By Mitch Burns
2014 is in the past, and good riddance! Not that 2014 was bad, but 2015 looks incredibly exciting. The blockbusters look incredible, “Furious 7”, “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, and “Jurassic World”. The Directors releasing films this year looks promising, Brad Bird, Steven Spielberg, Jeff Nichols, Oliver Stone, Danny Boyle and more. Pixar is releasing two original films, the comedies seem promising, there is even a horror or two that might be worthwhile.
Of course the year looks bright and shiny from my perspective, it’s late February, the films so far have been terrible, and it could only get better. I haven’t done a Most Anticipated in a while, so I am excited to see how many of these films end up on my “Best Movies of the Year” list and are awarded at “The Hollywood Persona Awards”. I really hope we don’t see any of these on my “Most Disappointing” or my “Worst of” lists. Cheers to 2015! FYI, these are in order of release dates, not excitement level.
Furious 7 Directed by: James Wan Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Lucas Black, Kurt Russel, Michelle Rodriguez, Djimon Honsou, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, and Iggy Azalea Plot (IMDB): Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for the death of his brother. Release Date: April 3rd, 2015 Child 44 Directed by: Daniel Espinosa Starring: Tom Hardy, Joel Kinnaman, Noomie Rapace, Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, and Vincent Cassel Plot (IMDB): A disgraced member of the military police investigates a series of nasty child murders during the Stalin-era Soviet Union. Release Date: April 17th, 2015 Avengers: Age of Ultron Directed by: Joss Whedon Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, James Spader, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, and more Plot (IMDB): When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans. Release Date: May 1st Welcome to Me Directed by: Shira Piven Starring: Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Linda Cardellini, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Wes Bentley, Alan Tudyk, Tim Robbins, and Joan Cusack Plot (IMDB): A year in the life of Alice Klieg, a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder who wins Mega-millions, quits her meds and buys her own talk show. Release Date: May 8th Mad Max: Fury Road Directed by: George Miller Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Plot (IMDB): An apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and almost everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Release Date: May 15th Tomorrowland Directed by: Brad Bird Starring: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, George Clooney, Kathryn Hahn, Hugh Laurie, and Keegan-Michael Key Plot (IMDB): Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory. Release Date: May 22nd Aloha Directed by: Cameron Crowe Starring: Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, Jay Baruchel, John Krasinski, Danny McBride, and Jaeden Lieberher Plot (IMDB): A celebrated military contractor returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs and re-connects with a long-ago love while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watchdog assigned to him. Release Date: May 29th Jurassic World Directed by: Colin Trevorrow Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Judy Greer, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jake Johnson, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, Irfan Khan, and BD Wong Plot (IMDB): Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park (1993), Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor’s interest, which backfires horribly. Release Date: June 12th Inside Out (Pixar) Directed by: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen Starring: Diane Lane, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, Lewis Black and Phyllis Smith Plot (IMDB): Told from the perspective of the emotions inside the mind of a little girl. Release Date: June 19th Ant-Man Directed by: Peyton Reed Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Judy Greer, Hayley Atwell, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, Michael Pena, Bobby Cannavale, and John Slattery Plot (IMDB): Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world. Release Date: July 17th TrainWreck Directed by: Judd Apatow Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Colin Quinn, Tilda Swinton, and Ezra Miller Plot (IMDB): Having thought that monogamy was never possible, a commitment-phobic career woman may have to face her fears when she meets a good guy. Release Date: July 17th Poltergeist Directed by: Gil Kenan Starring: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Jared Harris Plot (IMDB): Legendary filmmaker Sam Raimi and director Gil Kenan reimagine and contemporize the classic tale about a family whose suburban home is invaded by angry spirits. Release Date: July 24th Mission: Impossible 5 Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin, Rebecca Ferguson and Ving Rhames Plot (IMDB): The plot is unknown. Release Date: July 31st Southpaw Directed by: Antoine Fuqua Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Naomie Harris, Rita Ora, Forest Whitaker, 50 Cent, Plot (IMDB): A boxer fights his way to the top, only to find his life falling apart around him. Release Date: July 31st Ricki and the Flash Directed by: Jonathan Demme Starring: Meryl Streep, Sebastian Stan, Kevin Kline, Mamie Gummer, and Ben Platt Plot (IMDB): A guitar player returns home to make amends with her family. Release Date: August 6th The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Directed by: Guy Ritchie Starring: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Hugh Grant, Alicia Vikander and Elizabeth Debicki Plot (IMDB): In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons. Release Date: August 14th Masterminds