The 2014 Film Release Calendar: Films Without Release Dates (M-Z)
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.
Today, we finish the films that don’t yet have release dates:
The beautiful wife of a small-town doctor engages in extra marital affairs in an attempt to advance her social status.
Not that we needed a synopsis, but you know.
Directed by a woman, written by women, starring Mia Wasikowska.
A teenage girl in the Midwest becomes infected by an outbreak of a disease that slowly turns the infected into zombies.
Starring Chloe Moretz, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Magic in the Moonlight
A romantic comedy about an Englishman brought in to help unmask a possible swindle. Personal and professional complications ensue.
Woody Allen’s new movie
Starring Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Marcia Gay Harden, and Jacki Weaver.
Not sure why, but what the hell.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.
Man, they’ve been trying to do this for about 15 years now. Steven Soderbergh was going to do it with Clooney, Now Guy Ritchie is doing it with Henry Cavill.
Also in this are Armie Hammer, Hugh Grant, Jared Harris, Elizabeth Debicki, and Alicia Viklander.
Sounds like fun.
Directed by David Gordon Green, starring Al Pacino, and Holly Hunter.
Good enough for me.
Maps to the Stars
Complex look at Hollywood and what it reveals about Western culture.
David Cronenberg’s new movie.
Starring Robert Pattinson, Julianne Moore, Carrie Fisher, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, Olivia Williams.
Merry Friggin’ Christmas
A guy drives around on Christmas eve with his father looking for replacement gifts after realizing he left all of his son’s presents at home
Starring Robin Williams, Lauren Graham, Joel McHale, Clark Duke, Candice Bergen, Jeffrey Tambor, Oliver Platt.
Some of these people have made nice little underrated Christmas movies before.
3.5 stars. I think this could be one of those movies I like that no one sees.
Does anyone even remember The Ice Harvest?
A father and son go on the run after the dad learns his child possesses special powers.
Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, who did Take Shelter and Mud.
Starring Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver.
3.5 stars. I trust Nichols.
Over the course of a midsummer night in Fermanagh in 1890, an unsettled daughter of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy encourages her father’s valet to seduce her.
Liv Ullmann is directing this, from Strindberg.
Starring Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton.
I hope it’s 4.
A suicidal artist goes into the desert, where he finds his doppelgänger, a homicidal drifter.
Written and directed by William Monahan. Starring Oscar Isaac, Garrett Hedlund, Walton Goggins, Edgar Ramirez – he’s got a cast of very talented yet underappreciated actors. I like it.
I trust Monahan.
Art dealer Charles Mortdecai searches for a stolen painting that’s reportedly linked to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold.
David Koepp’s directing. Johnny Depp stars. Also starring Ewan McGregor, Olivia Munn, Gywneth Paltrow, Aubrey Plaza, Paul Bettany, Jeff Goldblum, Oliver Platt.
Honestly – 4 stars. Sounds like fun.
My Old Lady
An American inherits an apartment in Paris that comes with an unexpected resident.
Starring Kevin Kline and Maggie Smith. And Kristen Scott Thomas.
If anyone sees this and it’s decent, I smell some Golden Globe nominations!
Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List
Naomi and Ely have loved each other their whole lives, even though Ely isn’t exactly into girls. The institution of a “No Kiss List” has prevented the two from rifts in the past, but bonds are tested when they both fall for the same guy.
Written and directed by women.
A gay couple are trying to have a baby with the help of their best friend.
Starring Kristen Wiig, Alia Shawkat, and written and directed by Sebastian Silva.
2.5 stars. I don’t always go for his stuff.
A young man stumbles upon the underground world of L.A. freelance crime journalism.
Written and directed by Dan Gilroy.
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Bill Paxton and Rene Russo.
Uhh… 2.5 stars.
Directed by Roger Donaldson, starring Pierce Brosnan and Olga Kurylenko.
Call it 3 stars. Why not? Houston in the blind.
It’s Lars Von Trier’s film. Two parter. Can’t wait.
A father struggles to get back the home that his family was evicted from by working for the greedy real estate broker who’s the source of his frustration.
Directed by the guy who did Chop Shop and Goodbye Solo.
