Monday, 21 Sep 2020
Hollywood Trends

2014 Movie Preview: The 20 Films We’re Most Excited About

Yahoo’s Entertainment reporter Bryan Enk, recently released a list of the top 40 films they are excited about. Won’t mind that kind of preparation by our Nollywood guys, but ah well…
But instead of the 40, I present top 20 movies, and the list of movies that are adaptations from either a novel, theatre production or comic book. What does this mean however, is Hollywood getting less creative or has it come to a point where they feel they don’t have to re-invent the wheel let’s take a novel, stage play or comic book, get a great script writer and change it up; not to take away from the original plot, but also add a twist to it???

But I digress, here’s the list of the top 20 films, and if by any chance a Nollywood Director or Producer is reading this, and you have movies coming out this year, kindly share it with us:

20. “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Release Date: Jan. 17
Starring: Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Kenneth Branagh, Keira Knightley
Director: Kenneth Branagh
The Scoop: The reboot of Tom Clancy’s CIA hero got pushed out of the holiday season in favor of a Christmas Day release for Paramount’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which makes “Jack Ryan” one of the classiest January releases to come out in years. Chris Pine follows in the footsteps of Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck for what could be called “Jack Ryan Begins,” which should feature a healthy dose of operatic theatricality courtesy of director Branagh (who will also chew scenery as the film’s villain).

19. “Jupiter Ascending
Release Date: July 18
Starring: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne
Director: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
The Scoop: We have no idea just what in the heck the latest sci-fi extravaganza from the Wachowskis is about, as the eye-popping trailer slyly avoids revealing anything beyond a vague idea of the premise. We’re just glad that we’re finally getting another sci-fi extravaganza from the groundbreaking duo that brought us “The Matrix” — and bonus that it features a cast that includes Kunis, Tatum, Redmayne, and ever-grizzled Bean.

18. “The Grand Budapest Hotel
Release Date: March 7
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Saoirse Ronan, Bill Murray
Director: Wes Anderson
The Scoop: Ralph Fiennes looks to be the best Wes Anderson actor ever in the trailer for the auteur’s latest bit of quirky cinematic preciousness as the charming concierge of a five-star hotel, displaying the kind of comic timing and lithe physicality he’s rarely able to show off when he’s playing big baddies like Lord Voldemort. Familiar Anderson faces make up the film’s ultra-impressive supporting cast, including Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Jason Schwartzman, Harvey Keitel, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Bob Balaban, and, of course, Bill Murray.

17.The Interview
Release Date: Oct. 10
Starring: James Franco, Lizzy Caplan, Seth Rogen, Randall Park
Director: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
The Scoop: The writing-directing duo of “This Is the End” (we’re still laughing at some of the gags in that one) return with a raucous comedy about a talk show host (Franco) and his producer (Rogen) getting caught up in an international assassination plot via a femme fatale CIA agent (Caplan). Even if “The Interview” ends up only half as funny as “This Is the End,” it’ll still qualify as a mini-classic … even without (we’re assuming) an appearance by a well-endowed demon, at that.

16. “Fury
Release Date: Nov. 12
Starring: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal
Director: David Ayer
The Scoop: One of two 2014 offerings from “End of Watch” writer-director David Ayer (the other being the Schwarzenegger vehicle “Sabotage,” which didn’t make our list), “Fury” takes place during the last days of World War II as a hardened American tank commander (Pitt) leads a unit of five soldiers behind enemy lines as Nazi Germany collapses around them. The film snagged
some bad press when the rather explosive production made a ton of racket whilst shooting during the early hours of Remembrance Day, observed in Commonwealth countries in memory of those members of the armed forces who died in the line of duty.

15. “22 Jump Street
Release Date: June 13
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, Nick Offerman
Director: Phil Lord, Chris Miller
The Scoop: They taught at least one high school to Just Say No, and now Jenko (Tatum) and Schmidt (Hill) are deep undercover in college to fight more evil and tolerate more “You look a little old to be here” observations from their fellow, er, students. More red-band hijinks ensue, though this time without the added bonus of a Johnny Depp cameo … and, we have to admit, we’re gonna kind of miss Dave Franco this time around, too.

14. Monuments Men
Release Date: Feb. 7
Starring: George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Bill Murray
Director: George Clooney
The Scoop: Clooney’s latest directorial effort was originally scheduled for the 2013 holiday season
but jumped ship from the overcrowded market for the much less competitive waters of early February, with an all-star cast comprising a WWII platoon of misfits assigned with rescuing priceless works of art from Nazi destruction. Clooney’s work as a director to date has been good, not great, but he definitely knows how to surround himself with A-list — and must-see — talent.

