In Part II, I'm going to be looking at the action barrage that we will be seeing in 2015. It's beginning to unfortunately look like the same themes over and over again, which to me, is just a little concerning.
Nearly everything that I have seen has had a very strong political edge, which is a very hot ticket right now (Case in point , Olympus Has Fallen, White House Down, Taken, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and so on). But, with all of this political scheme, does it mean that the action genre will be coming to a close sooner than later? We'll just have to see.
For now, here are the smatterings that our boys in Tinsel Town have to offer for next year:
1) Against The Sun
This WWII period piece finds three Navy airmen who find themselves lost in the ocean after their torpedo plane is shot down during an attack. The film then goes on to show their struggles for survival (ala the classic film, Lifeboat-style scenarios). The film debuts January 23rd, 2015.
Dave's Take: WWII movies have been done to death! While they are a look at different aspects into this conflict through different means and different scenarios, we always see the same after-product at the end: another look into real life drama. For me, I will probably wait for the DVD release and check it then.
2) American Sniper
This film starring Bradley Cooper has actually been moved to Christmas Day from January 16th of nexy tear. Directed by Clint Eastwood, the real-life story follows Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, a Texas native who is the only one in U.S. Navy SEAL history as to having the highest number of kills in his career. The trailer is below:
Dave's Take: War stories taken from the point of view of the soldiers that have lived it have always been successful. For Clint Eastwood, his major success with such films as Flags Of Our Fathers and Unforgiven, have already been major proof of that. Bradley Cooper, by far, has proven that he can undertake any role given him and make it extremely believable. I have a feeling this film will have a great impact on the soldiers that came back from our most recent conflicts as well as the families who waited for them. I also wouldn't be surprised if it received and Oscar nod or two for next season, including Best Picture.
3) Taken 3
On Jan. 9th, Liam Neeson returns as former CIA operative Bryan Mills in this third installment of the series. This time, Bryan has been falsely accused of murder and is now on the run from the law enforcement officers that pursue him. AS with the first two times, he must emply his 'specialized skill set' in order to find the actual killer and clear his name.
Dave's Take : Liam has always been great, but it seems like he is doing more than he can handle by trying to be the next big action star at his age. In Taken and Taken 2, he had to traverse the globe in order to protect his family. This time, it is he who needs the protection. Now, I am not sure how well this third film will do, as it is very centralized as far as location. Viewers are too used to seeing the international spying end of it. It's the reason that I think they chose a more domesticated landscape. It looks a little refreshing at least, but again, I am not sure. I'll have to call this one a 'wait-and-see'.
In this period actioner premiering February 27th, Nicholas Cage and Hayden Christensen, we are taken to 10th- century China, where a warrior makes an attempt at redeeming himself by saving a princess from a horrible fate.
Dave's Take: This film stands a good chance at Oscar contention also, as the Academy has always loved period pieces dealing with Asian history ( ie Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Ron Howard's Memoirs of a Geisha, both Best Picture winners). The film's trailer is solid, and Nicholas Cage has always brought forth great product in period pices (ie Season of the Witch, opposite Ron Perlman). But, I have also noticed that Cage has not changed his style or method, as every character has the same voice and the same demeanor. He also has not done a big-screen movie since The Sorceror's Apprentice and Kick-Ass 2. Hayden Christensen is a budding actor, withthe ability of going great places. He was given a great opportunity in the Star Wars prequels and did exceptionally well as Anakin Skywalker. With being able to work with Cage and perhaps learn a little more, Christensen will have a long career ahead of him. I would definitely pay top-dollar at the theater for this one!
4) The Gunman
Sean Penn steps back in the action driver's seat on Feb. 20 in this political actioner/thriller from Open Road Pictures. Penn plays a former special forces soldier and contractor who is suffering from a very bad case of PTSD. In order to reconnect to life and the womanhe loves, he ends up on the run all over Europe, attempting to evade unknown trackers and clear his name.
Dave's Take: So far, this is looking more and more like a combination of Taken meets Falling Down starring Michael Douglas. The trailer sayd next to nothing about the film, except for the picture of Sean Penn holding the gun, looking like a crazed lunatic! I think I'll pass.
5) Kingsman: The Secret Service
Colin Firth (The King's Speech, Mama Mia! : The Movie) enters the world of action as the member of a secret super-spy organization in the midst of recruiting a young street punk in order to avert a global catastrophe hatched by a crazed technological genius. The film releases Feb 13th, 2015.
