Film Review: 10 Films Of 2015 I Can’t Wait To See

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With 2014 drawing to a close, it’s time to turn my attention of the films slated for release next year. So without further ado, here are 10 films I cannot wait to see next year, and my initial thoughts as to what they will deliver…

1. Jurassic World

I cannot wait for this, my entire love of film is born from the franchise. As a 10 year old boy, Steven Spielberg captured my imagination when he opened the gates to the park in the original film, and while the franchise has arguably never regained the initial spectacular heights with it’s follow up films, any chance to go back to the park, to spend time with the dinosaurs is one not to miss.

However, having seen the trailer, I am now tinged with anxiety. They appeared to have pushed the park into the future. The initial movie worked because everything felt and looked real. Even if the science wasn’t actually possible, you still bought into it, still longed for it to exist. But creating a park of the future – with hamster balls, monorails and genetically invented dinosaurs it now seems to have a sense of imagined sci-fi rather than plausible biology. It doesn’t feel like you are looking at something you could book a trip to tomorrow but rather the future visions of a dreaming madman.

But we shall see. And I pray I’m wrong.

2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

With George Lucas selling the franchise to Disney and J.J. Abrams on board to bring the story to it’s conclusion over the next few years, Jedi’s and Storm Troopers alike have reason to be excited. I am a fan of the films, and actually like the 3 prequels as much as the original trilogy and cannot wait to see where the story goes, and how this film starts the path to the saga’s ultimate conclusions.

I am worried though that the weight of expectation will prove too much to bear. That because it has such a fanatical fan-base, people will examine this film, not as a work of individual cinematic creation but rather as the telling of their story, that any miss placed reference or error in continuity will instantly destroy it’s credibility. I really think it risks being judged to highly and that people will write it off unfairly because the story it portrays isn’t the story they want.

However, I’m not one of them, and no matter what adventure is in store, just getting a fresh chance to spend some time with the characters is enough for me.

3. Minions

With the success of the Despicable Me films and the cult following that grew towards the yellow army of comedic support that stole the show from the main story, it was only a matter of time before the minions got their own film. And while I adore the Despicable Me films, and I am a fan of the minions, I have a horrible feeling that giving them a film of their own may not work.

When arriving from the background, with limited speaking characters, they provide beautifully balanced relief to the main story, but I worry that their immaturity, simplicity and incomprehensible language will be too much when given free reign. It’s fine having one or two minions laughing at a fart gag to break up the tension, but an entire army doing so over and over, is a potential disaster waiting to happen. A disaster because without anything, or anyone else to break up their madness, apart from other mad minions, there is a real risk of an over saturation of insanity.

I truly hope I’m wrong and that Minions manages to stand on it’s own two feet but, having seen the initial trailer, I’m not hopeful. I think it is the film we’re likely to be looking back on with disappointment in 12 months time.

4. Spectre (James Bond 24)

With Sam Mendes back on board to direct the continued rebooting of the franchise that he started with Skyfall, I think that Spectre, potentially, is in a position to really cement the power of the franchise for many, many years to come. Previously with a Bond film you could be pretty certain in the type of story you’d get and the world in which it’d be set, but Skyfall, ripped up that rule book. I think the potential to take 007 in an excitingly new direction, with Mendes’ style suiting a more narrative plot than a simple action adventure, there is a real chance of Spectre being the stand out film of 2015.

Sadly though, with the recent cyber hack on Sony leaking pretty much everything and anything you could wish to know about the film onto the Internet, I think a lot of the magic of the film may potentially be lost, and while I’ve totally ignored the leaks, I just hope there unpleasant release doesn’t lead to any knee jerk changes in narrative direction in an attempt to regain control of the project.

5. Mad Max: Fury Road

The Max Trilogy is a cult classic, but sadly not one I follow. I really didn’t get on with the original films that made Mel Gibson a household name. I just found them farfetched, confusing and set in a time period I couldn’t work out. And so, the thought that the trilogy is going to become a quadrilogy doesn’t really fill me with hope. But then I saw the trailer.

