Summer Movie Guide 2014
Whether you see him as a comedy genius or an immature man-child, it's an undeniable fact that Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane has become a true force in Hollywood's comedy scene. Following up on the success of 2012's comedy smash Ted, MacFarlane is returning to the big screen with a fresh entry in the oft-ignored western comedy genre. Telling the tale of a paranoid farmer trying to navigate the hazard-filled Wild West and win the heart of a stunning newcomer (Charlize Theron), the film looks to blend classic western film imagery with MacFarlane's trademark brand of arbitrary humour to create what could potentially be the best entry in the genre since Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles. Also starring: Giovanni Ribisi, Neil Patrick Harris and Liam Neeson.
June 13th - How to Train Your Dragon 2 — directed by Dean DeBlois
After the original tale of a young boy and his beast captured hearts and nearly $500 million in the box office, a sequel to the 2010 animated triumph comes with all the surprise of the daily sunrise. Five years after Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) united the Vikings with the local flying lizards, the formerly landlocked tribe has left the island to see what lays over the horizon, leading to a deeper conflict that is sure to be lost under the fantastically appealing looking visuals. With the returning main cast being joined by Hollywood heavyweights Cate Blanchett and Djimon Honsou, as well as Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones' Jon Snow) all signs are pointing toward a film that is bigger than its predecessor, and will be sure to put a dent in the wallet of every parent and young-at-heart adult this summer.
June 13th - The Signal — directed by William Eubank
Mind-bending, imaginative, and confusing are just a few of the descriptions that will come to mind after seeing the trailer for The Signal, the second film rookie director William Eubank, whose sole directorial effort was Love, the surprising art-house drama produced by alt. rock band Angels & Airwaves. Following three college students on the trail of a famous hacker, only to find themselves under the thumb of some guy (Laurence Fishburne) and his unidentified organization. Is it the government? Is it aliens? The only certainty about this film is that it's doing everything it can to remain a mystery. Also starring Brenton Thwaites and Olivia Cooke.
June 13th - 22 Jump Street — directed by Phil Lord & Chris Miller
Raise your hand if you thought 2012's 21 Jump Street was going to be yet another shallow and insipid remake of an ‘80s property starring Channing Tatum (looking at you G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra), only to have your mind changed by a combination of great writing and his unlikely bromance with Jonah Hill. Following through with Ice Cube's closing promise, 22 Jump Street is sending the two heroes to college to track down another campus drug dealer and if that sounds similar to the plot of the first movie. It's probably deliberate as the foundation of the series' success is it's a self-aware parody of every movie trope under the sun. Also starring Nick Offerman, Rob Riggle and Dave Franco.
June 27th - Transformers: Age of Extinction — directed by Michael Bay
Love him or hate him, Michael Bay is back with film's loudest franchise as Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) and the Autobots return to join forces with Mark Whalberg to defend the world from another evil robot attack, that's right, no more Shia LaBeouf, fans rejoice! Years on from the destruction of Chicago in the last film, the Transformers have gone into hiding until they are forced out to deal with another threat to humanity, and themselves. Also starring Kelsey Grammar, Nicola Peltz and Stanley Tucci.
June 27th - The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz — directed by Brian Knappenberger
It has already made its debut at this year's Sundance Film Festival but this moving, in-depth look at the life and tragic death of one of the net's most beloved figures. Asking questions of the United States' stance on Internet laws, and whether or not Swartz was being set up as a scapegoat is the focus of the film that is a must see for anyone who spends some of their time online.
July 18th - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes — directed by: Matt Reeves
One of the few reboots that arguably is of higher quality than the original, 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes not only reenergized the franchise, it marked a further evolution in acting. Andy Serkis' motion-capture performance as Caesar was the first to be recognized by major film associations. In what looks to be a much darker sequel, humanity has been all but wiped out by a viral outbreak and the intelligent apes have begun to claim Earth as their own. What remains of humanity is forced into an uneasy peace with the apes that quickly falls apart, leading to what could be the final battle for the planet. Also starring Gary Oldman, Judy Greer and Jason Clarke.
August 1st - Guardians of the Galaxy — directed by James Gunn
The newest and strangest entry in the ever-growing Marvel universe, GOTG follows a ragtag team of heroes through space in order to secure an ancient artifact, boring stuff until you consider that this team consists of two aliens, a man from the ‘80s, a machine-gun toting raccoon and a living tree. Headed up by Chris Pratt (Parks & Recreation) and featuring vocal work from Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel this movie has the potential to be one of the year's unexpected hits. Also starring: Zoe Saldana, Benicio Del Toro and John C. Reilly.
August 8th - Expendables 3 — directed by Patrick Hughes
Sylvester Stallone's ongoing mission to gather every breathing action star into a single movie is entering its third stage, with everyone's favourite geriatric mercenaries setting out to do battle with another evil dictator. With veterans Mel Gibson, Antonio Banderas and Wesley Snipes joining the team, the series is looking more grey and grizzled than ever, but it is sure to fill the “big blockbuster” gap for the remainder of the summer months… Also starring Jason Statham, Jet Li and Randy Couture.
August 8th - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — directed by Jonathan Liebesman
Another ‘80s childhood favourite, the Ninja Turtles are no strangers to the big screen, with a glorious ‘90s trilogy and a CGI feature already under their belts, they're kicking their way into modern day film under the guidance of Michael Bay's production company. Bay's name is enough to send shivers down the spine of any fanboy, and the worry is that fans will be getting a shallow action film in the Transformers vein. Trailers are hinting at Bay's signature big and loud style being prevalent in the film, and the turtles' design has been met with mixed reactions, leaving the films potential as somewhat of a mystery. Starring Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Johnny Knoxville and William Fichtner.
August 15th - The Giver — directed by Philip Noyce
A long-overdue adaptation of the 1993 Newbery medal winner that we all read in the seventh grade, The Giver looks to bring Lois Lowry's classic to a new generation. Starring Jeff Bridges in the titular role of a man charged with passing on the memories of the past to a chosen youth in a seemingly perfect society. Taking on such a beloved story is always a challenge, but attracting heavyweights such as Bridges and Meryl Streep and aiming to keep the colourless aesthetic of the story intact shows that there is some real promise behind this project. Also starring: Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush and Katie Holmes.
August 22nd -Sin City: A Dame to Kill For — directed by Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller
Back in 2005, Robert Rodriguez brought Frank Miller's neo-noir classic to screen to surprising success, perfectly capturing the grim spirit of the source material and launching names like Clive Owen and Mickey Rourke back to the top of Hollywood's A-list. Nine years and several delays later, the remainder of the Sin City universe is finally being brought to life by the same creative team, revisiting old characters and introducing a number of new stories from the underbelly of America's seediest fictional town. Also starring: Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Eva Green.