This year is shaping up to be one of the biggest box-office years ever, carried by the unstoppable stampede of Jurassic World. The standout for me is Mad Max: Fury Road, but that’s only a small piece of the puzzle in 2015. You also have Avengers: Age of Ultron, Furious 7 and Inside Out, and we’re still waiting for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is shaping up to be one of the bigger movies we’ve seen in a while.
Below is a list of movies us geeks have enjoyed at the theater so far in 2015. This is only the half way point! We still have many more films to look forward to—this year and beyond. If you haven’t had the chance to see any of these yet, now’s a good time to catch up. You owe it to yourself to see the genius that is Fury Road.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Mad Max is a special kind of movie. Not only did it live up to expectations, but it exceeded the hype. More people need to realize that it’s a miracle of a film, one that Hollywood only puts out once in a blue moon. Nothing that has come out this year is even close to the brilliance put to film by George Miller. We should be thanking the director for the privilege to watch such stunning work. The action choreography is stunning, and the visuals are truly spectacular. The only film that might take Fury Road down this year is The Force Awakens, but I’m not sure even that will be enough.
There are great Pixar films, and then there are exceptional Pixar films. Up, Toy Story 3, The Incredibles, all brilliant movies that highlight Pixar at its best. Now you can add Inside Out to that illustrious group. Roy Choi, TechnoBuffalo’s Managing Editor and Disney fanatic, said Inside Out is in his Top Three, which is saying a lot. Pixar has stumbled recently with movies like Cars 2 and Monsters University (underrated in my opinion), but Inside Out shows why the studio is one of the best in the biz.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
There’s a scene in Kingsman, about 3/4ths of the way through, when Colin Firth’s character is sitting in a southern church, and after a rather delightful exchange with the woman sitting next to him, decides to leave. Watching through a secret camera, Samuel L. Jackson begins a “test” as part of a strange evil plan concocted with the help of cellphones. What happens next is utter madness, and a perfect representation of what makes Kingsman such a great—and surprisingly violent—film.
Each new Fast & Furious movie is crazier than the last, and Furious 7 proudly carries that mantle into certified insanity. Not only is the movie completely mental, but it out Fast & Furiouses itself, which is to say the action is even more unbelievable than the movies that came before it. That’s why people love this franchise, and why another one is being made. My only problem is that Furious 7 was severely lacking in The Rock, so hopefully that will be rectified when Furious 8 comes out in 2017.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
As of whole, Age of Ultron wasn’t the best movie in Phase 2. But it had its moments, highlighted by a spectacular fight between Hulk and Hulkbuster. Despite its flaws, Age of Ultron gave the Marvel Cinematic Universe more momentum, which will be further explored when Captain America: Civil War is released next year. A lot of Age of Ultron was designed to set us up for what’s to come in Phase 3, so in that respect the movie was a big success.
I mean, you’re never going to top Jurassic Park, and it’s true that Jurassic World wasn’t particularly good. But the film has absolutely stomped the competition, and, yes, it was a fairly entertaining romp through Isla Nublar once again. It was weird that they had to create a completely new dinosaur to convince us that Jurassic World needed to exist, but the monsters were amazingly fun, and Chris Pratt was a better fit than the trailers suggested. I can’t wait to see what new ideas they come up with for the inevitable follow up.
If you’re a movie buff, then it’s apparent I left some big movies off this list. My choices weren’t necessarily based on quality alone, but box office success, spectacle, and how it pertains to the interests of TechnoBuffalo readers. If we’re solely concerned with quality, then something like Ex Machina would probably be at the top of the list; I’d also include It Follows, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (kidding).
Really, we should all just agree on putting Mad Max at number one, and admit that nothing will top that movie this year, or ever. Geek culture has been the dominant genre this year, and will likely be the favorite over the next decade. Not only do we have films like The Force Awakens to look forward to this year, but we have projects from Pixar, Marvel, DC, and other amazing movies to look forward to.
We’ll revisit the year as a whole in due time. July is already primed to be a pretty fun month, highlighted by Ant-Man and Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation. What will wind up being number one when 2015 is up? You already know my pick. What’s your favorite movie of the year so far?