With bated breath and unwavering anticipation, we ready the best of our hyperbolic statements to determine if Avengers: Age of Ultron or Mad Max: Fury Road will be the greatest movies ever made in the history of existence. It’s something about the summer movie season that gets everyone to turn into a pack of wild animals, starving for entertainment. I hope that didn’t sound demeaning, because I actually find this movie season as the definitive movie season – and this year looks like it’s going all out. Few things in life ever live up to the anticipation of an event like Age of Ultron. Mad Mad: Fury Road is the type of big budget, mostly practical effects driven movie that never gets made anymore. And while the big action movies will have their time to shine, we still have Pixar’s Inside Out and a joyous onslaught of comedies – comedies with women in the starring roles, mind you! Obviously, Pitch Perfect 2 will make us all happy but let’s not forget about Trainwreck and Spy (really good buzz from these after SXSW). For a bit of nostalgia, we’ll get flashbacks to three separate franchises in Jurassic World, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Terminator: Genisys. Ant-Man and Fantastic Four seem to be the underdogs here as they still have a lot to prove after some BTS drama. What film will rule the box office? What will be the movie to beat? Which ones will be dubbed the best/worst movies ever of all time history??? It doesn’t matter. What does matter is the experience we all share as we rush out to the movies this summer. Whether it’s for Minions with the family or Entourage to live out lifestyle porn for several hours in an air-conditioned setting, the variety of movies coming out this summer ensures a high rate of returns for box office and enjoyment for audiences.
Enough about that, here are our picks for most anticipated movies of the 2015 Summer Movie Season:
Avengers: Age of Ultron – Diego Crespo
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Marvel Studios, Release Date: May 1 (USA release)
The first Avengers film was the culmination of a four year plan to make the mind of the cultural zeitgeist explode from sheer awesome. It has some issues (it looks like a TV show), but the heights overshadow the lows. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes first team up was a traditional story of heroes putting aside their differences to save the world. Now we get to see whether or not these heroes can sustain their paradigm and if they truly have a place in our world. Also, James Spader is an eight foot tall robot hellbent on destroying humanity because we’re poison to the planet. He’s only half wrong if you think about it. (I like living.)
Inside Out – Anton Reyes
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Release Date: June 19
I feel nothing but joy and excitement whenever I’m reminded that Inside Out is coming soon. Pixar has proved in the past that they know how to turn fantastical concepts into amazing films by anchoring them on human emotion, relationships, and family themes. It looks like they turned their strengths into concepts and characters for this film. This is looking to be Pixar’s return to form and one of the best films of the summer.
Terminator Genisys – Sean W. Fallon
Paramount Pictures, Release Date: July 1
I am realistic about this film. It could be truly terrible. It could be an awful, pointless retcon reboot remake hodge podge that should never have crawled onto the screen. On the other hand, though, there is a giddiness about the idea of seeing Arnie back being the Terminator (young and old) and Khaleesi and Doctor Who fighting the machines and Byung-hun Lee just doing anything because he’s awesome. In the end, I always let giddiness win against reality, and that’s why I’ll be front and center come opening night.
Magic Mike XXL – Ryan MacLean
Warner Bros., Release Date: July 1
When looking at all of the major releases of the summer, I’d be lying if said that Magic Mike XXL wasn’t the one that I’m most looking forward to. The first film surprised me by having an intelligent screenplay to match the surface-level beefcake. While the Magic Mike XXL trailer does not indicate whether or not it will match the subtle storytelling of its predecessor, I think it is safe to say that this one will be just as witty, stylish and fun. At the very least we can expect to be distracted by some stellar choreographed dance routines and many of scenes of sexy, sculpted men disrobing and gyrating for our pleasure. Channing Tatum is also back for Magic Mike XXL, so I think we are all obligated to see it since he is officially the most perfect man on the planet.
Mad Max: Fury Road – David Shreve
Warner Bros., Release Date: May 15
Around this time last year, I was confidently telling everyone who would listen that Interstellar was going to win Best Picture when all I knew was McConnaughy, Nolan, and trailers. You’d think I would learn my lesson about assured assertions built out of limited evidence, but no. I’m going to just as confidently say that Mad Max: Fury Road will likely be a masterpiece. It’s not just that George Miller is returning to his groundbreaking launching point property or that Tom Hardy is following up a year of being the best actor working by being an even better and busier actor. Look at the trailers and TV spots. It’s to the point now that I feel bad for the movies at which the theatrical trailer for Fury Road is shown beforehand.
