Another year has begun, and you know what that means: more attempts by Hollywood to brainwash us with visually stimulating imagery, product placement, Billboard top ten hits playing in the soundtrack (Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” – I’m looking at you) and formulaic editing through the form of movie trailers just to get us poor folk to spend our hard-earned pennies in the movie theater. But seriously, folks, 2014, like the year before it, will be a year of many cinematic hits and misses. Now, there are some films that I feel neutral about for the moment, and because I know little about them, save for the occasional trailer or two, I won’t go as far to say that they’re guaranteed to flop at the box office. “Transformers 4: Age of Extinction”, for example, may shape itself to be a great film, despite my negative thoughts on the two previous sequels. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” could be a monumentally HUGE flop, despite the hopes and prayers from the loyal TMNT fans who grew up on the cartoon TV series and subsequent live-action films (like yours truly) that it won’t suck! And those are TWO Michael Bay movies (the former directed by, and the latter produced by) that I just mentioned here! But this post is all about the movies, ten of them at that (and believe me, there are more), that I am freaking excited to see. And when you’re done checking out my list, feel free to discuss your most-anticipated and least-anticipated films of 2013 in the comments below.
10. DUMB AND DUMBER TO – Not to be excused with the pathetic excuse of a prequel “Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd” – and no, I won’t have whatever the fuck he’s having – “Dumb and Dumber To” marks the long-awaited reunion of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, whose chemistry helped make 1994’s “Dumb and Dumber” a comedy classic. Seriously hope this reunion is worth the 20-year wait. Release date: November 14th.
9. THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY, PART 1 – The cliffhanger at the end of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” alone is reason enough for me to anticipate the first half of the conclusion of the “Hunger Games” movie franchise. That and seeing Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) go HAM (hard as a motherfucker) against the tyrannical Capitol. Release date: 21st November.
8. THE HOBBIT: THERE AND BACK AGAIN – Of course, I had to include this film onto my list. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” was a superior sequel in its own right, and I am expecting “There and Back Again” to reach the emotionally satisfying level that “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (one of my all-time favourite movies) reached back in 2003. Or close to it, at least. And no, I didn’t read “The Hobbit”, so please don’t spoil the end of it for me. The end of “The Desolation of Smaug” was enough build-up for me, thank you very much! Release date: December 17th.
7. DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES – First, they rose. Now, they dawned. Let’s hope they don’t give us a “new moon” anytime soon! HAIL CAESAR!! Release date: July 11th.
6. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – All I know is that’s it’s a tie-in to “The Avengers” (the first instance of this being the end-credit scene in “Thor: The Dark World”), and it’s got a talking raccoon with a fucking laser gun and shit! That’s ALL I need to know…..right now, that is! Release date: August 1st.
5. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER – This sequel to “Captain America: The First Avenger” is sure to please the Avengers fans who weren’t particularly fond with the 1940s-serial aesthetic of the original film (which I actually enjoyed, in case you were wondering). But for me, I’m intrigued to see how Cap’s relevance as an all-American hero in a modern time will be explored in this movie. And how much cans of whoop-ass he’ll be receiving from the Winter Soldier – or vice versa. Release date: April 4th.
4. X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST – This cinematic fusion between the original X-Men trilogy (which started off so well and ended so…..unwell) and the excellent prequel “X-Men: First Class” is clearly an ambitious film project. But under the hands of Bryan Singer (who helmed the first two X-Men movies), this may turn out to be one of 2014’s surprisingly great films. Release date: May 23rd.
3. TRANSCENDENCE – With performances by Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall and Cillian Murphy, and directorial duties by veteran cinematographer and frequent collaborator with Christopher Nolan of “The Dark Knight Trilogy” fame Wally Pfister in his first directing gig, “Transcendence” may be THE intelligent, thought-provoking, mind-fuck sci-fi movie of 2014…. Release date: April 18th.
2. INTERSTELLAR – …..if it wasn’t for this upcoming film from Christopher Nolan himself. Expect this movie and “Transcendence” to go head-to-head (literally) this year. Release date: November 7th.
And coming in at Number 1 is…..
But seriously, though. My number one most highly awaited film of 2014 is:
1. GODZILLA – After the unofficial 1998 American entry into the Japanese-originated Godzilla film franchise tanked at the box office – and nearly ended the career of Matthew Broderick – Hollywood tried once again to breathe new life into the franchise that, for decades, found itself in campy, cheesy, WTF territory. The teaser trailer (which, for some dumb reason was deleted a few hours after its release) showed the destruction that this incarnation of the mutated lizard was capable of. But this trailer – which ranks among the best I’ve seen last year – gives the viewer a bigger glimpse of what to expect in this film. Paratroopers leaping to their supposed doom. A large military presence reminiscent of the Japanese films. Bryan Cranston from “Breaking Bad”. And of course, Godzilla, in his gargantuan bad-assery! Believe it or not, but I have nothing but high hopes for this film. Not only will it commemorate the 50th anniversary of “Godzilla”, but it may be the film that will help retain the glory the franchise once had. HAIL GOJIRA!! Yeah, I know I said earlier to hail Caesar, but Caesar’s roar is nowhere close to Godzilla’s (or “Gojira” as it’s called in Japan)….so yeah, HAIL GOJIRA, bitches!! Release date: May 16th.
RUNNERS-UP: The Amazing Spider-Man 2, How to Train your Dragon 2, The Expendables 3, Muppets Most Wanted, 300: Rise of an Empire, Noah, The LEGO Movie, The Raid 2, Edge of Tomorrow.