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

THE HYPE IS BUILDING…

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:

10. ALL YOU NEED IS KILL

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

9. GODZILLA

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

8. DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

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

7. FAST & FURIOUS 7

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

6. TRANSFORMERS 4

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

5. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDER

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

4. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

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

3. X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

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

2. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

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

1. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

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!

EPIC VILLAINS IN A SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

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?

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?

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

5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements

November 29, 2012 at 7:43 am

5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements

Growing up, I was always interested in showing my family the latest technology. Imagine playing with an iPad having been around when television was just getting warmed up.  I’m starting to get that feeling myself.  I still remember our first modem and what it meant.  Back then, I used to log in to a primitive forum that only let you online for an hour a day.  Even then, I was interested in movies.  That was the first forum I visited and the majority of my hour was spent discussing movies.

Technology kept getting better.  The world got faster modems, better websites, more engaging content and up to the minute second information.  Just before I graduated high school, I remember scouring the web for any piece of information I could find on The Matrix sequels.  I had to know details immediately.  This desperate search led me to many of the websites I still visit every day.  Since that time, technology evolved and movie news has never been easier to consume.

Now I look back on how I used to get my movie news and I’m blown away by how far we’ve come.  Now there are thousands of websites and blogs out there.  The internet has a pulse and I’m no longer solely a reader,  I’m a contributor. It’s so much fun.

Looking back, I decided to focus on 5 announcements that blew my mind and kick started my addiction to movie news.

XTRA | Movies that changed everything: A 12 Part Series

SPIDER-MAN ON THE BIG SCREEN

My favorite Superhero.  When I found out that Sam Raimi was creating a live action Spider-Man movie I was speechless.  CG technology was exploding and the very thought of live action web slinging was too good to be true.

I still get goosebumps watching that trailer.  It’s Spider-Man!  I still can’t believe it’s been over 10 years since Peter Parker changed the Superhero movie forever.  I also can’t believe the series has already been rebooted but I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man and I’m looking forward to following the ‘electrifying‘ sequel.

5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements

THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE

“Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Nick Fury, Black Widow & Hawk Eye are on stage together!”

Marvel had done it.  4 movie franchises would come together in the biggest Superhero movie of all time:  The Avengers. Years later, I’m still stunned they not only pulled it off but exceeded expectations.  The ‘official’ hype began with a press conference at Comic Con in 2010…

5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements

XTRA | Top 10 Moments: The Avengers

I loved The Avengers but beyond that, I loved following the film’s development.  I loved the Easter eggs they built into the movies that preceded it.  What threat could possibly exist that would challenge these larger than life heroes?  I was actually sad after I saw The Avengers.  I had so much fun reading about the film.  Then I remembered PHASE TWO!  Another round of phenomenal Marvel movies is on the way and it all leads to The Avengers 2 in 2015.

Until then, we must wonder what Thanos will do to make these heroes assemble again.

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

PETER JACKSON & THE HOBBIT

The Lord of the Rings.  Three movies that I watch at least twice a year.  That includes the hours of amazing special features included in the extended editions.  LOTR is a remarkable achievement and an adaptation that captured the imaginations of millions around the world.  I absolutely adored The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The next logical step was the Hobbit but the film was plagued with legal issues causing endless delays.  Not to mention the concern fans had knowing Peter Jackson planned on handing over the keys to Middle Earth to another filmmaker.  Those concerns were alleviated when they announced that Guillermo Del Toro was on board.  Unfortunately, the production ran into more delays and Del Toro departed.  Heart break once again…

Until Peter Jackson himself stepped up and vowed to return to Middle Earth.  That was an unbelievable announcement.  Then they announced three movies instead of two!  Another trilogy directed by Peter Jackson featuring the same dedicated team of filmmakers.  A dream come true.

THE MATRIX GETS TWO SEQUELS

“They are making a sequel to The Matrix!? …  Hold on…  There is going to be two AND they are filming them back to back?”

The Matrix Reloaded.  Some people love it, others think the original should have been left alone.  Even those who hated the sequels were still curious at some point. Where will the Wachowski’s take Neo next?  I was obsessed.  I read every article I could.  I was searching for Matrix news before I checked my own email on a daily basis for months.  How could they possibly continue such a complex story? (Insert Architect joke here)

XTRA | Top 10 Matrix Moments

When The Matrix Reloaded came to an abrupt end, I was even more addicted to news and rumors.  Thousands posted theories on what could happen next and I read all of them.  Speculation was as endless and I was addicted.  The Matrix Revolutions delivered a fitting end even though it wasn’t as spectacular as I hoped.  The Matrix will always be my favorite but I loved Reloaded because it inspired the movie nerd in me.

The day I found out they were making two sequels changed everything…

XTRA | What The Matrix Screenplay Taught Me

5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements

DISNEY ANNOUNCES STAR WARS EPISODE VII

I thought we had seen the last of the galaxy far far away…  I didn’t hate Episodes 1,2 & 3 but they definitely didn’t rise to the level of the original trilogy.  I never imagined that one day, we would FINALLY get true sequels to Star Wars.  Then Disney announced the acquisition of LucasFilm.  One single press release literally blew up the internet.  The hype began instantly and speculation will dominate movie websites until the day Star Wars Episode VII is released in 2015.  This doesn’t even include the sequels and spin offs the mouse house is planning.

I don’t normally cover news on my blog but I couldn’t resist.  It’s Star Wars Episode VII!

What will it be about?  Will Luke Skywalker and the rest of the original cast return?  Who will direct it?  When will we find out more!?

