The last two years have been pretty great for film, especially once you get into the fall. And while 2013’s summer was perhaps not quite as good in terms of blockbuster’s, there were a few that lit up the summer that made it a lot of fun still. And let’s not forget about the indies, which absolutely shined in 2013, making it one amazing year in film. So as we start to transition into 2014, let’s hope that this year will be as good as what we’ve seen lately.
And when you browse through the films coming out this year, it looks like it’s going to be a fantastic year in film. Which movies will come out of nowhere? Which movies’s will surprise us? It’s always fun to look at the year in anticipation to see how we think the year will play out. And it’s fun because at the end of the year, we’ll look back and wonder what we were thinking, right? Either way let’s dive into the catalog, swim through all the chaos and find which films are the one’s to look out for in 2014.
That being said (after the jump), let’s get into it and go over JD’s Top 10 Best Movies of 2013.
JD Top 10 Movies To Look Forward To in 2014
10) How to Train Your Dragon 2
One of the best animated films we’ve seen in recent memory was definitely How to Train Your Dragon. The film was fun, heartwarming and created a world that you could just stay in for a long time. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is easily one of the biggest animated film of 2014 an possibly could end up being the best when it’s all said and done. If you haven’t seen the first one, you’ll want to make sure you do that this year, and then you’ll want to get out the pocket book and go see this when it comes to theater. The film will star Cate Blanchett, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Gerard Butler, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill and Kristen Wiig, which is one heck of a voice cast for this world. Super excited.
Gareth Edwards’s Godzilla looks to be one of 2014’s best blockbusters from the first images and trailer. The monster looks pretty great and the action looks sure to not disappoint. It looks less cartoonish than the ’98 version and seems to be brining a high intensity. The films stars Bryan Cranston (yes, that one) alongside Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche and Sally Hawkins. The biggest knock on Godzilla, is that Pacific Rim has ruined the ending to this film. Planes, tanks and bombs will have nothing on Jaegers, so while we really anticipate this film, the ending won’t live up to the awesome world of Pacific Rim. Still, it’ll be fun.
8) Everything Marvel
Marvel looks to be having one heck of a 2014, and while this is sort of a cheat, we couldn’t help but put them into one category to save room for other awesomeness. This year, the journey continues with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the highly-buzzed The Guardians of the Galaxy. The new Cap looks fantastic from the trailer and the Guardians sound like they will be a ton of fun. One, not as known, film that you’ll want to look out for is Marvel and Disney’s animated film Big Hero 6. Disney’s animated films lately are top notch, while Marvel has been gold over the last 5 years. This one could come more out of left field than the other, but could have a descent impact.
Richard Linklater has become on of our favorite filmmakers over the years with some really great films including the amazing Before Trilogy. In 2014 however, he has a new film called Boyhood starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette. What makes this film unique is that they started shooting the film in 2002 and over the years have shot more and more scenes to get a literal look at childhood and the effects that family plays into it. It’s an interesting project that sounds like a lot of fun and we can only imagine that Linklater will bring the same magic we’ve seen over and over form him.
6) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a pretty good surprise a few years ago and the sequel has been something we’ve anticipated for awhile now. The trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was perfect in defining teaser and only made me want to see more. Andy Serkis really needs to be recognized for his work and his role of Caesar was fantastic. Everything we’ve read online only makes us excited and can’t wait for the full trailer to get here. Although James Franco isn’t back, the likes of Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke and Keri Russell are more than enough replacements. This looks to be really fun.
This movie is exciting enough in the sense that we get to see Johnny Depp without make-up on. I almost forgot what he looked like. The second thing with that, is that Depp is a good actor when he doesn’t do the same nonsense over and over again. And by the looks of it, we may get that here. This is also directed by first-timer Wally Pfister, who has been Christopher Nolan’s long time cinematographer, which is another thing that makes this project exciting on it’s own merit. There’s nothing guaranteed about this project, but everything screams anticipation for us and hopefully it lives up to it.
While early screenings haven’t done very well, it’s hard not to be excited about this project. Darren Aronofsky has some great indie projects and while some of his work hasn’t done as well, The Wrestler and Black Swan were much better projects for Aronofsky. This is a pretty big project that looks more like a Ridley Scott film than Aronofsky, but the trailer and marketing pieces out there look really great. From several accounts, Russell Crowe seems to be on his “A” game here, along with Emma Watson and others. Regardless of your religious beliefs, this could still be a pretty good biblical epic. Here’s to hoping anyway!
