Monthly Preview: May 2015Posted: May 1, 2015
Aaaaaand here we go, this year’s Geekpocalypse is officially in full swing. With the summer blockbuster season getting started, we’re getting some great big-ticket items at the theaters, from some A-list filmmakers no less. While we’ve gotten some really nice movies so far this year, I’m very excited to see some big, epic adventure films on the docket, movies that take full advantage of the expansive canvas of the medium while (hopefully) retaining a focus on character and emotion. Though even with all of the tentpoles on the schedule there’s still some room for smaller indie films as well, so those of you that are mainstream-adverse will not be left out in the cold either. Let’s take a look!
Avengers: Age of Ultron: The review is right here. Short version: It’s awesome, go see it. Like, now. Then see it again. I’ll wait for you to come back.
Maggie: Back from Age of Ultron? Great, let’s talk about Ahnuld. As an adult I’ve realized that outside the most iconic of his roles (Terminator, Conan) I’m not really that committed of a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger. But Maggie caught my attention anyway, because even without Ahnuld’s presence it still seems like a stylish and emotionally-intense take on the zombie genre. And while Ahnuld’s accent still seems really out of place for a Midwest American farmer in the 21st century, otherwise he seems like an inspired choice for the movie, and seems to be giving it his all as an actor. Fingers crossed for the subdued and distinctive story that the trailer promises.
Mad Max: Fury Road: While Furious 7 brought some great vehicular mayhem to the screen last month, Fury Road looks to be raising the bar and then some as only the Mad Max franchise could. George Miller returns to R-rated action movie territory with what looks like at least as much enthusiasm and vigor as he ever had in his youth. The amount of energy and intensity just in these trailers reminds me of Scorsese with Wolf of Wall Street, and in my mind that is the highest of praise. Combine that with Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and Nicolas Hoult going all-out and embracing the insanity of the world around them, and Mad Max looks to be exactly the sort of absurd shot of adrenaline you’d hope it to be.
Good Kill: Andrew Niccol’s best films (Truman Show, Gattaca and Lord of War) have dealt with ideas about dehumanization and man’s relationship with technology, and Good Kill should hopefully be another addition to this end of his filmography. Furthermore I’m hoping to find a movie that handles the war at home and PTSD in a more intelligent and less fake-baby-friendly way than American Sniper. Niccol’s also got his frequent collaborator Ethan Hawke along for the ride, and this seems like a great role for him as well. Good Kill might ultimately be a slight or unsurprising film, but I’m confident that it will also be a good one.
Slow West: A black-comedy fairy-tale romantic Western? With Fassbender, Mendelsohn and Smit-McPhee? Sign me up for some of that. Slow West, despite it’s title, is surprisingly only 84 minutes long, but word is that director John MacLean fills every minute of that with style, emotion and humor. The film certainly looks like a witty, energetic blast, closer to the Tarantino end of the genre spectrum but with an added level of earnestness that QT’s films rarely have. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised for this film to have hidden amounts of sweetness buried under the violence and jokes, so maybe this one will have more impact than you’d think.
Tomorrowland: Oh boy, here we go. Brad Bird is one of my favorite filmmakers, and one of the few artists that can consistently threaten me with tears in any film. While Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol was his trial run at live action filmmaking, Tomorrowland looks like a real deal Brad Bird film. With plenty of visual wit and retro sci-fi style on display, this film looks much more like a companion to The Incredibles or The Iron Giant, which is certainly exciting to see. Of all the exciting films on the schedule for this year, this is one of the few that I absolutely expect to have a strong emotional reaction to, and I certainly hope that Bird lives up to his own high career standard.
For indie comedy The D Train and foreign crime drama The Connection, we have some solid talent involved in cool-sounding films which have a ton of upside and will hopefully transcend their genre roots and bring some fresh angles to the screen; and Pitch Perfect 2, much like the original, looks like a fluffy and energetic piece of fun that if nothing else should be a great showcase for its cast (and possibly for Elizabeth Banks’ directing abilities as well).
And that’s May! Sounds like a fantastic month to me, and June seems to be more of the same. Should be a great summer at the movies, no matter what your taste.