February 22, 2015 by Vinnie Leduc
If you’re anything like us here at MediaStinger, 2015 marks a highly anticipated year in general, and not just for movies. That’s because the future is officially here!… or at least the most memorable, definitive, and beloved cinematic version of it. With some current gaming tech surpassing the hands-free arcade expectations in Back to the Future Part II, self-lacing Nikes on the way later this year, but nothing close to hoverboards on the horizon, we looked ahead at some of the most exciting films 2015 has to offer.
Whenever we reveal our annual list of most anticipated movies for the upcoming calendar year, the great thing is that in honor of the last number of the date increasing +1, we can add one more title to each list. But before we discuss our top 15 of 2015, check out another set of 15 flicks that could make some noise in our list of honorable mentions: Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin), Cinderella, Entourage, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, In the Heart of the Sea, Inside Out, The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, Minions, Pixels, San Andreas, Sinister 2, Steve Jobs, Taken 3, Ted 2, and Tomorrowland.
First things first: The Marvel movies. Stan Lee’s comic book creations simply dominate the blockbuster market nowadays in their own shared cinematic universe. When they all came together as The Avengers, the crowd-pleasing super-superhero movie only shattered records and grossed more money than anything not named Avatar or Titanic. That pretty much locks in the upcoming sequel reunion Avengers: Age of Ultron, which already looks awesome by its own merit in the trailer.
Wrapping up Phase Two as the twelfth official entry in the Marvel
Cash Printing Machine Cinematic Universe is Ant-Man, which only hardcore comic book nerds can tell you about. Despite the strong comedic background with lead Paul Rudd (who also co-write the screenplay with Adam McKay) and director Peyton Reed (Bring It On, The Break Up, Yes Man), the teaser for Ant-Man comes off as a bit underwhelming. But then again, so did the trailers for Guardians of the Galaxy, which was actually excellent and became a massive success in every way fathomable. So what the hell do we know? We’d have to be crazy to bet against Marvel’s Pixar-like winning streak, so on a related note, the Fantastic Four reboot will probably be great, too. It’s not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and may be unnecessary and too early for a retelling, but so was The Amazing Spider-Man, and look at how that worked out.
The only movie to gross more than Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014 was the most recent Hunger Games. The young adult adaptation series, which has been quite good, will try to go out with one last bang this fall. People of all ages will undoubtedly flock to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 to bid farewell to Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen, and those who didn’t read the books will want to find out how it all ends.
How it all ends apparently is still in question if you’re John Connor. How it all begins is murky as well, according to the trailer for Terminator Genisys. It’s like the changed 1985 of Back to the Future Part 2, and major things in the past are different, most notably that Khaleesi is Sarah Connor and T-1000 is Asian. But what really makes this a must-see is that Arnold’s back! He said he’d be back, and it looks like he really is this time, and not as a CGI cameo. Schwarzenegger even looks conspicuously aged in one part. So what the hell is going on here? As long as Arnie and the Resistance manage to erase Terminator Salvation along the way, we’ll be happy.
We’ll move on to another movie in which humanity’s survival may depend on something not human. Chappie, Oscar nominated writer/director Neill Blomkamp’s third feature film, chronicles a sentient child-like robot and seems like a cross between E.T. and Terminator. Apparently this learning computer is a key component of saving mankind, and we don’t care if CHAPPiE ends up kissing Hugh Jackman or defeats his enemies with virtual tears. That’s because District 9 was a sci-fi masterpiece, Elysium was still pretty cool, and that’s good enough for us to see Chappie.
Not much is known about multi-Oscar winner Quentin Tarantino’s next and eighth film, The Hateful Eight. A script leak last year led to the writer/director announcing the cancellation of the project, but Tarantino has since decided to proceed with what’s sure to be a violent and voluble affair. Some regular collaborators in the cast include seasoned bad-asses like Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, and Michael Madsen.
Mad Max returns three decades after the end of Oscar winner George Miller’s action trilogy. Replacing Mel Gibson in the lead role is Tom Hardy, who’s also joined by Oscar winner Charlize Theron and rising star Nicholas Hoult. Okay, so Miller’s Academy Award was actually for the animated family flick Happy Feet, but that won’t matter once you’ve experienced the latest insane trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road.