13. “The Hobbit: There And Back Again
Release Date: Dec. 17
Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans
Director: Peter Jackson
The Scoop: Oh yeah, there’s still one more of these things to go! “The Desolation of Smaug” traded the bucolic charms of “An Unexpected Journey” for a stronger sense of narrative tension, ending with a cliffhanger — spoiler alert! — in which Smaug himself (Benedict Cumberbatch) flies off to spew his fiery wrath upon the citizens of Lake-town. “What have we done?” muses Bilbo (Freeman), perhaps speaking for director Peter Jackson as he might be wondering whether this whole make-it-a-trilogy idea was actually a good one. The jury’s still out with us, too, but we’re excited to see it through.

12. “Gone Girl
Release Date: Oct. 3
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Missi Pyle, Neil Patrick Harris
Director: David Fincher
The Scoop: David Fincher returns to crime thriller territory with this adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel in which a recently laid off journalist (Affleck) is suspected of murdering his wife (Pike), who mysteriously disappeared on their five-year wedding anniversary. Plenty of twists and turns abound, unfolding under Fincher’s perfectionist supervision with everyone looking plenty pretty thanks to the cinematography of Jeff Cronenweth, who shot Fincher’s “Fight Club” (1999), “The Social Network” (2010), and “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” (2011).

11. “Divergent
Release Date: March 21
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Miles Teller
Director: Neil Burger
The Scoop: Hollywood takes another shot at the whole YA thing with this adaptation of Veronica Roth’s dystopian novel in which people are divided into five distinct factions based on their personalities and abilities. Challenging this way of life — and the force that might turn it on its head — is, of course, an attractive teenage girl (Woodley), accompanied by an equally attractive male counterpart (James). Will “Divergent” be ‘the next Hunger Games,’ that seemingly unattainable cinematic Holy Grail … or will it suffer the same fate of recent failed YA adaptations such as “The Host,” “Beautiful Creatures,” and “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones”? The odds are in its favor, thanks mostly to the fact that Woodley is a full-throttle movie star just waiting for the right flick to catapult her to the big leagues.

10. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Release Date: April 4
Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
The Scoop: Steve Rogers gets the “Bourne” treatment as the star of his very own contemporary political thriller in which the First Avenger faces modern-day corruption in the government he once thought so infallible, soon discovering that his red, white and blue get-up really stands out in a world awash in shades of grey. Back for more Marvel action is Johansson as Black Widow, whilst Mackie is set to steal some scenes (and rule the skies) as Sam Wilson/Falcon. Also, Robert Redford is in it, which is all sorts of awesome.

9. “Noah Release Date: March 28
Starring: Russell Crowe, Logan Lerman, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson
Director: Darren Aronofsky
The Scoop: After the astonishing commercial success of “Black Swan” (2010), director Darren Aronofsky was given license to pretty much do whatever he wanted as a follow-up. He’d already done a slimmed-down version of his dream project, “The Fountain” (2006), so he opted for this epic disaster film featuring the Bible’s biggest action star (played by, appropriately enough, the “Gladiator” himself). No matter what you may personally believe when it comes to the Old Testament, you can’t deny that such a story is in good hands with this director and cast.

8. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Release Date: May 2
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Dane DeHaan, Jamie Foxx
Director: Marc Webb
The Scoop: Now that the by now all-too-familiar origin story is out of the way, the rebooted “Spider-Man” series comes into its own with a tale that introduces some of the wallcrawler’s most popular and powerful nemeses: the electricity-wielding Electro (Foxx), the brutal Rhino (Paul Giamatti in a mech suit) and what appears to be the Green Goblin, as personified by — we assume — Dane DeHaan’s wily and ambitious Harry Osborn. Carrying the film’s emotional weight once again is Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, a charming smarty-pants who cracks wise so that he may not have a complete nervous breakdown.

7. “Maleficent
Release Date: May 30
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Juno Temple
Director: Robert Stromberg
The Scoop: Angelina Jolie as Disney’s most terrifying villain? Yep, we’re there. Jolie gets wicked as the self-proclaimed ‘Mistress of All Evil,’ who first gave audiences nightmares in animated form in “Sleeping Beauty” (1959). Will we get to see Jolie turn into a black and purple dragon at some point in the film? Hey, Smaug can’t be the only fire-breather in town.

