7
Jan
2014

The Movies of 2014 – 2nd Quarter

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The Movies of 2014 2nd Quarter

Welcome to the second of four parts of an analysis of every major film release of 2014.

Following up on last year’s product, I’m back with a look at the films of 2014. Something different I’m trying this year is you will first get the quarterly breakdowns, and then an overall post will be like a part five that looks at the year as a whole.

  • Monday- 1st Quarter (January, February, March)
  • Tuesday – 2nd Quarter (April, May, June)
  • Wednesday - 3rd Quarter (July, August, September)
  • Thursday – 4th Quarter (October, November, December)
  • Friday – 2014 as a whole

There are some clear, “What in the world were they thinking?” projects coming out this year, and there are some that I think will surprise all of us.

Hopefully you enjoy this as it is a huge undertaking each year, but one I enjoy doing.

Please note that titles and release dates can change at any time, none of these are written in stone. One movie (Deliver Us From Evil) actually changed it’s title from the time I started writing these and before I finished them.

April

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America The Winter Soldier

Release Date: April 4

Synopsis:

Two years after the events of The Avengers, Steve Rogers resides peacefully in Washington, D.C., struggling to adapt to contemporary society. However, after a S.H.I.E.L.D. compatriot is assailed, Steve becomes entangled in a mystery that may endanger the globe. Together with Natasha Romanoff, Captain America attempts to uncover the growing machination while fending off hired hit men. When the entire scheme is discovered, Captain America and the Black Widow must recruit the aid of the Falcon and soon encounter an unanticipated and powerful adversary — the Winter Soldier.

Analysis: Marvel can’t seem to do wrong right now, and it’s almost a certainty that the second Captain America film will do well.

Draft Day

Release Date: April 11

Synopsis:

In DRAFT DAY, on the day of the NFL Draft, general manager Sonny Weaver (Kevin Costner) has the opportunity to save football in Cleveland when he trades for the number one pick. He must quickly decide what he’s willing to sacrifice in pursuit of perfection as the lines between his personal and professional life become blurred on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with dreams of playing in the NFL.

Analysis: A film based around the NFL draft day… that sounds riveting. As someone who doesn’t follow the NFL at all, I can’t imagine anything more boring. I’m sure there will be some who enjoy it.

Rio 2

Release Date: April 11

Synopsis:

The entire cast of the animated smash RIO returns in RIO 2, and they are joined by a new flock of top actors and musical talents. Rich with grandeur, character, color and music, RIO 2 finds Jewel (Anne Hathaway), Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and their three kids leaving their domesticated life in that magical city for a journey to the Amazon. They encounter a menagerie of characters who are born to be wild, voiced by Oscar nominee Andy Garcia, Oscar/Emmy/Tony-winner Rita Moreno, Grammy winner Bruno Mars, and Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth.

Analysis: A sequel may seem odd to those in the U.S. when the first film grossed $143.6 million off of a $90 million dollar budget, but when you see that the global take was $484.6 it makes more sense.

Sabotage

Sabotage

Release Date: April 11

Synopsis:

A team of Drug Enforcement Administration operatives, led by John Wharton (a.k.a “Breacher”) is sent to bust the safe house of a drug cartel, although the main and actual motive is to pocket millions of dollars worth of loot. With the money safely hidden, the squad thinks that their secret is safe – until a mysterious assassin starts assassinating the team members one by one.

Analysis: The synopsis doesn’t sound that exciting, but when you realize the folks behind such films such as Training Day and End of Watch – both of which did well at the box office – there may be some hope for it… and then you realize it stars Arnold Schwarzenegger.

St. Vincent

Release Date: April 11

Synopsis:

A young boy whose parents just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic, war veteran who lives next door.

Analysis: It stars Bill Murray, so I’m not expecting huge box office, but his drama work tends to be pretty good.

Heaven Is For Real

Heaven is for Real

Release Date: April 16

Synopsis:

Based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book of the same name, HEAVEN IS FOR REAL brings to the screen the true story of a small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son’s extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world.

Analysis: It should do well, and I love Greg Kinnear, but this isn’t about me, so… who knows.

Oculus

Release Date: April 18

Synopsis:

A woman tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.

