2013 gave us astronauts in peril, a dragon named Smaug and another blunt foray into the mind of Nicolas Winding Refn (among other things, of course). Ultimately though, despite a small number of outstanding efforts, it was a year of big budget disappointments and undying franchises; so what does 2014 have in store for us?
Read on to find out… (and check out Eddie’s list here)
Plot summaries from IMDB. Reasons to watch by Jordan
10. The Hobbit: There and Back Again
Directed by Peter Jackson. Starring Martin Freeman, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans
The Company of Thorin has reached Smaug’s lair; but, can Bilbo and the Dwarves reclaim Erebor and the treasure? And, if so, can they hold on to it?
Lets face it, even the most stoic Star Wars fans have to admit there has never been a cinematic endeavour quite like the Lord of the Rings adventures. Each movie, from The Fellowship of the Ring through to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has been full of action, wonder and sheer spectacle, and there is no reason why There and Back Again won’t follow suit. Perfect end of year entertainment.
9. Knight of Cups
Directed by Terrence Malick. Starring Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Antonio Banderas
A man, temptations, celebrity, and excess.
It’s Terrence Malick, for goodness sake, one of the most important and accomplished directors of all time. With Badlands, The Thin Red Line and The Tree of Life to his name he has earned the right to film anything his brilliant imagination can conjure, and I’ll always be lining up for tickets.
8. The Green Inferno
Directed by Eli Roth. Starring Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Daryl Sabara
A group of student activists travel from New York City to the Amazon to save a dying tribe but crash in the jungle and are taken hostage by the very natives they protected.
Sure, Eli Roth is in a creative slump at present, having never topped his breakout hits Cabin Fever and Hostel and appearing in and producing one of the worst movies of last year in Aftershock, but his love and adoration for Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust (1980) should certainly render his homage The Green Inferno a disturbing success.
7. The Raid 2: Berendal
Directed by Gareth Evans. Starring Iko Uwais, Tatan Ruhian, Raiden Integra
The plot is unknown, however, the story begins two hours after the first movie ends.
Simply put, if its anywhere near as good as the first entry, bring it on. Sometimes its needful to switch off at the cinema and simply enjoy expert martial artists stage an awesome show supported by unrelenting music, and Berendal promises to provide exactly this.
6. The Sacrament
Directed by Ti West, Starring Joe Swanberg, Amy Seimetz, Kate Lyn Sheil
Two journalists set out to document their friend’s search to find his missing sister.
The House of the Devil (2009) and The Innkeepers (2011) are two of my favourite recent horror films, and if festival buzz and early reviews are any indicator, West has struck indie gold once more.
5. Resident Evil 6 (official title still to be released)
Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. Starring Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Ali Larter
Alice, Jill, Claire, Chris, Leon, Ada, and Wesker rush to The Hive, where The Red Queen plots total destruction over the human race.
Regular readers of J&E should know by now that I am an unapologetic fan of this series; the most incomprehensible, absurd and mindless ever made. Really, it should have stopped after Apocalypse (2004), but seeing Milla Jovovich as Alice battle varying decaying viral undead with all manor of unbelievable weaponry and super powers, alongside Ali Larter as Claire Redfield and Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine never fails to captivate me… I’ll be seeing this at least twice in 3D regardless of quality…
4. Jodorowsky’s Dune
Directed by Frank Pavich. Featuring Alejandro Jodorowsky, Michel Seydoux, H.R. Giger
The story of cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s ambitious but ultimately doomed film adaptation of the seminal science fiction novel.
Alejandro Jodorowsky and H.R. Giger collaborating on the mammoth science fiction fantasy Dune is an idea just so damn intrieguing, and as proven by Lost in La Mancha, documentaries on failed films by renowned visionaries are as well.
3. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Directed by Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller. Starring Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke
The town’s most hard-boiled citizens cross paths with some of its more reviled inhabitants.
After the sheer brilliance of Rodriquez, Tarantino and Miller’s hard-boiled original 9 years ago, fans have since been in a constant state of anticipation for the sequel. The enthusiastic Mexican does have his critics (thanks in large to the Machete and Spy Kids films), but Rodriguez still remains one of my favourites and I’m confident he’s made another modern classic here.
2. All Cheerleaders Die
Directed by Lucky McKee & Chris Sivertson. Starring Caitlin Stasey, Sianoa Smit-McPhee, Brooke Butler
A rebel girl signs up a group of cheerleaders to help her take down the captain of their high school football team, but a supernatural turn of events thrusts the girls into a different battle.
Easily one of the finest directors of his generation, Lucky McKee (May, The Woods, Red, Sick Girl, The Woman) has an unmatched ability to dissect the psyche of women and create masterful narratives and characters based on his intricate findings. All Cheeleaders Die does look to be a total change in tonal direction, which has me even more excited. A possible future cult classic.
Directed by Kevin Smith. Starring Genesis Rodriguez, Haley Joel Osment, Justin Long
When his best friend and podcast co-host goes missing in the backwoods of Canada, a young guy joins forces with his friend’s girlfriend to search for him.
Kevin Smith does love his hyperbole and exaggeration, but the way in which he boldly declared Tusk the best thing he’s ever made, in a career including such wonderful works as Clerks, Chasing Amy, Dogma and Red State, sounded utterly believable. Ultimately though, whether or not its as great as he suggests, a new film from the man who gave birth to Jay and Silent Bob and has since had a renaissance of sorts demands immediate viewing.
How does this list compare to your anticipated movies of 2014? Have we missed any? If so let us know in the comments below.