Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Most Anticipated Films of 2015 – Part 2: Prestige and Funs Films

2015 is shaping up to be an impressive year for original films as well with new work from auteurs David O. Russell, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Ridley Scott, Guillermo del Toro, and Joe Wright as well as talented up-and-comer Cary Joji Fukunaga. Plus, comedy-giant Judd Apatow has a new film. There is a lot of great stuff to see:

Prestige Films:

Title: Joy
Release: December 25th
Genre: Drama
Plot: Joy Mangano is a struggling single mom living in Long Island. She decides she wants more, becoming one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs.
Director: David O. Russell
Editor’s Thoughts: Director David O. Russell has been on a creative roll lately. His last three films were all great (The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle). He seems to have found an excellent collaborator in Jennifer Lawrence, casting her in his third straight film. O. Russell is also working with Bridesmaids co-writer Annie Mumolo on the script for Joy (sprinkling in some funny stuff and great dialog for Lawrence). With other frequent collaborators Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper also coming on-board, it seems as though O. Russell will have yet another outstanding film on his hands.
Trailer: Here (if available)

Title: The Revenant
Release: December 25th
Genre: Drama
Plot: Hugh Glass is a frontiersman living in the 1820s. After he is left for dead following a bear mauling, he sets off on the path of revenge against the men who left him to die.
Editor’s Thoughts: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu in a way reintroduced himself to many filmgoers as one of the brilliant auteur filmmakers working today with 2014’s Birdman (after some less than impressive work following his breakthrough Amores Perros) – Birdman is his best film and most high profile to date. His new film The Revenant boasts an excellent cast and a plot that sounds thrilling. This very well may be 2015’s Best Picture Oscar frontrunner. Personally, I cannot wait to see it.
Trailer: Here (if available)

Release: Fall
Genre: War Drama
Plot: Agu is a child soldier fighting in the civil war of an unnamed African country, these are his experiences.
Main Cast: Idris Elba
Editor’s Thoughts: Cary Joji Fukunaga is a brilliant director. He has made two very good films with Sin Nombre and Jane Eyre, but most will know him as the director of season one of True Detective. Beasts of No Nation sounds like it will be a powerful and moving drama. Plus, Idris Elba is fantastic (you should watch Luther).
Trailer: Here (if available)

Title: Macbeth
Release: Fall/Winter
Genre: Drama
Plot: Macbeth is a great general in Scotland’s army. He is told a prophecy, one of great power if only he were King. Driven by greed and lust for power, he murders the King of Scotland, assuming the throne; however, his guilt may just be his undoing.
Director: Justin Kurzel
Editor’s Thoughts: The Scottish Play is one of William Shakespeare’s darkest and most revered (especially among those in the theatre – the name Macbeth is never mentioned inside a theatre due to superstition surrounding the play). Australian director Justin Kurzel is a relative newcomer whose first feature is the unflinching The Snowtown Murders. His adaptation of Macbeth is certain to play on its darkest and most horrific themes. Kurzel has maybe 2015’s best cast with Michael Fassbender as Macbeth and Marion Cotillard as his wife. Additionally, Sean Harris playing Macduff is sure to be brilliant. If the film turns out to be as good as many think it will be, expect to see it as a prime contender in the Awards Season acting categories.
Trailer: Here (if available)

Title: Silence
Release: Winter
Genre: Drama
Plot: In the seventeenth century, two Jesuit priests come to Japan to find their mentor and spread the gospel of Christianity; however, upon arriving they are greeted with violence and persecution.
Director: Martin Scorsese
Editor’s Thoughts: Martin Scorsese is on a roll right now. His last two films Hugo and The Wolf of Wall Street garnered Best Picture Oscar nominations (so have five of his last six). Silence seems primed to follow suit. It has a very good cast and has an Oscar friendly plot (being a historic drama). If The Revenant is 2015’s frontrunner for Best Picture, Silence (and probably Jobs as well) is its stiffest competition (at least of the films we know about right now).
Trailer: Here (if available)

Fun Films:

