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2014: A Year of Exciting Movies
New year, new things to talk about. That’s usually how these beginning-of-the-year articles go, right? For me, a month or two is typically as far ahead as I look. However, this year I find myself enamored by the potential of the next twelve month’s movies. From superhero movies to comedies to sci-fi and fantasy, it seems there’s a little bit of everything for me in cinema this year. Allow me to share some of my most anticipated films of 2014 (in no particular order).
X-Men: Days of Future Past
First off, allow me to say that the aforementioned appendage “in no particular order” does not apply in this first instance. Days of Future Past is my most anticipated film of the year, despite some of my persisting reservations. The possibilities of this movie are tremendous, and while I don’t actually believe it will live up to every one of them, I’m more than a little excited to see what it does right. Combining the talents of the original trilogy (sadly, minus Anna Paquin) with First Class, Days of Future Past has enough big names to rival an Ocean’s film. The premise focuses on Wolverine being sent into the past to prevent mutantkind from instigating a bleak future where they are highly oppressed (a la the comic book of the same name). Hopefully the film can realign the franchise’s glaring continuity errors and, if we’re really lucky, undo some of the missteps by Brett Ratner.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Another superhero film and another sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 looks to expound on the original in every way possible. While I admit to being skeptical of Electro when he was announced, if the trailer is any indication, he is a perfect inclusion in this particular take on the Spidey-verse. Paul Giamatti as the Rhino is also exciting, for no other reason than I’m a huge Paul Giamatti fan. I’m also thrilled to see OsCorp remains a focal point and catalyst in the story. We don’t need completely disjointed origins for every superhuman that graces the screen.
In virtually any other circumstance, I’d opine Transcendence looked like the dumbest movie of the year. What makes me think otherwise? Virtually everyone behind the movie. Though I submit I’m not a cinematography aficionado, Wally Pfister (making his directorial debut here) has been involved in some great films, and I’m excited to see what he does as a director. To no surprise, he has the production backing of Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas, which never hurts. And then, of course, there’s the cast. Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman rank among my favorite actors, and Paul Bettany and Cillian Murphy certainly don’t hurt, either. The film’s synopsis—an artificial intelligence researcher attempting to create a sentient robot with collective intelligence—is also increasingly relevant in a world where artificial hearts can sustain human life and researchers can reverse the aging process in mice.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
This one is a long, long time coming. The original Sin City was brilliant in about every way possible, and a sequel is sorely needed. With the array of material to derive from, there’s plenty for Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller to adapt to the screen. The loss of Clive Owen as Dwight is a bummer, but given Brolin’s competence, I believe he’ll fit in to the Sin City universe just fine. The addition of Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also much welcome in my book, and his story (an original) is appealing. I’m not too thrilled about Jessica Alba’s character receiving a lead story, as I feel her character as a standalone will be weak, but with Sin City, it’s hard to go wrong.
22 Jump Street
I thought 21 Jump Street was hilarious. I’m not a terribly huge Jonah Hill fan, but every now and then I think his comedic tone works well, and it has never worked better than in Jump Street. I’m also not a terribly huge Channing Tatum fan, but then again, I’d never seen him in a comedy before. The film is just ridiculous enough to be hilarious without crossing into stupidity, and it thankfully never takes itself seriously enough for anyone to pay heed to the absurd impracticality of the film’s happenstances.
The Hobbit: There and Back Again
Without spoiling too much about the recently released sequel, The Desolation of Smaug’s ending left moviegoers wanting. However, the film as a whole was fantastic, and for someone who has yet to read the novel, I can’t wait to see how the story ends (or rather, how the characters arrive at the obvious ending). The first two Hobbit films did not disappoint by any means, and I fully expect Peter Jackson has the capability to deliver a satisfying conclusion to what is certainly one of the most beloved works of literature-turned-film.
So there you have it. This, of course, is just one author’s opinion, and as ever, we are eager to hear yours. Which films have you gearing up for a trip to the theater? Let us know in the comments!