Saturday, November 29, 2014

2015 Movie Preview: The New 1939?

I'm all about history; and it's hard to argue with 1939 as Hollywood's greatest year... at least in terms of classic film. Led by Gone with the Wind, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and The Wizard of Oz (among many others) 1939 provided some of the best movies ever made. To surpass it, would take a year of unprecedented awesomeness... Ladies and gents, may I present you with 2015...

As we prepare to close the books on 2014, keep in mind... some of the following movies may get delayed, and slip into 2016 or beyond. That's especially true of December, when only a week separates the likes of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, Mission: Impossible 5 and The Revenant. That's a lot of fire power to go around; but I can't help but smile at the prospect of non-stop entertainment during "the most wonderful time of the year," can you?

Is there another Gone with the Wind in the offing? 

Here's a look at just 15 of our most-anticipated titles for the coming year: We can hardly wait.

Mortdecai (January 23) Is Johnny Depp still a megastar? We like to think so; although the next Pirates of the Caribbean film doesn't arrive until 2017. Until then, Depp stays busy as a debonair art dealer in hot pursuit of Nazi gold. Also stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Goldblum, Olivia Munn and Aubrey Plaza.

Johnny Depp is Mortdecai

Jupiter Ascending (February 6) Only kidding. This movie won't be a hit, yet alone half-decent: Think Battlefield Earth meets Waterworld with a sprinkle of Mars Needs Moms for good measure.

Focus (February 27) Yet another megastar (Will Smith) looking to rebound. Like Depp, it's hard to bet against one of Hollywood's most successful actors; and it doesn't hurt to have Aussie hottie Margot Robbie in your corner. Welcome back Fresh Prince!

Will Smith and Margot Robbie (r) star in Focus

The Gunman (March 20) I'm excited to see Sean Penn back on the big screen; and even more excited to see him joined by Javier Bardem and Idris Elba in this European spy thriller. Pierre Morel (Taken) directs.

Sean Penn stars in Pierre Morel's The Gunman

Furious 7 (April 3) This is the rare franchise that seems to improve with age. Of course, I'm curious to see Paul Walker one last time; but let's face it... it's all about the cars and preposterous chases. Count me in.

Vin Diesel stars in Furious 7

Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1) Should out-earn every other film; but I'm curious to see if all those egos can continue to co-exist, especially with more characters on the way.

Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth (r) star in Avengers: Age of Ultron

Tomorrowland (May 22) Not sure what it's about; but Disney has Brad Bird and George Clooney on its side. Consider our interests peaked.

Jurassic World (June 12) I'm a little nervous (no Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum or Steven Spielberg... Executive Producer doesn't count) but $150 million and two decades of improved CGI could be enough to revive this once mighty franchise.

Chris Pratt stars in Jurassic World

Terminator: Genisys (July 1) Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as The Terminator. Enough said.

He's back! Arnold returns in Terminator: Genisys

Everest (September 18) Could replace The Eiger Sanction as the best mountain-climbing movie of all-time. Has a superb cast (including Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley, Jason Clarke and Sam Worthington) and is based on a real event. I can feel the chill already.

Jason Clarke stars in Everest

Spectre (November 6) It doesn't even have a title yet (as of November 29th) but then again, who cares? It's James Bond with Daniel Craig. So long as Olga Kurylenko is nowhere to be found, this one should be a hit.

Daniel Craig returns in Spectre

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (November 20) Let's hope Part 1 was an aberration, since this franchise deserves a happy satisfying ending. Regardless, it's gonna make a boatload of money. Hint, hint: More games, less talking.

Jennifer Lawrence stars in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

The Martian (November 25) Ridley Scott rarely disappoints; and he has Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain and a slew of others to lend a helping hand. Now, if only the story holds up...

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Unleashed (December 18) I waited seven hours in line for the last one. Needless to say, I can't wait to see what J.J. Abrams has up his formidable sleeve. Easily the year's most anticipated film, if not the decade. May the force be with you (not to mention all the other movies, it goes up against.)

Mission: Impossible 5 (December 25) Star Wars and Mission: Impossible back-to-back? Pinch me, I must be dreaming. Alec Baldwin joins the fun, with Christopher McQuarrie at the helm. Merry Christmas to me.

Rebecca Ferguson and Tom Cruise (r) star in Mission: Impossible 5

The Revenant (December 25) Leo DiCaprio is fast becoming "Mr. Christmas," and the idea of him giving chase to Tom Hardy and fellow bad guys in a period Western is music to our vengeful ears. Ride 'em cowboy!

*According to IMDb, The Revenant's release date has moved to January 8, 2016.