10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014

May 20, 2013 at 8:44 am

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014


Every summer, as the big movies approach, I always feel like the following summer won’t stack up. In 2012, we got the ultimate superhero team up as Marvel unleashed The Avengers. Christopher Nolan completed his legendary Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises. Spider-Man returned to the big screen with a completely new look. How would 2013 top that?

How about Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, Man of Steel, Pacific Rim & The Wolverine?

COUNTDOWN | Top 10 Summer Movies 2013

Now that Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has kicked off with Iron Man 3, I think it’s time to look ahead and see what’s coming. Here are 10 big 2014 summer movies to look forward to:


Tom Cruise returns to science fiction after saving the world in 2012’s Oblivion.  All You Need Is Kill is based on a novel of the same name by Hiroshi Sakurazaka with illustrations by Yoshitoshi ABe.  Here is a brief plot description from Amazon.com:

“There’s one thing worse than dying. It’s coming back to do it again and again… When the alien Gitai invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many raw recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to find himself reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On the 158th iteration though, he sees something different, something out of place: the female soldier known as the Bitch of War. Is the Bitch the key to Keiji’s escape, or to his final death?”

Sounds wonderfully strange.

REVIEW | Oblivion, Prometheus, Moon & Independence Day

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview


I loved Gareth Edwards ‘Monster’.  Now he gets to make the mother of all monster movies (with respect to Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim.)  Godzilla is THE monster.  Hopefully they can erase the memory of Roland Emmerich’s 1998 adaptation starring…  Mathew Broderick.

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview

REVIEW | A Monster amount of character


Speaking of erasing bad memories… Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of my favorite surprises of 2011.  It was a brilliant reboot that made me forget all about Tim Burton’s attempt.  This was Ceasar’s story and I loved his story.  Andy Serkis gave us one of the best motion capture performances of all time.  I can’t wait to see what the apes have planned for us in 2014.

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview

REVIEW | Rise of the Planet of the Apes


Rumor has it, Jason Statham will join the cast for the seventh installment as a villain.  This time, Saw alum James Wan takes over for director Justin Lin.  This series has seen unprecedented longevity and now boasts a cast that may rival The Expendables by Fast 9.  Will see if a new director can keep things fresh for Dom and his team.

XTRA | Fast Five is Rock Solid


I loved the first Transformers but I really hated the sequel Revenge of the Fallen.  The third installment was a return to form but now all bets are off.  Michael Bay is currently redesigning Autobots and Decepticons.  He’s bringing in an entirely new cast including Pain & Gain‘s Mark Walberg.

XTRA | Big Blockbuster Blogging: My first Transformers 4

REVIEW | Transformers Dark of the Moon?  Apology accepted Michael Bay

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview


Marvel’s Cinematic Universe will certainly get a big boost when Captain America returns to the big screen.  I say that because the film will feature many prominent members of S.H.E.I.L.D.  The organization was one of the main ways Marvel connected their films from Phase One.  S.H.I.E.L.D was absent from Iron Man 3 and more than likely won’t be a major part of Thor: The Dark World either.  This may be the film that updates us on the universe as a whole as well as Captain America’s adjustment to the modern world.

Note: This isn’t technically a summer movie with an April release date but lets face it…  It is.

COUNTDOWN | Top 10 Moments: Marvel’s The Avengers

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview


I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man.  The reboot managed to retell Peter Parker’s origin story without feeling like a shot for shot remake.  Andrew Garfield IS Spider-Man now.  His next challenge?  How about Jamie Foxx as Electro and Paul Giamatti as Rhino?  Not too mention the first appearances of Mary Jane Watson, Harry Osborn and his famous father Norman.

This has all the makings of a fantastic summer movie.

XTRA | Larger Than Life Movie Villains Revealed!

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview


When Brett Ratner created X-Men: The Last Stand…  He literally destroyed the series.  Major characters were killed off and the whole thing felt like a rushed mess.  When you do that, it’s pretty difficult to create a sequel.  What did they do?  They brought in Matthew Vaughn to create a prequel.  The result was X-Men: First Class.  A fantastic movie that reminded us that the X-Men franchise has a lot left to give.

I don’t think anyone saw Bryan Singer returning for the follow up.  Regardless, the man who brought the X-Men to life before Ratner killed them all is back!  Now we get to see mutants from the past and present in one giant movie.  It may not be as big as The Avengers but this movie will definitely flex it’s Superhero muscle.

