The 2014 Film Release Calendar: June

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.

Here’s June:

June

Edge of Tomorrow

I’ve been hearing about this for years. Originally it was a black list script called “All You Need Is Kill.” It was basically Groundhog Day but a sci-fi action movie.

And then Tom Cruise took over.

I’m worried about this. I normally like Tom Cruise movies, but lately… he’s been very hit or miss. Oblivion was really not that amazing, and I’m worried that this could turn out in much the same way. I liked Jack Reacher, though, which leads me to believe this might also be worthwhile.

I guess I have to say 3 stars. I want it to go higher, and I doubt it can go lower. 3 stars is the “generic but watchable” action movie rating for me. So I’ll assume 3 for sure, and hope it goes higher. It’s Doug Liman, who…. he has a good track record (Swingers, Go, The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith), but he also hasn’t directed anything really good in a while (Jumper, Fair Game), and has a proclivity for making movies with lots of script changes (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) and reshoots (The Bourne Identity). So I don’t know what to make of this one.

I’ll stick with 3, and hope this bumps up to 3.5.

The Fault in Our Stars

Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel’s other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support group.

This synopsis is horribly written, IMDB.

But also, it sounds pretty good. Shailene Woodley is always good for choosing good material, I feel. And Ansel Elgort is in this, who was also the guy in Divergent (two in a row for them?), as are Willem Dafoe and Laura Dern.

Sounds interesting enough to me.

3.5 stars. Maybe I’m overeager and this ends up being 3, but whatever. I’m trusting Shailene Woodley.

22 Jump Street

After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt and Jenko when they go deep undercover at a local college.

I’m cool with this. The first one surprised the shit out of me in terms of how funny it was.

I’m not gonna assume this will be the same, because then I’m just asking for a letdown.

I’m gonna say 3 stars and hope this jumps up to the 3.5 I’d probably expect for this most of the time. (I have to keep low expectations with comedy. That’s the only way I end up liking them.)

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Well, the first one was very enjoyable.

I can’t honestly say I needed there to be a second one.

It’s been five years since Hiccup and Toothless successfully united dragons and vikings on the island of Berk. While Astrid, Snoutlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island’s new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. Now, Hiccup and Toothless must unite to stand up for what they believe while recognizing that only together do they have the power to change the future of both men and dragons.

Sure.

I pretty much know what I’m getting here. I’m not expecting much, and since it’s taking place in a certain time period, that should keep the pop culture references and usual annoying traits found in DreamWorks animation low enough for this to maintain 3 stars. It might be 2.5, but we’ll stick with 3 for now, since I’ll assume, based on the first one, it’ll be pleasant. I’d be shocked if this ended up as anything but 2.5 or 3.

Jersey Boys

It’s a movie of the Jersey Boys musical. About the Four Seasons.

Directed by Clint Eastwood.

Not sure why Clint Eastwood is directing this, but it’s fascinating to me nonetheless.

I guess because A Star Is Born fell through, so he went over to this.

I can’t honestly say I’m expecting much out of this.

All the leads, I believe, are mostly the ones from the show, and Christopher Walken has a part (which — bless him for that), but honestly — I really don’t know what I’m getting here. It seems like a musical designed for middle-aged white people.

So let’s call it 3 stars. I feel like 3.5 is a ceiling on this for me, and this really has potential to drop way lower. But I want to trust Clint Eastwood, since all of his movies have over the past decade been 3 stars. So let’s call it three and let the movie decide what it’s going to be.

The Purge 2

So, we have no idea what this is about, only that it’s a sequel to The Purge.

Which is fine enough for me.

I imagine this will take place either at the same time as the previous movie, or during another Purge. Seeing as how it looks like a new cast, I’m guessing it might be the same time. Which would be interesting.

I liked the first one. More so the premise than the actual execution. It doesn’t hold up at all when you try to scrutinize it. So hopefully this goes further into the premise and less about the one family’s home invasion angle and remains interesting.

3 stars. Let’s assume the premise keeps me interested.

Think Like a Man Too

Oh boy, a sequel.

Why is Kevin Hart in every black movie this year?

Also, didn’t see the first one, so this is an automatic skip for me.

Enjoy counting all the money, Steve Harvey!

Transformers: Age of Extinction

A mechanic and his daughter make a discovery that brings down Autobots and Decepticons – and a paranoid government official – on them.

I like how they worked in the fact that there will be Michael Bay humor within the synopsis. Just in case we weren’t sure there was going to be an over-the-top character.

But hey, it’s Bay, it’s Transformers — I assume this will be worth my time, as all of the other ones were. (Revenge of the Fallen… ehh, all right. barely. But at least there were explosions and shit.)

I really want him to stick with the actual Transformers stuff than shit with the humans. It seems like he’s not gonna do that, and is gonna make this about Wahlberg, which I don’t know if I care about.

So, 3.5 stars. At this point I need more robots fighting than human stories. So I’m downgrading to 3.5 and hoping the movie hits 4 on its own.

– – – – – – – – – –

And that’ll do it for the next ten days.

Tomorrow we get back to some year end lists.

We’ll pick up July through September later on.

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