And another year beckons. Happy New Year folks!!!
I always thought that 2015 is the bigger year, with the combined might of both ‘Avengers 2’ and ‘Batman vs Superman’; but a look into the 2014 line up, the happy new year seems to be pretty exciting.
First off, some predictions – it’s gonna be another Marvel-ous year again – with three biggies from Marvel’s stable – the Captain, the Spider and the X Men; though methinks ‘14’s biggie is gonna be ‘Transformers 4’.
Overcrowding was the biggest movie lesson in ’13 which led to spectacular big budget flops like ‘Lone Ranger’, ‘White House Down‘ and ‘After Earth’. ‘13’s biggest discoveries were China as a lucrative market and the revival of the horror genre.
One thing 'bout '14 is that all the big movies are all sequels; so I have a special corner for original content like 'Interstellar', 'Transcendence' and 'Jupiter Ascending' .
One thing 'bout '14 is that all the big movies are all sequels; so I have a special corner for original content like 'Interstellar', 'Transcendence' and 'Jupiter Ascending' .
Presenting the 2014 list:
So you take a whole lotta invincible alien robots, pit them against another set of invincible alien robots, have oodles of CG fight scenes, a storyline that’s always ‘saving the world’, throw in a hot bimbo somewhere in there and that is the Transformer movie. And a blockbuster formula. Every transformer movie got only bigger as it has dumber. But who’s complaining? This time it’s a whole new movie – baring Octomus Prime and Bumble Bee, everybody else in the movie is new. And the interesting Mark Walberg is the new Sam Witwicky. Thankfully more Walberg and less Witwicky.
Why you should watch it – For drool worthy SFX that has to be seen to be believed. And possibly ‘14’s biggest blockbuster.
Another movie that follows the ‘if you can’t make it, re-make it’ rule. This time, Godzilla’s got a smaller head, more girth and is much more massive than the old Godzilla. Known to be truer to the original Japanese legend, this big budgeted flick has been very secretive with details. This time, the King of the Monsters blasts atomic breath, fights another kaiju (monster) and is set in 1954.
Why you should watch it – To see if size – and girth – does matter again.
The Avengers is, by far, the smartest movie in history, as it connected multiple superhero stories of varying fames together and at the same time, gave a fresh new leash of life to each of them. And in the process, anything that is even remotely associated with it is now box office gold. Every Marvel movie since is a relay connecting one Marvel movie to the next. And Winter Soldier is the last lap to ‘15’s box office monster-in-the-making, ‘The Avengers - Age of Ultron’. This time, Cap’s got a cooler uniform and he’s fighting corruption and Robert Redford in S.H.I.E.L.D.
Why you should watch it – For witnessing how they’ll tie it up with next year’s mega blockbuster.
The Amazing Spider Man 2
Another marvel from Marvel, but licensed out. When the first Amazing Spider Man came out, the amazing question on everyone’s mind was YTF do you have the tell the same story again so soon? But after it’s amazing success, now the movie doesn’t have to retell the origin story again. Enter a new storyline and a new set of villains in Paul Giamatti as the Rhino and Jamie Foxx as Electra. Also, they’re expanding the Spider Man Universe by building the ‘Sinister Six’, a group of super villains from Spider-Man’s rogue gallery who have teamed up throughout his history to take him down. If you see the trailer, you can already count five- Rhino, Green Goblin, Electro, Vulture, and Doctor Octopus. Expect individual movies a la Marvel.
Why you should watch it – It’s an original new Spidey movie and not an another origins movie this time.
X Men : Days of Future Past
The X Men franchise is a reminder of what’d happen to Avengers had it been licensed to others, like X Men is. The X Men is similar to Marvel’s original ‘Avengers’ idea- get a team of (mutant) superheroes together, get the movie and idea mainstream and then branch out into individual stories (think Wolverine); but somewhere along the way, they faltered. They then rebooted it with a brand new team with the much appreciated ‘X Men First Class’. Days of Future Past is an extension of this reboot and brings the old team with the new. Also back is the original director who made X Men so cool in the first place – Bryan Singer. And those who waited till the after credits of this year’s ‘Wolverine’, the ‘X’ premise looks pretty interesting.
