The 2014 Film Release Calendar: 2013 Holdovers
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’re going over all the films I’ve been tracking from previous years (mostly last year) that have still not come out, but are ones I’m still interested in.
After the Dark (aka The Philosophers)
I liked the original title better.
At an international school in Jakarta, a philosophy teacher challenges his class of twenty graduating seniors to choose which ten of them would take shelter underground and reboot the human race in the event of a nuclear apocalypse.
This is the one that reminded me of Ladybug Ladybug, that great Frank Perry movie.
I’m still very much interested in seeing this.
It seems like it’s scheduled to come out April 15th. Now that there’s a poster, my guess is, whenever it comes out, it will definitely be sometime this year.
I feel like I should go 3, but I’m still interested, and I like the premise. So I’ll stick 3.5.
All Is By My Side
This is the Jimi Hendrix biopic starring Andre 3000.
Thing is, while this wasn’t picked up by anyone last year, my guess is it will this year, since it was written and directed by John Ridley, who is about to win an Oscar for 12 Years a Slave.
I know they can’t use any of his music, but I hope this is good.
The Angriest Man in Brooklyn
This is being directed by Phil Alden Robinson, who did Field of Dreams.
Starring Mila Kunis, Peter Dinklage, Robin Williams, Melissa Leo, James Earl Jones, Richard Kind.
A guy tries to determine what he will do in the final moments of his life.
It sounds like I could enjoy it. I love the title.
3 stars. Still very much interested in this.
The Art of the Steal
A third-rate motorcycle daredevil and part-time art thief teams up with his snaky brother to steal one of the most valuable books in the world.
Kurt Russell, Matt Dillon, Jay Baruchel and Terence Stamp are in this.
It sounds like it could be all right.
I’m still intrigued enough by this to want to see it.
Unless they don’t find a distributor by the end of the year. In that case, I might not want to see it.
The Bag Man
A criminal bides his time at a seedy motel, waiting for his boss after killing several men and making away with a mystery bag.
Starring Robert De Niro and John Cusack. Can’t tell which is the criminal and which is the boss. Dominic Purcell is also in this, as is Sticky Fingaz, as someone named “Lizard.” So clearly, we’re dealing with quality here.
Let’s assume I’ll enjoy this as a B movie.
Still no synopsis for this.
The only reason I’m still tracking it is because of the cast — Mary Louise Parker, Selena Gomez, Elisabeth Shue, Cary Elwes, Dylan McDermott, Heather Graham, Jason Lee, Gary Busey, Patrick Warburton — what the hell is this?
I can’t imagine it’ll be good, I just want to see what the hell this is about.
Better Living Through Chemistry
A straight-laced pharmacist’s uneventful life spirals out of control when he starts an affair with a trophy wife customer who takes him on a joyride involving sex, drugs and possibly murder.
Starring Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Monaghan, Jane Fonda — you have to assume quality here.
I thought this would for sure come out last year.
Apparently it’s coming out March 14th.
Technically this was out last year. Just not in this country. (It was #2 on my Best Posters list.)
Two brothers, on either side of the law, face off over organized crime in Brooklyn during the 1970s.
Starring Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, Mila Kunis, Zoe Saldana, Marion Cotillard, Lili Taylor, James Caan, Matthias Shoenaerts, Noah Emmerich, Griffin Dunne — it’s a hell of a cast.
I’m assuming 3.5 stars as a minimum, and I’m hoping for 4. This sounds right up my alley.
Apparently it’s coming out March 21st here.
The Bronx Bull
This is that Raging Bull “sequel” or whatever they were doing, which means I have to see what kind of train wreck this turned out to be.
A combination “before the rage” and “after the rage” of world middleweight boxing champion Jake LaMotta’s tumultuous life and times.
William Forsythe is LaMotta, and also in it are Joe Mantegna, Paul Sorvino, Natasha Henstridge, Penelope Ann Miller, Ray Wise, Tom Sizemore, Robert Davi, Cloris Leachman, Mike Starr, Bruce Davison — they got a cast. Not that it’ll be great, but they have a cast.
There’s still no release date on this.
After he is threatened during a confession, a good-natured priest must battle the dark forces closing in around him.
This is in Sundance.
It’s by John Michael McDonaugh, brother of Martin McDonaugh, who did In Bruges. This guy is the one who did The Guard.
This also stars Brendan Gleeson. And also his son, Domhnall, as well as Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, and M. Emmet Walsh, who is the best.
