Saturday, January 17, 2015

Top 25 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015

Hard to believe 2015 is already here.  And if Back to the Future II has its way, by this fall, we'll be dressing in spandex clothing, sporting power lace-up sneakers, all while cruising around on our hover-boards.  As far as movies are concerned, though, we have a lot to get excited about! Take a look at the Top 25 Most Anticipated Movies this coming year!

25. The Age of Adaline (April 24th)  
A young woman, born at the turn of 20th century, is rendered ageless after an accident. After years of a solitary life, she meets a man who might be worth losing her immortality. 

24. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (August 14th) 
In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.

23. Entourage (June 5th)  

The popular HBO show gets the sliver screen treatment, finally. Film star Vince Chase and his cronies take on Hollywood.

22. Magic Mike XXL (July 1st) 
The boys are back in town ladies, to continue the story of Magic Mike.

21. Get Hard (March 27th)  
When millionaire James King is nailed for fraud and bound for San Quentin, he turns to Darnell Lewis to prep him to go behind bars.

 20. Tomorrowland (May 22nd)  
Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.

 19. Insurgent (March 20th)  
Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart with the help from others on her side.

 18. Pitch Perfect 2 (May 15th)  
The girls at it again! Collegiate a cappella group the Barden Bellas enter into an international competition that no American team has ever won.

 17. Inside Out (June 19th)  
A story told from the perspective of the emotions inside the mind of a little girl.

16. Ted 2 (June 26th) 
(plot unknown at this time)

A live-action retelling of the classic fairy tale about a servant step-daughter who wins the heart of a prince.

14. Pan (July 24th)
The story of an orphan who is spirited away to the magical Neverland. There, he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny -- to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan.

 13. Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15th)  
An apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and almost everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order. There's Max, a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos. And Furiosa, a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland.

 12. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (November 20th) 
After being symbolized as the 'Mockingjay' Katniss Everdeen and District 13 engage in an all-out revolution against the autocratic Capitol.

 11. Minions (July 10th)  
Minions Stuart, Kevin and Bob are recruited by Scarlet Overkill, a super-villain who, alongside her inventor husband Herb, hatches a plot to take over the world.

Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

 9. Terminator Genisys (July 1st)  
After finding himself in a new time-line, Kyle Reese teams up with John Connor's mother Sarah and an aging terminator to try and stop the one thing that the future fears, "Judgement Day".

 8. The Fantastic Four (August 7th) 
Four young outsiders teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.

 7. Fifty Shades of Grey (February 13th)  
Literature student Anastasia Steele's life changes forever when she meets handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey.

 6. Spectre (November 6th) 
A cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.

 5. Mission: Impossible 5 (Christmas Day) 
(plot unknown at this time, but you can bet it'll be awesome!)

 4. Jurassic World (June 12th)  
Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park (1993), Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor's interest, which backfires horribly.

 3. Furious 7 (April 3rd)  
The bitter-sweet sequel is on everyone's radar this year. Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for the death of his brother.

 2. Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1st)
Enter Marvel's next billion... When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.

(psh) As if there was even a question as to what movie would be the #1 most anticipated film of the year. Fan-boys across the globe, me included, are counting down the days to the continuation of the beloved saga created by George Lucas - of course set some thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983).  Can't wait!!!

It's going to be an excellent year at the movies. Which movie are you looking forward to seeing the most? Something I missed? Let me know...

Monday, January 12, 2015

Top 10 Best & Worst Movies of 2014

This is where it's at folks - The best of the best and worst of the worst. Here lies my reasonings behind my Top Ten Best & Worst Movies of 2014. Even though last year wasn't nearly as impressive as previous years, particularly in comparison to 2013 (click here for 2013's picks), it still proved note-worthy non-the-less. 

Sadly there were quite a few movies I didn't get to in time - American Sniper, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood, Birdman, Wild, Transcendence, Into the Woods, The Imitation Game and A Most Violent Year. Who knows what these lists would have looked like if I had. 

*Worst of the Worst* 

Dishonorable Mentions: 
Veronica Mars
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
The Other Woman

10. Winter's Tale:
A good time travel movie is hard to come by. And best seller author deserved much better than this jumbled-up, confusing story. It lacked heart and real substance. Take my advice and read the book instead, which is undoubtedly much more worthy of your time. 

