I’m as aware as you are that every year I put some real shite on my Most Anticipated list, but what can I say, hindsight is 20/20, and if all I’ve got to go on is a cool premise and a well-crafted trailer, then that rubbish with Will Smith and his kid is going to get listed.
I’m sure that this year’s list is no different. Getting down to 10 was tough, and just so you know, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For is deliberately left off because despite my excitement, I simply can’t trust it’s going to make it to cinemas in 2014. I’ve been burnt too many times, dammit.
Anyway, here are the 10 films I’m most looking forward to in 2014:
After the Dark Knight trilogy, there are some excited people out there, eager to see what Christopher Nolan produces next. Interstellar follows a team of scientists who discover a wormhole to alternate dimensions, and stars Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway. Expect amazing effects and philosophical pondering.
Under The Skin
Jonathan Glazer’s (Sexy Beast, Birth) new film has divided those who have managed to catch it already, but I think it sounds fascinating.
The almost wordless sci-fi thriller stars Scarlett Johansson as an alien who stalks Scotland, preying on men, and much of the film was shot undercover in Glasgow and the Highlands. Semi-disguised with a matted black wig, Johansson went into nightclubs and shopping centres followed by hidden cameras, and the reactions of the people around her are totally genuine. A spooky curio, that should hit cinemas around Easter.
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Bryan Singer hasn’t been involved in an X-Men film since the superb X2 back in 2003, so it will be interesting to see what the director can bring to the table a decade on.
Starring cast members from across the franchise (although Anna Paquin’s Rogue has just been edited out), Days of Future Past sees the mutants travelling back in time to change a major historical event that could harm everyone on the planet. X-Men: First Class was better than expected, so hopes are high for this follow-up.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Oh, The Hunger Games. Nobody was more surprised than me when Catching Fire made it onto my 2013 best-of list, and now I can’t wait for the third film. As is popular right now, the last book of the trilogy has been split into two (so this is part 1 of 2), but I’m confident there’s enough to ensure both films are great.
The Monuments Men
The Monuments Men is the latest directorial effort from George Clooney (who also co-wrote the script) and follows a small platoon of soldiers during the Second World War, tasked with recovering artistic masterpieces. Films like Confessions of a Dangerous Mind have proved that Clooney can be a smart, nuanced director, and with a cast including Matt Damon and Bill Murray, The Monuments Men has a lot to offer.
A huge, sprawling sci-fi opera, written and directed by the Wachowskis; not a huge amount is known about this film yet, expect that it’s likely to be the first part of a trilogy and stars Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum in a story about a poor cleaner who possesses the same ‘perfect’ genetic makeup as the Queen of the Universe and is therefore deemed a threat to her rule.
Jupiter Ascending will either be amazing or a huge pile of impenetrable tosh. I’m banking on the former.
The Edge of Tomorrow
One day Tom Cruise will stop disappointing me. Yeah, Jack Reacher was pretty good, but it wasn’t the kind of mega-huge hit I expect from The Cruiser. Perhaps this film will make things right? In The Edge of Tomorrow, Cruise is a futuristic, robotic exo-skeleton-clad soldier, caught in a time loop which forces him to fight and die in the same battle over and over again. Emily Blunt co-stars in this adaptation of the Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
A new Wes Anderson film is always cause for celebration, and The Grand Budapest Hotel is his latest finely-manicured feature. Ralph Fiennes stars as the concierge of the hotel in the title, who takes a younger employee under his wing. Jude Law, Edward Norton and Tilda Swinton star alongside Anderson regulars like Adrien Brody and Owen Wilson. Expect black comedy, beautiful cinematography and an eclectic soundtrack.
Dumb and Dumber To
Directed by the Farrelly brothers and starring original leads Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, the teenager in the back of my head who watched the first Dumb and Dumber on a dodgy VHS is really excited about the sequel. The plot is nothing special (20 years after the dimwits set out on their first adventure, they head out in search of one of their long lost children in the hope of gaining a new kidney) but done right, a comedy sequel can be a beautiful thing; Anchorman 2 proved that.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The final spot on this list almost went to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but my inner comic-book geek won out. Marc Webb, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are returning for the sequel to the rebooted Spider-Man franchise, with loads of baddies involved in this one, including the wonderful, brilliant, glorious Paul Giamatti as Rhino. Spidey will be in cinemas in May.