2014 Summer Box Office Preview — My Thoughts

Every year, about this time, is when all of the good movies start coming out. I’m not talking about the “real” good movies; the ones that get award recognition for their excellence. I am talking about those fun, action-packed, big blockbuster movies that make a ridiculous amount of money during the summer. This year, I am counting summer as the months May all the way through August. With that being said, let’s talk about the movies I am most excited and not excited to see this summer.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 comes out on May 2nd this year. This will be the first of the bunch to come out. And hopefully, it will set a standard for this year’s summer movies. I was a big fan of The Amazing Spider-Man. I know there aren’t that many people that were big fans of it. It is almost like a split vote. There are people who absolutely loved it. Then there are also fans of Sam Raimi. I wasn’t against Raimi’s original Spiderman trilogy. I own them all and I’ve seen them all. But there is no doubt that Spiderman 3 was a giant train wreck and I didn’t blame them for wanting to reboot the series with a new director and a new vision. The first movie is always going to get negative attention because it is the origin story. There isn’t too much room for change in most origin stories, as they usually follow the subject material rather well. But, I did think The Amazing Spider-Man did do a better job sticking closer to the comics.

Andrew Garfield makes an excellent Spiderman. Is he the best Peter Parker? No. Tobey Maguire really was a fantastic Peter Parker and in the new movie, you don’t get the feeling that this is the same character. That mostly has to do with the writing. They wrote the character to be more of a punk than a nerd. But as for the new film, I am a little worried to say the least.

I have giant faith in Marc Webb as a director. Granted, I have only seen two of his movies. One being The Amazing Spider-Man and the other one being an indie movie called (500) Days of Summer. I loved both of these so I should have no reason to doubt him now. But it isn’t the direction I’m worried about. They brought in new writers for this one.  They brought on Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci as writers. Now, they have a list of good credits to their names. FringeStar Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Mission Impossible III. But they also did write Cowboys and Aliens (which sucked royally), and two of the Transformers movies. Not so good.

The other thing that worries is me is the cramming of villains. We all saw Spiderman 3 make that giant mistake of putting Venom (I guess?), Sandman, and Harry Osborn as the villains in the same movie. In this new one, it looks like we are getting Rhino, Electro, and once again, Harry Osborn. They just skipped Norman altogether and threw Harry into the mix. I am excited to see Dane DeHaan’s portrayal of Osborn because he is a very skilled younger actor who definitely can pull this off. But I just really hope they aren’t going to repeat the mistakes of the previous filmmakers. Overall, I am excited to see the direction this movie goes in and I just hope it doesn’t depreciate in quality. The Amazing Spider-man 2 is out on May 2nd.

Godzilla

Godzilla is one I am really excited for. It looks to have a lot of action, a good amount of story, and it just look to be executed in a smart way overall. The director is a little inexperienced but I have complete faith in him after seeing his 2010 film Monsters. He did that movie on a much more limited budget and I loved it. But this just looks amazing. It looks a hell of a lot better than any Godzilla movie made in America…ever. Just go back and look, they rest kind of suck.

But this has the cast to really make me excited. Heisenberg himself Bryan Cranston is in this one. And you get that really cool voice-over from him in the trailer. It just sets this movie up with a grim look and I think it has been done in a rather intelligent way. Of course, there’s only so much I can speculate about with this movie. You also get up-and-comer Elizabeth Olsen (if you haven’t seen Liberal Arts, do it), Aaron Taylor-Johnson of Kick-Ass fame, the always reliable David Straithairn, and Ken Watanabe (Inception, Batman Begins).

Plus the trailer took its time in showing us the actual monster and it looks badass. There are a lot of story elements to speculate about in the trailer, but I am, overall, extremely excited for this movie. Never would have thought I’d be excited for a monster movie, yet alone a Godzilla movie. Godzilla comes out on May 16th.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

This is continuing the trend of  movies I am really excited for. X-Men: Days of Future Past continues where it left with after X-Men: First Class. A lot of things went down in that first movie and I was excited to see the new story they were going to run with in the new one. And then I heard the announcement. I heard Bryan Singer is being brought back on as director. And for about a good day and a half, I was disappointed. I was very happy with what Matthew Vaughn had done, that I didn’t want to retract to a filmmaker I had already seen before.

