Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Top 5 "Oo, That Might Not Be Shit" Movies of 2015

Happy New Year everybodily! I hope all of you had a lovely Christmas and spent much time and money getting cataclysmically hammered, as is tradition. Let's all hope 2015 is an amazingly awesome year full of joy and other such sappy guff what like that.

back to the future 3 III jules verne train
And flying time trains; just like Back to the Future III promised!
I'm a creature of habit; I can't help it. I get up in the morning, put the kettle on, feed the captives, clean my teeth. I like routine. That means when I do something that has the potential to be a yearly occurrence, I'll likely take that opportunity. As such, in a follow-up to 2014's of the same ilk, I've gathered together a bunch of films coming out in 2015 that I'm penning into my diary as possible sources of enjoyment or, after the outcome of some of the items on last year's list, the least disappointment. Seeing as I'm already a week late on this post, let's not hesitate any further. Here we go!

5. Wild (Release: 16th January)

reese witherspoon wild poster 2015 film

I'll let you in on a secret: I pick all of the films for this list by going onto the "Coming Soon" section of IMDb and scrolling through the whole year. It gives me a general outline of some of the stuff I might be interested in, but sadly there's a lot that'll be announced later in the year or that's simply been omitted that I won't spot as a result. As such, don't consider this list a definitive account of everything I want to see: it's the taster board of the year to come. Despite that, I think I've still found five movies coming out this year (in the UK, anyhoo) that look genuinely interesting either as a result of unique story, the presence of a director/actor who's recent work I've enjoyed, lots of those squiggly award logos at the beginning of the trailer, or any mixture of the former.

cannes film festival palme d'or award logo
The Palme d'Or: The PornHub logo of wanky cinema.
So the first new release of the year that has piqued my interest stars Reese Witherspoon (who looks way different to what I remember her like in Legally Blonde a mere...14...years...oh god, I feel old) in Wild, the new film by Jean-Marc Vallee, director of Dallas Buyers Club (where we got the unique pleasure of watching Jared Leto dress as a woman and slowly die). Technically this came out last year, but it's global commercial release ain't till 16th January, so as far as us common Joes are concerned it just got released.

This movie looks pretty standard as far as a plot of a "true story" film goes: someone suffers a horrific ordeal and decides to go on a life-altering journey to re-find themselves; cue personal struggle and uplifting montages. What makes me a little more interested in this one than any other coming out this year is the pairing of writer and director.

george lucas
I've not been so excited about writer/director duos since this guy started doing both. Oh, wait...
Dallas Buyers Club was pretty darn good, and any person in their right mind would be buzzing to see what Vallee was up to next; but the addition of Nick Hornby (writer of the novels-cum-movies High Fidelity and About a Boy) as the writer gives me high hopes for how good this movie is going to be at really getting you to care about its characters. Many a heart string shalt be plucked when this one comes out, methinks, and I don't doubt I'll be one of them.

4. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (Release: 20th February)

kumiko the treasure hunter film 2015 poster
I see me some squiggly award logos!
This one's been making the rounds of film festivals all over the shop in the past year and won't be seeing a proper release until next month, but I want it NOW. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter looks absolutely fascinating. It follows a Japanese woman who mistakes a copy of the Coen brothers film Fargo for a treasure map and decides to go find the bag of money buried in the snow in the movie.

peter stormare headshot
Little does she know that they actually dug it back up and fed it to Peter Stormare as his payment.
I love Fargo. That would be enough for me to want to see this film. But the fact that it's both an independent movie and has all like Japan stuff in it just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. This movie is designed to ensnare hipstery wankers like me, and I'm totally cool with that.

The trailer and synopsis give very little away about what's actually going to happen to the titular Kumiko (played by Rinko Kikuchi; Pacific Rim's Mako) whilst on her journey, but it does a stellar job of building a foreboding and unwelcoming atmosphere. I have a feeling this movie ain't gonna be the cheeriest romp ever.
rinko kikuchi kumiko the treasure hunter
And not one giant robot to be found.
Understated, ponderous and oozing with potential; even if it doesn't blow my mind I have a feeling Kumiko will at least be memorable.

3. Chappie (Release: 6th March)

chappie film 2015 neil blomkamp

After Elysium turned out to be a bit of a wet fart of a movie (albeit a fun one), Neil Blomkamp looks to have got his awesome District 9 momentum back with his new film about a humanoid CGI mo-cap creature that is unfairly ostracised by the human community: Chappie. The difference here is that it's a robot instead of an alien.

district 9 2009 neil blomkamp film robot gun exploding man gif
Your mind right now.
Voiced and mo-capped by the beloved Shartlo Copley (the main guy in District 9 or, alternatively, the mental one in The A-Team), Chappie looks like the most adorable mix of Robocop and Number 5 ever imagined and the film appears to approach similar questions to those movies too. What if we were to start relying on robots in our armies and police forces and what if a robot were to develop the ability to feel?

chappie 2015 film trailer giant robot hugh jackman neil blomkamp
And, of course: "How much can we rip off the design of the ED-209?"
Just from the two trailers currently released at time of publishing it looks like we're in for the full shabang of Blomkamp staples: civil unrest, shady government organisations, military forces that can't be trusted, thinly veiled metaphors for racial discrimination. In short: this movie is going to rock the balls off that awful monster in that one Transformers film; which, incidentally, also appears to be the only robo-sci-fi Chappie doesn't seem to have lovingly taken themes and inspiration from. It feels like the greatest Frankenstein's creature of Robocop, Short Curcuit, Ghost in the Shell and iRobot (the book, not the film. Ew.) ever created.