Why you should watch it – Well, somewhere in the future, you should see the X Men pitted against the Avengers.
The master mindbender’s back with a topic that can boggle any mind – wormholes. After mindfucking us with magic, memory lapses and mind sabotage, he gave respect to the Dark Knight. Now Nolan’s going to space. And even though the cast involves Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Matt Damon and Michael Caine (and ya, this is the movie Irrfan Khan refused so that he could be home for ‘The Lunchbox’ and ‘D Day’), the real talking point will be a scientist named Kip Thorne (who exec produces also) whose big, bad, Einsteinian idea of ‘traversable wormholes through space and time’ will be splashed across popular culture by Nolan with this movie .
Why you should watch it – Nolan. Wormhole. Sci-fi. SuperMindfuck.
You can’t really write off Johnny Depp. After a pretty bad ’13 and ‘12, Johnny still gets a 20mill paycheck +15% of gross of this Nolan produced movie. ‘Technological singularity’ is the theoretical moment in time when artificial intelligence (AI) will have progressed to the point of a greater-than-human intelligence, radically changing civilization, and perhaps human nature. Remember that AI has no motivation to be friendly to humans and that’s where this theory and this movie gets it’s mojo. Ya, Johnny plays the computer.
Why you should watch it – For a cool concept. For Johnny. For Nolan’s second production.
Sad that Paul Walker had to go the way he did. The Fast series evolved from the camaraderie between Walker’s and Diesel’s characters Brian and Dom superimposed over the most awesome street racing stunts. Gradually, the series shifted gears to action heists where the mandatory car chases blended with the overall story. And it worked – Fast 6 turned into the best movie of the lot and it seemed to get only better till Walker’s unfortunate demise. But the series has become bigger than the characters and will still go on without Paul. RIP Paul.
Why you should watch it – Fast women, faster cars, and a furious new villain. In a year of CG enhanced super heroes, there ain’t anything quite as unique as ‘Fast’.
300: Rise of an Empire
300 is ultimate war-porn - muscled men, seminude women , swords, brass and iron, chopped heads rolling off in slo mo, strength, honor, blood and valor, one epic fight scene after another, hyper stylized visual poetry, and great lines that you could shout at yourself in the mirror in your loo and feel good about yourself (I still yell ‘This is Kerala!!’ every day in the morning). It made a star out of Gerald Butler and now you have the second part of the battle, held in the sea, showing how the mortal Xerxes became the God King.
Why you should watch it – for Xerxes, the coolest, meanest, baddest motherfu*ker in Grecian myth movies.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
You know that they’re gonna make shitloads of money when they split the last movie into two parts. This is another American book adapted for the big screen, something a la Twilight, but with one big difference – the movies actually rocks! The second part just got released and has already broken lotta records and expect the same with this one too. And the next.
Why you should watch it – for the amazing J-Law.
The Expendables 3
Hollywood is about the only place where an idea can be made into a billion dollar franchisee. Stallone’s entire career is testimony to two such big ideas – Rocky and Rambo – both of which he draws upon successfully whenever his career goes down. Stallone’s very recent big idea was the ‘Expendables’ - a movie assembling 80s action stars with action done the forgotten way – with real-and-not-CG-enhanced blood, sweat and tears, bound in bare, rippling muscles, bone crunching real fights and big huge guns- combined with Stallone’s superb sense of humor (“Excuse me, you got a text?”). Yet another idea is Mel Gibson, a man who’ve given us so much but has been labelled an outcast for far too long now. EX3 wraps these two big ideas together and Mel’s the main villain this time.