The Guard was good. Why shouldn’t this be?
Can a Song Save Your Life?
A dejected music business executive forms a bond with a young singer-songwriter new to Manhattan.
John Carney’s first movie that anyone’s heard of since Once.
It’s starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld, Catherine Keener, Adam Levine, and Mos Def.
It premiered at Toronto, got picked up by the Weinsteins, but got held back. The reviews said — and I think I’m quoting one of them, that “Once is enough.” So I’m guessing they weren’t totally feeling it. But my guess is audiences might find it more likable, and the Weinsteins will position it for a late summer release and some sort of Oscar campaign if it makes any sort of waves. (I’m guessing.)
Either way, 3.5 stars (still sounds like something I’d like) and it should definitely be out this year.
A former salsa prodigy attempts a comeback years after his career was ruined.
It’s that salsa movie with Nick Frost and Rashida Jones.
It’s coming out in a month in the UK, which means I should be able to see it.
Not totally invested in it, but if I can see it within the next six weeks, I’m more likely to sit down and watch it than I’d be to watch it in like, November, or whenever they’d release it here in like, six theaters.
Decoding Annie Parker
Love, science, sex, infidelity, disease and comedy, the wild, mostly true story of the irrepressible Annie Parker and the almost discovery of a cure for cancer.
Been tracking this for two years now. Still no release.
Apparently it’s out April 4th.
Still want to see it, still think it can be good.
The savage murders of three young children sparks a controversial trial of three teenagers accused of killing the kids as part of a satanic ritual.
Atom Egoyan’s West Memphis Three movie.
Got not great reviews.
The fact that it’s still not out means it’s not anything too good.
It does have a cast on it, though. Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Mireille Enos, Dane DeHaan, Elias Koteas, Kevin Durand, Stephen Moyer, Alessandro Nivola, Amy Ryan, Bruce Greenwood — they have people.
Still, I’m not interested in the material and given that the reviews were so-so, I’ll stick with 3 stars here. I’ll see it, but I’m not holding out any hope for me to like this.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
This used to be two movies. One for “His” and one for “Hers.” The Weinsteins picked it up and are now recutting it into a single movie.
I’m still interested in it. Hopefully this movie clocks in over 150 minutes. Otherwise how can it be worth it? I heard it was good as two movies. So if it’s 3 hours and one movie, that’s fine. But if it’s 135 minutes, they had to have cut too much stuff.
So, for that, I’ll stick with 3.5 stars. I want this to be good. I want it to be like Margaret (only without all the production delays and all the unfortunate behind the scenes stuff).
A look at the mysterious relationship between Victorian art critic John Ruskin and his teenage bride Effie Gray.
Also been tracking this for two years. Emma Thompson wrote this, and Dakota Fanning is starring, along with Emma Thompson, Claudia Cardinale (!), Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters, Tom Sturridge, James Fox, and Derek Jacobi.
It’s coming out in March in the UK, which probably means a November release here.
A chronicle of the life of furniture salesman turned bank robber Eddie Dodson.
This is a pretty crazy story. Dude had a semi famous furniture store in Hollywood in the 70s, then because of his drug habit, started robbing banks in the 80s. Allegedly robbed 72 banks before he died.
Starring Jim Sturgess, Isabel Lucas, Chloe Sevigny, Patricia Arquette, Vinessa Shaw, Christopher Lambert, James Ransome.
I want to go higher, but something tells me 3 is the right number.
Elsa & Fred
This is that Michael Radford movie that’s a romance between Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer.
She’s terminally ill and goes to Rome. He’s a widower who is distraught. She teaches him that every day is precious, and it’s a nice little romance.
Also in it are Marcia Gay Harden, Chris Noth, James Brolin, Scott Bakula, George Segal, and the boy from Moonrise Kingdom.
This is precisely my alley.
And I’m being lenient because I know I overreact about these things.
A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie.
This is the guy who did Prisoners‘s next movie.
Jake Gyllenhaal is starring again. Melanie Laurent is also in it. Isabella Rossellini is also in it.
I heard this is good.
Considering the guy, not only am I in, but I trust it to be good.
And also this is supposed to be coming out March 14th.
The F Word
A young man struggles with his his deepening connection to a woman who is in a relationship.
Staring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan and Adam Driver.
Indie. Seems like it could be good.
