Tuesday, 21 April 2015

2015 Summer Blockbuster Preview



Superheroes, dinosaurs, time-travelling robots and topless male strippers; the 2015 summer blockbuster season has something to suit all tastes. From now until the end of August, all manner of big-budget films will burst onto cinema screens and delight audiences across Australia and the world. 

From Avengers: Age of Ultron to Jurassic World and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, here's a rundown of everything to expect over the next few months. And yes, I know it's technically winter but I still refer to these movies as 'summer movies'; force of habit I suppose!


April


"Can't we just turn it off and on again?" - Bruce Banner
(Mark Ruffalo) and Tony Stark (RDJ) in
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Blockbuster season officially kicks off this week with Earth's Mightiest Heroes making their much anticipated return to the big screen - Joss Whedon is back in the director's chair once more for Avengers: Age of Ultron, the second big-screen team-up from Marvel's biggest superstars - Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury and newcomers Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Vision.

Low-budget horror gets a spin on April 30th in the form of Unfriended. The clever premise (it all takes place on a computer screen via Skype, Facebook and so on) will attract audiences but I don't think I'm going to cover this one.



May


Anna Kendrick and the gang are back in Pitch Perfect 2
May opens with teen comedy Pitch Perfect 2, the sequel to 2012's smash-hit that saw Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Brittany Snow form 'The Barden Bellas', a college a capella group packed with sass and smirk. Previews for this one actually don't look too bad and I was a pretty big fan of the first film - let's hope they hit the right notes once again.

Also opening on May 7th is Ex Machina, a sci-fi thriller about artificial intelligence starring Oscar Isaacs, Domnhall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander.

High-concept apocalypse action-adventure makes a comeback on May 14th in the form of Mad Max: Fury Road. The kinetic trailers and visceral action set-pieces have been getting audiences buzzing like a bee after six coffees and there isn't another film this year that I want to see succeed more than this.

The week after sees Brad Bird's Tomorrowland and Paul Feig's Spy leap into cinemas. The former looks really interesting and the visuals are the biggest selling point so far. Could it be the sleeper hit of the summer? Meanwhile, a star-studded cast (Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham) could make Spy a worthwhile mission to the movies - but then again, Feig isn't known for brilliance. I mean, The Heat was pretty shite. Oh c'mon, you know it was shite.

Rounding out the month of May is another action film and another horror film - Dwayne Johnson and Alexandra Daddario star in San Andreas, a natural disaster movie that looks like a lot of fun. Meanwhile, the Insidious series continues with Insidious: Chapter 3 that same day. Bleh, pass.


June


Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt star in Jurassic World
Prepare to return to Isla Nublar on June 11th for Jurassic World, the hotly-anticipated follow-up to Steven Spielberg's 90's blockbuster, Jurassic Park. The fourth film in the series, Jurassic World sees Dr. Hammond's vision of a dinosaur theme park fully-realised and open to the public. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard headline whilst Ty Simpkins, Ken Watanabe and Jake Johnson are billed to appear.

Also opening on June 11 is Hot Pursuit, a road comedy starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. Witherspoon plays an uptight cop who is tasked with escorting Vergara's slinky mob boss widow across Texas. In summary, it sounds shite and will most likely be shite.

The following week (June 18) sees Despicable Me spin-off, Minions, arrive. I know that these gobbledegook-speaking berks are popular but I just don't 'get it'. They're more irritating that an itchy Christmas sweater and the thought of watching a whole movie about them makes my skin crawl. The voice cast supposedly includes Sandra Bullock, Michael Keaton and Jon Hamm, but I doubt even that will make this one worth seeing.

The final week in June has two big films opening; Pixar's Inside Out and Ted 2. Inside Out looks pretty good and I'm really hoping Pixar make the most of the clever concept of characterising the emotions in our brain. The voice cast is headed by Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling and Bill Hader. Let's hope Inside Out is less like Cars and more like Up because Pixar need a hit after sitting 2014 out.


July 


Who is Yellowjacket? Find out in Marvel's Ant-Man, this July.
Terminator: Genysis sees Arnold Schwarzenegger return to the role that made him a cinema icon. It's a reboot of sorts, kind of similar to the route JJ Abrams took with Star Trek back in 2009. Joining the cast is Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke (no relative of Emilia), Matt Smith and JK Simmons. The trailers for this one look...okay. Nothing special, but I'm reserving judgement until it opens on July 1.

On July 9, Channing Tatum is stripping off and boogieing down once more in Magic Make XXL (which, disappointingly, doesn't translate into Roman numerals and rules out a lot of really great puns). I've never seen the first one and the lack of McConaughey means XXL doesn't interest me much either.

July 16th is a big week with Marvel's Phase 2 curtain-closer Ant-Man arriving in cinemas. Ant-Man has the potential to be the surprise of the summer and the latest trailer got people talking, especially with that train set scene. It stars Paul Rudd in the lead role alongside Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas and Corey Stoll.

Also on July 16th is a John Green adaptation, Paper Towns. Like The Fault in Our Stars, a big fan base has the potential blow this one far and wide. It stars Nat Wolff (who?) and Cara Delevigne.

Horror remake Poltergeist (yawn) arrives on July 23 alongside Mr. Holmes, a Conan Doyle adaptation that casts Ian McKellan as the famed super sleuth. Then, on July 30, Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley star in Self/less, a sort of bodyswap thriller that I legit haven't heard about until now and have no opinion on! Err, moving on...