I think a part of me blamed him for X-Men: The Last Stand, even though he wasn’t a part of it. It was all Brett Ratner. But, I still had that mindset that we started over with a fresh cast before they became who they are in the other movies. And then more info started dropping. Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, and Patrick Stewart were announced to be returning as well. And I had no idea what this story was going to be. My initial thoughts were that this was a bad idea. Old cast and new cast together. I thought Singer just wanted a way to shoehorn his old cast into the movie. But I was wrong, I hope.

There is actually a story behind this and once I read the plot synopsis and the addition of Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) as Oliver Trask, I started to get excited. Then the trailer dropped and I was already feeling so many different emotions about this. James McAvoy can make you feel anything when he yells. That part of the trailer where he yells that he doesn’t want our suffering or our future, I got goosebumps. Even more so when we see older Xavier talking face-to-face with him. So everything aside, I am extremely excited for this one. If this is even half of what First Class was, I will be walking out of that theater a very happy individual. X-Men: Days of Future Past comes out on May 23rd.

Maleficent

Maleficent is one of those movies that I think just gets made because there is a market for it. Disney can make any movie out of any character. They can take a small

aspect of one story and expand it to the big screen. I have felt that way for a while. They just make movies that we don’t need to see. And its not just Disney either. We have gotten a couple movies in the past few years that filled that criteria in my mind. Movies that were just unnecessary. And those movies ended up disappointing me. I’m looking at you Oz: The Great and Powerful and Snow White and the Hunstman.

But Maleficent doesn’t look bad. It looks to tell the story of a character I never truly cared about myself. But I’m sure there are many out there who wanted to see this get made at one point. Angelina Jolie looks in great form with her maniacal laughs and evil grins. I bought into it when I saw the trailer. That, and I love Sharlto Copley and Elle Fanning impressed me in Super 8. But I still see this as a Disney movie that won’t be that good overall. It isn’t a movie I need to see by any means. But I will probably end up sitting in that theater watching it anyways. The cast makes it look pretty good. What doesn’t is the Lord of the Rings-style action/battle scenes they show in the trailer. That, and it seems like they show you the whole movie in the trailer. I hate when movies do that. They are supposed to show you enough to get you in that seat. Show you SOME plot, not the whole thing. I may be wrong and they didn’t show us a whole lot, but I think once I see the movie, that I will have been mostly spoiled from the trailer.

But I will not pre-judge this movie yet. I will probably end up seeing it. It is not an opening day must-see movie for me at all. But Angelina Jolie looks entertaining as hell in it, so I will probably make an excuse to see it. Not excited for it, but not against it either. I’m kind of in the middle when it comes to Maleficent. Maleficent comes out on May 30th.

Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow is a weird movie. It looks weird. It has a weird story. I had a chance to see a pre-screening of it in Los Angeles, but ultimately, I missed out. This movie stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in a futuristic-war type movie. Now besides Cruise and Blunt, there really isn’t much of a cast to write home about. From what I got out of that really bizarre trailer, it is pretty much going to be these two the whole movie. They are fighting an alien race, I believe. So there isn’t too much human interaction besides these two characters who keep dying and coming back to life. The tagline for the movie is “Live. Die. Repeat.”

I am semi-excited for this movie because Science Fiction and Tom Cruise mix well with me. I loved Minority Report a lot. It is one of my favorite movies. It was really well done and Tom Cruise really can still act. If you need proof of this, go watch Collateral. And I even liked Oblivion enough. It kind of pulled genre ideas from a bunch of other movies (Moon comes to mind) but it was executed rather well and it looked beautiful. The soundtrack was amazing too. I love Emily Blunt in everything she touches so that’s always a plus.

