Top 24 Fraking Anticipated Films of 2014

Top 24 Countdown: Most Fraking Anticipated Films of 2014

Terry Gilliam Directs THE ZERO THEOREM

Terry Gilliam Directs THE ZERO THEOREM

 

24. CALVARY

Director: John Michael McDonagh
Starring: Brendon Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Dylan Moran, M. Emmet Walsh
Release Date: January 19th, 2014

Director John Michael McDonagh (brother of Martin McDonagh of IN BRUGES fame) reteams with Brendon Gleeson for what looks like another bent trip that may recapture the magic of their earlier delight THE GUARD. I.T CROWD fans note Chris O’Dowd in the cast. GAME OF THRONES fans look out for Aidan Gillen.

CALVARY Trailer

 

23. NYMPHOMANIAC

Director: Lars Von Trier
Starring:  Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgard, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Udo Kier, Christian Slater, Connie Nielsen, Jamie Bell,
Release Date: March 21st, 2014

Enfant terrible Lars Von Trier turns his provocative mind and voyeurs lens to the mating habits of the human animal and you can bet romance is not the face of carnal pleasure. Certain to aggravate some and appall others. Personally I welcome each new individualistic journey into the darker side of psyche from this confronting filmmaker and this looks like another disturbingly intimate affair.

NYMPHOMANIAC Trailer

 

22. The BOXTROLLS

Director: Graham Annable, Anthony Stacchi
Starring: Simon Pegg, Ben Kingsley, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Elle Fanning, Toni Collette, Tracy Morgan
Release Date: September 26th, 2014

Not to be a troll, I was one of those people who thought Chris Butler’s PARANORMAN was the animated film of 2012. For THE BOXTROLLS Butler’s story-artist Graham Annable turns Co-Director. From the trailer the film seems to have a similar welcome style and the voice talent indicates we are in for some laughs.

 The BOXTROLLS Trailer 

 

21. A MOST WANTED MAN

Director: Anton Cobijn
Starring: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright, Rachel McAdams, Daniel Bruhl
Release Date: July 19th, 2014

A new John Le Carre adaptation (IPCRESS FILE, SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD) will always get my attention but when it’s Directed by Anton Cobijn (CONTROL, THE AMERICAN) and stars Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Willem Dafoe and Robin Wright it becomes essential viewing. Listen to Phillip Seymour Hoffman disappear into character, tantalizing conversation too adapted for the screen by writer Andrew Bovell (LANTANA, EDGE OF DARKNESS). 

Image from A MOST WANTED MAN

Image from A MOST WANTED MAN

 

20. DOM HEMINGWAY

Director: Richard Shepard
Starring: Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Emilia Clarke,
Release Date: April 4th, 2014

Richard Shepard (THE MATADOR, THE HUNTING PARTY) is a Director whose name should be more recognizable in my opinion. He makes solid commercial films that while not exceptional have a flair for storytelling and an economic cinema eye. If early reviews are any indication this latest crime comedy come character piece could be the release that finally makes others take notice.

DOM HEMINGWAY Trailer

 

19. SNOWPIERCER

Director: Joon-ho Bong
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, John Hurt, Chris Evans, Jamie Bell
Release Date: TBD

Garnering a lot of press last year due to Harvey Weinstein wanting to hack 20 minutes of the running time to “..make sure the film ‘will be understood by audiences in Iowa… and Oklahoma,’.  (Read all about it HERE ) Which version makes it to the US still remains to be seen  (Read all about it HERE)  but one thing is certain, critics have been gushing over the Directors Cut. Not surprising considering Joon-ho Bong gave us the monster family drama THE HOST and the unbalancing murder mystery MOTHER.

SNOWPIERCER Trailer

 

18. X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

Director: Bryan Singer
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Peter Dinklage, Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman
Release Date: May 23rd, 2014

Marvel films are almost like their own IMAX cable channel now. Be it Disney or Fox produced there seems to be a new film every other week. Naturally the quality wavers with so much market saturation and for every AVENGERS there is an X-MEN 3 or even worse a SPIDERMAN 3. For me, Matthew Vaughn’s X MEN: FIRST CLASS was far and away the best of the X-pack branch of the Marvel franchise machine so this film continuing with the new paradigm and Bryan Singer at the helm makes for an intriguing prospect.

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST Trailer

 

17. JUPITER ASCENDING

Director: The Wachowskis
Starring: Terry Gilliam, Mila Kunis, Sean Bean, Channing Tatum, James D’Arcy
Release Date: July 25th 2014

Editorial: I like MATRIX RELOADED more than the original MATRIX. I also think that BOUND is still the Wachowski’s most refined work and that CLOUD ATLAS was admirably flawed. That I have never seen SPEED RACER is probably indicative of something too. I mention this aerial view critique for perspective when I say that JUPITER ASCENDING has the potential to be the brother/sister team’s most ambitious film to date.

