Well, since you are just still getting to know me, or if you don’t already know this about me, then I will tell you….. I am OBSESSED with movies. Since I was little I would just watch movies over and over again in addition to memorizing what year movies were made and how many stars the silly TV Guide gave each of them. This made me the coolest kid in town (in my own mind). I remember my geeked-out anticipation of every R-rated movie coming out on pay-per-view so that I could watch it at home. When Lethal Weapon 2 came out I was freaking out. I was 9yrs old, and no there was no censoring at our house and yes Riggs and Murtaugh were probably two of my closest friends. At age 35 I can’t say too much has changed. I’m still that little movie nerd except now I have IMDB and the rest of the world wide web at my disposal. So don’t worry — as you are all busy with your important lives I went and compiled a list of what movies you need to watch out for this year. Movie dork at your service…
Black Mass – Sep 18
Johnny Depp ditches the extravagant makeup and costumes for a more real-life transformation in this upcoming movie based on the true story of infamous South Boston organized crime figure Whitey Bulger, who also was the inspiration for Jack Nicholson’s Frank Costello character in The Departed. In this movie it seems we will see more about his life as an FBI informant, all while he terrorizes the streets with his brash and violent behavior. Based on the trailer it seems like Depp should do well in this role, and he will be supported by Dakota Johnson, Benedict Cumberbatch and Joel Edgerton. But I have plenty of reason to be skeptical as hell based on some of the terrible movie choices Depp has made in recent years – The Tourist, Dark Shadows, Transcendence, Mortdecai to name a few. But I’m hoping ‘ol Johnny can redeem himself. Director Scott Cooper previously directed Jeff Bridges to his Oscar win for Crazy Heart, so maybe some of his magic wears off again.
Everest – Sep 25
No other title is necessary for this movie based on the Mt. Everest disaster that took place in 1996 and was the subject of Jon Krakauer’s bestseller Into Thin Air. It boasts a solid cast of Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Jason Clarke, Robin Wright, Keira Knightley, and Sam Worthington who are all portraying real-life characters. Everest will surely deliver a very tense and visually stunning movie going experience. It will be interesting to see if the screenplay is able to properly weave in everyone’s stories while making the audience really appreciate the power of it’s central figure – the mountain itself. What kind of valuable resolution will it provide in the aftermath of this tragic event? I, for one, plan on going to see it unfold on the big screen.
The Martian – Oct 2
I love good sci-fi. Great sci-fi would be even better, since it only comes around once in a while. Director Ridley Scott takes the helm here, as he is experienced in this particular field and directed two all-time great science fiction movies in Alien and Blade Runner, although I don’t think his recent attempt with Prometheus was quite as impactful. This time he has a bestselling book to work off of – The Martian by Andy Weir. Matt Damon stars in the main role as presumed-dead and abandoned astronaut Mark Watney. Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Jeff Daniels make up this stellar cast. I’m not so sure about Kristen Wiig and Donald Glover – they seem a little out of place but seeing as I haven’t read the book I guess they might add some subtle form of comic relief as many space movies have some smart-ass comedian types in them (think a not-so-subtle young Bill Paxton in Aliens). Anyway, the trailer has me excited. Do I read the book before the movie is the real question.
Steve Jobs – Oct 9
A lot of movies based on books I haven’t read seems to be the theme here. This guy you may have heard about, even without reading the book Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Jobs is played in this film by the unyielding Michael Fassbender who will hopefully take the Ashton Kutcher version and delete any trace of it from our memory forever. Director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) will definitely add some of his style to screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s fast-paced storytelling (The Social Network) to pull the audience in tight and keep them there for the duration. It seems to be the right team to bring to life the consummate innovator and entrepreneur who changed the way a lot of us do everything. After all, he is the reason why any 2-yr old grabs an iPhone and knows to swipe right. Although Jobs was a true genius, he was a huge pain in the ass and pissed off a lot of people along his path to worldwide fame and success. It will be interesting to see how much of his personal life he fixed before his untimely passing from cancer almost 4 years ago.
Masterminds – Oct 9
Ok, on to some humor in the midst of all this real-life drama. Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Zack Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, and Jason Sudekis team up in this comedy heist from Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite). Strangely enough, it is also based on the true events related to the 1997 bank robbery in Charlotte, North Carolina during which roughly 17 million dollars in cash was stolen. Hopefully, they have some truly funny material to let this talented cast work with. It doesn’t need to be great, just needs to be worth it. In a year with good comedies at dangerously low levels, we need some funny shit to laugh at.
The Walk – Oct 9
If you’ve seen the acclaimed 2008 documentary Man on Wire then you know this story. If you haven’t seen it, then watch it first so you can see the real life man at work in all his craziness and glory. This current effort will attempt to make bigger and better the story of Philippe Petit, the French high-wire artist who attempted to walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974 along a single cable. Robert Zemeckis is a well-seasoned director who has handled larger than life films before – Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, Contact, Cast Away, and most recently Flight. He doesn’t always hit home runs, but he will provide a spectacle, though he has a strong tendency to be overly cheesy at times. Joseph Gordon-Levitt actually seems like the perfect casting choice, although I was worried about how he would handle the French accent. Then I found out that he is a Francophile in real life. What’s a Francophile you ask?? Someone who is obsessed with everything French basically. He is also fluent. Ok, so he really is the perfect dude for this role. I am really pulling for this to be great as long as Zemeckis doesn’t smother it with cheese, which, when it comes to only movies is it a bad thing.