Why you should watch it – for Mel Gibson – it’s high time we give him his chance.
The Hobbit: There and Back Again (2014)
Peter Jackson always has a merry X Mas - he makes one movie, splits it into three and releases each part every December, and each movie goes ahead to make a billion. He’s one of only three directors on the planet (after Cameroon and Nolan) who’ve made two movies that have crossed a billion each. With this one, he’s sure to create history. The second part just got released and even though the reviews were better than the first, it was too subdued a release but Peter may just about give all he’s got into the third one to make movie history. Again.
Why you should watch it – This movie should end the trilogy and bridge it to the LOTR series. Another movie, another billion.
Yesteryear superstar Arnie still hasn’t found his groove with both his comeback movies flopping this year. But like hamra Abhishek Bachchan, he will still survive after inane number of comeback movies that can flop one after the other cos he still has a trump card – Arnie’s ace up his sleeve is that he’s part of the Terminator movie out in ’15. And as long as that that’s there, you can’t write him off yet – “he’ll be back”. ‘Sabotage’ is another one of those Arnie movies where he plays his age but still has action galore. Could be interesting.
Why you should watch it – Well, the director’s last movie ‘End of Watch’ was pretty awesome.
The Wachowskis have a very patchy resume – after ‘The Matrix’, baring ‘V for Vendetta’, nothing from them came close to its genius. And now, news surfaces that the Matrix script was stolen. But what can’t be taken away from them is their visual flair and awesome style. ‘Jupiter Ascending’ is also a search for ‘The One’ a la Matrix, with Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis playing the corresponding equivalents of Morpheus and Neo.
Why you should watch it – Well, in a year where they're putting the big money in lazy sequels, I think we should pay respect to original content like this.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes(DOTPOTA)
The first movie came out of the blue and turned out to be one of the most wildly entertaining movies ever! And it starred hamri Freida Pinto alongside James Franco. This time, neither returns and the story is set a decade after the first part when the Planet of Apes are threatened by a group of human survivors. Fans of the series already know how it’ll end. Now that ‘Fast 7’ has been postponed, DOTPOTA has been moved up the schedule to fill its slot in July 11.
Why you should watch it – For Ceaser, who separated the monkeys from the men; and this time, he even has a son.
22 Jump Street
Another very promising sequel. The first part was a very cleverly made buddy movie that unexpectedly turned out to be one the funniest movies that year. That movie would go down as the one which proved that Channing Tatum can be so damn funny. It made heroes out of Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, legend out of Ice Cube and had one the best cameo appearances in movie history. This time, Korean Jesus is out and the boys are now going to college.
Why you should watch it –in the words of Ice Cube, “cos now u sons-of bit*ches are goin to college…”.
Can you believe that there are two separate Hercules movies coming out next year? Usually that’s a bad thing for the second movie, as ‘’White House Down’ proved in ’13. But what could work for both is that both movies focus on different stages of Hercules’ life. One is the sissy origins story, where Hercules is a mere mortal, falls in love, gets screwed and goes back to reclaim his girl and life a la Gladiator and turns God in the process. The other is the one where Hercules is shown as the mighty mammoth of muscle that we know him as, aptly played by that mountain of mega might, 2013’s biggest grossing star - the Rock. Rock will rock!
Why you should watch it –the first for the origin and the second for the fights.
Edge of Tomorrow
Tom Cruise is a well-oiled hit machine, churning out one gritty blockbuster after another, each movie reestablishing himself as a global star. Come rain or shine, there’ll always be a continuous supply of gritty Tom Cruise action adventure bonanzas. After a very smart sci fi in ’13 (Oblivion), this movie sees him play a soldier fighting a losing alien war but finds himself stuck in a time loop on the last day in battle forcing him to relive the battle again and again. But with each time, he gets better, eventually taking the war back to the aliens. Live.Die.Repeat. Live.Die.Repeat. Live.Die.Repeat. It’s Groundhog Day with laser guns.