The madness and outlandish, feral roughness that defined the originals is still presence, reconnecting everything, but visually it just looks immense and so, I’m expecting find a film that totally befuddles me plot wise, but visually blows me away. The trailer gripped me, blew me away, and demanded my attention, demanding I see the film as soon as it’s out. I just hope it’s just not another case  of simply giving away all the best bits in the trailer, before treating you to a feature full of filler.

6. The Theory of Everything

Sneaking into 2015, opening tomorrow, January 1st, The Theory of Everything tells the story of Steven Hawking. And the trailer looks immense. There is already huge Oscar buzz around the performance of Eddie Redmayne as Hawking and his convincing portrayal of a man whose body is destroyed by Motor Neurone Disease.

In the same way that I think people will expect too much from Star Wars, I worry that the impressive reviews and the quality that oozes from the trailer mean I myself, may be putting too much into my expectations and that I will be in for a disappointment. Everything about this film just shouts that it is a story that will grip, move and inspire before leaving you in a better position than before you saw it.

Like I said, I think I may be expecting too much from it.

7. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

And so the story concludes. With Mockingjay, Part 1 treating us to nothing more than a war of words, a propaganda onslaught that in my view failed as a film to really stand alone, seemingly to be building the foundations purely for this, we should finally see if all that groundwork was worth it. Whether the two parts work together to create a fitting conclusion to a story that for me, have never recaptured the power of the original film but been entertaining none the less.

And in theory, with nothing left but one heck of a battle, Mockingjay Part 2 can be compared to The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies in it’s basic principles, but unlike this year’s adventure into Middle Earth, all the talking has already been done. Let battle commence

8. Monsters: Dark Continent

I adore the Gareth Edwards’s original, it’s a tale that is multi layered and beautifully constructed, concluding in a satisfying way, leaving you pondering and questioning the points it makes expertly and so, I’m not really sure why they felt the need to create this film. And what is even worse is that Edwards isn’t involved  having moved on to other projects.

I have a feeling that realistically, this film is going to be more a case of borrowing the world and characters to use as a setting, rather than any form of continuing narrative. I shall wait and see; but I’m not convinced that the two films will really marry together. The first being more a social monologue about the actions we take towards those around us; whereas this, appears more to be a simple soldiers, monsters and lots of bullets “fight film”.

9. Wild

I actually don’t know much about this film, I haven’t even seen the trailer as I sit here and write this, but the reason I’m including it in my list is because everything I’ve read about it says I should see it. Starring Reese Witherspoon as a woman who decides to basically “find herself” as her life spirals out of control by going on a long walk – I’m sure people will jokingly mention Forest Gump and running as a result – Witherspoon, an actress I have always liked and enjoyed, has declared this to be her toughest, but most satisfying role to date.

And that’s why I want to see it, because with Witherspoon saying it was obscenely hard to take but also so rewarding, and with early reviews saying this is a career defining role, which combined with her performance in Mud, are the beginnings of a renaissance for her; it seems like it may be the “dark horse” film to keep an eye out for this year.

10. Fast & Furious 7

Growing up I was never really into computer games, apart from the Need For Speed racing franchise, and until the 2014 destruction of the name, the nearest on screen car films had come to the world of street racing that I love so much was The Fast & The Furious franchise. As a result, I’ve been on board since the very beginning and while there is a real up and down nature to the way the character’s and world’s have developed, with recent efforts seeming to lose sight of the cars and the racing , preferring instead to become a little more mainstream and “hollywood action” specific, I still think they are enjoyable.

With the tragic loss of Paul Walker, it’ll be interesting to see how the franchise now moves forward and how the themes of loyalty and the corruption of good and evil that grounded so many of franchises narrative plots is now portrayed. But I’m glad to see it continuing, even if I am expecting nothing more than illogical stunts and impossible manoeuvres that dogged Fast & Furious 6 so badly.

Posted on by 5WC in Film, Opinion First Edition

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