2014 Summer Movie Preview

Photo Credit:http://sciencefiction.com/2014/04/11/slew-new-images-x-men-days-future-past/

It’s that time of year again! The weather is getting warmer and the movies are getting louder. Captain America: The Winter Soldier whet our appetites for the summer season (actually, with how strong it was, it could be better than every movie in this preview). Now it’s time for superheroes, monsters, and screwball comedies. As usual, we’ll be picking five movies, including any potential indies, from each summer month and ranking our anticipation for them. Happy summer!

 

May:

MV5BOTQ0OTkzODgyNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTA3OTE4MDE@._V1_SX214_5. Neighbors

I’ll admit, the premise doesn’t sound all that original and Zac Efron isn’t the most excitable star. But this does come from Nicholas Stoller, the mind behind Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek. Also, it premiered at SXSW and has only gotten good buzz. For that, I’m willing to give this frat boy comedy a chance. (May 9)

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2557490/?ref_=nv_sr_14. A Million Ways to Die in the West

Okay, so Ted wasn’t the best movie in the world, but tell me you weren’t laughing throughout it. Seth MacFarlane’s next foray into comedy involves a lot of death. My guess is he had a lot of hilarious visuals of people dying and decided to write a script incorporating them all. Whatever. It’s going to be hysterical. Somehow he got Liam Neeson to show up so, you know, go see it. (May 30)

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0831387/?ref_=fn_al_tt_13. Godzilla

We all remember what happened the last time an American studio tried to make a Godzilla movie. This time, the cast is better, the mythology is intact, and the monster is bigger. Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston leads, with future Avengers twins Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elisabeth Olsen also starring. But the biggest star is the titular monster, who seems to be causing more destruction than ever. (May 16)

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1872181/?ref_=nv_sr_12. The Amazing Spider-man 2-

The biggest complaint about the first entry in the reboot of the franchise was that it covered too much common ground. But Marc Webb’s vision of the wall-crawler is truer to the comics and way less cheesy. The common ground problem could happen again with Dan DeHaan bringing the Green Goblin back to life, but this sequel looks to be the best Spider-man movie yet, combining humor, action, and, potentially, tragedy. (May 2)

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1877832/1. X-men: Days of Future Past

This could be the X-men movie to end all X-men movies. Combining the casts of the first three X-men movies and 2011’s X-men: First Class, this is easily the best cast of any superhero movies ever. With director Bryan Singer returning to the franchise that all superhero franchises were built upon, this adaptation of the classic comic book story has more potential than any other blockbuster this summer. (May 23)

 

 

June: 

Photo Credit:http://splitsider.com/2014/01/david-wains-they-came-together-has-a-super-funny-poster/5. They Came Together

The tagline alone is enough to make me immaturely giggle. Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler, who seriously can’t get any hotter right now, star in this over-the-top parody of rom coms. The rest of the cast is filled with rising comedic stars that should lend the movie a charm few parodies manage to sustain. We’ll all come together for this summer indie. (Jun. 27)

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2294449/4. 22 Jump Street

Remember when a 21 Jump Street movie came out a few years ago and it was actually good? Well, they’re doing it again. If the sequel has as much of the self-awareness that made the first one crackle, it could be just as funny and worth watching. (Jun. 13)

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1706620/?ref_=nv_sr_13. Snowpiercer

From the influential director of The Host, Bong Joon-ho, this Korean blockbuster will get a limited release in the US in late June that could put this visionary artist on the map for American audiences. Starring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, and Octavia Spencer, among others, this story of revolution will likely be a more passionate, immersive dystopia movie than you’re used to. (Jun. 27)

 

Photo Credit:http://collider.com/how-to-train-your-dragon-2-poster/2. How to Train Your Dragon 2

Animated sequels have only gotten better as time has gone on. The first film may not have been the most original kids movie, but it was certainly a ton of fun and featured some gorgeous animation. The sequel adds Cate Blanchett to the voice cast as Hiccup’s mother. The action looks just as dazzling and if the humor is intact, we’ll surely have a soaring sequel. (Jun. 13)

 

Photo Credit:http://www.businessinsider.com/transformers-4-poster-dinobots-2013-91. Transformers: Age of Extinction

I’m having a bit of an identity crisis putting a Transformers movie at the top of our June list. But to the naysayers, I have one word: Dinobots. Optimus Prime returns for the Transformers/Jurassic Park crossover you never knew you wanted. This movie is going to be terrible, but I will gladly give Michael Bay money to show me robots fighting even bigger robots modeled after dinosaurs. Who cares? It’s summer! (Jun. 27)

