2015 highest grossing movie predictions

So I actually had the idea for this post a while ago but never got around to posting it and it needed some editing in retrospect with Fast and Furious 7s box office success. But anyway for the rest of the year these are what will be the highest grossing films and in specific order.

My top 10

1. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

2. Avengers Age Of Ultron

3. Spectre

4.  Fast and Furious 7

4. Jurassic World

5. The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2

7. Mission Impossible V

8. Ant-Man

9. Terminator Genisys

10. The Man From U.N.C.L.E 

Not surprising me or any of you I guess, Star Wars tops my list, it’s the biggest franchise on that list for sure and a new film in the series in 10 years has fans in a frenzy already, 8 months before release. The recent 2nd trailer stirred up fans emotions and its’ huge Youtube view count just goes to show part of the enthusiasm for it, a franchise with its’ own celebration event is something pretty big. Age Of Ultron is obviously going to be huge as well, with well established fan favourite characters and some cool new ones, plus a cool new villain in Ultron, I also think it’ll outgross The Avengers.

Third on my list is the upcoming Bond film, Spectre with a minimalist title and approach, great cast and following on from Skyfalls’ huge success, this film being successful is to be expected, though whether it will gross up to a $1 billion is up in the air, though if Fast 7 could in just 17 days, I think Spectre has a good chance.

Fast 7 was a surprise entrant to the billion dollar club and it’s incredible to think it’s already set as one of the highest grossing films of the year, just 4 months in, immediately following it will be Jurassic World I think, it may not reach the heights of Star Wars, The Avengers or even Fast 7 but it’s definitely gonna be big. Simply because the Jurassic franchise is mostly loved and it’s a long awaited sequel. I think 5-10 will be in that order more or less, though Tomorrowland and Mad Max Fury Road are also good shouts, I don’t see either flopping and they’ll probably be fairly successful.

I put MockingJay Part 2 and Ant Man in bold because I think they may be surprise contenders, The Hunger Games is huge and each new film seems to gross more than the last, so it may end up doing better than expected, also Marvel always tends to hit the mark with their films and Ant Man may do better than most people expect it to. Anyway those are my thoughts and we’ll see how the rest of the year pans out, very exciting and cool year for film at that.

Jared Leto as The Joker revealed… no one panic

So David Ayer released a character portrait of Jared Leto as the Joker and oh… well, he looks interesting, predictably there is some backlash online but let’s not panic everyone, Leto is a fantastic actor and of course the film is still being made/no one has seen it yet so there’s not much to judge at this point other than the books cover.

But yeah let’s talk about that appearance for a bit, Ayer seems to be going for a Joker look specifically from the comics with the Joker having a more lean appearance and the iconic shorter green hair, there’s also that image out there with Leto as the Joker holding a camera sideways, referencing the comic issue ‘The Killing Joke’. Seeing that image initially took me by surprise a bit, seeing this new Jokers’ new look and shorter hair, though Leto could easily pull of the longer hair as he has in real life for several years.

Now onto this Joker, it’s maybe a bit too on the nose with the “haha” tattoos and him having damaged tattooed across his forehead but meh, I get the vibe Ayer is going for with a quite clearly insane, menacing looking Joker. The look is quite refreshing actually I think, making the Joker look physically imposing for a change is interesting, we all know the character is insane but seeing a more physical Joker brings a new element to the character, no we don’t nee to see tattoos on the Joker saying “I’m crazy” or “haha” but it is a part of this portrayals aesthetic.

We’ll be getting a pretty deranged Joker (maybe a bit more deranged than the Jokers’ we’ve seen on the big screen) and that’s interesting enough, I’m more interested in Letos’ actual performance in the role than his look and I’d love to see Leto balance playing a maniac with some subtlety ,as odd as that sounds. Leto is great at playing elaborate roles and I think he’ll fit in just fine as the Joker, with the range to do an over the top super villain but also tone it down a few notches and be psychologically intimidating. Yes the look is clearly controversial but yeah, a characters’ look is only half of the story, we need to see some acting too.

And also am I defending this Joker portrayal because I’m a big Leto fan… absolutely yes, also I’d love to see Margot Robbie as Harlie Quinn next.

Fast and Furious 7 review

Dom Toretto and Crew are back in an emotional send off to Paul Walker and in an action packed multiple story romp, Fast 7 for the most part is a great film and delivers emotional and adrenaline filled highs, the action in the film is some of the best action in the franchise. The char chases are great and it’s a thrilling ride from start to finish.

