60 Films To Look Forward To In 2015 (Part 5)

This really needs no introduction now. If you’ve been with me so far, then you’ll know what this utterly pointless, but marvellously enjoyable series of posts is all about. And so, let us continue with the penultimate round of films to look forward to, that are coming our way in the year that is 2015:

41. Focus

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It feels like an eternity since we’ve seen anything really decent from Will Smith (Any After Earth defenders can go away now). Hopefully, the former Fresh Prince can get back in his groove with the latest from Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (I Love You Philip Morris, Crazy Stupid Love). Smith plays a veteran grifter who takes a young, beautiful woman under his wing, but things get complicated when they become romantically involved. Margot Robbie is the beautiful young woman, as evidenced by being young and beautiful. The first trailer promised something smart and stylish, and hopefully this will be the movie that reminds the world of why Will Smith is one of the biggest stars on the planet.

42. The Walk

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Man On Wire is without a doubt, one of the best documentaries of the last twenty years. An inspiring true story, with a wonderfully eccentric subject in Philippe Petit, the film was a remarkable story of daring do in the pursuit of artistic fulfilment. It was only a matter of time before a narrative version of Petit’s famous high wire walk across the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York made it to the screen. Robert Zemeckis is directing this one, with Joseph Gordon Levitt stepping into Petit’s shoes. Expect inspiration and just a little bit of crazy.

43. Our Kind Of Traitor

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John Le Carre have always made great source material for filmmakers. A Most Wanted Man was well received when it was released a few months ago and next year sees the release of another Le Carre adaptation. Directed by Susanna White, Traitor tells the story of a couple who find themselves lured into a Russian Oligarch’s plans to defect but are soon positioned between the Russian mob and the British Secret Service, neither of whom they can trust. Like other Le Carre adaptations, this has a stellar cast, including Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris and Damian Lewis. So expect plenty of secrets, double crossings and a whole lot “How do I know if I can trust you” talk.

44. Hail, Caesar!

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There’s always a fevered anticipation whenever another Coen Brothers movie comes out, and Hail Caesar! is no exception. Unlike their last contemplative, existential Inside Llewyn Davis, Hail Caesar sounds like one of the Coens out and out screwball comedy. George Clooney returns to the Coens fold playing Eddie Mannix, a Hollywood fixer in 1950s Hollywood working to keep the studio’s big stars in line. Once again, the Coens have assembled an incredible roster for their latest. Joining Clooney are Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Josh Brolin and Tilda Swinton.

45. The Man From U.N.C.L.E

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Before he tackles King Arthur, director Guy Ritchie is set to bring us, what will surely be a slow-mo fuelled action packed, adaptation of cult 60s spy TV show, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Current Superman, Henry Cavill steps into the shoes of Napoleon Solo, spy extraordinaire who teams up with Armie Hammer’s KGB operative to prevent a mysterious criminal organisation from working to proliferate nuclear weapons. Hugh Grant is on villain duties. With Ritchie bringing his brash, action heavy style so successfully to the world of Sherlock Holmes, there’s high hopes for what he can bring to update the classic TV show.

46. Fast and Furious 7

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After much rewriting and assistance from Paul Walker’s brothers, James Wan’s Fast and Furious 7 will finally be hitting screens next summer. With plans to “retire” Walker’s character from the series, expect this entry to be a far more sombre affair than previous entrants, but with no less cars going vroooooom, things going boom, and ridiculous vehicular warfare galore.

47. By The Sea

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It seems that Angelina Jolie has got a taste for this directing lark, with Unbroken set to be a serious awards contender later this year. Thus, it was only a matter of time before she teamed up with her husband, for this tale of a couple in 1970s France, whose marriage is slowly beginning to unravel. Just don’t go in expecting Mr and Mrs Smith 2. 

48. Frankenstein

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Another year, and yet another adaptation of Mary Shelley’s most famous work. Only this time, Paul McGuigan’s films asserts that it will be Dr. Frankenstein’s assistant, Igor, that will take centre stage, with the story of a mad scientist creating life, told from the perspective of his hunchbacked assistant. Daniel Radcliffe plays Igor, and look set to continue his trend of choosing interesting and diverse roles in his post Harry Potter career. With a script by Max Landis and with James McAvoy as Victor Frankenstein, here’s hoping that Radcliffe’s choices of diverse and interesting roles continues.

