Movies Coming Soon: January to March 2015 – Part 1

Lily James is Cinderella and Richard Madden is the Prince in Disney's live-action feature inspired by the classic fairy tale, CINDERELLA, which brings to life the timeless images in Disney's 1950 animated masterpiece as fully-realized characters in a visually-dazzlling spectacle for a whole new generation.
I really, really, really want to watch Cinderella.

Though 2014 wasn’t a remarkable year for Hollywood, 2015 is looking good. Every entertainment website on the internet, whether of note or not, has already listed their most anticipated movies for the year, so I shan’t add my voice to the chatter. (I agree with most of them anyway. Besides, if you read my blog often enough, you already know what film I want to watch the most this year.)

Instead, I shall do my usual “Movies Coming Soon” lists for the next three months. The first few weeks of the year are usually rather dry, filled with award-baiting holdovers which were released late the previous year in the U.S., and one or two medium-to-big movies. But the studios started staking a claim on 2015’s summer release dates in 2012, if not earlier, so every big movie that was conceived after that had to place their release dates even earlier than usual, or push it to next year.

But that’s good news for us, since we get to watch movies like Cinderella in mid-March, rather than in June, and Jupiter Ascending in February, which was supposed to come out last July but got pushed back suddenly a month before release. (Which is usually a sign of doom and production troubles, but the movie really looks interesting, and I want to watch for Sean Bean, if nothing else.)

**Do note that this, and part 2 of the list, doesn’t cover *all* the movies coming out in the next three months. There are simply too many, so I only do those that are of note. Which is still a lot.

Movies I’m excited for:

Whiplash (Jan 15)

This movie is SO GOOD. J.K. Simmons, whom you might remember as The Daily Bugle’s caustic editor J. Jonah Jameson in the first Spider-Man trilogy (or might not, if you aren’t as huge a fan of movies), is the foul-mouthed demon band conductor from hell who puts army drill sergeants to shame. Think Amy Chua’s “Tiger Mum” parenting methods, except that he is most certainly not your “Mum” and therefore treats his students with no love at all. I’ll do a more detailed review another time, but I recommend everyone who has ever worked hard and tried to pursue excellence in anything, or who has suffered under a harsh teacher who accepts nothing less than perfection, or underwent some tough army drilling, to watch this film. You will all relate to the film in some way. Also, the message is very pertinent to the coddled youths of today: if you really want to be great, you have to be prepared to undergo some of the worst trials of your life, otherwise all you’ll ever be is mediocre.

Blackhat (Jan 15)

I really want to watch this. Back when it was in production in 2013, it was called Cyber, and had a tentative release date in June 2014, but they moved it to this year and renamed it Blackhat. Director Michael Mann is known for movies like Heat, The Insider, Ali and Collateral (the one where Tom Cruise plays a villain), and he also did The Last of the Mohicans (the one with the famous theme), but I wasn’t impressed with Public Enemies, his 2009 film starring Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and Marion Cotillard, a film I thought I would love because of aforementioned three actors. Blackhat looks great though. Chris Hemsworth is hot and they have Tang Wei as the female lead, plus another Asian star in Wang Leehom, cause the film is set and filmed in Hong Kong. Looking forward!

Into the Woods (Jan 15)

Looks good and twisted, though among the actors, I only really like Chris Pine, and have utmost respect for Meryl Streep. This is the type of musical I would have liked to see on stage first, so too bad I didn’t get to do that.

American Sniper (Jan 22)

I’m not always a fan of war movies, but this one stars Bradley Cooper and is based on the autobiography of Chris Kyle, the U.S. Navy Seal sniper who holds the record for the highest number of kills in U.S. military history. I like true stories of heroes, especially when they’re played by an actor I can get behind, and to top it off, Chris Kyle was tragically killed in February 2013 by one of the veterans he was helping, just before they started making the movie (though after they got his permission), so this movie is like his legacy. It’s directed by Clint Eastwood, which adds to the prestige factor too, though I must say not all of Clint Eastwood’s films are good, or of interest. But I like this one.

Jupiter Ascending (Feb 5)

I really don’t care for Channing Tatum or Mila Kunis, but like I said above, I adore Sean Bean, so I’ll watch it for him. It’s directed by the Wachowskis, who did The Matrix, but who also did The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, and the psychedelic nightmare that was Speed Racer, so we’ll see.

In the Heart of the Sea (Mar 12) (Dec 3)

The movie is based on a true event about a whaling ship in 1820 which was attacked by a giant sperm whale, an encounter that inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick. But I’m just watching it for Chris Hemsworth. (Never underestimate the appeal of an actor in making me want to watch a film.) This year really seems to be his, newly crowned People’s Sexiest Man Alive and all, since he’s appearing in three movies, including Avengers: Age of Ultron in April/May. (Plus a fourth, if Vacation, which he is currently filming now, comes out in October as scheduled.)

Cinderella (Mar 12)

YEAH. I have always loved Cinderella, and Robb Stark as Prince Charming, Cate Blanchett as the Wicked Stepmother, and Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother? Count me in! Also, Downton Abbey’s Rose (Lily James) looks sweet enough as Ella, and her gown is SO POOFY. (Though it shows too much boob for my taste.) I love fairy tales, when done right. (The retconning of Sleeping Beauty into the live-action Maleficent? Not so much.)

The Divergent Series: Insurgent (Mar 19)

Not a super huge fan of Shailene Woodley, but Theo James is freaking hot, and the previous movie was entertaining enough. Though I still hate Jai Courtney with unreasonable passion, but I think he’ll be gone after this movie, so yay.

Movies I’m not exactly excited about, but am interested in watching (there’s a 50-50 chance I may just wait till the DVD is out instead):

Taken 3 (Jan 8)

I have actually watched Taken 3 at a preview screening, but if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been very keen to watch it in the cinema. I like Liam Neeson and everything, but there’s only so many times he can threaten to come after someone on a phone without it getting old.

Birdman (Jan 15)

It looks really interesting and has gotten amazing reviews from the press. Also, Edward Norton is in it, and he hasn’t been in a lot of movies lately. 🙁 But it also looks like something I can watch at home.

The Imitation Game (Jan 22)

Ditto what I said about Birdman, but replace Edward Norton with Benedict Cumberbatch, Kiera Knightley, Allen Leech (Branson in Downton Abbey!) and Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister). It also looks like another movie I’ll enjoy a lot more with subtitles at home.

Fifty Shades of Grey (Feb 12)

More than a year ago, I said I was skeptical about watching it, since I don’t like any of the actors, and I’ll never read Fifty Shades. (I did read the book synopsis on Wikipedia, but it sounds complicated, with too much manufactured drama.) I’m also sure there’s tons of better written kinky smut on the internet, which is where Fifty Shades originated from anyway. But I may watch this just to see what the fuss is about.

Kingsman: The Secret Service (Feb 12)

It looks like a silly though fun movie, like Inspector Gadget or Get Smart etc., and Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson have been known to make clunkers. (The ill-reviewed Gambit and the ridiculous Snakes on a Plane, anyone?) But since there isn’t anything that interests me in the next three weeks after this comes out, I’ll probably watch this.