The movie industry is exploding in 2015. Movies have made more this year to date than any other year in at least five years. A lot of that is owed to just two movies: Furious 7 and Jurassic World. However, the surprising, sustained success of last year’s American Sniper crept into 2015 and contributed, as have expected hits Fifty Shades of Grey, Avengers: Age of Ultron, & Inside Out. I consider it a good year for movies when any of those top grossers appear on my best-so-far list. This year’s list contains three of them, so let’s consider 2015 a success- so far.
Avengers: Age of Ultron: My wife thinks I’m crazy, but I think this one is even better than its predecessor. I just rewatched the first one yesterday with her, and I’ll admit, it’s a tough movie to top. But Ultron is far more polished as an action movie and much more purposeful about its story.
Furious 7: If you follow my blog religiously (as everyone should if they desire forgiveness for their pop culture transgressions), you know that I watched every Fast/Furious movie in anticipation of the seventh’s release, and I fully expected to think each movie was total garbage. Boy was I wrong. They gradually improved with every installment, and Furious 7 was up there with Fast Five as the best in the franchise.
Inside Out: I bawled like a baby, but apparently everyone is. God willing, I’ll be a parent someday. But after my experience watching Inside Out, I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle it without weeping daily.
Mad Max: Fury Road: It’s perfectly okay to effusively praise Fury Road. While some people may think calling it the best movie ever made is hyperbole, you won’t find any protest from me. I’m ready to give Fury Road all the Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys, Grammys, Tonys, ESPYs, state fair blue ribbons, soccer trophies, gold stars, cookies, etc.
Paddington: My perspective on this movie may be a little clouded, since my wife and I just bought a puppy named Paddington. Come to think of it, he looks a lot like the dog in the movie’s poster…hmm, that can’t be right. At any rate, Paddington was a superb children’s movie, which are often preferable to superb grown-up movies.
Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road: Maybe I just haven’t seen as many movies this year as past years, but there’s really only one performance I’ve found worthy of distinction, and that’s Theron’s knockdown, drag-out turn as Imperator Furiosa in George Miller’s fourth Mad Max; she cold-bloodedly steals that movie from Tom Hardy’s man hands in the name of women everywhere.
Most Anticipated Movies of (the rest of) 2015
Bridge of Spies (10/16): You say Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks and I start weeping uncontrollably, so sign me up.
The Last Witch Hunter (10/23): LOL JK.
Silence (11/27): Martin Scorsese is undeniably the greatest living American director, and his next movie is about two Jesuit priests facing persecution in Japan in the seventeenth story, which sounds fascinating.
SPECTRE (11/6): After Skyfall, I trust director Sam Mendes implicitly with the James Bond franchise.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (12/18): I basically never grew up, so I’m committed to all future Star Wars installments on principle.