Directed by: Jared Hess Starring: Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, Zach Galifinakis Owen Wilson, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones Plot (IMDB): A night guard at an armored car company in the Southern U.S. organizes one of the biggest bank heists in American history. Release Date: August 7th Regression Directed by: Alejandro Amenabar Starring: Emma Watson, Ethan Hawke, and David Thewlis Plot (IMDB): A father is accused of a crime he has no memory of committing. Release Date: August 28th No Escape Directed by: John Erick Dowdle Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Owen Wilson, and Lake Bell Plot (IMDB): In their new overseas home, an American family soon finds themselves caught in the middle of a coup, and they frantically look for a safe escape in an environment where foreigners are being immediately executed. Release Date: September 2nd The Visit Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan Starring: Kathryn Hahn Plot (IMDB): A single mother finds that things in her family’s life go very wrong after her two young children visit their grandparents. Release Date: September 11th Everest Directed by: Baltasar Kormakur Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright, Josh Brolin, Emily Watson, Sam Worthington, and Jason Clarke Plot (IMDB): A climbing expedition on Mt. Everest is devastated by a severe snow storm. Release Date: September 18th Sicario Directed by: Denis Villeneuve Starring: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Jon Bernthal, Josh Brolin and Jeffrey Donovan Plot (IMDB): A young female FBI agent joins a secret CIA operation to take down a Mexican cartel boss, a job that ends up pushing her ethical and moral values to the limit. Release Date: September 18th Victor Frankenstein Directed by: Paul McGuigan Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, and Jessica Brown Findlay Plot (IMDB): Told from Igor’s perspective, we see the troubled young assistant’s dark origins, his redemptive friendship with the young medical student Viktor Von Frankenstein, and become eyewitnesses to the emergence of how Frankenstein became the man – and the legend – we know today. Release Date: October 2nd Steve Jobs Directed by: Danny Boyle Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Katherine Waterston, Sarah Snook, Michael Stuhlbarg, and John Ortiz, Plot (IMDB): His passion and ingenuity have been the driving force behind the digital age. However his drive to revolutionize technology was sacrificial. Ultimately it affected his family life and possibly his health. In this revealing film we explore the trials and triumphs of a modern day genius, Steven Paul Jobs. Release Date: October 9th Crimson Peak Directed by: Guillermo del Toro Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, and Mia Wasikowska Plot (IMDB): In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds…and remembers. Release Date: October 16th St. James Place Directed by: Steven Spielberg Starring: Tom Hanks, Amy Ryan, and Alan Alda Plot (IMDB): An American lawyer is recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to help rescue a pilot detained in the Soviet Union. Release Date: October 16th Spectre Directed by: Sam Mendes Starring: Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Monica Bellucci, Lea Seydoux, Ben Wishaw, Andrew Scott, Naomie Harris, and Christoph Waltz Plot (IMDB): A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE. Release Date: November 6th The Good Dinosaur (Pixar) Directed by: Peter Sohn Starring: Neil Patrick Harris, Judy Greer, Bill Hader, Frances McDormand, John Lithgow, and Lucas Neff Plot (IMDB): After a traumatic event unsettles a lively Apatosaurus named Arlo, he sets out on a remarkable journey, gaining an unlikely companion along the way – a human boy. Release Date: November 25th The Martian Directed by: Ridley Scott Starring: Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Matt Damon, Sebastian Stan, Sean Bean, Jeff Daniels, Donal Glover, Michael Pena, Mackenzie Davis, and Chiwetel Ejiofor Plot (IMDB): During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Release Date: November 25th Midnight Special Directed by: Jeff Nichols Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Joel Edgerton, and Michael Shannon Plot (IMDB): A father and son go on the run after the dad learns his child possesses special powers. Release Date: November 25th In the Heart of the Sea Directed by: Ron Howard Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Wishaw, and Brendan Gleeson Plot (IMDB): Based on the 1820 event, a whaling ship is preyed upon by a sperm whale, stranding its crew at sea for 90 days, thousands of miles from home. Release Date: December 11th Star Wars: The Force Awakens Directed by: J.J. Abrams Starring: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Warwick Davis, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker Plot (IMDB): A continuation of the saga created by George Lucas set thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983). Release Date: December 18th Joy Directed by: David O. Russel Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert DeNiro Plot (IMDB): The life of a struggling Long Island single mom who became one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs. Release Date: December 25th Snowden Directed by: Oliver Stone Starring: Shailene Woodley, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scott Eastwood, Nicolas Cage, Zachary Quinto, Timothy Olyphant, Tom Wilkinson, Melissa Leo, and Rhys Ifans Plot (IMDB): CIA employee Edward Snowden leaks thousands of classified documents to the press. Release Date: December 25th The Revenant Directed by: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, and Will Poulter, Plot (IMDB): The frontiersman, Hugh Glass, who in the 1820s set out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling. Release Date: Late December