2014 has been fairly solid for movies so far. I mean, The Lego Movie was miraculous, Veronica Mars lives again and The Raid 2 exists. (Don’t get me started on Captain America: The Winter Soldier. No, seriously, don’t get me started. I can and will talk about that movie for hours.) Last year’s summer movie season was a bit disappointing for me but I am confident that 2014’s crop is basically unimpeachable. (Aaaaand let’s hope I didn’t just jinx our entire summer, guys.)
Indies I Hope Come To Town
I Can’t Make Myself Care About…
Crystal’s Top 15 Most Anticipated Summer Movies of 2014
15. Tammy (July 2)
I know next to nothing about this film and judging purely from the teaser trailer that’s been playing in theatres for months, I have no idea how this could possibly be a movie. Thing is, that teaser has been met with wild uproarious laughter EVERY single time I’ve seen it, sometimes simply at the reveal of Melissa McCarthy as the star. I am a dangerous mix of curious and fascinated here. I’ve seen movies for worse reasons.
14. The Purge: Anarchy (July 18)
The first Purge film I saw entirely by accident (my brother and I were seated for Before Midnight when the kindly theatre manager informed us that their digital copy of the film had been corrupted so we would be refunded AND we could see any other film on the house. We selected The Purge because it was the only film we hadn’t already seen that was starting soon, not because we are Ethan Hawke fanatics, which is what the manager probably thought.) and while I found the concept intriguing, the film itself was not. This sequel looks interesting enough and I am willing to see if this time around the execution is worthy of the concept.
(August 8) moved up to July 25
I’ve been a bit fascinated with Scarlett Johansson’s career trajectory as of late and I have to say, I am all for her being the next big female action star. I have literally no idea what to expect anytime I walk into a film Luc Besson has anything to do with, so this should at least be fun.
12. How To Train Your Dragon 2 (June 13)
2010’s How To Train Your Dragon was a wonderful, magical surprise to me and the fact that Dreamworks actually took 4 years to craft the sequel gives me hope that this will be a worthy follow-up.
11. Let’s Be Cops (August 13)
For much of its run, FOX’s New Girl has been a bit of a mixed bag (a very LOUD mixed bag, she says as a fan) but week after week Jake Johnson has been a reliable source of comedy. Damon Wayans Jr. has proved to be a comedic force to be reckoned with both as a cast member on ABC’s Happy Endings (RIP) and as a recent (-ish… it’s a long story, google it) addition to New Girl. I have no idea if the movie itself will be any good but with these guys starring, I know it’ll at least be a lot of fun.
10. Begin Again (July 4)
John Carney’s 2006 film Once is very important to me so I would be looking forward to this music dramedy even if it didn’t have people like Mark Ruffalo and Catherine Keener involved. (Also Judd Apatow produced it? What?)
9. Dawn of The Planet of The Apes (July 11)
Rise of The Planet of The Apes was a great surprise back in 2011 and like I said with HTTYD, the fact that the studio didn’t fast-track a hackneyed cash-grab of a sequel makes me even more excited to see what this next installment brings.
8. The Fault In Our Stars (June 6)
Until mid-2012 I only knew John Green from YouTube. When the mania surrounding his novel “The Fault In Our Stars” began, I was pleased to see it happen to one of the Internet’s own but didn’t think much of it. I eventually read the book and when news broke that Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (of (500) Days of Summer and The Spectacular Now) were adapting it for a film, I thought it was a perfect fit. I’m more curious than excited at this point but it has the potential to be a new teen classic.
7. X-Men: Days of Future Past (May 30)
This is probably the movie I am most nervous for this summer. (You have no idea how hard it is for me to not type this paragraph in all caps.) The X-Men have been my favorite comic heroes since I was a child. (Like, I used to get up at 7AM on Saturday mornings to watch TV -priorities- and while my lineup fluctuated, the constants were Saved By The Bell, California Dreams, X-Men and Batman: The Animated Series.) So far, I don’t think the X-Men have gotten a fair shake cinematically. I haven’t seen Bryan Singer’s original films in years, so while I remember them being generally good enough, I’m not sure how they hold up in a post-Marvel Studios universe. X3 does NOT exist to me. X-Men Origins: Wolverine was bizarre and left me with little interest in seeing last year’s The Wolverine. X-Men: First Class was an enjoyable mess. While the first trailer for Days of Future Past gave me a glimmer of hope that this could be the first great X-Men film, the closer we get to the release (and the more Carl’s Jr. ads I see – seriously WTF), the less convinced I become. I would love for my skepticism (some would say pessimism) to be proved wrong. Couldn’t they have just given me another 130 minutes of Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy making moon eyes at each other?
6. They Came Together (June 27)
I’ve been a fan of all of David Wain and Michael Showalter’s work both individually and together (if you haven’t watched Comedy Central’s short-lived series Stella, you’re doing it wrong) so I’m excited to see them finally re-team on another screenplay (following up 2001’s Wet Hot American Summer). And obviously the fact that it’s a satire of romantic comedies starring Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd just makes it even more delightful in my eyes.
