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411 Movies Top 5 4.04.14: Top 5 Anticipated Summer Movies
Posted by Shawn S. Lealos on 04.04.2014

Welcome to Week 412 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: Well, Captain America: Winter Soldier is almost here as the "summer" season starts earlier than it used to. For the sake of argument, let's go from May 2 through the end of August for our picks here.


Bryan Kristopowitz

Honorable Mentions: Edge of Tomorrow, A Million Ways to Die in the West, 22 Jump Street, The Amazing Spider-Man 2

5. The Purge: Anarchy

I'm kind of surprised that Universal managed to produce a sequel to the surprising smash hit The Purge so quickly, but then if Universal wants to create its own sort of summer Saw horror/thriller franchise I guess that's what Universal will have to do. I like that this sequel isn't a direct sequel to the first movie but a further exploration of the world of The Purge. Just how nasty and insane is this movie going to be? Just how depraved are people in this world? We'll all find out in July.

4. Guardians of the Galaxy

I really wasn't sold on the potential of this movie until I saw the trailer for it. I didn't quite get what Marvel was aiming for, especially since Guardians of the Galaxy looks to be so very different from the other movies Marvel has produced so far. But then I suspect that will be the fun of it. It'll be interesting to see how this movie fits in with all of the "Phase 2" stuff and how it will lead into whatever the heck "Phase 3" is.

3. Godzilla

The more I see about this giant monster movie reboot the more excited I become. What kind of destruction do we have in store? What is the human story going to be about? And how much of Godzilla are we going to get to see? The last reboot, the 1998 version with Mathew Broderick, didn't hit it off with general movie audiences, and I'm sure there will be some segment of the population that still remembers how that Godzilla looked. This Godzilla looks a million times better. I can't freaking wait.

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? Will Gary Oldman make an impact or will he just sort of be there? I have confidence in director Matt Reeves, so I think we're in for a great sequel. I know that's what I want to see. A great sequel.

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. This second The Expendables sequel is not only the must see movie of the 2014 summer movie season, it is the must see movie of 2014 period. It has to succeed. It must succeed. I don't want the franchise to end. I want it to go on forever (there are always more bad guys to destroy, you know). I'm pulling for director Patrick Hughes to knock it out of the park. Stallone apparently picked him personally to do this movie.

Is that an awesome goddamn teaser trailer or what?

Michael Weyer

5. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

It's true that my faith in Frank Miller was crushed a lot by The Spirit. But with Robert Rodriguez back, it should be a great throwback to the terrific 2005 film, adapting some of the original comic stories with new material as well in that wild style. With a cast that has the returning Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Rosario Dawson and Bruce Willis along with Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Juno Temple and more, it continues that fantastic graphic novel come to life style and should be a great late-summer entry to redeem Miller a bit and how fun wilder comic tales can be.

4. The Expendables 3

Look, it's the Expendables. It's Stallone, Statham, Li, Lundgren, Couture, Crews, Arnie and Lundgren. Throw in Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas and Ronda Rousey and the ultimate must-see for an old-styled action movie loving fan and the blast of testosterone should be overwhelming to enjoy. Who cares of plot, you need to check this out for all a summer movie should be.

3. Godzilla

I had doubts at first but the trailers seem to promise this is going to be everything that much-loathed 1998 movie wasn't: Wild and amazing action, mass city destruction and a Godzilla that can terrify you. The idea of more monsters involved and a good cast like Bryan Cranston should mix it up with the terrific power and the name of the property to finally give us a Godzilla worth of the name for epic fun.

2. Guardians of the Galaxy

I know some are saying this may end Marvel's box office streak but I think it's going to be a surprise smash. The ingredients are there with a great space setting that seems to set up a more cosmic ingredient to things with Benico Del Toro linking it up as the Collector. Seeing Karen Gillian as Nebula and Zoe Saldana as Gamora should be a great match-up, the effects look good with a fun sense of humor and should expand the MU movieverse into a new direction. If nothing else, tell me that seeing a talking raccoon firing a machine gun while riding the shoulders of a giant talking plant is NOT worth your money.

