Every year, it seems there are more and more movies catering to a portion of the population that used to have their heads bathed in the business end of the toilet. But there are still certain years in which the Movie Gods truly align, to bring you a mind-numbing geek festival of the brain. There is so much “must see” on the books for 2015, that you might want to start saving just for future movie tickets.
In your heart of hearts, you know that you had a soft spot for that fuzzy-headed, frequently naked Trolls toy line. Starring Jason Schwartzman, and created by the frequently-reliable Dreamworks animation divisions, the Trolls will get animated life in 2015. The good news is that The Smurfs was a heartwarming success, paving the way for a Troll movie to be made. Plus, the screenplay is penned by the same woman who wrote Monsters Versus Aliens. The bad news might be the pure limitation such a tie-in presents. How much mythology can you really expand upon, when the subjects are toys famous for being at the end of pencils?
Still, we are cautiously betting that Trolls will be the aforementioned heartwarming success. You just might not admit that you were excited about seeing it later.
We can certainly understand some trepidation about a big budget production which essentially amounts to Honey I Shrunk The Hero. C’mon, its Ant-Man, right? There are two saving graces to this project which should make you excited though. For one thing, it’s Marvel. We’re not saying that Marvel Studios is infallible. There have been many Marvel projects which were less than stellar. However, they still have a good track record.
The other reason is director Edgar Wright. Wright is the edgy comedy/action director who gave you both Shaun of The Dead and Scott Pilgrim Versus The World. At the very least, Wright understands what fandom wants, and how to make the property his own. With little to expect from Ant-Man, it may turn out to be a true classic of the genre.
8. Hotel Transylvania 2
Genndy Tartakovsky will not be back for the sequel, as he is trying to revive the even dicier proposition of bringing back Popeye to the big screen. Hotel Transylvania was Sony’s highest grossing animated feature ever, as well as a pretty decent argument for Adam Sandler to never appear in a live action film again. Adam, it was a good run, but you are now simply better as a voice actor. It’s like a pitcher transitioning from a starter to a reliever. At one point, you were reliable for regular $130 million domestic takes at the box office. If you want to keep it up, then stick to animated projects from now on. Hotel Transylvania is a good franchise to start on. Call Jack Black and commiserate. It will be OK.
7. B.O.O: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations
Little is actually known about B.O.O., but what is known has potential to be very exciting. The animated movie will star Seth Rogen as a ghost who must return to school to learn how to scare better. The movie is being done by Dreamworks and, done correctly, could feature shades of Monsters Inc., Casper, and (depending on the ghost’s age) either Billy Madison or Back To School. The movie could have a slyly put, adult-humor-meets-childhood concept, that everyone in the family can enjoy. If it is done incorrectly? Just remember that we are only going off of the information that we have. So don’t blame us.
Whenever you step on hallowed ground, there is a chance that disaster will result. Charles Schulz was Peanuts. There is a feeling that no one could, or would, ever come into the property after him. When screenwriter Craig Schulz (Charles’ son) says, “We finally felt the time was right and the technology is where we need it to be to create this film,” there is a possibility that there is an actual misunderstanding of the low-tech majesty which was A Charlie Brown Christmas.
The response? Horton Hears a Hoo. Director Steve Martino is the one who directed Horton to an animated feature that fans saw as at least a worthy continuation of the mythology started by Theodore Geisel. Martino is the same man who is directing Peanuts. There is obviously great trepidation, but there also appears to be some hope.
5. Fantastic Four
After seeing the previous Fantastic Four movie, as well as Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, fans’ enthusiastic response to the reboot of Fantastic Four seemed almost too excited. The reason for such exuberance? Chronicle, and its director Josh Trank. As a dry run, Chronicle was a movie about teenagers who suddenly got superpowers after a party. Each of the heroes’ lives spun wildly out of control as a result. Fans are envisioning Chronicle with a budget, as well as familiar characters, and they like it. Considering Chris Evans has moved on to Captain America, there is virtually no chance of the original cast returning. The excitement, however, still seems very warranted.
4. Justice League
All reports look like Warner Brothers is ready to pull the trigger on a Justice League movie. Now, DC and Warner Brothers are not Marvel or Disney. On the plus side, Christopher Nolan sounds ready to direct the film tomorrow. While there is no guarantee of any kind of “shared universe” like Marvel, speculation has still run rampant that Nolan’s Bat-Universe will be connected to this upcoming feature. If the Nolans are officially on board, fans will tend to trust whatever decisions are made on the movie. The film could easily duplicate Superman and Batman’s success at the box office. Let’s just hope that it does not follow the spotty box office, and critical reception, associated with pretty much all of DC’s other heroes.
3. The Hunger Games: MockingJay Part Two
You can blame the title, as well as dividing the final book into two cinematic parts, on Harry Potter. The Twilight Saga picked up the trend, and The Hunger Games will continue it. If those franchises were any indication, then MockingJay Part Two may well be the most commercially successful film in the series. By that time, the build for the post-apocalyptic saga will be at an all-time high, especially since the same director currently working on Catching Fire is also working on the MockingJay movies. This is also continuing the trend that the last few Twilight and Harry Potter movies started. There is plenty of precedence for these formulas working.
2. Avengers 2
There has been a tease of changes to come, by the time we get to Avengers 2. First of all, the title might be subtitled, or you may not see the 2 in there at all. The teased villain at the end of the first film will be first fleshed out before #2, in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Another interesting facet seems to be that Tony Stark seems to be suffering from some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder, after the events of the Avengers.
Meanwhile, the Falcon seems to be a character in the upcoming Captain America: Winter Soldier. The term Winter Soldier itself indicates a return of James “Bucky” Barnes, who is the current Captain America in the comics. That may indicate that some of the Avengers may not be done by the actors we know now. The movie should be fine, but it is great to have a level of speculation. In a year of geek movies, this may yet be the box office winner.
1. Star Wars Episode VII
All the JJ Abrams lens flare jokes in the world, not to mention the prospect of Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fischer portraying old-as-dirt versions of their iconic characters, have not stopped Star Wars VII from being one of the most anticipated movies this decade, and perhaps of all time. Will we see Han and Leia’s kids? Will Luke be a Jedi Academy trainer? Who else will be returning? So much is pure speculation but, if the speculation about the prequel trilogy was any indication, 80% of what you read will prove to be dead wrong. However, it’ll be fun guessing. After all, no geek fest is truly complete without Star Wars.