Robert's Most Anticipated Movies of 2015 (April-August)
Spring is officially here, and along with better weather, it brings some warmth back into movie theatres, too. While there’s some compelling evidence suggesting the traditional lack of good movies in the early months of each year is starting to fade away, it feels as though we’re finally seeing some exciting movies slated for the immediate future – including several big tentpole films of the summer that we’ve been waiting on for years.
After all the fun we had dissecting the best and worst movies of 2014, Jason Chen and I are teaming up again to provide a look ahead at what we’re most excited for in 2015. And in order to give fair shot to the festival films of the fall that we haven’t even heard of yet, we’re going to break these posts into two installments: the films of April-August (which you’ll find below), and the films of September-December (which we’ll post at a later date).
Take a look at our picks and, as always, let us know if there are any noteworthy movies we missed! My picks are below, and you can find Jason's here.
Ex Machina – April 10
I tend to prefer my sci-fi at a quieter pace, which allows it to be a bit more contemplative - until it builds to a big finish. Alex Garland’s film looks like exactly that: it features only three actors (Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander), and attempts to tackle the nature of consciousness in a spooky, cleanly designed way. It's sort of what Neill Blomkamp aimed for in Chappie, only with fewer explosions and more existential torment. Nice, huh?
Child 44 – April 17
It’s always good to mix in some dark period drama into your film diet, and Child 44 (starring Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and Jason Clarke), is primed to deliver just that. Consider what the story mixes together: Soviet Union in the 1950s, an investigation into the sexual assault of young boys, and heavy political questions – let that be your intellectual lead-in to the big blockbusters of summer.
Slow West – May 15
It feels like there’s a small contingent of filmmakers out there who are hell-bent on keeping the Western alive, even if it means doing them as indie films that don’t pop up on many radars. Slow West is one of these – a surprising action thriller/romance with a touch of dark comedy thrown in. The biggest draw here is Michael Fassbender, as a bounty hunter who decides to protect a young Scottish man (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who’s travelling across the American West looking for the girl he loves. It wasn't until this snappy trailer was released a while back that I became thoroughly sold on this film, and now I'm hoping it keeps the genre going for a while yet.
Tomorrowland – May 22
If there’s one thing I miss about the movie business these days, it’s the element of surprise. Sometimes the omnipresent information about a movie makes it hard to really get lost in it, and that’s where Tomorrowland may shine. Very little was known about the story until a full trailer dropped a few weeks ago, and even then there’s still a Lost-like mystery around it. Bring it on, Brad Bird!
Aloha – May 29
Granted, Cameron Crowe has had a mixed career. I’m crossing my fingers, though, and hoping that Aloha, which boasts an amazing casting line-up - including Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, John Krasinski, Bill Murray and Alec Baldwin – will allow Crowe to re-capture some of his Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous magic.
Jurassic World – June 12
The last time one of Steven Spielberg’s famous franchises got a kickstart after more than a decade, it left a bad taste in our mouths (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). Everything I’ve seen from Jurassic World suggests that Colin Trevorrow is going about it the right way: new characters, new scenario, and all of it connected to the ideas of the original film, without rehashing it. Alongside the December release of the new Star Wars film, Jurassic World is a movie I'm desperately wishing turns out good.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – June 12
This film made a big splash at Sundance this year, and even though I haven’t even seen a trailer yet, the response has been so positive that it’s kind of hard to ignore. At least one critic believes this heartwaming high school drama could be this year’s Whiplash – the Sundance hit that fights its way to the Oscars in eleven months. Plus, I get a kick out of seeing movies like this early, and following the careers of the young talent getting their first breaks.
Inside Out – June 17
As I’ve pointed out in past posts, I’m a huge Pixar fan, and it feels like an eternity since we last heard from the studio (though it’s only been two years since Monsters University). Inside Out, which follows a crew of anthropomorphized emotions in a young girl’s head, has been simmering away at Pixar for years, and I’m more than ready to see the studio return to original, thoughtful animated films that are not sequels or prequels.
Southpaw – July 31
Anyone who’s followed Jake Gyllenhaal’s career is, by this point, probably getting close to something resembling awe. While it’s easy to roll your eyes at an actor who gains or loses weight for a role, very few can pull off what Gyllenhaal has: a complete physical transformation from the gaunt drifter he played in Nightcrawler to a powerful boxer in Antoine Fuqua’s new film. While the story may borrow from other “fight for your family” boxing films, the performances ought to set this one among the best of the genre.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – July 31
The thinking part of my brain tells me that the Mission Impossible series is completely ridiculous, and that we’ve probably already seen too many of them. It’s kinda hard to deny, though, that the promise of Tom Cruise’s irresistible star power and fondness for insane stunts, combined with his fun supporting cast (Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames return, along with some newbies), ought to make for some smooth summer distraction.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. – August 14
If you like action movies, and you’re a bit of an Anglophile, it’s hard not to be taken in by the kinetic style of Guy Ritchie. Here, he applies his signature explosive editing and witty scripting to The Man from U.N.C.L.E., based on a well-known 60s TV show. Ritchie has chosen upcoming mega-stars Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer to play two duelling spies (one American, one Soviet) who are forced to work together on a case. The recent trailer had colour, action, style and humour to spare, and I’m counting on the film to have the same.
What do you think of these picks? Are there any movies you’re counting down the days to see in 2015? Join the discussion in the comments section, and if you liked this post, share it with your friends and followers!