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The 411 Movies Top 5 01.10.14: Top 5 Most Anticipated Movies of 2014
Posted by Shawn S. Lealos on 01.10.2014

Welcome to Week 408 of the Movie Zone Top 5. My name is Shawn S. Lealos and you have entered my world.

The 411mania writers were given the following instructions: We are now to the 2014 portion of our year end/new year columns. This one is where you list your most anticipated movies for the 2014 calendar year.


Bryan Kristopowitz

Honorable Mentions: Resident Evil 6 (is this actually happening or has it been pushed back? Anyone know?), Sabotage, Edge of Tomorrow, The Purge 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, Dumb and Dumber To

5. Godzilla

I really wasn't onboard for this Godzilla reboot until I saw the trailer. I know, I know, with Frank Darabont's participation I should have been all about it, but I just couldn't find the enthusiasm. I couldn't figure out why anyone wanted to reboot something that didn't really do all that well the last time it was rebooted (I liked the 1998 reboot with Mathew Broderick but I knew that was going to be a one and done deal). But then I saw the trailer, freaked out, and said that I have to see it. If the movie is half as amazing as the trailer it's going to be a good summer movie season.

4. I, Frankenstein

Yes, this looks like a weird reworking of the Underworld franchise (the producers behind Underworld are behind I, Frankenstein, too), but I don't care. I still think it looks great. Aaron Eckhart looks awesome as the Frankenstein monster, and while the whole flying gargoyle thing looks kind of iffy in the trailer I'm willing to wait to past full judgment until after I see it. And, yes, the epic feel of the trailer, especially that thing where the roof is collapsing, is something you see every day in movie trailers, I'm still stoked anyway. Hopefully this is good enough to warrant another cool franchise, since the Underworld series, at least at the moment, seems to have petered itself out.

3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

There are essentially two big questions going in to the next Marvel movie. The first question is will the presence of screen legend Robert Redford elevate the appeal of the Marvel movie universe, making Marvel and Disney even more money? I don't think it will, but I guess, at least at the beginning, there's a small chance of it happening (I wouldn't be surprised if the important people who get to decide what art is will poopoo Redford's participation and say that it's just a paycheck for him). And second, how will The Winter Soldier help set up the next Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy? Will there be a scene, like in the Thor sequel, that shows us a GotG character, or will it just be a momentum thing (there will no doubt be a Guardians of the Galaxy trailer attached to The Winter Soldier)? A third question could be: will the Winter Soldier character be as awesome on screen as he is in the comics? I have high hopes for that. He looks pretty dang cool in the trailers.

2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was the best movie of 2011, so this sequel has quite a bit riding on it. Will Andy Serkis kick ass again as the animated Caesar? Will the movie have the humanity of the first one? Will the post apocalyptic feel seen in the trailer work? I have confidence in director Matt Reeves, so I think we're in for a great sequel. I know I can't wait.

1. The Expendables 3

The ongoing badass action movie franchise adds Wesley Snipes, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Antonio Banderas, Kelsey Grammer, and the great Robert Davi to the already insanely cool cast of Stallone, Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Ahnold, Terry Crews, and Randy Couture, making this second The Expendables sequel the must see movie of 2014. Will it kick as much ass as the last one? I hope it does. I have to have faith in star/producer Stallone and his hand picked director Patrick Hughes to make part 3 the best of the franchise, or at least a damn good action flick. Because I want more The Expendables adventures. I never want it to end.

And is this an awesome teaser trailer or not?

You goddamn know it is.

Michael Weyer

5. Interstellar

I have seen no trailers or even images of this movie due next November. I don't care. It's a space epic written and directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Matthew McConaughy, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, John Lithgow, Michael Caine and Matt Damon. I'm going to see it. You're going to see it. We're all going to see it no matter what because it's something that'll demand our attention from a modern-day master and sure to please, no matter what it's about.

