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.
David Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars”…I’ll be salivating all year. ML
Oh absolutely! I didn’t find out the details until after I’d written this article, but I certainly feel the same way as you. I loved Cosmopolis, and think Cronenberg is crafting a body of work now that will be just as important and influential as his early body-horror catalogue.
Nicely stated, Jordan…and “Cosmopolis” was brilliant! So pleased that you appreciated it! ML
Nice list! I had no idea about Tusk, but I am interested to see the trailer when it comes out! The only thing I can think you missed is Interstellar! I’m interested to see how that turns out! Oh def looking forward to The Green Inferno as well!
Yeah Smith has done nothing but talk it up on his blog and podcast, and with Red State as evidence it seems he can handle thrillers more than adequately. I’m loving the secrecy surrounding the plot as well. Eddie had Interstellar on his list, and while I’m certainly a fan of the majority of Nolan’s work, and will see it at the cinema, it just didn’t quite make my 10… along with a few other big releases I’ll certainly be lining up for.
Let’s hope Green Inferno is Roth’s best work yet! There’s every indication it will be.
Ah I see, I def need to brush up on Smith’s filmography! Thanks for the info! Oh yeah I remember seeing it on his post. Yes hope so! I’m not sure if you’ve seen it but I forgot where I saw this clip but the airplane crash from The Green Inferno was released somewhere online, shouldn’t be too hard to find.
The Green Inferno should be loads of fun. I’m a huge fan of Eli Roth and can’t wait to see what he does with that. Too bad I won’t be able to convince my husband to join me in that. He hates horror films.
Yeah he loves all the 70’s/80’s mondo stuff so hopefully he’s translated that seedy feel nicely. I imagine it will be too much for most people ha.
Dug both your lists; I agree with plenty of your selections, and it’s always cool to see people getting just as excited for genre fare along with the “arthouse” stuff. Aside from ones you already mentioned, Jupiter Ascending is on the top of my list, and Guardians of the Galaxy really intrigues me as well. Plus there’s Foxcatcher from Bennett Miller and A Most Wanted Man from Anton Corbijn. Oh and Alexandre Aja’s adaptation of Horns!
All in all it does promise to be an intriguing year! A lot of cool genre and possible cult titles, and of course Aja is one of the brightest horror directors going around so I definitely join you in anticipation of Horns!
The Raid 2 : Berandal. they already show the movie trailer. I think we can guess the plot of the movie from the short teaser.
Ah nice one! Cheers!
Ill be looking forward to Gone Girl and Godzilla among others mentioned there, The Hobbit as always and that Sin City was surprising news so it should be a interesting watch if anything! Nice post
Godzilla certainly is attracting the buzz, I just wonder if it will let everyone down and be nothing more than another empty money-grabber? Hopefully not! I Just know that with Rodriguez behind the helm again and such a solid cast Sin City will be ace.
Hopefully not ay? It’ll be interesting to see a more updated version and Sin City should deliver 🙂
Godzilla is my number 1 choice.
I really do hope its good!
It is a good list. All Cheerleaders Die and Malick’s new one certainly pique my interest, as well.
No one deals with the intricacies of violent women quite like McKee, so All Cheerleaders Die should be an exceptionally fun genre piece.
Really interesting list Jordan!
Thanks for pointing out The Sacrament – with you on The Innkeepers, loved its throw-back, building atmosphere. Got House of the Devil primed and ready to watch too.
Also intrigued about The Green Inferno. Not a fan of Cabin Fever myself, but Hostel was the ultimate grit-film from Roth.
2014 is shaping up nicely!
Ah I’m glad you’re an Innkeepers fan! House of the Devil is even better.
Agreed, lot’s of lesser known gems to go with the new releases from Fincher, Nolan, Aronofsky etc.
I really love your list, but I dare you to check out a new horror(?) movie(?) that I accidentaly came across today… “Squirrels”…yup, that’s right. Talk about anticipation?!
Haha, I just read your write-up, and now I’m definitely intrigued! I’ll be seeing it as soon as I can, ha. Fair enough it might be rubbish… but Bekmambetov being behind it gives it some credibility.
I know but..the trailer..oh the trailer!? 😀
Sin City and The Raid have been on my list ages
I’m a Godzilla nut, which has me both excited and worried (usually, Americans need to leave Godzilla alone). Excited for Tusk because Red State shocked me with how good it was. Also love Lucky McKee. Someone that grew up a Star Wars nut (and now has kids who are Star Wars nuts), I agree – Peter Jackson has blown the films away (even if you ignore the Star Wars prequels). I have not yet seen any of the Hobbit films but should get around to it one of these days.
Yeah I recommend catching both Hobbit films before the big finale this year, that way you can enjoy it at the cinema. If early reviews for Godzilla are positive, and bloggers agree, I’ll definitely see it, but if they’re tepid or worse I’ll give it a miss I reckon. Glad you agree with Tusk and McKee!
Reblogged this on My Opinions & Reviews and commented:
Reblogged courtesy of Jordan and Eddie xx
Reblogged for my readers – another really good piece 🙂
Thank-you very much! Glad you enjoyed it.
I had the privilege to see THE SACRAMENT at TIFF this year and was absolutely blown away. I am a huge fan of (and have a giant genre crush on) Ti West and will follow everything he does haha.
Ah awesome! That’s great to hear! Haha, he’s definitely one of the bright hopes for the genre and its great that so many people are embracing his style. You’ll have to check out my review of You’re Next going up tomorrow! Loved his cameo in that, ha.
Maybe it’s just my own personal love for Wes Anderson, but I feel like people are pretty excited for “Grand Budapest Hotel” next weekend, and have been for a while! 🙂
Very true! Personally, I’m not as big a fan of Wes as others, but I certainly think it does look promising.
Totally understand that. He’s definitely an acquired taste. But this one looks pretty great! 🙂
Magic Mike 2 didn’t make the list?
Oh surprisingly not… how did I overlook that one…?
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