Starring Michael Shannon, Andrew Garfield, and Laura Dern.
North of Hell
A seductive and scheming new hire causes dangerous problems for a businessman who is married to a bi-polar, obsessive-compulsive woman.
Starring Patrick Wilson, Jordana Brewster, and… wait for it… Katherine Heigl.
You know exactly what this is.
Once Upon a Time in the Kitchen
A rivalry forms in the kitchen amongst the cutlery who come to life when the chefs aren’t looking.
Don’t worry, it’s British, so it’s not as offensive as you think.
Starring Stephen Fry, Gemma Arterton and Nicholas Hoult.
Oh, and apparently it’s animated.
9 friends take a camping trip into the woods, only to find they are not alone.
It’s a microbudget version of the board game.
If there’s any way they can do this successfully, this is the way.
I never said I’d like it. I just said this was the only way they could do it.
A mysterious warrior teams up with the daughter and son of a deposed Chinese Emperor to defeat their cruel Uncle, who seeks their deaths.
Starring Nicolas Cage.
In Colombia, a young surfer meets the woman of his dreams – and then he meets her uncle, Pablo Escobar.
Josh Hutcherson is the surfer and Benicio Del Toro is Pablo Escobar.
My worries are that this was written by an actor and it isn’t directly about Escobar.
These kinds of movies don’t usually end up being particularly good. At best you’re getting Last King of Scotland.
So 2.5 stars.
Parts Per Billion
The story of three couples dealing with a reality-shaking event that threatens to tear them apart.
Starring Teresa Palmer, Rosario Dawson, Alexis Bledel, Josh Hartnett, Penn Badgley, Frank Langella and Gena Rowlands.
I think it’s sci-fi.
American chess champion Bobby Fischer prepares for a legendary match-up against Russian Boris Spassky.
Ed Zwick is direction. You know, the guy who hasn’t found a movie that’s too baity for the Oscars.
Tobey Maguire is Bobby Fischer, Live Schreiber is Boris Spatsky. Also in it are Michael Stuhlbarg, Lily Rabe, Sophie Nelisse, and I believe the script was on the blacklist some years back.
Probably should go 3.5, but whatever. I liked Searching for Bobby Fischer, even though it has nothing to do with this.
Tired of their mother’s alcoholism and a string of her abusive boyfriends, two sisters plot to kill her.
The Pirate Fairy
It’s about Tinker Bell.
Starring Christina Hendricks, Tom Hiddelston and Mae Whitman.
Lone Sherfig’s new movie
Two first-year students at Oxford University join the infamous Riot Club, where reputations can be made or destroyed over the course of a single evening.
Starring Natalie Dormer and Sam Claflin.
Based on a play, so I imagine it’ll be all right.
A retired Las Vegas crime boss is forced to return to the city, and face his former enemies, when his teenage daughter goes missing.
Starring Bruce Willis and John Cusack. And 50 Cent. Standard straight to DVD movie, sounds like.
I’m in, though.
Inspired by the classic book by Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet is an animated feature film, with “chapters” from animation directors from around the world.
Love the “chapters” idea.
Hope it’s hand-drawn. I’d so be ready to back this for the Oscar.
The Reluctant Professor
An Oscar-winning writer in a slump leaves Hollywood to teach screenwriting at a college on the East Coast, where he falls for a single mom taking classes there.
That would worry me, but it’s a romantic comedy, so I’ll take any premise I can get.
It was written by the guy who did Miss Congeniality and other things of that sort, so it’s unabashedly a romantic comedy. No problem with that.
Hugh Grant, Marisa Tomei, Allison Janney, J.K. Simmons, Bella Heathcote, Chris Elliott. I’m down.
3 stars. Let’s not assume the worst.
Jon Stewart wrote and is directing this.
A journalist is detained in Iran for more than 100 days and brutally interrogated in prison.
I think a lot of people are gonna look to this for some Oscar recognition next year.
Let’s assume quality.
A grieving father in a downward spiral stumbles across a box of his recently deceased son’s demo tapes and lyrics. Shocked by the discovery of this unknown talent, he forms a band in the hope of finding some catharsis.
