that I am also quite prone to fits of nostalgia. Which is why the original Transformers initially appealed to me. It is also what will often draw me to a movie that I know will be awful. Some of the movies that you will see on this list, I have chosen partially because I am eager to see how awful they will turn out.
The release dates of all of these movies were determined using this site. Dates are subject to change. Any movie on this list that doesn't come out this year, will be reviewed at such time as they are released. My goal is to review these films within approximately one week of their release. Due to my work schedule, I can not guarantee a perfectly timely posting. I will post them as I am able. The movies on this list are listed in chronological order, not based on how eager I am to see them. If I had to be fully honest, Avengers would naturally top my list of most anticipated films. So, without further delay, shall we dive into the list?
KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE (FEBRUARY 13th) - From the Director of Kick-Ass, based on a graphic novel by the writer of Kick-Ass. This sounds like it could ... Kick ass? From some of the trailers I've seen, this is looking like it could be a fun diversion as the winter starts to draw to a close. I can only hope that this team can bring back the fun and energy of the first Kick-Ass, this will bring a wonderful energy to a notoriously lackluster time of year.
CHAPPIE (MARCH 6th)- For me, Neill Blomkamp has about a 50/50 success rate. As a director with only 2 films under his belt, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here. District 9 was a huge accomplishment, taking a small-ish budget, and putting out a rather amazing film. Elysium on the other hand came off as an entirely too heavy-handed message-driven film. Chappie will give me a chance to see which one of these films was the odd film out. The trailer I have seen doesn't give me much to go on, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will be another District 9, and not another Elysium.
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (MAY 1st)- Honestly... Do I even need to explain why I am looking forward to this? The first time the Avengers will be back on the screen together in 3 years. It also introduces one of my favorite characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Scarlet Witch). Add in the excitement of seeing one of the most dangerous villains the Avengers have ever faced, and there is almost no way this film can fail to disappoint me. Toss in the excitement for all that the MCU has planned for the next several years, and there is just too much excitement for words going into this.
JURASSIC WORLD (JUNE 12th)-This is one of those films that I am a little iffy on. On the one hand, I loved the first Jurassic Park movie. On the other hand, it had two relatively shitty sequels. This is not necessarily the best track record for a series, and in all honesty would generally be a perfect reason for me to say, to hell with this shit. I'm going to give this one a chance, if for no other reason than Chris Pratt has earned a pass after the awesomeness of Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as the OKness of the Lego Movie. Also, Dinosaurs... My inner 10 year-old is digging the dinosaurs.
INSIDE OUT (JUNE 19th)- A yes, Pixar returns with a vengeance this year, after taking 2014 off. Coming out with 2 films, which pretty much guarantees that one of them I will actually like. Considering this is not a sequel to that damnable Cars franchise, I have high hopes that this will be a good one. Also, the idea of having anthropomorphic emotions seems like an interesting off-the-wall idea that could make for some good times. After seeing the trailer below, my hopes have actually gone up quite a bit.
TERMINATOR: GENISYS (JULY 1st)- I know what you are thinking. You're thinking "Frank, why would this be on your list? Rise of the Machines and Salvation were utter shit!" I'll not waste time denying that. Also, I will not waste time pretending I believe that this is going to be a good movie. What I will say, is that I am interested to see how this movie deals with the complete overflow of paradoxical timelines that the Terminator series has created. Based on the trailers, the mucking up of the timeline is pretty much what this movie addresses. So... Here's to hoping it is less shitty than the last two Terminators... right?
MINIONS (JULY 10th)- I don't care what anyone says. The minions are a lot of fun. After 2 Despicable Me films, I'm kind of happy to see them shedding the dead weight of all those unnecessary characters, and focusing on the true heart and soul of those films. These little yellow guys amuse me to no ends, and I am not afraid to admit that. I am rather eager to see how they create a movie around incomprehensible characters, and try to create a cohesive narrative around that. Fortunately, I only have to wait about 7 months to find out if they can do this well... Keeping my fingers crossed for more Minion Songs.
