Most Anticipated of 2015: A Year in Preview

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Well that was a fun trip down memory lane wasn’t it? But that’s all in the past now and we mustn’t dwell. Move on already! If 2014 taught us anything it’s the importance of those three little words. Of course I’m referring to “Let It Go”. But I digress…

Holy cow you guys! How many good (looking) films are coming out this year? Avengers! Star WarsFurious 7! I believe the scientific term is “a buttload”. Of course none of those films I just mentioned actually made it onto this list (whoops) but hey, we like what we like and this list is our most anticipated films. So sure the entire gosh darn world is wetting itself in excitement for The Force Awakens but the aim of this list is for the XXIV Film & TV staff to share what we’re most excited for and why; popular opinion be damned!

 

Mad Max: Fury Road – Bill Peel

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If you have seen the latest trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road then you may be thinking that the whole thing looks like one humungous (see what I did there?) clusterfuck, and you would be damn right in thinking that. Despite many worries that always plague reboots, such as retroactively destroying the merits of previous films and making so much bank that they need not worry about it being a good movie, it appears that Fury Road is going to deliver exactly what fans of the original films want; vehicular madness.

According to director George Miller, Fury Road is going to be entirely composed of a 110-minute long car chase in the desert, and mere human trifles such as characters and plot are going to be established while cars are flipping everywhere around them. Not only that, but apparently 80 percent of the stunts in the film were shot with absolutely no CGI, and one of the instruments used for flipping cars in these ridiculous stunts is called a ‘vehicle launcher’. I don’t care if that’s a mundane thing to people who know how movies are made, if something called a ‘vehicle launcher’ is being used in an action movie as opposed to swathes of green screen then you can just take my money now.

Mad Max: Fury Road is going to be released on May 15th, and, despite re-shoots, apparently it has tested extremely well with early audiences. Hopefully, those audiences weren’t a bunch of 13-year-old twerps who wouldn’t know a great action flick if it kicked them in the face and escaped on a helicopter. Also, for all of those who want their lunacy untainted by anti-semitism and misogyny, apparently Mel Gibson doesn’t make a cameo appearance in Fury Road, so even if it’s not that great, we can all take solace in that.

 

Pan – Angelique Komninoglou

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Due to being a sucker for backstory, and my newfound appreciation for Hugh Jackman after watching Prisoners, my most anticipated film of the New Year would have to be Pan. I can hear the chorus of groans now: are you seriously excited for another Peter Pan remake? Well it seems this live action retelling is turning the classic tale on its head, looking to be a unique and darker re-imagining of J.M Barrie’s beloved story.

Peter is a rebellious young boy living in an orphanage, who “doesn’t believe in bedtime stories.” One night he is abducted from his bed by a group of men who could easily pass as Cirque De Soleil dancers and spirited away to Neverland where he begins his trek to uncover his destiny as the famed hero. This is mostly familiar territory, however Warner Bros. seem to be paving a path of their own, embellished with dusty coalmines, big explosions of colour (literally), model mermaids, tribal dances and very Coachella-esque costumes.

The film also looks to be switching up the villain, with original rival James Hook as a seemingly friendly miner played by Garrett Hedlund, who looks to have traded up the waxed moustache and perm for a more Indiana Jones style get-up. Peter’s nemesis instead is looking to be Aussie actor Hugh Jackman’s very camp Blackbeard, as he appears to be captaining the ship abducting orphans like Peter.

Director Joe Wright has also worked on films like Atonement and Anna Karenina – set entirely on a theatre stage – so I’m expecting a film with lots of imagination, drama and theatrics all set to an epic score. And if that isn’t enough to convince you, Hedlund also provides a bit of eye candy!

With the number of Peter Pan adaptations we have had so far (including Hook, Finding Neverland, Peter Pan x 1000), you would think every possible avenue for a new angle or plot twist would have been exhausted long ago – but the film promises to tell the “untold story.” So I’m keeping an open mind and having a little bit of faith, trust… and pixie dust!

The star-studded cast also includes British model Cara Delevigne, Amanda Seyfried as Peter’s mother, and the controversial casting of Rooney Mara as the princess Tiger Lily.

See how the film pans out July of this year!

