[At Least] 5 Films You’ll Want To Watch in 2015

5 Films You’ll Want To Watch in 2015

crimsonpeak

At least five. I’ve added more than five to account for the fact that 2015 is going to be a bumper year right across the industry…have a look at the categories below.

This year, it’s also key to remember that we’re now so much closer to those rumours of Netflix beta testing its own platform-exclusive movies following the hilariously controversial Adam Sandler buyout last year, as well as its near half-decade of success in commissioning its own range big budget TV series. And following the serious dictator threat and hacking s***storm created by The Interview padded with a select-theatre release in Christmas 2014 as a marketing mitigation tactic: the power of the big screen is being seriously questioned, undermined and attacked more than ever, even politically.

So. 2015 is the year that cinema needs to prove its worth to us, the humble viewer. This could explain why all the studios are going HFL to get the best possible directors and leads out on a complementary release schedule this year. It goes a little like this:

5: Star Wars: The Force Awakens // UK Release Date 18th December 2015

Directed by JJ Abrams

Starring: John Boyega, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley 

Everyone is already talking about what will be, unmistakably, the most talked about film of 2015.

The use of ‘unknowns’ and fresh faces to the cast will help the die-hard fans at least be able to differentiate between the previous episodes within this commercially friendly series, as well as treat Abrams’ work with the suspension of disbelief that it deserves. And with Attack The Block‘s awesome John Boyega taking on the lead role, it’s not foolhardy to say that we should all expect a surprising and captivating performance.

While it seems to have taken many years for Lucas to wait and sell to the highest bidder let go of the reins at this billion-dollar franchise, JJ Abrams and his usual crack team of writers should hopefully – at the very least – provide much stronger dialogue than seen in the last two episodes…

 

 4: Hateful Eight // UK Release date – possibly Christmas 2015

Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Walton Goggins, Kurt Russell

hateful eight

Hello. I am an unapologetic Tarantinwhore so this status has massively impacted my Top-Five billing and your resulting reading experience. Eh, what are you gonna do? Blogs are subjective and there’s no such thing as correspondents’ neutrality no matter that people tell you; but that’s for another day, kids.

Hateful Eight will be a good ol’ Western set in Wyoming. Bounty hunters looking for shelter get caught up in all kinds of tangling betrayals and lies…YES. I also haven’t seen Mr Goldie Hawn at the pictures for ages, so can’t wait to see what he’ll bring as ‘The Hangman’. I know right? Way ahead of you guys. Already laughing with the darkness.

 

3: Sea of Trees // UK Release date TBA 2015

Directed by Gus Van Sant

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe, Naomi Watts

see of trees aokigahara matthew mcconaughey

Aokigahara (“sea of trees”) Forest is notorious for suicide in Japan. It’s fairly easy to say that Gus Van Sant’s vision of a walk in the woods will be distinctly tragic, spooky and engaging with the effortlessly haunting backdrops of Mt. Fuji, Hakone and the surrounding gorgeous landscapes that (fingers-crossed) really lend themselves to 70mm. Having visited these landscapes in both rain and sunshine with my partner, I personally cannot wait for the whole sensory package: Van Sant’s auteurship cinematography, soundtrack and his crew’s colour grading work.

The last few years have really been owned by Matthew McConaghey, becoming the point of internet hate everywhere by Leonardo DiCaprio fans this time last year…and, if you can actually hear all the syllables he’s been given to say in the film, his portrayal of a lost man foiled by the completely awesome Ken Wantanabe should be simply perfect.

 

2: Tomorrowland // UK Release Date: 22nd May

Directed by Brad Bird

Starring: Britt Robertson, George Clooney, Hugh Laurie

tomorrowland 1952

Gorgeous concept art based on the mysterious 1952 box and a possible nod to Disneyland itself….wait…HUGH LAURIE IN THE CINEMA! Ace. I’ve had enough of him talking about face cream, ffs.

Also the name of a pills-galore EDM festival in Belgium where you can illegally, pretty much pop your way to feeling like you’re being propelled into a future happy land, Brad Bird’s sci-fi Tomorrowland promises a little more of the dark, centring around Robertson’s character and supergeek friend Clooney, who together travel to the future inside the consciousness of the hive mind…

…Which leaves Laurie as the possible villain which is even more exciting.

