After exploring some utterly atrocious sequel ideas which hopefully avoid big-screen life, we may as well acknowledge the stellar lineup of follow-ups dropping in 2014. Luckily, it seems the abundance of superb sequels outweighs the craptastic list. Which flicks are you anxiously anticipating or already dreading? Leave a comment below or tweet @mitchellclong
8. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
Marvel certainly has hit their stride, cranking out original flicks, sequels, a hit TV show and merch galore. One of their greatest films, the highly stylized “Captain America” receives a well-deserved sequel. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) stars alongside the Cap (Chris Evans). Fittingly, the beloved Sam Jack appears as gritty S.H.I.E.L.D. director Col. Nick Fury. Robert Redford joins the cast, a welcome addition to the lineup.
7. “Muppets: Most Wanted”
These adorable, charming fuzzy puppets transcend youth. Even adults enjoy these feel good productions, and with the spectacular acting who wouldn’t? Disney certainly understands that, generally speaking, parents watch what their kids watch so the inclusion of Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey is a treat for youngsters and old dudes alike. A mind-boggling credits list features Celine Dion, P. Diddy, Tom Hiddleston, Ray Liotta, and a slew of others. Let’s just hope Ray doesn’t fall into his usual character and break Miss Piggy’s legs after a rigged card game.
6. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”
If you really dwell upon “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” you’ll wonder if this is truly a sequel. I mean there was an entire trilogy before the reboot. At least this wasn’t a case of “The Incredible Hulk” where Marvel simply pretended the other adaptations didn’t happen. Alas. But Andrew Garfield proved a worthy Peter Parker in the inaugural franchise entry, and the forthcoming movie has a seasoned cast including Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Emma Stone and Paul Giamatti.
5. “How to Train Your Dragon 2”
A delightfully animated Viking movie, “How to Train Your Dragon” roared into theaters to tumultuous applause. Thus, it’s fitting the beautifully crafted adventure continues. Why should you be excited? Late night laugh deliverer Craig Ferguson returns as Gobber the Belch. DreamWorks, if you’re listening, give the man his own movie. Seriously, he made the movie. Ok, “How to Train Your Dragon” was overall fantastic, but Craigy Ferg dominated.
4. “Transformers 4: Age of Extinction”
The “Transformers” series stumbled with the second and third installments, therefore it remains to be seen how “Age of Extinction” will fare. Shia LaBeouf’s departure is an undoubtedly welcome, and transformative occurrence. Goodbye and good riddance Shia. Marky Mark assumes leadership. Let’s see what Michael Bay and Stephen Spielberg can churn out this round.
3. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
Following in the wake of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” the trailer for “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” certainly has promise. True, Matt Reeves’ creation feels like the umpteenth reboot, but if Gary Oldman is onboard, you should be as well. Per usual, he’ll likely be unrecognizable except by his acting prowess. The post-apocalyptic, lush sci-fi flick has some of us going bananas already.
2. “The Expendables 3”
“The Expendables” plays upon action movie tropes, and the self-deprecating adventures feature insanely talented entourages. The third installment promises more of the same goofy, adrenaline packed, testosterone-oozing, over-the-top, explosive fun. Just go watch the movie, you know you can’t resist.
1. “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”
2005’s “Sin City” is arguably the greatest graphic novel adaptation to date. Frank Miller’s neo-noir tale burst to life in a wacky, interwoven retelling. Everything from the acting to the sparse coloring on the black-and-white film print made this a masterpiece. “A Dame to Kill For” reunites the former cast and adds a slew of recognizable faces. Legendary Frank Miller once again aids in directing as well as screenplay, and Robert Rodriguez directs and produces. Are tickets available for perorder yet? No? Ok, how about now? Still no? Damn. Never before has August seemed so far away.