Spectre – Nov 6
This will be the fourth installment of Daniel Craig’s brilliant and layered take on the spy we may think we know but love anyway. I can’t help but be a fan of how Hollywood has revamped James Bond for our generation into more of the not-so-perfect anti-hero. It’s never ever pretty or pleasant how he gets things done, but he manages to dispel the world of a huge nemesis a-hole and their many minions nevertheless. This time 007 goes up against a sinister organization – wait, isn’t that almost every Bond movie? It doesn’t matter, as the writers regularly seem to take Ian Fleming’s work and reinvent it for the modern day action movie. There are always little nuances in the story and endlessly original action sequences that make for a solid Bond movie, so I expect nothing less here. Christoph Waltz taking on the task as new the arch villain seems fitting given his pedigree, his perfectly villainous-sounding accent, and the fact that he has big shoes to fill after Skyfall’s Javier Bardem. I shouldn’t fail to mention we have some new bond girls in Leá Seydoux, Stephanie Sigman and Monica Bellucci who will join Naomie Harris who has solidified her role as Moneypenny. At this moment Craig is contracted to for this and one more Bond film. Let’s see if they make the most of it and push the envelope a little further. And after that, will they keep him?
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens – Dec 18
F%$& YES. Think what you will about them bringing a new Star Wars film back to the big screen – it was inevitable no matter what. If our childhood movie treasure has to be in the hands of someone then I guess a true movie nerd like director J.J. Abrams is our best bet. This movie aims to get back to what made the original trilogy so special – a good story at the heart of it with characters you really care about. I think it’s a good sign that relative unknowns like Daisey Ridley and John Boyega head up the cast with more recently recognizable names like Oscar Isaac, Domnhall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong’o and Adam Driver. It will be interesting to see how the film balances all these new faces with the old ones in Harrison Ford, Carrie Fischer, and Mark Hamill, not to mention the same actors behind our good friends Chewy, C-3PO, and R2-D2. It seems that the effects team is working hard to make the action feel more real than it did in the more recent Star Wars Episodes I, II, and III that were very CGI-heavy. Either way, it will be exciting to see how the story plays out and what this recent episode promises for the future of the franchise. I’m not going to sleep in a tent or anything, but I will see it on December 18th if I can.
Joy – Dec 25
As @midsis can attest to, I am a sucker for Silver Linings Playbook. I thought it was awesome and if you consider it a romantic comedy then fine – it was the best one to come around in too many years to count. In this new film director David O. Russell teams up again with dynamic duo Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, as well as a guy who goes by Robert DeNiro. I don’t always like these Hollywood ensembles being rehashed as it can seem tiresome or thrown together – they also teamed up in American Hustle. This story does seem intriguing and looks to promise quite a ride that spans four generations. The film follows Lawrence who plays Joy Mangano, the single mother of three who goes on to invent the “Miracle Mop” and all the craziness that plays out as a result of it turning into an empire. David O. Russell has been on quite a hot streak (since The Fighter in 2010) and this Christmas Day release looks to be in keeping with that. I just hope this guy figures out there are more actors out there that can play lead roles after this.
The Hateful Eight – Jan 8
I have to include this 2016 release as Quentin Tarantino should always be included in the conversation if he has a new movie coming out. Love him or hate him or you just don’t know what you feel, he is a master in his craft. His latest concept is a spaghetti western centering on a gang of misfits who get thrown together in blizzard-like conditions in post-Civil War Wyoming. I’ll save you the suspense: some violent shit will go down. As with most Tarantino movies though, it is the clever dialogue and the imaginative storytelling that is his real strong suit. There was some drama over The Hateful Eight as the script was leaked online and almost soured the movie being made altogether. But here it is thankfully and no I will not make the mistake of reading the leaked script. Tarantino has used all kinds of actors – A-list, unknown, washed up, and every actor in between. Here we have some of his regulars in Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell (only in Death Proof), Tim Roth, and Michael Madsen mixed with the likes of Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, Channing Tatum, and Demian Bichir. It makes for an intriguing explosive cocktail for Tarantino’s fittingly 8th movie. After this he says he will make only make two more films to get to 10 total and then he is done for good. Either way, I am going to see this one. A proper trailer should be due out shortly.
Honorable Mentions: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (July 31), The Program (Sep 16), Sicario (Sep 18), The Intern (Sep 25), Bridge of Spies (Oct 16), Crimson Peak (Oct 16), Rock the Kasbah (Oct 23), In the Heart of the Sea (Dec 11). Worth noting: a new trailer for Alfonso Cuaron’s The Revenant starring Leonardo DiCaprio was recently released and the film is slated to come out sometime in January 2016.
Ok fellow movie nerds, please feel free to comment. If you see something cool, share that shit. Or as we say here:
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