2013 is done and gone, and while most in the film world will be more preoccupied with crowning the best of 2013 until March, let’s take a look at some of the biggest titles that 2014 will have to offer us. We will likely get a new film from Terrence Malick, doing with best Woody Allen impression and churning out films at a yearly rate. We have Allen himself keeping his streak alive and James Gandolfini’s final performance. Sequels, YA adaptations, indies we haven’t even heard of yet. Read the list for the 15 films out of all of them that I am most looking forward to as we start 2014.
The Monuments Men - Feb. 7
There was plenty of excitement around George Clooney’s “The Monuments Men” before it was pushed from Dec. 2013 to Feb. 2014. But now, with that delay, the question of why the film was pushed raises anticipation. Was it too commercial for the Oscars? Does it not live up to the hype? Or was it just not ready in time? Whatever the case may be, with that cast and an interesting look into WWII, it’s sure to get a lot of eyeballs once it finally does play. Catch the trailer here.
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Mar. 7
Some people just aren’t fans of Wes Anderson -- too bad for them. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” looks to be another wonderfully hilarious film from the oddball director with an ensemble that features a number of his usual suspects and some new additions. It should be a lot of fun to see the likes of Ralph Fiennes spewing out Anderson dialogue, take a peek at it here.
Noah - Mar. 28
Hollywood seems to be trying to bring biblical epics back, but they’re going the right way about it. December will bring “Exodus,” the story of Moses from Ridley Scott and Christian Bale, but it’s Darren Aronofsky’s take on “Noah” that should be the real caper. The classic tale with an Aronofsky spin offers a lot of promise. The trailer assured one thing, it is going to look incredible.
Transcendence - Apr. 18
Acclaimed cinematographer Wally Pfister is taking over the director’s chair for the first time in his career for “Transcendence.” It’s a high-concept sci-fi tale where a scientist’s brain gets uploaded into a computer. Pfister has been the long time DP for Christopher Nolan, so it should be interesting to see what he picked up from Nolan and what he individually is able to bring to a film now that he is in complete control. Watch the trailer here.
X-Men: Days of Future Past - May 23
Forget “The Avengers,” the “X-Men” have always been my favorite superhero team, and Bryan Singer’s “X2” still represents the pinnacle of Marvel’s film library to date for me. So, no surprise that I am giddy to see Bryan Singer return to “X-Men” and be mixing and matching the casts from his original trilogy and “X-Men: First Class.” It’s going to be epic and is the blockbuster I’m most looking forward to this summer. Here's the link to the trailer for "X-Men: Days of Future Past."
Jane Got a Gun - Aug. 29
“Jane Got a Gun” has had a hellish production. First, director Lynne Ramsay left the project the day before principal photography. Then they play musical chairs with the two male leads between Michael Fassbender, Joel Edgerton, Bradley Cooper, Jude Law and Ewan McGregor. But the dust finally settled. They got a more than capable director in Gavin O’Connor, Natalie Portman has been steadfast in getting this project done, and Edgerton and McGregor finally locked down the male leads. Can this rollercoaster film find a happy ending? It’s worth admission to find out.
Wish I Was Here - Sept. 2014
Zach Braff went to Kickstarter to get the funding for his second directorial debut, “Wish I Was Here,” and now fans eagerly wait to see if their money will help translate into a winning film. Braff’s first film “Garden State” has a cult following and many have long awaited his second feature. This story of a struggling actor still looking for his identity will likely share some of the charm from “Garden State.” This and the “Veronica Mars” movie will help prove if Kickstarter can be the future of producing movies.
Interstellar - Nov. 7
Christopher Nolan is back with an original tale, there isn’t really much more that needs to be said. Nolan’s Batman films were great (well two out of three ain’t bad), but it is his original work that has proven to be his best. He will take us to new dimensions this time around with a cast that includes Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck and Ellen Burstyn. And, in the true Nolan fashion, the teaser trailer gave us no hints as to what he has up his sleeve, leaving it all up to our imagination for now.
Fury - Nov. 12
After “End of Watch,” anything that David Ayer does needs to be given the proper attention. But a WWII film that follows an American tank crew that stars Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena and Shia LaBeouf? Well, that has the trimmings to be a top-notch war film. Given its placement and the pedigree that makes “Fury” up, it isn’t too early to call this a potential Oscar contender for 2015.
Dumb and Dumber To - Nov. 14
2013 saw the dreams of “Anchorman” fans realized when the nine-year wait for the sequel finally ended. How excited do you think people will be then for the sequel to “Dumb and Dumber” twenty years later? Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels return to reprise their iconic roles of Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne and the world waits with baited breath to see how these two have faired since their last outing. An added bonus, a potential cameo from the world’s biggest actress, Jennifer Lawrence.
Boyhood - TBD
Richard Linklater’s “Before” series took a look at a couple’s relationship in nine-year intervals, but that apparently wasn’t adventurous enough for Linklater. “Boyhood,” which stars “Before” trilogy’s Ethan Hawke, is said to depict a young man as he grows up over a twelve-year period. Linklater did this in real time, filming bits and pieces of the story as the film’s center, Ellar Coltrane, actually grew up. After what he was able to do with the “Before” series, anything the director wants to try is ok by me.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby - TBD
Another ambitious and unique project that is likely to hit the screen in 2014 (finally) is “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.” I’ve written about this film a number of times already, but just to refresh your memory, it is actually two films that tell the story of a relationship, one from the woman’s perspective and one from the man’s. Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy star.
Foxcatcher - TBD
Things looked like they were lining up for Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher” to join the crowded slate of 2013, but whether it wasn’t ready or they decided to keep it away from the logjam of contenders, it will release in 2014. Before it was pushed to 2014, a trailer briefly appeared online, and those who saw it can’t deny that it looked amazing, including an unrecognizable performance from Steve Carell. Could this be 2014’s front-runner already?
Inherent Vice - TBD
One of the more interesting directors working today, Paul Thomas Anderson, reunites with one of the top actors over the last couple of years, Joaquin Phoenix, and is taking a crack at the adaptation of a popular crime novel. Sounds good to me. A supporting cast that includes Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, and “Catching Fire” stand out Jena Malone makes “Inherent Vice” look like one of the best ensembles of 2014.
Rosewater - TBD
Remember when Jon Stewart took a two-month hiatus from “The Daily Show?” Well, it’s time to see what Stewart does when he is not cracking jokes every night. However, “Rosewater” probably won’t be all that funny. The story focuses on an Iranian journalist who was detained and interrogated for 100 days after interviewing with one of Stewart’s “Daily Show” correspondents. How will a story like that turn out from a man with such a comedic touch, I don’t know but I’m interested to find out.