The 2014 Film Release Calendar: January
And now we’re looking ahead to 2014.
Every January, I preview all the films that are scheduled to come out for that year. Not all of them do, of course, and it gets a bit crazy every year in terms of changes, but basically the point of it all is to know what’s coming out, know what to get excited for, know what to start bracing myself for, and, selfishly, guess what I’m going to think about all the movies to see how accurate I was at the end of the year. And also see which movies surprised me, for better and for worse.
It’s gotten to be a whole great thing. Since at first it was just what Wikipedia’s year in film article said, plus a few others that weren’t scheduled that I just knew about. And then the year after that it was a few more films. And last year it was like, 200 or something. And now, it’s probably like 200 or something, plus all the ones from last year that I’m continuing to track. Eventually it’ll be to the point where really the only ones I haven’t heard about or previewed at some point are either foreign films, documentaries, and like 5% of those movies that just come out of nowhere.
So, what I’ll be doing, starting today, is going over everything as it’s currently scheduled. We’ll do the first six months over the next six days, then take a ten day break in between to go over some other stuff (Oscar nominations are going to be announced, the Golden Globes will happen — big stuff), plus allow for the later months of the year to maybe become more solidified, and maybe let a few changes happen, since I’ve discovered that a lot of things do get moved this time of year, often right as I’m putting the articles together. So it works twofold. I get to talk about other stuff and let the dust settle as much as possible so as not to make everything that much crazier come December.
That said — here’s January:
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
It’s another one of these ones.
I think I made it three (?) movies into this franchise before I gave up. I honestly couldn’t tell you what these are supposed to be about.
I’ll be skipping this, and you can guarantee that.
The Adventurer: Curse of the Midas Box
Is this a thing that exists?
This reminds me of all those TV movies Noah Wyle did a few years back. Like, “The Librarian: Quest for the Spear,” or some shit like that.
(No joke, I actually got that one right.)
You can tell it’s British. No one else would use the word “adventurer” in a title.
Here’s the IMDB synopsis. It’s thrilling:
Ancient mysteries. Powerful evil. And a fearless hero’s quest through a fantastical realm of steam-powered wonders and sinister magic… In THE ADVENTURER: THE CURSE OF THE MIDAS BOX, seventeen-year-old Mariah Mundi’s life is turned upside down when his parents vanish and his younger brother is kidnapped. Following a trail of clues to the darkly majestic Prince Regent Hotel, Mariah discovers a hidden realm of child-stealing monsters, deadly secrets and a long-lost artifact that grants limitless wealth – but also devastating supernatural power. With the fate of his world, and his family at stake, Mariah will risk everything to unravel the Curse of the Midas Box!
Why not? It’s got a cast on it. Michael Sheen, Lena Headey, Sam Neill, Ioan Gruffudd… I was gonna ignore this completely, but I might actually go see this now.
Uhh… 2.5 stars. I’ve a feeling 3 stars is max for this, and 2.5 is most likely. It should certainly be one or the other.
The Legend of Hercules
The origin story of the the mythical Greek hero. Betrayed by his stepfather, the King, and exiled and sold into slavery because of a forbidden love, Hercules must use his formidable powers to fight his way back to his rightful kingdom.
Origin story? Really?
Also… pretty sure that’s not what happened to Hercules.
Also pretty sure that Heracles is the Greek name and Hercules is the Roman one. But something tells me this film doesn’t give a fuck about accuracy.
It’s nice to see Renny Harlin back, though. I guess.
Renny Harlin, in case you guys didn’t know, is responsible for a wide range of movies, both awesome and shitty, and some of the biggest bombs of all time.
I guess you can say he got noticed here after A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. I’m assuming.
Somehow, with really only that on his resume, he got hired to do Die Hard 2. Which, admittedly, was the weakest of the franchise until Bruce came back for two more, but it’s not the film’s fault, it’s actually very watchable.
Then he made The Adventures of Ford Fairlane. Because of course you go from Die Hard to Dice.
Then he made Cliffhanger. Talk about wildly different outcomes every other movie.
Then he made Cutthroat Island. And somehow he was able to work again after this. I’m pretty sure this is still one of the top ten biggest disasters in terms of percentage of budget recouped of all time.
Then he made The Long Kiss Goodnight. Which is a fucking incredible movie. I don’t care what anyone says.
Then he made Deep Blue Sea. Which — is what it is. I happen to love this movie. But I’m also aware.
Then — Driven. Yeah. And then Mindhunters, which I hope no one else has ever had the misfortune of seeing. Then he directed one of the two cuts of Exorcist: The Beginning. I say two cuts because — well… the movie has an interesting history. Then he did The Covenant, which no one saw, Cleaner, a straight to DVD starring Samuel L. Jackson (which I think I have somewhere, still unseen), 12 Rounds, starring John Cena, and then some movie called 5 Days of War which I know nothing about. And here he is again. Not thinking this one’s gonna go well.
The movie stars the sixth lead of Twilight. So I’m sure that’s a good sign. The female lead is hot as shit, but how hard is it to have that?
2 stars. Are we not expecting a complete and utter disaster from this?