Pitch Perfect 2 – Sara Grasberg
Universal Pictures, Release Date: May 15
I think this answer would come as a shock even to those who know me extremely well; I should be most excited for Jurassic World or The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Right? Well, while I am excited for those films and for others this summer, of course, I cannot help but feel like my blockbuster season begins with Pitch Perfect 2. To me, a good popcorn flick doesn’t have to be a big budget action movie or comic book franchise. My only requirement is that the film should be a lot of fun, and if this sequel follows in the first film’s footsteps and then some, then this film will be very fun indeed. From catchy mash-ups that are, allegedly, going to be even more infectious and exciting than those in the first film, to a higher-stakes plot and therefore extra hilarity and hijinks, I am really looking forward to seeing this movie. I expect to be dancing and singing my way out of the theater on May 15th, so sorry in advance to those who’ll clean the theater and have to bear witness to my embarrassing amounts of aca-enthusiasm for all things Pitch Perfect— seriously, here’s to hoping I don’t have the urge to recreate Anna Kendrick’s ‘Cups’ from the first film using a popcorn bucket!
Far from the Madding Crowd – Katherine Shelor
Fox Searchlight Pictures, Release Date: May 1
I’m looking forward to Far from the Madding Crowd (which is supposed to be released in US theaters on May 1, 2015) for two reasons. First, there hasn’t been a period drama based on a work of British literature in a while–at least, not one I’ve had any inclination to see–and this one in particular should be pretty good, assuming the writer and director preserve on screen the complexity of character that Bathsheba Everdeen has in the book. Second, Carey Mulligan. Ever since I saw her in Bleak House, I thought she was exceptional, so I look forward to seeing her as Bathsheba.
Fantastic Four – Sean K. Cureton
Twentieth Century Fox/Marvel Entertainment, Release Date: August 1
It’s been a decade since we last saw a cinematic iteration of Stan Lee’s first superhero team, and the years in between have not been kind to Marvel’s oldest crime fighting syndicate. While 2005’s Fantastic Four was laughable at best, its 2007 sequel Rise of the Silver Surfer was an abhorrent aberration, tactlessly mangling the mythology and origin story behind one of Marvel Comic’s most celebrated characters. With this year’s Josh Trank directed reboot, there is some hope to be found in an initial teaser that holds some intimation of a superhero vehicle from New York’s other spandex clad demigods that might finally prove to be dramatically compelling, the false sincerity and slapstick humor of the last two iterations decidedly left far behind. Only time will tell whether this new young adult targeted adaptation will soar with Trank’s prior genre picture Chronicle, or crash into obscurity alongside its 1994 feature length predecessor. When August 7th comes around later this summer, perhaps it will finally be clobberin’ time.
Jurassic World – Grace Porter
Universal Pictures, Release Date: June 12
As of deadline for this article, only one month, 26 days, 10 minutes, and 32 seconds stand between Jurassic World and me. Not that anyone has a countdown app specifically for this movie’s release date or anything. It’s been 22 years since the release of the classic Jurassic Park, and it’s likely that Jurassic World will be an absolute nightmare. Because how do you follow up Jurassic Park? (Don’t tweet me about the other two in between; we don’t acknowledge those.) Regardless of the impending doom I feel in the pit of my stomach over the colossal disaster that likely awaits me, I’ll be there opening night in my Jeff Goldblum tee (a big ole Jesse Katsopolis have mercy for that guy), ready to profess this is the greatest film of all time.
Trainwreck- Richard Newby
Universal Pictures, Release Date: July 17
While nothing can contain my excitement for Avengers: Age of Ultron, my anticipation will be satiated in two weeks. With that in mind, I’m looking ahead to Judd Apatow’s latest. I’ll be honest with you, I feel apathetic about most modern comedies, except when Apatow’s name is involved as a director or producer. There hasn’t been a director since Billy Wilder who can successfully blend genuine emotional moments with sophomoric antics like Apatow. While I wasn’t crazy about his last two features (Funny People, This is 40) I think that his decision to step away from his Freaks and Geeks cast, get out of the L.A. setting, and focus on a female character will offer a new perspective and a breath of fresh air. I’ve seen enough of Amy Schumer’s sketch comedy to know that she’ll make a hilarious and endearing lead. With supporting roles from Bill Hader, Vanessa Bayer, Tilda Swinton, and LeBron James, we’re going be hard pressed to find a movie this summer that’ll generate more laughs than this one.