4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

While I'm not usually a fan of "split the last book in two" trend, this does intrigue as it gives better time for the grand finale of this great saga to come to life wonderfully. Catching Fire was far better than the first film and with Jennifer Lawrence now a full-fledged movie star, she should do great as Katniss fighting her rebellion even as she doubts her allies. With returning faces (especially Jena Malone's fantastic Joanna) and new members like Natalie Dormer, Patina Miller and Julianne Moore, we should be set up for a terrific finale to one of the best young adult adaptations ever.

3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

It's still fun to remember in 2010 how long-time Cap writers Ed Brubaker and Mark Waid said there was no way Chris Evans could be a believable Cap. He proved them all wrong with the first movie and Avengers and I'm hoping this sequel should do a great job elevating him further. To see more of this man out of time is great but the addition of discovering his old ally Bucky is now a killer soldier and corruption within SHIELD makes it even better. The trailers are exciting as we're promised a full-on thriller fitting for Cap and should continue the old trend of Marvel-based movies where the second is better than the first.

2. Veronica Mars

I fell in love with this show about five minutes into the pilot and stuck with it all through every episode of three years. I loved the writing, the acting, the chemistry and Kristen Bell rocking every single episode. I have been dying for a return to Neptune so to have a full-scale revival courtesy of Kickstarter is glorious. The entire cast is back as Veronica returns for her high school reunion but pulled into helping former beau Logan defend himself from a murder charge. The trailers capture the feel of the show, including the great dialogue and Bell obviously having a blast back in her signature role. We've waited years and here's hoping it's the proper payoff the series deserved so well.

1. X-Men Days of Future Past

Yes, my faith in Bryan Singer has been shaken a bit thanks to Superman Returns and especially Jack the Giant Slayer. But it's still exciting to imagine him back in the franchise he made great and the genius move of adapting one of the greatest X-Men stories ever should be amazing. Mixing the casts of the original movies with First Class in a '70's vibe promises fun stuff like the meetings of young and old Xavier and Magneto and more of Jennifer Lawrence's terrific Mystique. Throw in Peter Dinklage and the idea it sets up the long-awaited movie version of Apocalypse and this should be the super-hero movie of the year and one that redeems the last few poor spin-offs to remind you how great the X-Men truly are.

Daniel Wilcox

5. 22 Jump Street/Horrible Bosses 2

So I'm cheating here by naming two films in the number five spot, but they're on the list for the same reasons. Both films are sequels to highly successful comedy films released in the past couple of years, both have a great cast and both will be facing the tough task of living up to the first films. Comedy sequels don't usually do it for me so it'll be interesting to see how both fare. The plot for 22 Jump Street sounds pretty standard stuff but there's enough quality in the cast to make it into something enjoyable. As for Horrible Bosses 2, I'm intrigued as to how all the original cast members fit into this film seeing as all the issues were seemingly resolved at the end of the last one. And hey, Christopher Waltz is a fantastic addition to any cast.

4. The Inbetweeners Movie 2

Another comedy sequel. This one may not be released in the United States of America in 2014 (if it follows the release schedule of the first film) but it's going to make a lot of money home in the UK. The TV series The Inbetweeners was some of the best original comedy put on TV for years and years, and the movie was a welcome and worthy addition to the franchise with many stand out moments. The US remake of the TV series was an abomination, pretty much as you'd expect. But such is the demand for Jay, Simon, Neil and Will to come back to the big screen that the studio couldn't resist cashing in and reuniting the lads. Filming began last month in December, and one can only hope that the franchise continues so long as this installment is even half as good as the original and the TV series. Just avoid the US version like the plague.

