THE GANG OF HEROES
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson
Director Joss Whedon
“Earth’s mightiest heroes” team up once more to tackle another classic Marvel supervillain. Only this time, the villain in question is basically unleashed by the heroes themselves. Nevertheless, the Avengers do get to add several new heroes to their ranks, so “Avengers: Age of Ultron” will really raise the bar for superhero flicks. Even more important is how this movie will tie in with previous entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and pave the way for the next wave of movies in the franchise. To be exact, there are at least ten more Marvel movies in the works, with two of them being direct sequels to “Avengers: Age of Scan Ultron.” Definitely a must-watch.
WHEN THE EARTH ROCKS
Stars Dwayne Johnson, Kylie Minogue, Carla Gugino
Director Brad Peyton
You can’t have a year in cinema without spectacular, big-budgeted disaster movies, and for 2015, “San Andreas” steps up to take the lead (not to be mistaken with the video game “GTA: San Andreas,” which is what a lot of people initially thought of). The storyline is, perhaps, a bit all too predictable: A father has to journey across California to rescue his estranged daughter after the state was hit by a massive earthquake. Well, disaster and family drama have always been a potent combination, and when you throw Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson into the mix, you have a sure winner.
FROM RUSSIA WITH LAW
Stars Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Noomi Rapace
Director Daniel Espinosa
Period crime thrillers are few and far in between on the big screen, and that might just be reason enough to catch a showing of “Child 44.” Set in the Soviet Union during Stalin’s rule, this movie tells of a disgraced but idealistic MGB agent who stubbornly attempts to investigate a crime that officially “doesn’t exist.” (MGB is a precursor to the infamous KGB.) As ideals, state interests and reality clash, so do the stars—including yet another much-anticipated showdown between rising star Tom Hardy and old-timer Gary Oldman.
THE FINAL LAP
Stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson
Director James Wan
While it has conspicuously dropped “fast” from its title, this year’s “Furious 7” will be hitting theaters rather early this year instead of joining the usual wave of summer blockbusters popping up around June. Still, an extra dose of high-speed action in April is always welcome. “Furious 7” brings our motley group of protagonists back to the United States to face a new villain played by Jason Statham, who previously appeared in a cameo scene at the end of “Fast & Furious 6.” Of course, the real star of the show would be the late, great Paul Walker in a final farewell to his fans.
MAD Max: Fury Road
Stars Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult
Director George Miller
Do we really need another reboot of a ’70s/’80s film franchise? Well, if we’re talking about the poster child of post-apocalyptic movies, then the answer is a resounding “Yes!” Taking on the role made famous by Mel Gibson (who reportedly lost interest in reprising his part as Max Rockatansky in the early 2000s) is Tom Hardy, who will star opposite the lovely Charlize Theron. Then there is George Miller, director and writer of the original “Mad Max” trilogy, whose presence is an unspoken guarantee that “Fury Road” will have all the charm and wit (along with the hard-hitting action) that made “Mad Max” such a classic.
THE SWORDS OF JUSTICE
Stars Clive Owen, Morgan Freeman, Aksel Hennie
Director Kazuaki Kiriya
A band of warriors led by a disgraced knight (played by Clive Owen) goes on a roaring rampage of revenge to take down an evil lord. Sounds familiar? Yes, it would seem that “Last Knights” took a lot of cues from the Japanese tale of the 47 ronin. The Japanese connection doesn’t end there, as the movie is directed by Kazuyaki Kiriya—known as the mastermind behind two of Japan’s most celebrated action movies, namely “Casshern” and “Goemon.” So, while “Last Knights” will probably be a typical story of heroes putting honor before reason, we’re definitely going to see a lot of great action scenes.
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