JUPITER ASCENDING Trailer

16. GODZILLA

Director: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Ken Watanabe, David Strathairn, Bryan Cranston, Aaron taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche
Release Date: May 16th, 2014

A film that would not have an inkling of interest from me were it not for the name Gareth Edwards (Ken Watanabe’s name carries some weight too). Now it’s not that I’m not a fan of the radioactively mutated reptile that smashes Tokyo, but I’m still trying to wash off the toxic waste from the last time Hollywood had a crack at the destructive beast. Edwards Direction of the emotionally rich creature feature MONSTERS instills me with confidence and if early trailers are anything to go by that isn’t misplaced.

 GODZILLA Trailer

15. BIRDMAN

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring:  Ed Norton, Emma Stone, Michael Keaton, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis
Release Date: TBD

From the imdb synopsis: ” A washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory.” Sounds like Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros, 21 Grams), Director of some of the most emotionally sincere and powerful works of the last few decades is set to make his own DEATH TO SMOOCHY complete with Ed Norton. Even if that leap is way off, BIRDMAN should be a moving and oddly amusing tale that as of now is must see.

Michael Keaton on set of  BIRDMAN

Michael Keaton on set of BIRDMAN

 

14. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

Director: James Gunn
Starring: Michael Rooker, Benicio Del Toro, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, John C Reilly, Glenn Close, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Chris Pratt
Release Date: August 1st, 2014

Having never read the comic on which it’s based, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY looks to be the most outright goofy and eccentric Marvel film ever conceived. It’s James Gunn’s name in the Directors chair that make me believe I will fall for this films particular brand of campy popcorn distraction.

First Image GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

First Image GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

 

13. DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Director: Matt Reeves
Starring: Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Jason Clarke, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Judy Greer, Andy Serkis
Release Date: July 18th, 2014

Confession: I am a massive Ape head. All Ape films are not created equal but RISE OF THE APES defied expectations to be one of the most solid in the series. (Any movie where James Franco is the weakest link has to be pretty good, right?) Really hope this one continues the thoughtful sci-fi route and exhilarating action with apocalyptic consequence.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Trailer

 

12. MONUMENTS MEN

Director: George Clooney
Starring: George Clooney, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon
Release Date: February 7th, 2014

For me it’s Clooney’s reliability that is most impressive. As an actor he knows his limitations and works well within his range, but it’s his skill at consistently being attached to quality projects that make each new release impossible to ignore. As a Director he has an affinity for the way cinema looked and felt before quick cuts, relentless close-ups and CG eye sores. I’m a sucker for old school war adventures like GUNS OF NAVARONE, WHERE EAGLES DARE and VON RYAN’S EXPRESS. Looking to be in that tradition, MONUMENTS MEN, is a WWII set yarn that revolves around priceless art stolen by the Nazi’s and the elite, rag-tag platoon that is going to snatch it back from Hitler’s minion’s, a subject suited to Clooney’s debonair strengths.

MONUMENTS MEN Trailer

 

11. KNIGHT OF CUPS

Director: Terence Malick
Starring:S Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Wes Bentley, Antonio Banderas, Nick Offerman, Cate Blanchett, Frieda Pinto, Teresa Palmer, Jason Clarke, Isabel Lucas
Release Date: TBD

It’s a new Terence Malick film. That should be enough to put KNIGHT OF CUPS on most connoisseurs of cinema must see lists. Sure the man’s reach sometimes exceeds his grasp, but he is an artists daring to search for the meaning of life on his canvas. Attempting to answer the riddles of the universe through a lens, Malick’s creative endeavor guarantees moments of magic. In the end I look at each new film in the same way I do life. I can either focus on the works flaws, where it fails to meet its aspirations, or I can bask and relish those scenes and moments that bestow the gift of artistic enlightenment. Little is known about the secretive plot of KNIGHT OF CUPS, but with celebrity excess being the one hint we do have this could prove a fascinating watch.

On set of KNIGHT OF CUPS

On set of KNIGHT OF CUPS

10. TRANSCENDENCE

Director: Wally Pfister
Starring: Johnny Depp, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, Paul Bettany, Clifton Collins Jr, Cole Hauser
Release Date: April 18th, 2014

Making his Directorial feature debut Christopher Nolan’s regular cinematographer Wally Pfister appears to be going for thoughtful, head screw sci-fi, my favourite flavour.  Consciousness uploads, LAWNMOWER MAN meets COLOSSUS: THE FORBIDDEN PROJECT plotting and a mad scientist Johnny Depp, why would I not be curious?

 TRANSCENDENCE Trailer

9. RAID 2: BERANDAL

Director: Gareth Evans
Starring: Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Raiden Integra
Release Date: March, 28th, 2014

Seriously, if the cardiac arrest inducing smashfest of maximum destruction that was the RAID: REDEMPTION didn’t satisfy every action corpuscle in your body, then you are either dead or do not have the heart of an action junkie. The trailer for the new one makes it look like the first may have just been a gloves off sparring session…batter up!

