We’ve wrapped 2013 and it was a great year for movies! Every genre had some champions with critics and audiences even coming together for movies like “Gravity”. The awards season is among us, but aside from that, 2013 is over. I’m looking ahead to the year to come and it’s also shaping up to be an excellent year. There is a vast number of great releases this year and I’ve picked six that get me pretty excited about the things to come! Most of them fall on the more popular end of the spectrum, but I don’t care! They look like too much goodness to to pass up.
X-men Days of Future Past
Release: May 23
Those of you who have been reading my posts this year or know my tastes, know that I’ve got this thing for the X-men. I grew up with the cartoons, have read several of the comics, and am a huge fan of most of the movies(I maintain that X2 is still one of the best superhero movies out there). X-men: Days of Future Past looks like the X-men movie I’ve always wanted with its use of time-travel(which I’m also a sucker for), Hugh Jackman interacting with the First Class cast, Patrick Stewart/Ian Mckellan’s reprisal, sentinals, and the return of Bryan Singer as director. If there is an Avengers of the X-men franchise, this is it. Did I mention the movie comes with Peter Dinklage’s villainous Bollivar Trask as the cherry on top of it all?
The Lego Movie
Release: February 7
My inner eight year old practically exploded when the first teaser for this movie came out. I grew up playing with legos and there’s nothing that gets me more excited about a lego movie than a writer/director that understands what makes legos great. The movie looks funny, charming, and actually meaningful(the bad guy is named Lord Business and he wants to build an Empire off of the backs of his workers). The use of Batman(voiced by Will Arnett!), God(voiced by Morgan Freeman!), and other DC superheroes seems like the touch the concept of a lego movie needs to be fun and unlike anything we’ve seen in other animated movies. This is definitely a pick for my inner child and I haven’t been this excited about an animated movie since “Wreck-It Ralph” and “Toy Story 3”
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Well it’s the next Wes Anderson movie…..and it looks like yet another Wes Anderson movie. I’m excited because there is just something about Wes Anderson movies that make them unforgettable despite the fact that they are all stylistically the same. “Grand Budapest Hotel” looks like Anderson’s most star-studded picture to date with everyone from usuals like Tilda Swinton and Edward Norton to classics like Jeff Goldblum(*Gasp* he still exists!) and Willem Dafoe. The movie certainly doesn’t look as heartfelt as Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom”, but it does look a whole lot funnier. No matter how it turns out, Anderson’s trademark cinematography and witty/quirky sense of humor will shine through as an experience unlike any other we’ll see in theaters next year.
That’s right…you saw that correctly. That’s Channing Tatum with pointy elf ears next to Mila Kunis(eye candy for the soul)! And yes…that is Sean Bean doing something mysterious and ambiguous! And last but not least….yes this is the Wachowski Sibling’s next big sci-fi picture! I’ve been a big fan of the Wachowski’s since their modern classic “The Matrix” and have yet to see one of their movies I don’t love(Speed Racer is funtastic eye candy you nay-sayers!). I absolutely adore 2012’s “Cloud Atlas” and I’ve been chomping at the bit to finally see where their next project would go. As with most Wachowski fair, this movie looks like it is mixing spirituality and the larger questions about the greater mysteries with science fiction. Unlike “The Matrix” that took us inside a computer and “Cloud Atlas” that took us backwards and forwards in time, “Jupiter Ascending” finally takes their unique storytelling into the depths of space. I know little about the movie, but this trailer looks like something else and I can hardly wait to see what other surprises are in store!
Releases March 28
Darren Aronofsky is undoubtably one of the greatest minds working in Hollywood today. I’ve been disturbed, depressed, puzzled, challenged, and ultimately changed by every one of his movies so far with “The Fountain” being one of the most impactful movies on my spiritual and personal journey over the last five or six years. His style is always personal, psychological, and many times deals with the spiritual(he has studied cultural anthropology at Harvard….) which are all elements that hit me deep where movies occasionally do. “Noah” has been a passion project of his for years and he has finally gotten the backing to do it and I expect nothing less than an intimate, non-tradionally spiritual, and multi-dimensional look at the biblical figure Noah. It shall be a biblical epic unlike any we’ve seen before because of Aronofsky’s unique perspective on the multi-cultural flood myth. I believe that this movie may be mis-marketed to target the evangelical market, but make no mistake, this isn’t going to be your grand-pappy’s traditional bible story.
Releases November 7
“Interstellar” is Chris Nolan’s next big movie that takes on some fresh material from his brother and frequent collaborator Jonathan. I’m a huge fan of “The Dark Knight Trilogy”, but Nolan’s more stand out films have definitely been “Memento”, “The Prestige”, and “Inception”. Very little is known about the movie other than that it deals with space exploration, space-time, and wormholes. I was already sold at Chris Nolan, but by throwing in the high concept sci-fi(particularly time travel), I’m convinced there is no movie with more potential to be a piece of classic sci-fi next year. This may be overhyping it a little bit…but given the creative team and the outstanding cast lead by the new and improved Matthew McConaughay, I’d say this is shaping up to be one of the year’s best. At this point we all want to be wary of getting on the Nolan hype train….but if one man has beat out my exceptionally high expectations again and again, it’s this guy.