Title: Pan
Release: July 24th
Genre: Adventure
Plot: The story of how the characters of Captain Hook and Peter Pan came to be enemies in the magical realm of Neverland.
Director: Joe Wright
Editor’s Thoughts: Pan is a prequel of sorts, as it tells the story of Captain Hook and Peter Pan before they became the character we know and love. It is an original story using J.M. Barrie’s characters. On one hand, this project sounds unnecessary. Do we really need yet another Peter Pan movie, let alone a reimagining of the story? And, this film comes on the heels of NBC’s Peter Pan Live! (which is so very terrible) possibly having any and all goodwill the characters had left long squandered. But on the other hand, Joe Wright is an excellent filmmaker and he has a great cast and crew. In all likeliness, he will take the story and make something that could be great (his films Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, Hanna, and Anna Karenina are all wonderfully kinetic and filled with strong performances). At worst, Pan will be a forgettable summer film like so many others, but at best it could be something special (especially with the great people involved).
Trailer: Here

Title: Trainwreck
Release: July 24th
Genre: Comedy
Plot: A romantic comedy of some sort presumably.
Director: Judd Apatow
Editor’s Thoughts: Trainwreck has potential to be 2015’s best comedy. It certainly has the talent. The film is written by Amy Schumer (who also stars). She is one of the top comedians working right now. Her show Inside Amy Schumer is hilarious. Trainwreck marks her attempt to breakthrough as a film star. She has found the perfect collaborator in producer-director Judd Apatow (who will likely assist on the script as well), as he has shepherded many other great comedic talents (Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, and Lena Dunham among many others). Trainwreck also features a fantastic supporting cast. Schumer is ready to be a star.
Trailer: Here

Title: Crimson Peak
Release: October 16th
Genre: Horror
Plot: Edith Cushing is a young author who is recently married, but she starts to believe that her charming husband may not be what he appears to be.
Editor’s Thoughts: Two summers ago, Guillermo del Toro gave us the really fun sci-fi blockbuster Pacific Rim, which is simply about big robots fighting big monsters. With Crimson Peak, he hopes to give us an equally entertaining horror film (one that is also good and genuinely scary, something that the genre gravely lacks; the only good horror films I have seen recently are The Conjuring, You’re Next, The Cabin in the Woods, The Innkeepers, Attack the Block, and Let Me In; but, even though they are good films, most are not very scary). Del Toro has passion for the genre and the talent to make something great (check out his past horror films Cronos and The Devil’s Backbone for a taste of what he brings to the genre – or his best film Pan’s Labyrinth). He also has a great cast.
Trailer: Here

Title: The Martian
Release: November 25th
Genre: Sci-Fi Drama/Thriller
Plot: On a mission to Mars, an astronaut is stranded and struggles to survive.
Director: Ridley Scott
Editor’s Thoughts: Ridley Scott makes great epic films, especially in the sci-fi genre (films like Alien, Blade Runner and Prometheus – the plot of Prometheus is pretty ridiculous, but there is no denying that the visuals and style are brilliant). Scott is teaming with screenwriter Drew Goddard on the film. Goddard has a background that should make most fans very happy (having worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Alias, Cloverfield, Lost, The Cabin in the Woods, and World War Z). Scott has a wonderful cast as well. This has a lot of potential to be a critical and box office success. As a big fan of Scott’s work, generally, I am really looking forward to his return to the sci-fi genre.
Trailer: Here (if available)

Release: Summer/Fall
Genre: Western
Plot: Eight bounty hunters try to find shelter during a blizzard in post-Civil War Wyoming, ending up being involved in a plot of betrayal and deception.
Editor’s Thoughts: Quentin Tarantino recently said that he plans to make ten films and then retire. The Hateful Eight is possibly his seventh, eighth or ninth (depending on what you count). It is also potentially the final chapter of his revenge fantasy trilogy (Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained being the first two in the series). Tarantino loves westerns. He made his ode to Spaghetti Westerns with Django Unchained. The Hateful Eight might be his ode to the grittier, darker westerns made by American auteurs (like Red River, Unforgiven, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Searchers, and The Wild Bunch). Tarantino is using a group of his frequent collaborators for his cast, mostly made up with older, grittier actors. I love westerns too. It is a genre that is almost completely forgotten in modern cinema. I cannot wait to see this. Plus, Tarantino is going to shoot this on film, another aspect of cinema (or classic cinema) that is being left behind.

Trailer: Here (if available)

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