Four blockbusters for Fall...and Winter


2015 had the second biggest summer box office haul of all time. With more competition than ever for good spots in the summer schedule, some valuable "tent pole" movies had to position themselves differently to avoid being smooshed. Here are my post-Summer blockbuster movie picks.


Matt Damon gets stranded on the Red Planet

The Martian (10/2)

What is it?

Movie adaptation of the surprise best selling book about an Astronaut stranded on Mars who has only his brains and a black belt in snark to help him survive.

What to expect

You had me at Ridley Scott.

Sir Ridley is still one of the best in the business and Matt Damon is perfectly cast as the titular Martian, Mark Watney.

The Martian was my favorite book of 2014, and I've been really looking forward to seeing how it is adapted for the big screen...since Watney spends a large portion of the book on his own and it's very heavy on the science. The cast is stellar, the previews looks great, and, if the movie is half as good as the book, it should be a lot of fun.

Martian factoid: The Martian started life as a free serialized story on author Andy Weir's blog. Fans of the story asked him to turn it into an e-book and he sold it for the minimum amount of 99c. The book took off from there and a few months later Random House called to publish a hardcover and then a few days after that Hollywood called. Weir was offered a book deal and movie deal in the same week.


Possibly Daniel Craig's last hurrah as Bond

Spectre (11/6)

What is it?

It's Bond...James Bond. The bajillionth movie in the franchise sees Bond pit his wits, and his gadgets, against the evil Spectre organization.

What to expect

Bond is the ultimate action hero. Sure, he's had to do some reinvention over the years, and owes some of his new DNA to a certain Mr. Bourne, but he's still kicking ass well into his sixties.
We can expect: Daniel Craig's brooding Bond, M, Q, gorgeous femme fatales, evil villainy, dangerous henchmen, probably something with lasers, and a breathtaking car chase. And on top of all that, it's still the only franchise where people anticipate the opening titles...and the song that goes with it. It was recently announced that Sam Smith will be crooning Spectre's theme.

Bond Factoid: Spectre marks Daniel Craig's 4th outing as Bond, tying him with Pierce Brosnan. Roger Moore still holds the record for most Bond Movies at seven, since Connery's appearance in "Never Say Never Again" is not considered an official Bond movie, leaving Connery with six official Bond appearances.


The end of the line for Katniss...

Hunger Games: Mockingjay - part 2 (11/20)

What is it?

The hugely popular Hunger Games trilogy of four movies (eye roll) based on the hugely successful trilogy of Young Adult books, reaches it's conclusion.

What to expect

Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss, and the trusty resistance forces, take the fight to Donald Sutherland and his city full of garishly dressed glitterati. The path to the big city is booby-trapped (of course) so expect Hunger Games style shenanigans along the way.

Despite some criticism that Katniss is simply being dragged reluctantly from Hunger Games to Resistance fighter figurehead, and rarely controls her own destiny, the franchise has proven very popular and made a star out of its lead actress. We can expect plenty of action and, since this is the last in the series, there should be some emotional satisfaction as the story threads finally play out. Will Katniss run off into the woods with Gale or hang out with the dude named after a bread product?

JLaw factoid: In five short years, from 2011 and including 2016's slate, Jennifer Lawrence will have played Katniss four times, Mystique (X-Men) three times and starred alongside Bradley Cooper in four movies. She's also racked up three Oscar nominations and one win...and she's still only twenty-five.


Legendary poster artist Drew Struzan returns too


Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (12/18)

What is it?

Duh!

What to expect

Regardless of how good this movie will be, Disney can expect to make a gajillion dollars. Confidence is high at the House of Mouse, with a new Star Wars movie slated every year for the foreseeable future and a new Star Wars World addition being planned for both Disneyland and Disneyworld.

As for the rest of us, hopes are high that J.J. Abrams is going back to Star Wars' roots. Fan favorites: Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie, are all returning, while a whole new generation of characters are established.

The second teaser did an amazing job of getting the fans (and me) excited. Anticipation is through the roof and, as long as Abrams avoids the pitfalls of the prequel trilogy, it should be one helluva ride.

Star Wars factoid: I want a BB-8. Oh and John Williams is also returning to do the soundtrack :)

What movie are you most looking forward to seeing before the end of the year?

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