49. The Jungle Book

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Within the next two years, we’ll be getting not one but two, yes two, Jungle Book movies. The first adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s beloved work, is brought to us by director Jon Favreau. Judging by the cast and Favreau’s past forays into comic book land, it seems that his version could be more of a family affair. Bill Murray is providing the voice of Baloo, while Scarlett Johansson and Ben Kinglsey are also on hand to lend their vocal talents to the live action/CG hybrid.

50. Avengers: Age Of Ultron

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Phase 2 of Marvel’s master plan to conquer the world, culminates in arguable one of the biggest movies of next year. Yes, our titular heroes are teaming up once again to take on James Spader’s malevolent artificial intelligence Ultron, and are joined by Aaron Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Reaction from the film’s first footage at Comic-Con this past summer illicit much excitement around those lucky enough to see it. Expect explosions, great wit and explosive action. Trust me kids, this one’s gonna be big.

 

60 Films To Look Forward To In 2015 (Part 4)

And yes, here we go again. Let us continue this utterly pointless but marvellously enjoyable and much inevitable, countdown of the 60 films that you should be looking forward to in 2015. Or not, no worries. Not everything can be everyone’s cup of tea:

31. Terminator: Genisys

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As soon as he announced he was returning to acting full time, it was only a matter of time before former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, would return to the franchise that made him one of the biggest stars on the planet. After the somewhat lacklustre cash-in entries that was Rise of the Machines and Salvation, you would be forgiven for being wholly skeptical around this newest entry, which purports to bring more to the franchise, other than nostalgias and bad spelling. The plot is said to take points from the original movies, but it’s not a direct remake, but a sort of reboot/continuation thing. With Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor, Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese, it could be that Terminator: Genisys is headed the the same time travel/alternate timeline malarkey that JJ Abrams used for Star Trek.

32. Silence

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After the drug fuelled, debauched excess that was The Wolf Of Wall Street, director Martin Scorsese’s next could not be more different. Based on Shusaku Endo’s novel, Silence is set in the seventeenth century and tells the story of two Jesuit Priests who face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and spread the gospel of Christianity. With a cast that’s said to include Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver, expect less drugs and debauchery and more existential and spiritual crisis.

33. Triple Nine

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John Hillcoat’s last movie, Lawless, didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get excited about what he plans to bring us next. For his latest, Hillcoat remains on the more questionable side of the law, with a story of corrupt police officer who orchestrate the killing of a rookie police officer so that they can pull off a heist around town. Hillcoat’s The Proposition and The Road were highly stylish and compelling works, and while Lawless wasn’t as great as it should have been, Triple Nine sounds like an intriguing conceit. Plus he’s assembled quite the cast for this one, with Kate Winslet, Woody Harrelson, Norman Reedus, Aaron Paul, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck and Gal Gadot along for the ride.

34. Ex Machina

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Alex Garland has made a name for himself as a fine screenwriter in the film world over the years, with films such as 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Dredd to his credits. For Ex Machina though, Garland takes a step behind the camera as well as scripting, for this science fiction tale of a 24 year old coder who spends a week at a reclusive CEO’s mountaintop retreat, and finds himself participating in a strange and fascinating experiment in which he interacts with the world’s first true artificial intelligence. It sounds like an intriguing premise and Garland has proven a dab hand at scripting sci-fi in the past, so it’ll be interesting to see how he handles things in the director’s chair. Future Star Wars heroes Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac are in this one, along with Alicia VIkander as the artificial intelligence.

35. Everest

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It’s man vs the mountain in Baltasar Kormakur’s epic disaster pic, which pits a bunch of mountaineers against the world’s biggest mountain. The film boasts some impressive credentials with Simon Beaufoy, Lem Dobbs and William Nicholson on scripting duties and featuring an all star cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright, Jason Clarke, Sam Worthington and Josh Brolin. Hopefully this will be a lot better than Vertical Limit. Anyone remember that? No? No-one? It had Chris O’Donnell in it. No? Still nothing?