The film kicks off setting up the context for the film, a few months presumably after the events of Fast 6 after Doms’ crew took out Owen Shaw, his big brother Deckard Shaw is out for revenge, Jason Statham slides straight into the role with straight delivery and his no nonsense attitude, I found a few of his line quite funny actually. And we see what he’s capable right at the start as he brawls with Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), using a grenade to gain the upper hand and putting him out of action, what follows, Shaw then attacks Doms’ family house and begins his hunt for them.

This as a basic plot is interesting enough but the story does veer in a different direction (pun intended) with Dom being approached by Kurt Russels’ character to enlist his team to find a certain hacker (Nathalie Emmanuel) who knows the whereabouts of a very valuable, hi-tech machine called the Gods Eye. Which can find anyone, anywhere on the planet, you need to suspend your disbelief here but hey, it is a Fast and Furious film and probably not the most ridiculous thing in the film.

And onto the action, Fast 7 does that well with some excellent fight scenes, especially involving Paul Walker, Statham and Vin Diesel of course, Statham is more than an adequate foe but maybe too adequate, to the point where he feels invulnerable, practically falling into horror villain territory. He seems to turn up everywhere, kill a bunch of people and can’t seem to be killed, but that being said he does make a good villain, Dom and co again fit into their roles well with the back and forth between Taj and Roman again being good comic relief. Letty and Doms’ relationship is explored a bit more in the film but not in great depth, with Letty still regaining her memory from her accident in Fast Five, once again the ensemble cast adds to the viewing experience as you feel like you’re along for a mission with the crew, getting to see how they react to danger/changing situations around them.

The cast interaction is strong as ever and Nathalie Emmanuel as Ramsey makes a good addition though her character isn’t explored that much. The set pieces in the film are great though borderline ridiculous how do you top the worlds’ longest runway, stealing a bank vault and destroying a tank with supercars… jump supercars out of planes and skyscrapers of course. And all for the better I say, they make the film more memorable and it’s great to watch, the story however… it wasn’t all that compelling, not because it was confusing but I just didn’t find it as good as Fast Fives’ or the first two films’. And also I felt the film dragged on, something I’ve never really felt about a Fast and Furious film before, around 10 minutes to the end I was wondering when things would wrap up, although the majority of the film was very entertaining and engaging.

Fast 7 is a great film, it’s not exactly the pinnacle of the franchise for me but it’s an entertaining thrill ride nonetheless, Paul Walker gets a very nice send off, the action is great as is the acting and the film serves as a great example of how to change up and transition a franchise from one thing to another. It’ll easily go down as one of the most memorable films in the franchise and an interesting thing to ponder is where the films can go from here.

8/10

. Great larger than life set pieces, with some brilliant action scenes

. Great seeing old favourite characters play off each other, plus Statham makes a good villain

. Story wasn’t that interesting

New Jurassic World trailer reaction

New Trailers… new trailers everywhere but hey I’m not complaining, so new trailers for some of the biggest films of the year have been dropping for the past week or so and now we have a new Jurassic World trailer.

Straight off the bat we see Chris Pratt working closely with and training the Velociraptors, which still looks cool, an interesting plot point in the Jurassic series as a whole – actively working with dinosaurs to a reach a certain goal rather than running away from them, making a new dynamic in the series.

We see shots we’re already seen from previous trailers including the water faring Brachiosaurus and shots of Jurassic Park crowd goers as we hear Owen Gradys’ (Chris Pratts’) cynicism at the overall idea of making a hybrid dinosaur, they’re “wow enough” just being dinosaurs – and he’s right. Then we get a bit more of an explanation on the creation of the D-Rex, it was made to make more of a wow factor for the park, though we learn the D-Rex had a sibling… which she ate, more discussion of the hybrid goes on, describing its’ design. We already know it’ big and that it escapes its’ enclosure, prompting the main plot of the film, the D-Rex is also smart… she removes the tracking device from her own flesh, recognizing it was a foreign object (probably), so we have a deadly hybrid dinosaur bigger, faster and smarter than a T-Rex.

And speaking of the so called highly intelligent ID-Rex, she also kills other dinosaurs for a sport as Pratts’ character explains, not eating her kills but seemingly wanting to kill and eat people, the premise in itself is great for a Jurassic Park film because it flips the script, with the humans hunting a dinosaur for a change. Pratt devises a plan to ride out with Velociraptors and a tactical team to take out the D-Rex but it doesn’t seem to quite go to plan.