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview


I still can’t believe this movie is happening.  I grew up with Ninja Turtles.  I had the action figures, the bed sheets, the Halloween costumes…  You name it.  I absolutely love the movies as well. (The first two at least.)  The thought of seeing the Turtles in a new live action movie with TODAY’S technology is thrilling to say the least.  The child in me is smiling.  I’ll be there on opening day.

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview

XTRA | Hey! Jonathan Liebesman!  How about some Ninja Turtles Concept Art!

XTRA | Why the new Ninja Turtles movie is off to a great start

XTRA | Awesome Ninja Turtles Fan Art


Who are The Guardians of the Galaxy?  I struggled putting this above Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but it’s the unknown that intrigues me.  What does Marvel have up it’s sleeve?  No doubt this film will set the stage for The Avengers 2 and the villain Thanos.  Big superhero movies are normally reserved for well known franchises.  This is definitely a risk but I’m on board.  I love the idea of a Marvel movie set in space with characters I know nothing about.

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview

XTRA | I’m glad I don’t know anything about Guardians of the Galaxy

COUNTDOWN | Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I’m looking forward to.

XTRA | Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two Round Up

Which Summer movie are you excited for?

Larger Than Life Movie Villains Revealed!

May 9, 2013 at 8:19 am

Movie Hype: Larger Than Life Villains Revealed!


If I may quote Mission Impossible 2:

“Every search for a hero must begin with something which every hero requires…  A villain.”

We all love great villains.  They are the reason our heroes are called to action in the first place.  Throughout history we have been blessed with iconic and unforgettable villains.  The Wicked Witch of the West, Hannibal Lector, Darth Vader, Auric Goldfinger, Nurse Ratched, The Joker, Norman Bates, Freddy Krueger, Verbal Kint, Biff Tannen, Bill the Butcher, Doc Ock, Tommy DeVito, Alex DeLarge…

Movie Hype: Larger Than Life Villains Revealed!

Dramas, horror, thrillers, comedies…  Every genre has it’s classics but no group faces more scrutiny that the Summer Blockbusters.  Big franchises, sequels and the unstoppable force known as the comic book movie.

It’s the first question we all ask when a giant blockbuster is announced.  Whether it’s a new franchise or a sequel we all want to know who our favorite heroes will fight next.  How will these villains look?  Sound?  Move?

Fans crave every detail leading up to the movies they cannot wait to see.  I remember staring at this image wondering what Christopher Nolan’s Joker would be like.

Movie Hype: Larger Than Life Villains Revealed!

The Joker was brilliantly realized by Nolan and wonderfully portrayed by the late Heath Ledger.  However, by the time the movie arrived, we had several trailers, clips and more that took away at least a little of the mystery. Is that a bad thing?  I don’t think so.  We live in a different time.  I suppose the question is…

Can you keep a big villain secret?  Should you?

I wonder how much scrutiny Darth Vader would face if Star Wars was released today.  A world where studios preemptively release images from sets in order to beat the spies to the punch.  Every time a movie shoots an exterior scene, images shot on cell phones pop up online.  We live in an age of social media.  An era where promotion is 24/7 and fans are closer than ever to the development process.

Now, I don’t want to sound like a spoiled brat.  Here I am, discussing my relentless craving for new villain reveals while complaining that we know too much before they are unleashed.  I just appreciate the evolution of the villain reveal.

We may have 4 or 5 trailers for each big blockbuster these days but I could choose to avoid them.  I just don’t.  I simply cannot resist pressing play and envisioning the adventures that await on the silver screen.

There are filmmakers out there who work tirelessly to keep their big projects a secret.  J.J Abrams immediately comes to mind.  When he and his team produced Cloverfield, it nearly broke the internet when they unveiled the mysterious trailer.  What the hell did the Cloverfield monster look like?

Cloverfield awesome monster movie

Personally, it drove me nuts for months.  The director repeated this tactic when he created Super 8. It’s a proven way to generate interest in a film.   Super 8 was actually my favorite movie of 2011.

He’s doing it again with Star Trek Into Darkness.  Who is John Harrison?  Is it really Kahn?  The answers are coming.

Movie Hype: Larger Than Life Villains Revealed!

XTRA | Between Bilbo Baggins and John Harrison…  There is Sherlock

XTRA | One Trek…  One No Trek

Honestly, I can’t decide which side I’m on.