5. Boyhood (July 11)
Richard Linklater is one of my all-time favorite directors so this movie would be on my list no matter what but it being filmed over the course of 12 years is just incredible. My brother and I discovered the IMDB page for this movie probably 8 or 9 years ago and were gobsmacked (and more than a little tickled) that it had a projected release date of 2014. The fact that now we finally get to see this film we’ve been talking about for so long is mind-boggling to me.
4. Neighbors (May 9)
This Is The End was the comedy of Summer 2013 to me, hands down. I have it on good authority (ie: friends that have seen preview screenings) that Seth Rogen, the always appreciated Rose Byrne and company could once again take that title this year. Not to mention, IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME ZAC EFRON BECAME COOL (says the girl who went to see High School Musical 3 at a discount theatre for her 23rd birthday).
3. Godzilla (May 16)
The marketing for this film has been very, very smart as I had little interest in seeing this until I started seeing really cool trailers for it. Really cool trailers being met with wild cheers and applause from a few different audiences I saw them with. Not only do I think this movie looks awesome and fun now, I can’t wait to see it with a packed house. (Speaking of marketing though, during Godzilla‘s campaign I realized you could get me to gladly see ANY movie if you have Bryan Cranston yelling in the trailer.)
2. 22 Jump Street (June 13)
21 Jump Street was one of the most delightful comedy surprises in recent memory. Comedy sequels are scary but I have my fingers crossed that the same weird magic that propelled the original from “movie that shouldn’t work” to “movie that works ridiculously well” can do its work here. Plus if anyone can pull of a comedy miracle, by now we should know it’s Phil Lord & Chris Miller.
1. Guardians of The Galaxy (August 1)
(July 18) pushed back to February 2015
I could honestly take or leave The Wachowskis at this point (I haven’t seen Cloud Atlas yet, please still be friends with me) but at this point in my life, I’m not one to turn down a “science fiction space opera” starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis.
Transformers: Age of Extinction (June 27)
I hated the second Transformers film so much I didn’t even see the third one (nor did I feel like googling its stupid title right now). Even after disposing of Shia LaBeouf, it was going to be damn near impossible to get me to return to this franchise. And then they cast Mark Wahlberg. They had my curiousity. Then they released a trailer in which Mark Wahlberg -in full Mark Wahlberg cadence- ACTUALLY SAYS THE LINE “I THINK WE JUST FOUND A TRANSFORMER.” Now they have my attention.
A Million Ways To Die In The West (May 30)
As I said before Ted was released, in my opinion, the douche-cloud surrounding Seth MacFarlane and his fanbase tends to unfairly overshadow the fact that he can often be as clever as he is crass. I have my doubts on whether or not he can pull off a leading role but the trailer has some solid laughs and I’m always on board with Liam Neeson doing comedy. Also, Charlize.
Indie Movies I’m Trying Not To Get Too Pumped For Because Who Knows If They’ll Play Locally Enough For Me To See Them
The Double (May 9)
I didn’t even know this movie existed until I saw the trailer on TV late one night last month and I thought it looked absolutely phenomenal. And I’d really like to like Jesse Eisenberg again after 30 Minutes or Less and Now You See Me were both serious disappointments.
Snowpiercer (June 27)
Like many film fans, I followed last year’s saga of Bong Joon-ho vs. The Weinstein Company with bated breath. Earlier this year we got word that the director’s cut would indeed be released this summer, albeit in a much more limited run than originally intended. (A dystopian sci-fi action film with the likes of Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton and John Hurt, who would want to see that?!) Seeing as Harvey Weinstein was concerned that “audiences in Iowa and Oklahoma” wouldn’t understand the film, I’m sure I’ll love it whenever I do get to see it.
Happy Christmas (July 25)
Drinking Buddies, Joe Swanberg’s last film, absolutely floored me. I have very high hopes for this next project featuring the likes of Anna Kendrick, Lena Dunham, Melanie Lynskey and Mark Webber.
Top 5 Movies I Can’t Seem To Make Myself Care About
5. Million Dollar Arm (May 16)
I love movies, I love baseball and I love the idea of watching Jon Hamm do just about anything for 2 hours but for some reason I’m not loving the prospect of seeing this film.
4. Edge of Tomorrow (June 6)
I’m usually all for our yearly installment in the “Tom Cruise running” film genre but this movie hasn’t grabbed me yet and after my disappointment with last year’s Oblivion, I need to be sold.
3. Transformers: Age of Extinction (June 27)
Yes this was also on my anticipated list. That kind of says everything about my relationship with Michael Bay.
2. Maleficent (May 30)
Disneyphile that I am, I was never much for Sleeping Beauty. And the trailer is cool and Angelina Jolie seems perfectly cast but I just don’t know if I find this story and/or character interesting enough to sit through an entire movie of it.
1. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (May 2)
2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man showed occasional promise but was laughably bad more often than not. Everything I’ve seen from this follow-up does not lead me to believe the necessary improvements have been made. I’m a reasonable type of moviegoer (seriously) so at some point I do actually have to watch this movie so I can have an informed opinion on it. But I’m not particularly looking forward to that.