First Half of 2015

Happy Canada Day, and while I’d love to do a tribute to our finest Canadians in film, today also marks an important day of the year! We’re half way through 2015! Out of nowhere this year just sped away and now we’re left in the middle of summer with blockbusters coming at us left and right. We’re also half way done the movie year so I thought it would be a good thing to look back and see what rocked the box office, stirred a little controversy, and made movie news in the first six months of 2015.

We started the year off with Taken 3, which completed the angry Liam Neeson trilogy. Then a surprise non franchise action film took film goers by storm, I’m talking about The Kingsman: Secret Service which one lucky Goomba follower gets to take home for free. Original and exciting, this one did for action movies what It Follows did for horror. If you didn’t get to this one, It Follows is about a sexually transmitted Demon that had been called one of the best horror movies on the decade. 
What’s scarier than a horror movie? The fact Fifty Shades of Grey became the 4th highest grossing movie of 2014 thus far. The kinky romance was released around Valentine’s Day to get the blood pumping. Critics and religious grounds destroyed it, but turns out fans were eager to see some flesh. Everyone else was eager to see Neill Blomkamp’s new sci-fi follow up to District 9, Chappie. Turns out he was sort of a one trick pony and hasn’t been able to reach the same success as he did with his first film.
Fan girl’s swooned and awed over the live action version of Cinderella while dumb comedy lovers embraced another Will Ferrell laugh fest, this time teamed with Kevin Hart in Get Hard. No one would have expected the mass moola Furious 7 would take in. After all, it’s a 7th installment in the series and one of the lead actors died half way through filming. That didn’t stop it from becoming one of the greatest money makers of all time. Speaking of cash and sequels; The Avengers: Age of Ultron rocked the box office a few weeks later, giving geeks everywhere another glimpse at the world’s dream superhero team.
So far, the highest grossing animated movie of the year is Home, an alien comedy starring Jim Parsons and my own idol Steve Martin. The original kiddie flick got rave reviews and was based on a short film from a couple years prior. I haven’t met a lot of people who actually saw it, but it seems to be highly suggested by critics and kids.
Everyone suggests you seen Mad Max Fury Road, the greatest action movie of all time. Everyone lost their damn minds when this movie came out, saying it was the Citizen Kane of action… crazy people. We can’t deny its popularity though; it took the world by storm probably more than any other movie this year. Fans of Disney hoped Tomorrowland would do just that, but it oddly failed to resonate with fans and critics alike.
Another miss that I certainly enjoyed was Aloha, Cameron Crowe’s racist mess of a movie that follows Bradley Cooper and a white Asian Emma Stone in a Hawaiian romance. People also lost their minds over the casting choices and the Sony leak that told audiences it was crap last year. Though I enjoyed it, I think I was the only one. It’s since become one of the biggest bombs of the year.
Whoever said women aren’t funny? Pitch Perfect 2 and Spy have become two of the highest grossing comedies of the year, both with strong female casts. Then we get to Jurassic World which I know I don’t have to say much about. Everyone saw it, some loved it and some knew what they were getting in for. Never the less, it has set records for fastest and highest weekend gross.
We finish off out year in review with Inside Out, Pixar’s delightful comedy about the people that work inside your mind. Clever and heartwarming, this one should not be missed. The opposite seems to fit the bill for Ted 2.
So as you can see, we’ve broke a few records and made a few milestones. Of course, there are hundreds of movies I didn’t touch on like the weird sci-fi underground hit Ex-Machina, but you’ll just have to go check them out yourself. Hope this put the year into perspective and I hope the next six months have a lot more in store for us.

Ryan Uytdewilligen

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