For the first time in a while, I'm excited about a lot of new movies coming out this year. Here are a few I'm looking forward to, in order of release:
Blackhat (January 16) is a cyber-crime thriller from Michael Mann. It should be timely and exciting.
Jupiter Ascending (February 6th), from the Wachowskis, could be great. They certainly succeeded in adapting David Mitchell's overblown novel, Cloud Atlas.
Early reviews for Kingsman: The Secret Service (February 13) are quite good. It will be great to see Mark Hamill back on the big screen.
I'm enough of a Joss Whedon fanboy that I'll see Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1), even though I never really felt that anything was at stake in the first film.
Tomorrowland (May 22) may be the movie I'm most interested in, simply because it's directed by the great Brad Bird. Tomorrowland is inspired by the Disney theme park "land," which seems ridiculous, but the teaser is great.
Pixar is releasing two movies this year. The first is Inside Out (June 19), which shows the inner workings of a young girl's brain. Maybe it will help me understand my daughters.
It's hard not to be excited about Jurassic World (June 12). Even if it ends up being silly (trained raptors?), it looks like fun. It's always great fun when dinosaurs attack, right?
I keep hearing about Midnight Special (November 25), which tells the story of a father trying to protect his super-powered son from the government. Superhero films are more interesting to me when they take place in the real world.
Pixar's second release, The Good Dinosaur (November 25), pretends that dinosaurs survived long enough to live with humans. Will I be the only one in the theater hoping for a bloodbath?
The Martian (November 25th) is Ridley Scott's adaptation of Andy Weir's excellent novel about a NASA astronaut stranded on Mars, with a script by Drew Goddard. That's three movies on 11/25. Please don't schedule anything for me next Thanksgiving.
Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight (TBD) is being filmed in Colorado in 65MM. It should be a brutal good time.
Green Room (TBD) is the second film from Jeremy Sauliner. His revenge thriller Blue Ruin was so good I will line up for this no matter what it's about.
There are a few movies I'm on the fence about:
I'm disappointed that Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15) is rated PG-13, just like Beyond Thunderdome. But the trailer looks good and early reviews are positive. Does George Miller still have it? I love original Poltergeist and will be reading reviews about the remake (July 24) to see if it's worth my time. The same goes for The Terminator: Genisys [sic] (July 1).
And then there's The Force Awakens (December 18). I stopped seeing new Star Wars movies after Episode II, and frankly I wasn't very impressed with Abrams' Star Trek reboots. I never really cared about the characters and those movies put style over substance. Does it really make sense to build the Enterprise on Earth instead of in orbit? No, but it looks cool. Do crossguards make sense on a lightsaber? Same answer. But it won't be easy to stay away from another adventure for Han, Luke, & Leia. The jury is still out on this one.
One last note - 2015 is the 40th anniversary of JAWS. How about a re-release this summer, Universal?
What do you think? Which movies are you most excited about? What's missing from this list?
Geoff Jones is the author of the sci-fi thriller