Reel Freak

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20 Most-Anticipated Movies of 2014

It’s officially 2014! Time for another year of new, exciting films.  The lineup of releases looks noticeably vast this year, and I’m really excited to see how things go.  So hey, let’s count down the Top 20 movies I’m most excited for in 2014:

20.) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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Release Date: August 8th, 2014
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Starring: Megan Fox, Pete Ploszek, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Alan Ritchson

A lot of people have been anticipating the next big-screen appearance by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, especially after the flop of 2007’s animated TMNT.  Now, the Turtles are making their return to theaters, with a reboot of the original movie series from the 90’s that has gained a bit of cult success.  Returning to its roots, this will be a live-action movie, with some of the actors using motion-capture to portray their characters.  Not a lot has been revealed yet about the movie (which is odd considering it comes out this Summer and it’s produced by Michael Bay).  Even if this movie is yet another flop for the franchise, it should still be a lot of fun to watch.  

19.) The Expendables 3

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Release Date:
 August 15th, 2014
Director: Patrick Hughes
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas, & Wesley Snipes

I’m a huge fan of the Expendables movies.  At the same time, I’m also a sucker for 80’s action flicks.  At this point, these films aren’t made to make a lot of money or to please critics; it’s for the pure fun.  With an ever-growing cast of veteran action stars, it’s hard to pass up at least giving them one watch.  For this third installment of the franchise, legends Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson and Wesley Snipes join the already-stellar cast.  Really looking forward to this and it should be a great addition to the Summer lineup.

18.) Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

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Release Date:
August 22nd, 2014
Director: Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller
Starring: Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Rosario Dawson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green, Mickey Rourke & Bruce Willis 

Nine years later, Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller are finally delivering the sequel to the stylish neo-noir thriller Sin City.  A lot of the cast from the original return for the new installment, including new-comers Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin, and Eva Green.  There’s a of ton of stylized action sequences accompanied by the dark, gritty Sin City stories.  A Dame to Kill For is based on the second book of the same name in the Sin City graphic novel series.  I’m really looking forward to this, it’s been a long time coming!

17.) The Lego Movie

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Release Date: February 7th, 2014
Director: Phil Lord & Chris Miller
Starring: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Charlie Day, Jonah Hill & Channing Tatum

I was sold on The Lego Movie the moment I saw the first trailer.  It made me laugh constantly, which isn’t too often achieved from just a trailer.  Who isn’t going to see this who has the least bit of nostalgia or sentiment?  Lego is the coolest brand of toy ever created, and is still more relevant now than ever.  Everything struck my liking from the footage so far; from Will Arnett as Batman, the hilarious Chris Pratt in a lead role (not his only one of 2014), and even the ’80’s-something Space Man’ Lego mini-figure whose space helmet is cracked just like the figures passed down from my Dad were like.  I’m super excited for this movie, it sounds and looks like a ton of fun.

16.) Muppets Most Wanted

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Release Date: March 21st, 2014
Director: James Bobin
Starring: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey

Again, when it comes to nostalgia; who doesn’t love the Muppets?  They’re some of the most lovable characters, and I really enjoyed the first movie in 2011.  With all the original Muppets, along with more cameo appearances by celebrities than you can recount, it’s the perfect way to breathe new life into this classic franchise.   I can’t wait to see the next step in the modern-Muppet saga.

15.) The Monuments Men

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Release Date: 
February 7th, 2014
Director: George Clooney
Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman & Cate Blanchett 

Originally supposed to be released on Christmas 2013, The Monuments Men got pushed back until February 2014.  Getting pushed back meant me wanting to see it even more.  The film follows a platoon during World War II, made up of museum directors and art historians.  They are sent into Germany towards the end of the war to salvage artwork that was taken by the Nazis, in order to return them to their rightful places.  This is a great cast, Clooney is solid as a director (starring, producing AND directing this), and I can’t wait for its release.

14.) Transformers: Age of Extinction

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Release Date: June 27th, 2014
Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Kelsey Grammer, Jack Reynor & Stanley Tucci

I am pretty optimistic for Age of Extinction.  The departure of just-for-looks actresses like Megan Fox and Rosie Huntington is a good thing to note.  According to Mark Wahlberg, the script for this installment is going to be a lot better than the previous movies.  Wahlberg is a great action/thriller star and I think he fits really well for this sort of movie.  Also; Dinobots!  One of the many big-budget action films this Summer, I’m sure it’ll end up doing well in the box office and be just as popular as its predecessors.