Why you should watch it –for Tom, the greatest ageless action star who just doesn’t slow down.
The Monuments Men
Trust George Clooney to show you a really good time – when he’s acting, his movies are fun, light hearted and heartwarming (check out that mini riot of unbridled fun called ‘O Brother Where art thou’ ); when he’s directing, it taut, engaging and pretty tight stuff; when he’s producing, its got Oscar winner’ written all over it, a la Argo. He’s doing all three with this movie, with names like John Goodman, Bill Murray (just these two verbal dueling with each other itself is orgasmic!), Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin…. in the backdrop of World War II, the most dreaded time in history when Adolf Hitler threatens to take over the world, an unlikely uniformed group of men was formed to take on the most impossible heist—retrieve or steal the most precious art pieces made that Hitler had stolen to burn.
Why you should watch it – with its plot involving heist and parade of movie stars, it’s like the intellectual’s version of ‘Ocean’s Eleven’.
The Lego Movie
Any movie that kids the Batman shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is the recipe for a success – Morgan Freeman’s voice over, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman assembling up, an ordinary normal guy becoming the one to ‘save the world’ and the team that gave us the excellent ‘Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs’ – it’s looking pretty badass already.
Why you should watch it –well, this is the only time you’ll see Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in the same frame…. ok wait!
If a movie shows a baby gnawing on a used condom, you can be rest assured that Seth Rogen has something to do with it. The guy who made jokes on dick, stoning and blowjobs funny as hell, is back. Hahaha, him seen raising kids is funny enuff but when it’s the same team that brought last year’s funniest movie ‘This is the End’, you know this one would be special. So here Seth plays a responsible father (hahaha!!!) at war with the new neighbor
Why you should watch it – could be the funniest movie of the year.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Latest news: funnyman Paul Rudd is the Marvel’s new Ant Man and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is DC’s new Sandman. Question : How many of us actually knew that there are such superheroes (based on ants and sand)? Key takeaway : they’re expanding the superhero universe like never before, so unknown superheroes are given a fresh lease of life. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy also falls under this category and is a big gamble as these guys are not well known even among comic book fans. The Guardians of the Galaxy team includes both a raccoon and a walking tree, which come to think of it, is pretty difficult to create into a live action movie. But add in Thanos, the big Bad from Avengers, voice power from Bradley Cooper plus Vin Diesel and the Marvel tag and well, it just smells like a smash.
Why you should watch it – Well, it could be the next big franchise in the making from Marvel.
The Animated Counter
Last year, the same crowding issue saw a record number of animated ware hit theatres. The new year however sees a much reduced crop. The biggies:
How to Train Your Dragon 2
So the second part of the trilogy rolls on – the first movie was a charmer and hit box office glory. Since I’m not big into animation, maybe my animated friends would love this outing. This time, the dragon and the kid grow up and discover a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider. Again they find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace between dragons and humans.
Why you should watch it – could be the biggest animation movie of the year.
After the first Rio managed to win hearts, the team decided to come with the second one a few months before the World Cup which will be held in Brazil in 2014. This time, Rio 2 finds Jewel (Anne Hathaway), Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and their three kids leaving their domesticated life for an adventure to the Amazon, where they encounter a set of new characters who are all born to be wild.
Why you should watch it – Well, u liked Ice Age. And these guys came from there. So…..
Well, that’s the wrap. Combine this with movies like 'Teenage Mutant Ninga Turtles', Russel Crowe’s 'Noah '(trailer here), Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent (trailer here), the Robocop reboot (trailer here ), Sin City 2, Robert Downey’s 'Chef', 'The Grand Budapest Hotel', Ben Affleck’s 'Gone Girl', the Jack Ryan movie (trailer here ). 2014 is pretty loaded at the movie counter.
And yes, this one’s for Red.
Check out list of 2014's Biggest Bollywood movies here.