After a somewhat muted 2013 with Man Of Steel, Star Trek Into Darkness and The Wolverine all failing to deliver the promised thrills, and with your view of Iron Man 3 being determined on what side of the fence you fall on “that twist,” 2014 is shaping up to be one to remember before every film in the world ever is released in 2015.
Christopher Nolan, fresh off completing his Batman trilogy, will be looking to bend minds again with Interstellar, which may or may not be about wormholes. Plot details are as per any Nolan production, are almost impossible to come by, with even star Matthew McConaughey confessing he had accepted the role without ever seeing a full script. Speaking of Nolan; Interstellar will see him without his cinematographer Wally Pfister for the first time as he has made the shift into the director’s chair himself with Transcendence, assembling an impressive cast which includes Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman and Cillian Murphy. Depp will be playing a terminally ill scientist who is able to download his consciousness into a computer and causes chaos.
If all that sounds a bit heavy not to worry, The Raid 2 arrives on the 28th of March to punch, kick, spin kick, back flip, hadouken its way through more mind-blowing action set pieces. The first movie was one of the most inventive and exciting action movies for years with Welsh director Gareth Evans venturing outside the tower block in order for Rama to go undercover to bring down the syndicate and his own corrupt police force.
Sequels are the order of the day with Muppets Most Wanted (March), Dumb and Dumberer Too (November) and the much delayed Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (August) finally making its way onto our screens. The Muppets was the sleeper hit of 2011 with brilliant songs and genuinely heartwarming moments. Muppets Most Wanted sees Jason Segel depart and Ricky Gervais step in as the gang are thrown into jewel-heist caper headed by a Kermit the Frog look-alike. Dumb and Dumber is 20 years old this year, while that fact has just depressed me more than I thought humanly possible, I am cheered up by the incoming sequel which sees Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reprise their roles as the half-witted Harry and Lloyd as they set out on a road trip in order to find one of their long lost children in the hope of gaining a new kidney. Having suffered more false dawns than your average Liverpool supporter, Sin City: A Dame to Kill is now finally for real – no fooling – this time actually being made. Furthermore, it looks like the intermittent nine years Robert Rodriguez has been busy obtaining the services of every big name in Hollywood with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Ray Liotta, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke and Jeremy Piven among others taking the trip to “the lousy part of a lousy town”.
Transformers 4: Age of Extinction
Despite promising that Transformers Dark Side of the Pink Floyd would be his last foray into the world of the Autobots and Decepticons, Michael Bay has returned for Trans4mers (seriously?) Age of Extinction. Shia Le Beouf is out and ‘Marky Mark’ Wahlberg is in as Cade Yeager (Chest Rockhard must have been taken), an inventor who discovers a buried Transformer. Nicola Peltz will be taking over eye candy duty from Megan Fox and whatever that Victoria’s Secret girls name was. ‘What Richard Did’ star Jack Reynor will be playing the hot girl’s boyfriend and Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammer will be replacing John Turturro and Frances McDormand in the “we are better than this but they paid us so much money” roles. So pretty much the promised reboot will just be a remake of the previous three movies. They will be joined by Byron Li, Austin Lin, Candice Zhao and Teresa Daley who were cast in roles after winning the cryptically named reality television show “Transformers 4 Chinese Actors Talent Search Reality Show”. So once again Transformers fans can look forward to seeing the titular robots take a back seat in their own movie during what I can only assume will be countless sunsets and more nonsense about cubes. ETA 27 June
The Hobbit: There and Back Again
They have had their breakfast. They have had their swim. Now after more dragon teases then 1,500 pages of Game of Thrones we finally arrived at Smaug’s full reveal and it was certainly worth the wait… for the 30 seconds of action we got. The sight of a Dragon sleeping in a Scrooge McDuck-sized pile of gold was worth the admission fee alone. This one promises a full blown Dragon, Hobbit, Elf, QI presenter showdown to rival anything in the previous Lord of the Rings movies. Freeman has been a revelation and Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel has been a fantastic addition to the story. With Billy Connolly and Flight of the Concords’ Bret McKenzie joining, the closing chapter Christmas can’t come soon enough. ETA 17 December
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Yes the Turtles are back!!! And this latest incarnation promises to show us “When Aliens invade Earth and inadvertently spawn a quartet of mutated reptile warriors, the Ninja Turtles, who rise up against them to defend the world.” Wait what??? Oh god damn it Michael Bay has gotten his hands on another piece of my childhood. If he starts production on a Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors film or tries to adapt the Premier league 92-93 season sticker album into a miniseries I am hunting him down. Megan Fox will be stepping into reporter April O Neil’s yellow jumpsuit and presumably leaning over various objects, while Will Arnett, as camera man Vernon Fenwick, tries to capture the action. Rounding out the cast is Whoopi Goldberg and William Fichtner, who will be playing the villainous Shredder. Much maligned leaked costume designs as well as a complete retooling of the origin story, it appears fans will have little to… Shell-abrate (sorry). ETA 8 August
The LEGO Movie
The dark horse rises, LEGO have been quietly producing some of the best superhero adaptations with their straight-to-video titles. If you haven’t seen their take on the Avengers and Spider-man, do so now! With their first cinematic release, they have produced an impressive line up both on screen and in the recording booth. With voices provided by Channing Tatum, Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson, to name a few. This could prove to be the Batman/Superman film that delivers the fun and easily reassembled destruction that fans have been waiting for. Oh and this could also prove to be one of the year’s biggest *puts sunglasses on* BLOCKBUSTERS!!! ETA 8 February