Do I prefer the shroud of secrecy and the anticipation it ignites?  Or do I want a constant stream of updates and risk burning out before the lights dim?


In the last few weeks, we were treated to new trailers that revealed Superman’s enemy Zod and Thor’s next challenge Malekith.  Both look incredible.

COUNTDOWN | Top 5 Moments: Man of Steel Trailer #3

COUNTDOWN | Top 5 Moments: Thor The Dark World Trailer #1

We were also given a glimpse of Jamie Foxx as Electro in next summer’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2:

Movie Hype: Larger Than Life Villains Revealed!

Would you rather wait to see the villain?

I’m not sure if you can argue one way or another which approach is better.  Secrecy is frustrating but could ramp up the hype to impossible heights.  On the other hand, transparency invites discussion online and the promotion never stops.  There are pros and cons to both.  Sometimes too much secrecy can be seen as a weakness or a lack of faith in the studio.  Sometimes, a villain is revealed and hardcore fans tear it apart in vicious blog posts, tweets and parodies.

Yet sometimes, magic can be captured in the imagination of a film fan’s curiosity.  The same blogs and tweets can also be overwhelmingly positive.  Take Electro for example.  I think he’s going to look awesome on the big screen.  I can’t wait to see what he looks like with added effects.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how or when a villain is revealed.  Whether it’s a year out or opening night, the only thing that really matters is…  The story.

The next generation of heroes and villains are coming.  Which ones will claim their place amongst the greatest of all time?  That’s a search that will never end.

XTRA | 10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons

XTRA | 10 Awesome Looking Movie Villains

Marvel’s Cinematic Universe Kicks Off With Iron Man 3

May 4, 2013 at 9:07 am

Iron Man 3 & Big Sold Out Opening Day Blockbusters | Review 2013


I stood in the concession line with my wife and two of our friends.  Iron Man 3 was set to begin in 25 minutes.  I felt anxious.  It’s not everyday you get to see a massive blockbuster movie on opening day.  I felt like I had to rush into a giant line wondering if we would score good seats.  Times are different now.  We bought our tickets online the day they went on sale and reserved our seats directly in the middle of the theater.  When I saw The Dark Knight we had to line up 2 hours before the movie began and we weren’t even close to the front of the line.  A Bigger screen, better sound, assigned seating and an eager crowd…  The perfect setting to kick off a new slate of Marvel movies.

We got our popcorn and made our way into the theater.  My anxiety quickly became excitement.  Another round of Marvel blockbusters was set to begin…


The short answer is yes.  I think this might be the best movie Marvel has produced to date with the exception of The Avengers.  Honestly, there’s no way they could best the finale of Phase One.  Iron Man 3 is certainly ambitious but not on a world scale.  This is a simpler story.  This is Tony Stark’s story.

Iron Man 3 & Big Sold Out Opening Day Blockbusters | Review 2013

Tony is a beaten man when the movie begins and slowly things keep getting worse.  Thanks to a terrorist called The Mandarin, he finds himself alone without both his physical and emotional armor.  Half way through the movie, I began thinking about how little of Iron Man we actually see in the first two acts.  It’s a testament to the larger than life performance of Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark.  Iron Man 3 is just as funny as it is serious.  His amusing banter with a child is especially entertaining.  This series has always contained comedy but here you can tell they had a blast on set.

As Tony rebuilds himself we get reminders of what he went through in The Avengers.  Aliens invaded our planet and he fought side by side with Gods and genetically enhanced soldiers.  That’s a pretty good reason to have an anxiety attack or two.

“Gods, aliens, other dimensions?  I’m just a man in a can.”

Iron Man 3 & Big Sold Out Opening Day Blockbusters | Review 2013

The story’s villain was…  Surprising to say the least.  A while back, I wrote an article about the 10 things I’m looking forward to most in Marvel’s Phase Two.  #9 Iron Man vs The Mandarin.  Here’s what I said:

“The final battles in Iron Man and Iron Man 2 weren’t the greatest in my opinion.  I doubt Iron Man will fight The Mandarin in a fist fight but there’s no way the finale won’t be massive.  Just look at all the Iron Man suits in the second trailer.”