ANT-MAN (JULY 17th)- This is one of the films that I've gone back and forth on. When I originally heard about it, I was a little ambivalent. When I heard Edgar Wright was attached, I got a little excited. When Edgar left, I was less excited. When I found out that it focused on Scott Lang, and not Hank Pym, I raged. Then I remembered Hank Pym was a wife-beating son of a bitch, so I mellowed out some... In the end, Guardians of the Galaxy was what clinched this one for me. I figure if Marvel can take a group of Z-list heroes, and turn them into one of the most fun movie experiences in years, they will be able to do right by this character as well. Sadly, no trailer yet exists for this one... Which makes me a little sad. Start building up the anticipation, Marvel! (Update 1/7/15: Teaser Premiered last night, and it looks fantastic!)
POLTERGEIST (JULY 24th)- I honestly had not heard anything about this film, until I was looking at the release dates for the year. When I saw this title, and saw it was a remake of one of the first "horror" films I ever saw, I was a little worried. But, the nostalgia bug hit me, and I ended up watching the original again. I thought to myself, "How awesome would this movie be, with special effects that actually looked good?" Then I came back to look at the remake, and I said, "Why the hell not?" As no trailer exists for this one, either, consider my excitement level slightly above neutral. A legit trailer should serve to either increase my excitement, or send me into a full-blown geek rage. We shall wait and see.
THE FANTASTIC 4 (AUGUST 7th)- Speaking of movies that I want to see just to see how awful they will be, Fantastic 4 jumps to the top of the list. After a shitty movie starring Jessica Alba, and a shittier sequel, also starring Jessica Alba, they decided to scrap that entire universe, and start from scratch. In this latest reboot, from the rumors and such that have leaked, I am left to wonder if the writer has ever seen a Fantastic Four comic, or if they might just secretly hate comic book fans. Considering all I know about the film right now, is a cast list, as well as a handful of sometimes conflicting rumors, I can't say for sure... All I know, is that if this one tanks, I can only hope Marvel Studios muscles in, buys back the rights, and locks this property away in a vault, far far away from the touch of any other screenwriter...
THE GOOD DINOSAUR (NOVEMBER 25th)- The second Pixar movie of the year, is actually a movie that was so off, that Pixar scrapped it once, and pushed it off over a year! Yeah... That's what actually has me interested. Pixar realized they were making a shitty movie, and said "Whoa! Hold up there guys. We're stopping this, and putting it off until next year. Get your shit together, assholes!" Think of how great things could be if more movie studios realized how awful the swill they were putting out made Roger Corman look like the greatest director ever... Yep, that's right. If more studios were ran like this Michael Bay would be out of a job! Do you hear that Hollywood? Make this happen! No trailer was found for this film either...
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (DECEMBER 18th)- And the list ends, on what should arguably be the least likely film to show up on this list. Lets take a look at the Star Wars movie track record shall we?
- A New Hope. Fun times, a great little sci-fantasy tale.
- Star Wars Christmas Special... BURN IT! BURN IT WITH FIRE
- The Empire Strikes Back. Great Sequel. Expands on the original perfectly.
- Return of the Jedi. OK... The Ewoks kind of ruined things. Need less Ewoks.
- Caravan of Courage. I said Less Ewoks, Lucas...
- The Battle for Endor. For the love of... LESS EWOKS! Try something different!
- The Phantom Menace. Fuck you Jar Jar... Now I actually miss the Ewoks.
- Attack of the Clones. Seriously? Anakin Skywalker apparently learned to act from a tree.
- Revenge of the Sith. Honestly... this one was almost good. ...Almost.
- The Clone Wars. This... this deserves a facepalm. Shitty animation makes me sad.
So yes, of the 10 movies I can remember, (well... 9 and a Holiday special so awful that it deserved special recognition) only 4 of them are actually watchable... That is not a good track record. So, when a sequel trilogy was announced, and the most recent films were utter shit (with one exception) what hope can there be? Furthermore, putting another sci-fi tale in the hands of JJ Abrams seems to be a bad call... I can see it now, in the new trilogy the Force is actually caused by lens flare... However, when push comes to shove, I am a junkie. I love Star Wars, even if it is shitty. And after JJ made Star Trek actually mildly enjoyable to me, I am giving him the benefit of the doubt. We shall see whether the Force Awakens, or should be put to sleep in almost a year.
So there you have it... The films that I am looking forward to in 2015. Do you agree? Disagree? Is there something I missed? Sound off in the comments. Hit me up on Twitter, or berate me on Facebook!