13.) Godzilla

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Release Date: May 16th, 2013
Director: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, & Ken Watanbe

Godzilla is yet another major name hitting theaters this Summer.  This is the second Godzilla film to be fully filmed by an American studio.  The first attempt was back in 1998, but the movie itself was pretty awful.  Now, sixteen years later and with modern special effects, could this Godzilla installment prove successful?  It definitely has potential, but it’s in a bit of an awkward situation for box office success, being released the week in between The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and X-Men: Days of Future Past.  For me, it will also be great to see the on-screen chemistry of Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen, who in 2015 will play brother and sister characters in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

12.) Exodus 

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Release Date: December 12th, 2014
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Aaron Paul, Ben Kingsley, Sigourney Weaver & John Turturro

Although its nearly a year away, Exodus is still one of the films of 2014 that I’m looking forward to most.  Ridley Scott is a legend, and to see what he does with another epic film (like his work with Gladiator or Robin Hood).  He clearly knows how to present strong characters with strong stories, and he has a great cast backing his work this time around.  Christian Bale looks like he’ll be great in his role as Moses, and the supporting cast looks great too.  Definitely looking forward to this release.


11.) Transcendence

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Release Date: April 17th, 2014
Director: Wally Pfister
Starring: Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Paul Bettany & Cillian Murphy

The first trailer for Transcendence looked very interesting.  To see Johnny Depp in a very human (or at least, until he’s running on a machine) role is refreshing to see again.  The plot sounds extremely gripping, and it should definitely make for a good thriller.  Morgan Freeman and Rebecca Hall as support are great options.  Also, this marks the directoral debut of Wally Pfister.  Watching the trailer, the view felt like a mix of Looper and Inception, which I would not complain about whatsoever.  I can’t wait to see where this goes.


10.) RoboCop

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Release Date: 
February 12th, 2014
Director: Jose Padilha
Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Jay Baruchel, Samuel L. Jackson & Jackie Earl Haley 

I’m a big fan of the RoboCop series.  It’s an essential class of 80’s sci-fi!  21 years after RoboCop 3, this is not a sequel, but a reboot of the series.  I’m excited because I think out of all the possible franchises to reboot, RoboCop is one of the ones that could benefit from modern film technology.  Robots with modern CGI, lots of cool action sequences, and a great cast should make for a good movie.  The one concern I have that it got bumped to a PG-13 rating, kinda like how Terminator Salvation ended up; not necessarily bad, but it could’ve been a lot better utilized if it had the ability to use R-rated material.  Either way, I will be going to see this remake and am looking forward to its outcome.


9.)
 Interstellar

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Release Date: November 7th, 2014
Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, and Matt Damon

Christopher Nolan’s next original film looks incredible.  It has a great cast, a very Stargate-like plot, and I really hope the best for it.  I love Nolan’s original work.  I thought Inception was insanely great, and I can only wonder what Interstellar will bring to the table.  The first teaser was recently released, and while it didn’t show much, it left me wanting more (teaser job = well done).  I loved seeing Nolan’s SYNCOPY logo on-screen once again!

8.) 22 Jump Street

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Release Date: June 13th, 2014
Director: Phil Lord & Chris Miller
Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Nick Offerman & Dave Franco

21 Jump Street was beyond hilarious.  I was expecting it to be funny, but was really blown away with how funny it actually was.  I’ve watched it quite a few times since its release and it’s become a favorite of mine.  Heavily teased at the end of the first, 22 Jump Street is basically the same plot, but this time, Hill & Tatum are sent to a college as undercover cops.  I can foresee a lot of recycled humor and jokes, but seeing that the directing team from the first movie is back, I don’t doubt it’ll be any less awesome.  I’m so ready to see 22 Jump and think it’ll be another success.

7.) X-Men: Days of Future Past

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Release Date: May 23rd, 2014
Director: Bryan Singer
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry & Ellen Page

It’s been eight years since we last saw the full cast of the original X-Men trilogy on-screen together.  Since then, we saw two Wolverine films, and X-Men: First Class, which featured a cast portraying younger versions of the original trilogy’s veteran characters.  Now, we see both casts pooled together for one epic film, based on the successful comic of the same name.  Two Magnetos, two Xaviers, one Wolverine; it should be very interesting.  Bryan Singer returns to direct, who directed the first and second installments of the original trilogy.  An X-Men film is always a great start to the Summer season!

