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Reeling in the new year! Winter/spring movies

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While 2014 seems to have a lot of promise, the pre-Summer slate for movies seems a bit sparse.

Okay, so The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and The Hobbit: There and Back Again bow this year, but, between the months of January and April, the options are slim pickens.

While some may be excited for such fare as Pompeii, RoboCop, and the long-awaited video game adaptation of Need For Speed, none of these films scream blockbuster to me, nor do they seem like winners in any way, shape or form.

Fear not, though. I found a list of films that look like they'll be just what the doctor ordered to fend off the doldrums of Winter and Spring.

Are there any films you're looking forward to in 2014? Sound off in the comments section below!

"I, Frankenstein" (2014)
"I, Frankenstein" (2014) Courtesy of Lionsgate

"I, Frankenstein" (2014)

While January is known for great horror films, I, Frankenstein looks to shake things up by pitting arguably the most famous movie monster (played by Aaron Eckhart) against two immortal clans who are at war with each other.

WHY I'M EXCITED:  Okay, so it doesn't look like the most intelligent movie out there.  And, secretly, I was hoping they would have been adapting Dean Kootz's Frankenstein series.  But it's hard for me to see this trailer and not get excited.  Frankenstein's monster fighting demons along side Yvonne Strahovski?  It just brings out the geek in me. 

"The Lego Movie" (2/7)
"The Lego Movie" (2/7) Courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures

"The Lego Movie" (2/7)

When the universe is threatened by a madman looking to glue the world together, it's up to an unlikely hero (voiced by Chris Pratt) and a bunch of other colorful Lego characters to stop him!

WHY I'M EXCITED:  It may be a sad state of affairs that the first assured hit in 2014 is a kids' film, The Lego Movie is certainly one of the most appealing kids' film this year!  Young or old, who doesn't love Legos?  And with an all-star cast featuring Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, and Will Arnet as Lego Batman, this looks to be quite the comedic juggernaut.

"The Monuments Men" (2/7)
"The Monuments Men" (2/7) Courtesy of Sony/Columbia Pictures

"The Monuments Men" (2/7)

When a treasure trove of lost and stolen artwork is threatened by Hitler, a motley crew of art historians and soldiers are tasked to retrieve it and return the pieces to their rightful owners.

WHY I'M INTERESTED:  Any film buff worth their salt was looking forward to this film's release this past December, which would have certainly been one of the big Oscar contenders this awards season.  No matter.  The Monuments Men, written and directed by George Clooney (just coming off an Oscar win for producing Argo), looks amazing, with such characters as Bill Murray, John Goodman, Matt Damon, and Bob Balaban.  Who knows?  This still could strike Oscar gold in 2015.

"Welcome to Yesterday" (2/28)
"Welcome to Yesterday" (2/28) Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

"Welcome to Yesterday" (2/28)

When a young man and his friends stumble upon a bizarre family secret, they discover the key to building a time machine, and all the fun they can have with it.  However, they soon discover every gift has its price.

WHY I'M EXCITED:  While many critics and analysts believe the found footage craze is dying down, 2012's Chronicle and last year's Bad Grandpa certainly proved to be surprise hits.  Welcome to Yesterday looks to be this year's Chronicle -- young cast of virtual unknowns in a sci-fi plot while carrying a camcorder along for the ride.  How am I to pass this up?  And, somehow, I doubt I'll be the only one filling the seats.

"Bad Words" (3/14, limited)
"Bad Words" (3/14, limited) Courtesy of Focus Features

"Bad Words" (3/14, limited)

Exploiting a loophole to his advantage, a man in his forties (Jason Bateman) enters the National Spelling Bee to prove he's not a loser after all.  However, the unorthodox friendships he makes along the way start making him think this plan of his was not well thought-out. 

WHY I'M EXCITED:  Bad Words, marking Bateman's directorial debut, looks positively evil in its levity, kind of like this year's Dodgeball.  Bateman is always a delight to watch, and this promises to be a surprise hit.

"Divergent" (3/21)
"Divergent" (3/21) Courtesy of Summit Entertainment

"Divergent" (3/21)

In a dystopian future, where teens are forced to pick "factions" to determine the rest of their lives, Tris (Shailene Woodley) finds that she is different from her peers...and that could lead to trouble for her.

WHY I'M EXCITED:  Admittedly, Divergent does look like a second-rate Hunger Games.  However, Veronica Roth's books are very rich, thrilling, a lot of fun.  As long as it stays close to the source material, it should be amazing.

"Muppets Most Wanted" (3/21)
"Muppets Most Wanted" (3/21) Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

"Muppets Most Wanted" (3/21)

When confused with an international jewel thief, Kermit must find a way out of a high security Russian prison and stop the heist of the century with the help of the lovable Muppets.

WHY I'M EXCITED:  2011's The Muppets was a breath of fresh air for the characters, the brand, and the franchise, and Muppets Most Wanted looks to capitalize on that momentum.  Sure, Jason Segel isn't returning, writer/director Nicholas Stoller is, promising the same hijinx as before.  

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (4/4)
"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (4/4) Courtesy of Marvel Studios/Paramount Pictures

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (4/4)

After the fabled Battle of New York, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) must deal with his morality and a new foe who threatens to destroy everything he believes in to save the day once again.

WHY I'M EXCITED:  Oh, come on!  Really?  After Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World followed The Avengers up so splendidly, Captain America: The Winter Soldier promises to bring more of the big thrills and action to set up this August's Guardians of the Galaxy -- all before The Avengers: Age of Ultron comes out next year.

"Transcendence" (4/18)
"Transcendence" (4/18) Courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures

"Transcendence" (4/18)

When a scientist (Johnny Depp) falls terminally ill, his wife (Rebecca Hall) implants his brain into a computer.  However, things soon spiral out of control once he realizes his abilities are limitless.

WHY I'M EXCITED:  Transcendence marks the directorial debut of Christopher Nolan's favored cinematographer Willy Pfister, and, with Nolan serving as executive producer, and a cast featuring Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara, and Morgan Freeman, the film could bring some of the huge pre-Summer thrills missing from the slate this year.

"Walk of Shame" (4/25)
"Walk of Shame" (4/25) Courtesy of Focus Features

"Walk of Shame" (4/25)

When an aspiring news reporter (Elizabeth Banks) is sidetracked by a one-night stand, she must fight tooth-and-nail to fight with streets of downtown Los Angeles with no ID, phone, cell phone, and money to get to her life-changing job interview in only eight hours.

WHY I'M EXCITED:  Elizabeth Banks is wonderful in everything she does, and Walk of Shame could be the vehicle to thrust her into becoming a headliner.  


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