I am astonished and completely baffled as to how it’s already the end of 2015. It seems like yesterday we were getting our first glimpse of the new Star Wars cast, and now we’re just a few hours away from seeing the movie in theaters. Boy, what a time to be alive.
We’ve brought you a lot of entertainment coverage over the past twelve months, ranging from explainers to picking apart trailers. We were even lucky enough to attend the Age of Ultron premiere as a special guest, and see Arnold Schwarzenegger at the premiere of the most recent Terminator film. That’s sure a far cry from where we were a few years ago, and we’re absolutely loving the ride.
Rather than picking our top movies of the year, we thought it would be more fun to choose the top movie moments from 2015. Things like Star Wars mania, to Spider-Man officially joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was a tremendous year for geek culture, and 2016 promises to be even better.
This list isn’t exclusive to movies that came out in 2015; rather, it’s focused on our favorite stories, scenes, trailers and more. We realize much of the stuff on this list won’t actually come to fruition until next year, like Batman v Superman hitting theaters. But they’re still very memorable, and we thought they were worth re-living together.
Our list was initially much longer; we can’t forget that Disney revealed release dates for movies like Toy Story 4 and The Incredibles 2, or that we already know who will direct Star Wars: Episode VIII and Star Wars: Episode IX. We also know Marvel’s plans up until 2020, with three movies set to come out every years beginning in 2017.
Hollywood is quite obviously taking notice of geek culture and going full bore heading into the next five years or so. I mean, we’re going to see Godzilla take on King Kong for crying out loud. If that’s not a dream come true, I don’t know what is. Without further ado, here is our list.
Kingsman church fight scene
When I first saw this fight scene in theaters, I was stunned. Not at its violence, or the fact that it was Colin Firth doing his own stunts. But at how beautifully choreographed it was. Rather than relying on the Bourne philosophy of fast cuts and shaky cameras, director Matthew Vaughn pulled away from the action, and made the camera a part of the scene’s violent ballet. The results are astonishing, cut into a gorgeous sequence of absolute madness. One of the best in recent memory.
Mad Max blows our minds
I didn’t just like Mad Max because it was gorgeously shot, or because it had some of the best action sequences I’ve seen in a long time. What made Mad Max special was how relentless it was, how it never let up from the moment it started. We were literally in the middle of a car chase the entire movie, and it made for some truly spectacular moments. Not to mention Charlize Theron’s Furiosa was a badass, upstaging Max as the movie’s central hero. It’s movies like this that making going to the actual theater worthwhile.
Star Wars mania
I mean, it’s impossible not to get caught up in the Star Wars hype. Ever since Disney scooped up Lucasfilm, we’ve been waiting for the day when Star Wars returned to the big screen. Crumbs of information first started coming out a few years back, but things really started kicking into high gear following a brief teaser of The Force Awakens late last year. It’s been a whirlwind ever since, and we’ll finally get to see if the hype was worth it on Dec. 18.
Spider-Man joins Marvel Cinematic Universe
Following Sony’s mishandling of the Spider-Man reboots, fans begged the studio to wise up and hand the rights back over to Marvel. For how entertaining the Marvel movies are, they always seemed to be missing a big piece. So when the two studios announced Spider-Man was now part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, people understandably got excited. Not only will we see the web slinger appear in future Marvel films, but he’s going to get his own solo film in 2017. Let’s just hope they don’t screw this up.
Captain America: Civil War gets a trailer
There have been rumors about this film for ages, and we already pretty much know what to expect when the movie hits next year. And, yet, we still weren’t prepared to see Cap and Iron Man fight. These characters have essentially become family over the past several years, and to see them on opposing sides is difficult to watch. If you’ve read the Civil War comics, you know things don’t end well. Oh, and speaking of Spider-Man, Marvel is using Civil War as his debut film, though we’re still not sure how much screen time he’ll actually get.
Batman and Superman fight
You know, people are not happy with Batman v Superman, and the film doesn’t come out until next March. I think much of their consternation comes from Zack Snyder’s involvement, but you’ll always have naysayers no matter what. Despite what people think, I’m really excited to see them fight, and think it’ll make for some good entertainment. I’m particularly curious to see how Ben Affleck does as Batman; murmurs around the Internet claim Warner Bros. is so pleased with him in that role that he’s going to get his own new trilogy. We shall see how this one plays out.