6.) The Hobbit: There and Back Again

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Release Date: 
December 17th, 2014
Director: Peter Jackson
Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Orlando Bloom, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch & Cate Blanchett

If we’ve learned anything from Peter Jackson, it’s that if he’s doing a trilogy; expect an epic finale.  I have very little doubts about There and Back Again.  I found the first movie to be very enjoyable, and The Desolation of Smaug was even better.  We’ll finally get to see the final chapter, Smaug’s final stand, and how the Ring makes its way back to the Shire.

5.) The Amazing Spider-Man 2

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Release Date: May 2nd, 2014
Director: Marc Webb
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Jamie Foxx, Emma Stone, Paul Giamatti, Dane DeHaan & Sally Field

There were a lot of mixed feelings about The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012.  I heard a lot of people say that as a reboot, it didn’t really sit well with them.  Some felt it was too dark, some felt it felt like a teen-based movie.  I strongly disagree; I think that it was a great start to what’s looking like a whole new Spider-Man franchise from SONY.  I think Andrew Garfield portrayed Peter Parker a lot better than Toby McGuire did, I think Spidey was a lot more humorous and relatable to his comic book self, and the film was shot beautifully.  I’m glad Marc Webb is back to direct, and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the planned sequels as well.

4.) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

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Release: November 21st, 2014
Director: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour Hoffman & Julianne Moore

When I first saw The Hunger Games, I didn’t know what to expect.  I had never read the books, but ended up thinking that the film was really well-made.  A year later, Catching Fire is released, and I thought that was even better.  It was an extremely great sequel, and one of my favorite films of 2013.  After leaving a big cliffhanger (at least to those who haven’t read the books), I can’t wait to see Mockingjay Part 1.  I think this series is progressing beautifully.

3.) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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Release Date: July 11th, 2013
Director: Matt Reeves
Starring: Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Andy Serkis, Keri Russell & Judy Greer

What can you say about a franchise like Planet of the Apes?  Five original, legendary movies from the 60’s/70’s, a Tim Burton reboot from 2001, and ten years after that we got yet another reboot (Rise of the Planet of the Apes).  Rise was very well-crafted and a great step towards a new era of the Apes saga.  I’m still surprised that Andy Serkis barely got any recognition for his feature-length motion-capture as Caesar, the movies’ main Ape character.  Dawn takes place a decade after Rise, after a human-killing virus has spread across the globe.  Gary Oldman leads the human resistance against Caesar and his army of apes with rapidly-growing intelligence.  Even if you’re not a fan of the franchise, doesn’t that just sound awesome in general?  I can’t wait for Dawn to hit theaters, and hopefully it doesn’t take another full three years to make the third movie.

2.) Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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Release Date: 
April 4th, 2014
Director: Anthony & Joe Russo
Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, Samuel L. Jackson & Robert Redford

Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is my favorite film franchise.  I look forward to all of their releases, and I get very excited about everything related to it.  The Winter Soldier is shaping up to be one of the MCU’s best installments yet.  Continuing the adventures of Steve Rogers/Captain America, the movie is also revolved around S.H.I.E.L.D., who we’ll finally be getting a good in-depth look into (aside from the Agents of SHIELD show).  I’m amped to see Robert Redford as one of the leaders of SHIELD, the chemistry between Cap & Widow, the Falcon in action, as well as the handful of villains including the Winter Soldier, Crossbones and Batroc the Leaper.  With two releases from Marvel Studios in 2014, it’s easily near the top of my list.

1.) Guardians of the Galaxy

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Release Date: August 1st, 2014
Director: James Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, David Batista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Lee Pace & John C. Reilly

Here it is, the film I am most looking forward to in 2014 (sadly it’s over half a year away and my anxiety is growing quickly).  I am super pumped for this movie.  Guardians of the Galaxy was an odd choice for a feature film when it was first announced by Marvel, as it wasn’t necessarily a popular comic series.  But after reading the books, I fell in love.  I’m beyond ready to see them on-screen as a team, and the cast is incredible.  This could be yet another essential classic to the MCU’s collection.
Like I said, 2014 is shaping up to be one big year for film.  I can’t even wait; so let the games begin!

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