Movies to look forward to in 2014


Sean Drabik, Co-Editor in Chief

With 2013 gone, its time to look into the future. Yes, yes, others are likely doing top tens of their favorite movies of the year right now, but if you really want that, here’s my top 3 for both sides of the spectrum- 3. The World’s End 2. Pacific Rim 1. From Up on Poppy Hill, the worst are 3. Star Trek into Darkness 2. World War Z 1. The Host. Now, I’m going to work on being ridiculously snarky about 2014, which at least looks like a decently interesting year of film, I mean most of the movies on this are either original things or have never been adapted previously. In fact, there are too many things that look interesting that I honestly couldn’t I found cool onto this list. But these are the films that intrigue me the most for this year, and am most excited to see and hopefully not be disappointed by.



10.Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier

Marvel has slowed the release pace of their films in the second wave of movies leading up to the release of Avengers 2, and that has definitely let the mixed nature of these films be a bit more stated openly. Though I enjoyed Iron Man 3, I understand the disdain that a lot of people had for it, and while it was successful, I don’t think many can deny that Thor: The Dark World has a touch bit of a mess. So I don’t know what to particularly expect when the sequel to the pretty good Captain America: The First Avenger finally comes out, but I am still very interested to see how Marvel decides to expand the character of Captain America, and how we’ll see the patriotic man from the 40’s react to modern times in a more complete sense, something that was lacking in his appearance in the Avengers due to, well, everything else going on at once. Plus, with the more military aspect being shown in the trailers, it should offer an interesting perspective of the Marvel universe from a point that’s been kind of understated in the other movies. Hopefully all this promise is played upon when Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier is released April 4th .

9.The Boxtrolls

I’ll be honest, this movie is here for one reason- its studio. The next film by Laika, the studio responsible for the excellent Coraline and Paranorman, if nothing else the film should be a visual treat for what should likely be amazing stop motion animation. I know very little about the movie or its source material, outside of the fact that the character designs look very strange in an appealing way, as per usual with Laika works. Though Paranorman will be a difficult film to follow up, very few films are quite as thoughtful and intelligent as that was, it should at least be fun to see them try. Laika is on its way to reaching the repertoire of Pixar and Ghibli, and hopefully this movie keeps them on that track. The Boxtrolls comes out September 26th.

8. Big Hero 6

Disney must adore the fact that they bought Marvel up. And you know what, I adore it too, because when a project like Big Hero 6, an animated superhero movie that promises to combine western superhero films with anime influences, is announced, it makes all the weird stuff they’re doing with the Star Wars license suddenly not matter. Though I’m behind on my films lately and have yet to see Frozen, the “Let it Go” song sequence that Disney so graciously released on youtube shows a great amount of advancement in their CG animation, as the scene looked absolutely wonderful, and makes me excited to see what visual treats will be made when that kind of animation meets the anime style. Big Hero 6 comes out November 7th.

7. Lucy

Lucy is a film about Scarlett Johansson playing a female superhero. No, no, its not a Marvel thing, even though it is unbelievably shocking that Marvel hasn’t given her a Black Widow movie yet. No, this is an original film, which is here by virtue of someone finally having the guts to make a movie about a woman superhero, and on top of that, one that is completely original, not adapted from anything. Johansson stars alongside Morgan Freeman in the film, and though there aren’t many details as of yet, the movie deserves its place on this list by being a risk taker, something that Hollywood definitely needs more of. Lucy is released August 8th.

6. The Lego Movie

Speaking of movies with female superheroes, why is Wonder Woman appearing in a Lego Movie before she has her own movie? Seriously, how is DC that screwed up?  Okay, okay, getting away from that dead horse, The Lego movie looks like the big surprise of the year. A movie that initially sounds like a terrible idea actually looks like one of the funniest movies of the year. It’s the story of a Lego minifigure named Emmet meeting other figures of Legodom in an effort to stop an evil villain named Lord Business, while making as many references to Lego brands as they’re licensing branch will allow. The trailers make this out to be a fun looking adventure comedy, with cameos from various famous characters, including Superman, Wonder Woman, and a classic lego spaceman, along with a strangely prominent looking role of Batman as played by the great Will Arnett. While I expect the movie to have quite a few issues, I cannot deny that it looks hilarious, and hope to busting my gut this February 7th.

5. Muppets Most Wanted

The Muppets (2011) comes close to being my favorite of the muppet movies, and the fact that this sequel seems to be playing in the same vein as the legendary Great Muppet Caper serves to be a very interesting way to follow up what was in many ways a re-envisioning of the original Muppet Movie.  And in a stroke of genius, someone decided to cast Tina Fey in the film, who will likely be a perfect choice for playing across with the Muppet characters. What my only issue current issue happens to be is that the Evil twin plot that seems to be the crux of the story is some of the most cliché trite ever, but that’s the kind of stuff that normally ends up on the Muppets hit list for parody and scrutiny, so I don’t expect it to be any different here. We’ll see how that works out March 21st.

