Tuesday, 21 April 2015


Well, I say summer.  Let's just say we'll use that as a focal point and work around it - it is only April after all.   There are some very big crowd-pleasing franchise releases this year, so here's my rundown.

It's already had its World premiere, but Avengers: Age of Ultron will doubtless be one of, if not THE most popular films of this year (until a certain release in December).  Its success is assured with a long line of Avengers-canon films already in the pipeline for the foreseeable future.  With another Marvel-universe release following a couple of months later, I'd predict that the mid-credits scene for this one will introduce Ant Man, but I don't know.  If you usually stay behind for the post-credits scene, you might want to know that it's been revealed that Age of Ultron doesn't have one this time.
Following fast behind will be the return of Max Rockatansky with Tom Hardy taking over from Mel Gibson in Mad Max: Fury Road.  Words wouldn't do justice to the visceral thrills that the trailer promises with original helmer George Miller seemingly afforded carte blanche to justify the film's greenlight after such a wait.   Hardy is contracted for another couple subject to how this one fares, so I'd suggest fans should flock to see it.  What it does have in its favour on that front is that it's likely to be mainly dialogue-free with rarely a moment's downtime when it comes to the action, which should serve an international audience well. 

Another franchise that hasn't been on the screen for a while is that one with the dinosaurs.  Jurassic World is attempting to revitalise the action on Isla Nublar with Jurassic Park now having been open to the public for the last 10 years.  I'm sure it'll be better than Jaws 3, which had the similar basic premise, but will it be able to reach the heights of the classic original?  It's a new cast with BD Wong being revealed as the only returning cast member.  He played the scientist featured in the velociraptor laboratory birth scene in the original, so don't worry if you can't remember him.  Chris Pratt leads the new cast, following on from his star-turn in Guardians of the Galaxy resulting in him being touted about as a possibility for the Indiana Jones reboot.  As long as it improves upon Jurassic Park 3, that's what I say. 

Yet another sequel/reboot on the horizon is Terminator: Genisys with Schwarzenegger returning to the role that made him famous.  I feel that I already know too much about this from the trailers.  So, if you're familiar with the first two (never mind 3 and Salvation) and you're interested, I won't say too much about it in case you'd prefer the spoiler-free approach.  It's not the only film you can catch Schwarzenegger in during the upcoming months.  In what looks like somewhat of a departure from his usually fare, he takes a step into Arthouse cinema in Maggie.  He stars as father who protects his daughter, played by Abigail Breslin, when she becomes infected with a zombie virus.  That doesn't make it sound like it's going to be too different from his usual big-budget action movies, but if you check out the trailer you'll get what I mean.  It's more of a dramatic horror with it seemingly drawing something from him probably similar to his performance in End of Days.

Shifting the focus to unfamiliar works origin-wise, I'll start with The Age of Adaline.  Blake Lively takes the lead in this fantasy-drama-romance as a woman born at the turn of the 20th century who stops aging after an accident at the age of 29 and stays that was for 80 years.  It's not ageing backwards, but the premise reminds me of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

If you're up for an extreme special-effects spectacle à la 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow, Dwayne Johnson stars in San Andreas as a rescue-helicopter pilot making a treacherous journey to rescue his estranged daughter in the aftermath of a massive earthquake.  Visually it is very striking and will hopefully turn out to be great entertainment, but these kind of films have the potential to be terrible.  Personally, the director's filmography doesn't instill me with excitement, but there's a 1st time for everything.

Something that should be entertaining, considering the parties involved, is Spy, the latest comedy from director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids & The Heat), whose next film will be the long-awaited/dreaded Ghostbusters reboot.  Collaborating in what would be the 3rd time from the aforementioned 4 is Melissa McCarthy.  As long as the script was good, Feig should have had an easy job prising a solid ensemble performance from a cast that includes Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Jude Law, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney, Morena Baccarin and Miranda Hart.

As I said, this Summer is full of returning successes.  Amongst them you'll also find Ted 2, Sinister 2, Insidious Chapter 3, Mission Impossible 5, a Fantastic 4 reboot, Magic Mike XXL,  a Poltergeist remake, Minions without Gru and a National Lampoons Vacation reboot sans Chevy Chase.