The only negative factor for me is the director. Doug Liman is a hit or miss director for me. He did helm The Bourne Identity, which is a good movie.  He also did Fair Game, with Sean Penn and Naomi Watts. I liked that one too. But he also gave us Jumper and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, both of which I dislike a lot. This could be one of those good movies that he does, but it could also go the other way. I’m just not sure at this point. I will approach with caution. Edge of Tomorrow comes out on June 6th.

22 Jump Street

This one I am pretty excited for. I am walking into it knowing it could possibly be the worst movie ever. It might be terrible in comparison to the first one. But because of how much I loved 21 Jump Street, I will definitely be seeing 22 Jump Street on opening night.

This isn’t a must see movie to some people. But I found the first movie to be hilarious. There wasn’t a part of that movie I wasn’t laughing at. And I know how hard it is to keep the same momentum going from movie to movie, especially in the comedy genre. But the team up of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum is pure comedy gold. Tatum really impressed me. He has been impressing me lately. With his comedy and his normal acting as well. And Jonah Hill is a two-time Academy Award nominee now (it still feels weird to say that about the eBay guy in The 40 Year-Old Virgin). I’m pretty sure Jonah Hill had a lot to do with the content in the first movie. I think he did a lot of the writing as well.

Now, I haven’t followed this new one at all. Except for watching and laughing at the trailer. So I have no idea how much creative input he had with this one. Did he write it? I honestly have no idea. But, I have faith that it will make me laugh. As long as it doesn’t fail miserably in my eyes like Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues did, it will be all good. So yes, I am extremely excited for this movie. 22 Jump Street comes out on June 13th.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Words can not describe how much I really don’t care about this movie. You can take out Shia Lebeouf and Megan Fox all you want to, but this is still a Michael Bay movie. And Michael Bay just doesn’t make good movies anymore. The Island was the last one of his movies I actually liked. And all of his other good ones in the 90’s were because of the team up of Bay, Don Simpson, and Jerry Bruckheimer. The Rock and Bad Boys fall under that category.

This is still going to be dumb action with robots versus robots. They all gave me headaches watching them and this one won’t be any different. I am interested to see how different the tone is in this one, though. Especially considering Bay went with the mostly comedic route with the past three Transformers‘ films. And then there’s bringing in the two “black” robots in Revenge of the Fallen. I remember him taking heat for that one.

These are just not smart movies. I probably would have loved these movies when I was ten years old. But other than that, I feel like I lose brain cells just by attempting to watch any of these movies. But maybe if bringing in Wahlberg and that girl from Bates Motel makes this a more serious movie, it might work. But I just don’t have that kind of faith in Michael Bay. Or any faith, for that matter. I will not be seeing this one, unless somehow this thing is loved by critics everywhere. Which, to be honest is almost an impossibility at this point. Transformers: Age of Extinction comes out on June 27th.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Yes. A million yeses go to this movie. I absolutely loved Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It made sense with how they made all of this happen with the apes. They gave it a real story with actual intelligent things that made Caesar so special. James Franco and John Lithgow stood out as actors with experience who really helped elevate this movie. I had no faith going into it. I thought it was going to be another attempt at the terrible Planet of the Apes movie with Mark Wahlberg. But I was wrong. And I was glad I was wrong. It was smart, badass, and intense. All that I hope this new one will be.

The actors are gone, but they are replaced by ones equally as good or even better. We don’t have Franco or Lithgow, but now we have Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty), and Keri Russell (FX’s The Americans). All very talented actors with good experience in action-esque roles. Hearing Jason Clarke yell in the trailer gave me chills.

