Tuesday, December 31, 2013

14 for 2014: Our Year-Ahead Preview

Geek Peek 2014: Our Next Favorite Movies Are Just Around The Corner

In these final hours, we bid farewell to the 2013 movie year. However, we also look ahead to the amazing cinematic treats Hollywood has in store for the fan boy in all of us. We here at the Boxed Office take our annual peak under the hood at the geek–fest that are our most anticipated films of 2014. We look ahead at some of the biggest sci-fi, super hero and fantasy and CGI films coming soon to a theater near you

I, Frankenstein (1/24) - TP: I’m used to seeing Frankenstein’s monster as some lumbering misshapen creature that moves like he has lead in his legs (I don’t know that he didn’t) and is about as intelligible as someone speaking Latin with marbles in their mouth. So I’m more than a little intrigued by Kevin Grevioux’s, (co-creator of the Underworld franchise) and Patrick Tatopoulos’s (director of Underworld: Rise of the Lycans) vision of this classic character. Aaron Eckhart will be bringing the monster to life, and from what I’ve seen so far, he is bringing a whole lot of bad-assery to the silver screen. With Bill Nighy playing opposite him, I’m definitely feeling that “Underworld” vibe in this one… and that won’t be such a bad thing come January.

Robocop (2/12) – AV: Yeah, I must confess, I was pretty reluctant to even consider this film worthy when I first heard of this remake more than a year ago. The original was so rich in camp, classic one-liners and Paul Verhoeven’s humor was a cool balance to the hot violence of this 1986 sci-fi classic. But this remake looks bomb-diggity, with first-rate effects and super-badasses like Samuel L. “Jules” Jackson and Michael “I’m Batman” Keaton leading the way, this films will be one to watch. Dead or alive, the Robocop reboot is coming for you in February 2014. 

300: Rise of an Empire (3/7) – AV: Leonidas is dead–long live the resistance! In a beautiful–if not empty-headed–and possibly unnecessary follow-up to 2006’s magnificent screen adaptation of Frank Miller’s acclaimed graphic novel, ‘300’, 300:Rise Of An Empire looks to be bigger and more badass than it’s predecessor. With stunning scenes of ancient ‘total–war’ and a premise that could hold some merit (maybe?), Rise of An Empire chronicles the Greek resistance to the invasion by the Persian empire. This fictional account real events will have audiences ‘dining in hell’ this coming March. 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (4/4) - TP:  I’m positively salivating in anticipation of this film. The trailer was more than enough to hook me, but after being treated to the full elevator scene, this became one of the most anticipated films of 2014 for me. I loved the first film and it seems as though they are bringing that same magic to this one, but with some extra “bang” and a whole lot of extra character treats. Let’s take a tally… Black Widow, Nick Fury, The Falcon, Crossbones, Batroc the Leaper, and of course, the Winter Soldier himself. Chris Evans is owning his role as the First Avenger,  and now Anthony Mackie gets an opportunity to write his ticket onscreen in the Marvel Universe… and attach it to some sure money. This movie has all the signs of being the next big thing in super hero films, and will probably set the bar very, very high in April 2014.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (5/2) - TP: I’m already worried. I get worried when I see a trailer and it looks like the film has too many villains. Jamie Foxx playing Electro has already caused enough buzz to build this film up, whether you think he’s great for the role or feel they should not have departed from the source material. Paul Giamatti as the Rhino is just more icing on the cake. However, going beyond that (and they are) I get worried. Something always gets lost, and a film suffers when it’s overcrowded without being designed to be via the source material (ala X-Men). I’m hoping to be wrong about this, and that it lives up to all the hype in April.

Godzilla (5/16) – AV: With one the coolest teaser trailers I’ve seen in a long, long time, There's some real excitement building about this classic sci-fi reboot for the ‘King of all Monsters’. In fact you can view that trailer here. If the trailer hints at anything it’s could be titled; ‘US Special Forces vs Godzilla” and this is just fine by me! With an impressive cast, consisting of current acting greats like Bryan "Walter White" Cranston, Tokyo’s big green terror machine comes stomping through America–and a theater near you–this May.  