1. X-Men Days of Future Past

This is all a comic book geek can ask for. The casts of both the original movies and First Class together under the direction of Bryan Singer, all in an adaptation of arguably the greatest X-Men story of all time, it's a true dream project. The idea of seeing Stewart and McAvoy as Xavier and McKellan and Fassbender as Magneto mixing is terrific and throw in Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique and Peter Dinklage as the bad guy along with real Sentinels and it should be awesome. Hugh Jackman is still amazing as Wolverine and the mix of time travel and new characters like Blink and Bishop promises the ultimate comic book film and perhaps the capper to an already great franchise.

Terry Lewis

Honorable Mentions: Well I've had the chance to see Captain America 2 and The Raid 2 this week so I'm arguing with myself there's not much else to look forward to... I kid My dislike of Michael Bay's Transformers is common knnowledge here but I'll still see Transformers: Age Of Extinction since it'll probably have one or two decent robot moments. Edge Of Tomorrow came on my radar the other day but it has potential and I'm pumped to see The Rock as Hercules but I expect the two to be swept away by The Expendables 3.

There's 3 decent looking mature comedies coming up in 22 Jump Street, Sex Tape and Neighbors. In a summer filled with comic book films, Amazing Spider-Man 2 is starting to look like a great action film and Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame To Kill For should be worth a watch.

5. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

I'm always a fan of taking a concept and doing something completely radical with it. When you're placing something as off-kilter as the concept of Planet Of The Apes and putting it against the recent post-apocalypse scenario as seen here, I think we have a winner on our hands in Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. Following on from the reboot film a few years ago, it was only natural to explore the contagion introduced at the end there and how it relates to the end of mankind and the rise of those damn dirty apes. To be honest, I was surprised at myself at how much I enjoyed the reboot after not caring for the original series and the fact that it's Gary Oldman leading the charge in a winner takes all scrap against Caesar's ape is just delicious icing on the monkey cake in a hopefully top draw sequel.

4. The Purge: Anarchy

I was a huge fan of the first Purge movie and despite only coming a year after the original, I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel. Set in a world where for one night of the year, all crimes in the USA are legal with no repercussions and all emergency services are suspended, The Purge: Anarchy sees a man bent on revenge becoming bogged down assisting four innocent people. What I love the most with the two concepts so far seen in the films is that they're just nice simple ideas played against the status quo. There's no big origin film of what led to the purge coming into force like you'd expect from a big budget action film which feels like it has to explain everything to cater to what they perceive as dumb cinemagoers. Instead, The Purge challenges the audience with it's concepts and there's plenty of discussion to the pros and cons flying around. At the end of the day, as long as there's plenty of housewives taking their yearly revenge on the next door neighbour because she has a better kitchen than her, I'll be happy.

3. Godzilla

I remember being a fan as a kid of the first American reboot of Big Z back from the 90's but looking back as an adult and after growing up on the Japanese Showa and Heisei series of films, I conceed it's a bit terrible. So I'm approaching his second reboot with some trepidation but my heart is saying to embrace this new Godzilla flick. Looks like they've nailed 'Zilla as this unstoppable force no matter what you chuck at it and the human cast includes Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olson AND Bryan Freaking Cranston. This is a must see and you can imagine it won't be too bad in building up to seeing Big Z about a third of the way onwards. As long as there's some big monster fights and Godzilla is given the respect he demands, there will be a thumbs up from me.

