By Dan Delgado
It’s a long headline, but it gets the job done. Here are the movies that I am looking forward to most in these opening months of 2014. I have no doubt I will regret some of these choices.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Jan. 17)
We’ve had four Jack Ryan movies so far and three actors playing him. So now we’re again going to attempt to make a franchise out of author Tom Clancy’s most famous character. Here it’s Chris Pine playing a young Ryan, a CIA analyst who uncovers a devious Russian plan to ruin the US economy, which I thought was already ruined.
Shadow Recruit was supposed to come out in December but back out due to all the competition. January is a lousy month for movies so hopefully this bucks that trends. Kevin Costner is playing Ryan’s mentor and Kenneth Branagh does double duty as director and bad guy.
The Monuments Men (Feb. 7)
Another holiday holdover. Here we have George Clooney starring (and directing) in a World War II adventure. He is leading an expedition of old and retired guys on a mission to steal (or liberate I guess) art and culture type things from the Nazis.
This looks like a fun time and the cast is hard to not like. Bill Murray, John Goodman, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Bob Balaban and Jean Dujardin are all along for the ride. Finally someone cares about the art, dammit!
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Mar. 7)
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love Wes Anderson and cynical jerks. His latest offering stars Ralph Fiennes as a hotel concierge and newcomer Zero Moustafa as his trusted lobby boy who get into some kind of adventure after one of Fiennes many old lady friends dies and a painting bequeathed to him goes missing. Or something like that.
The usual gang of Anderson favorites are showing up as well like Jason Schwartzman, Billy Murray, Owen Wilson as well as Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum, and Willem Dafoe. Looks like quirky fun. Which is pretty much every Wes Anderson movie, I think.
Bad Words (Mar. 14)
Jason Bateman directs and stars in this comedy about a guy who find a loophole and is able to compete in spelling bees against children. This seems like a great role for Bateman, a foul mouthed jerk. Really the guy is great as a jerk. Go jerk it up, Bateman!
Veronica Mars (Mar. 14)
Here we go, Kickstarter the movie! Last year the Veronica Mars kickstarter campaign seemed to come out of nowhere and rack up an impressive $5.7 million in donations to get this movie made. That alone makes this one interesting.
Also the whole idea of taking an old tv show and making a movie out of it with most of the original cast is very cool too. And let’s not forget I’m a sucker for detective stories. Here former teenage detective Veronica (Kristen Bell) is heading to her 10 year high school reunion and shockingly finds her services are in need.
Stretch (Mar. 21)
Patrick Wilson stars as a limo driver who gets into some crazy nonsense when he drives around billionaire crazy Chris Pine. Ed Helms, Ray Liotta, Jessica Alba and yes David Hasselhoff are also in this one as well.
I’m always intrigued by what director Joe Carnahan is doing. The list of movies he almost made (Mission: Impossible III, White Jazz, Death Wish, Bunny Lake is Missing) is about as long as the list of ones he has made (Narc, Smokin’ Aces, The A-Team, The Grey). He’s a straight shootin’, straight talkin’ kinda guy who’s never boring.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4)
Do you really need an explanation? It’s Captain freakin’ America people!
Cap is my favorite superhero and the one I really get geeked up about. I’ve read all over how this is the best superhero script Marvel has had so far and we are working with a very cool comic book storyline, The Winter Soldier. Chris Evans is fairly ideal as Steve Rogers/Captain America. Add in a solid supporting cast of returning Marvel movie favorites like Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) and Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark) plus the first time we are seeing the Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Crossbones (Frank Grillo) and are you kidding me Batroc the Leaper (MMA guy George St. Pierre. And oh by the way Robert Redford’s in it too.
Basically it adds up to me not going to work on April 4th.
Alan Partridge: The Movie (April 4)
British actor/comedian Steve Coogan is great at playing jerks and delusional people. These are my favorite kinds of people to watch coincidentally. Here he takes his iconic (it is right?) character of Alan Partridge and blows him up for a big screen adventure. Partridge is a narcissistic, egomaniac former TV personality who now does local radio and finds himself in a hostage crisis when the station he works for is taken over.
Coogan is a funny guy and after 24 Hour Party People became someone I look for in movies. Currently he can be seen in the critically acclaimed (and rightfully so) Philomena.
Dom Hemingway (April 4)
I’ve heard a lot of good things about this one. Jude Law stars as a safe cracker who’s been released from prison after doing some hard time and keeping his mouth shut. Now he’s out and wants what’s his. I’m not really sure what is his, but I’m guessing it’s money. It’s looks like a jolly good fun time of foul language and violence.
This is writer-director Richard Shepard’s first film since his underrated The Hunting Party (2007).
There you have it. That’s what I’m most anticipating in 2014 for the first part of the year. Yeah sure, their are other things that other people are excited about like Transcendence, which looks reminds me too much of The Lawnmower Man. So if you are wondering about this movie or that one, maybe I’m interested but not THAT interested.