Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Movie mania: films worth waiting for in 2015

movie mania

Another year, another attack of the franchises! Instep rounds up the most anticipated movies of this year

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
We might as well start referring to 2015 as “the year we get a new Star Wars movie”, because from the looks of it, humanity seems to be collectively counting down the days till Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be released. The wait is going to be a long one though, as the J. J. Abrams film is still almost a whole year away; Episode VII is scheduled to be out in
December. The stars of the original trilogy (Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford) are reprising their roles, joining a number of franchise newcomers (including John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, and Andy Serkis) to set off on an adventure that takes place thirty years after the events of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

Avengers: Age of Ultron
The new Avengers movie is such a massive release that even its trailer has its own trailer! A guaranteed summer blockbuster, Marvel’s Age of Ultron sees Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) team up once again to save the world. This time the villain is Ultron (James Spader), an artificial intelligence programmed with elements of Tony Stark’s personality, who decides to eradicate humans from planet Earth. Who will win – a gaggle of superheroes or a self-aware artificial intelligence with a god complex? All will be revealed this May.

The laws of Hollywood dictate that every superhero that has ever been created must have his own movie franchise. So now we get to meet Ant-Man, Marvel’s latest comic book export. The director is Peyton Reed, and the cast is led by Paul Rudd, who portrays Scott Lang, a petty criminal who acquires a substance that allows him to decrease in size but increase in strength; he then obviously sets out on a mission to save the world, because that is what superheroes do. Yes, we’d be sceptical of yet another superhero franchise, but luckily, Marvel truly is on a roll. That, coupled with our love for the very charming Paul Rudd, makes us very excited about this project.

Jurassic World
Good news for fans of giant reptiles: the dinosaurs are back! After being in development hell for over a decade, the fourth film in the popular series finally makes its way to cinemas this June, taking us back to Jurassic Park as a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur runs wild. The man of the moment Chris Pratt stars in the lead as a member of the park’s staff who will (we assume) be in charge of saving the day.

Mission: Impossible 5
If we could just stop getting distracted by Tom Cruise’s personal life, we’d have to admit that most of his recent projects have been quite enjoyable. We were particularly impressed by Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which is why we’re excited about Mission: Impossible 5. Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, and Simon Pegg are reprising their roles, and while we don’t really know much about the plot yet, we are still looking forward to this Christopher McQuarrie offering.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part II
The Hunger Games film series, as well as the books it is based on, have been one of the biggest phenomenons of recent years. The epic tale now draws to a close with Francis Lawrence’s second and final instalment of Mockingjay, as Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) leads an all-out revolution against the Capitol. Will the rebels emerge victorious? We will find out in November … or we can just read the book and find out right now. Where’s the nearest bookstore?

Furious 7
It’s time to say goodbye to Brian O’Conner, as the late Paul Walker makes his final film appearance in Furious 7. The latest release in the Fast & Furious series finds the crew chasing a man who killed one of their own and is now trying to hunt the rest of them down. Furious 7 will be in cinemas this April.

The Fantastic Four
Oh Hollywood, are you really this short on ideas? They got their own series only a decade ago, and now Mr. Fantastic (Miles Teller), The Invisible Woman (Kate Mara), The Thing (Jamie Bell), and The Human Torch (Michael B. Jordan) are back with new faces for another potential series that commences in August with the Josh Trank-directed The Fantastic Four. There’s clearly talent involved in this reboot, but couldn’t a better, more original vehicle have been developed with these resources?

Daniel Craig has had a great run as 007, and we couldn’t be more excited about his fourth outing as James Bond in November’s Spectre, the sequel to 2012’s Skyfall. In his latest adventure (which has been directed by Sam Mendes), everyone’s favourite secret agent is on a quest to reveal the truth behind a sinister organisation known as SPECTRE. Christoph Waltz plays the baddie, while Monica Bellucci and Léa Seydoux are the new bond girls.

Fifty Shades of Grey
Take a long, hard look at the world around you, then shake your head and lose faith in humanity, because it turns out that a significant portion of our species is obsessed with the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie which will be out in time for Valentine’s Day this year. Admit it, you know the “plot” (we’re using that word very loosely), you know the main cast and characters, and you’ve seen the trailer (which was, distressingly, the most viewed trailer on YouTube in 2014). We don’t really get the appeal, so we’ll just file this one under the “to each his own” category and move on.

Pitch Perfect 2
We’re looking forward to seeing the Barden Bellas again and finding out how things fare in Elizabeth Banks’ feature directorial debut when Pitch Perfect returns for a second outing this May. The main cast (Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, and Skylar Astin) is back, as the girls enter an international acapella competition. The film will hopefully deliver some laughs, just like its surprisingly enjoyable predecessor did.

We’re embarrassed by how much we used to enjoy this television series, and now its cast will be seen in a feature film set to hit the big screen this June. Creator Doug Ellin reunites Vince (Adrian Grenier), E (Kevin Connolly), Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), and Drama (Kevin Dillon), as Ari (Jeremy Piven), who is now a movie producer, bankroll’s Vince’s directorial debut. Crazy hijinks ensure (we hope). Be on the lookout for a lot of celebrity cameos!

The Good Dinosaur
After being a no-show in 2014, Pixar is returning with not one but two films this year. The one we are more curious about is The Good Dinosaur, the animated movie that was supposed to be the studio’s offering last summer but was delayed after it ran into some story trouble resulting in director Bob Peterson’s removal from the project. The reimagined version makes its way to cinemas in November. Set in a world without prehistoric extinction, the film tells the story of a dinosaur named Arlo (voiced by Lucas Neff) who sets out on a quest to restore peace in the land, befriending a young human boy along the way. (Pixar’s second movie, Inside Out, will be out in June.)

Remember those small yellow creatures from Despicable Me? They’re getting their very own feature this summer! In this spin-off prequel, minions Stuart, Kevin, and Bob (all voiced by director Pierre Coffin) arrive at a villain convention in search of a new despicable master, and compete to become the henchmen for Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock) who wants to be the world’s first female super-villain. If the teasers are anything to go by, then Minions is likely to be fun for the whole family and will especially please the young ones.

The Peanuts Movie
We love Charles Schulz’s Peanuts so much that we are anticipating The Peanuts Movie with a certain level of dread. Steve Martino is in charge of the project, which will be the first feature film based on the characters in 35 years (fifth film overall). Charlie Brown (Noah Schnapp) is being sent on an epic quest, leaving us to hope and pray that the filmmaker doesn’t ruin a cherished part of our childhood. Seriously Hollywood, we would really appreciate it if you don’t stuff this one up!

Also on our radar: Brad Bird’s sci-fi mystery Tomorrowland starring George Clooney and Hugh Laurie; the fourth Mad Max film Fury Road; the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator: Genisys; the Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks Cold War thriller St. James Place; Quentin Tarantino’s Civil War Western The Hateful Eight; Ridley Scott’s Matt Damon-starring The Martian; Disney’s live-action Cinderella with Lily James; Trainwreck, the new Judd Apatow comedy; Seth McFarlane’s Ted 2; the new Tina Fey and Amy Poehler vehicle Sisters; and David O. Russell’s drama Joy, which reunites Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.

- By Sameen Amer

Instep Today, The News - 6th January, 2015 *

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