2015 has got some BIG releases. Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Wars: Episode 7 – The Force Awakens, Furious 7, The Hunger Games: MockingJay Part 2 and the as yet unnamed Bond 24. There are, however, a lot of other films to be excited about. I’m going to take a look at some the films you might no know too much about, and some of the blockbusters that people are already hating on, and explain why I’m excited to see them.
It seems like everybody already hates this film. I get it, while I personally got some enjoyment out of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, and Terminator Salvation, there’s not a lot of love for this franchise’s more recent entries. But look at it this way, Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day are among the best sci-fi action films of all time. Some would even say the best films of all time. That gives this franchise a 50/50 hit rate at greatness. Ok, I’m not expecting Genisys to be a game changing, James Cameron level classic, but I think it’s going to at least be good fun. As long as they give Arnie a couple of good lines, and not much else, he should be great, and I still think Jai Courtney has leading man potential. And let’s not forget Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, Matt Smith and J.K. Simmons, who have all impressed in their respective films and tv shows. This one seems like a no brainer to me.
The trailer for Chappie was recently released, and while it didn’t blow anyone away, when you think about it, it’s not that kind of film. What the trailer did show was that the film has an interesting story, which is going to have a balance of comedy and drama. I’m still firmly on the Neill Blomkamp bandwagon, and while some people had issues with his most recent film, Elysium, there’s one thing that can’t be argued. He has great sci-fi ideas, and there’s sure to be at least one or two cool and unexpected moments in there.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Something I think worth mentioning when talking about Mad Max: Fury Road, is how different it’s going to be from your standard action / blockbuster film. Firstly, there’s the setting. The Australian outback. There have been a few films to use that setting this year alone, but they’re not really comparable. The Inbetweeners 2 was a low brow comedy and The Rover was… not too sure what The Rover was, but it certainly wasn’t an action adventure. Secondly, large parts of the film are going to be silent, or have little to no dialogue. The only way you can pull that off is if you have great actors, and with Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron heading up the cast, that could mean there are some very interesting sequences. On top of that, the amount of practical effects and stunt work that’s been done is sure to make for a great spectacle. Yes, this film has been delayed a number of times due to extensive re-shoots, but wouldn’t you rather they took the time and got it right?
Why have so many people already written off the Wachowskis? I know you can’t ride out a whole career on one film, but The Matrix was, and still is truly incredible. And the two sequels, which are often slated for for not living up to the original’s greatness, are still enjoyable films with fantastic, well filmed action, and intelligent storytelling. And what about the rest of their films? Ok, Speed Racer was a tough watch, but if you look past the over the top styling, the story is well told in a non-linear fashion. And look at Cloud Atlas, the two story segments set in future sci-fi worlds were definitely the strongest, as that’s where the Wachowskis feel most at home. On top of that, this is their first time directing an original project since The Matrix, which for me is a good sign. It will also be another chance to watch Sean Bean die on screen (probably), which has become an important part of the annual cinema going experience.
The Fantastic Four
Ok, just hear me out. 20th Century Fox (the studio behind this upcoming reboot) have changed a lot about the Fantastic Four for this film. The changes to the characters are interesting to say the least, and the casting choices have all been odd, and certainly different. But look what happened when they made films that stuck quite closely to the comic book roots. Two pretty poor films with few redeeming qualities. The only way this reboot was ever going to work was if they made some big changes, and boy have they. One of the biggest complaints about the way the film is coming together is how young the cast are, but if you had to cast young people, the five actors they’re got to play the title heroes and their nemesis, Doctor Doom, are pretty much as good as you could hope for. Finally, look at X-Men: Days of Future Past. If Fox put that much care and attention into the making of this film, there’s a chance The Fantastic Four could surprise a lot of people.
The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials
I was really surprised at how much I liked The Maze Runner, and I think a lot of other people were as well. I’ll admit that announcing a sequel moments after the first film was released, and for only a year away, does seem like a bit of a cash grab, but if the necessary talent is involved, a year should be plenty of time to make a film as good as the first. Also, with sequels to films that over perform comes a significant budget increase, which the expansion of the universe these films are set in could really benefit from. The best thing about the first Maze Runner was the mystery and the unanswered questions, and I can’t wait to get some answers, and probably a lot more questions.
Mission: Impossible 5
Why is nobody talking about this? Mission: Impossible 3 is, in my opinion, a near perfect action film. It’s well paced, with non stop excitement, the supporting cast are all great, and the story has good elements that unfold throughout. The only thing better than Mission: Impossible 3? Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Well, that’s up for debate, but what’s clear is that the two most recent films in the franchise have been great, and there’s no reason to believe the fifth installment will be any different.
This is another film that nobody’s really talking about. It’s easy for comedies to get forgotten during the blockbuster discussion (I’m guilty of it in this very article), but Ted was really funny, maybe even one of the surprise highlights of 2012. It really benefited from an interesting third act (plug plug plug), which is usually the place comedies fall short. With the same talent in front of and behind the camera, there’s no reason Ted 2 shouldn’t be just a funny.
Some people have lost faith in Ridley Scott. Some of his more recent films haven’t been his best work, The Counsellor, Prometheus and Robin Hood all being received with mixed feelings at best. But let’s look past those for a minute, and think about all of the great work he’s done in the past. Gladiator, Blade Runner, Alien, Thelma and Louise, Legend, Black Hawk Down, Hannibal and American Gangster are all very high quality, and some of them are even considered classics. On top of that, his new film, Exodus: Gods and Kings, looks like it’s going to be stunning. All we really know about The Martian at this point is it’s cast, and what a brilliant group of actors it is. Matt Damon is the lead, with Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean (a second chance to see him do his usual routine?), Chiwitel Ejiofor, Michael Peña and Kristen Wiig all having supporting roles. I for one am more than excited for a Ridley Scott space adventure with a stellar cast.
So there’s my list of nine films I think aren’t getting the recognition they deserve, or are getting the recognition but for the wrong reasons, but which films are you excited about and why?
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