Thursday, January 2, 2014

Looking Forward to 2014 Movies

From left to right: The LEGO Movie, Non-Stop, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Noah
It’s only January 2nd but I was already hankering for a sneak peek at this year’s round of movies, so I rounded up this list of 2014 films (with links to trailers, if available) which I’ll be keeping my eyes and ears open for as they make their way to my local theater. There’s quite a smorgasbord of films; from comedy, drama, thrillers, animated and action films, and a few sequels thrown in for good measure. By the way, the list also features four film adaptations of best-sellers which I read and loved; with a few exceptions, the books are usually way better than the film, so why not take this time to catch up on some reading before they hit the big screen.

Hopefully there’s a couple movies that meet your fancy. For a more complete list of 2014 films, you can check out this Wiki page on 2014 in film.

The LEGO Movie (February 7). I’m sure you guys saw my Must See post about this movie. Looks like tons of fun. Like I said before, can’t wait.

The Monuments Men (February 7). The true story of a hand-picked group of art experts chosen by the U.S. government to retrieve artwork stolen by the Nazis; stars Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, and Bill Murray, to name a few. You had me at George.

Winter's Tale (February 14). A fantasy romance with time travel, a tragic love story and Colin Farrell battling Russell Crowe; I’m game.

Non-Stop (February 28). Liam Neeson stars as a U.S. Air Marshal trying to save passengers on a flight from an unknown terrorist. Looks like Taken but on a plane; a lot of non-stop action and guns.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Limited) (March 7). The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune told in Wes Anderson’s usually quirky fashion. Anderson usually delivers so I’ll definitely be checking this one out.

Noah (March 28). An updated take on the Biblical tale of Noah as he suffers visions of an apocalyptic deluge and takes measures to protect his family from the coming flood. I like Crowe despite himself, so I’m looking forward to what will undoubtedly be a very dramatized version of the traditional Bible story.

Rio 2 (in 3D) (April 11). Rio 2 finds Jewel, Blu and their three kids leaving their domesticated life in that magical city for a journey to the Amazon. I loved the first movie so it will be like catching up with old friends.

Maleficent (in 3D) (May 30). Disney’s retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty tale as told through the eyes of the wicked fairy godmother. It will be interesting to see if they can do for Sleeping Beauty what Wicked did for the Wizard of Oz.

The Fault in Our Stars (June 6). The tragic love story about two teenagers who meet in a cancer support group. The book was absolutely beautiful and perfect; sad, funny, and sad again. I’m curious about the movie yet scared that they’ll screw it all up. Do yourself a favor and read the book before you see the movie. You won’t be disappointed, but you will cry. You’ve been warned.

22 Jump Street (June 13). Jenko and Schmidt are back undercover, this time at college, trying to stop the spread of more drugs. Despite the crass and sometimes infantile humor, I loved the first film and will go back to school for these two.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (in 3D) (June 13). Jay Baruchel is back as Hiccup with his trusty and adorable dragon Toothless as another threat is on the horizon. Oh, I loved the first film. I’m not sure why, I’m not big on dragons or Vikings, but loved Hiccup’s uncertainty and struggle for acceptance.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (July 11). Caesar is back in this follow-up to 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. This film supposedly focuses on the war between the growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar and a band of human survivors. I like the dark ominous tone set by the trailer; hopefully this sequel delivers.

The Giver (August 15). Jeff Bridges stars as the Giver in this film adaptation of the classic young adult novel by Lois Lowry. Youngsters probably read this book in high school; I personally read it like a bazillion years ago, but I know I enjoyed it and not only want to see the film but read the book again too.

Gone Girl (October 3). This is the film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-seller about a wife who goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary, and her husband who becomes the prime suspect in her disappearance. The book was great which sets a pretty high bar for the film, which stars Ben Affleck in the hubby role (not necessarily the best casting, I think). Ben's performances are hit or miss (hoping for Argo-caliber and not Gigli) so I’m going in not expecting much but hope to be happily surprised.

Dumb and Dumber To (November 14). Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne are back (and hopefully better than ever) in this follow-up to the 1994 film Dumb and Dumber. I feel old! It’s been twenty years since Lloyd’s “Wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world?” This will undoubtedly be as dumb and funny as last time.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (November 21). Ala Twilight and Harry Potter, filmmakers decided to split the last book in the Hunger Games series into two films (you gotta milk that cash cow), so we’ll have to visit Katniss and Peeta twice more before we can put this to rest. Catching Fire delivered so I’m hoping this won’t be the exception.