 

Jurassic World – Amy Planner

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This bound-to-be-awesome year has been dubbed the year of the sequel, but despite my hands shaking in anticipation of a stack of hopefuls like Pitch Perfect 2, Entourage and Avengers: Age of Ultron (just to name a few), I have picked the shining beacon of 90′s nostalgia Jurassic World as my most anticipated.

Not only have we been waiting fourteen years since Jurassic Park III, but we have been teased relentlessly with teeny trailers and very few plot details for what seems like an eternity.

The fourth instalment in the Jurassic Park franchise has been floating around for some time with many ideas scrapped including dinosaurs escaping the island and reeking havoc on the mainland, another draft saw teams of deinonychus training for rescue missions, there was also talk of genetically modified dinosaur-human mercenaries at one point. But alas they have settled on something else, though we don’t quite know what that something is just yet. All we really know is Isla Nublar is open 22 years after the events of Jurassic Park, Chris Pratt will be there alongside Bryce Dallas Howard (aka Richie Cunningham’s daughter), dinosaurs will roam around and there’s a money making scheme about to go horribly wrong – sound awesomely familiar?

Unfortunately though, we won’t see the return of his royal film-highness Steven Spielberg or Jumanji genius Joe Johnston this time around, but hopes are still high for a pretty epic film with some stellar CGI for us to wrap our eyes around. So 90′s kids unite for a dino-themed flashback – we know you can’t wait either!

The Park opens June 2015.

 

The Hateful Eight – Tobias Handke

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When Quentin Tarantino finally announced he would go ahead with The Hateful Eight, I for one breathed a huge sigh of release. The maverick director almost dropped the project after the script leaked in January last year, announcing he would write it as a novel instead. A reading of the leaked script with the rumoured cast took place a few months later and changed his mind, with Tarantino polishing the draft and re-writing the ending.

The film is Tarantino’s second western, and as you’d expect, involves a detailed plot with a cast of intriguing characters. Taking place in post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunters Major Marquis Warren (Samuel Jackson) and John Ruth (Kurt Russell) are returning to the town of Red Rock to deliver their human plunder Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh). On the way they encounter Southern sheriff Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins) who joins them before they’re forced to take refuge from an oncoming blizzard in a haberdashery. Once inside, the owners are no were to be found. In their place are Southern General Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern), Frenchman Bob (Demian Bichir), alleged English hangman Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth) and cowboy Joe Gage (Michael Madsen). It’s here things take a turn for the worse as deception, mis-trust and betrayal turn the characters against each other.

From what I’ve read, the script has all the hallmarks of a Tarantino classic. Wonderful monologues, vulgar language and moments of extreme violence are all present, with the film coming across like Reservoir Dogs meets Rio Bravo. Throw in the astonishingly talented ensemble cast (especially my favourites Russell and Goggins), and The Hateful Eight is shaping up as not only another Tarantino masterpiece, but also a front-runner for film of 2015.

 

Pitch Perfect 2 – Jamie Doran

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Fans of organised nerd singing unite!

The film that I’m most excited about for 2015? It’s hard to narrow it down, but purely for fun and knowing that it will more than likely be a soundtrack that will bring on many bouts of singing into my hairbrush, it’s got to be the sequel to 2013’s smash hit, Pitch Perfect, the imaginatively titled Pitch Perfect 2.

The first film offered it all – humour, great sing-a-long potential, great one-liners (Fat Amy, FTW!) eye candy (anyone else hoping that Luke the Station Manager makes a cameo in the sequel?) and of course, great musical numbers that make even Pitbull slightly more tolerable which is a rare, rare feat.

In Pitch Perfect 2, our beloved Bellas are going to unleash the kraken in an international a Capella competition in which an American team has never won. The gang, headed by Beca (Into the Woods’ Anna Kendrick) with Fat Amy (Aussie superstar Rebel Wilson), nodes survivor Chloe (Brittany Snow, John Tucker Must Die) and military daughter Aubrey (Anna Camp, True Blood) are all back as well as introducing two new additions to the cast in Academy Award nominee Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) and Golden Globe winner Katey Segal (Sons of Anarchy – no Gemma Teller here!).