3. The Green Inferno

The Green Inferno is a new cannibal horror film directed by Eli Roth. Roth is one of those directors you either love or hate; he's well known for his tremendous amounts of gore in his film, labeled as a member of the Splat Pack and one of the originators of the "torture porn" genre thanks to his connections with the Hostel franchise. At the end of the day, Roth is capable of making good horror films, so I'm intrigued by this film, Roth's love letter to the more well known cannibal films of the past such as Cannibal Holocaust. While this film won't be in cinemas until September I believe, early rumblings about it are positive and also surprising considering what you would expect from an Eli Roth film. The subject matter is always going to be unsettling, and yes, we are expecting a certain level of gore, but really early reviews suggest this is a much more subdued film with characters actually worth investing in. Shocking, I know. Regardless, this sounds like a must-see for any fan of the horror-genre.

2. Noah

I went back and forth on my selections for numbers one and two, and Noah ended up in this positions purely because of my love of the first Sin City move. What do we know about Noah that leads me to believe it'll be an awesome movie? It's directed by Darren Aronofsky, the guy behind the excellent Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan and The Wrestler (a 411 favourite even if it's not his best work). That's a good track record by anybodies standard. Then we look at its cast. Russell Crowe stars as the titular character in a casting decision I could give or take, but outside of that you have Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth and Emma Watson, who by the way has a flawless track record in her acting career to date. Aronofsky has also brought Clint Mansell in on the score once again and worked with his usual collaborators on the screenplay. As you'd expect from an Aronofsky production, it's already creating controversy. Even if the subject matter isn't something I'd normally buy into, the director and cast is phenomenal and I will be seeing this on release day.

1. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

I'm not a comic book guy. Sin City was a film that I stumbled across many years ago regardless of its hype and I just so happened to really enjoy it. A lot. So I don't fall into the traps of worrying about how true these films are to their source material. I'm just really looking forward to finally see how Miller and Rodriguez follow up the first film. Would I be totally shocked if it sucked? No probably not, because that's the way it goes sometimes. But there's no film I'm anticipating so eagerly this year. A lot of great cast members are returning, but even more exciting is some of the new names brought in. Joseph Gordon-Levitt will star in an original story alongside Julia Garner, while Eva Green (Casino Royale) is cast alongside Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men, True Grit) in the titular short. So there's definitely a lot to look forward to, and after all these years of delays and re-casting, 2014 is apparently the year that Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is finally released. About damn time.

Terry Lewis

5. Her

I'm cheating a bit since I'm sure it's out now State-side, but across the pond I have to wait another month. I've always been fascinated with high-concept sci-fi and Her is no different. A computer operating system becomes self sentient with her interactions with her owner and begins to have feelings for him. This has Spike Jonze all over it and I dying to see how far he goes with this and what he does with a stellar cast.

4. Guardians Of The Galaxy

With Avengers 2 a year away and following on from the success of Iron Man 3 and Thor 2, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is blessed with another duo release this year. The more high profile release is the sequel to the lackluster but potential Captain America. Since they're covering the superb Winter Soldier storyline, I'll be in my seat to catch that first day, but what's tempted me more is the first not-safe venture into Marvel's middle pages of their Handbook. Step forth the space-based hero team of The Guardians Of The Galaxy.

The thing is with all the superhero films, to me, for the most part they're kind of safe and easy to explain. This guy is a Thunder God, that one makes himself a robot suit to fight crime and that one turns into a giant green rage monster when he's pissed. This one is more intriguing in the sense they have to sell a range of completely random and tough sell characters like Rocket Racoon to an unsuspecting public. At worst, we'll get a team of renegades in space ala sci-fi soaps like Firefly and that's not a bad thing. I'm on board but I'm not sure if the casual movie goer is.

3. Under The Skin

The good thing about doing these lists is you'll find something that you're unsuspecting of before but it truly takes something special for that something to gatecrash into your list. Under The Skin may not be the most obvious of British films you'll have heard of but if I was to say it was Scarlett Johansson in a grim British version of Species then I may have your attention. It's not as cheesy as that though as John Glazer's take offers said sexing alien what's the point of it all in a bleak mind blender in some picturesque, beautiful cinematography. High hopes for this.

