Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Fifteen Movies that I'm looking forward to in Summer 2014

The summer movie season often brings some of the most entertaining films of the year. They never win Oscars, but sometimes they can become instant classics. This summer looks especially promising and it's off to a good start. Although some may have been disappointed by The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (it was about as good as I thought it would be), Seth Rogen's raucous comedy Neighbors is absolutely bonkers and a great way to start the summer. Million Dollar Arm is also very good counter-programming and a good film. Here are fifteen other movies that I'm looking forward to this summer.

CHEF- In theaters now

Jon Favreau is a captivating actor and a decent director for the most part, but his new film, Chef, looks to be especially great. As many have pointed out, Chef plays as sort of an autobiography for Favreau. The film chronicles the life of a LA chef (Favreau) who gets a bad review from an influential food critic (Oliver Platt) after being forced to cook the menu that his boss (Dustin Hoffman) gives him. Favreau's character ends up embarking on a journey with his family and friends to create a small food truck business that will help him find himself. Many have compared this story to Favreau's experience making Cowboys and Aliens and Iron Man 2 and I'm pretty sure that was intentional. This looks like a nice change of pace from the destruction-fests that we'll be seeing this summer. That's what makes this film extremely interesting.

GODZILLA- May 16

In less than a day, I'll be seeing this movie. And I honestly could not be more excited. Godzilla has received solid early buzz from screenings and it seems to be the kind of traditionally made creature feature that I love. It doesn't hurt that the cast is full of rising stars and quality veterans. The CGI looks great, the action looks haunting and the film appears to be astonishing. Let's hope that Godzilla lives up to all of my expectations.

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST- May 23

It's kind of disappointing for be that my two most anticipated movies of the summer come out within a week of each. But so it goes. X-Men: Days of Future Past is being praised by critics in early Twitter reactions and that has taken my excitement to another level. The third trailer was brilliant, First Class was the best X-Men movie so far and bringing both casts together for a time travel movie sounds awesome. In the end, I don't see how someone can't be excited for this movie. I just can't.

A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST- May 30

The latest red band trailer for A Million Ways to Die in the West had one or two funny jokes, but was peppered with so many sex, poop and fart jokes that I started to worry that one of the promising comedies of the year would end being no more than a lackluster Adam Sandler comedy. However, I still hold out hope for A Million Ways. MacFarlane's brand of comedy can often be very funny and a large-scale western with a great cast is a promising idea. I still have my hopes up for this one.

EDGE OF TOMORROW- June 6

At first, Edge of Tomorrow looked like it would be very similar to Cruise's 2013 folly Oblivion. However, as the marketing campaign has continued, Edge of Tomorrow has looked more and more promising. The visual visual aesthetic of the film look stupendous and the action and direction appear to be stellar. This has slowly become one of my most anticipated movies of the summer and I hope that it ends up being as good as it could potentially be.

22 JUMP STREET- June 13

I didn't see 21 Jump Street, but I can say that 22 Jump Street looks hilarious. The red band trailer was energetic and funny and it made the film look like a great time. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are both charismatic stars and the idea of seeing them go on Spring Break and party is endlessly appealing. Look for this to be one of the summer's best comedies.

JERSEY BOYS- June 20

This is a film that feels like it should be released around Christmas, but nonetheless, Warner Bros. is opening Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys in the summer. And it looks fantastic. The trailer is well cut and the film appears to be very old-fashioned, but also slightly edgy. The acting looks solid, the story looks compelling, and Eastwood is still a good director. If it stays on the summer calender, expect Jersey Boys to be a solid hit with the adult crowd.

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION- June 27

When I saw The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in IMAX last week, I also saw the trailer for Transformers: Age of Extinction. The theater was literally shaking. You just can't get a feel for director Michael Bay's Transformers movies at home. I'm skeptical about Age of Extinction at this point, but I believe that it will deliver on its promise of explosions and non-stop action. That's really all that I'm expecting out of this movie.

DELIVER US FROM EVIL- July 2

Last summer's The Conjuring delivered on its promise of being a terrifying horror movie while also a good all-around movie. I'm hoping that Deliver Us From Evil can do the same thing. Eric Bana and Edgar Ramirez star in a dark cop drama that also doubles as a horror movie. The police stuff itself looks compelling, but the added supernatural element makes this a can't miss movie for me.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES- July 11

If you want a really good look at what Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will be, watch the latest international trailer. It makes the film look really good. I'm really excited for this one, because I see the potential for a classic action movie. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a solid start, but I believe that Dawn can be even better. We can only hope. 

BOYHOOD- July 11

The trailer for Boyhood has to be one of the greatest trailers in film history. It perfectly captures what makes this film so exciting and appealing to me. I felt such a strong connection to the character of Mason while I was watching that trailer. After that, Boyhood instantly jumped to the top of my most anticipated list. With stellar reviews out of Sundance, my anticipation for Boyhood could not be any higher.

JUPITER ASCENDING- July 18

Either the Wachowskis signed a deal with WB after The Matrix that said they could make whatever big-budget movies they wanted for years after the film or they give the greatest sales pitches in the world. Because I simply don't understand how some of their movies get made. Not that Jupiter Ascending, their latest venture, doesn't look good. It looks like one of the gutsiest films of the summer and the kind of sci-fi movie that can become a classic. But with a $200 million budget, it's a risky proposition and one that I'm not sure will pan out for Warner Bros.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY- August 1

Guardians of the Galaxy is another one of the summer's riskiest propositions, but I've been convinced from the trailers. Marvel's been on a roll lately at the box office and Captain America: The Winter Soldier was fantastic. Guardians is still a risky film and one that could end up being too weird or too goofy, but it looks like a good time. That's all I'm expecting. 

GET ON UP- August 1

I wasn't a big fan of The Help or 42, but I can't help but be excited for director Tate Taylor's (The Help) latest film, Get On Up, which stars Chadwick Boseman (42) as James Brown. The trailer is great and the film looks extremely promising. This type of film excels in August and I can't wait to see how Get on Up turns out.

LUCY- August 8

Lucy had a great first trailer and it appears to be a stylish action thriller in the vein of Oldboy and some of Luc Besson's earlier stuff. That along with the fact that it stars Scarlett Johnannson and Morgan Freeman has me very excited. Lucy has the makings of an action classic if the execution is strong. I really can't wait to see how this one ends up.

I'm also excited to see Maleficent and How to Train Your Dragon 2, but those films ended up being too standard to make it on this list. These fifteen are the ones I simply can't wait for. 

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