2015 has already been a great year for film fans. We started the year with Kingsman, then we had Avengers: Age of Ultron, John Wick and Mad Max. And that was before the summer even hit.
As the weather got better, the films did too: Ant-Man was better than we'd ever dared hope, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation matched the intensity of Ghost Protocol and San Andreas provided some two hours of entertaining disaster fun, without troubling us by asking us to switch on our brains. And how could we forget Jurassic World which quickly became one of the highest grossing movies of all time as it hit the sweet spot for both nostalgia and still being good enough for us to enjoy it without thinking too hard about the original.
Let's just not mention Fantastic Four.
Now as we slide into the latter part of the year, we're left wondering... will the big films still to come deliver? Here's what I'm looking forward to.
The next major release as far as I'm concerned is The Martian - a film that sends Ridley Scott back into space but mercifully keeps him away from the bridge of the USCSS Prometheus. In the film, which is due on October 2nd, Matt Damon stars as an astronaut stranded on Mars, and the film follows his struggle to survive and the attempt by those back on Earth to rescue him. Brilliantly, it appears that the film is playing the concept entirely straight - with the writer of the novel it is based on leaning heavily on real life science for inspiration. So don't expect any little green men (or indeed, long-headed, black reptilians creatures) to show up here. The reviews are looking good, and I'm excited.
On the same day as The Martian is the release of the more down to earth London Has Fallen, a sequel to to 2013's Olympus Has Fallen only this time the action moves from the White House to London. Given that the first film was a better Die Hard film than either the fourth or fifth film starring Bruce Willis, I'm excited to see it. I'm also a big fan of films set in London, and like to see places that I know so well in the heat of the action.
A week after those two, on October 9th Steve Jobs hits cinemas, seemingly a month after the critics got to see it. There is pretty much no way I won't enjoy this film as not only is it about one of the most interesting tech pioneers of the modern age, but it is written by Aaron Sorkin, the genius behind The West Wing. Expect walking-and-talking, snappy one liners and criticisms of his portrayal of women characters. The film is directed by Danny Boyle and stars Michael Fassbender as the film's eponymous hero/anti-hero, and is set as three distinct acts just before critical Apple product launches: The launch of the Apple II, the NeXT and the launch of the iMac, which should provide us with insight into what Jobs was like at these three junctures in his life.
There's also plenty of Apple launches left should the film makers ever want to do a sequel.
A few days later Suffragette hits cinemas and tells the story of the movement campaigning to get women the right to vote. Yeah, I'm slightly surprised that it doesn't seem to have been done before (at least recently) too. It stars Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham Carter. It'll be nice to see an important and radical part of social history portrayed on the big screen, but please, no spoilers as to how things turn out!
Bridge of Spies is out on October 16th and is a film that despite being directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Tom Hanks and being written by the Coen brothers appears to have flown under the radar a little. The film is set to be a Cold War thriller, set in 1960 and based on the true story of when the Soviet Union shot down an American U2 spy plane. The film follows lawyer James B Donovan (Hanks)'s attempts to negotiate with the Russians for the pilot's return. It sounds intriguing - but will it reach a wider audience? It certainly sounds worthy, but surely it will need a few more car chases to be successful?
Heading into November and Spectre is set to dominate the box office. The film marks the revival of one of an organisation that hasn't been seen in Bond films for decades. It could also be Daniel Craig's last outing as the main man. Christoph Waltz has been cast as the villain, which is perhaps surprising because it reminds you that despite on-paper being perfect for the part he hasn't yet played a Bond villain in all of the years previously.
Oh, and there is perhaps one more major film that I haven't mentioned. Just a little one. Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in the UK on 17th December - a day earlier than America and everyone is expecting it to smash box office records - perhaps even becoming the highest grossing film of all time. But are we premature in getting our hopes up? Surely we can all remember the crushing disappointment of The Phantom Menace?
And this is where I open the chatroom to you. What films are you looking forward to? How are you calibrating your excitement for Star Wars? Can't wait? Or are you maintaining dignified low expectations? Do you think Spectre will stand up to Skyfall? And what other releases have caught your attention? Let us know in the comments.