9. 3 Days to Kill
Where do I even begin? I’ll start with the embarrassing, cover-your-eyes, barely-there plot that’s completely predictable and end with the grainy cinematography that makes everything appear bleak and hollow. These are all valid complaints. However, the worst part about this lame action flick is the shame of how cool it thinks it really is. Sort of like the class dork posing as the class clown. 

8. The Best of Me
Romance definitely sells at the box office, and this movie is exactly the atypical romantic tearjerker to be expected from an Adaption of a Nicholas Sparks novel. Now I'm not immune to the pleasures of a terrific romance - The Notebook is among my favorites. But pulling off a successful romance requires good writing, and a good storyline with depth. Something this movie completely forgot to add. 

7. The Babadook
It astounds me this nut-job of a movie made so many peoples best list. What looked terrifying and intriguingly cool, ended up being one. big. hot-mess. A.) It's not even scary (false advertizement). B.) It disappoints with its lack of lame explanations. Even the OK acting couldn't save this bore-snore movie. I expected more and I got less... much, much less. 

6. Amazing Spider-Man 2:
It bugged too many people to tears with its attempt at a fiercely cool sequel. While the first movie was surprisingly "amazing," its successor was much too convoluted at best. If you're looking for a good superhero movie, save your time and money and watch The Guardians of the Galaxy or X-Men: Days of Future Past instead.

5. RoboCop
Ugh! Dead or alive, you're going to hate this pointless remake. First of all, was the original Robocop even good enough to warrant a remake in the first place? I know it was major for its time, but here's what... it had its hey-day. Been there, done that. Time to hang up the franchise and let it dry. 

4. Noah
Did I walk into a Lord of the Rings movie? Because I'm confused here. Also, wasn't Noah a worthy man called of God? So why was he this murderous, drunken, hateful jerk? The only good thing that came out of this movie was Jennifer Connelly's stellar performance. She always blows me away. The rest of the movie, though,... just blows. 

3. Blended
The movie seemed to exist solely so and his friends could go on a free trip to Africa at our expense. Not only does it lack true comedic performances and whit, but it was blatantly offensive to the native Africans, not to mention it's just ridiculously stupid. 

2. Pompeii:
Yeah, I liked this movie the first time... when it was called Gladiator. If the movie's goal was to showcase 's (Game of Thrones) pecs then they succeeded victoriously. 's British accent was so laughable my eyes got a cramp from all the eye-rolling. This "love" story is boring, murky and preposterous at best. 

And last year’s #1, all time sucker-punch-doozie, which claimed its title with the greatest of ease, is none other than… 

1. Transformers: Age of Extinction
I think I got whiplash from all the head banging against the back of my seat from the idiotic plots and subplots. An action movie doesn’t have to be clever to be good. But it shouldn’t be this dumb. The plot is deceptively simple, despite being turned into an incomprehensible, drawn-out, hot mess. But if plot is what you're after, what are you doing at a Michael Bay movie in the first place?

*Best of the Best* 

Honorable Mentions: 
Edge of Tomorrow
The Lego Movie
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

10. The Theory of Everything:
The uphill struggle of world renowned genius Stephen Hawking is soulful and inspiring, backed by outstanding, visceral performances by and . It's a story about romance, love and enduring/over coming life's trials and challenges, but above all... it's a story about hope.
"While there is life, there is hope."

9. How to Train Your Dragon 2
HTTYD2 is a phenomenal movie, filled with more emotion, intensity, action, adventure, humor, and depth than its predecessor.  It's safe to say this is one of the best sequels Hollywood has produced in a very long time. Plus it speaks volumes to any age group.  
"Well, now you know where I get my dramatic flair."