2. Neighbors

If any film's first title card in any trailer says "From the guys who brought you This Is The End" to me from now on, it's a must see. New parents Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne have a fraternity, led by uber jock Zac Efron, move in next door and thus starts off the neighborhood war to end them all. I love the cast and I'm keen to see what Efron does in a big chance to step away from his safe teen comfy image. I don't expect any high browness but I also do expect the sick comedy to raised quite high if the red band trailer is anything to go on. I'm quite looking forward to how the always watchable Rogen handles fatherhood in a comedy setting in a nod towards his earlier Knocked Up role and Byrne is always pretty to see but I have no clue how she'll get on in a comedy.

1. The Raid 2: Berandal
Three years ago, Welsh martial arts fan cum film director Gareth Evans made his own little Indonesian martial arts and unleashed it on the world. Now he's gearing up for a bigger, better, actionier sequel which looks like it's going to change the action world again with The Raid 2: Berandal. Evans' first success completely changed the way I looked at action films in the modern day with an excellent mix of pure serious martial arts and chaotic stunts. We're talking about a film which balances a ferocious massacre of a SWAT squad in a van with an old guy throwing filing cabinets at people. First in line for this, the day it comes out.

Shawn S. Lealos

5. Gone Girl

David Fincher is pretty much all that is needed to get me into the theater. Gone Girl stars Ben Affleck as a man whose wife disappears on their fifth anniversary and he becomes the main suspect in her disappearance. The movie is based on a popular novel and, with Fincher directing it, it will be a lot more than a just missing person's case movie. Look, if David Fincher directs a movie, I know it will be amazing. Gone Girl will be no different.

4. Interstellar

Just like David Fincher, Christopher Nolan is also someone who can get me in a theater just by directing it. I loved his Batman movies, but his true masterpieces are the ones he made in between them (The Presitge, Inception). This movie looks like it will be more along those lines. I know almost nothing about Inception except that it deals with space travel and Matthew McConaughey is the star. I don't want to know much more because Nolan always surprises me. If this is close to the brilliance of Inception, I will be very, very happy.

3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I liked Captain America: The First Avenger, but it wasn't one of my favorite Phase 1 movies. Don't get me wrong - it was good - but there was something missing. From the trailers for this one, I think it will take leaps and bounds and it just looks amazing. We get the introduction of Falcon and The Winter Soldier. We get Robert Redford as a SHIELD operative. This will be a spy and espionage movie, and that is where I think it will stand out from other Marvel movies. The new Captain America movie looks like so much more than a superhero movie, which is where Marvel succeeds best.

2. Inherent Vice

Based on the Thomas Pynchon novel, Paul Thomas Anderson returns with Inherent Vice. I will admit right here that P.T. Anderson is my all-time favorite director but I was not a fan of The Master. With that said, Magnolia remains my favorite movie of all time, and he also has masterpieces like Boogie Nights, Punch Drunk Love and There Will be Blood in his catalogue. Inherent Vice is a movie for people who are fans of Punch Drunk Love, or maybe the Coen Brothers Big Lebowski. Inherent Vice is about a private eye (played by Joaquin Phoenix) who likes to smoke his weed and gets beat up a lot. This movie is going to rule your world.

1. X-Men: Days of Future Past

Bryan Singer is back in the X-Men universe and this means that all is right with the world. Singer said he will fix problems that Brett Ratner caused with the third X-Men movie and, to do that, he is using the Future Past comic book storyline where time travel will stop a disaster from occurring and the future changes (and an alternate timeline is created). That means, with this movie, Singer will readjust the X-Men world for a new future. The story it is based on is awesome and this will open up the X-Men universe for a ton of awesome projects in the future. I can't wait to see the two worlds merging and this should be the movie to put The X-Men back on the same ground as The Avengers in the movie world. Plus - Sentinels.


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