Dave's Take: Okay, I am there. I have never seen Colin Firth in an action picture before, and I have a feeling that this is going to be off the hook! I know there are a lot of contributors here at Movie Pilot that have been keeping tabs on this one, so, congrats! I actually like it when someone outscoops me sometimes. But, I will get better. But, what I can I say? IT LOOKS FREAKIN' AWESOME!
6) Seventh Son
On Feb 6th, Universal takes us into a world of magic, witches, knights, and Jeff Bridges. Bridges is Master Gregory, a knight who must train his successor before the next full moon after an evil witch named Mother Malkin escapes and threatens the land with her evil. His only option? To find the seventh son of a seventh son who in their prophecies will take up the mantle against this oncoming evil.
Dave's Take: Jeff Bridges has been doing quite a bit of experimentation as of late (*movie genres, releasing a country album, those sorts of things). From what I have seen of the trailer, I am seeing a conglomerate of a lot of other films that many of the scenes were derived from ( ie Snow White and the Huntsman, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Season of the Witch, etc.) I thinbk that this film will stand up to those that are major fantasy buffs, but the general public or those that know the genre well, if they pick out these points within the film, it could very well destroy the enjoyment of it. I am willing to give it a shot, but on its DVD release.
7) Jupiter Ascending
Alos on Feb 6th, Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis bring us into a politically-charged sci-fi universe with this film from Warner Bros. Pictures.
Set in the distant future, Kunis plays Jupiter Jones, a woman born under a night sky that was destined for greatness from signs from the sky. But instead, she's cleaning toilets and bathrooms for a living. Enter Caine, (played by Tatum, an ex-militray type who has come to earth to find Jupiter, as she is the only one with the right genetic code that is entangled to a major inheritance. The problem? It could very well change who is in control of the cosmos!
Dave's Take : Science fiction has really taken a beating over the years (especially with the originality of the Avatar franchise) , but now it is looking like many screenwriters are hoping to buck that trend. Last year's Ender's Game starring Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, and Asa Butterfield left me in awe and wonder and has become one of my all-time favorite new science fiction films. Jupiter Ascending looks to be just as promising. The story is very unique and looks at the power tocontrol theuniverse resting in the hands of one individual. I am definitely wanting a big screen night for this one!
8) The Coup
On Mar.6th, Pierce Brosnan is returning to the action thriller field after his last film, The November Man, which met with critical acclaim by many critics upon its premiere. In this film directed by John Eric Dowdle, Brosnan plays the father of an American family trying to escape a violent revolution while living in Southeast Asia. But, their problems only mount when they are chased by a violent rebel leader who wants them dead!
Dave's Take: Pierce has been doing a whole lot of experimentation lately like Bridges, going from covert agent to crooked politician (ie The Ghost Writer, oposite Ewan McGregor) to now loving father in this film which may or may not go. There has not been a film like this done since Proof of Life, starring Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan, and Red Corner, starring Richard Gere. Asia is a tinder-box of activity for these kinds of conflicts, but for movie-goers, they almost come off as a little too real. Not that they shouldn't be, but it all depends on the person's taste. For me, not my style.
9) Run All Night
On April 17th, Liam Neeson will move from covert operative to shady hitman in this new film from Warner Bros. . Neeson plays hitman Jimmy Conlon, who must save the life of his estranged son and family by facing down the big crime boss that he used to work for.
Dave's Take: Okay, Liam, enough of the gunplay! Two movies with you shooting guns and asking questions later? Or is it three?
10) Furious 7
YES! YES! YES!
On April 3, our boys with the cars that go Boom! make their return! A continuation of Fast 6, Torreto and his gang must now face the vengeance of the brother of Owen Shaw, Ian, as he plans to exact his reveng for the misdeed. Now, we know that Paul Walker is gone (God rest in peace) and supposedly his younger brother will be picking up Paul's role. But, there is still the trailer to worry about with that in mind.
Dave's Take: All I am going to say.....WOW!
10) San Andreas 3D
The Rock takes on the state of California after a 10.0 massive earthquake threatens the state, and as a rugged helicopter pilot, he faces the danger of the event in order to rescue his estranged daughter . The film opens May 29th.
Okay, this was a news report from the Bakersfield area where the movie was being shot for one particular scene. The movie trailer is not currently available yet that I have seen. The Rock apparently scared the hoo-ha out of the local residents!
Dave's Take: Dwayne Johnson is a proven money-maker as well as a crowd-drawer. He's the first professional wrestler that I have known of that has taken an acting career and made it work for him. I have only been disappointed with about four of the movies on his resume, but he has really been amking up for it lately after the success of say Hercules and his role as Luke Boggs on the Fast series. It'll be nice to see him do something different for a change, and this just may be it.
