The 2014 Film Release Calendar: April
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.
What I’m doing is going over everything as it’s currently scheduled. I’m doing the first six months now, then taking 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.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
So it’s the sequel to Captain America.
I only saw the first movie once, but I imagine if I saw it again, I wouldn’t like it as much as I did that one time.
This one — couldn’t give any less of a shit about it. I’m so done with Marvel. Their stuff is really becoming tedious at this point.
I’m assuming I’ll give this 3 stars, but I really don’t know how I’m going to respond to the movie. That’s really what I’m interested in seeing.
I generally like Captain America more than I like Thor, but now that this story doesn’t take place in the 40s, why should I care at all?
After spending 12 years in prison for keeping his mouth shut, notorious safe-cracker Dom Hemingway is back on the streets of London looking to collect what he’s owed.
I was tracking this last year. I believe my exact words were that this sounded exactly like one of those 70s movies that would have starred Michael Caine.
I’m really excited for this. It sounds great.
I’m gonna go with 3.5 stars. I think I went with that last year, and I’m sticking with that.
I think 3 stars is the minimum here.
Oh, I’m all in for this one. I’ve been all over this since they announced it.
I even read the script for this. It’s incredible. If they fuck up the script as it is — which would be very hard to do, this is, at minimum, a 3.5 star movie. If they mostly keep the script I read in tact, this is a 4 star movie.
The script was on the Black List a few years ago. It’s fantastic. Draft Day is one of the most fascinating little microcosms you can possibly deal with as subject matter for a film, and this film does it really well. The script was about the Bills, but the film switched it to the Browns, and I think that was ultimately a better choice, given that franchise’s history of losing. At least Buffalo got to four Super Bowls in a row.
But yeah, this script was amazing, and this should end up as one of the better films of 2014. The whole first 2/3 of this movie are completely authentic, and while the last ten get a little far-fetched in terms of things that would actually happen, we forgive things like that. It’s kind of like how, in the poker movie, when the final hand happens to be four of a kind beating a full house. Dramatic license.
But yeah — watch out for this one. It’s gonna be good.
I barely got through the first one. And now I have to suffer through another?
I want to say 2.5, but the last one was filled with shitty pop music and racially stereotyped supporting characters. Give me more of the same, I will downgrade this.
St. Vincent De Van Nuys
A young boy whose parents just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic, war veteran who lives next door.
Oh, this looks enjoyable. Starring Bill Murray.
Also in it are Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Chris O’Dowd, Terrence Howard and Nate Corddry.
Honestly, I remember hearing this was a great script, and knowing Bill Murray is involved, given his — I guess choosiness is the word — I feel like there’s something worthwhile here.
3.5 stars. I hope this ends up somewhere in that top ten article in December.
It’s a Schwarzenegger film, which means a base of 3 stars. It’s also a David Ayer film, which really means it’s a base of 3 stars. Dude directed Harsh Times, Street Kings and End of Watch. Nothing lower than 3 there. All at least 3.5, even. So 3 stars is your base figure here.
And this has a nice supporting cast to it, too, which leads me to believe there’s at least a base of quality here. Them bumping it is a wash, since it went from late 2013 to January to April. Which leads me to believe they think it’s better than a January movie.
It’s also supposed to be loosely based on “And Then There Were None,” so there’s that.
I’m gonna stay with 3 stars, though I can see this going up to 3.5. I can’t imagine this goes less than 3, given everything I just said. I’d like it to go higher, but I’ll stick with 3 for now.
Frankie & Alice
Wait… this came out 4 years ago. Halle Berry was nominated for a Golden Globe for this in 2010.
I’m pretty sure I have this movie.
But they’re releasing it here?
Pretty sure I can’t honestly count this as a 2014 movie. I guess I can for the count, and since I’m guessing and all, but it’s not really 2014.
2.5 stars. How can this be good if they shelved it for three years?
Heaven Is for Real
A small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son’s extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world.
Directed by Randall Wallace, who wrote Braveheart and directed The Man in the Iron Mask, We Were Soldiers, and Secretariat.
The man is no stranger to overt religious messages.
We all know how much I hate this religious bullshit, so there’s a pretty good chance I’ll skip this altogether.
But on the off chance I do see it, 2.5 stars. I’m sure I’ll hate it on the grounds of it being a religious movie, but maybe I’ll find the heart to claim indifference.
A terminally ill scientist downloads his body into a computer. This grants him power beyond his wildest dreams, and soon he becomes unstoppable.
This… I don’t know about this.
Honestly, I’m not expecting a whole lot out of this.
Wally Pfister is directing, and I assume we all saw that trailer.
Depp, Kate Mara, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Paul Bettany — he’s got a cast. But will this be any good?
I’m thinking this will either be 3 or 3.5 stars. And quite frankly, I’m gonna go low here. I’m going 3 stars, because to me, this seems more like a solid 3 star movie than anything else. The trailer made it seem like it’s pretty self-explanatory. Depp is studying the Singularity, then he gets shot, they upload his brain into a computer, then he becomes all-powerful, and they eventually have to stop him. I mean, it could be 3.5 stars, but it would really have to have some nice twists and turns for me to be legitimately excited about this.
And I’ll be wrong. Let this be 3.5 stars. Let this be 4 stars. But right now, I want to see it. I feel like I already know what’s going to happen here before I see it, and this will just end up being a thriller with some big ideas behind it.
Would it be too much if the last thing I said was that I wanted to see this film “transcend”?
The Other Woman
After realizing she is not her boyfriend’s primary lover, a woman teams up with his wife and plots mutual revenge.
This thing reeks of Unforgivable. Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton.
You had me at Cameron Diaz.
It was also written by a woman. And if you notice, some of the most offensive and demeaning movies about women are written by women. I’ve always felt that there’s this thing with female screenwriters, where people ignore them in general, and when they do get stuff made, it’s the same generic shit, sometimes even more so, than if it were written by men. It feels like they go out of their way to make things even more offensive to women to somehow make up for the fact that they’re a woman. I don’t know. That’s just how I feel. It’s speaking to a greater issue at large, but it still annoys me when I see it.
I’m all over this one. I can’t wait to hate this.
The Quiet Ones
A University physics professor assembles a team to help create a poltergeist.
Create a poltergeist?
Oh-kay. I’ll give them credit for something I haven’t heard before.
Still not gonna see it, but I’ll give them credit nonetheless.
(P.S. It’s The Quiet Ones you gotta watch. You’re welcome, America.)
Walk of Shame
A reporter’s dream of becoming a news anchor is compromised after a one-night stand leaves her stranded in downtown L.A. without a phone, car, ID or money – and only 8 hours to make it to the most important job interview of her life.
Oh boy. This one could go many different ways. This could be Unforgivable. Then again, with it taking place in a limited amount of time — it could be all right.
Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden, Ethan Suplee, Gillian Jacobs, Kevin Nealon… and one writer and director. That’s promising.
Though it’s also the director of Drillbit Taylor. (Though admittedly he didn’t write that.)
I don’t know what to think about this.
So let’s say 2.5 stars. Let the film decide. I hope this could be good. But we all know what can happen with this.
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Tomorrow, we’re previewing May.