Analysis: This film may actually have some legs due to the casting of two genre favorites, Katee Sackhoff and Karen Gillan. How it plays with mainstream audiences is another question.

Transcendence

Transcendence

Release Date: April 18

Synopsis:

Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him.

However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed—to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can…but if they should.

Their worst fears are realized as Will’s thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him.

Analysis: The story of a scientist corrupted by his own research? That has never been done before. Not expecting much from this.

Earth to Echo


Release Date: April 25

Synopsis:

After a construction project begins digging in their neighborhood, best friends Tuck, Munch and Alex inexplicably begin to receive strange, encoded messages on their cell phones. Convinced something bigger is going on, they go to their parents and the authorities. When everyone around them refuses to take the messages seriously, the three embark on a secret adventure to crack the code and follow it to its source. But taking matters into their own hands gets the trio in way over their heads when they discover a mysterious being from another world who desperately needs their help. The epic, suspenseful and exciting journey that follows will change all of their lives forever.

Analysis: This sounds like something Spielberg would have made in the 1980s… which I have no problem with, but are today’s audiences interested in this kind of fare?

The Other Woman

Release Date: April 25

Synopsis:

After discovering her boyfriend is married, a woman (Cameron Diaz) tries to get her ruined life back on track. But when she accidentally meets the wife he’s been cheating on (Leslie Mann), she realizes they have much in common, and her sworn enemy becomes her greatest friend. When yet another affair is discovered (Kate Upton), all three women team up to plot mutual revenge on their cheating, lying, three-timing SOB.

Analysis: We’ve seen variations on this theme a dozen times, but Identity Thief taught me that doesn’t always mean a bad thing. Female led comedies are hot right now, this could see some success.

The Quiet Ones

Release Date: April 25

Synopsis:

Inspired by true events, THE QUIET ONES tells the story of an unorthodox professor who uses controversial methods and leads his best students off the grid to take part in a dangerous experiment: to create a poltergeist. Based on the theory that paranormal activity is caused by human negative energy, the rogue scientists perform a series of tests on a young patient, pushing her to the edge of sanity. As frightening occurrences begin to take place with shocking and unspeakable consequences, the group quickly realizes they have triggered a force more terrifying and evil than they ever could have imagined.

Analysis: It sounds like it is yet another of those “made for next to nothing” horror movies that have done so well lately. Not sure why that formula is working so well, but it is so I doubt this one will be any different.

Walk of Shame

Release Date: April 25

Synopsis:

High-strung Los Angeles reporter Meghan Miles finally lands an interview that could make her dream of becoming a news anchor a reality. She celebrates with a wild night out, but when she wakes up from her one-night stand, Meghan finds herself in downtown LA without keys, money, a phone or ID. Now she’s stranded on the wrong side of the tracks and she only has eight hours to get to the meeting she’s been preparing for her entire life.

Analysis: And another female led comedy. Seeing a trend yet? It also sounds a bit 1980-ish, which also seems to be a trend right now.

May

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer

Release Date: May 2

Synopsis:

It’s great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: OsCorp.

Analysis: It sounds like there is going to be a lot more to this movie than this synopsis implies, and that could be a problem. Over crowded comic book films are always problematic.

Chef

Release Date: May 9

Synopsis:

When Miami-born chef, Carl Casper (Jon Favreau), tries and fails to open a restaurant in Los Angeles, he returns to Miami to fix up a food truck he names El Jefe Cubanos and reacquaints with his ex-wife (Sofía Vergara). He plans to drive across the country to reclaim his success in L.A.

Analysis: It has been a while since we’ve seen Favreau in front of the camera in a starring role, should be interesting to see how he does.

Neighbors

Release Date: May 9

Synopsis:

A couple with a newborn baby face unexpected difficulties after they are forced to live next to a fraternity house.

Analysis: The trailer, to be blunt, is painful, both the red and green band versions. It just doesn’t look funny.

Godzilla

Godzilla 2014 Movie Logo

Release Date: May 16

Synopsis:

An epic rebirth to Toho’s iconic Godzilla, this spectacular adventure pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

Analysis: Do you really need to know anything else? Look at it this way… there is no way it could be as bad as the 1990′s U.S. version.