Directed by William H. Macy.
Starring Macy, Billy Crudup, Laurence Fishburne, Felicity Huffman, Selena Gomez, Jamie Chung, Anton Yelchin.
Run All Night
An aging hitman is forced to take on his brutal former boss to protect his estranged son and his family.
It’s a Liam Neeson movie. Directed by the guy who’s doing Non-Stop. Also starring Joel Kinnaman, Genesis Rodriguez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ed Harris and Common.
It’s Neeson. I’m in.
In 1870s America, a peaceful American settler kills his family’s murderer which unleashes the fury of a notorious gang leader. His cowardly fellow townspeople then betray him, forcing him to hunt down the outlaws alone.
Western. I’m in no matter what.
Starring Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jonathan Pryce — I’m so in.
No idea what this is about, but it’s starring Eliza Dushku, Michelle Trachtenberg, Sasha Grey, Gina Gershon, Garrett Dillahunt, and Michael Imperioli.
Hannah and Tahir fall in love while homeless on the streets of New York. Shelter explores how they got there, and as we learn about their pasts we realize they need each other to build a future.
Written and directed by Paul Bettany.
Even more interesting.
Starring Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Mackie.
Sounds interesting. I’m intrigued by this.
No plot. Written and directed by Olivier Assayas, starring Chloe Moretz, Kristen Stewart, Juliette Binoche.
Sleeping with Other People
A good-natured womanizer and a serial cheater form a platonic relationship that helps reform them in ways, while a mutual attraction sets in.
Directed (and I assume written) by the woman who did Bridesmaids. Which means I’m automatically going to see it.
Starring Jason Segal and Kirsten Dunst.
‘Slow West’ follows a 17-year-old boy on a journey across 19th Century frontier America in search of the woman he loves, while accompanied by mysterious traveler Silas.
Starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Michael Fassbender, Ben Mendelsohn.
It’s a western. I’m in.
A psychic works with the FBI in order to hunt down a serial killer.
Starring Colin Farrell, Abbie Cornish, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Anthony Hopkins.
Colin Farrell lets me know this will be of a certain quality.
A young archaeologist returns home from a dig in order to see her injured brother, and soon she strikes up a relationship with his favorite musician.
Written and directed by a woman. Starring Anne Hathaway.
Something tells me — 2.5 stars. I don’t want to go too high here. I sense this might not go that high for me.
Spring Break ‘83
The Z-Rows, four friends who are bullied by their graduating high school class find revenge against the now freshman college students while on spring break during 1983.
Co-written and directed by Mars Callahan, who wrote a movie called Poolhall Junkies, which is a movie that almost no one saw that I liked. So I’ll give this a shot.
John Goodman is in it, as is Joe Pantoliano, Lee Majors, Robert Davi, Jamie Kennedy, Morgan Fairchild — sure.
Squirrels to the Nuts
A married Broadway director falls for a prostitute-turned-actress and works to help her advance her career.
Peter Bogdanovich has a new movie!
… starring Jennifer Aniston.
Also starring Owen Wilson.
And Lucy Punch, Kathryn Hahn, Imogen Poots, Will Forte, Rhys Ifans, Ahna O’Reilly, Cybill Shepherd, Tatum O’Neal — jesus, he’s going through all his old co-stars too.
I have to, given the two leads. I hope I can like this, but — I know these people.
Apparently this is the highest grossing movie in Russian history.
I have it, so I’ll see it.
It’s about the Battle of Stalingrad, and it’s a war movie. Why wouldn’t I like it?
Staten Island Summer
Pals Danny and Frank spend the summer after high school working as spend as lifeguards while figuring out what their future.
Starring Ashley Greene, Gina Gershon, Kate Walsh, Bobby Moynihan, Method Man, Jim Gaffigann.
2.5 stars. Sounds indie.
The foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State.
Written by Abi Morgan, who co-wrote Shame and wrote The Iron Lady.
Directed by a woman.
Starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne-Marie Duff.
Carey Mulligan always goes for quality.
During the early years of German occupation of France, romance blooms between Lucile Angellier, a French villager and Bruno von Falk, a German soldier.