8. X-Men: Days of Future Past: 
As I said above, good time travel movies are hard to come by, but when it works is soars.  Case and point. Sure it's not as powerful as X-2, but it's still a wondrous whirlwind of X-Men proportions.  The actors are fantastic.  and still deliver amazing performances, meanwhile and give their reflections in the same excellent manner.
"Just because someone stumbles and loses their path, doesn't mean they're lost forever."
7. Guardians of the Galaxy:
Marvel succeeds yet again and with flying colors no less.  It's no wonder it was one of the most successful films last year, ranking in a whopping $772.M worldwide.  It’s clever, it’s funny, the soundtrack is killer, it focuses on all characters instead of singling out just one, and it made  a household name.
"Well that's just as fascinating as the first 89 times. What is wrong with Giving Tree here?"

6. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
What makes this movie undoubtedly noteworthy are the spectacular visual effects. Those apes looked so real, by the end of the movie you start to think it's a documentary. But it doesn't rely on visuals alone. It has a surprisingly large amount of depth, it's well written and it has a good story that doesn't drag out, but rather builds with tension beautifully.  There's so much unexpected compassion it's quite unnerving. 
"Home. Family. Future."


5. Gone Girl
It's a film. 'Nough said. Ficher’s Adaption of  ’s best-seller is seriously one slick, manipulative, cool-looking, erotic thriller, all backed by some stellar performances.  One of the few adaptions that matches the source material to perfection. This movie is flawless.
"Whoever took her is bound to bring her back."

4. Big Eyes
takes us back to the 50's in this true story about a painter (Margaret Keane), who's husband takes credit for her artwork. Not only do we get one of Burton's best films since Big Fish, but some of the best performances from the likes of and . Seriously they will blow your mind. The bright colors, the camera angles, consumes and set designs... nothing short of brilliant. 
"Sweep the gutters before the taste police arrive."

3. Unbroken
The true account of  Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete, who found his courage as he was sorely tested in a Japanese POW camp is seriously breathtaking and inspirational. took the daunting task of turning Laura Hillenbrand's best seller into one of her finest pieces of film work to date. And it follows the book rather well, without suffocating the source material. Note: bring a tissue box with you when you see it. 
"If you can take it, you can make it."

2. Selma
Riveting and powerful, Selma delivers gloriously, and will without a doubt be nominated for many Oscar's this coming season. (who also had bit roles in A Most Violent Year and Interstellar) completely transformed into Dr. King himself. It wouldn't surprise me if he won Best Actor. He was phenomenal, as was the rest of his supporting cast. 
"We're not asking - we're demanding! Give us the vote!"

It was a real toss-up as to which two films would wind up in 1st place, with the decision hanging in the air until the very last minute. 's riveting exploration of the 1965 voting-rights march from Selma was profoundly extraordinary, but it's Christopher Nolan’s visually stunning Interstellar that won me over in the end. 

1. Interstellar
's space odyssey was so unique and so gripping, you will leave the theater wanting more. The film's score was tantalizing and the acting preferences top-notch. But what's even more impressive is how you manage to stay completely enthralled the entire two hours and fifty minutes. I know it's about space and finding a new frontier for humankind, but more than that it's a story about relationships. And the deeper they dove into those relationships the more you fall in love with this epic thrill ride. Truly a cinematic wonder.
"Love is the one thing that transcends time and space."

Did your favorite movie of the year make the list? Something I missed? Let me know what your Best and Worst films of 2014 were...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Top Ten Best Movie Trailers - 2014

As we begin a new year it's time to reflect on last years best of the best - The Top Ten Best Movie Trailers of 2014. Movie trailers are in their own category these days, and becoming more and more grand in scale as the years ensue.  
Great trailers combine the perfect music, with superb, well-edited, short clips - operative word being "short." Its soul purpose is to captivate/give the audience a brief glimpse into the movie's plot, and in the end get you to say: "Yeah, I'd totally pay to see that."  After all trailers are the reason we go to the movies in the first place, and the reason we stay up late watching them on YouTube, again and again and again. I mean how many times did you watch the new Star Wars trailer?  (ahem, be honest) With that said, here are my Top Ten Best Movie Trailers of 2014.