Blazing toward the finale of its own incredible road will be seventh Fast and the Furious film, the likely conclusion of the massively popular action series that began with illegal local street racing and has since evolved into international heists and spectacular displays of vehicular stunts. All eyes will be on Furious 7 because not only did Fast & Furious 6 tie up the franchise’s timeline-shifting story arc with an explosive and stunning stinger that set the table perfectly, but moviegoers will also want to see how Furious 7 recovers from Paul Walker’s tragic death mid-production, which delayed the film’s release to this year.
Almost everyone who grew up in the ’90s had a sweet collection of Goosebumps books and watched the show on TV after school. Seeing the return of classics in 2015 such as A Night in Terror Tower, The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight, and Night of the Living Dummy are sure to bring back fond memories for those who once couldn’t get enough of the series during their childhood. Starring Jack Black and directed by Rob Letterman, the same team responsible for 2010’s poorly received Gulliver’s Travels, the latest take on R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps source material could be hit or miss… viewer, beware!
2015 will also showcase a trio of spy movies that all look to impress. The longest running film series in history continues with Spectre, the 24th James Bond movie by Eon Productions. Daniel Craig reprises his role as the iconic 007, who’s up against a villain played by multi-Oscar winner Christoph Waltz. Just as big of news is that returning to direct (after initially declining) is Oscar winner Sam Mendes, who is often credited for the overwhelming critical and commercial success of predecessor Skyfall.
Hitting IMAX screens this summer before Bond is the sequel to Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, our pick for best action/adventure movie a few years ago. Only adding to our anticipation is that Mission: Impossible 5 will be directed by Tom Cruise collaborator and Oscar winner Christopher McQuarrie, best known for his amazing work on The Usual Suspects and last year’s underrated Edge of Tomorrow. Will this be the year that Cruise officially passes the torch to fellow multi-Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner? Or will he re-invent Ethan Hunt and put off self-destruction for another time?
Possibly turning the spy genre on its head is Kingsman: The Secret Service. Although early looks didn’t exactly blow everyone away, later footage and marketing have captured the attention and curiosity of cinephiles. Armed with an R-rating and some Oscar-winning support in Colin Firth and Michael Caine, Kingsman‘s secret weapon is probably director Matthew Vaughn, who’s no stranger to various action styles (Layer Cake and X-Men: First Class) and surprising humorous comic book adaptations (Kick-Ass). And Samuel L. Jackson’s in this, too. Can’t hurt.
One movie we know Sam Jack won’t be in this year, thanks to his ill-fated demise in the classic original, is Jurassic World. The teaser shows that the DNA of this long overdue sequel seems to be closest to that of the 1993 masterpiece than the other pair of sequels. Oh, the familiar score… the unsuspecting and enthusiastic children… the on-staff skeptic who knows better… this is basically Jurassic Park 2.0, as John Hammond imagined it. Including a Shamu/Tilikum-style feeding show! I wish this place were real.
Less than a week after the Jurassic World teaser was released last November, another teaser essentially sent all of our dino fantasies to extinction. It’s really no contest. One of the most beloved and popular franchises of all time returns to the silver screen at the end of the year. That alone is more than enough to fill up the hype machine. But this new trilogy is vastly different from the polarizing prequel trilogy. We knew the end game the entire time as we suffered through Jar Jar Binks’ absurdity and Anakin’s whining; we don’t know what happens to the gang after Return of the Jedi. This time we’ll still get to see some of that gang in the upcoming Star Wars. And where will J.J. Abrams, whom fans trust more than George Lucas himself, take us? Wherever it is, it will almost certainly be worthwhile. Look at what Abrams did with the recent Star Trek movies. Even though he wasn’t a Trekkie by any means, Abrams made two excellent Star Trek movies (maybe masterpieces themselves!) that respectfully and reverently fell in line with the franchise canon all while creating new fans (ourselves included) in new generations. That is an astounding achievement. Now imagine what he could do with the rival sci-fi franchise that he preferred and loved growing up.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is MediaStinger’s Most Anticipated Movie of 2015.