Columnist anticipates movies of summer 2014

By Christian DiMartino

When it comes to movies, 2014 had a bit of a rough start. With movies like I,Frankenstein, Pompeii, and Vampire Academy entering theatres, there was sort of what I like to call a “good movie drought” from January through February. However, things began to shape up in March, with the arrival of the Wes Anderson’s great new movie The Grand Budapest Hotel and Darren Aronofsky’s maddening but near great Noah.  In a way, it feels like summer has begun early. I mean, Captain America: The Winter Soldier came charging into theatres two weeks ago, so that says something. Every summer, there are movies that everyone flocks to, movies that get Oscar attention, and movies that, well, miss the mark (cough… The Lone Ranger). Summer 2014 will most likely be the same. Here is what I am personally looking forward to this summer, and what I will probably avoid.

Want to See

5. Boyhood (July 11, R): Here is a movie that I am more curious to see than excited. Director Richard Linklater (The School of Rock, Dazed and Confused) began filming this movie, which tells the story of a boy (newcomer Ellar Coltrane) from ages 5 to 18, back in 2002. It may not sound too interesting, but there is more to it than that. Linklater filmed this movie every year until last year, so, basically, the audience literally watches this kid grow up. Seems like kind of a gimmick, but at the same time, a very ambitious gimmick. I applaud ambitious movies, so I’m curious to see how it turns out. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival back in January to rave reviews, so it might be a potential Oscar contender.

4. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (May 2, PG-13): Although the previous movie was unnecessary, it turned out to be one of the better Spider-Man adventures, ranking  behind the fantastic Spider-Man 2. So, as a Spider-Man fan, the sequel immediately made it onto the list. Although it seems like there is too much plot (a thing that sort of dragged Spider-Man 3 down), and Jamie Foxx is miscast as the villain, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be worth seeing for the chemistry between Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone), the thing that made its predecessor memorable in the first place.

3. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (August 22, Not Yet Rated): It seemed like it would never happen. Robert Rodriguez has been planning on making a sequel to his best work, Sin City, since 2007. So, after years of waiting, it has nearly arrived. It will either be triumphant, like the original, or a letdown. He has been given a long time to prepare. It better be worth it.

2. X-Men: Days of Future Past (May 23, PG-13): The X-Men series has been pretty good thus far. But now the series is on its 7th movie, and though it is kind of getting old, X-Men: Days of Future Past looks to be one of the more promising entries in the series. The film brings back director Bryan Singer, who did such a good job with the first two films, and it combines the cast of X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: First Class. How will it work? Not entirely sure on that, but I can’t wait to find out.

1. Magic in the Moonlight (July 26, PG-13):  Ever since Match Point back in 2005, controversial filmmaker Woody Allen has filmed eight films out of the U.S. What were the results? For starters, Match Point is his best movie, and he won an Oscar for Midnight in Paris a few years ago. Allen’s latest, which takes place in 1930s France, sounds too good to be true. Allen is the best director making a movie all summer, and if this is anything like his other European outings (or even his last movie, Blue Jasmine), then he will deliver again. Plus, the cast, which includes Emma Stone, Colin Firth, and Marcia Gay Harden, is dynamite.  Nobody will rush see it, but hopefully its target audience (his fans, like myself) will enjoy it.

Bad Vibe

5. Transformers: Age of Extinction (June 27, Not Yet Rated): Any time the name “Michael Bay” appears on anything, a sense of fear arrives. Michael Bay doesn’t always do bad movies, such as his last movie, the pleasantly surprising Pain and Gain, but when he does make a bad movie, it’s bad. Take Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, a loud, repetitive, stupid, and simply horrible movie. This movie doesn’t look bad; it’s the “directed by Michael Bay” part that is sort of a deal breaker. That, and do we really need MORE Transformers?

4. Guardians of the Galaxy (Aug. 1, Not Yet Rated): Judging from the humongous success of movies such as The Avengers and Iron Man 3, it is pretty obvious that Marvel studios knows what they are doing. However, I have no clue what exactly they are doing with Guardians of the Galaxy, or even what it is, for that matter. I can’t tell if this movie is a joke or what, but it does not look very good. Perhaps comic book readers will flip out over it, but this movie seems to be lost in its own world. Everyone can laugh when it turns out to be good, but right now, it looks pretty dumb.

3. Hercules (July 25, Not Yet Rated): There was already a Hercules movie this year, and it was so forgettable that I don’t remember what it was called. If I don’t remember a movie, it wasn’t anything special. Surely, this one will be better. But the thought of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in this role just sounds a little… silly. Am I alone here? We shall see.

2. Blended (May 23, PG-13): Judging from Adam Sandler’s past romantic comedies, he had the best chemistry with Drew Barrymore. The two worked so well, in fact, that they did two movies together (The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates). So, when I heard about their new movie Blended, I thought that it might be a comeback for Sandler, who has been on a losing streak since Jack and Jill. Then… I saw the trailer, and it got my hopes up. The second trailer is an improvement, but the first trailer was so painful that this movie made it on this list. It is not too late, but as of now, Adam Sandler has lost his touch. Hopefully I’m wrong.

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Aug. 8, Not Yet Rated): Allow me to summarize my feelings towards this movie: Gag me with a spoon. As a non TMNT fan for life, this movie was an automatic out. Then came the trailers, and it lost me even more. Lastly, guess who is producing it? Michael Bay. Should more be said? No.

Overall, this summer should be an interesting one. There were some movies, such as the Clint Eastwood musical Jersey Boys, the Channing Tatum/Mila Kunis sci-fi thriller Jupiter Ascending, and the Paul Rudd/Amy Poehler romantic comedy parody They Came Together, that didn’t quite make the list, but I still really want to see them. This summer has a lot of potential. Count me in.


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