Welcome back to the Renegade Staff Picks. After taking off for a couple of weeks to celebrate the holidays and the new year, we are back and what better topic to start the new year off with than our most anticipated 2015 movies.

Now, I am sure there was a tinge for everyone to just name Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens as their most anticipated 2015 movie, but how fun is that? Instead, understand that we all have something that excites us, and Star Wars isn’t the  top choice for everyone. Anyway, here are the choices of the Renegade Cinema staff when it comes to movies you should keep your eye out for in 2015.


Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2: The Green Legend

Mike Luxemburg: There are a ton of sequels and remakes coming in 2015. Lots of them are really exciting, but one in particular runs up a bamboo shoot and soars above the competition: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2: The Green Legend. I don’t know a ton about it, but the mystery is part of the charm. Personal ignorance aside, what I do know is more than enough to keep me up at night. Donnie Yen (THEGAWD) stars as Silent Wolf across from Michelle Yeoh (THEGAWDESS) as Yu Shu Lien. In the story synopsis you’ll find the following, “A martial forest exists alongside the real world, full of wandering sword fighters, medicine men, defrocked priests, poets, sorcerers and Shaolin renegades.” No number of sword fighters, wandering or not, will keep me from that theater on opening night.


Inside Out

Derek Johns: As much as I enjoyed the animated offerings for 2014, Pixar’s lack of a release did not go unnoticed by me. As usual, we don’t know many plot details about Inside Out so far but the trailer looks very promising and should prove to be a triumphant return for the studio after a two year absence. Also, Lewis Black as Anger might be my favorite casting decision in years.



The Hateful Eight

Ruby Le Rouge: Though Tarantino’s “I’m takin’ my ball and going home” tantrum after the script leak left a bad taste in my mouth (sorry, don’t like prima donnas), I still really want to see this flick. Django Unchained I think has been his best work so far, so I want to see if he tops it. He’s come a long way from video store clerk, and is a talented director, now if he can keep his ego in check then no tellin’ the future awesomeness he could create.


The Avengers: Age of Ultron

Caliber Winfield: I know, peeps would probably think me for the new Terminator, or Taken films. Well, the last entries weren’t that great. I love Star Wars, but got burnt on Episodes 1 & 2. So, who can I trust? Marvel, that’s who. Ever since Iron Man hit, they’ve been on a non-stop roll of classic film after classic film. This one looks like it could possibly trump the first, which I consider to be a masterpiece. I can’t wait for the film, and think it will easily be the highest grossing film of the year, and possibly the most well reviewed. I know it’s unlikely, but hopefully they’ll touch more on Captain America being able to move the Hammer.

Shawn S. Lealos: I’ve got to go with Caliber on this one. I was disappointed by parts of the prequels and Disney has work to do to convince me that they can keep up the greatness of The Empire Strikes Back and not the cheese of Phantom Menace when they start up again. However, Marvel has not disappointed me yet (Iron Man 2 was dumb fun and Iron Man 3 was awesome. I liked both Thor movies too). As for Age of Ultron, this is where The Avengers splinter and this will lead to Civil War, so this is already a can’t miss event for Marvel movies fans. I’ll take a great Marvel movie over Star Wars, thank you. (but I will be at Star Wars on opening day)


Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Derek Ciapala: I know that the franchise has had its bumps and bruises along the way, but the gang is back together. There is no way I’m going to miss that. Of course, if some of those weird rumors about Luke Skywalker and the dark side are true, I may end up looking back on this post and regretting it.

Caleb Masters: Is there really any one of us reading this week’s picks who hasn’t already been swept away to a galaxy far far away? Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the next chapter in the series that turned many of us into sci-fi fans, cinephiles, or writers/filmmakers. I can’t wait to see Han, Luke, Leia, and Chewie all back up on the big screen fighting tri-lightsaber wielding Sith with a brand new generation of actors. I’m no prequel hater, but I think it’s needless to point out that the latest iteration of the series is going to be far more in line with our nostalgia and what we so fondly remember about the original trilogy.

Whether it’s JJ Abrams’s direction, the use of more practical effects, or the return of the Millennium Falcon; everything I’ve seen or heard about Episode VII has me more excited about the movies than ever before.

Rick Tym: I’m tempted to go with a tie and nominate both Age of Ultron and Star Wars Episode VII here…and to be honest Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension almost got the nod because I just have to see where those crazy witches go next. (Which I will; regardless of the varying quality of each installment, I’m a big fan of the series.) However, the dark, brooding part of me LOSES this one. Yes, I will be there opening weekend for the next Avengers flick and yes, I can see the Empire Strikes Back vibe from a mile away and love it, especially as narrated by James Spader’s voice. But I’m off the wall excited for a new Star Wars that actually looks like it might be, you know, like an enjoyable, fun, real Star Wars film. Hope it can live up to the hype of that teaser trailer, and quite honestly I wouldn’t mind if they left me in the dark with no more previews up ’til the premiere. But that won’t happen, and I’ll just do my best to not spoil myself. Here’s hoping for a great new beginning to the next chapter set a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away!


Mad Max: Fury Road

Bethany Lewis: Mad Max looks like a weird, twisted, explosiony bunch of fun and I can’t wait to see it. If it’s half as good as the brilliant trailer, it will be immensely watchable.