11) Mad Max: Fury Road
May 15th, we return to the wasteland and a new imagining of thepost-apocalyptic world of the character made famous by Mel Gibson, Mad Max. In this new reimagining (*with creator George Miller at the helm), Max finds himself running across the Wasteland with a group of refugees and bring pursued by the Imperia Furiosa and her War Rig. The film is supposed to be an accountof the Road Wars that follow, told from the perspective of those that were there and experienced it first-hand.
Dave's Take: It's been a long time since we have went back to the Wasteland (except maybe in the popular video game , Borderlands), and with that in mind, it makes me curious but also worrysome. Mad Max was the role that really gave Mel his name and his face among the viewing public. While an interesting story, I have to admit that this reboot has some definite possibilities. Where the real proof in the pudding is going to be is with Tom Hardy reprising the role as Max. Let's just hope that he can do as good of a job.
12) Don't Mess With Texas
Universal does dibs on a cop-and-witness movie as Resse Witherspoon plays a Texas police officer given the duty of protecxting the widow of a deceased drug lord (*played by Vergara) as they are being chased all over the Yellow Rose State by crooked cops and gunmen. The film releases May 8th.
A cute little news clip with Reese on the set of the movie.
Dave's Take: Reese with a gun? PUH-LEASE! Sofia Vergara I think is going to be great, as she is not only beautiful, but down-right hilarious! As for Reese, her playing a cop is like her pretending that she's actually sober! I'll pass.
13) Avengers: Age of Ultron
Okay guys, I know that I am a day late and quite a few bucks short on this one. But, what the hey? Here's the trailer:
Dave's Take: I'm there! Nuff said!
14) The Transporter Legacy
On June 19th, the Transporter franchise gets a new face in Ed Skrein (HBO's Game of Thrones) as he plays a top driver and mercenary who teams up with a top crackerjack group of assailants to take down Russian human traffickers.
There has be no quote 'official trailer' unquote yet released. I'll keep my eyes out for it!
Dave's Take: Need more info to make the call.
15) Jurassic World
Another movie that has all been abuzz here at MP coming June 12th. I won't go into great detail with this one. Heeeeeerrrrrreeeee's Trailer! :
Thanks, Flix Movies!
Dave's Take: With the success of the Jurassic Park franchise, no one can argue people's love of dinosaurs. But, with the idea of opening the park in the film and having it run by InGen, Hammond's company, it makes me ask the question if they are going to soften the story rather than increase the terror that we experienced in the first three films. If they soften it, I have a feeling that this film may end up ending the franchise for good. Another thing is how long has it been since Jurassic Park III? Almost fourteen years? When the franchise first started, Speilberg had one of the hottest tickets at the box-office, but as it progressed, more and more people have been asking when is it truly going to end? Michael Crichton, the original author of the novel Jurassic Park, has been dead now for years and he even admitted while he was alive that he was not pleased at how the film franchise had turned out. Why? Because he felt that it was too much of a deviance from the original stories that he wrote. Not uncommon in Hollywood, but I could understand his point as a person who read both books.
We're also returning to the velociraptors again, which has been run on and on throughout the series. Okay, they're dangerous killers! We get it! At least in Jurassic Park III, we saw som pteranadons and had a great action scene with that.
However, being that I am a Jurrasic Park fan myself, I will at least give it a shot and see what Steven has done with it.
16) Point Break 2
On July 31st, the classic Keanu Reeves- Patrick Swayze crime drama is getting a sequel and a 2000's makeover, with Keanu returning as FBI Agent Johnny Utah. The new cast includes Gerard Butler, Edgar Ramirez, Forest Whitaker, and Delroy Lindo, as well as a new playground: the world of international extreme sports!
It looks like Johnny is infiltrating another crime ring, but things get hectic when Johnny slowly starts to change..... check the trailer:
Dave's Take: It has been eighteen years since Point Break has even been mentioned. While I found the original absolutely stellar and original, there is a good chance that this sequel could fall flat on its face. Its relevancy is pretty much gone, as extreme sports had their heyday back in the nineties. While it still has somewhat of a following, this film will probably be liked by those types of people: surfers, skateboarders, BMXer's, and motocross riders. Not to say that they don't deserve fun also, but this one I may be waiting on for a while. I hope that the 47 Ronin excuse that he used for not taking the Cowboy Bebop offer was true, because if it was for this, he's in really bad shape!