Million Dollar Arm

Release Date: May 16

Synopsis:

A sports agent stages an unconventional recruitment strategy to get talented Asian cricket players to play Major League Baseball.

Analysis: … did Disney just make a movie about cricket players? I know cricket is a huge sport in the rest of the world, in the U.S…. not so much.

Blended

Release Date: May 23

Synopsis:

After a disastrous blind date, single parents Lauren (Barrymore) and Jim (Sandler) agree on only one thing: they never want to see each other again. But when they each sign up separately for a fabulous family vacation with their kids, they are all stuck sharing a suite at a luxurious African safari resort for a week.

Analysis: Please, no more Sandler/Barrymore movies… just make them stop.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Release Date: May 23

Synopsis:

The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from “X-Men: First Class,” in an epic battle that must change the past – to save our future.

Analysis: It won’t do Marvel numbers, but it’s going to do well for sure. And Fox has already ordered X-Men: Apocalypse.

Maleficent

Maleficent trailer banner

Release Date: May 30

Synopsis:

Maleficent is the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the 1959 classic Sleeping Beauty. A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal – an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom – and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well.

Analysis: I really have no clue how this film is going to do. It is such an odd take on this whole story. I think it will play well with Disney dans, but will that be enough?

A Million Ways to Die in the West

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Release Date: May 30

Synopsis:

After a cowardly sheep farmer backs out of a gunfight, his fickle girlfriend leaves him for another man. When a mysterious and beautiful woman rides into town, she helps him find his courage and they begin to fall in love. But when her husband, a notorious outlaw, arrives seeking revenge, the farmer must put his newfound courage to the test.

Analysis: After the success of Ted, it’s almost impossible to judge how any Seth McFarlane project will do.

June

Edge of Tomorrow

EDGE OF TOMORROW
Release Date: June 6

Synopsis:

The epic action of “Edge of Tomorrow” unfolds in a near future in which an alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world.

Lt. Col. Bill Cage (Tom Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop—forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again…and again. But with each battle, Cage becomes able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt). And, as Cage and Rita take the fight to the aliens, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to defeating the enemy.

Analysis: It’s Groundhog Day with guns!

The Fault in our Stars

Release Date: June 6

Synopsis:

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.

Analysis: Could do well as counter programming to the Summer blockbusters.

22 Jump Street

Release Date: June 13

Synopsis:

After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) when they go deep undercover at a local college. But when Jenko meets a kindred spirit on the football team, and Schmidt infiltrates the bohemian art major scene, they begin to question their partnership. Now they don’t have to just crack the case – they have to figure out if they can have a mature relationship. If these two overgrown adolescents can grow from freshmen into real men, college might be the best thing that ever happened to them.

Analysis: Color me surprised the first one did enough business to warrant this, but here we are.

How to Train Your Dragon 2

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Release Date: June 13

Synopsis:

The thrilling second chapter of the epic “How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy brings back the fantastical world of Hiccup and Toothless five years later. 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.

Analysis: The first one was a bit of a surprise hit, and now it’s an entire trilogy. I think it will do well.

Jersey Boys

Release Date: June 20

Synopsis:

Clint Eastwood’s big screen version of the Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of the four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic ’60s rock group The Four Seasons. Their trials and triumphs are accompanied by the hit songs that influenced a generation, and are now being embraced by a new generation of fans through the stage musical.

Analysis: Film versions of Broadway shows are a mixed bag at best. This one could really go either way.

The Purge 2

Release Date: June 20

Synopsis: None yet.

Analysis: The Purge was made for $7 million and pulled in $89.3 million globally. If they stay around the same budget it should do fine.

Think Like a Man Too

Release Date: June 20

Synopsis:

In the highly anticipated sequel, which was inspired by Steve Harvey’s best-selling book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like A Man,” all the couples are back for a wedding in Las Vegas. But plans for a romantic weekend go awry when their various misadventures get them into some compromising situations that threaten to derail the big event.

Analysis: Probably will do okay, but definitely a limited audience.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Optimus Prime - Transformers 4

Release Date: June 27

Synopsis: Not available

Analysis: We know the Dinobots are in it. We know Michael Bay will blow stuff up. The money printing machine has just been delivered to Paramount.

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