Without spoiling anything, The Mandarin is certainly not what you would expect.  (Good for you Ben Kingsley by the way) As a result, this film lacks a truly iconic comic book villain but it works here.  There is still a phenomenal final act.  Dozens of remote controlled Iron Man suites more than made up for the lack of Iron Man in the first half.  This is by far the best finale of the series.


If you go into Iron Man 3 expecting a ton of fallout from The Avengers and a setup for The Avengers 2 you’ll be disappointed.  They tried to incorporate too much into Iron Man 2 and it was a disaster so I’m glad they kept things restrained.  Still, I didn’t think we would get a Thanos appearance but I thought they would at least plant seeds for what’s to come.   We aren’t any closer to finding out where Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is heading but it’s still early.  We still have Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy to look forward to.

XTRA | I’m glad I don’t know anything about Guadians of The Galaxy

XTRA | Top 10 Moments: Marvel’s The Avengers

XTRA | Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two Round Up


I saw Iron Man 3 in a sold out theater full of excited fans.  There wasn’t a single idiot around us chatting or texting friends.  The movie itself is full of humor, heart and fantastic action including a breathtaking aerial rescue.  It was nice to see Tony Stark taken back to square one.  It serves as a clean slate for the franchise and it sets the stage for what will be an amazing journey to The Avengers 2.

You have to see this movie in theaters.

Click here for more reviews.

Note: Forgot to mention our little group CRUSHED that theater at Timeplay.  We finished 1,2,3.  (My wife beat me.  I love her.)

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two Round Up

April 25, 2013 at 8:52 am

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two Round Up

Phase Two is about to begin.  If you’re a massive Marvel fan like me you’re already scouring the web for new information on the next slate of films.  No time?  Here are a bunch of articles, videos and concept art to help ease the wait for Iron Man 3!


Joss Whedon on the challenge of making The Avengers 2 | Geek Tyrant

Kevin Feige: ‘Phase Two’ Marvel Movies Will ‘Keep Taking Risks’ |Screen Rant

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Predicting the next decade of movies | What Culture

30 Predictions for Marvel Phase 2 (And 5 for Phase 3) | ComicBookMovie

Hero Worship: Why I’m Excited for Marvel Phase 2 | IGN

Thor: The Dark World Trailer Analysis | Screen Rant

Rewind Theater: Thor The Dark World trailer 1 | IGN

5 Ways Marvel’s Phase 2 will change filmmaking forever | What Culture

Marvel Phase Two: The Complete Guide | Total Film

Extended Marvel Phase Two Preview Reveals Ant-Man and the Falcon! | Movie Web

Kevin Feige talks Thanos and the build up to Phase Three | Screen Rant

Predictions of Avengers 2, 3 and beyond | Trash Mutant

Predicting Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe | Revo-Emag

Guardians of the Galaxy will be 95% in space | /Film

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: Bigger than we thought? | ComicBookMovie

10 things I’m looking forward to in Marvel’s Phase Two | The Athletic Nerd

Top 5 Moments: Thor The Dark World Trailer #1 | The Athletic Nerd


Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To
Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two Round Up

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two Round Up

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two Round Up

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two Round Up
Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two Round Up

What are you looking forward to most about Marvel Phase Two?

Click here for more.

Top 5 Moments: Thor The Dark World Trailer #1

April 23, 2013 at 11:25 am

Top 5 Moments: Thor The Dark World Trailer #1


Finally, we get to see the first trailer for Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World.  It’s a fantastic trailer with a great score and tons of action.  It definitely looks a lot bigger than the original Thor with more worlds and greater stakes.  I’m very excited to see how it fits into Marvel’s plans for Phase Two.


More giant…  things?

Top 5 Moments: Thor The Dark World Trailer #1


Our first look at Malekith and his dark intentions.  I think he looks pretty great.  Will he have a connection to Thanos or does he have his own agenda?

Top 5 Moments: Thor The Dark World Trailer #1


This looks like one of the big set pieces of the story.  I’m thinking it takes place early on as Thor looks like he’s kicking ass without opposition.

Top 5 Moments: Thor The Dark World Trailer #1


Enter the opposition…  Malekith has Jane and Thor appears helpless…

Top 5 Moments: Thor The Dark World Trailer #1


Enter the help!  An imprisoned Loki is Thor’s only hope?  I can’t wait to see this shaky alliance in action.  How long will this ‘truce’ last?

Top 5 Moments: Thor The Dark World Trailer #1

Phase Two!

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two