It’s beginning of semester at university, which means the usual craziness and fluster as I try to prepare my lectures and coordinate my support programs at the same time. Free time is a bit of a valuable commodity at the moment, so I haven’t been doing much writing. I’ve been preserving my sanity by thinking about which movies I’m looking forward to seeing this year, and imagining those blissful hours spent sitting in the air-conditioned luxury of a cinema, rather than trying to navigate a campus of crowded, confused students on a forty-degree day. And it’s shaping up to be a pretty epic year for movies. So here’s a few movies I’m particularly excited about in 2015…
Chappie (Mar 12)
I have divided feelings about Neill Blomkamp’s oeuvre. District 9 was a pretty awesome concept, but it was mired with racial themes that has ruined my subsequent enjoyment of the film. Elysium was – again! – a fantastic concept, but the execution was a little underwhelming. Hopefully this will be Blomkamp’s chance to shine. He’s certainly a master of worldbuilding, and Chappie looks like it has a lot of potential. I’m just hoping it won’t devolve into a more militaristic reworking of The Bicentennial Man. In any case, it’ll be good to see South African rappers Die Antwoord on screen.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1)
I was backpacking around Europe in 2008 when I saw Iron Man at the Odeon cinema in Leicester Square. That single experience redefined my opinion of superhero movies. It became the first chapter of one of my favourite film franchises of all time. Seven years later, Age of Ultron will be the eleventh film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And if the increasing quality of their films is any indication, it should be pretty damn good.
The trailer below is particularly enjoyable – I love the opening scene, with the various Avengers trying to lift Thor’s hammer.
I’m pretty sure my coworkers are looking forward to this film coming out, just so I can finally see it and shut up about how excited I am. Sorry, guys.
Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15)
How could I not be excited for this? The original films are one of the high points of Australian cinema. Bogans riding around in high-powered cars is the background to my life in Perth when I’m not writing high-brow literary criticism and geeking out with my friends about the latest episode of Doctor Who. I wish my car was the Pursuit Special, but I drive a Holden Commodore. Which, technically, makes it better.
And this trailer is the most hectic thing I’ve seen for a while. Looks like George Miller finally has the budget to realize his vision. Hurray!
Tomorrowland (May 22)
Every so often, I become excited for a movie on the strength of its trailer alone. And the first teaser for Tomorrowland (featured below) left me with that sublime sense of wonder that reminds me of Golden Age Science Fiction. Director Brad Bird also The Incredibles, which is one of my favourite Pixar films. Pretty pumped for this.
Jurassic World (Jun 12)
Chris Pratt. Jurassic Park. Raptors on bikes. Do I really need to write anything more?
I guess I’ll just shamelessly plug my own website and link you through to some thoughts I had on genetic modification after watching this trailer. But, most importantly… raptors on bikes!!
Ant-Man (Jul 17)
The second of the MCU films on my list, and one that doesn’t come without feelings of apprehension. Don’t get me wrong – Hank Pym (and, yes, Scott Lang) are some of my favourite Avengers characters, and I can’t wait to see them realized in film. My concerns are primarily for the marketing of the film. Ant-Man may not be the craziest idea that Marvel have given us (the honour surely goes to Guardians of the Galaxy), but the name Ant-Man doesn’t exactly conjure up images of a valiant superhero. And it wasn’t helped by the negative press that Marvel received when original director Edgar Wright left the project under controversial circumstances. However, I’m confident Peyton Reed will do a good job; Marvel has an amazing track record of turning lesser-known superheroes into big-screen successes.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (Aug 14)
I adore films that have a swinging 1960’s aesthetic, and this looks like a enjoyable spy romp from director Guy Ritchie.
Spectre (Nov 6)
I wish the trailer would hurry up!
I’m thoroughly looking forward to director Sam Mendes’s second Bond film. Skyfall was, at least for me, one of the strong points of the series, and pitting Bond against his most infamous enemies sounds like a promising idea.
The Martian (Nov 25)
I’ve only recently heard that this film is happening. And the November release date strikes me as quite optimistic. But Andy Weir’s debut novel about an astronaut stranded on Mars was one of my favourite novels of last year (I even wrote a review), so I am looking forward to seeing how it translates into film.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Dec 18)
Of course, everything pales in comparison to Star Wars. How could it? It’s shaping up to the defining event of geekery in 2015. Having Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher back on screen is enough to guarantee the success of this movie. But I am also quite confident in the directorship of J.J. Abrams. He’s promised a return to the gritty, practical effects that defined the Original Trilogy. And he’s proven himself capable of capturing the aesthetic of another era – his Super 8 genuinely feels like a 1980’s Spielberg film.
At the very least, it’s bound to be better than the prequels.