by Doug Schultz
In December, Patrick brought us the "23 Movies I'm Excited to See in 2015." Here's my two cents, in descending order of personal excitement.
20. Ant-Man (July 17, 2015)
19. Jurassic World (June 12, 2015)
Look! They changed the font from red to blue! And quality CGI? Who needs that!? Yeah, yeah -- it's an early preview, so the effects aren't finalized yet. I hopped aboard the Chris Pratt train like everyone else (choo-choo!), but he seems a little ... miscast(?) in this role (maybe it's just because, again, the clips from the trailer are garbage). This preview doesn't inspire a ton of confidence, but I'm still excited to see it! And it's directed by Colin Trevorrow, who brought us the truly great 2012 film, Safety Not Guaranteed.
18. Silence (TBA)
17. Chappie (March 6, 2015)
This new, wholly original (if you can ignore the Johnny Five/Wall-E similarities) Neill Blomkamp-directed joint has, so far, received some pretty dismissive press. And that's fine! I mean, movies should EARN our anticipation, right? No one gets a free pass in the hyper-competitive world of filmmaking (JUST KIDDING). But I'm still stoked to see it. Sure, Elysium wasn't THE BEST (what movie is?), and I'll grant you that the title Chappie leaves a lot to be desired. But so what? Let's all be happy that a forward-thinking auteur is creating exciting new sci-fi for us rubes to ingest.
16. Kingsman: The Secret Service (Feb. 13, 2015)
Director Matthew Vaughn gets one free pass because of his previous successes with Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class. While I can't recommend the film based on the preview above (it's ... messy), I am intrigued by its spy genre charms. Based on a Mark Millar comic, it's pretty British all around, which sometimes keeps me at arm's length (sorry Gabby), but I'm pulled in by the A-list cast, including cameos from Michael Caine, Mark Hamill, Adele, Lady Gaga and David Beckham.
15. Joy (Dec. 25, 2015)
Silver Linings Playbook cast (JLaw, BCoops and BobbyD) in a movie about the life of a struggling Long Island mother (Lawrence!) who becomes one of the country's most successful entrepreneurs. Yup.
14. Maps to the Stars (Feb. 27, 2015)
New David Cronenberg. That's gotta be worth something.
13. Inside Out (June 19, 2015)
New Pixar. No-brainer. My ONLY hesitation here is that the movie is a collaboration with Disney, which doesn't always produce the best product. I have faith for two reasons: 1.) it's an original story, and 2.) it's directed by Pete Docter, who is a Pixar legend.
12. Trainwreck (July 17, 2015)
Funny People and This is 40), he still engenders enough good will (and the promise of laughter, however fleeting) to get me to the theater. Honestly, my bigger issue here is with Amy Schumer. She can be super funny, but she can also be hacky and base. I'm really hoping to see a star-turning debut here (in the vein of Jenny Slate's breakout performance in 2014's great Obvious Child). Apatow wisely surrounds Schumer with a stellar ensemble cast, including Daniel Radcliffe, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Colin Quinn, Mike Birbiglia, Marisa Tomei, Vanessa Bayer, Tilda Swinton, John Cena and LeBron James(!), so that's good. But Trainwreck may very well be a (wait for it) ... train wreck (GET IT?!).
11. St. James Place (Oct. 16, 2015)
Steven Spielberg. Starring Tom Hanks. Co-written Joel and Ethan Coen. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT IN A MOVIE?
10. That's What I'm Talking About (TBA)
Boyhood (though not in the traditional sense). He stated, "I think the word 'spiritual' gets me off the hook. I just shot it and wrapped it recently, and it has nothing to do with Dazed and Confused other than it would be set four years later, when one of the younger characters went off to college ... it's also a continuation of Boyhood, believe it or not. I don't know if one film can be a sequel to two different movies, but it begins right where Boyhood ends." Despite all this silly doublespeak, I couldn't be more intrigued.
9. Straight Outta Compton (Aug. 14, 2015)
8. The Martian (Nov. 25, 2015)
7. The Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1, 2015)
Probably THE most anticipated movie for many of you (too bad you're not writing this column SUCKERZ), but it's only [arbitrarily] number seven for me. But don't get me wrong! It still looks good. And I'm still looking forward to seeing it. I'm just a LITTLE tired of all the motorcycles dropping from planes and leaping punches and super serious soliloquys about "NOTHING LASTING FOREVER." But it's late and I'm cranky (i.e., don't take this to heart). I'll be there opening weekend!
6. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (Nov. 20, 2015)
5. Jupiter Ascending (Feb. 6, 2015)
All signs (unfortunately) point to this movie being kind of a dud. The release date kept getting pushed back (from July 2014 to early February, where films go to die), and the poster makes it look like Divergent fanfic. But god DAMMIT if I'm not excited to see it. I wrote a much more interesting take on the trailer in December 2013 (back when we used to watch trailerz together). Long story short, I have faith in you, Wachowski siblings!
4. The Hateful Eight (Nov. 13, 2015)
retire after directing your tenth movie! That means we only have this film, plus two more original projects? We won't allow it!
3. Furious 7 (April 3, 2015)
2. Tomorrowland (May 22, 2015)
The Iron Giant, and, finally, his live-action debut with the Mission: Impossible franchise in 2011), and I'm excited about his upcoming projects (even 1906, an announced film about the historic San Francisco earthquake). Tomorrowland is an original sci-fi movie about a couple, Frank (George Clooney) and Casey (Britt Robertson), who "travel to a place somewhere in time and space only known as Tomorrowland, where their actions directly affect the world and themselves." Confused? Me too. But that's OK!
1. Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (Dec. 18, 2015)