While I’m sure everyone is skeptical of Adam Sandler making a good movie at this point, this one has a great premise about a group of gamers who have to face an alien invasion that takes the form of classic video games. With Chris Columbus at the helm and the likes of Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad in the cast (as well as Kevin James as the President!) this could be a fun summer sleeper.
Possibly something unexpected for this list, but I do love the original National Lampoon comedies and I’m excited to see them potentially revised and updated with this long-delayed movie from the writers of Horrible Bosses (making their directorial debut). Besides bringing back Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, it’s another movie starring Chris Hemsworth—his fourth movie this year!
I've been looking forward to Ron Howard’s follow-up to Rush for some time, this one again starring Chris Hemsworth as the captain of a whaling vessel which has to take on its own unstoppable “Moby Dick.” Should be a great sea-worthy follow-up to Jude Law’s Black Sea, which opens this month.
Recreating the events of the Oscar-winning doc Man on Wire, one of my favorite docs ever, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as high-wire artist Philipe Petit and with Robert Zemeckis at the helm has made me very excited about this movie that hopes to remind everyone of the amazing daredevil tightrope walk Petit did between the towers of the World Trade Center in the ‘70s.
I’ve long been a fan of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan mythos ever since I first saw the Disney cartoon, and while there have been plenty of versions since then, I have a feeling this prequel to the known fairy tale from director Joe Wright (Atonement) is going to be something quite magical with the unconventional casting of Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard and Rooney Mara as Tiger Lilly. (I will admit to having some insider info on how cool this movie could be, having visited the set!)
I’m fully on board with this horror franchise from the creators of Saw and I’ll be curious to see if writer/actor Leigh Whannell has learned anything from his long-time collaboration with director James Wan as he makes his directorial debut and the series goes off in a new direction focusing on the paranormal investigators played by Whannell and Angus Sampson (who collaborated on this year’s indie crime drama The Mule).
I’ve generally enjoyed this franchise and Tom Cruise always does great stuff when he takes on the role of Ethan Hunt, the international spy with lots of cool gadgets. For this one, he reteams with Jack Reacher writer/director Christopher McQuarrie, which should ground the movie even more in the real world than some of the past installations. Also, I'm looking forward to the return of characters played by Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames who help make this a fun franchise.
I’m a little more tentative about George Miller’s return to the action franchise made famous by Mel Gibson, although I generally like Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron when they do action. I just worry that this might be a case like Ridley Scott’s Prometheus where we’ve been forced to wait too long so expectations are high and I end up being the only one who digs the effort. As with that movie, they already have another installment planned, but will we ever see it?
Like most Marvel fans, I was definitely more excited about this when Edgar Wright was directing, but it still has a decent cast and I like the original superhero character from the comics, so hopefully enough of Wright and Joe Cornish’s original script will remain so that it will feel like a Marvel movie but have its own identity.
When it comes to Disney movies I loved as a child, this animated feature about Rudyard Kipling’s Mowgli the jungle boy and the talking animals he meets was one I adored, and I have high hopes that Jon Favreau and his talented voice/performance cast will do everything to make it come to life in a way that it appeals to both children and adults. Fingers crossed!
Yeah, like many of you, I’m dubious of this new take on Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s superhero family based on what I’ve heard, but I just love the original characters and I hope that the talented cast assembled by Josh Trank (Chronicle) will make something out of this that might be different from the FF we know and love but is still a worthy reboot of the characters. (After the previous two movies, I’ll be more upset if this sucks than any of the other movies above, too!)
These “Fast and Furious” movies tend to be kind of cheesy and I’m not sure where else it could go after the last few movies, but I’m excited to see horror-meister James Wan taking over the reigns after four Justin Lin films, and hopefully that will give the movie a much-needed boost of speed, especially after the tragic death of Paul Walker (who makes his last appearance in this).
I’m sure most people will have this higher, because let’s face it, we’ve all been hoping this movie would happen someday and that Han and Luke and Leia would return after the disappointing prequels. Lucasfilm have found a great director to take up the baton in J.J. Abrams and he has a great cast, but I’m still tempering my expectations until I see more just ‘cause I’ve been so disappointed in the past.
I know that people are tentative about this second attempt at relaunching the franchise made famous 30 years ago by James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The original The Terminator may be one of my all-time favorite movies, and this one looks like it goes back to basics, and I have a lot of confidence in director Alan Taylor after Thor: The Dark World and “Game of Thrones” that he’ll nail the first of hopefully a new trilogy.
There was a lot of sadness and loss in 2014, but probably saddest of all was the fact that we didn’t get a new movie from Pixar Animation to cheer us up when we’re faced with sadness. This year, Pixar finally releases two of the projects that had been delayed including one that’s all about sadness and the other one involving… dinosaurs! (But presumably nicer ones than those in Jurassic World.)
At this point, Brad Bird can do no wrong in my book and having made the successful transition to live action with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, I’m excited to see him do something with Damon Lindelof that plays with the mythos of my favorite section of Disney World. Oh, and did anyone mention that it stars George Clooney, who also can do wrong? I think this is going to be the summer’s most unexpected sleeper.
My love for Guillermo del Toro, both as a filmmaker and as a human being, is no secret to regular readers, but it’s so great seeing him return to straight horror with this twist on the haunted house flick and the likes of Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska in this cast. I expect this to set a new standard for all horror movies to come, as it should contain powerful drama that’s on par with the scares.
I love James Bond and I love Sam Mendes, and the thought of them continuing what they started in Skyfall with a semi-reboot and the return of one of Bond’s greatest enemies promises to be another great step forward in one of my all-time favorite action franchises. Add to that Monica Bellucci, Lea Seydoux and Dave Bautista and it should be a very different Bond film.
I’m a huge fan of this franchise—I even like Jurassic Park 3!—and I’ve been so excited for its possible return probably as long as I’ve been writing the Weekend Warrior, and it’s finally happening! I probably already know a little too much from the teaser but as long as the movie has lots of dinosaurs eating people and it raises the Chris Pratt-as-action-hero factor, I’m so there!
At this point, I’m trying to restrain my excitement and anticipation for the next big Marvel movie, mainly because it’s got a lot to live up to after Guardians of the Galaxy (and the first Avengers movie!). I just love what Marvel Studios has done with these characters and it features some of my favorite Avengers characters in The Vision, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and the ultimate baddie Ultron. Here’s hoping that the movie fulfills all my childhood dreams of what this face-off might be like when it finally hits the big screen. It should be epic!