2. X-Men: Days Of Future Past

With the success seen by the film industry of the superhero 'come together' ripping yarn that is The Avengers, anyone with half a brain is keen to gather who they can for some sweet cash. Fox is tapping their X-Men franchise for the original trilogy of mutants to crossover with... themselves. I'm a big X-Men fan comic book wise and so far the film series has been hit and miss to me. The good just about outweighs the bad to me, but I don't blame people for bringing up some of the worst garbage we've seen in some of the films, yet series visionary Bryan Singer is back and he has two fantastic comic film under his belt with the first two mutant movies. Adapting the classic Days Of Future Past storyline from page to film in the confines of the X-Cinematic Universe is a bit of a make or break film for me. If it's successful and this could be a bit of a new beginning of success for mutantkind on the big screen. Fail and I think it's just Wolverine films from here on in.

1. Guardians Of The Galaxy

Back in my Anticipated Films of 2014 Top 5, I rated this quite highly as it's the first time the Marvel Cinematic Universe has stepped out of it's comfort zone of straight A-List superhero films and started to explore the expanded, less known properties. Since then, trailers have crept out and mildly introduced characters to a wider audience who wouldn't have known about them before in a good move, but there's still a fair bit we don't know about the space-based Marvel film. The CG and cast look good and fun, yet I don't feel a big buzz around it despite it's one of the most intriguing comic films in years as it is a step into the unknown. I still think Marvel have to sell a range of completely random and characters like Rocket Racoon to an unsuspecting public, but this is the same studios that have printed millions so far with it's film universe - they know what they're doing.

Ben Piper

Honorable Mentions: The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, How To Train Your Dragon 2

5. 22 Jump Street

I was pleasantly surprised by the 2012 reboot. (who knew Channing Tatum had great comic timing?) While I don't expect this sequel to be as original or as funny as what came before I am curious to see how far they can take things now that Schmidt and Jenko are undercover at college.

4. Neighbors

New parents (Seth Rogan & Emily Blunt) butt heads with the college fraternity living next door. Before this came on my radar, if you have told me I wanted to see anything with Zac Efron in it, I would have declared you completely daft. But the previews have been very funny (Dave Franco aping DeNiro, love it) and the early word has it that this is one of the funniest movies of the year.

3. Godzilla

I grew up watching the old Japanese ‘man in suit' movies afternoons after school and on the weekends. Gareth Edwards looks to honor those old school Toho efforts with his own take on the subject. The previews for this have been dark, mysterious and utterly breathtaking. If the movie in any way lives up to what we've seen thus far, this thing has awesome sauce written all over it.

2. X-Men: Days of Future Past

Fox has rebounded from the disappointments of The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine with First Class and The Wolverine. They look to continue that upswing with Bryan Singer's adaptation of one of the most popular and enduring X-Men storylines. Filled to the brim with actors from the original set of movies as well as those from First Class, Singer is looking to ‘course-correct' the missteps the franchise has taken with this massive endeavor. I hope he succeeds.

1. Guardians Of The Galaxy

Marvel has been pretty consistent in regards to churning out popular and entertaining movies based upon the more famous characters at their disposal. I'm eager to see what they plan on doing with their more obscure and less well-known properties, such as this. By turning attention away from the Earthbound heroes and focusing on the intergalactic, Marvel looks to expand not only their fanbase but the parameters of what can be brought to the big screen. I can't wait.

Jeremy Wilson

Honorable Mentions: Boyhood, Godzilla, Guardians of the Galaxy, Palo Alto

5. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Truthfully, this spot could have gone to any number of films (including those on my Honorable Mentions list), but at this moment I'm giving the slightest edge to Dawn because...well DID YOU SEE THAT TEASER?! I wasn't even a really huge Apes fan before the 2011 reboot and while I really, really liked that movie, I wasn't sure if they would be able to sneak up and surprise us with a great sequel like they did the original. But that teaser...oh man. I'd be stunned if it didn't deliver.

4. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Yes, The Spirit sucked. Big time. However, I loved 2005's Sin City and have been patiently waiting for this sequel ever since. These movies hold a particular kind of appeal and they just really don't compare to any contemporary Hollywood releases. I think Miller, Rodriguez and this ensemble really like and appreciate the material and I think they'll deliver. Well, I'm hoping they'll deliver.

