Before you go traipsing towards the nearest theater for your regular movie fix, it would be in your best interest to get informed about what’s gonna be going down, film-wise this 2015.
In true box-office fashion, sequels, adaptations, and one badass remake will be pummeling through cinemas to provide audiences with a load of popcorn-fueled movie viewing. But there are also some interesting local releases that promise to haul in a big draw and put our Hollywood bros to shame. Point is: there’s a wealth of talent, guiltless pleasures, and mindless entertainment to be expected in the movies this year. That they come in the form of genetically enhanced dinosaurs, lip-synching divas, and lightsaber-wielding Jedis is just a bonus.
Here’s a list of the flicks to drop the cash on.
1) American Sniper
Showing on: January 21
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller
What it’s about: A biopic drama that tells the story of Navy Seal Chris Kyle, whose mad accuracy and superior sniper skills have made him an American legend. Based on Kyle’s autobiography American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, it’s a taut piece of war-porn that dwells not only on the casualties of violence, but the shellshock that comes with servitude.
Manly man approved: The film is directed by living legend and original cowboy Clint Eastwood so you can count on masterful storytelling coupled with a machismo spin on familial sentimentality.
Showing on: May 1, 2015
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Mark Ruffalo
What it’s about: Everyone’s favorite A-list superheroes return to exchange punches with Ultron, an evolved form of artificial intelligence that threatens humanity’s existence. King of the geeks, Joss Whedon, is still piloting this ship, promising fans the high-octane action and wit that was missing in the last suck-y Thor outing.
New kids on the block: Additional mutant fun abounds with the other creepy Olsen (Elizabeth), who stars as Scarlet Witch to Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver.
3) Furious 7
Showing on: March 26, 2015
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Dwayne Johnson
What it’s about: After Dom and the gang burned rubber through the villainous Owen Shaw in F&F 6, his scarier, bulkier bro (the man with the most intimidating resting bitch face, Jason Statham) wants cold revenge and is out for blood.
Rest in peace: With his recent death still fresh in the minds of the cast and fans alike, Paul Walker delivers his final performance as Brian O’Conner, the renegade cop turned comrade to the crew of misguided gear heads.
4) That Thing Called Tadhana
Showing on: February 4, 2015
Starring: Angelica Panganiban, JM DeGuzman
What it’s about: When a brokenhearted girl meets a gentlemanly dude at the airport, sparks fly. They head to the mountainous region of Baguio to look for answers to their existential woes, but what they find instead is…oh, well, you know the story.
On a roll: Still reeling from the success of the Jennylyn Mercado and Derek Ramsay fronted English Only, Please in the 2014 Metro Manila Film Festival, director Antoinette Jadaone (who co-wrote English with director Dan Villegas) delivers another sly romance that will instill kilig in the masses. Though released limitedly last November, the film’s nationwide screening in this year’s month of lonely hearts proves that Jadaone is capable of reshaping the country’s middling concept of the rom-com. She masks her depth with fluidity in her formula, elevating the medium in sophistication.
5) Fifty Shades of Grey
Showing on: February 2015
Starring: Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson
What it’s about: Whips, chains, dominance, and submission. You know, your run of the mill, standard bondage fare.
Get tied up: Despite the street-cred you’ll lose with your buds, this is one film that you can quit feigning non-interest in. Although it might be cheesy mom-porno, pick up some pointers and get off on the fact that it involves a lot of spanking that’s erotic in nature.
6) Heneral Luna
Showing in: 2015, 3rd Quarter
Starring: John Arcilla
What it’s about: Epic heroism against colonial Spaniards as seen through one of our country’s most notorious military men, General Luna.
Keeping up with consistency: With his Camera Trilogy closed through the critically lauded Sana Dati, director Jerrold Tarog turns to grander scales of filmmaking by letting go of his usual musings on the individual condition and replacing these with themes of a more nationalistic quality.
Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, and Nicholas Hoult
What it’s about: The trailer alone is an opera of madness. George Miller’s sense-assaulting fourth installment has all the ingredients for melting your face in ecstasy: post-apocalyptic road rage, sand scavenging rogues, and one man’s unlikely retribution as the unsung hero.
No more Mel: 30 years after the franchise’s last installment, Jews and the religiously respectable alike will be glad to know that hate-spewing Mel Gibson, who played the original Mad Max, has been replaced with the brawnier, insanely amusing, more politically correct Tom Hardy. And instead of a thigh-high boots-wearing Tina Turner for eye candy, fans get a semi-bald (but still hot as the desert) Charlize.
8) Pitch Perfect 2
Showing on: May 14, 2015
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson
What it’s about: The Barden Bellas are back with more aca-perfect performances to woo the world stage. Expect an ear spa, courtesy of bitchin’ pop mash-ups and ill dance numbers. As in the first, the hilarity is set to hit soprano levels of insanity.
Crazy for Kendrick: Every time Anna K delves into that all-too-real ultra-cute nerd-girl persona, men the world over don’t mind watching musicals. She’s so adorable she made annoying ditties like Sia’s “Titanium” and Ace of Base’s “I Saw the Sign” relatively cool.