I don’t know about you, but 2015 is shaping up to be one of the greatest tentpole movie years of all time. It’s as though every studio on the planet thought “Shit. 2014 was an undead movie-hating zombie. We better unload both barrels into that bitch next year.”
What’s amazing about 2015, though, is that there are going to be a (record, maybe?) 26 sequels on the plate, and at least ten “reboots” (new movie versions of movies that didn’t need to be remade). With that many sequels on the table, most film critics have already penciled in “Complain about all those god damn sequels” into their blog schedules, but not me. I think some of these movies will be not only amazing, not only the biggest, highest-grossing films of the year — but some of the best films of the decade. Let’s look at the top ten, in order of their sequel number (for no other reason than that’s a cool gimmick, IMO).
7. Star Wars 7: The Unbalanced Galaxy
Let’s face it. There are really only two contenders for King of All Movies in 2015. The first film on this list, and the last one. My money’s on this one. I have a bitter taste in my mouth from the three soul-sucking-childhood-violating prequels, but everything about this film evokes my fanboy O-face.
Some folks may (rightfully) say that JJ Abrams misstepped with the Star Trek reboots, especially so with how he handled the script and the “secret reveal” of the second one. There is so much more at stake here, though. There has never been a film franchise as big as Star Wars. There is no better a filmmaking team than the crew at Bad Robot. There has never been a film-studio with the Fanboy Goodwill Critical Mass that Disney/Marvel/Lucasfilm enjoys right now. Knowing absolutely nothing about this film, I know this: I want to see this film desperately and will be at the first showing possible. So will hundreds of thousands of other people. If it’s any good at all, and JJ hits the right notes perfectly? then we’ll all see it again, and maybe another time after that.
Star Wars is an addiction, and the last three movies were cut with some bad shit. If JJ Abrams gives me a pure blast of Star Wars? Shut up and take my money. (Also, what do you think of my proposed subtitle?)
Honorable Mention: Fast and Furious 7
A local newspaper described Furious 6 as “Comic book superhero move for guys who like fast cars instead of comic books” and it’s true. The film may have had its roots in street racing and young, virile, attractive humans grinding against each other between races, but it has since evolved into something where laws of physics are really just suggestions, dead people come back (looking sexier than ever) and even 30-ton mechanized armor can get in on the street-racing shenanigans. Teasing Jason Statham as the villain of Fast and Furious 7 at the end of the last film guaranteed I’d buy a ticket for it, because who else do you want to take on the world’s best driving team, than the world’s best driver PERIOD?
Poster by the immensely talented bijit69
Paul Walker’s death was a terrible, unfortunate accident, and changes that had to be made as a result of it may break this movie, but I’ll see it at once, just to find out how they recovered from that, and what kind of crazy wire-fu they figure out how to put a Subaru through this time.
5. Mission Impossible 5
No one runs like Tom Cruise. No one.
Tom Cruise has been churning out action films like he knows he’s almost at the end of his action film career. Edge of Tomorrow was an especially good one, and I thoroughly enjoyed the previous Mission Impossible. You have to ask yourself, though… just what kind of crazy “Falling off impossibly high shit” stunt is left in Ethan’s bucket list?
“Ok, so we sneak onto the space shuttle, disable the evil laser, and then I’ll jump to safety before it explodes.”
“Ethan! You can’t base-jump from outer space! That’s crazy!”
“It’s not crazy, Luther. It’s Impossible. And that’s exactly what we’ve been trained to do.”
4. Jurassic World
MAN! The 4-spot was hard to pick. You’ve got the 4th Daniel Craig James Bond film (the filmmakers are so sure it will be a hit they haven’t even named it yet), the 4th Hunger Games film (which should dominate the angsty-but-fiesty chick-flick market), and, oh yeah… Chris Pratt’s THIRD gold medal film in a row.
Chris Pratt. You remember him, right? Emmett from the best animated film of 2013 — The Lego Movie. Peter Quill from the best film of 2014 — Guardians of the Galaxy. And now starring in the newest edition of the best movie franchise Steven Spielberg ever did that didn’t feature Nazis: Jurassic World.
I have no idea what this movie is about, except it has Chris Pratt, Steven Spielberg, and Dinosaurs. Done. Sold. Here’s my Regal Card, I hope I get a free popcorn.
3. Taken 3
A lot of people have seen the barrel of this gun. Just sayin’.
I almost chose Kung Fu Panda 3 over Taken 3, because, frankly, Liam Neeson is running out of people to kill, I think. He has almost reached the point where he needs to just have his name changed to Ebola, because he kills 50-70% of the people he meets in his films anymore. That said, Kung Fu Panda 3 is up against seriously stiff competition from Disney, Pixar, and others. I liked how they introduced the concept of the ept kung fu pandas at the end of KFP2 (ept… the opposite of inept, amiright?), and I’m interested in seeing my favorite anthropomorphic martial artists not-named-Usagi-Yojimbo back on the silver screen… I just think I’m going to like Liam Neeson slaughtering hundreds of deserving thugs more.
(Honorable Mention) The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Just had to throw this one out there. Four old Brits make an art-house film, and it’s so wonderful it actually gets a sequel? I loved the first Marigold Hotel film. It made me think about my life’s direction and impending mortality more than I expected. I think this one is well-deserved, and I hope it does well too. Given its budget is probably 1/100th of the other films on this list? They’ll probably have the best profit margin of the seven.
2. AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
I’m going to put my cards on the table right now: Avengers 2/Captain American 4/Iron Man 5/Thor 4/Hulk 3/Black Widow 2/Hawkeye 2 is going to make more money than every other film with the number 2 in it… combined. Marvel has been hitting on all cylinders, and there’s nothing that suggests they’re slowing down any time soon. Will Star Wars take the #1 spot for the year or Avengers? I don’t know. My heart says Star Wars. My gut says Avengers. My soul says if this is the kind of dilemma we’re going to have next year? It’s going to be a fantastic fucking year for cinema.
(What, you thought I was going to say “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2?”)