We also see the ID-Rex in full near the end, looking menacing as ever, with a pretty cool design I have to say, it kinda looks like a T-Rex but also distinctly different and also the scene in theBbio-dome with the Pteranodons/Pterodactyls is an interesting one. The Dinosaurs seem to be communicating with each other somehow, the ID-Rex with the flying Dinos at least, cross Dino-communication is a thing now I suppose and the helicopter crashing into the dome is also the reason how the flying Dinos escape and cause some havoc in the Park.

Something also seems to go wrong with the Velociraptors training as one of them attacks one of the tactical team, the trailer leaves us with some interesting talking points about the film and possibly one of the best dinosaurs in Jurassic Park to date with the ID-Rex, being highly intelligent and potentially orchestrating other dinosaurs to attack people… At least that’s how I read the trailer, you really do wonder how exactly they’ll take the ID-Rex out, if they manage to (presumably with other Dinosaurs, T-Rex..) but we still haven’t seen the T-Rex at all so the film may be playing that card close to it’s chest.

The ID-Rex communicating with other Dinosaurs may have been an interesting twist to spring on us all during the film rather than the trailer but it gives us something cool to talk about and further pushes the idea of the D-Rex being intelligent, which is cool but so far the film looks great and I can’t wait to see it.

5 reasons why The Force Awakens will be great

So I’m sticking to my guns here and going ahead with thinking that Star Wars Episode 7 will probably be a great movie and a great Star Wars movie at that, made by a Star Wars fan and fantastic sci-fi director JJ Abrams. I’d say the franchise is in good hands and after two fantastic trailers and a tonne of hype, the world is ready for a new Star Wars film.

Here are my reasons:

. New (potential favourites) characters

Star Wars is great at introducing great, beloved characters, yes even in the prequels we have Qui-Gonn, Obi Wann, Jar Jar, and so on, it’s a franchise that has ample opportunity and chance for noble, quirky or downright evil characters from a variety of species. The new filmmakers for Star Wars must be more than happy to be inheriting such a rich, vast universe to create from and I’m sure we’ll get some future fan favourite characters, just from Episode 7, already calling Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) as one.

. Returning favourites

The prequels are set before the original films chronologically so that meant no returning favourites which was a shame, but not anymore as the new trilogy is a continuation of the story after Return Of The Jedi, meaning new characters and classic old favourites, Luke, Leia, Han Solo, C3PO, R2D2, Chewbacca. Seeing the original trilogies’ characters interact with their new world and new characters is something any long time Star Wars fan should look forward to and it should be great to watch, seeing the characters and how they are now and what’s changed with them.

. Better technology

It’s 2015, the last Star Wars film came out almost 10 years ago now and Revenge Of The Sith looked visually fantastic, so imagine how good The Force Awakens will in full HD and in an IMAX theatre… yeah. CG tech has come leaps and bounds in the past few years and even from the trailer, things are looking great already, seeing the Milennium Falcon, Tie fighters, new locales/planets in glorious 2015 high visual specs should be something.

. (Potentially) more Sith and Jedi

This one is a bit of hunch but the film’s called the Force awakens.. we see a Sith in the trailer, Luke is in it, so yeah I’m guessing we’ll be seeing some new introductions to both sides which is awesome, we are yet to see any all out wars between Jedi and Sith in a Star Wars movie and the prospect of that is awesome. If one theory I’ve heard about does end up happening, with force sensitive characters in the film waking up to the force in a sense, that allows potential for adding of various Jedi and Sith.

The prequels were chock full of Jedi but it was mainly a Jedi/Republic vs separatist/Trade federation fight, with Count Dooku, Darth Maul, the emperor and eventually Anakin being the only Sith. For The Force Awakened so far we have at least 4 force sensitive people in Luke, being a Jedi, Leia, Kylo Ren as a Sith and the force sensitive person that Luke is talking to in the 2nd trailer.

. JJ Abrams is directing

This one is a bit of a no brainer in my opinion, Abrams directs great visionary sci-fi films and he knows how to make a good cohesive film, the prequels can be openly criticised for being bloated and for their clunky dialogue but Abrams should bring a modern, concise touch to Star Wars. With great action, brilliant visuals – a staple for JJ Abrams and importantly some better dialogue, Star Wars is a space drama but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve quality scripts, you can already see some Abrams-isms in some shots in the trailers, the fast zoom when following ships in flight and some lens flare.

Nod bad things per se, I think the franchise is going in a great direction.