X-Men: Days of Future Past (5/23) - TP: Exit director Matthew Vaughn and re-enter Bryan Singer. I’m not overly enthusiastic about this, especially in light of how good First Class was, but I’m intrigued by the sheer size of the cast… and scope of the story. James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Patrick Stewart, Iam Mckellen, Hugh Jackman, and Peter Dinklage for starters. Taking, arguably, the best X-Men story (certainly a classic) and translating it to film with all the gravity and effect of the original is no small task, so I’ve got to give the effort the benefit of the doubt (despite the change in director) and hope for the best. If they pull this off, this could very well be one of the greatest movies ever - hunting you down in May.

Edge of Tomorrow (6/6) – AV: Tommy Cruise is at it again, Ponty. This time, he dawns a really bad-ass hi-tech combat exoskeleton to battle other-worldly invaders. Little does he know, his plight is not in the technology but in his own, innate ability to harness the precognitive power of the enemy while pursuing a hauntingly beautiful woman (played by Emily Blunt)–literally in his dreams–that could hold the key to mankind's Salvation. Watch the awesome action unfold this June.  

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (7/11) - TP: Presenting the story of how the apes came to have dominance over humanity, and I haven’t been this excited to see the end of humanity in a long time. Andy Serkis is back as Caesar and I expect, is still as menacing and interesting as he was in the first film. I’m excited also about Gary Oldman being in this. Opening in the summer puts this film in the crosshairs for success as a summer blockbuster and will only have itself to blame if it falls short. I’m optimistic about this film, considering the fact that audiences are enamored with the idea of a planet ruled by apes. Prepare to be dominated this July.

Jupiter Ascending (7/25) – AV: The Wachowski Brothers (of The Matrix trilogy fame) are bringing us a whole new world in the forthcoming space epic Jupiter Rising. Here, human beings are at the bottom of the evolutionary ladder. A young Earth woman (played by Mila Kunis) is targeted for assassination by the 'Queen of the Universe' because her very existence somehow is a threat that could end the Queen's reign. Not if super hunky Channing "White House Down" Tatum has anything to say about it, elf ears and all! He'll be getting help from our old pal Boromir (Sean "Headless–and not related to Tony–Stark" Bean) to help save humanity and the universe right in time for this film's end of July release date. 

Guardians of the Galaxy (8/1) – AV: Old friend, this is truly the movie event I've been waiting for! Ever since Marvel announced at the 2012 Comicon that this movie was in production, well it was all I could do to contain myself. This one is going to take everyone by surprise. With Chris Pratt as Starlord, the gorgeous Zoe Saldana as Gomora and big, bad Dave Bautista as Drax The Destroyer this movie is going to kick but and take names! Not enough for you? Try Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot and Bradley Cooper voicing Rocket Racoon (hang on, I'm about to plotz!) and a veritable host of Hollywood stars will help bring a legion of Marvel space heroes–and villains–to life. I've pre-ordered my Rocket Racoon T-Shirt, underwear and cereal bowl caddy. No official trailer yet but I'm hooked on the feeling that this one is gonna rock! August 2014 can't get here soon enough, partner! 

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (8/22) – AV: While I am excited about this one, Ponty, when a movie keeps get it's release date pulled and reinstated, it is usually not a good sign. If directors Frank "The Original Dark Knight Creator" MIller and Robert "Dusk till Dawn Mastermind" Rodriguez can give us an equally potent follow-up to the original Sin City, we should all leave the theater with a smug smile. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For will be Black, White and Red all over this coming August.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 (11/21) - TP: The action seems to be heating up as the story is nearing its conclusion. Although the last film advanced the story, it didn’t have the same emotional impact on me that the first film did. With Jennifer Lawrence reprising her role as Katniss Everdeen, freed, angry and leading a people on the brink of civil war, this film will probably have more shock value that the last one. Everything seems to ramping up to an epic conclusion, and I’m very optimistic that this movie will continue build the story, while also delivering some big time entertainment come November.

The Hobbit: There and Back Again (12/17) - TP: The fact this movie comes so late in the year aptly underscores the old saying “saving the best for last.” Everybody returns, for what should be, an epic film with IMAX 3D being the preferred medium. After the Lord of the Rings trilogy and two Hobbit films, we all should know exactly what to expect. I’m hoping Peter Jackson knows all this as well, and delivers the unexpected and makes the Battle of Five Armies something well beyond anything we have seen before, and makes us talk about it for years to come. I’ve been waiting for this ending since they first announced the possibility of doing a Hobbit film. All I’m asking is for the delivery to be equal to the anticipated wait. They say to be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it. This is me… asking for it in December!

Thank you all for reading–come back for more in 2014! 

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