Minty's Most Anticipated Movies - 2014
Hey guys! I’ve been meaning to do this for a while – put together my list of most anticipated movies for this year. They are all sci-fi and fantasy related, and all four big CBMs make the cut – but in which order? It should be noted that I don’t think these will be the absolute best films of the year – just the ones I’m looking forward to see the most. Anyway, give it a read and then add your thoughts in the comment section if you agree or disagree – I don’t mind. Enjoy!
2013's over, and it wasn't too shabby. But 2014 may just be about to take CBMs and sci-fi movies to a whole new level. These are the top ten movies that I think you should be looking forward to as much as I am this year..
Director: Wally Pfister
Written By: Jack Paglen
Studio: Warner Bros
Cast: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy
Why It's Interesting: A long-time collaborator of Christopher Nolan, renowned cinematographer Wally Pfister strikes out on his own for the first time to direct this film. After a great first trailer, it looks like he’s gonna do his old buddy proud. Boasting a brilliant cast, which includes the likes Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany and Johnny Depp (albeit on a post ‘Lone Ranger’ slump), and backed by Nolan faves Morgan Freeman and Cillian Murphy, this film looks both entertaining and thought provoking.
Initially, my one concern was the relative inexperience of its director and writer in their roles - but it looks like they have knocked it out of the park.
9) Jupiter Ascending
Director: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Written By: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Studio: Warner Bros
Cast: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Tuppence Middleton, Doona Bae
Why It's Interesting: This may be a film that many of you are on the fence about at the moment, but I really enjoyed the first trailer, and am excited by this latest ambitious project from The Wachowski siblings. ‘The Matrix’ is one of my favourite sci-fi movies of all time, but unfortunately with the these two, for every ‘Cloud Atlas’ there is a ‘Speed Racer’ – or one of those horrible Matrix sequels. A lot will depend on how well Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis will perform as the films leads – both with their fair share of successes and failures in the past.
Nevertheless, it has an solid cast, and it’ll be interesting to see whether this film soars or bombs. My prediction: Sean Bean’s character dies.
8) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
Director: Francis Lawrence
Written By: Danny Strong, Peter Craig
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore, Stanley Tucci, Jeffrey Wright, Natalie Dormer
Why It's Interesting: Next to the MCU films, this is the biggest blockbuster franchise at the moment, and there’s a reason why. These dark and deadly movies continue to impress each time out. Jennifer Lawrence’s strong performances have brought out a truly impressive female protagonist that cinema goers of all gender and age can respect and admire (something DC and Gal Gadot will do well to take inspiration from). After hearing that the books apparently get worse after the first one, I was pleasantly surprised by how good ‘Catching Fire’ was (improving on its source material), and look forward to director Francis Lawrence’s next take on the franchise. Also, Natalie Dormer joins the cast. Natalie Dormer is awesome (see ‘Game Of Thrones’, ‘Elementary’).
With a great cast and an intruiging storyline that doesn’t revolve around a sparkly vampire, these movies are a credit to the young-adult and fantasy genres.
Director: Gareth Edwards
Written By: Max Borenstein, David Callaham (story)
Studio: Warner Bros/Legendary
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, Juliet Binoche, Ken Watannabe
Why It's Interesting: Perhaps the currently most talked about movie at the moment after that impressive trailer, ‘Godzilla’ definitely looks like one to watch next year. A big fan of Gareth Edwards, I really enjoyed his low-budget ‘Monsters’ - despite the lack of actual monster action, it had heart, and at times was still quite scary. Obviously the visuals have been ramped up for this movie, while the human cast looks fantastic for the main story. Bringing the acting talent of course will be Bryan Cranston, as well as two rising stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen in what could be treated as a “warm-up” for ‘Age Of Ultron’ in 2015. Though I liked it, I was a little disappointed with ‘Pacific Rim’ last year, but hopefully this will more than make up for some of its failings.
Looking like one of the biggest summer blockbusters this year, I would call ‘Godzilla’ the “Dark Horse” of 2014.
6) Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Written By: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Studio: Walt Disney/Marvel
Cast: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, Frank Grillo, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Robert Redford
Why It's Interesting: I know what a lot of you are going to say: “How can Cap be your least anticipated CBM of 2014, it’ll be the best one!”. In all honesty, I’m struggling to disagree with you there. Chris Evans has really impressed in his two outings as the Captain, while the trailer promised a really intruiging storyline, full of talented new additions including Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo and of course Robert Redford. Not to mention I’m a massive ‘Community’ fan so I love the Russo brothers. The only reason why this film is not higher on this list is that I already feel like I know what I’m going to get – a very good movie (I predict 4 stars out of 5) with awesome action and another chance for Evans to shine. The other three big CBMs are far riskier – and therefore in a way more interesting to see how they turn out.
That said, I still cannot wait to see this movie, and reckon Marvel has possibly got its best Phase 2 movie on the way in April!
5) The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Director: Marc Webb
Written By: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, James Vanderbilt (story)
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field, Chris Cooper, Felicity Jones, Colm Feore, Michael Massee
Why It's Interesting: This is without doubt the most controversial CBM of 2014 – and it hasn’t even been released yet! There seems to be a 50/50 split on whether or not it will be good – and honestly I can’t decide myself. I love the look of Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn, and the whole Oscorp conspiracy with Norman Osborn and Michael Massee’s ‘Man In The Shadows’ is really intruiging. Not to mention I was a big fan of Andrew Garfield and especially Emma Stone in the first movie (even if the rest of the movie struggled plot-wise). However, some of the visuals do look a little… iffy. Jamie Foxx is a tremendous actor, but at times Electro doesn’t look great (though I hope to be proven wrong). The same goes for the brilliant Paul Giamatti, who already looks underused (albeit playing a less interesting character). The other major complaint is that the film looks too crowded. I for one like its multiple villain premise, but they have to be able to pull it off like ‘The Dark Knight’ did, otherwise it could become a little overwhelmed and completely fall apart.