4.The Hobbit: There and Back Again

I didn’t get around to seeing the Hobbit:Desolation of Smaug in a reasonable time, so I was never able to get a review of it ready in a reasonable time. But a few quick thoughts- Its not as good as Unexpected Journey, as Unexpected Journey took more time to develop characters and show the vastness of the universe that the story took place in, Smaug is more based on the action pieces, which while very good and entertaining, don’t quite substitute strong characterization. However, what I will not deny is that Smaug is one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever seen on film, and when he was finally revealed in full, the imposing figure of the dragon put me back into a 5 year staring down the evil, frightening faces of Darth Vader, Maleficent, and Mewtwo. So what about the next and final film? Well, I’m excited to see what happens. Having no loyalty to Tolkien’s original novel, I haven’t minded any of the apparent additions to the story, and its fairly obvious that more of those are going to be in There and Back Again. My only hope is that more of the characterization heavy writing returns for the final film, and that all of the plot points brought up in the last two films have at least some kind of conclusion. There and Back Again has a lot that it needs to accomplish, and we’ll see if it can December 17th (….Oh wow that’s a long way away).

3.Guardians of the Galaxy

Has anyone noticed just how much smaller the second wave of Marvel movies have been in comparison to the first? My hypothesis is this- Marvel wanted to make sure that their weren’t as many films this go around so it wouldn’t dilute the impact of this one, the untested, unheard of, and adapted from a super obscure comic series Guardians of the Galaxy. The Space Opera features Tree People, talking raccoons, and that weirdo from the end Thor 2. So yeah, this is gonna be a weird one……And thank goodness for that. The film industry needs more weird, risk taking movies, and this one looks like its going to be the top billing for that. Perhaps Guardians can test the water for next year’s release of Star Wars Episode 7, and show why big science fiction movies should try to be a touch more fantastical with their settings, and not just have things happen on Earth all the time. So let’s see how this insanity works out August 1st.

2. Godzilla

…..I could try to justify this by talking about how director Gareth Roberts has stated he wants to return Godzilla to its political and very intelligent roots, and how the film should be a spectacle of technologic filmmaking and seeing what advanced techniques can create, but at this point, all this critic slowly morphing into a school child can say is –Godzillagodzillagodzillagodzillagodzillagodzillagodzillagodzillagodzillagodzillagodzillagodzillagodzillagodzillagodzillagodzillagodzillgodzillagodzillagodzillagodzilla!!!!!!!! ….see it May 16th. Please. I need them to keep making these.

1. The Wind Rises:

So guess what got the top spot by virtue of being Studio Ghibli? Yeah, let this show just how little I care about anything else in the face of the work of the Greatest Filmmaker of all time, Hayao Miyazaki. And the Wind Rises, an anime biopic about the creator of the Japanese World War Two era Zero Fighter plane Jiro Horikoshi, also happens to be the final directorial work of Miyazaki-san, as he announced his retirement last year, something that reminds me that I need to finish this article before I burst into tears. Again. Now, I could give you the same spheel about Studio Ghibli that I gave last year when I rewarded the top spot to From Up on Poppy Hill (which was great by the way), but I feel as though there is something a bit more important to talk about here- the fact that this is a film about the Japanese perspective of World War Two.  Or rather, prewar Japan. I understand the eyebrow raising thought of an animated film addressing the side of a war by whom are commonly called the “bad guys” of the most bloody war that’s ever been fought, but three things need to be remembered when this is brought up- 1. This is film is not meant for children, and animation is not inherently meant for kids. Therefore, the medium can be used to address ANYTHING. 2. Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese man, who of course has a different perspective on the war and the events that led up to it than the average American filmmaker. That perspective is just as fair and should be welcomed. 3. War is a complex thing, and the fact that on average it is seen as very black and white is downright insulting to every single person whoever died on either side of any war. War needs to be analyzed from both sides, and frankly I can’t think of any person who’s equipped to do it better than the single greatest filmmaker of all time. If you want to see a thoughtful, smart, and wondrous film, The Wind Rises should cover that for you. The Wind Rises comes to theaters on February 28th.

And that’s it for this year’s list. I know that mine probably doesn’t look anything like any of yours, but perhaps some of these have piqued your interest and changed it up a bit. Let’s hope that this year supplies great thrills in the theaters, and that maybe they’ll be more good than bad.