 

 

July:

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1617661/5. Jupiter Ascending

The Wachowskis are back in the science fiction realm after their divisive genre-bender Cloud Atlas. Starring Channing Tatum, sporting pointy ears, and Mila Kunis, normal ears, this rollicking adventure is said to span the entire universe. It’s a big special effects extravaganza from the minds behind The Matrix. Will this be another Speed Racer, or will it finally redeem the name Wachowski? (Jul. 18)

 

Photo Credit:http://www.aceshowbiz.com/still/00008587/life-itself-poster01.html4. Life Itself

It’s rare that I would ever put a documentary on a summer movie preview, but this one is special. Following the life of famed film critic Roger Ebert, this documentary takes things from Ebert’s own memoir of the same name. This is a feature no movie fan should miss. (Jul. 18)

 

(No trailer available)

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1972571/releaseinfo?ref_=tt_ov_inf3. A Most Wanted Man

The last lead role Philip Seymour Hoffman will ever have is in this espionage thriller based on the acclaimed novel. Also starring Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, and Robin Wright, the film has assembled one of the strongest casts of the summer. Premiering at Sundance, buzz has been almost unanimously positive. But this film is also the last true chance to celebrate the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of the greatest actors of our time. (Jul. 25)

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2103281/?ref_=nv_sr_22. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Remember back in 2011 when the Planet of the Apes prequel everyone thought looked terrible (including myself) turned out to be really good? It’s been three years, so it’s sequel time. Director Matt Reeves (CloverfieldLet Me In) is taking over the franchise and brought in a brand new, quite talented cast. Gary Oldman, Toby Kebbell, Judy Greer, and Kery Russell play the human leads. But one thing is returning from Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Andy Serkis, who will once again do motion capture for the lead ape, Caesar. (Jul. 11)

 

Photo Credit:http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/first-poster-richard-linklaters-boyhood/1. Boyhood-

Easily my most anticipated indie of the summer, Richard Linklater’s look at male adolescence has been filming for 12 years. That’s because it followed young actor Ellar Coltrane from age five to 18. Talk about ambitious filmmaking. The reactions out of Sundance have only be glowing, making it possible that this film could be a huge success when it could have easily been a huge failure. (Jul. 11)

(No trailer available)

 

 

August: 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1291150/5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Could this be the beginning of the Michael Bay Cinematic Universe? Could the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles clash with the Autobots and Decepticons? Well, probably not, but the movies seem to have the same exact tone. And Megan Fox is in them. This, like the fourth Transformers due in June, will likely be stupid fun. That’s all. (Aug. 8)

 


Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2872732/?ref_=nv_sr_2

4. Lucy

Scarlett Johansson can’t get any hotter right now. With her under-celebrated voice work in Her, the continuing success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and her indie work in Under the Skin, she’s everywhere. Now she’s taking the lead in a sci-fi thriller that will give her titular character complete control of her brain (rather than the 10% we supposedly can access at a time). Also starring Morgan Freeman, this is a late summer blockbuster to look out for. (Aug. 8)

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1605717/?ref_=nv_sr_33. Frank

One of the quirkier comedies to come out of Sundance, Michael Fassbender plays the titular Frank, a struggling musician who wears a giant mask that he refuses to take off. It looks to be absolutely ridiculous but with a heart of gold. (Aug. 22)

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0458481/?ref_=nv_sr_12. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Almost a decade after Frank Miller’s classic comic book was brought to life, the long-awaited sequel will hit theaters this summer. Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, and Jessica Alba are all returning, among others. Newcomers include Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin, and Eva Green. The trailer has the same style as the original, promising more over-the-top noirish action. (Aug. 22)

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2015381/?ref_=nv_sr_11. Guardians of the Galaxy

Alright, one last superhero movie to close out the 2014 summer movie preview. The Marvel Cinematic Universe expands to the deep reaches of space this August, as a rag-tag group of heroes take on some of Marvel’s most dangerous foes. Not as well known as Iron Man or Captain America, this movie looks to not be taking itself nearly as seriously, parodying the unknown nature of its characters. More of a comedy than anything else in the universe, Guardians could be the most unique Marvel movie to date. (Aug. 1)

 

 

Which movies are you most excited to see this summer? Tell us below!

 

By Matt Dougherty

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