XTRA | Star Wars Episode VII Story Round Up

XTRA | Disney & Star Wars: 5 Things I Love & A Couple Things I Don’t

There’s also an interesting battle brewing in the Summer of 2015.  Which film will gross more?  Star Wars 7 or The Avengers 2?    The culmination of Marvel Phase 2 and a sequel movie fans have been waiting decades to see. (Disney wins the Summer 2015 box office battle by the way.  I’m prepared to make that call now since they own both franchises.)

5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements

ARE YOU ADDICTED TO MOVIE HYPE?

I grew up searching for my favorite movies and devouring the articles I found.  Every new trailer, tv spot, poster, synopsis, casting announcement, set pic and interview makes me smile.  I’m addicted to movie hype.  Today, it’s easier than ever to find information on the movies you can’t wait to see.  Technology has indeed come a long way since I was young.

However, one thought makes me smile more than all of the massive announcements combined: Back then I used to search for articles.  Today, I write my own.  It’s funny how people evolve just like the technology we use to tell our stories.

Click here for more Movies

Click here for links to tons of GREAT movie blogs around the web.

XTRA | Follow this conversation on REDDIT

A Spider-Man Story We’ve Seen Before Is Still Amazing

July 5, 2012 at 8:00 am

A Spider-Man Story We've Already Seen Is Still Amazing | The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) Review

SPIDER-MAN IS BACK ON THE BIG SCREEN!

I really enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man.  Even though I probably should have been a little bored.  We all know the story of Spider-Man.  He’s one of the most popular fictional characters ever created.  Mainly because it’s a simple story with TONS of character.

A teenage loner gets bitten by a spider and gains power but also responsibility.  As Spidey learns to manage his new secret identity there are several classic staples that have to be included in his origin story.  His relationship with Uncle Ben has to be a tale of respect and regret.  ‘The Girl’ needs to feel like she’s truly a part of his story.  He has to learn his powers through trial an error etc…

The fact is, there are moments in Peter Parker’s past that DEFINE who he is as Spider-Man.  Personally, I think Marc Webb did a better job with Spider-Man’s journey than Sam Raimi did.  (All due respect to Spider-Man 1 & 2)

THE DARK KNIGHT EFFECT

A Spider-Man Story We've Seen Before Is Still Amazing - Review 2012

Thanks to Christopher Nolan’s brilliant Batman trilogy, superhero movies all seem to be striving for dark and gritty realism.  I think some people expected Peter Parker to be a brooding high school version of Bruce Wayne.  I don’t think that was ever the intention.  The realistic approach became apparent to me when Peter falls through a ceiling and into a wrestling ring.  That ring is another big plot point in Spidey’s past but instead of having Peter fight Randy Savage, the scene becomes a quiet moment of inspiration.  As much as I loved Sam Raimi’s origin story, this felt more natural and…  realistic.

It takes a long time for Spider-Man to finally appear and I was okay with that because Peter Parker’s story is so interesting.  Many reviews I read were put off by the similarities in Peter’s origin.  It would have been a lot worse if they changed things or skipped over too many details.  (Look at how fans reacted to the Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles announcement a few months ago.)

With so many people comparing this movie to Raimi’s version I ask; If they didn’t redo the origin and set up their own universe and set of rules, wouldn’t we all be using Raimi’s version as a guide?

Andrew Garfield is Spider-Man now and I think, a much better Peter Parker.  Honestly, I was just happy to have the character back on the big screen again.

IT’S NOT PERFECT

A Spider-Man Story We've Seen Before Is Still Amazing | The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) Review

It’s easy to forgive big films like this for lack of ‘big’ action moments when the character relationships are front and center.  Batman takes a long time to appear in Batman Begins but we didn’t notice because the story was fascinating.  The Amazing Spider-Man almost achieves the same effect but falls short in a few spots.

The majority of Spider-Man’s early screen time is spent dominating petty crooks and thieves.  There isn’t really much danger there.  When he finally comes face to face with The Lizard he kicks him once then saves a kid.

The Lizard’s story is a good one but I thought the CG on the creature was a little distracting when he was on his own.  When he finally goes toe to toe with the web head, the effects are more believable.  I would have loved a couple more scene stealing shots during their fights.  Most of the time, Spider-Man is just avoiding claws.

XTRA | The Top 5 Moments From The Amazing Spider-Man Trailer 3

THE UNTOLD STORY?

Essentially, the Spider-Man’s origin story is THE SAME as the original film but the focus is on Peter’s mysterious parents and their disappearance.  We were promised an untold story and big reveals.  Peter Parker’s parents disappeared and are presumed dead.  The circumstances surrounding their disappearance is a mystery.

But there are NO reveals and the untold story remains untold.  News broke soon after The Amazing Spider-Man’s release that this is the first film in a trilogy.  That makes it a little easier to forgive the lack of answers but why promise to dig into his past with no pay off.  We don’t even get a solid hint just casual references throughout the film.

We now have to wait two years for more information on the central theme of this rebooted trilogy.  What happened to Peter Parker’s parents?

The Amazing Spider-Man wins with it’s honest portrayal of Peter Parker and his relationships.  I give the film big marks for awesome web slinging shots but the film fell a little short on the Lizard action.  Regardless, Spider-Man is a really entertaining tale that’s worth seeing if you love Spider-Man.

He’s back on the big screen! And finally we can truly forget that Spider-Man 3 ever existed.

Click here for more reviews.

A Spider-Man Story We've Seen Before Is Still Amazing | The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) Review

A Spider-Man Story We've Seen Before Is Still Amazing | The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) Review