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Monday, January 20, 2014

Aaron’s Most Anticipated Films of 2014 By Month

I was seeing a lot of lists regarding people’s most anticipated films of the year and I figured I would post one too.  Many directors, writers, and actors that I admire have films hitting theaters this year, so it was nice to dig into the upcoming release schedule of this year and really figure out what I am looking forward to.  The problem then became how to rank these films.  Given that I just struggled to put together a top ten list for 2013, I figured I would take a different approach with this list.  The following is a list of films I am looking forward to, separated out by month, with mentions of a few other films as well.  One must also keep in mind that I am going mostly by mainstream films with established release dates (that could potentially change).  With all of that out of the way, here we go:



January – That Awkward Moment

This is almost a pick made by default, as we are half-way through the month, with not a lot of promise from anything else (Jack Ryan was the only other film I considered and I have already seen it).  With that said, I am intrigued enough by this film, as it looks fairly entertaining and I have certainly enjoyed Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan in their previous films (The Spectacular Now and Fruitvale Station).  I do not really mind Zac Effron either, as he at least seems to be playing in his element these days.  Given that I have seen posters and commercials everywhere for this film, I can at least hope I will have a decent time watching this one.



February – The Lego Movie

Despite how little I care about the Robocop remake, February does have some other solid offerings.  This includes The Monuments Men, which looks good enough to have potentially been on my top ten list last year, were it to have come out on its originally scheduled release date.  With that said, The Lego Movie is by far the movie I am most looking forward to.  From the writer/director team behind Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street, everything I have seen and know about The Lego Movie gets me excited to see it and I will more than likely have a smile-filled blast, while watching it.

Also Looking Forward To: The Monuments Men, Welcome to Yesterday, Winter’s Tale



March – The Raid 2: Berandal

A new Wes Anderson film would normally be an easy pick, but we have a sequel to The Raid coming in March and that really has me excited.  Gareth Evans returns with an all new adventure into the violent streets of Jakarta and it will likely be just as intense as last time, with the added benefit of a larger budget and even more ambition and crazy action sequences.  Still, I cannot count out Wes Anderson’s latest as a movie I am really looking forward to, let alone the latest epic from director Daren Aronofsky, a new Muppet movie, and the return of Veronica Mars.  With all of that said, I have watched the trailer for The Raid 2 a lot and that baseball bat scene is going to be something else.

Also Looking Forward To:  Bad Words, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Muppets Most Wanted, Noah, Nymphomaniac, Stretch, Veronica Mars


April – Captain America: The Winter Soldier

April has a couple releases I am slightly eager to see, as Johnny Depp becomes Skynet and a new mystery box has emerged in the form of Echo.  That said, I have made it no secret that I found the first Captain America to be among the best of the Phase 1 Marvel films and everything I have seen surrounding the sequel, The Winter Soldier, has me convinced things are only going to get better for Cap.  Complete with an espionage thriller vibe (that comes with a bonus casting choice of Robert Redford), this sequel looks to be a step in the right direction, as far as putting the Captain into a bigger adventure this time around, with plenty of different avenues to travel down.

Also Looking Forward To:  Earth to Echo, Sabotage, Transcendence


May – Godzilla

Here is a big month, with a lot of high-profile releases arriving in theaters, but I have to give it to the big lizard.  Sure, Spider-Man 2 could be a big mess or a fun comic book movie, Days of Future Past can possibly outweigh its large cast and become the Fast Five of the franchise, and Neighbors could prove to be really hilarious, but Godzilla is getting such a nice build up.  Sure, I have seen both Comic Con presentations, but the trailer that arrived in theaters for everyone to enjoy really showed something that could be a great new take on the series and a really interesting way to handle the concept, if director Gareth Edwards can pull it off.  Here’s a fun bonus fact:  the film features multiple monsters!

Also Looking Forward To:  The Amazing Spider-Man 2, A Million Ways To Die in the West, Maleficent, Neighbors, X-Men: Days of Future Past


June – How To Train Your Dragon 2

Yes, we are getting another Giant F-ing Robots movie this month and I will see it, because I enjoy seeing Giant F-ing Robots fighting on the big screen, but with that said, How To Train Your Dragon 2 is a film that will likely please many.  I cannot say I was blown away like many others were with the first film, but I also cannot deny that there are a lot of ways that this film could really take off for me in a very good way, as Dreamworks Animation is at its best when it focuses on adventure films.  It will also look stunning, which is pretty cool when it comes to awesome scenes of dragons soaring through the air.  Of course, the benefit of having 22 Jump Street being released around the same time is certainly something bound to make me happy as well, let alone Tom Cruise in his Groundhog’s Day meets Starship Troopers movie.