Fioravante decides to become a professional Don Juan as a way of making money to help his cash-strapped friend, Murray. With Murray acting as his “manager”, the duo quickly finds themselves caught up in the crosscurrents of love and money.
John Turturro wrote and is directing this. And it’s purely because of my love of Romance and Cigarettes that I think this can be great.
Plus, Turturro is starring and Woody Allen is playing the “manager.”
So I’m in regardless.
3.5 stars, even though 3 seems likely. But I trust Turturro. Romance and Cigarettes was so offbeat and good.
A bipolar, bigoted junkie cop manipulates and hallucinates his way through the festive season in a bid to secure promotion and win back his wife and daughter.
James McAvoy. It looks off the wall crazy.
Should be out soon over here. I’ll definitely see it this year.
A pack of teenage boys choose the wrong girl to be the victim of their ‘initiation’.
Mostly because now I look for “horror” type movies that can also be interesting and not of the norm. Since we all know I hate that supernatural shit, and I respond well to things like You’re Next. So I hold out hope that movies like this could be watchable.
So I’ll keep tracking it. No expectations, but maybe it’ll be all right.
The story of Olympic Wrestling Champion Mark Schultz and how paranoid schizophrenic John duPont killed his brother, Olympic Champion Dave Schultz.
They bumped it from last Oscar season to this Oscar season.
Probably a good call. Doubt it would have made waves among this group.
Next year looks light at the moment.
Bennett Miller is directing, and so far he’s 2 for 2 on films and Best Picture nominations. So expectations are high all around for this.
I’m gonna go 3.5 stars here, but I’m not sure why. Both Capote and Moneyball were minimum 4 star movies. But something tells me to stick 3.5 here. I might be wrong, but it’s just what I’m feeling.
Get a Job
A comedy centered around a recent college graduate, his friends, and their attempts to secure employment.
I like the cast.
Anna Kendrick, Bryan Crantson, Alison Brie, Miles Teller, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Marcia Gay Harden, John Cho, John C. McGinley, Bruce Davison, Marc Maron, Nicholas Braun, Brandon T. Jackson, the fat guy from Lost.
I’ll see this.
Gods Behaving Badly
Greek gods living in modern-day New York intervene in the lives of a young couple.
Been tracking this for two years.
Christopher Walken is still playing Zeus. I’m still going to see this.
A wild teenage girl orchestrates a romance between her nanny and her father, who is a recovering addict.
Directed by a woman, starring Hailee Steinfeld, Kristen Wiig and Guy Pearce. And Nick Nolte, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sami Gayle and Christine Lahti.
Solid cast, seems like it’s more drama than comedy, and I’ll go along with it.
The ghost of a teenager who died years ago reaches out to the land of the living in order to save someone from suffering her same fate.
Could be okay. Maybe.
Directed by Vincenzo Natali.
I liked Splice. So I’ll see it.
James Gray’s new movie.
On the mean streets of Manhattan, Ewa falls prey to Bruno, a charming but wicked man who takes her in and forces her into prostitution.
It’s gone through a bunch of titles.
Joaquin Phoenix is Bruno, Marion Cotillard is Ewa, and Jeremy Renner is in it as well.
I heard good things.
This is that Therese Raquin movie starring Elizabeth Olsen. It’s finally coming out. February 21st, apparently.
Tom Felton and Jessica Lange are also in it.
I’ve pretty much lost interest in this.
An ex-con, who is the unlikeliest of role models, meets a 15-year-old boy and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin.
David Gordon Green directing Nicolas Cage. I was in last year.
Apparently it’s coming out April 11th.
A teenager diagnosed with scoliosis navigates her way through her formative years.
Directed by Jeff Probst.
That’s why I’m still tracking this.
Knight of Cups
A man, temptations, celebrity, and excess.
The only synopsis still. But it’s Malick. So I don’t care.
3.5 stars. Malick is usually good for that.
The Last of Robin Hood
The last days in the life of legendary Hollywood actor Errol Flynn.
Starring Kevin Kline as Errol Flynn.
I was in last year.
A Long Way Down
Four people meet on New Year’s Eve and form a surrogate family to help one another weather the difficulties of their lives.
Based on a Nick Hornby book.
Still interested, given the fact that it takes place over one night.
3 stars. I hope it’s higher.
A divorced couple scheme to recover the retirement money that was stolen from them.
Comedy of remarriage.
Directed by the guy who did Last Chance Harvey, which was great.
