03 January 2014

It's 2014! Top Ten Most Anticipated Movies

Now, in 2012 we offered the twelve things were were most looking forward to. In 2013 this number jumped to thirteen. We're cutting that off right now before it gets ridiculous. No one's going to be looking forward to seventeen different things in 2017. That's stupid. Let's stick with ten. Maybe some more if we have time. Anyway, here are ten movies coming out in 2014 that have struck our fancy:

#10: Amazing Spider-Man 2 (05/02)
Half-Palpatine, Half-Soloist

Okay, this is more just because we live in Rochester, NY and saw this thing filmed live, but it could be good, right? The first in the unnecessary reboot featured great actors, a great director, an abysmal but much more "comic-book-y" story, and somehow a pretty terrible flick. So how are we pumped for this? More great casting, more uses of Spider-Man's horrible animal-themed villains, and most importantly, the idea that this whole thing is building to a Sinister Six movie. The villains assemblage idea sounds pretty damn intriguing and works well with the banks of characters Sony actually owns and could create the anti-Avengers we've always dreamed of seeing. Or it's just shit. Whatever.

#9: Dom Hemingway (04/04)

I'm not sure why this tickeld my fancy, maybe it's Jude Law riding some great Soderbergh and Sherlock Holmes waves out of overexposure and into likability again. Or maybe it's just because this movie looks damn wacky and cool. It's got some nice slick attitude and just enough bite to rise above the crowd. We hope.

#8: The LEGO Movie (02/07)

This is horrribl-omg look at that trailer. We have lots of trust here in Phil Lord and Chris Miller keeping up LEGO's integrity as well as a great does of wackiness, but still, aren't LEGOs more fun to play with and not watch? I never really understood that with like, LEGO video games and cartoon shows. Still, if it's funny and innovates the adaptation of its source material in some genuinely clever ways, all can be forgiven. Soon, too.

#7: Transcendence (04/18)

A mysterious, self-important movie from the cinematographer of The Dark Knight (2008) starring Johnny Depp as Bender from "Overclockwise" (S6;E25). Still, it'll be better than anything else coming out in April and Wally has a lot of goodwill that he's just leached from Chris Nolan. That always works out, right? Jeez I'm actually really harshing this at #7. Maybe it will be cool.

#6: Interstellar (11/07)

A mysterious, self-important movie from the director of The Dark Knight. Yeah, Nolan has yet to really make a bad movie. Even insomnia (2002) was pretty legit. As long as he's batting 1.000 we're looking forward to his next plate appearance, and McConaughey's star can't get any brighter right now in the yes of legitimate film fans. We're all in until we find out otherwise.

#5: Guardians of the Galaxy (08/01)

Marvel needs to get its wackness on. It's about time for them to put on a crazy space adventure starring the most random yet likable cast ever assembled and risk all the good will they've accumulated so far. This flick is really a shameless ploy to boost some unpopular characters into the mainstream, but who gives a shit, it's working. Anything to get away from their broad cookie cutter approach and heretofore inability to craft an effective sequel. Let's prove that space works. Thanos much?

#4: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (07/11)

Talk about a sequel to a movie everyone thought would suck. Off the heels of Rise of the Planet of the Apes comes this behemoth, still strutting around in Andy Serkis' perfect chimp mo-cap glory. Suddenly it's the "Fast and Furious" effect - the joke franchise gets a primetime July release date. What the hell? There's some good recycling and moving on going on - the flick trades Franco for Oldman as its go-to human with an intensity absent from the first pretty damn good go around. Still without the hype befitting it, Dawn is set to rock the hell out of a relatively quiet summer before 2015 explodes.

#3: 22 Jump Street (06/13)

What were we saying about sequels to films everyone thought would suck? How was 21 Jump Street (2012) the funniest movie of its year? Through meta-self-referential statements acknowledging its own awkwardness, the unrelenting passion of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, and the latter's surprisingly apt comic chops. The first trailer leaves much to be hoped for with securing the tone for what could be an awkward and cumbersome comedy sequel. Can Phil Lord and Chris Miller do it again or will their fresh streak wear thin? Keep reaching for that rainbow, folks, as long as it keeps having fun with itself, it'll land.

#2: Godzilla (05/16)

Okay - one more film that has no right to be here. This should be such a joke. I mean, why remake Godzilla? And what kind of Zil are we getting? Didn't we already try an American Godzilla which sucked (ecept for the soundtrack - totes legit, bro)? Are we in the age of Kaiju Movies suddenly getting a big budget CGI treatment? Wait, wasn't that the whole point of loving old Godzilla movies -half-kitsch, half-adoration? What the hell is this shit?! It comes down to another one of those "look at that trailer!" moments - suddenly this thing could be cool if it sticks to its guns.

#1: X-men: Days of Future Past (05/23)
Days of Future Ass

Bryan Singer returns to his best non-Usual Suspects (1995) film. It looks to be the Avengers version of the X-Men movies (there's a bit of that going around), mashing up another surprisingly great 2011 film (X-Men: First Class) with the boys and girls from the first X-Men go around. Or is it more the Fast Five effect of getting everyone exited for the prospect of getting the whole gang to get back together? Either way, about 3/5 X-Men films are pretty solid and the franchise is surprisingly experimental. I'm down for some time travel elements, why not? Superhero movies are pretty ridiculous anyway - if they handle it well, everyone's game, and it's based on character drama and growth instead of explosions and fan service, it'll have anything Disney or Warner Bros is doing beat.

Close calls...

I shit a lot on the impotency of Marvel films, whose sequels, namely, Iron Man 2 (2010) and Thor: The Dark World (2013) can't keep up with their originals, while also existing this franchise vacuum that prevents real investment, simply because they'll never fade away. With that said, can Captain America: The Winter Soldier prove me wrong? I do hope so.

Among other blockbusters vying for our attention in 2014 comes what should be the grandest Rock movie ever, Hercules, which based on his diet and muscles will obviously be awesome. I'm not sure that The Hobbit: There and Back Again will meet Return of the King-like business or acclaim, but after The Desolation of Smaug was actually pretty worth it, I'm more jazzed for The Hobbit finale than I should be. Finally in the blockbuster wannabe category, we've got The Expendables 3, which is still a thing for some reason. I've seen every Expendables movie in the theater and I always go for the same reason - to see even more big action hero names paired together one last time. I have always left disappointed in how shitty that was. I can honestly say I am once again primed for a big letdown.

As far as comedies go, the only ones on our radar right now are two big sequels, Muppets Most Wanted and Dumb and Dumber To. Without Jason Segel, our Muppet hopes have dwindled, but Gervais and Tina could pull that wreck from the ashes. And honestly, there's no reason to cheer for the Farrelly Brothers anymore. Three great immortal 90s comedies aren't enough to make up for the last decade of horror. Even if Hall Pass (2011) wasn't too bad.

So there you have it. It's NMW's guarantee that this top ten will be the exact Top Ten list of every pundit in Hollywood come December 2014. No, there's no way that's happening. Happy January, bastards.

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