Tuesday, January 6, 2015

20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015*

by Doug Schultz
 *According to Doug.

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)
Man, this movie would be SO MUCH HIGHER ON THIS LIST if Edgar Wright was still attached to direct. Now it's more of a curiosity. Still, Ant-Man is a quirky little superhero property, starring some likable, funny actors. So of COURSE I'll see it. And then I'll analyze it to death like every other douchebag blogger on the web. Future podcast?

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)
Hard to get TOO stoked about this, as a.) there's not a ton of info about the production online, and b.) the novel that's it's based on sounds a little zzzZZzZZZZZZZZzzz. For the life of me, I also can't think of joke text to add to the above image (I've lost it and/or its plot description is putting me to sleep [HELP!]). A Jesuit order sends a young priest (Andrew Garfield) to find his Portuguese mentor who has been missing for 10 years. Rome believes the older Jesuit (Liam Neeson) may have renounced his faith under torture during the severe persecution of Christian missionaries and converts. WAKE UP! BUT, it's Scorsese, so you know it's gonna be interesting.

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)
David O. Russell reunites his talented 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)
Judd Apatow's latest project is co-written (and starring) Amy Schumer. While many/most have cooled to new Apatow movies based on his recent underwhelming projects (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)
A.K.A., Untitled Cold War Spy Thriller (according to IMDb). Check it out: directed by 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)
This is writer/director Richard Linklater's next movie (a dramedy?) about college baseball players in the 1980s. Linklater himself described the film as a "spiritual sequel" to Dazed and Confused, in addition to being a continuation of 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)
It's no secret that I'm a white dude. It also won't surprise you to know that I grew up in the safe suburbs of Chicago. I become a living/breathing cliché when I say that -- despite my sheltered upbringing -- I consider myself a fan of N.W.A., I sincerely enjoy their music and I can recite WAY TOO MANY lyrics verbatim (despite their inappropriate content). I am genuinely excited to see this movie, and I am genuinely curious about their story. My point? I AM GENUINE, just like N.W.A. I know there are a lot of biopic haters on this site, so this one's just for me.

8. The Martian (Nov. 25, 2015)
This Ridley Scott sci-fi film, written by Drew Goddard(!) based on a novel by Andy Weir, stars Matt Damon as an astronaut stranded on Mars who struggles to survive. I know you wanna see it.

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)
Credibility: compromised. I'm on record as stating my unequivocal boredom with Part 1 of this two part conclusion. The first installment (actually the third film, but you know what I mean) was so serious and beige and boring, it actually made me question how much I liked the previous two movies. But no matter! Because the finale HAS to be epic! Right? RIGHT?!

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)
C'mon, now, Quentin! You can't 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)

Sad face.

2. Tomorrowland (May 22, 2015)
I briefly flirted (FLIRTED!) with the idea of including Mission: Impossible 5 on this (super subjective) list. And, while I'm sure the movie will be crazy entertaining (how could it not be?), my anticipation was tempered by the departure of Ghost Protes director Brad Bird. While new director Christopher McQuarrie is no slouch, I've really come to appreciate Brad Bird (from his early days working on The Simpsons, to directing 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)



  1. Why Doug hate SPECTRE so much?

    Also, has anyone seen the trailer for It Follows? I'm not sure if it's getting a wide release, but I'm crazy pumped for it.

    1. Wow you're right on It Follows. Great trailer, I'll be looking forward to it as well now. I'll be sure to blame you if it disappoints though!

  2. Yeah, list needs more Bond, but otherwise:

    1.) Man, I hope St. James Place doesn't turn out to be case of massively overblown expectations for me, because by every indication, it really should be amazing from every angle.

    2.) I think we need to see visual proof of Doug busting out some N.W.A.

  3. Thanks for reading, guys!

    It was a last-minute decision to leave SPECTRE off the list. Patrick included it on his list (I tried to pick a few films that he didn't feature), and, honestly, I'm not the biggest Bond fan (clarification: I like James Bond movies fine; I just never seek them out, nor am I ever really blown away by them [SKYFALL was fun, but left me a little empty {FLAME AWAY!}]).

    Brian, I'll check out that trailer.

    John, I'm a brother that'll smother your mother. And make your sister think I love her.

    1. Damn missed that one. Nice . Dracu Doug. La Doug. And Doug E fresh and the F heads krew

  4. Brain - I have it on good authority from the fine folks at the Killer POV podcast that It Follows is indeed worth being pumped for - really looking forward to that one as well.

    Great list Doug - I am pumped for pretty much all of these (and a couple I didn't even know about) as well. Also, I'm a white-boy fan of NWA from back in the day myself - I even autobiographicized "Straight Outta Compton" (e.g. Straight out of Shelburne, crazy motherfucka named Sol...actually that's as far as I got) and fun-fact: when I was 12, a mix-tape featuring the seminal "Automobile" (with such romantic lyrics as "You don't have to front on me bitch, don't be afraid it's only a dick!") was the only thing my parents ever confiscated from me - fascists!

    1. And no, Brian, that's not a typo, I always refer to you as Brain.

  5. Im with you Doug. Im a white guy who can loves hiphop. I can recite everything from NWA to Dr Dre to Ice Cube to Snoopdog to Public enemy to Tupac and Biggie to Cypress hill and the man himself Ice T. I noticed Patrick doing a New jack Hustler recital a while back on a podcast. Im looking to the NWA movie a lot

    You gotta sneak some NWA lyrics into the next podcast

    1. Chris Rock says white people can go ahead and get their Dr. Dre on. I assume the same applies to NWA, so you guys should feel no shame.

  6. Pretty great list, although the absence of Mad Max: Fury Road is is pretty noticeable. Like, Tom-Hardy's-trying-too-hard-to-do-a-weird-voice-and-I'm-not-exactly-sure-what-he's-saying noticeable.

    Star Wars is my obvious No. 1 anticipated move, but Fury Road has landed hard on spot No. 2. I'm kind of surprised, but man that last trailer really worked for me.

    1. You're absolutely right -- VERY noticeable. It's a great trailer, and I will definitely see it. I didn't include it because Patrick had it on his list. Just trying to mix things up!

    2. You rule, Doug. I'm just being difficult.