Starring Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan.
A Many Splintered Thing
Unrequited love motivates a guy to write about his experiences.
Starring Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza, Ashley Tisdale, Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton, Topher Grace, Ioan Gruffudd, Anthony Mackie, Luke Wilson, and Philip Baker Hall.
A woman suffers from an unusual illness caused by a flower growing in her lungs.
Michel Gondry’s new movie.
Technically I can see this, but only in French, which does me little good. I forgot all the French I knew long ago.
Still, I imagine this will be pleasant.
A Most Wanted Man
A Chechen Muslim illegally immigrates to Hamburg, where he gets caught up in the international war on terror.
Directed by the guy who did The American and based on a John le Carré novel. So in.
Daniel Brühl, Robin Wright, Rachel McAdams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Willem Dafoe — love the cast.
A Night in Old Mexico
Forced to give up his land and his only home, cantankerous Texas rancher Red Bovie isn’t about to go quietly to the dismal trailer park that’s all he can now afford, and instead goes off with his grandson Gally – son of his long-estranged son Jimmy – for one last wild and woolly adventure during a night in Old Mexico.
Starring Robert Duvall.
I’m seeing this.
A drama centered on three environmentalists who plot to blow up a dam.
Kelly Reichardt’s new movie. Which means I’ll see it.
The story of the late jazz musician and classical pianist Nina Simone including her rise to fame and relationship with her manager Clifton Henderson.
Written and directed by a woman and starring Zoe Saldana.
I can’t imagine it’ll be good, but the biopic interests me as a genre, good or bad.
Only Lovers Left Alive (April 11th)
A story centered on two vampires who have been in love for centuries.
Jim Jarmusch. Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton.
I feel like it probably should be 3, because I won’t like it as much as everyone else will, but fuck it. I’ve been tracking it for a year. Let’s hope it’s good.
The Pretty One
When a woman’s identical prettier twin sister dies, the woman assumes her sister’s identity, moving into her apartment and the big city.
Written and directed by a woman, and starring Zoe Kazan.
Apparently coming out February 4th.
The trailer looked all right. I’m sure I’ll like it well enough.
The Railway Man
A victim from World War II’s “Death Railway” sets out to find those responsible for his torture. A true story.
Starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman.
Could have gotten a minor Oscar push, but instead it’s going to not be seen by anyone. Which would have likely been the case regardless.
I’ll see it. I hope I like it well enough to say good things about it.
A drama centered on a group of people who all have a connection to a self-help book authored by a reclusive former football coach.
Apparently this is coming out March 14th.
It’s got a bizarre little cast. Sylvester Stallone, Cary Elwes, Terry Crews, Kyra Sedgwick, Thomas Jane, Tom Berenger, Kelsey Grammar, Tom Sizemore, Kevin Connolly, Frank Stallone.
I’m just interested in the cast more than anything.
A loner tracks the gang who stole his car from a desolate town in the Australian outback with the forced assistance of a wounded guy left behind in the wake of the theft.
Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce starring.
In Depression-era North Carolina, the future of George Pemberton’s timber empire becomes complicated when it is learned that his wife, Serena, cannot bear children.
Starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, and directed by the woman who did In a Better World.
Could be too moribund to be good. That’s my main concern, otherwise I’d have gone 3.5.
An epic, sweeping and riveting tale of an impossible love set across two time periods and continents.
Still interested in this, two years later.
Roland Joffe is directing. Maybe it’ll finally come out.
The Skeleton Twins
After ten years of estrangement, twins Maggie and Milo coincidentally cheat death on the same day, prompting them to reunite and confront how their lives went so wrong. As the twins’ reunion reinvigorates them both, they realize that the key to fixing their lives just may lie in fixing their relationship with each other.
Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader are the twins.
I’m unsure as to whether or not I think this can be good.
3 stars. I’m either gonna be right or off by a half-star.
In a future where a failed global-warming experiment kills off most life on the planet, a class system evolves aboard the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe via a perpetual-motion engine.
Don’t really need this. I think we all know about this. I’ve been waiting for this to come out for a year.
Still waiting to see what the deal is with the cut. The original cut apparently played really well, but the Weinsteins are cutting it down. So the end result of this is gonna be interesting.
Still, I’ll say 3.5 stars.
Three interlocking love stories involving three couples in three cities: Rome, Paris, and New York.
Written and directed by Paul Haggis.