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
A remake of a classic directed by an English indie director starring James Franco as a scientist and Drako Malfoy as an animal torturing dick sounded like a horrendous idea. But somehow Rise of the Planet of the Apes delivered a smart, engaging and thrilling addition to the apes movie cannon. Of course all of the above have been ditched for the sequel, Matt Reeves of the brilliant/shaky Cloverfield takes over directing duties and brings with him Gary Oldman and Jason Clarke. Set eight years later, this movie will deal with the uneasy alliance of man and Ape following the spread of the virus that closed out the first film. Confidence is high in this movie as part three has already been given the green light. No word as of yet if we will be treated to a Dr Zeus musical number but keep them fingers and damn dirty paws crossed. ETA 11 July
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Speaking of Gary Oldman, the makers of Spider-Man 2 seem to have been watching his performance in Leon and decided that “GET ME EVERYONE!!” was the best approach to take with their sequel. Jamie Foxx’s Electro, Green Goblin and Rhino are confirmed and may or may not be joined by Vulture, Hob Goblin, Doc Ock and Cobra Kai Sensei John Kreese. For a film featuring a Coldplay song the first movie was surprisingly less EMO than advertised and was a welcome step up from Toby Maguire dancing around Kirstin Dunst’s distractingly massive forehead. With rumours of not only a Venom spin-off but a Sinister Six standalone movie to go with the third film in this series, Sony are gambling everything on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 breaking box office records – and possibly necks – while leaving audiences gasping for more come April. ETA 2 May
X-Men: Days of Future Past
The seventh film in the X-Men franchise arrives promising more murder and mayhem then before – one of the issues of the titular comic books literally called “Everybody dies”. Linking up the cast of the previous X-Men First Class with their first incarnation counterparts, the plot sees Wolverine sent pack in time to prevent an event that will prove the catalyst for Boliver Trask (played by Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage) creating the mutant killing Sentinels. The first trailer was ace and got fans of both sets of movies hyped up before being cooled off by Empire Magazine’s cover reveal of the characters, which had the look of the work experience kids being given too much access to Photoshop. X-Men 1&2 director Bryan Singer returns promising to deliver “the biggest comic book movie ever” with one of the best casts ever assembled and returning to the scene of his biggest triumph. And,provided he can limit Fassbender to one accent per sentence, few would bet against Singer doing just that. ETA 23 May
Captain America: The Winter Solider
Transpiring after the events of Avengers Assemble, the sequel to The First Avenger will show Captain America adjusting to life in the modern world. However, he will have to contend with the emergence of a new villain, the titular Winter Soldier, whose appearance – as comic fans know – will hit closer to home then Steve Rogers’ first expects. Looking more in the tone of a 70s political espionage thriller than a summer popcorn flick, even more so with the addition of Robert Redford to the cast. Marvel shows no signs of slowing down and adhering to routine with directing duties being passed to the Russo brothers, who directed episodes of the excellent show “Community” and bizarrely “You, Me and Dupree”. With this being the sequel to one of the lesser performing Marvel outings and the release of the little known Guardians of the Galaxy arriving in 2014, this could see the Marvel universe reach all new heights or be brought crashing down to earth faster than a S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier. ETA 4 April
Guardians of the Galaxy
Marvel’s biggest gamble to date sees them take one of their lesser known and most bizarre titles to the big screen. The tease at the end of Thor The Dark Word shows they are ready to go next level bonkers. An eclectic cast featuring crazy haired Benicio Del Toro who is joined by Parks and Rec’s Chris Pratt as Peter Quill aka Star Lord who finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb (rumoured to be one of Thanos’ Infinity gems) coveted by Ronan the Accuser. Bradley Cooper is voicing machine gun wielding Rocket Racoon and Vin Diesel sets himself up for more wooden acting jokes as he plays a tree called Groot who’s only dialogue is “I am Groot” which, to be fair, is three words more than I could understand him saying in any of The Fast and Furious movies. Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan and the legendary Glenn Close round out the cast in what is lining up to be cinematic equivalent of an acid trip. Count me in. ETA 1 August
Two years on from the first teaser trailer, Godzilla will finally stop his way into cinemas in 2014 with the world’s most famous monster looking to lay the smack down on multiple foes. Director Gareth Edwards has shown he can mix mayhem with plot with his debut feature “Monsters” and with statements like “Godzilla is the representation of the wrath of nature. He’s the punishment we deserve.” He is looking to deliver something more than Ferris Buller being chased around Madison Square Garden’s by giant chickens taking comedy falls on gumball machines. Bryan Cranston joins the cast in his first post-Breaking Bad role, promising that “you’ll be able to wipe the memory of the old Godzilla, 12 years ago or whatever that was, right, completely out of your system. This Godzilla is very different. A very, character-driven Monster movie”. Excitement is tempered by lukewarm reaction to last summer’s giant monster movie Pacific Rim and if the previous Godzilla movie has taught us anything, it is that great trailers do not a great movie make. This incarnation though is looking to prove a different kind of beast. ETA 16 May
The Lego Movie