Deadpool looks really good
This project wasn’t even supposed to happen, yet it looks like it could be one of the best comic book movies of 2016. Not only that, but the existence of Deadpool proves that the Internet is a very powerful machine; Deadpool only got greenlit because of the positive response to the leaked footage a few years ago. With a February release looming, we’ve already gotten a pretty good look at what kind of tone the movie will try to portray. Not only will is be furiously violent, but incredibly funny. I can’t wait to see how audiences respond.
That *key* moment in Inside Out
I don’t want to spoil the movie for you if you haven’t had a chance to check it out, but for those who have seen Inside Out, you’ll know the exact “key” moment I’m referring to. Pixar movies have this incredible ability to affect the emotions of even the most stoic people, and Inside Out was no different. We admire these films for their art direction and silly moments, but it’s how Pixar finds a way to humanize fictional characters that leaves a lasting impression. Fair warning: if you plan on seeing Inside Out any time soon, make sure there’s a tissue box nearby.
Ant-Man kills it
Remember when everyone scoffed at the idea of putting Ant-Man onscreen? I mean, here was a hero who had the power to shrink. Boring. In reality, Ant-Man was among the top Marvel films yet, combining action and humor in a way we haven’t yet seen in the MCU. And, let’s face it, Paul Rudd was absolutely terrific as Scott Lang; it’s no surprise Marvel already wants a sequel. You won’t have to wait that long to see him, however, as Ant-Man is already confirmed to appear in next year’s Captain America: Civil War.
Jurassic World breaks records
I wouldn’t say Jurassic World was amazing, but it didn’t suck. My opinion is neither here nor there, however, because it has already gone on to become one of the most successful movies in Hollywood history. Following its release this past summer, it went on to quickly become the third highest-grossing film of all-time, besting 2012’s The Avengers. It just goes to show that everyone loves a good dinosaur movie. Either that or people really, really love Chris Pratt. Whatever the case, we’ll see dinosaurs and Chris Pratt back in action for the Jurassic World sequel, which is already scheduled for a 2018 release.
Fantastic Four bombs
I don’t think anyone was rooting for Fantastic Four to fail. It had a stellar cast, an up-and-coming director, and great material to pull from. Sadly, the film was universally panned, and became one of the bigger flops of the year. It was so bad that whatever sequels 20th Century Fox had planned have been cancelled; maybe a deal with Marvel Studios is incoming? Fat chance, but don’t count on seeing these characters on the big screen for a very, very long time. Maybe the Fantastic Four from 2005 is the best it’s going to get.
Suicide Squad first look
Batman v Superman won’t be the only comic movie coming from Warner Bros. in 2016. Directed by David Ayer, Suicide Squad is a darker story about a group of villains joining to take on a suicidal job, hence the movie’s name. We’ll see characters like Deadshot, Killer Croc, Harley Quinn, and the prince himself, the Joker. From what we’ve seen from the trailers so far, Suicide Squad doesn’t look half bad. And, heck, it’s even going to feature a few Batman cameos. What could possibly go wrong?
Steve Jobs gets pulled out of theaters
It’s not that the movie was bad, or that Michael Fassbender’s performance didn’t capture the ferocity of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. But I think it was just a matter of timing. After a number of false starts, nobody really wanted to see yet another movie about his life. And after poor box office numbers, the movie was quickly pulled from thousands of theaters across the U.S. In that respect, it was an unmitigated flop, even if it does have an 84 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Warcraft first look
Directed by Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code), Warcraft is based on the beloved MMORPG and set in the world of Azeroth. Personally, I know next to nothing about this immensely popular franchise, so I’m peering at it as an outsider. However, based on the first trailer, I’m intrigued. Warcraft won’t just be about war and destruction, but about family, loyalty, and doing what’s right. If you’re at all a fan of epic fantasies, Warcraft will definitely be one to look out for.
Rogue One cast announced
Star Wars: The Force Awakens isn’t the only Star Wars movie set to come out. In addition to a new trilogy, Disney has already revealed it will release several spin-off movies, one of which is Rogue One. Starring in this one is Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Donnie Yen, and many others, with Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) directing. What makes Rogue One different from other Star Wars movies is that it’s expected to be a much grittier take on the space opera, and more war-like than anything we’ve seen in the Star Wars universe. Filming is already underway, with a Dec. 16, 2016 release set in place.