Our Ten’s List: Most Anticipated Movies of 2015.
It’s time to shake off the winter doldrums and start getting excited about all of the great movies 2015 has in store for us. We gather up our top
ten eleven most anticipated films of the new year (that’s right, we’re giving you a bonus pick this year, or as I like to call it the “Keanu Dozen.” Because it’s less than a dozen. By one. So, you know, not really a dozen. Deal with it.) If an upcoming movie is on your hot list but fails to make ours, why not put it in the comments? If you see a movie here you’re sure is going to be a stinker, why not dig a hole in your backyard and scream into it? That way we all win.
Most Anticipated Films of 2015
10. Star Wars Episode 7, The Force Awakens (December)
The prequels put the force to sleep harder than Joe Pesci’s money in Casino. Well, J.J. Abrams better wake that fucking force up, or fans are going to put his brain to sleep. This film earns its spot at number ten by virtue of how many times I saw The Phantom Menace, filled with hope and longing, desperately willing it to be good (fucking pod racing!) There’s a lot of bad blood and broken promises to be set right in the galaxy far far away. While the trailer hinted at some of the wonder of the Star Wars universe we grew up loving, it has a long way to go before I’m going to get properly excited for it. Prove me wrong, Star Wars, prove me wrong.
9. Mad Max: Fury Road (May)
Another franchise seeing a belated sequel, Mad Max also has a lot of ground to cover in order to become an absolute must see film. It helps that the movie synopsis sounds as deliciously whacked out as The Road Warrior, and that Tom Hardy seems perfect for the role of Max. Charlize Theron is a formidable actress, which also bodes well for this iteration of diesel soaked destruction set in the Australian Outback. Once again, we really have only the trailer to go on at this point, and it failed to grab me in a big way. Hopefully our next look at this film makes a bigger splash.
8. Pan (July)
Our latest journey into Never Never Land is Peter’s first, making this film technically a prequel…but it sure doesn’t feel that way. Director Joe Wright has tackled mostly stately adaptations of classical works of literature such as Pride and Prejudice and Anne Karenina in the past, which may seem like a liability but actually adds a strong visual style to this project. This bleeds over into a lush and gorgeous depiction of Never Land, juxtaposed with a brooding and squalid London. Pan’s life story appears to be a fusion of Oliver Twist and Treasure Island. Time will tell if this is project will swash our buckles like Robin William’s fantastic Hook, or swab the poop deck like the dud Cutthroat Island. Hugh Jackman stars as Blackbeard, and Levi Miller is the titular Peter Pan.
7. Straight Outta Compton (August)
Dre, Eazy, Cube, Ren and Yella, the founding members of Compton’s genre defining rap group, N.W.A., are given the biopic treatment this summer. Director F. Gary Gray is intimately knowledgeable of the early days of gansta rap’s genesis, having produced music videos throughout the 1990’s for both Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. Dre and Cube both contributed to the creation of this film, which bodes well for its authenticity. Gray has worked on several cool and polished films, notably Friday, Be Cool, and Set it Off. His penchant for slick dialogue and plot twists may be just the right style for capturing the story of a group that found itself fighting amongst its members as often as against society. (My only caveat for this film is that somebody is playing Warren G, so we better not have to sit through that piece of shit song Regulators.)
6. The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron (May)
Has anybody out there not heard that the second Avengers movie is coming out this year? Anybody plan on skipping it? Yeah, me neither. I’m a little disappointed that the trailer once again hints that the most dangerous enemy facing our pantheon of superheroes is their own petty egos and squabbles, but I have to give Marvel props for making the song from Pinocchio into a lilting horror. Oh, and Ultron looks pretty cool as well. I just hope Loki doesn’t show up in this one (sorry Tom Hiddleston, you’re just not scary anymore.)