Starring Olivia Wilde, Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis, James Franco, Kim Basinger, Maria Bello, and Adrien Brody.
3 stars. Haggis is hit and miss. Let’s play the odds.
The Trials of Cate McCall
In order to be reinstated to the bar and recover custody of her daughter, a hotshot lawyer, now in recovery and on probation, must take on the appeal of a woman wrongfully convicted of murder.
Written and directed by a woman.
And I like courtroom dramas.
And Kate Beckinsale is starring. And she has major points from me for being in Nothing But the Truth, one of the most viciously underseen films of the past decade.
Looking for a hidden gem here.
A struggling agent for child actors and former child star himself, Howard Holloway spends years losing his most talented clients to his slick, arch-nemesis Aldo Shocklee.
Written and directed by Clark Gregg.
Could go anywhere.
The Two Faces of January
A thriller centered on a con artist, his wife, and a stranger who try to flee a foreign country after one of them is caught up in the murder of a police officer
Starring Oscar Isaac, Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst.
Still very much in.
Two Night Stand
A snowstorm forces two people who made an online connection to unwillingly extend their one-night stand.
Starring Miles Teller and Analeigh Tipton.
Miles Teller has a knack for being in watchable movies.
Untitled Terrence Malick Project
This is the companion movie to Knight of Cups.
Two intersecting love triangles. Obsession and betrayal set against the music scene in Austin, Texas.
No idea which one, if either, comes out this year.
Either way, love that Malick has so many movies going, after such a period of not being around.
Very Good Girls
Two New York City girls pact to lose their virginity during their first summer out of high school. When they both fall for the same street artist, the friends find their connection tested for the first time.
Written and directed by a woman, starring Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen.
The supporting cast is strong, so I’m still interested.
Voyage of Time
Another Terrence Malick movie.
We think this one’s more of a documentary, using the leftover Tree of Life footage, but I’m not sure if anyone actually knows.
Either way — this is the least likely to come out this year, I’d imagine.
Though apparently there’s a lawsuit going on because he hasn’t finished it. So no idea what the deal is with this.
I won’t even put a rating, since I know this won’t come out this year.
White Bird in a Blizzard
A young woman’s life is thrown into chaos when her mother disappears.
Shailene Woodley, Eva Green.
Looks all right.
I hope it goes higher. Love me some Shailene Woodley.
You Are Here
Two childhood best friends embark on a road trip back to their hometown after one of them learns he has inherited a large sum of money from his recently deceased estranged father.
Written and directed by Matthew Weiner.
These passion projects by TV people either end up really solid or falling flat.
Can’t tell which way this is going.
3 stars. We’ll play it even. Let the movie decide.
The Young and Prodigious Spivet
A 12-year-old cartographer secretly leaves his family’s ranch in Montana where he lives with his cowboy father and scientist mother and travels across the country on board a freight train to receive an award at the Smithsonian Institute.
It’s Jean-Pierre Jeunet, which means 3.5 stars. Love his stuff.
You’re Not You
A drama centered on a terminally ill woman and the aimless young woman who becomes her caregiver.
Still sounds baity. But I just want to see it because of the cast.
The Zero Theorem
A computer hacker’s goal to discover the reason for human existence continually finds his work interrupted thanks to the Management; this time, they send a teenager and lusty love interest to distract him.
Terry Gilliam. Cannot wait.
Was really hoping this came out last year.
s a child, Ali Neuman narrowly escaped being murdered by Inkhata, a militant political party at war with Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress. Only he and his mother survived the carnage of those years. But as with many survivors, the psychological scars remain. Today, Ali is chief of the homicide branch of the South African police in Cape Town. One of his staff is Brian Epkeen, a free-wheeling white officer whose family was originally involved in the establishment of apartheid but who works well with Neuman. Together they have to deal with crime that inevitably exists in sprawling areas of un -and under- employed people, crime exacerbated by gangs, both local and from other parts of Africa. Their job gets even more difficult when the corpses of two young women are found. A new evil has been introduced in the city and a new drug has been introduced to its residents, including both murder victims. At the chaotic crossroads where brutality and modernization collide, the echoes of apartheid still resound in the shadows of a society struggling toward reconciliation.
Been tracking it, so, why not keep going?
– – – – – – – – – –
And that’ll do it for the release calendar. We’re gonna take it easy for a few days and go over some final year-end lists before getting into the big stuff, which is breaking down all the Oscar categories, one at a time.