Michelle Williams stars. This is her first movie in a little while.
Directed by the guy who did The Duchess.
Also starring Margot Robbie, Rush Wilson, Alexandra Maria Lara, Kristin Scott Thomas, Sam Riley, and Matthias Shoenaerts.
They Came Together
A small business owner is about to lose her shop to a major corporate development.
It’s a David Wain movie, that’s why I was surprised. You’d think there’d be more of a synopsis than that.
Starring Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Cobie Smulders, Michael Shannon, Christopher Meloni, Melanie Lynskey, Max Greenfield, Ed Helms, Michael Ian Black.
Wain always gets a cast.
Call it 3 stars. Wain is always good for 3.
Based on the real-life event, when a gold and copper mine collapses, it traps 33 miners underground for 69 days.
Directed by a woman.
Interested by that.
Could be good.
This Is Where I Leave You
A Jewish family that isn’t used to observing their faith’s traditions is forced to fulfill their father’s final wish and sit Shivah together for an entire week and confront their problems.
Shawn Levy is directing. Which hopefully is a good thing.
Starring Rose Byrne, Timothy Olyphant, Kathryn Hahn, Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Abigail Spencer, Dax Shepard, Connie Britton, Adam Driver, Jane Fonda, Ari Graynor, Corey Stoll — it’s a cast.
Let’s assume 3 stars. I’ll hope for more Death at a Funeral (the original) than The Big Wedding.
Three Little Words
A volunteer comes to the aid of a teenage girl who has been lost within a state’s child-welfare system for almost a decade.
James Mangold is directing, but they haven’t shot yet.
So 3 stars. Doubt this comes out this year.
When the Russian mob kidnaps the daughter of a reformed criminal, he rounds up his old crew and seeks his own brand of justice.
Starring… wait for it…
Oh, you know who it’s gonna be…
Also starring Rachel Nichols, Peter Stormare, Danny Glover.
Wanted by the mafia, a new York City bike messenger escapes into the world of parkour after meeting a beautiful stranger.
Starring Taylor Lautner.
Set in an unnamed Third World country, three kids who make a discovery in a garbage dump soon find themselves running from the cops and trying to right a terrible wrong.
Directed by Stephen Daldry, who is always worth 4 stars, and written by Richard Curtis.
And Rooney Mara and Martin Sheen are also in it.
4 stars. There’s quality here.
A 1970’s-set drama centered around the friendship between a kid with cerebral palsy and a troubled runaway.
A drama centered around the relationship between journalist Michael Finkel and Christian Longo, an FBI Most Wanted List murderer who for years lived outside the U.S. under Finkel’s name.
Starring Jonah Hill as Finkel and James Franco as Longo. And also Felicity Jones, Ethan Suplee and Gretchen Mol.
Let’s say 3 stars.
No idea. It’s not a comedy, though. So that’s interesting.
A young woman struggles to move on with her life after the death of her husband, an acclaimed folk singer, when a brash New York writer forces her to confront her loss and the ambiguous circumstances of his death.
Written by a woman. No idea who’s starring in it, lead-wise, but also in it are… oh, that’s why. They haven’t started shooting yet.
2.5 stars. We’ll wait until this is actually ready to come out.
When his best friend and podcast co-host goes missing in the backwoods of Canada, a young guy joins forces with his friend’s girlfriend to search for him.
Kevin Smith is doing this. I guess this is his version of The Human Centipede.
Haley Joel Osment, Genesis Rodriguez, Justin Long, Michael Parks.
Let’s assume that Parks is gonna be going way over the top.
I’m down for that.
Under the Skin
An alien seductress preys upon hitchhikers in Scotland.
Jonathan Glazer directed this. I loved Sexy Beast.
This is taking that title kind of literally, I guess.
I heard great things about this when it hit festivals last year.
3.5 stars. Can’t wait to see it.
Joe Mazzello, best known for his acting roles in Jurassic Park, HBO’s The Pacific, The Social Network, etc, wrote and made his directorial debut with this story based on his brother’s experience as a collegiate baseball star who was skipped over in the Major League Baseball draft. Story centers around an intramural baseball game with his misfit teammates that becomes incredibly important to him as he tries to come to grips with his dashed dream.
