Hollywood appears to have reached an apex when it comes to sequelitis and franchise reboots in 2015. ‘Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens’, ‘The Avengers – Age of Ultron’, ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’, ‘Police Academy 17 – Recruits vs Batman’…
Ok, so I made up the last one but you get the picture.
Then there is a raft of dodgy sounding reboots such as the ‘Fantastic Four’. Do we seriously need a new version of F4 when the last iteration came out less than a decade ago? And no Jessica Alba either. There’s a reason not to watch it right there. And he’s back, ‘The Terminator’ gets relaunched (again) with ‘Genysis’ (sic) albeit without Arnie who isn’t back despite saying he would be. Back, that is.
Anyhow, moving on, ‘Jurassic World’ takes up the reanimated dinosaur story 10 years later when the attraction has become well established but the public are apparently bored with it and demand more thrills. I think you can guess how that storyline plays out. Then we get a Sam Raimi makeover of the Stephen Spielberg/ Tobe Hooper classic ‘Poltergeist’, which almost inevitably means less emphasis on spine tingling and more focus on ripping spines out of blood spattered zombie corpses. Just saying.
What else? We also get a slew of spin offs from popular movies or TV shows. For instance, the rather adorable ‘Minions’ get their very own feature after their ‘Despicable Me’ success, ‘Entourage’ gets an overdue outing on the silver screen and there is even talk that the ‘Friends’ are back together in Central Perk. I can hardly wait. Well actually, I can.
Beyond all this risk averse, creatively moribund popcorn fodder, is there any genuine new content on offer? Well, the latest Hugh Jackman vehicle entitled ‘Chappie’ is attracting some attention. I know what you are thinking but I can assure you that it isn’t a movie about the dog food brand of the same name. Come on, that would be just plain silly wouldn’t it? According to the blurb it’s actually about a robot that is stolen at birth (?) by two criminals and used for nefarious purposes but the robot realises through the miracle of AI that he is doing naughty things and fights back. Nothing silly about that, is there?
On paper, ‘Tomorrowland’ sounds rubbish. It’s based on a theme park ride. But before you choke on your Cheeseballs, don’t forget that’s how ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ started out. And the sixth installment of that particular franchise arrives on our shores (see what I did there?) in early 2016. Oh and ‘Tomorrowland’ also stars George Clooney who is clearly bankable box office and so this one is unlikely to be the clunker it initially looks like it might be.
Martin Scorsese is also back following his huge success with ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ with something slightly different in terms of tonality. He is currently shooting ‘Silence’ starring Liam Neeson, which is a story about Jesuit missionaries attempting to proselytise in 17th-century Japan. Kind of polar opposites in terms of subject matter.
And apart from the obligatory return of ‘Bond in Spectre’, everyone’s favourite foul mouthed bear is making a comeback in ‘Ted 2’ and Guy Ritchie is turning his attentions from Sherlock Holmes to The Man from UNCLE. And frankly, that’s about your lot… apart from the rather intriguingly entitled Bloodsucking Bastards which somehow caught my eye. In fairness, there weren’t that many details on IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes about this obvious cinematic ‘tour de force’ but I think it’s fair to assume that it will bypass the DVD phase and be free to download on some dodgy bit torrent site any time soon.