1: High Rise // UK Release Date TBA 2015

Directed by Ben Wheatley

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller

high rise 2015

Ballard’s original dystopian novel is underrated because it’s not about people with a sexual attraction to phantom limbs and crashed cars. High Rise is, and has the potential to be, one of the most scathing observations of wealth, power and corruption to date.

The whole book is set inside an apartment block where the rich people live at the top and the poorer people live at the bottom. Sounds like a Thatcher or post-Thatcher world? Funny, that. The luxury lifestyles degenerate into sinister violence and sometimes, very difficult to read passages that are all-too-knowing about the plastic and moral waste of the ubermodern life.

The direction and cast really speak for themselves – I just hope it gets the attention it deserves.

So there’s my top 5, with the indie at the top. 🙂

Here are the other massive films:

The 2015 film you’ll  still forget to see even if it’s arty, all your fave critics talk about it and it’s totally A-List

This one’s obscure even though this trailer’s been out for months. Bale is to play a a man named Rick, a man shaped by his wealth and fame who falters when it comes to the more valuable things in life.

Nevertheless, there’s a small chance that the film will not even reflect the trailer; but there is a large chance it will be: poetic, philosophical and brave.  Billed to be a headliner for this Februrary’s Berlinale, Malick’s somewhat pagan-titled ‘Knight of Cups’ has a stellar cast including Christian Bale, Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett who you know will be completely involved in their role given Malick is one of the most exciting and Marmite, mmmm!, directors of our age.

The 2015 film with Jessica Chastain in it

crimson peak fan poster

Crimson Peak looks like a return to the gothic, romantic horror of Labyrinth following the hugely popular, pretty-much-the-game-not-really-a-film Pacific Rim.

Guillermo has since spoken of the project: “I wanted to make a movie that was able to blend two sides of my personality. After I did MimicMimic was such a tough experience that I said, “I’m going to do the painfully beautiful and creepy things in my Spanish-language films, and I’m going to do the big sort of pop-pulp fun movies in English.”

Tom Hiddleston rocked in Jim Jarmusch’s No Lovers Left Alive and is visually arresting as he is vocally.

Jessica can do absolutely no wrong, she is amazing. I swear half her superpowers are made up of her social media following; but still. Painfully beautiful and creepy things? Bring it on, Hallowe’en.

 

The 2015 film stuffed with Oscar-winners, also with Jessica Chastain

ridley-scott-fassbender

RIDLEY SCOTT! MICHAEL FASSBENDER! MATT DAMON! CHIWETEL EJIOFOR! And JESSICA CHASTAIN! [Sorry there’s nothing much been released about this movie so I used an image from the Making Of Prometheus.]

Matt Damon’s been stranded again on a large, stark planet – this time Mars – and has to survive and hopefully not try and kill the help which is getting sent over to him in The Martian.

The hugely risky 2015 blockbuster

Risky because it could be a complete and utter let down. It’s taken 10 years for the script to leave the developers. Even Google’s pessimistic. When you look it up, the Google factfile just says: “The next installment in the franchise.” Sheez. Y’like the reception of frost much, Google?

Kinda has a point. What will they’ve done to Isla Nublar? How did they make it any decent without Sir Richard Attenborough and Sam Neil? Did you even see that trailer?

…The Jurassic World merch better be awesome.

The possible smash 2015 release if the right producers back it:

Silence  // UK Release Date – still TBA!!

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson

silence martin scorsese

Ahhhh! C’maaaaahhhhnnnn! This film has been in the pipeline so much that it if you look in this year’s OED, you’ll actually find this phrase followed by the word ‘Silence’ with an illustration of Scorsese’s exhausted and yet still thoughtful and lovely face, staring down a bunch of confused distributors flapping as they figure out when the heck the best schedule for this will be.

The original lead was Daniel Day-Lewis, who’s apparently been replaced by Liam Neeson during the somewhat mysterious development timeline.

The outline itself is fascinatingly unfamiliar: a pristine 17th century Japan culturally invaded by two Jesuit priests -Garfield and Driver – attempting to preach while looking for their great teacher (Neeson). It could be incredibly sharp and beautiful – but there might be endless comparisons  with Sea of Trees, even though they’re not similar at all; simply based on the fact that Japan is used as a setting.

Damn these amateur film writers.

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