RAID 2: BERANDAL Trailer

8. MAP TO THE STARS

Director: David Cronenberg
Starring: Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, Olivia Williams, Robert Pattinson, Carrie Fisher
Release Date: TBD

The possibilities of Terence Malick exploring celebrity excess seem overwhelming. Now imagine a world in which Cronenberg, according to the imdb synopsis will take a “complex look at Hollywood and what it reveals about Western culture.”. We live in that world.

 

MAPS TO THE STARS Promo

MAPS TO THE STARS Promo

7. NOAH

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Ray Winstone, Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins
Release Date: March 28th, 2014

Few modern Directors can compete with Aronofsky’s cinematic power and finesse. Whether he is confronting without prejudice, dragging the audience through hell examining every facet of addiction in REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, operatically cautioning us about the futility of perfection in BLACK SWAN or emotionally destroying us with THE WRESTLER there is little doubt that his take on the Biblical genocide of our species courtesy of the big wet will be compelling, complex and no doubt awe inspiring.

NOAH Trailer

6. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

Director: Wes Anderson
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Jeff Goldblum, Willem DaFoe, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton, F. Murray Abraham, Bill Murray, Ed Norton, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman,
Release Date: March 7th, 2014

That cast, that Wes Anderson whimsy wistfulness, that explosion of theatrical wit and colorful set design, from the trailer looks like THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL contains everything that makes Anderson’s films guilt-free, feel-good excursions into character.

Disclaimer: Excitement levels for this film may vary based on susceptibility to the filmmakers charms.

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Trailer

5. THE ZERO THEOREM

Director: Terry Gilliam
Starring: Christoph Waltz, Tilda Swinton, Matt Damon, David Thewlis, Ben Wishaw, Melanie Thierry
Release Date: September 26th, 2014

Something is very wrong when some of the finest living filmmakers like Lynch, Cronenberg and Gilliam fail to receive studio funding and must knock on doors, begging for cash in Europe while vacuous Samsung commercials like Michael Bay can secure a reported 250 million dollars for Transformers 324….but I’m completely off topic. New Gilliam, it exists, this is good. Even better it’s a tantalizing premise involving a computer hacker searching for the meaning of existence and the temptress sent from up on high to sabotage his ambitions. Seems to be a return to BRAZIL/12 MONKEYS aesthetics. Oh and Christoph Waltz and Tilda Swinton are in it too.

 THE ZERO THEOREM Clip

 

4. SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR

Director: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Mickey Rourke, Benicio Del Toro, Eva Green, Powers Boothe, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven, Rosario Dawson, Juno Temple,  Bruce Willis, Stacey Keach,  Jessica Alba, Christopher Meloni
Release Date: August 22nd, 2014

Few comic book adaptations come close to the original SIN CITY for me and this hard boiled sequel seems like a no-brainer as far as delivering the bloody, subversive pulp goods. Fleshy source material including unpublished Frank Miller, the same Troublemaker crew and pretty much my dream ensemble cast, add the delectable Eva Greene as femme fatale, I’m locked and loaded.

 

Eva Green is Ava Lord in SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR

Eva Green is Ava Lord in SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR

3. GONE GIRL

Director: David Fincher
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Kim Dickens, Scott Mcnairy, Patrick Fugit, Neil Patrick Harris,
Release Date: October 3rd, 2014

Based on the Gillian Flynn crime thriller of the same name, David Fincher has long ago proven his exceptional talent for this genre with SE7EN and ZODIAC. (I have yet to see his American remake of GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO) Sure to be much buzzed in the second half of 2014, let’s just hope Ben Affleck’s limited abilities in front of the camera are more ARGO than GIGLI.

 

First Image GONE GIRL

First Image GONE GIRL

2. INHERENT VICE

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Jena Malone, Martin Short, Owen Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Reese Witherspoon
Release Date: TBD

The prospect of Paul Thomas Anderson detouring into detective pulp is, to steal from one of the greats “the stuff that dreams are made of”. I’m already hoping for an Arthur Penn NIGHTMOVES level of grounded, murkiness combined with the subversive, nihilism of Altman’s THE LONG GOODBYE. Preconceptions and day dreams aside, this is sure to be an original take on the genre that picks up where PTA left off with his under viewed gem HARD EIGHT. That players list can’t go unnoticed either with heavyweights Del Toro, Brolin and Phoenix being in peak form.

First Image INHERENT VICE

First Image INHERENT VICE

1. INTERSTELLAR

Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Casey Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Wes Bentley, Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow, Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway
Release Date: November 14th, 2014

It’s new Nolan. It’s on top of everyone’s list. I am not a unique snowflake.

INTERSTELLAR Trailer 

4 comments to Top 24 Fraking Anticipated Films of 2014

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>