And just to top it off, we're going to get to watch Hugh Jackman finally fight the robots he trained to box years ago. Score!

Here's the link to the second, very different, trailer.

2. Mad Max: Fury Road (Release: 15th May)

mad max fury road 2015 film poster
This poster actually smells of gasoline and burned flesh. HOW?!
I didn't like the original Mad Max. By my modern, desensitised standards it felt dull and rather lifeless for an Australian apocalyptic action film that was exceptionally over-hyped to me. Never watched the third one, but Road Warrior was pretty good. Anyhoo, there's a new one coming out this year, Mad Max: Fury Road, and boy does it look sweeeeeet. 

mad max fury road 2015 film car chase pole vaulting
By order of the Court of Awesome, henceforth all films shall be required to contain desert car pole-vaulting.
Despite obviously being a Mad Max movie, Fury Road somehow managed to also channel the same sense of psychotic abandon and danger that I last felt while playing Borderlands; a game which is about an entire planet of maniacal murderers driving about in stupid cars and beheading each other. A planet. That's like six Australias or some shit. Also they've replaced that terrifying anti-semitic guy with the muscle-bound Adonis that is Tom Hardy; hoorays all round for that casting choice.

mad max fury road film tom hardy 2015
Ladies, start your engines. *vroom*
Explosions. Stupid car chases. Sexy people causing both of the former. Cool setting and costuming. Sure, it's not going to be a ground-breaking piece of art; but if all goes well, we might just see the live action 18-rated version of that bit in The Lego Movie when Emmet uses his own head as a spare tyre. That's good enough for me.

The lego movie 2014 emmet head wheel gif
Add crunching neck sound effects at your own discretion.
For me, the real clincher will be how much of the stunts are physical effects and how much they choose to magic up with a compyater. It shouldn't matter, but it does. Here's the trailer:

1. Inside Out (Release: 24th July)

inside out film 2015 pixar poster disney

How could I not put this on my list? A new Pixar film written and directed by the guy who did Up? Sign over my first born son, cause I'll be going to see Inside Out enough times to have to sell him into slavery the moment he comes out.

adorable baby holding foot
"Sure, he's cute, but can he build a pyramid?"
Now I'll admit, the story following the adventures of the feelings that live inside the head of a human being certainly isn't that original. Two times come to mind in particular: firstly, one of the best Beano strips ever; The Numskulls; something which I do not take kindly to being imitated so brashly. More worryingly though is the second example: this animation by Walt Disney made back in 1943 called Reason and Emotion. It was Academy Award nominated short about the battle between emotion and reason and how being at all emotional is very wrong and that we should obey our superiors for the sake of the war effort to stop the highly emotional Hitler. Also, just so you know, women can't be trusted because they're too emotional and whatnot.
walt disney racist sexist cartoon 1943 reason and emotion
It really is a terrible cartoon.
Of course we've come a long way since those days, but the fact that a major studio would decide to make a film that so closely resembles a part of their past that they really shouldn't be proud of is still somewhat worrying. That and the advert does seem to stray a little too closely into the tired and frankly offensive gender stereotypes I thought we'd started to grow out of. Either way, the ad does appear to show the kind of humour and meaty characterisation that we've come to expect from Pixar, so if anyone could handle this kind of hot potato it'd be them.

disney pixar inside out film joy disgust anger fear sadness 2015
They're so ruddy adorable!
If you liked Up, then do yourself a favour and pencil this one in. And don't be afraid to demand your money back if your shoes ain't squelching with tears by the end; I'm expecting no less.

Honorable Mention - Pixels (Release: 14th August)

pixels film 2015 adam sandler chris columbus
Why would someone make such an awesome poster for such a guaranteed awful film?
I'm sorry to finish on a downer, but I need to mention this film, simply for the soul-crushing disappointment I feel every time I hear something new about it. The first time I head about Pixels was when the absolutely epic poster art started to circulate, and I was all like "Woah!" and "This'll be so awesome!" and stuff. A movie directed by Chris Columbus and based on a wonderfully imaginative short all about video game characters wrecking shit in the real world? And it has Peter Dinklage in it? How could it possibly go wro-

adam sandler massive turd on a stick anal prolapse fistula smegma cancerous remains gif
Yup. Written by the genius minds behind such classics of modern cinema as Happy Gilmore and Big Daddy (films so loathsome I've omitted even italicising them or linking to their IMDb pages) and starring the anal prolapse that was in the former films, Adam "Really-Does-Deserve-All-The-Hate-He-Gets" Sandler, Pixels is going to be a disaster. Turns out the story is an ever so original tale of aliens mistaking old video games as a declaration of war and inexplicably deciding to attack the Earth with said game icons, leaving the fate of the planet in the hands of a ragtag bunch of gamers. That is the most mind-numbingly unoriginal plot I have ever heard.

futurama alien invasion space invaders gif
Also, Futurama totally already aced it.
This movie could have been great. It could have been another Scott Pilgrim or Wreck-It Ralph (both good enough to get two links to their IMDb pages). An ode to the glory of gaming that doesn't just use it as a shorthand for pulling in geek money. But alas; it is being made by some of the most consistently awful film makers of our generation. And Chris Columbus for some reason. A moment of silence, if you please, for a great film that will never be.

Any movies you'd like to see this year? Let us know!

No comments:

Post a Comment