The Theory of Everything:
This dreamy, whimsical trailer is so much more then the genius account of Hawking's early years. It's about romance, love and enduring and over coming life's trials and challenges, but above all... it's a story about hope.  Who ever cut this trailer deserves an award. I actually enjoyed it more than the movie itself. It's breathtakingly masterful. It's a beautiful dream. "While there is life, there is hope."
Release Date: 11/26/14

Finally a live-action story that doesn't stray too far from its roots.  We all know the beloved fairy-tail, so we know how it will end.  But regardless, this trailer is beautifully edited, even magical! And in large part we have the trailers music to thank for that (Audiomachine - Above and Beyond & Nick Murray - Aeon). "And where there is goodness, there is magic."
Release Date: 3/13/15
What I absolutely LOVE about this trailer is how it intrigues, captivates and leaves you wanting. With such a complex storyline it's hard to craft such a trailer without giving too much away.  The movie's theme music, titled 'STAY', is beautifully intertwined with the emotional clips. It's powerful, it's riveting. Genius. "Love is the one thing that transcends time and space."
Release Date: 3/13/15

Mad Max: Fury Road:
Some 30 years later we get a fresh take on the 'Mad Max' franchise. And from what I see here, it. looks. phenomenal.  It dark, it's gritty, it's gripping, it's insane. This trailer makes you "hurt," if you will. You're drawn so far deep into this trailer you somehow feel the characters pain as if you were in the actual movie.  I love the narration, the bright colors, the choice of "operatic" music. SPECTACULAR. "My world is fire and blood."
Release Date: 5/15/15

Knight of Cups:
Terrence Malick certainly has a way of reeling you in.  I'm always so fascinated with his trailers/movies.  This isn't a trailer, though, but rather a psychedelic, twisted dream/nightmare on the verge of exploding.  I love it.  It has so much energy, heart-pounding emotion and dare i say... love, all backed by powerful and captivating music.  "You don't want love, you want a love experience."
Release Date: 2015

Guardians of the Galaxy:

It might be unconventional to all our protagonist heroes "a bunch of a-holes," but that's the beauty of it. I will say though, the editors of this trailer had one of the hardest marketing jobs around - to introduce the world to some of the weirdest super-heroes in history, have it make sense and then make it look cool and exciting.  Check, check and check. Adding Blue Swede's 'Hooked On a Feeling,' pretty much sealed the deal.  A+!
Release Date: 8/1/14 

The award for most enchanting, magical, dream-like, fantastical, heartwarming trailer goes to... I seriously cannot get enough, and I cannot wait to see this movie on the silver screen. Taking our beloved Peter Pan to a whole new level, with new twists and bounds is genius. I just hope they pull it off and it's as good as this trailer feels. The ticking clock on the WB's icon in the beginning is a brilliant added touch. The mesmerizing music is half its appeal (Christina Perri - I Believe, Really Slow Motion - Suns and Stars).  It leaves you feeling heroic and spellbound. "The Pan is our tribes bravest warrior."
Release Date: 7/24/15

Jurassic World:
Here's a trailer I never thought I'd see. And it actually looks pretty stellar. The continuation of 1993's smash hit received the green light to continue the story, and a huge budget from the looks of it.  This trailer does exactly what it sets out to do - captivate, excite, terrify.  It teases us with their genetically enhanced dino just enough to get our hearts racing. Love how that old familiar theme music hauntingly builds in the end as well. Perfection.  Yeah, I'd totally pay to see that. "And remember if something chases you... run."
Release Date: 6/12/15

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens:

It's time to travel back to a galaxy far... far... away.  Fan-boys all around the world, me included, about wet themselves after seeing this trailer.  And although it's just a teaser... that's all it took. Simplicity at its finest. It is without a doubt this years most fiercely anticipated movie.  Of course with that comes numerous expectations.  But with Georgey-poo on longer at the helm, I have a sneaky feeling all high hopes will be met.  May the force be with you, J.J. Abrams
Release Date: 12/18/15

Fifty Shades of Grey:
Whether you want to see this movie or not, you can't deny the nature of this trailer. It's beautifully crafted.  It's sinfully seductive, haunting and intriguing.  Beyonce's 'Crazy in Love' remake adds that extra something too.  Love, love, love.  Until Valentines Day, Mr. Grey... 
Release Date: 2/13/15

Honorable Mentions:

The floor is now yours.  
What movie trailer in 2014 stood out the most? 

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