Also Looking Forward To:  22 Jump Street, Edge of Tomorrow, Transformers: Age of Extinction


July – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

In the middle of summer, July has a few titles that get me fairly excited.  Jupiter Ascending is the next feature from the Wachowski Starship, which will likely look amazing and can hopefully match up in the other categories as well.  A new Step Up movie, which combines many of the key actors from all the previous films is the kind of thing that can actually make me sort of pleased by this ridiculous dance franchise that I am inexplicably drawn to.  Really though, it will be all about Apes in July, as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is in the perfect position to really astound.  Following up Rise of the Planet of the Apes, this dystopian-themed sequel has a lot of potential to keep this franchise reboot heading in a solid direction, with some effects by Weta that will no doubt look incredible.

Also Looking Forward To:  Jupiter Ascending, Sex Tape, Step Up All In (yes!)


August – Guardians of the Galaxy

August finally sees the release of a second Sin City movie, but given the recent track record of Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s The Spirit, I am far more intrigued by James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy.  If Tony Stark is a fun smart ass in the Iron Man movies, then Guardians will likely amp that up ten times, based on the attitude that the film seems to be going for.  Add that to the fact that we have basically an unknown comic property serving as one of Marvel’s bigger risks, with a kick ass cast to go with it, and this is a film that very much has my attention.  Can’t wait to see how Gunn delivers with this one.

Also Looking Forward To:  Lucy, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


September – The Boxtrolls

September may have some bigger offerings like an adaptation of The Maze Runner and the reteaming of Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua for The Equalizer, but I am all about The Boxtrolls, which I know next to nothing about.  What I do know is that the film comes from Laika.  Laika gave me Coraline, which was great, and Paranorman, which I loved, so another feature from them has me instantly excited.  I am curious to learn more about the film of course, but it would be hard for me not to be on board with whatever it may be about, as I love how great these stop-animated Laika films have been turning out.

Also Looking Forward To:  The Equalizer, The Green Inferno, The Maze Runner


October – Gone Girl

I imagine the Oscar hopefuls will start making their way to theaters at this time, but of the films I see currently scheduled for release, the ones I am excited for all seem to be genre features.  The Interview could be an insane comedy classic, if it is pulled off right.  Not sure what Dracula Untold will amount to, but it sounds intriguing enough.  Still, Gone Girl is a new film from David Fincher, which puts it automatically on my must watch list.  It may be Fincher’s second attempt at adapting a pulp novel available at most grocery stores, but dammit if his filmmaking sensibilities don’t always keep me interested.  I may or may not read the book beforehand, but I will be seeing this movie.

Also Looking Forward To:  The Interview, The Judge, Dracula Untold


November – Interstellar

Another month likely to be filled with big prestige pictures, but we will also be getting Dumb and Dumber To.  Disney’s animated Marvel film, Big Hero Six, could be huge and finally lead to people no longer asking for Incredibles 2 if it is done right.  Fury could also be a pretty strong feature, given the cast and subject matter.  Still, it is all about Christopher Nolan for me this month, as his Interstellar has great potential written all over it.  He is doing something completely original, with a solid cast and a mysterious premise, that will likely still be unclear up until its release date.  Also, plenty of IMAX use, which will surely continue to amaze, as Nolan is plenty happy with delivering large scale presentations of his films and making audiences watch in awe.  Not bad for the director of Memento.

Also Looking Forward To:  Big Hero Six, Fury, The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay - Part 1, Dumb and Dumber To


December – Exodus

Finally, December is sure to have plenty of big award contenders arrive in theaters, but along with The Hobbit finally ending and finding out what the hell Into the Woods is, I am really looking forward to what Ridley Scott’s Exodus will be all about.  Scott may have tripped up with The Counselor last year, but having Christian Bale as Moses in a new take on this story definitely has my attention.  Will it be in 3D?  Doesn’t really matter, but c’mon, parting the waters in 3D would be pretty epic, if it happened on a giant IMAX screen.  Regardless, Exodus could be a nice step for Scott back into historical dramas, were he to pull it off well enough.  I just wonder what actor he has chosen to play Moses’ brother Aaron…

Also Looking Forward To:  Everest, Into The Woods, The Hobbit:  There and Back Again, Unbroken


So yeah…I know I have missed some films and I also know there are plenty of other films arriving in 2014 that have no release date attached as of now, let alone the various indies that will be picked up for distribution at Sundance and other festivals during the year.  Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice is easily a film I am anticipating and it would be high on my list if I actually ranked my anticipation of these upcoming releases or at least had a release date to work with.  Foxcatcher certainly has my attention as well, along with The Cobbler, Birdman, While We’re Young, Cyber, whatever it is that Woody Allen is working on, Snowpiercer, Black Sea, and plenty of other films.  All of these sit amongst what I am sure will be a long list of films that I look forward to seeing, as the year progresses.  Feel free to sound off with some of your most anticipated releases.


Aaron is a writer/reviewer for WhySoBlu.com.  Follow him on Twitter @AaronsPS4.
He also co-hosts a podcast,
Out Now with Aaron and Abe, available via iTunes or at HHWLOD.com.

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