36. The Fantastic Four

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Despite being Marvel Comics first major comic strip, the foursome have not had an easy time in being translated to the big screen. The first two attempts were essentially silly, extended Saturday morning cartoons, which did little to impress fans. This new version however, which comes courtesy of Chronicle director Josh Trank, promises to do the usual comic book thing of being “gritty” and all that stuff. Die hard fans have already expressed their dissatisfaction with the cast choices and the details that have emerged from the cast and crew thus far. A bit harsh considering we’ve seen next to nothing in terms of publicity from the film. I, for one are wholeheartedly on board with this. Chronicle was a great calling card for Trank, who proved he could handle big spectacle without neglecting character depth and relationships. By all counts, the cast is nothing to be sniffy about either, with rising stars Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan joining Kate Mara and Jamie Bell to make up the superhero squad.

37. Regression

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Emma Watson is on everybody’s Favourite Celebrity of the moment lists right now, and with her latest, she may just stay there, with what could turn out to be her most challenging role to date. In Regression, Emma Watson plays a young woman who may or may not have been sexually assaulted by her father and Ethan Hawke’s detective is brought in to investigate. The Others and Open Your Eyes helmer Alejandro Amenabar writes and directs, what surely should be an utterly compelling and through provoking drama.

38. Crimson Peak

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Before Guillermo Del Toro returns to direct hulking robots punch twenty tons of shit out of giant Kaiju monsters, he takes a step back in time to bring us a Gothic romance and haunted house tale tale in the vein of all those great gothic horrors such as The Haunting and The Innocents. Set in Cumbria in the 19th century, in a crumbling mansion, a young author discovers that her charming new husband is not all he appears to be. Any Del Toro fan knows, that the grand maestro works best on a smaller more intimate scale (see The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labryinth) and with a great cast that includes Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam and Del Toro regular Doug Jones, this could be something really special.

39. In The Heart Of The Sea

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Chris Hemsworth and Ron Howard’s first collaboration Rush, proved quite a success for the pair, so they’ve decided to do it again for the story of the Essex, the whaling ship that inspired Melville’s Moby Dick. Chris Hemsworth stars as first mate Owen Chase, who, along with the rest of his crew find themselves at the mercy of a large bull sperm whale, which leaves them stranded for 90 days. They eventually make way to South America but then…  well, bad things happen, let’s just say that. The first trailer was a moody and thrilling blend of survival and action, with Howard’s visual style lending itself perfectly to the this seafaring tale. Along with Hemsworth, the film also stars Cillian Murphy, Benjamin Walker, Tom Holland, Ben Whishaw and Brendan Gleeson.

40. Tomorrowland

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Tomorrowland is one of those films that the less you know, the better; and director Brad Bird and writer Damon Lindelof are doing an expert job of teasing this sure to be summer hit, which stars George Clooney as a former child genius who teams up with a young woman (Britt Robertson) as they travel to a magical world where nothing is impossible. The first trailer was one of the best I’ve seen for a summer blockbuster, perfectly teasing us, yet never revealing more than it needs to. Brad Bird proved with Mission:Impossible Ghost Protocol that he is more than a dab hand with the live action, after wowing us time and time again with fare like The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille. With all the superheroes and whatnot dominating the summer box office, Tomorrowland could well be the dark horse of next summer.

60 Films To Look Forward To In 2015 (Part 3)

And yes, we are back, continuing this utterly pointless but wonderfully fun countdown of the sixty movies that will not doubt get your excitement going before disappointing you wildly. Alas, how pessimistic I’ve become. So, shall we continue:
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60 Films To Look Forward To In 2015 (Part 2)

Following on from part one of this silly and pointless countdown of 60 films to look forward to in 2015, we inevitably (but predictably) continue on with Part 2:

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60 Films To Look Forward To In 2015 (Part 1)

With 2015 right around the corner, it’s about that time of year again to not only look back on the film year that was 2014, but also look ahead to 2015. While many industry insiders will no doubt be lamenting the box office returns of the past year, I sincerely doubt that the same will be said in 2015. Seriously, 2015 is going to be a huge film for the movies, revenue wise. Expect to read reports of box office records being broken every other week in 2015.

Next year’s slate may not bring anything new to the table, with its usual blend of sequels, comic book movies etc, but my word, there certainly are a ton of movies to get excited about.

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