This is the 7th annual list of my top anticipated movies for the upcoming year and while I keep making a New Year's resolution to blog more often, maybe I should resolve to be consistent (since I'm doing a pretty good job of that already.)
Here's the list!
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
This movie was practically guarenteed the top spot on this list the moment it was announced. I can't really think of any movie that could knock this off of the top of the list (besides a Phineas and Ferb movie, of course) but everything they've released has indicated that this movie is going to be awesome. True, people thought that about the Prequel Trilogy but it seems that by including the things that people actually liked about the Original Trilogy (Luke, Leia, Han, Stormtroopers) that the chance of it actually turning out well is much higher.
2. Avengers: Age of Ultron
Marvel has not skipped a beat the entire time that they've been building their "Cinematic Universe" (including a talking raccoon and a Vin Diesel tree) and the only downside to this film is that as they're already talking about the third (and fourth) Avengers movies, this one seems to just be something to get through on the way to something bigger. I don't think that's true, I think this will probably be one of the most fun movie experiences of the year but I do think there's something to be said about letting one movie come out before you're building anticipation for the next one. But hey, call me old-fashioned.
Every once in a while a director builds up enough credibility that I want to see his (or her) movies without even knowing what they're about. Christopher Nolan is on that list but so is Brad Bird. Bird has directed some of the very best animated movies of the last 15 years (Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille) as well as a Mission Impossible movie (Ghost Protocol) that was far better than a Mission Impossible movie has any business being. All I know about this one is what is in the teaser and that they've been very secretive about almost everything (it's co-written by LOST writer Damon Lindelof) and at least somewhat based on the section of Disneyland. Original moviemaking doesn't come by all that often and I like to reward those who tell fun, original stories.
4. Mockingjay- Part 2
There isn't a trailer for this yet and they probably could skip releasing one and people would still show up. The only reason this fell to #4 is that I didn't really enjoy how the 3rd book ends so I'm a little biased against this already. The first three movies have been really great and in another year this would probably be on the top of my list. I will miss having a Hunger Games movie come out when these are finished. (I'm sure the movie studio or author will figure out some way to keep cashing in though.)
5. Jurassic World
When I was 14, seeing the poster for Jurassic Park 3 was enough to convince me I needed to see it. The Jurassic Park movies are not the best movies in the world (seriously, when will people realize that going to an island of dinosaurs is a bad idea?) but I've probably seen them more than any other movie series outside of Star Wars and Back to the Future. Even if they won't be in the running for Best Picture, they tend to be fun, scary movies that are a great escape during the summer months. Add in Chris Pratt and I'll overlook the lack of realizing that hanging out with dinosaurs (in the rain) will always end up badly.
When the James Bond series rebooted with Daniel Craig, people were upset that he had the wrong hair color. I hope by now that people have realized that he was the best thing to happen to the Bond series. The last four films have been a larger departure from the other Bond films besides the aforementioned hair issue but they have placed storytelling much further toward the front of their purpose than ever before. Skyfall was not only one of my favorite Bond films, but one of my favorite films altogether. This one should be great.
Arguably the best part of the Despicable Me movies are the Minions (no offense to Gru.) Yes, this movie will be full of slapstick humor but the writing (even in this trailer) is so clever that this is almost guaranteed to be funny. The story might suffer without having Gru along or they might be annoying as the focus of an entire movie but I'm willing to give them a chance.
No, this isn't a movie about Zoolander's school for ants. This is the follow-up to the Avengers coming out earlier in the year and the end of their second phase of films before launching the 3rd (and final?) phase in 2016. Before doubting that a movie about a guy who can shrink to the size of an ant could possibly be any good, who would have thought that people would enjoy a guy that acts like a Spider? I have some doubts about this one but Marvel Studios hasn't screwed up yet.
Yes, I unashamedly put Cinderella on this list. Besides the fact that the cast has multiple members of the cast of Downton Abbey, this just looks like a quality take on the story. Yes, everyone already know the entire plot (and if you didn't the trailer pretty much goes through it for you) but this looks fun in the same vein as the Alice in Wonderland movie that came out a few years ago. True, there's no Johnny Depp this one but sometimes a lack of Johnny Depp can be a good thing.
Pixar last came out with a movie in 2013 and now they've got 2 coming in 2015. People focus on the fact that they've had a couple of stumbles but in my opinion a bad Pixar movie is still better than most other movies you could go see. The first movie deals with a creative take on what is going on inside of you emotionally and the second involves a world where the dinosaurs were never killed off. Both seem like fun ideas and while I hope that these get lumped in with the Toy Story, Wall-E, Up category of Pixar films, even something that falls a little short should still be a good time at the movies.