Now that 2014 is drawing to a close, I am setting my sights on the future. However, upon reflection on the year, I see many missed opportunities. Of my most anticipated films of 2014, only two of them really wowed me. The rest were either good or passable, but they were missing that extra spark. I believe that 2015 will be one of the finest years in cinema, and I truly hope that I am right. Listed below are my top 10 most anticipated films of 2015. I tried to do a mix of lesser known films with films that are more well known.
UPDATE: I will post my scores next to the anticipated films so we could see how my expectations aligned with the actual product.
This film looks like it could be a lot of fun. I do not know too much about the plot, but it seems like it will be a mix of Men in Black meets Wizard of Oz. The teaser trailer certainly had my attention, and the inclusion of George Clooney only makes me more excited for the film. Hopefully it turns out to be great.
9. Jurassic World
Of all the films on this list, I am most concerned about this one. While I love the talent in front of and behind the camera, there is something about the film that spells trouble. There was a bit too much CGI, and I am afraid that the plot will be too reminiscent of the original film. Also, the dinosaurs do not look quite as convincing as they once did. All that aside, the film does look promising. I love the concept, and I hope they pull it off.
This films has such a strong cast it is hard not to put it on the list. Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac are both talented actors, and I think they will work very well together. Not only that, but the plot looks very interesting. Instead of focusing on visual effects (which do look very good) the film seems to be more interesting in the philosophical nature of Artificial Intelligence. Color me interested.
Marvel is at it again. After releasing two strong films in 2014, Marvel is on the rise. Aside for the new Avengers film, Ant-Man looks fairly interesting. Unfortunately, my interest in the film has wavered a bit since the departure of Edgar Wright. However, that does not mean I have lost complete interest in the film. The cast is solid, and I do believe that it will surprise audiences. Hopefully it is as good as it looks.
Another year has arrived, and now it is time for yet another Bond film. What makes me so excited about this one is that Sam Mendes is back to direct once more. He did a great job with Skyfall, and I can only hope that he will do an even better one with Spectre. Not only is he back, but so are some of the new cast members Skyfall. Even Christoph Waltz has joined the cast, which is never a bad thing. The plot of the film is under wraps so it is hard to make a full evaluation of the film, but if it is on the same level as Skyfall, it should be just fine.
I love District 9. While most people may not like Elysium, I certainly did. Now Neill Blomkamp is back with another film, and it looks great. Unlike his previous two films it seems like it has more of a sense of humor. It seems like the message of the film will be on-par with Blomkamp’s previous two films. I am hoping that it maintains the storytelling from District 9, but the cinematography and effects of Elysium.
4. Mad Max
Now we are getting to the heavy hitters. These are the films that make me so excited for 2015, and I hope I look back on them as one of the highlights of the year. Now this trailer was awesome. It looks like the film is going to have a nice blend of practical effects and visual effects. Tom Hardy looks great, and Charlize Theron looks amazing. The visuals look breathtaking, and it just looks like a really fun film. The trailers have even made me revisit the older films so I could connect more with the new one, and so far I am liking what I am seeing. However, I think this one has the potential to be the best Mad Max film thus far.
3. The Hateful Eight
Whenever someone asks me who my favorite director is, Tarantino always ends up as a finalist. He may not be my favorite, but he is certainly one of them, as well as one of the best working directors today. I can not even think of one of his films that I did not like. He has such a great track record, so I hope it continues with The Hateful Eight. He has a great cast, a great setting, and with his writing and direction, it should be a great film. Tarantino’s last film was a spaghetti western and he did a great job with it, therefore I think this film is in sure hands.
2. The Avengers: Age of Ultron
A bit predictable? Perhaps, but it is no less true. This film looks amazing. I liked the first Avengers film, but upon further review, it does lack in many areas. The plot is bland, the characters are a bit contrived, but it seems like this second installment will right all those wrongs. The cinematography looks gorgeous, the tone looks darker, the villain looks deep, and the music (if it is anything like it is on their site) seems much better. The Avengers is far from a perfect film, but it did something that no other superhero film has done. I hope Age of Ultron moves forward with a more well rounded film.
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
No surprise here. This is the best trailer of 2014, and it looks like it could be the best blockbuster of 2015. The Star Wars films are a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, I love the original trilogy. The series definitely peaked at Empire Strikes Back, and the prequel trilogy brought the series down to its’ lowest point. Now, the series has a chance to reinvent itself, and I think that is exactly what it is doing. J.J. Abrams seems to have the visuals down, and the tone looks appropriate. It also looks like there is a nice blend of modern “J.J.” techniques with old school Star War techniques. I am so very excited for this film, and I just hope it is as good as it looks and as good as I want it to be. I definitely think it has the potential to be both, so time will tell.