5. Trailers NOT to sort themselves out
It would be my ultimate wish for trailers to go back to the good old days when they did their job of creating hype and interest in upcoming movies. They still do that nowadays, don’t get me wrong. It’s just for the most part the tend to be either A) misleading, or B) give away far too much. Take this year’s supposed action entry The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1; whilst the trailer showed the usual teases to the storyline of Katniss Everdeen and her rebellion adventures, it also showed off some impressive action setpieces, particularly with a raid on a dam and Katniss firing a bow at a helijet, when those were literally the only two action moments of the whole fricking movie and were way too short. Whetting the appetite is fine, but giving the illusion you’ve got more than you actually have is a massive cinema-sin. As well, you can have too much given away; the trailer for rubbish horror Annabelle featured pretty much all the scares, reveals and plot twists crammed into two and a half minutes; so if you’ve shown me your “highlights” and spoilt it rotten, why should I go see it? The problem is, I can’t see these tricks being changed as there is too much pandering by filmmakers to audiences where they have to show too much otherwise they think the babied cinemagoers won’t go and see their film. Shame. If I had my wish, film companies would only be allowed to make trailers based on their first half of planned runtimes and the footage contained within. Or hell, bring back the days of shooting footage only for a teaser trailer. Take the one from Alien with it’s slow reveal of the alien egg. Glorious stuff there, albeit it’s a sadly dead art form.
4. Jurassic World to bomb creatively. Hard.
It’s not that I don’t want this to do well, since I love the first Jurassic Park and I don’t mind the second at all. Hell, I even love Chris Pratt and want him to do very well. It’s just from our first teaser trailer look into what they have planned…. it looks bad (see below). Talk about missing the point of the original film, as there was no real sense of marvel and wonder at seeing these dinosaurs being brought back to life through science within the trailer. Also, it’s been lowered to the level of a bloody theme park like Sea World; with a disgusting monorail entering the gates, high numbers of gaudy holidaymakers, and the aquatic behemoth creature jumping up just like Shamu. The CG looked poor as to expect an early working before it’s souped up for 3-D (oh it will be I can assure you). I do like the look of Pratt as the knowledgeable Hunter/Mercenary type who knows when something’s up, but that clip with the Raptors running alongside him whilst he’s on the bike? Ayayaye! Oh and come on guys – genetically modified super dinosaurs? Why? Why would you do it? It looks like it’s going to be a T-Rex with Wolverine claws and infinite disappointment! That opening line too – “Remember – if something chases you, Run! ;)” with the smiley face included – is a load of manure. That’s going to help when the bloody T-Rex is coming after your hide?!?! Sadly I think everyone and their dog will go see it because, hey dinosaurs! Doesn’t mean it’s going to be very good.
3. Leo to finally scoop that Best Actor gong
I guess this is really for 2016 predictions but the film which our boy Leonardo DiCaprio will be finally rewarded for his art with the Oscar for Best Actor is released right at the end of the year with Alejandro González Iñárritu’s new Western genre effort in The Revenant. Unfamiliar with the directorial name? Well I think you’re about to be with his stellar effort Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance). Massively tipped to clear up awards season, Iñárritu has breathed life into the superhero film with a nearly too realistic tale of Michael Keaton struggling to get over playing a big superhero role back in the day and how he struggles with life and his career since, all wrapped in a lovely black comedy twist. Whilst it maybe a bit early to jump the gun, it’s been sweeping up the early critic and film writers awards which is usually a good sign as we approach the big gong shows of the year. From there, all eyes will be on Iñárritu’s next project and I think it’s a standard that his work in Birdman has attracted an A-list top draw actor in Leo. Leo has always been the bridesmaid when it comes to scooping the Oscar he desperately craves, despite having consistently excellent performances. It’s almost as if there is some form of bias or illusion that DiCaprio plays himself constantly, no matter how good he is. Still, throwing himself into a Western will be worth watching no matter what and bear the following in mind – If Iñárritu can get Keaton, a good actor overlooked today, back in the frame of winning an Oscar, imagine what he can do with DiCaprio… this could be scarily good.
2. The Rock continues to do only okay in his solo work
I don’t like to think of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as a failure at all, since his hulking size and natural charisma carries a lot of films into watchable territory and me & Matt are stupidly big fans of him… yet I put it to you, has he, on his own managed, to deliver a massive big box-office smash hit on his own two feet? No, not really in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, he’s been in massive films like the Fast & Furious series & the second G.I. Joe and I feel he did contribute to those films’ big success at the box office but look at his recent blockbuster vehicles and it’s not anything special. Take Hercules, a $100 million budget with Rocky as the titular Greek demi-god in a swords and sandals caper. It earned $250 mil worldwide, which after you double the budget cost for marketing and localisation means a nice little $50m profit. But that’s just it nice, hardly the stuff to break down the walls for to get your hands on the big man. Now, was that a failure? No, but for a vaulted A-list star like The Rock, he’s hardly been setting the world on fire in his solo efforts. I think we’ve reached an impasse as look to 2015’s next solo Rock effort in west coast disaster blockbuster San Andreas. Impressive looking trailer but I’m not sure people are massively keen on another round of disaster movies after barely getting out of the last terrible cycle. Whilst The Rock won’t be in danger of being cast away by filmmakers, his offering of solo work may start to dwindle from producers if we get another average-to-disappointing box office return or two.
1. Both Avengers: Age Of Ultron & Star Wars Episode VII to push Avatar close as highest grossing modern film
Personally, I think it’s odd that a film more known for it’s creative achievements in the CGI department and not having a great deal else going for it has climbed the mountain of being the highest grossing movie at the box office in the modern era. Sure no one will dispute Avatar‘s clout with an impressive $2.8 BILLION thanks to James Cameron’s bit of magic in creating a new Fern Gully with his graphics +1 videocard (not to mention being a film for everyone with no ties to other franchises) but I don’t think it’s stood the test of time even in five years. I mean, people still go on and on about Star Wars & comic book films like there’s no tomorrow, yet you never hear anyone talk about Avatar at all. For such a “iconic” and ground-breaking film, it’s a crime for it to be thought of so highly and yet be a few sparks a few years later rather than the burning fire that position it was made out to be. But this year we have two prime contenders willing and capable of knocking Av off it’s perch. In one corner, we have Disney’s revival of Star Wars helmed by sci-fi fanboy JJ Abrams with a continuation of the original trilogy in Episode 7 and in the other we have Marvel Studios’ premier superhero team coming together again in Avengers: Age Of Ultron in a bigger and flashier looking epic. Both have massive and rabid fanbases that will guarantee big big draws when they drop, so, can either film do it? …I abstain an answer. Whilst I don’t doubt 2015’s biggest two movies will give Av a run of it’s money, that super high gross maybe a bit too much for any film. Until Avatar 2… *shudders*