On July 17th, we return to Neverland (yet again) in another live-action film dealing with Peter Pan and Captain Hook.
Starring Hugh Jackman in the top billing spot playing Blackbeard the Pirate, the movie revolves around the unusual friendship that Peter Pan had with the infamous Captain Hook while he was a member of Blackbeard's crew before he became the most notorious pirate in Neverland.
The supporting cast includes Garret Hedland (Hook), Rooney Mara (Tiger Lily), Amanda Seyfried (Mary), and Levi Miller as Peter Pan.
Unfortunately, there is no trailer for this yet, but I will keep looking.
Dave's Take: Another Peter Pan movie? Okay, but what makes it so special? Supposedly, it is because of the storyline itself. I'm willing to bite, but I am a little skeptical. There are so many different versions, remakes, reboots and so forth that have been done that it is going to take quite some doing to make this one stand out.
Okay, I did an article on this film way back when I first started, and I am still receiving hate mail! So, to all of the haters, I heard you! Here's the trailer:
Dave's Take : No comment.
19) Terminator: Genesis
I'll be back! Arnie is returning in his iconic role as the Terminator on July 1st in this newest installment in the Terminator franchise, Starring Arnie, Emilia Clark, Jason Clarke, Byun-hun Lee, Jai Courtney and Michael Gladis, we are going to see an older Terminator cyborg this time, but supposedly that will be explained in the film. It looks like we're heading back to CyberDyne again, and there's supposed to be even more explained about John Connor and his mission to end the war.
Dave's Take: It is already being said that this movie is being made to save 'a billion-dollar franchise'. With that being said, it makes me wonder what the film will produce? If they were simply making the film to save Terminator, then there really isn't much reason. Terminator: Salvation with Christian Bale, by far, I thought was an excellent film. But, if they are going to do a rush job and simply make a film so that they can maintain a foothold is no reason to continue.
20) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II
Ang Lee's Oscar-winning martial arts movie is on its way to a sequel from the Weinstein Company.
With new director Woo-ping Yuen (director of True Legend), the story focuses on a martial forest that contains a world outside of our own. In this world exists sword fighter, defrocked priests, poets, medicine men, sorcerors and Shaolin renegades. Like the first, it is a battle of good against evil with two more star-crossed lovers included in the mix.
Dave's Take: I was not a fan of the first film, so I wouldn't see the second. That's just me.
21) Hitman: Agent 47
On August 28th, our favorite hitman comes back to the silver screen minus Timothy Olyphant (who starred in the iconic role originally). Now being replaced by newcomer Rupert Friend, this second film delves even more into the Hitman as well as the mysterious organization that he works for that is simply called 'The Agency'.
Also starring Zachary Quinto (Star Trek's Mr. Spock) , Thomas Kretschmann, newcomer Claran Hinds, Emilio Rivera, and Hannah Ware.
Dave's Take: The original Hitman was mocked badly by the movie-going community as was called 'campy and silly'. So, if this is so, then why did it meet a better audience than they expected? With the new film, it could only get better. I am just a little sad that Timothy is not coming back.
22) The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
On Aug. 14th, the 1960's TV show that made Robert Vaughn and David McCallum famous is now heading fro the big-screen getting its own treatment! With new cast members Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Henry Cavill, and Hugh Grant, we join U.N.C.L.E. in its efforts to thwart T.H.R.U.S.H. (Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity). Martini and lounge suit, anyone?
Dave's Take: TV-To-Silver Screen adaptations are a make-it or break-it business. As it is, with all of the Marvel adaptations that are coming out as well as other comics movies, U.N.C.L.E. may stand a small chance. It has to be better than Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway in that Get Smart fiasco!
23) The Fantastic Four
On Aug 7th, Marvel decides to unleash the Four again with an all-new cast. Based on the Marvel comic The Ultimate Fantastic Four, the film looks into the lives of the quartet when they were young men and women.
Dave's Take: Marvel has been rebooting and rebooting again. As it is , they're also in talks for a possible Daredevil reboot when the first one didn't doso well. The original F4 did pretty good, all things considered, and now they're wanting to do it again ? Hmmmm.......
24) Kitchen Sink
September 4th, the zombies are coming again from Sony Pictures. Starring Denis Leary, MacKenzie Davis, and Vanessa Hudgens, the story revolves aroung a high-shool aged vampire, zombie, and human as they try to save their town from an attack by invading aliens.
