Monday, December 30, 2013

Most Anticipated Films of 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo (You Me and Dupree)
Written by Christopher Markus, and Stephen McFreely
Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Cobie Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson, Sebastian Stan, Robert Redford

This film makes the list because it’s the last puzzle piece for the team members building up to Avengers 2: Age of Ultron.  The build up for the next Avengers is a big thing, and the scenes at the end of this film will be massive.  With that said, more on Cap himself Chris Evans is great in this role.  The trailer and the five minute clip in front of Thor are testing the boundaries of Cap’s trust in the government, and S.H.I.E.L.D.  Anthony and Joe Russo are interesting choices for directors, most of their work is in comedic television, like Community, and Happy Endings, their major film work was the comedy You, Me, and DuPree.  Can the brothers do it?  The trailer has given me faith.

Director: Bennett Miller (Capote, Moneyball)
Written by: E. Max Frye, and Dan Futterman
Starring:  Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave

There are only a few directors who have made consistent (back to back), quality films within different genres in the last year, but Bennett Miller is one of those directors.  Capote was an excellent look at the connection an author created with a killer, while Moneyball was about a man who believed in the principle of the game, fighting for his passion.  In an odd way Foxcatcher looks like a blend of both.  With Miller using Dan Futterman who wrote Capote, and Steve Carell shedding his good guy image once again, but this time even darker than The Way Way Back.  This was supposed to be a 2013 release, but with the crowded line up of quality films I would have shifted to 2014 to stand out.

Godzilla (2014)
Directed by:  Gareth Edwards (Monsters)
Written by: Max Borenstein
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, Ken Watanabe, David Strathairn

I was hesitant to add this film to my list, Edwards has spent most of his work in visual effects, which will make this film visually stunning, was there any doubt, but can that make this a fulfilling film experience?  I think the trailer pushed this film on to the list.  I think the cast is pretty cool as well.  Godzilla made the list this year for the same reason Pacific Rim did last year, I am intrigued by what they can do with a giant aliens again.

Gone Girl
Directed by David Fincher (The Social Network)
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Missi Pyle, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, Casey Wilson, Scoot McNairy, Emily Ratajkowski, Kathleen Rose Perkins

From what I have heard the book is dark, and will suit Fincher’s direction.  I need a new book to read, and this may be just the right thing.  I was not a big fan of Dragon Tattoo, there were great parts like Rooney Mara, and the cinematography, but this was not Fincher’s finest.  Affleck is an interesting choice for this role; he is on a roll after Argo with being cast in a lot of different things, will be an interesting film.  Can Affleck maintain the love?  Can Fincher handle the material?  One of the most interesting films to watch

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Director/Writer: Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom)
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Saoirse Ronan, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Lea Seydoux, Tilda Swinton,  Jason Schwartzman, Adrien Brody, Jeff Goldblum, F. Murray Abraham, Willem Dafoe,

I almost gave up on Wes Anderson after Royal Tenenbaums, but with The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and moonrise Kingdom this man has become one of the most dependable directors.  I am excited to see Ralph Fiennes added to his growing ensemble, and to see him flex his comedic muscle, a muscle he rarely uses on screen.  How can you go wrong here?

Guardians of the Galaxy
Directed and Written by: James Gunn
Staring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Karen Gillan, Lee Pace, John C. Reilly, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Rooker, Dave Bautista, Djimon Hounsou, Vin Diesel, Glenn Close, Peter Serafinowicz, Sean Gunn

Guardians of the Galaxy is also part of the Marvel/Avengers Universe, and will connect with Thanos as the main villain, after all the Collecter the villain at the end of Thor is in this film.  Guardians is different from the other films though, there is a different set of characters, Chris Pratt plays the only earthling while there is also a talking raccoon (Cooper), and a sentient tree voice by Vin Diesel.  The footage that leaked looks amazing.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Written by Jonathan and Christopher Nolan
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Ellen Burstyn, Michael Caine, Matt Damon, Casey Affleck, John Lithgow

Christopher Nolan, combined with wormholes, time travel, and two of the hottest stars McConaughey and Chastain, what could be better than this?  Nolan gets great casts, combined with the mystique of revealing little about his films., and you have one of the most anticipated films of the year.

Inherent Vice
Director/Written by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Jena Malone, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Maya Rudolph, Sasha Pieterse

This is the first film Paul Thomas Anderson is adapting; he has always had original screenplays.  This film blends a little more comedic edge than many of his past films, and the material this is based on is more like The Big Lebowski, and team Anderson with Joaquin Phoenix again, how can you go wrong with this?

Into the Woods
Director: Rob Marshall (Chicago)
Writer: James Lepine
Cast  Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Christine Baranski, Tracey Ullman, James Corden, Lucy Punch, Frances de la Tour

Every musical release will make my anticipated list.  The truth of the matter is some work, and some don’t.  Look at Chicago, which is from the man who is going to direct this lesser known Sondheim musical.  Then look at Nine which was also directed by Rob Marshall (his personal vision), another lesser known musical to the mass public.  Les Mis was helped on two accounts, mass popularity with both Broadway, and non-Broadway folks, and its cast.  The cast could not save Nine it bombed.  Let’s hope Anna Kendrick fresh off pitch perfect, and her other cast members who can sing, will truly make this a can’t miss film.

The Monuments Men
Director: George Clooney (Good Night and Good Luck)
Written by: George Clooney, and Grant Heslov
Cast George Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban

Kind of glad this film got pushed to winter 2014.  It makes more sense in early 2014.  I think it’s going to be a good film, the cast is fantastic, the original trailer made me skeptical, but further the second helped add to my excitement.  Could it be Ocean’s meets WWII, sure but what’s wrong with that, and Clooney has a style different from Soderbergh, so this

X-Men: Days of Future Past
Director: Bryan Singer (X-2: X-Men United)
Writing: Simon Kinburg
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Ian McKellen, Evan Peters, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, James McAvoy, Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, Lucas Till, Daniel Cudmore, Shawn Ashmore, Omar Sy

This is the film I am most excited about, with Bryan Singer back, and Matthew Vaughn who wrote First Class back, you get the best of both worlds, along with a mix of the new and returning class.  The posters are awesome, and the teaser trailer keeps you on the edge your seat.  This should get people back to the franchise more, after the crappy third film.

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