2014 has already seen some very good films released, with the likes of Boyhood, The Fault in Our Stars, X-Men: Days of Future Past and others doing great business and turning heads in the process. The remainder of 2014 will also see a large number of film releases, and some of those are highly intriguing. Let’s take a look at ten of the films that I, personally, am excited for in the second half of 2014.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Director, James Gunn, tasselled my hair playfully when he put a little independent film named “Super” on the table in 2010, an underrated Rainn Wilson fronted comedy drama about a guy who thinks that god is telling him to fight crime. When I heard that Gunn was bringing his sense of humour and action to Guardians of the Galaxy my interest hit a high note. With a cast including the enjoyable everyman Chris Pratt (Parks & Recreation) and Bradley Cooper as a talking bad-ass racoon named Rocket, it is likely that this Marvel property will be something very different to what fans are used to seeing. The trailer makes the film look balls-to-the-wall insane, and I hope it is. This could be an absolute blast, and it high on my list of movies to get excited for in the latter half of 2014.
Guardians of the Galaxy is released in late-July.
Life After Beth
The tale of a guy whose girlfriend dies only to come back to life with some major differences from the girl she was, this looks like it could be a ton of zom-com fun. I am a bit of a sucker for zombie comedies, and zombie movies in general for that matter, so the idea of Aubrey Plaza as a face-biting creature of the night puts a shit-eating grin on my horror-loving face. With a cast including John C. Reilly, Matthew Gray Gubler and Anna Kendrick, this may do quite well, like Warm Bodies did, or it might fly under the radar and become a cult hit. Either way, I’m excited for it, it’s a sub-genre that is, regardless of repetition and the whole “been there, done that” thing, still enjoyable and entertaining.
Life After Beth is out in October.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
I love Sin City, the original film and the Frank Miller comic book series. I love the film noir atmosphere. I love the violence and bright splashings of blood and gore. I love the dialogue and the unusual way it is spoken and written. The sequel has been in production, held up, pushed back and delayed dozens of times, or so it feels, over the last few years, but it appears we will finally see “A Dame to Kill For” see a release in 2014, and I, for one, am excited. With an epic cast, like in the first film, featuring the likes of Eva Green, Juno Temple, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Josh Brolin and tons of others, this star studded actioner directed by the team of Miller and Robert Rodriguez, should be an absolute delight. I hope it doesn’t disappoint, because after the delays that have followed this film around, the anticipation is high.
Sin City 2 hits cinemas in August.
There are two major reasons why I need to see Lucy. One of them is Luc Besson, a director whom I’ve enjoyed since I saw Leon in 1994, the second reason is Scarlett Johannson, who is fast becoming one of my favourite actresses of the current era due to her astonighing performances in films like Under the Skin, Vicky Christina Barcelona, Her and The Avengers. Those two people give me hope that this film will be very, very good. I hope I’m right. The story of a girl who is forced to be a drug mule, but after a disastrous turn of events she finds that she is able to do extraordinary things, and must face the people who oppose her. With a cast featuring excellent talent such as Morgan Freeman and Min-sik Choi (I Saw the Devil), this is one to watch, for sure.
Lucy is out in the back end of July.
Based on the best selling novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn, the tale of a man whose wife disappears and finds the media turning the spotlight onto him as he is investigated by the police, Gone Girl should be an intense thriller. With Ben Affleck at the helm, an actor who has proven himself in recent years with films such as Argo and The Town, and with David Fincher behind the camera, this has potential to be a hell of an experience, and an emotional ride, perhaps along the lines of Affleck’s directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone. I’m very excited to see this, I’m pretty certain it will do very well.
Gone Girl hits our screens in early October.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
I enjoy The Hunger Games films. They’re exciting, entertaining and they have a very good cast who deliver damn fine performances in them. This, the first part of the final part, if that makes sense, will see our heroine Katniss (Jen Lawrence) become a reluctant face of the rebellion against the empire, erm, I mean the Capitol, and President Snow (Donald Sutherland). A brilliant cast yet again, and a story that is very easy to get hooked on, this will be a big hit, undoubtedly, and I will be one of the paying customers.
Hunger Games 3 hits the cinema in November.
The Book of Life
Okay, so… do the words “Guillermo Del Toro” and “Fantasy animation” make you shiver with excitement? Then this will make you spasm like a tasered otter. Produced by Del Toro and directed by animator Jorge R. Gutierrez, this looks fan-freakin-tastic. A voice cast of elite Hollywood talent such as Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Ron Perlman, Danny Trejo, Christina Applegate among others, this fable of a young man who is struggling with the expectations of his family and following his heart, leading him into an adventure that spans three magical and fantastical worlds, sounds like a bag of delightful awesomeness. Yeah, that’s a thing.
The Book of Life is out in mid-October.
Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar has been a very secretive project, and one that many people have been glaring at like a kid seeing his first porno magazine, since it was first mentioned. A film about a group of explorers who discover a wormhole that allows them to travel vast distances in an interstellar voyage sounds, well, fucking insane. Nolan is great with realising depths and scope, and he is also great with taking your mind, blowing it, and offering it a cigarette and a sandwich afterwards. With Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway at the helm of the ship, this is sure to soar when it is released.
Interstellar is released in early November.
Based on the tragic true story of Mike Schultz, an Olympic wrestler whose relationship with his sponsor, John du Pont, leads to unbelievable circumstance, Foxcatcher is at the top of my list of “films to get excited for in 2014”. Steve Carrell, usually a comedy performer, looks set to shock audiences with his portrayal of du Pont here and Channing Tatum, as Mike Schultz, could really impress and change minds with his role too. A drama that is already beginning to make waves, this is going to be an intense and frighteningly tragic film.
Foxcatcher is out in November.
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth is a lovely place to visit, isn’t it? His realisation of destinations, characters, music, the whole shebang, has been joyful to see since The Fellowship of the Ring hit our screens back in 2001. The final Hobbit film is one of the films that makes me excited to go to the cinema, a film that is just going to be utterly entertaining and fulfilling, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies will end the Hobbit tale and complete Peter Jacksons Middle Earth chronicles, six films that, one after another, will present a wonderful, mouth-watering and epic tale of bravery, friendship, love, honour, strength and hope. I cannot bloody wait until those pan-pipes whistle at me in a popcorn scented room this December.
The Hobbit 3 is out in December.