Dave's Take: Okay, some critics are already downing the film because they have found theidea preposterous and stupid, while others look upon it as a welcome change. For me, I love monsters and aliens both, but I have toi admit, the script is a little weird. But, who knows? It might work. Look at Cowboys and Aliens?
25) The Last Witch Hunter
On October 23rd (* just before Halloween), Vin Diesel and Elijah Wood take a stab at paranormal thrillers with The Last Witch Hunter, coming from Summit Entertainment.
An immortal witch hunter after the loss of his family must stand against the most terrifying witches in history in order to save humanity.
Dave's Take: I can actually see this film going places. While there have been a lot of movies concerning witches over the last few years, it's good to see Vin trying something new. For horror mavens or Vin Diesel fans, I have a feeling it is going to skyrocket on that fan base alone!
26) London Has Fallen
Gerard Butler returns as the President's right hand man, along with Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, and Aaron Eckhart in this sequel to Olympus has Fallen.
The British Prime Minister mysteriously dies, sending the leaders of the free world to London to attend his funeral. What they do not know, however, is that his deathis but a small piece of a master plan to execute the world's leaders in one stroke as well as destroy every landmark in London to unleash fear and create a new vision for the future.
With the President at his side, Bannister investigates the death as well as learns of the orchestrated attacks with his only ally being an MI-6 agent who trusts no one at all! The film releases Oct 2nd.
Dave's Take: With the success of Olympus Has Fallen, I have always loved Mike Bannister since I have seen the film. Now that we are going to London,it's going to have the same feel as the first, but almost in a grander scale. Definitely going to be checking this. Hopefully, Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx won't try to ride on the coat tails this time like they did with White House Down.
27) James Bond 24
The name is Bond, James Bond! Daniel Craig returns as everyone's favorite spy for another round of derring-do and trying to save the world yet again. There have been some replacements to the cast, as Dame Judi Dentch will not be reprising her role as M in this new film, replaced by Ralph Fiennes and John Cleese will be replaced by Ben Whishaw. Now get ready for this: former WWE superstar and MMA fighter Dave Bautista will be joining the cast on this one as well.
Dave's Take : Daniel Craig, so far, has been the fan favorite to play the suave superspy. But these days, I am missing the 'martini, shaken, not stirred.' Craig presents Bond as not the suave superspy but more like a hired thug living in a changing world. Now, while demographics change as well as the times, it is understandable that studios change with them. But, Bond is such a timeless character that I find it almost insulting in the way that he is portrayed today. My hope is that we can see some of the suave back soon, for MGM's sake.
28) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part II
The second part of this popular series is set to release Nov. 20 of next year, with Katniss still facing the Capitol in the war to end all wars to save Pardem and gaiun their freedom.
Rumors have it that the battle sequences were shot at Templehof Airport which was built in 1927 and then later reconstructed by the Nazis during WWII as a show of supremacy as well as in Paris for the apartment shots.
Thanks Movie Insider for the trivia!
Dave's Take: These are a series of films that I actually love, but not because of fandom. It is the first time that I have seen a very plausible storyline with a world that is under totalitarian rule. Jennifer Lawrence and the entire cast always do well, presenting believable characters against insurmountable odds. I will definitely be spending my money on this!
29) Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Okay, guys, circle Dec. 18th on your calendars and get ready for the best Christmas present that anyone could ask for! The original cast is returning, and we're getting a new batch of Jedi Knights! Who could ask for more?
Dave's Take: One word: whoa!
30) The Revenant
On Christmas Day, 20th Century Fox releases this survival tale starring Leonardo DiCaprio based on the book of the same title (seen above)
DiCaprio plays Hugh Glass, an 1800's fur trapper who is mauled by a bear and then robbed of his belongings after the marauders believe he is dead. Surviving his wounds, Glass plans revenge on his attackers and will stop at nothing until he does.
Dave's Take: Leo has been doing alot of what I call 'artsy dramas or westerns' as of late (*ie Gatsby and Legends of the Fall, The Aviator). I mean, the guys did Inception! Give me a break! Definitely not for me!
31) Mission Impossible V
Ethan Hunt and the IMF team are back Christmas Day, off on another Impossible Mission. Not only is the Ghost Protocol team returning, Ving Rhames is back as 'The Internet Ranger', and it's looking like our baddie is going to be played by none other than ALEC BALDWIN!
These were supposedly 'leaked' somehow. I guess they're supposed to be filming this one in Morocco!
Dave's Take: As great as Ghost Protocol was, Cruise and his guys are really going to have to step up their game. My hopes is that the plot will be good and developed and that this wasn't rushed. I hope Baldwin is up to the challenge!