Whilst the musical numbers have been kept under wraps so far, what’s certain is that we can expect some awesome mash-ups and sweet new dance moves alongside hilarity and of course, a well made film with a stellar cast.

Be prepared pitches – Pitch Perfect 2 is going to be one of your favourite movies of 2015.

A-ca-believe it!

 

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 – James G Stewart

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Are you like me? Do you have a Tommy Wiseau bobblehead sitting in your bedroom? Do you own Troll 2 and Piranha 3DD? Did you contribute to the Blue Mountain State Kickstarter campaign? Hell, did you even delay writing this best of 2015 contribution to keep watching Flash Gordon?

Well obviously no. And even if none of these testaments to greatness fit your specific lifestyle or movie choices, you should still be excited about Hot Tub Time Machine 2. But, James… it’s a sequel? You’re damn straight it is!! And if Horrible Bosses 2 taught us anything in 2014, it’s that sometimes sequels are slightly less awful than their first installment counterpart.

With a cast of B actors and former kind of A actors (it’s got the good Cusack…sorry Joan), the Hot Tub Time Machine world takes the rules of time travel and future alteration worries and says “meh”, and then it says “cha-ching”. Don’t believe me? Just Lougle it. The sequel takes off where the first began, except sans Cusack and now with a few new B grade faces that looks like creating an honest and educational look at time travel, which in 2015 with zero hover boards, is something I feel we could all use.

The first one was schlock and (fingers crossed) the sequel will be too, because for every Interstellar and Grand Budapest Hotel, you want to see some middle aged men and a nerd do drugs, get in a hot tub and travel through time to better their lives. So let us hope that this sequel follows suit, because in the words of my father after watching the original Hot Tub Time Machine: “that film was better than it should have been”. In a world without self-lacing shoes, isn’t that the best we can hope for?

 

Spectre – Timmy Bartel

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This was a hard choice to make. I mean we get an Avengers sequel this year, not to mention freaking Star Wars! Then there’s a whole bunch of really great looking Sci-Fi films to be excited about like Ex-Machina from Alex Garland or Chappie from Neil Blomkamp. Each of these movies are shaping up to be postiviely delicious, which is why I’ve surprised myself for being more excited for (or at least intrigued by) Spectre. James Bond’s twenty fourth outing, fourth with Daniel Craig, and second with director Sam Mendes.

I guess it’s sort of because we know what kind of film we’re going to be getting from Marvel, and I’ve been too hurt before by Star Wars to throw caution to the wind and get truly excited about it, but really it’s because during the last decade the Bond franchise has so carefully re-introduced so many of the elements that made the Bond films of yester-years classics, while fine-tuning the series for the modern world and keeping things excitingly fresh. And Spectre  is an almost perfect example of this.

Even if you’re unfamiliar with the Bond films of the 60′s and 70′s chances are when you picture a Bond villain you see the inspiration for Mike Myer’s Dr. Evil; the cat-strokingly evil Blofeld. He’s one of the best Bond villains, at the head of MI6′s arch-nemesis-organization, the titular S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

Just the fact that they’re bringing back Blofeld and co. is excitement enough in itself, but they’ve cast Christoph Waltz as… Oberhauser? Ignore IMDB folks. He’s almost certainly going to turn out to be Blofeld, or at least a villain in his own right, and that’s going to rule. Add to that Raiph Fiennes returning M to a stately british gentleman, Miss Moneypenny is finally back behind her desk and we’ve got Dave Bautista (Draxx the Destroyer from Guardians of the Galaxy) as Mr Hinx - and if that’s not the name of an Oddjob type henchman, I don’t know what is. 

Skyfall had a lot of work to do after the misguided Quantum of Solace and did an admirable job breathing life back into the franchise. No, it wasn’t a perfect film, but it further solidified Daniel Craig’s status as the best Bond we’ve ever seen (regardless of what your mum will tell you) and Mendes has a clear understanding of what makes a Bond film great.

Throw it all together and you’ve a dish with all the right ingredients. My mouth is already watering.

 

So there you go

Fingers crossed each of these films we be just as great as we’ve assumed. Now if you don’t mind, we’re going to sit quietly and continue getting our hopes just way up.

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