5. Beasts of No Nation (TBA)
Lacking a firm release date is usually a warning flag that a film may fail to make the calender year, or fail to make theaters altogether. I hope that Beasts of No Nation doesn’t meet this fate, as the story of Agu, a child soldier forced to fight in a horrific guerrilla war in West Africa is timely, tragic, and gripping. Based upon Uzodinma Iweala’s book of the same name and directed by Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) and starring Idris Elba, look for Beasts of No Nation to make a big splash when it does release.
4. Spectre (November)
Bond is back, and in this film so is the iconic super-villain club, Spectre, looking to destroy the world and the one secret agent who can thwart them (and usually sleep with all of their female operatives in the process.) Returning to the title role is Daniel Craig, who looks just as stern and full of rage as ever. The previous Bond trilogy established Craig as a full fledged agent, and set into place all of the iconic MI6 components fans have come to expect of the franchise: the stern boss M (Ralph Fiennes), the quirky gadget man Q, and the alluring and aloof handler Moneypenny (Naomie Harris). With all the pieces in place, the only remaining element is a villain worthy of Bond’s talents. Sam Mendes returns to direct after his excellent last effort with 2012’s Skyfall.
3. The Revenant (December)
There’s something about films set in the American frontier that just intrigue me. I’ll re-watch movies of questionable quality like Ravenous a dozen times. Westerns are some of my favorite films, but there’s something more to it than just the grand myth of the gun slinging cowboy. The sheer oppressive weight of all that frontier nothingness is surreal and deeply unsettling, and there is a real tension of barely concealed danger. Out on the range, man is no longer the lord of creation, and folks who grew up playing The Oregon Trail know how quickly situations can become dire when you’re all alone in the wilderness. This all makes The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, a must see for me. A fur trapper named Hugh Glass is mauled and left for dead in the wild, and must struggle to survive and find vengeance. Director Alejandro Inarritu creates stylish and compressed narratives that are often as strange and beautiful as the terrain of the American frontier. I can’t wait.
2. Crimson Peak (October)
Director Guillermo Del Torro returns to his horror roots in this years most highly anticipated thriller, Crimson Peak. Starring Mia Wasikowska (Jayne Eyre, Alice in Wonderland) as a 19th century author who discovers her new husband (Tom Hiddleston) is keeping a potentially devilish secret. Details beyond the cast and setting (a crumbling manor in the north of England) are hard to come by, which has only stoked my interest in this horror flick. Del Toro has created wonderfully macabre worlds before, and his first dabble at horror, The Devil’s Backbone, was a delightfully creepy tale. With a big budget and great cast, I have high hopes for this one.
1. The Martian (November)
This is hands down my most anticipated film of the year. Developed from an excellent book by Andy Weir, it follows the adventures of Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon,) a NASA astronaut stranded on the red planet after a lethal dust storm separates him from the rest of his crew. Left for dead, Watney must cobble together the remaining gear from his team’s aborted mission in order to survive. Meticulously researched, this story is hard Sci-Fi, where everything is made as realistic as humanly possible. Each survival decision by Watney creates new problems, as he often has to re-purpose his gear in ingenious ways to stay alive. Hopefully the film adaptation preserves not only this sense of tension, but also the abundant wonder found in the novel, and also the fantasticly wry sense of humor of Weir’s solo protagonist. Look for this film to be 2015’s Gravity.
*Bonus Round*: Daughter of God (TBA)
It’s not a top ten list until I get Keanu into it, so here’s my bonus pick. Mr. Reeves is having a bit of a Renaissance lately coming off of the sleeper hit, John Wick. He’s slated for three films this year, and Daughter of God is by far the most appealing of the trio. A desperate police detective is looking into the death of his partner when he comes across the story of a young Latina woman who is plagued by odd visions after experiencing a miracle. This could be a terse film about a broken man who is willing to hijack a young woman’s faith in order to find closure…or I could be wayyyy over-reading into this project. Either way, you’ll find me there on opening day, supporting my boy Keanu.
Join us next time as we grab our ankles and prepare for the Top Ten Least Anticipated Movies of 2015!