The Amazing Spider-Man franchise is on a knife-edge at the moment, and this movie may prove to be the deciding factor on whether it succeeds, well… quality wise at least – it’s still gonna make a ton of cash.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Written By: Jonathon Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Studio: Warner Bros/Paramount
Cast: Matthew McConaughy, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, David Oyelowo, Wes Bentley, Matt Damon
Why It's Interesting: Christopher who? I feel like I haven’t heard that name in a while. Yep, the big guy’s back, and with him comes another exceptional cast, more top-notch visuals, and another completely baffling plot! I’m a big fan of the Nolan brothers, and would rate ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Inception’ among my favourite films ever, with ‘Batman Begins’, ‘Memento’, ‘The Prestige’ and even ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ not far behind. Anne Hathaway was the highlight of TDKR, and so it’s great to see her back again, alongside the resurgent Matthew McConaughy who can seemingly do no wrong at the moment. Jessica Chastain and Matt Damon are the other highlights in a very impressive cast, and I’m certain the visual spectacle will be excellent, even without Wally Pfister on Director Of Photography duties.
Based on an idea that has intrigued Steven Spielberg himself, ‘Interstellar’ promises to be stunning movie that will sit alongside some of Nolan’s finest work.
3) The Hobbit: There And Back Again
Director: Peter Jackson
Written By: Fran Walsh, Phillipa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo Del Toro
Studio: Warner Bros/New Line Cinema
Cast: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch (v), Orlando Bloom, Ken Stott, Luke Evans, Evangeline Lilly, Aidan Turner, Lee Pace, Sylvester McCoy, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett
Why It's Interesting: ‘The Desolation Of Smaug’ was one of my favourite movies from 2013. I loved it more than any of the CBMs, and would place it just after ‘Gravity’ at the top of my 2013’s best movies list. Though it didn’t quite capture the true brilliance of the original LOTR trilogy, it still came across as fun, exciting and downright entertaining – a massive improvement on the lacklustre ‘An Unexpected Journey’. Benedict Cumberbatch is great as the voice as Smaug, while the likes of Luke Evans, Evangeline Lilly and Lee Pace were welcome additions to the cast. More of the same please Mr Jackson!
With the ‘Battle Of The Five Armies’ still to come, Peter Jackson’s final chapter promises to be an exhilarating ride (as long as it’s not too long!)
2) X-Men: Days Of Future Past
Director: Bryan Singer
Written By: Simon Kinberg, Matthew Vaughn (story), Jane Goldman (story)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Cast: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Omar Sy, Peter Dinklage
Why It's Interesting: Up until very recently, I was set upon making this movie my most anticipated of the year. In the past few years, Fox (with the help of Simon Kinberg, Matthew Vaughn and James Mangold) seems to have repented for the two bore-fests that were ‘The Last Stand’ & ‘Origins’, with a great solo adventure in ‘The Wolverine’, and before that one of my favourite CBMs of all time: the excellent ‘X-Men: First Class’. I’m hoping they can maintain their momentum in this very ambitious next film, which brings together the awesomeness of James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender & co, with the now legendary old gang, led again by Hugh Jackman (who just keeps getting better and better). The film has a monumental cast, including arguably the biggest star on the planet right now: Jennifer Lawrence, the ever consistent Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan, and an inspired new addition in Peter Dinklage (aka ‘Tyrion Lannister’). A big Vaughn fan, I was a little disappointed to see Bryan Singer take control of this one, but hopefully he can recapture his old form from ‘X2’ and ‘The Usual Suspects’.
Whatever the result of this movie, I can’t wait to see them have a go at this classic storyline, which has the potential to be the best X-Men film to date.
1) Guardians Of The Galaxy
Director: James Gunn
Written By: James Gunn, Nicole Perlman (story)
Studio: Walt Disney/Marvel
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoë Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillen, Lee Pace, Djimon Hounsou, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Rooker, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Vin Diesel (v), Bradley Cooper (v)
Why It's Interesting: Was it ever going to be anything else? This latest project from Marvel looks like the biggest, most ambitious and most downright ludicrous thing any comic book movie has ever attempted. While I was a little shocked by the ‘Thor: The Dark World’ post-credits scene, after seeing the first promo pic I am confidant Marvel has found the right visual style for this space-epic. The cast is second to none, with the rising-stars of Lee Pace, Karen Gillen and Zoë Saldana backed by the A-List support of Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper and John C. Reilly making this movie a must-watch. Additionally I am a big fan of Chris Pratt, who is truly hilarious on ‘Parks & Rec’. The plot will definitely be interesting, particularly in how it all ties into Thanos and the rest of the MCU. Of course, there is a small chance that this film could bomb (either financially or critically), but I admire Marvel’s balls in releasing it.
All in all, ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ looks to be a rollercoaster of a film, attempting nothing that has ever been down before in the world of CBMs – which is why it is the most anticipated movie of 2014 for me.
Anyway that’s my list of anticipated movies. Hopefully some of you agree with the movies on this list. But who cares about what I have to say - what are yours? Comment below!
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