3. X-Men: Days of Future Past

Welcome to what I'm fairly certain will be the biggest X-Men movie we've ever seen. This film look absolutely massive and will likely send fans into convulsive cinematic orgasms. Secretly, I'm hoping the post-credits stinger will be Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan as themselves just goofing off in a montage of their epic bromance.

2. Jupiter Ascending

I'm not totally certain that it'll be great (I still can't make up my mind about Cloud Atlas), but it'll definitely be something. You have to give The Wachowskis credit; they are definitely raising the bar on big screen science fiction spectacles. Plus, I like Mika Kunis and yes even Channing Tatum; name another big-time movie star who would, in the span of a few years, portray some sort of weird wolf-human hybrid in a big sci-fi movie from a team who had delivered a couple of the more notable box office bombs of the past decade. Not to mention sprinkle a couple Steven Soderbergh movies with big action blockbusters, animated voiceovers, serious dramas and a BDSM cameo as himself in a comedy that basically attempts to tear down the entirety of Hollywood itself.

1. Snowpiercer

The fact that we're getting this movie untouched by Harvey Scissorhands should be all the reason you need to see it. It has gotten very good reviews and was a massive hit in Bong Joon-ho's native South Korea. The director's previous efforts have all been worth seeking out (The Host and Memories of Murder in particular) and working with this strong a cast and concept should mean it is one of this summer's most talked about films.

Shawn S. Lealos

Honorable Mentions: 22 Jump Street, Edger of Tomorrow, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Hercules, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

5. Snowpiercer

Jeremy is right. We should be thanking the movie gods every day that Snowpiercer is hitting American shores uncut and unmolested by Harvey. The movie has gotten fantastic reviews to date, and after reading both graphic novels it was based on, I am really excited. Looking at what Joon-ho Bong did with the monster movie The Host has me excited about what he can do with this material. However, it is super limited release, so I am crossing my fingers that us in the "dumb" Mid-West (screw you Harvey) can get a chance to see it.

4. Godzilla

When I saw Monsters, and realized that Gareth Edwards made it on a shoestring budget of next to nothing on his home computer, I knew he was the man for the Godzilla remake. The guy did a brilliant job of making a monster movie without throwing up too many stupid special effects and just focused on the humans on the run with the monsters always a threat. It is the same thing that made The Host so great years before. Now, Edwards gets the chance to show up his Godzilla and – based on how the trailers are teasing us without giving anything away – I think he really gets it. This should erase that Roland Emmerich version from our minds.

3. Amazing Spider-Man 2

I don't mind being known as the "guy who liked The Amazing Spider-Man," because it was a great movie. Andrew Garfield was fantastic as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and really brought the mouthy attitude that I loved so much from the comics. It also took the geeky nerd and updated him for a new generation. And it made it a better movie for it. Plus, I love how they are doing something different and have the entire mystery of Peter's parents playing over the story arc. I can't wait for this second movie.

2. Guardians of the Galaxy

This movie could be interchangeable with my number one choice because I want to see both of them in the worst way. I will stick this one at two, just because. Anyway, the first thing this movie has going for it is Marvel. While some movies were slight let downs (Iron Man 2), most of them have been very enjoyable. Second is James Gunn. The guy cut his teeth with Troma, directed the fantastic Super and Slither and has a wicked great sense of humor (PG Porn). Third is the trailer, which shows that Gunn gets to keep his unique sensibilities because the trailer looked hilarious.

1. X-Men: Days of Future Past

Finally, the new X-Men movie. I am cracking up at the hatred for this movie before it is released on some geek movie sites. It seems that people now hate X-Men 2 and feel Bryan Singer returning is the worst thing in the world. Those people are idiots. Days of Future Past is a great story and I think this could be the big event movie of the summer, and if it works, it will open up The X-Men to be right back up there with The Avengers again. I think this movie will just knock it out of the park and I have very few concerns.


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