The activities of five emotions – Joy, Anger, Sadness, Fear and Disgust – are traced from within a young girl’s mind as she adjusts to moving from Minnesota to San Francisco. On its own it may sound bizarre, but with Pixar behind it, Inside Out looks to be a smart, funny and original animation. After becoming bogged down in sequel territory such as Toy Story 3 and Cars 2 (the less said about the latter, the better), Inside Out, due in cinemas in July, will hopefully mark a return to form for Pixar. The film has been in the pipeline for a while, with details first announced in 2011.
This makes its approaching release all the more anticipated. Inside Out also boasts a strong line-up of voice actors including Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, and the thoroughly humorous Amy Poehler. This hopefully serves as an indication of the levels of entertainment in store.
But, as we know, Pixar Studios are adept at producing films that can make an audience laugh and weep within the space of a mere 10 minutes (need I mention that first sequence in Up?). I predict that Inside Out will be a funny, touching and perceptive film, as Pixar once again think outside of the box – this time by delving inside of our heads.
Guillermo del Toro returns to screens this October with a gothic horror revolving around one creepy haunted mansion, and its inhabitants, played by an all-star cast.
Crimson Peak centres on a young author who finds that her dashing new husband isn’t who she thought he was. Mia Wasikowska stars as Edith Cushing, and while Benedict Cumberbatch was due to play her husband, Sir Thomas Sharpe, he pulled out for unknown reasons (sorry Cumbercollectives). Avengers star Tom Hiddleston stepped into the role instead, which I’m definitely not complaining about. Jessica Chastain plays his mysterious sister Lucille.
So why look forward to another film revolving around a haunted house? Well, firstly, del Toro has stated that this won’t just be a straightforward horror film. He has promised scenes of gore, ghosts, and even kinkiness, if Fifty Shades of Grey happens to be your thing. Another reason to be excited is that the film is, in its first half, as much a romance as a horror story, almost like it is luring you into a false sense of security. So there you have it. If you fancy going to see something different in the cinema this year, then Crimson Peak is lining up to be the film for you.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
The return of Star Wars was inevitable since Disney purchased the franchise. December this year is when we finally get to see the finished product. The films, left damaged and battered after the prequels, are going to get a new lease of life from none other than J. J. Abrams – an announcement that made many a Star Wars fan sigh with relief. The news of returning cast members like Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher let everyone know that the new sequels would be mindful of, and loyal to, the original source material. Some of the new castings like Adam Driver (Girls), Daisy Ridley (Mr Selfridge), and John Bogeya (Attack the Block) seem like a mixed bag, but may be a promising mix of known successes and lesser-known potentials.
The teaser trailer for Episode VII: The Force Awakens, released in November of last year, was a masterclass in showing tantalising tidbits while holding back on spoilers that could ruin the cinematic experience, and worked film buffs up to near breaking point.
Unfortunately, we can’t really say much more. For now we should probably watch the teaser trailer on repeat and get incredibly excited. I mean who doesn’t love the new Stormtroopers, the glancess of Tatooine, the awesome new lightsabers, and the best sequence of the whole thing where the music kicks in and we see Millennium Falcon do some kickass manoeuvres and get shot at by TIE fighters?
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Avengers: Age of Ultron could well be the biggest movie of 2015.
Well, I say this from the largely biased perspective of a nerdy comic book fan but, for other nerdy comic book fans out there, it’s the biggest movie of this year. Seeing the team assemble (see what I did there?) once again, with new additions Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch – although unfortunately not Spiderman. Thanks, Sony – is the cinematic event I’m most looking forward to this year.
Age of Ultron gives us a promise of all the sparking chemistry of the first movie combined with newer, more contemporary themes. The main villain, for example, is a dangerous, self-aware AI. I’m already predicting at least one quip – or maybe we’ll be treated to an entire monologue – on the evils of social media and modern technology. Probably from Captain America.
Evil, world-destroying, Twitter-fuelled robots aside, one of the most exciting things about Avengers: Age of Ultron is undoubtedly its capacity as a film for world-building. There’s already been hints that the post-credits scene will see Captain America putting together a new team – no doubt setting up for Captain America 3: Civil War.
This will hopefully bring us one step closer to the light at the end of the tunnel, also known as the Infinity War storyline, also known as That Purple Alien Guy’s Plot Will Probably Finally Get Resolved.
Maybe. But then again, it is Marvel. Expect Hawkeye vs. Black Widow vs. Captain America: Civil War 2: Infinitely Angst-ing Superheroes in theatres 2035. If you can’t wait that long, Avengers: Age of Ultron is out in April of this year.
Doctor Who Series 9
I don’t know if this is the case with many Doctor Who fans, but to me it has a remarkable habit of offering several great episodes in a row, followed by a stream of poor ones. Just when I’m about to quit altogether, another great run comes along. Having so many viewers across a wide demographic and varying levels of commitment to the show mean that the audience of Doctor Who is incredibly difficult to cater for. Given what’s been learned so far, though, I think everyone has reason to be optimistic about Series 9 as it brightens the screens in autumn.
Peter Capaldi is the Doctor at the moment; very much his own version of the character, yet still the same man who has travelled across space and time on television for the last 52 years. The exponentially improving Jenna Coleman will be back as part-time teacher, part-time fragment-of-a-strange-paradox-thing, Clara Oswald. Given the first episode’s title, ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’, there may also be another full-time companion on the horizon.
Michelle Gomez is all but guaranteed to make another reappearance this year as the Master/Missy, who served as a standout character in Series 8. This year also marks the tenth anniversary of the show’s revival. I sincerely doubt that this will factor heavily in this series, but it would be fantastic if a reference was included somehow. Captain Jack could perhaps make a comeback, or, dare I say it, the Slitheen. Provided the series continues to maintain its darker edge, and incessant paradoxes are kept to a minimum, the next series should maintain a high standard.
Game of Thrones Series 5
Series 5 of Game of Thrones, premiering in April, promises to contain all the deaths, drama and excitement that have given the show its reputation.
Speculation on the overlapping storylines will continue until the show hits our screens. The 10-second teaser trailer, voiced by the Red Woman and focusing on Arya Stark, suggests Maisie Williams could take on a bigger role. The arrival of Stannis Baratheon to help Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch is another intriguing twist in the mysterious plotline in regards to what lies north of The Wall.
The show may never again quite hit the heights of ‘The Red Wedding’: reactions to that episode alone have become a YouTube sensation.
But the heights that the show’s producers and writers hit in the previous season have been rightly acclaimed from all corners. The gripping action of the show combined perfectly with lovable characters, and the 2015 season looks set to follow in its footsteps. The only question left to answer is, which of the main cast will be killed off this time around?