3) The Grand Budapest Hotel
I haven’t seen a more fun trailer so far than The Grand Budapest Hotel. Nothing screams more Wes Anderson, than the first looks of the film we’ve seen so far. Everything from the style, to the jokes, to all the acting dynamics, this film looks like a ton of fun. Sure, Anderson isn’t for everyone but I love it. His style is definitely unique but all his quirkiness works for what he’s trying to do. Anderson also has his main group of guys back including Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton and a thousand others as well. The story looks to have some heart behind all the humor, which is something we’ve seen from Anderson before. This is easily one of the most exciting films to see in 2014.
Waiting until November is for Interstellar is going to feel light years aways. It’s easy to be excited for this one alone on the fact that it’s Christopher Nolan. The other thing to consider is that this film stars Matthew McConaughey, who has turned his career around unlike anything we’ve seen before. Regardless of director, I’m excited to see anything this guy does now-a-days. We’re also dealing with space and time travel, which should be pretty fun. We don’t know much else besides that, but for us, that’s really all we need anyway. This should be a really good one.
1) X-Men: Days of Future Past
The X-Men franchise has been good overall but it hasn’t necessarily been a favorite. Not to mention, you can argue that the Wolverine character (I love Hugh Jackman) has been played to death at this point. However, while First Class and The Wolverine have been step ups, nothing has excited me like X-Men: Days of Future Past. This cast is absurd. When you combine the amazing actors of the first three X-Men films and the cast of the surprising but fantastic X-Men: First Class, this has been set up to be one hell of a superhero movie. The story looks great, the action looks epic and to see both story lines weaved together like this, just looks like a ton of summer fun. Perhaps I’m setting myself up to be disappointed but the trailer looked amazing and everything seems to be coming together well. Despite some re-shoots, there’s only excitement to be had with this project.
I’ll call this 1B) Transformers: Age of Extinction
I know, I know, I know. Most everyone by this point hates Michael Bay, despises this franchise and hopes that it burns to the ground. I get it. But for me personally, I love it. It was my favorite cartoon growing up and I couldn’t get enough of it. While Bay’s Transformers aren’t the best in terms of film, I love the action and seeing all the robots transform do their thing. Sure some of the stories haven’t been the best, the acting has been cheesy and Bay contrives a lot of scenes. Yeah, I know and I don’t care. Everyone has films in their catalog that are bad but movies they can’t help but love. For me, it’s these. Steve Jablonsky’s score is also my favorite of all-time and all three have been phenomenal. Trust me, I understand your criticisms and I agree with most of them. But I love it and I can’t wait.
As for honorable mentions, there are some good ones to mention for sure. One highly talked about film in last year’s festival circuit was Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin starring Scarlett Johansson. Johansson plays a beautiful alien who preys on Scottish hitchhikers. The film seems to be either in the vein of loving it or hating it, given it’s crazy story and direction. However, given how amazing Johansson has been lately with Her and Don Jon, this is one we are looking forward to. Gone Girl starring Ben Affleck came very close to making this list and is one to look out for. Despite what you think of Affleck, it’s directed by David Fincher and he’s a director worth paying attention to. The Raid is one of best action films we’ve seen in recent history so be sure to get your popcorn out for The Raid 2 later this year. Speaking of, make sure you do the same for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. And you may need a lot of snacks because that film could be pretty bad. In fact it probably will be, but it’s worth mentioning.
Another film that came very close to making this list was The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. The Hunger Games films are one’s we’ve really enjoyed and Catching Fire only amped up that series. Definitely be on the lookout for this in November. Be sure to put Magic in the Moonlight on the list as well. This will be Woody Allen’s next film starring Emma Stone. We don’t know much about the film, but it’s Allen and it stars Stone. Enough said. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice should be a good one as well. Joaquin Phoenix reunites again with Anderson, which make me excited on that alone. Channing Tatum, Ice Cube and Jonah Hill are back in 22 Jump Street, which could end up being the year’s best true comedy of the year when it’s all over. The Lego Movie, The Expendables 3 and Tom Cruises’ Edge of Tomorrow are a few others as well to keep an eye on.
We’ll discuss this on an upcoming podcast, but what are some films you’re looking forward to in 2014? Which one’s did we miss?