I have no idea what to expect from this new one. But Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, as of now, looks to keep up with the badass image left by the first movie. The director changed as well. But I have faith in the new guy. After all, he is very good at dealing with drama movies, as he directed the remake Let Me In and did wonders with it. I will be seeing this opening night. It’s funny that I am more excited for this than I am for The Amazing Spider-Man 2Dawn of the Planet of the Apes comes out on July 11th.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy is a weird looking movie. Especially for Marvel. I have been used to seeing these super-serious superhero movies come from them for the past few years. And that has been great. They built these movies up to greatness. But now we get Guardians of the Galaxy, which doesn’t really have what you would call an “A-list” cast. But did any of the other Marvel movies?

Who was Robert Downey Jr. before Iron Man? A guy on everyone’s shit list for many years. He was making his comeback with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Zodiac but he definitely wasn’t loved before Jon Favreau got him to be Tony Stark. Who was Chris Hemsworth before Thor? He was Jim Kirk’s dad in about five minutes of screen time in Star Trek. Not really superhero material. And Chris Evans as Captain America. Are you kidding me? That guy is the definition of small-time casting. At the time, he was known for movies like Cellular and The Losers. He was more of a comedic guy. He had to bulk and get serious. And he did. Then they could cast Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo.

But Guardians of the Galaxy definitely has a different tone. It looks more comedic because it is. You have Chris Pratt (NBC’s Parks and Recreation) as the leading man. Then you have a talking, pistol-wielding raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), a weird tree-looking guy voiced by Vin Diesel (Fast and the Furious), and a character played by WWE superstar Dave Batista (Riddick). Sounds weird because it is. Marvel built up their Avengers enough to where they can sit comfortably and make this kind of movie. And I am excited. It is going to be funny, corny, and action-packed all in one. And that trailer got that song stuck in my head for weeks. I am officially excited for this one. The tagline really says it all on this one: “You’re Welcome.” Guardians of the Galaxy comes out on August 1st.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

No….just no. Not excited. Won’t see it. Two words: Megan Fox. Go watch the trailer, be very angry, and join me in refusing to watch this. Thanks. But if you really want to know, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comes out on August 8th.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Finally, I’ve only been waiting for this movie since 2005. They’ve announced it and un-announced it. They had started production, then halted it. They casted some cool people, then re-casted them. I honestly didn’t think this would ever get made. But, it finally has and it comes at us this summer! Sin City: A Dame to Kill For: a movie I know nearly absolutely nothing about, but I’m excited.

I’m guessing it will follow the same format as Sin City. It will have the three separate stories that will probably intersect with each other. And we are getting some of the same characters, along with some new ones. I mean, just look at that cast. Josh Brolin, Mickey Rourke, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Eva Green? Yes please. And that’s only some of the cast. We still get some of Bruce Willis in there as well. I remember when Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie were attached to act in this movie. But I’m happy with the always sexy Eva Green taking over a villainous (I think?) role. And as a huge Joseph Gordon-Levitt fan, I am happy he is getting this role. I’m happy he’s getting more and more serious roles in general. He was awesome in Looper.

This movie isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It is mostly black and white, with only filling in key colors that make things or people stand out (blood, lipstick, etc.). The first one was awesome. Not everyone loved that one either. But I did. So, naturally, I am very excited for this one. As long as they don’t delay it (Again!), I will be sitting in that theater opening night to watch Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. So here’s to hoping it stays with the same release date. It will be a great way to close out this summer that is filled with so many great movies to see, some decent ones that will probably get viewed at a certain point, and some pretty crappy ones as well. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For comes out on August 22nd.

There are more movies coming out during the summer (How to Train Your Dragon 2, The Expendables 3, Lucy, Hercules, The Purge: Anarchy, The Fault in Our Stars, Million Dollar Arm, Neighbors, and A Million Ways to Die in the West), but I honestly didn’t want to go into movies that I probably won’t see just because I’m dedicating my time to the ones listed above. I did list some crappy ones above only because I feel strongly against them. I might see some of the ones not mentioned, but it isn’t guaranteed and if I do, I don’t expect too much from them. So stay tuned for my opinions on the movies above that I will be seeing.

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