6. “Transcendence
Release Date: April 18
Starring: Johnny Depp, Kate Mara, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman
Director: Wally Pfister
The Scoop: Christopher Nolan’s go-to cinematographer makes his directorial debut with this sci-fi film that looks like a classier version of “The Lawnmower Man” (remember that one?) as a terminally ill scientist (Depp) manages to transfer his consciousness to a computer, which gives him all sorts of god complexes and raises questions of who we are as human beings and where we’re going and the dangers of the thirst for knowledge and other heavy, pre-Summer Movie Season stuff. Give yourself one more brain tease before school’s out.

5. “Into the Woods
Release Date: Dec. 25
Starring: Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick
Director: Rob Marshall
The Scoop: Stephen Sondheim’s beloved stage musical finally becomes a big-screen fairy tale courtesy of “Chicago” director Rob Marshall, sporting an A-list cast of crooners including Depp as the Wolf, Streep as the Witch (which also absorbs the stage role of the Mysterious Man), Blunt as the Baker’s Wife and Kendrick as Cinderella. Oh, you also get Chris Pine as the Prince, Tracey Ullman as Jack’s Mother and Christine Baranski as Cinderella’s Stepmother. Bring on those Oscar noms and soundtrack downloads!

4. “Guardians of the Galaxy
Release Date: Aug. 1
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel
Director: James Gunn
The Scoop: And you thought “Thor” was a hard sell? The God of Thunder (or something) is about as mainstream as you can get compared to the bizarro lineup of Marvel’s intergalactic team of superheroes, which includes a gun-crazy raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper, at that) and a giant walking, talking tree (played by Vin Diesel) and is led by the guy who plays Andy on “Parks and Recreation.” Actually, the comedy-tinged “Guardians of the Galaxy” is so crazy, it just might work.

3. “X-Men: Days of Future Past
Release Date: May 23
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender
Director: Bryan Singer
The Scoop: Talk about your Mutant Mania! The latest “X-Men” adventure incorporates the casts of the original trilogy and 2011’s “First Class” with a time-bending plot that involves Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) going back in time (courtesy of the phasing abilities of Ellen Page’s Kitty Pryde) to prevent a series of events that will lead to a catastrophic future. We’ll soon see if this falls into the same ‘too many mutants’ trap of “X-Men: The Last Stand” (2006), but with original “X-Men” (2000) and “X2” (2003) director Bryan Singer back calling the shots, we’re allowing ourselves to think “Days of Future Past” might end up being the best X-movie yet.

2.”The Hunger Games: Mocking jay Part I
Release Date: Nov. 21
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Sam Claflin, Julianne Moore
Director: Francis Lawrence
The Scoop: “Catching Fire” surpassed its predecessor in pretty much every category, setting the bar pretty high for the two-part finale. Will lightning keep striking one of the few YA adaptations to actually command a “Twilight”-sized audience? The odds are … well, pretty good, as “Catching Fire” director Francis Lawrence is returning to call the shots and J.Law’s star is going to just keep burning brighter. Bonus: After Philip Seymour Hoffman’s sly turn as Plutarch Heavensbee, we’re now looking forward to his “Magnolia” and “Boogie Nights” co-star Julianne Moore joining the fray as Alma Coin.

1. “Interstellar
Release Date: Nov. 7
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine
Director: Christopher Nolan
The Scoop: Nolan turns his attention from Gotham City to outer space with this sci-fi film about mankind taking more than just one small step in our continuing exploration of the cosmos. The film’s trailer promises something grand and majestic as McConaughey plays a self-described pioneer who takes space travel to the next level; Nolan is definitely swinging for the fences here, looking to create something worthy of being mentioned in the same sentence as Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Considering the fact that he’s Christopher Nolan, he just might pull it off.

Here, we have the list of movies that are adaptations:

1.        Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

2.       The Hobbit Trilogy

3.       Gone Girl – adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel

4.      Divergent – adaptation of Veronica Roth’s dystopian novel

5.       Captain America: Winter Soldier: Marvel Comics Adaptation

6.      Noah – An adaptation of Noah from the bible

7.       Amazing Spider Man 2 – Marvel Comics Adaptation

8.      Maleficient – An adaptation from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty

9.      Into the Wood – An adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s stage musical

10.    Guardians of the Galaxy – An adaptation from Marvels Comics

11.     X-Men: Days of Future Past – An adaptation from Marvel Comics

It wouldn’t be a bad idea if Nollywood would borrow from this idea for 2014 and beyond. Maybe have a modern day Check Mate, Trials of Brother Jero, Ripples, Passport of Mallam Illa, Behind the Clouds, Things Fall Apart, Supple Blues, Third Eye, Village Headmaster, Cock Crow At Dawn and House Number 13, I know I won’t mind.

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