20th Century Fox's reboot of The Fantastic Four arrives on July 30th. The latest trailer gave us a better insight into a film that has, until now, looked a little lost for direction. With any luck, it'll be a slick, atmospheric superhero adventure that preserves the wackiness of the original comics.


August



The fifth entry into the long-running spy series, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation arrives on August 6th. This outing sees Christopher McQuarrie step into the director's chair. Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner are back whilst newcomers include Alec Baldwin and Rebecca Ferguson. After that awesome teaser trailer, I'm pumped to see Ethan Hunt and the IMF swing into action once more. Sign me up!

Prepare for more slick spy action the following week with Guy Ritchie's The Man From U.N.C.L.E opening on August 13th. It's set in the 1960's and stars Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer and Alicia Vikander.

A few sparse weeks are followed by Hitman: Agent 47 on August 27. Based on a popular videogame series, a Hitman film failed excite back in 2007 and I don't expect this reboot to fare much better. Honestly, I'm surprised it didn't just head straight to DVD.

Also on August 27 is Straight Outta Compton, a biopic about influential hip-hop group N.W.A. Could be interesting, and here's a fun fact; O'Shea Jackson, who plays Ice Cube in the film, is the son of Ice Cube in real-life.



And Beyond


Why does Dinklage send his time outside of Game of Thrones
working on this shite? C'mon man, what the hell?
September sees Adam Sandler blight our screens once more; on September 3rd he's teaming-up with Kevin James, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad and Michelle Monaghan for Pixels, an alien invasion film that looks sort of like Independence Day meets Wreck-It Ralph. In all fairness, that's a combo that sounds badass. In reality, Sandler's divisive brand of humour is likely to shoot this one out of the sky.

Also opening this September is Pan, from director Joe Wright. Pan looks kinda meh if you ask me - I'm not buying Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard - but hey, I'll probably end up seeing it in some form or another. It also stars Rooney Mara, Cara Delevigne and Amanda Seyfried.

After that, there are plenty of other big budget blockbuster films to glue your eyes to - on top of Maze Runner: Scorch Trials (September 17) and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (Nov 19), we have Ridley Scott's sci-fi The Martian (November 26), Ron Howard's In the Heart of the Sea (Dec 3) and Daniel Craig's fourth outing as 007, Spectre (November 12).

Star Wars: The Force Awakens jumps in on December 18th whilst for the first time in a long time, nothing notable opens on Boxing Day. Y'know, what with Star Wars still being the most important thing currently showing and all.


Predictions for the Top 10 Highest Grossing Films of 2015


Lastly, I had a crack at guessing the Top 10 highest grossing films for 2014 around the same time last year. I got the top two right but it kinda went awry from there - how was I to know Guardians of the Galaxy and Maleficent were going to be so popular? 

Anyway, I thought I'd have a go at the same for the biggest films this year. What do you think is going to be the biggest film of the year? Let me know in the comments below!

  1. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  3. Fast and Furious 7
  4. Spectre
  5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
  6. Inside Out
  7. Jurassic World
  8. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
  9. Minions
  10. Ant-Man

Thanks for reading my 'summer' blockbuster preview - and now it's over to you; what film are you most pumped for this blockbuster season?

10 comments:

  1. This is going to be a good year for movies. I'm looking forward to a lot of these.

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    Replies
    1. Likewise, especially Mad Max (which is screening this Wednesday!) :)

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  2. I'm looking forward to many of these. I also think that Pan is going to do far better than you think it will. Remember, it's a VERY popular story, and it's Disney, and it'll be a family thing, and family movies make a crap ton of money (remember Maleficent). I'm thinking it could be a top grosser.

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    Replies
    1. Eh, the trailers for Pan just left me cold. Looks sorta bland, BUT I do love being proved wrong when a film is surprisingly good so...I've got my fingers crossed :)

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  3. That's a lot of blockbusters, and speaking of summer blockbusters, perhaps you'd like to cast one of your own? I've got a blogathon going on where you get to do precisely that: http://hitchcocksworld.blogspot.ca/2015/04/summer-blockbuster-cast-thon.html

    Personally, I'm excited for The Avengers, but I'm open to some of the other ones coming out this year. I didn't realize how soon Mad Max was coming out. My Dad is really excited about that one. It looks like it could be an interesting experience and it's got Charlize Theron doing something unusual, which I guess is a nice change since Mad Max isn't exactly known for its strong female characters. That one film Hot Pursuit I'm also curious about. I won't say I have high expectations, but it looks like it could be either an entertaining film or something really bad. Maybe I just liked the idea of Reese Witherspoon playing a cop, I don't know. I might also see the new Terminator film when it comes out; I will admit I find it amusing that there are now two separate Game of Thrones actors who play bitter enemies on the show (or at least they would be, since they have yet to interact) who have played the same person outside of it. I mean they have Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) playing Sarah Connor in the new movie and they already cast Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) as the same character in The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah Mad Max has sorta crept up on us hasn't it? The trailers look absolutely mental. That's a cool little piece of trivia on Terminator! I never followed Sarah Connor Chronicles so the Lena Headey casting is news to me. Thanks for commenting John!

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  4. Great post! I'm looking forward to a lot of these, especially Mad Max. It has been on my countdown for quite a while. :)

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    Replies
    1. Not long to go now! Seems like Mad Max is a favourite down here in the comments :)

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  5. Super excited for Mad Max: Fury Road, I hope it doesn't disappoint.
    Tomorrowland too!

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    Replies
    1. I guess we'll find out this weekend! :) Thanks for commenting.

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