After a mysterious, lost night on their honeymoon, a newlywed couple finds themselves dealing with an earlier-than-planned pregnancy. While recording everything for posterity, the husband begins to notice odd behavior in his wife that they initially write off to nerves, but, as the months pass, it becomes evident that the dark changes to her body and mind have a much more sinister origin.
Yeah… it’s a horror movie. I put the synopsis up there on the off chance something would grab me.
Won’t see this. We know me. Horror movies are my one genre I pass on.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
We previewed this last year. They bumped it from a crowded Christmas schedule into the little pond that is January.
This is gonna demolish everything around it. And it’s clearly not of a January quality, which is nice for me, and good for this particular month, because it’s gonna end up bumping up the overall ratings average.
I think we all know about this one, since we’ve had time to see the trailers and such. I know I must have heard Kenneth Branagh say, “You think this is game, Jack?” about a dozen times now.
I’m not crazy about Jack Ryan being a field agent, but I’m willing to go with it. It looks like a good movie. And the fact that they were ready to put this in December tells me its definitely of a certain quality.
Plus — Chris Pine is a good leading man, Kevin Costner is awesome, I love Keira Knightley unconditionally, and Kenneth Branagh is both in it and directing. I was in for this last year.
I’m sticking with 3.5 stars here. Nobody has the balls to make the Russians the villains anymore. This film is unabashedly doing so, accents and all. I mean, there are other, more legitimate reasons for me to go 3.5, but — Russians.
The Nut Job
Some chick I met at a New Year’s Eve party gave me one of these.
Surly, a curmudgeon, independent squirrel is banished from his park and forced to survive in the city. Lucky for him, he stumbles on the one thing that may be able to save his life, and the rest of park community, as they gear up for winter – Maury’s Nut Store.
The only way I can really enjoy this movie is if Surly is the most miserable piece of shit in the world. I’m talking like — if Surly were voiced by Larry David, and the movie went that route… then I’d give it a chance.
Otherwise — nah.
Oh, also — Brendan Fraser is in the cast. That’s never a good sign nowadays.
And so is Katherine Heigl. In case you weren’t so sure.
And Gabriel Iglesias.
And Jeff Dunham.
You guys tying the noose yet, or what?
Will Arnett is the main squirrel, and Liam Neeson is voicing a raccoon, but I think we all know what the score is for this.
2 stars. If it goes 2.5, and I do end up being indifferent about this, I’ll actually be surprised. Not terribly, but, enough. It’s really hard for movies like this to not suck. And this is January. So why expect otherwise?
The poster says it all.
You know… I’m gonna give this one a shot.
My gut says, “Just say 2 stars and get it over with. You know what you’re getting,” but… I’m gonna give it a shot. I’m gonna go 2.5 stars, and know that when this does end up being 2 stars, I’ll be right, because I know what I’m getting. This is just my way of saying — I’m not gonna prematurely shit all over this movie, because I know everyone is gonna shit all over this movie. I’m gonna go in with even expectations, and if this movie wants to drop to 1.5 stars and make a case for Unforgivable… that’s okay. I’m just saying… it’s getting a fair shot.
(But we do all expect this to be a piece of shit though, right?)
I must have been tracking this for two years now. Finally it’s coming out.
I’ve talked about this so many times now, I’m not even going to go over it again.
I’m not expecting much. James Earl Jones is in this, but so is Brendan Fraser. But, you know… maybe it could be moderately interesting. After two years, I hope it’s at least 2.5 stars.
Frankenstein’s creature finds himself caught in an all-out, centuries old war between two immortal clans.
Uhh… all right.
I mean, I knew about this from last year, because they bumped it from September or October or something.
Which… just like Gangster Squad.
Maybe that was their way of telling me, “Don’t make that same mistake twice.”
Though I doubt I’d have ever made that here. It’s about fucking Frankenstein. Tell me this doesn’t reek all sorts of Jonah Hex.
It’s 93 minutes long. It has “shitty” written all over it.
2.5 stars. Maybe it’ll be shitty and watchable. 3 stars would shock me. 2 stars is also possible. But we’ll figure I’ll just get through it.
Bill Nighy is also in this. He was in Underworld. He must really like getting paid from these movies.
That Awkward Moment
Three best friends find themselves where we’ve all been – at that confusing moment in every dating relationship when you have to decide “So…where is this going?”
The cast is actually good. I mean — Efron… whatever. But Miles Teller is a plus and Michael B. Jordan is nice to see. And then Imogen Poots, who I’m starting to enjoy seeing in things, Addison Timlin, who I fell in love with after seeing her in Odd Thomas, and then the guy who wrote it is also directing it, which means it’ll be the movie he wants to tell, for better or worse.
I honestly can’t go any other way but 3 stars. I really can’t see this ever going higher than this, and would be surprised if it wasn’t either 2.5 or 3. If I can get out of this one with 3 stars, I’ll be totally satisfied. It’s January.
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Just as a quick note — I just guessed only two movies for the entire month to finish above 2.5 stars. And one of them got pushed from 2013 and was clearly a 3 star minimum movie last year. So that means I’m expecting one movie over 2.5 stars.
Yeesh… January is bad.
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Tomorrow, we’re previewing February.