Some of the most anticipated movies of 2014 will be released in a few months, but are they all worth the price of admission and an extra large soda (even if it has free refills)? Set to hit theaters this Summer are sequel, prequels, and action packed sci fi films to keep you on the edge of your back row squeaky seat. I’ve compiled a list of the movies that you’ll be glad you saw on the big screen with incredibly loud surround sound no matter how many tall people sit in front of you.
1. “Edge of Tomorrow” ~ June 6th
Seeing Tom Cruise in the top billed cast of this film instantly made me doubt it’s quality in the sci fi realm. It’s been over a decade since he appeared in “Minority Report” and efforts since to revive his sci fi career in futuristic films such as “Oblivion” have bordered on lackluster. As I feared mediocrity in this “Source Code” remnant trailer, I was delighted to see director Doug Liman’s name! Liman, with critically acclaimed films under his belt like Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Bourne Identity, and Swingers, gives us a taste of action with a side of serpent-like alien. Adapted from the novel titled “All You Need is Kill”, this film follows a soldier that, while waging war against massive aliens, continues to relive the events as he’s trained to be a better fighter. The trailer and photos promise action, appropriately timed one liners, and an all out epic battle with some pretty terrifying extra terrestrials. If you needed more of a push to dig change out of the couch cushions for the matinee showing, consider the fun fact that according to Imdb.com it was “filmed almost entirely on the same sets used for the ‘Harry Potter’ series of films”. Harry Potter and aliens? Yup. I’m in.
2. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” ~ June 27th
If you transform it, he will come. Although director Michael Bay stated that the third Transformers film would be the last, he could not resist coming back to continue the franchise with the fourth installment minus not-famous-anymore-actor Shia LaBeouf. If anyone was going to step into the actor’s shoes, I’m definitely glad it’s Mark Wahlberg (and not Dwayne Johnson). Wahlberg has more than earned his right to be considered one of the most highly demanded action stars and I’m relieved to see that instead of choosing to reboot the film and create a prequel with a younger cast, Bay chose to set this film four years after the ending to “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”. The highly anticipated arrival of the Dinobots will also prove to deliver more action, as they are known to also be flight-capable (as the Decepticons are) and unpredictable.
3. “Snowpiercer” ~ June 27th
In this French graphic novel turned film, we catch a glimpse of a dismal life in the future when our attempts to halt global warming goes terribly wrong. Trapped on a traveling train are the only survivors in a Titanic-like division of classes, where some will fight (or die) for a better life. Among the cast, Chris Evans, who is well known for portraying comic book characters such as Captain America and Human Torch, lends his talents as the protagonist as Tilda Swinton brings life to the villain. If there is barely anything left of existence, what would you give to find meaning in your life?
4. “The Purge: Anarchy” ~ July 18th
In the unattached sequel to last year’s film, we meet a young couple that is caught on the streets of the city during the annual “purge”. What I found interesting about this choice is that this is not at all connected to the previous characters, so it really is a full revival of what I can assume will be a series. I also agree with the decision to cast lesser known actors to avoid guessing how long their character will survive. The first film spawned nonstop conversations upon exiting the theater on whether or not it would be wiser to stay in and wait, or venture out for riches and revenge. The first film showed us what the upper class does during the purge, but this Summer – we see beyond the security systems and panic rooms into the inner city streets and darkest corners of human urge.
5. “Jupiter Ascending” ~ July 18th
Can Channing Tatum really be an alien? I guess it would explain a lot. I’ll admit, as soon as I saw him with the pointy ears, I giggled to myself, but a little farther into this trailer and I was actually really impressed. This Summer for their first 3D film, the Wachowskis bring us the story of a regular (but not so regular) girl who discovers that she’s wanted dead by someone powerful and not of this world. It seems like a planetary version of Snow White with a touch of one of my favorite themes – a character that’s living an ordinary mundane life finds out that they’re extraordinary and it opens up a whole new world. Sean Bean also stars, giving the cast a little more credibility on the sci fi and action side. With the tagline “expand your universe”, this film boasts to do exactly that.
6. “Guardians of the Galaxy” ~ August 1st
Well hello James Gunn! With a well known cast, director James Gunn gives us a taste of his flair for action and perfectly timed comedic relief combined with his attention to detail. As stated by Imdb.com, this will be the “first non-Avengers Marvel property developed by Walt Disney Pictures” and unfortunately “the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film to not feature a cameo by Stan Lee”. Disney is under heavy scrutiny by Marvel and Star Wars fans alike, so hopefully they are not to blame for a lack of our Generalissimo. I don’t have incredibly high hopes that this film will stand the test of time, as I believe “The Avengers” will, but I can definitely count on it being worth the cost of admission.
7. “Sin City: A Dame to Die For” ~ August 22nd
After the seven year wait, the sequel is finally here minus a few recasts due to scheduling conflicts, pregnancy, or untimely deaths (don’t worry, Jessica Alba is still a stripper), Frank Miller returns with yet another segment to take us into the pages and the secrets of Sin City. The average movie-goer won’t notice the minor, but necessary, differences and the graphic novel enthusiast will appreciate the fact that Miller is the screen writer and director as well. New actors include Joseph Gordon Levitt in a coveted lead role originally offered to Johnny Depp, while Ray Liotta and Eva Green also join this all star cast. If you get the chance to attend the midnight show for this film, it’s definitely going to be worth it. I may be getting a little ahead of myself, but I’m really interested in the special features that will be available upon the DVD release later this year.
There may be movies you’re surprised you didn’t see on this list. I can explain simply my reasoning behind these exclusions by again stating that this list is based on my opinion and in my opinion I really do not enjoy most remakes or actors cast that do not resemble the original representations. I will not be seeing any of the “Planet of the Apes” films as they are nothing like the originals and I can’t stand the remakes and the way they’re done. I will also not be seeing “T.M.N.T” because casting Megan Fox as April is a cheap way to gain audience attention. She looks nothing like April and there wasn’t even an attempt to cast a redhead. As Stan Lee said in Spider-Man 3, “’nuff said”.