We’re now in the summer blockbuster season! I’ve been waiting for this since 2012, after The Avengers came out and they announced the sequel for May 1, 2015. :’)
Back in 2013, it seemed like 2015 would be the biggest year ever for Hollywood because of all the blockbuster sequels and adaptations they were planning to ram in this one year, including but not exclusive to: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Assassin’s Creed, Warcraft, Finding Dory, Independence Day 2, Avatar 2, Kung Fu Panda 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean 5. But due to various reasons, all of the above movies were shifted to next year and beyond, so 2015 is actually pretty manageable. (But box office intake will still break records, what with Furious 7 earning over US$1 billion after only 17 days, and Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the James Bond sequel Spectre all expected to earn at least another billion each.)
But there are still lots to look forward to this summer (and several more for the October to December period, which I will talk about when the time comes), so without further ado, here’s Part 1 of my Movies Coming Soon list — the will-watch and the DEFINITELY-will-watch movies, with asterisks on the latter.
As usual, I’ll follow up with the “probably watch on home video” and the “won’t watch at all unless I was paid to” lists in another post.
**Fast & Furious 7** (Apr 2)
I’ve already reviewed Furious 7, because this post is late, but as I mentioned then, I didn’t catch Fast Five or Fast & Furious 6 in cinemas because they were too testosterone-driven for me. What makes Furious 7 different is, of course, Paul Walker. The movie looks super exciting, but so did the previous two, and that wasn’t a compelling enough reason for me. If Paul hadn’t died, I think I would have been perfectly fine with waiting for the DVD.
******Avengers: Age of Ultron****** (Apr 23)
I don’t think I need to say anymore about how much I want to watch Age of Ultron, since I’m pretty sure I mention it in every other blog post I’ve made. And so does the rest of the world: I have it on good authority that the film has received more than 10 times the usual amount of bookings in local cinemas than for any other blockbuster. It’s also projected to make US$217 million in its first weekend in the U.S., which would be slightly higher than The Avengers’ US$207 million first weekend gross (though signs point to it making way more than that). I’m already planning to watch it at least three times in cinemas.
Out of all the trailers released, the first one was the best, cause of the punchy editing and foreboding music. It teased an epic movie without revealing too much, which is what you want a trailer to do.
Big Game (May 7)
I heard about this movie a year or two ago, and the plot sounded amazing even then. All you need to suck me in is “Samuel L. Jackson is the President of the United States”. But here’s more info anyway: Air Force One is shot down, and he has to team up with a young boy to escape the terrorists hunting him down.
I did think that it was going to be a different type of action movie, rather than the screwball action-comedy that the first clip I saw suggests. Still, I love movies that are fun romps, especially if they involve fictitious Presidents of the United States, so I can’t wait.
Mad Max: Fury Road (May 14)
Like I’ve been telling everyone, the most recent trailer looks completely WANKERS. The previous trailer looks insane enough, but their newest one is just out of this world. It’s not the type of movie I usually enjoy, because it looks so testosterone-driven and insane — as in, the people in the movie are literally crazy — but I really want to watch this to see how the movie can possibly make sense.
Though for me, the strangest thing is that there are people who actually remember the original Mad Max series (which shot Mel Gibson to fame), and are huge fans of it. When you see clips of the original series, it looks really weird and nothing on the level of, say, Star Wars, which was made in the same era. So I have no idea why it was such a cult hit. Perhaps Mad Max: Fury Road will show me, since it’s by the same director.
Tomorrowland (May 21)
It looks like one of those old school action adventure movies like Jumanji, except set in “Tomorrowland”. But when they were filming it, the plot was kept very hush-hush, so Tomorrowland looks intriguing if only because I want to know why they felt the need for such secrecy if it’s going to be a Jumanji. It’s directed by Brad Bird, who did The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (which I LOVED), and there’s George Clooney and Hugh Laurie, so that’s more reasons to watch it.
Spy (May 21)
I can’t say I like the movies that Melissa McCarthy makes, but the premise for this sounds great. A desk-bound CIA analyst played by Melissa McCarthy, who’s the last person you would imagine as a spy, teams up with Jason Statham’s CIA agent and goes undercover on a mission to save the world. In other words, it’s Get Smart with Melissa McCarthy.
San Andreas (May 28)
It looks kinda exactly like 2012. (The movie, not the year.) That featured lots of earthquakes and tidal waves too. They even have a similar tagline: “We always knew this day would come.” Because of that, I keep forgetting that Roland Emmerich (who directed 2012, as well as fellow disaster porn flicks Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow) didn’t direct this. But similar or not, disaster movies promise lots of spectacle, so that’s what I’ll watch San Andreas for.