No established stars, which means I can’t fully trust it.
Rooting for it, though.
Untitled Cameron Crowe Project
A celebrated military contractor returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs and re-connects with a long-ago love while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watchdog assigned to him.
Sounds almost like A Foreign Affair.
But, Cameron Crowe. So hopefully that’s good. We Bought a Zoo was a disaster.
Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Emma Stone.
Jay Baruchel, John Krasinski, Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin, Danny McBride.
I’ll assume I’ll like it. I don’t want to go too high. His last two movies are We Bought a Zoo and Elizabethtown. It’s been almost 15 years since Almost Famous.
Oh yeah. I read this script years back. I loved it.
Here’s the premise — actually, fuck it. NO PREMISE.
Watch this movie knowing nothing about it.
Even read the script knowing nothing about it. Just know that it’s a great premise.
If this movie does exactly what that script does, then it will be really interesting.
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Anna Kendrick, Gemma Arterton, Jacki Weaver.
The woman who did Persepolis is directing, and something tells me that if no one gets to see this, then it’s doing exactly what it should be doing. This is not an easy movie. You can’t sell this. If this movie does what it’s supposed to do, it’s going to be a huge hidden gem from 2014.
Keep your eyes out for this one.
My god… I’m just picturing that final scene, if they somehow manage to pull that off and do it as written.
I hope this one works out. I’m so happy this is being made.
A Walk in the Woods
This has been in development for years.
To the point where they wanted to have Redford and Newman do it together, but then Newman was like, “I’m too old for movies and can’t remember dialogue.” And Redford’s been attached all along. And now Nick Nolte is also attached, and Larry Charles is set to direct.
Hasn’t shot yet, but it’s one of those films that, if they do shoot it, they can theoretically get it out this year. Not that I think they will. But at least we’ll start tracking it, since maybe this’ll finally get made.
The Water Diviner
An Australian man travels to Turkey after the Battle of Gallipoli to try and locate his three missing sons.
Russell Crowe is starring and directing.
I’m excited for that.
Welcome to Me
A year in the life of Alice Klieg, a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder who wins Mega-millions, quits her meds and buys her own talk show.
Directed by a woman.
Starring Kristen Wiig, Linda Cardellini, Will Ferrell, James Marsden, Alan Tudyk, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Robbins, Wes Bentley, Joan Cusack.
I hope they don’t go too over the top with it.
We’ll Never Have Paris
A man screws up on a transcontinental level in a noble effort to win back “the one.”
Written, directed and I’m guessing starring Simon Helberg, from The Big Bang Theory. Also starring Melanie Lynskey, Zachary Quinto, Maggie Grace, Jason Ritter, Alfred Molina.
Uhh… 2.5 stars.
A chronicle of one woman’s 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent catastrophe.
Directed by the guy who did Dallas Buyers Club and written by the guy who did High Fidelity (the book, anyway), About a Boy (the book), and An Education.
Sounds like quality.
Wish I Was Here
Wish I Was Here’ is the story of Aidan Bloom, a struggling actor, father and husband, who at 35 is still trying to find his identity; a purpose for his life. He winds up trying to home school his two children when his father can no longer afford to pay for private education and the only available public school is on its last legs. Through teaching them about life his way, Aidan gradually discovers some of the parts of himself he couldn’t find.
It’s written by, directed by, and starring Zach Braff.
I historically do not like his stuff at all.
Set in the future when water is hard to find a teenage boy sets out to protect his family and survive.
Starring Nicholas Hoult, Elle Fanning, Michael Shannon, Kodi-Smit McPhee, and written and directed by Gwyneth Paltrow’s brother.
Call it 3 stars. Premise sounds good.
Your Voice in My Head
A self-destructive writer struggles with her personal issues and embarks on the difficult road to recovery.
Written by a woman and starring Emma Watson.
Problem is — hasn’t shot yet.
So probably not coming out this year.
3 stars anyway though. In case.
– – – – – – – – – –
Tomorrow, we’ll finish the films without release dates.