**Jurassic World** (Jun 11)
It looks F**KING AWESOME. When they first announced that they were making yet another Jurassic Park movie, I was all “WHY???”, since The Lost World and Jurassic Park III never recaptured the magic of the first movie.
But Jurassic World seems to go back to the roots of what made Jurassic Park great, and Chris Pratt is a charismatic leading man here, whom audiences now trust after Guardians of the Galaxy broke him out in a major way last year. And the trailers and TV spots have been superb so far.
(By the way, the little boy was in Iron Man 3, if you’re wondering why he looks familiar.)
Ant-Man (Jul 16)
I was iffy about Ant-Man, because the teaser trailer was fine, but it wasn’t great. Having never read the comics, I didn’t know why a superhero the size of an ant would work, and the teaser trailer explained nothing at all. You have to remember that when studios release movies, they have to release it for not just the fans, but more importantly the masses who make up the bulk of their earnings. If a regular, non-fan can’t get what your movie is about or going to be like, chances are they are not going to watch it. And that’s the last thing you want.
But then they released the second trailer in all its epic, revealing glory — the trailer that the movie *deserves* — and now I am fully on board. The movie seemed to be in trouble last year after fanboy favourite Edgar Wright left the project, which he had been working on since 2006, and they replaced him with Peyton Reed, known for rom-coms like Down With Love, The Break-Up and Yes Man — not a great track record in terms of directing a comic book superhero movie. But everyone’s fears should be allayed now. (Though Evangeline Lilly’s hair leaves much to be desired.)
Pan (Jul 23)
Actually, I’m not impressed with what I’ve seen. Least of all with Hugh Jackman’s vampire-pale, high-foreheaded look as Blackbeard, but the trailer music also wasn’t well-chosen. The problem with Pan is that it doesn’t look *necessary* (as in, “Why do we need another Peter Pan movie?”), and the trailer hasn’t given us adequate reasons to watch it. It feels like the 2003 version of Peter Pan, with Jeremy Sumpter as Peter Pan and Jason Isaacs as Captain Hook, and that movie was a box office failure. There was also controversy over getting Rooney Mara to play the Native American Tiger Lily, which doesn’t affect my decision to watch the movie, but I can’t say the same for others. And the trailer had the terrible luck of being released on the same day that Jurassic World’s f**king fantastic teaser trailer came out, so Pan was kind of overshadowed even then.
But I think I’ll watch the movie anyway. I’ll see if these initial negative feelings are justified.
**Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation** (Jul 30)
I like the Mission: Impossible movies in general — the theme is so catchy — and I LOVED Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. (So much that it’s one of the few Blu-ray discs I own now.) The trailer for that movie rocked balls, and Jeremy Renner was a marvellous addition to the franchise. Having said that, Rogue Nation looks fine, though not as good as Ghost Protocol. I wish Paula Patton could have reprised her role — Rebecca Ferguson isn’t as sexy, though she does look like a young Ashley Judd. And what kind of a secondary title is “Rogue Nation” anyway? It doesn’t flow off the tongue, or maybe I’m just over-thinking it. But Tom Cruise hangs off the side of a plane while it’s in the air, so I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want to see that, since he does his stunts for real. With harnesses obviously, but it’s still him.
By the way, for those who don’t know — which I think might be everyone — Ethan Hunt shouting at Benji to “Open the door!” near the end of the trailer is a reference to the beginning of Ghost Protocol when Benji was breaking him out of the maximum security prison, and Ethan was signalling him to “open the door”, which Benji was reluctant to do as Ethan wasn’t following their plan.
Fantastic Four (Aug 6)
This version reboots the Fantastic Four movies of the ’00s with a younger cast. (Though it’s funny to think that 10 years ago, Chris Evans was Johnny Storm; now, he’s Captain America. Bet he would never have imagined his career heading like this!) The team now consists of Whiplash breakout Miles Teller as Reed Richards, Kate Mara as Sue Storm, Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, and Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm/The Thing. The multiracial casting had many racists giving the trailer a thumbs-down on YouTube, but it looks kind of good, really, though with more of a sci-fi bent than other superhero movies.
Inside Out (Aug 20)
This looks super cute, and another win for Pixar!
Hitman: Agent 47 (Aug 27)
If it weren’t for the fact that it stars Singapore, I would probably not mention this movie at all, since the cast is merely ok with no big names except perhaps Zachary Quinto, and the plot is so-so. (Apparently, Paul Walker was supposed to be the lead, but then he died, so they replaced him with Rupert Friend.) But our little country is rarely featured in such a major way in big Hollywood films, so seeing it displayed here in its full glory is exciting. The film was mostly shot here.
That’s it for now. Making this list was exhausting!