8
Jan
2014

The Movies of 2014 – 3rd Quarter

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The Movies of 2014 3rd Quarter

Welcome to the final part 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.

July

Deliver Us From Evil

Deliver Us From Evil

Release Date: July 2

Synopsis:

In “Deliver Us From Evil,” New York police officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana), struggling with his own personal issues, begins investigating a series of disturbing and inexplicable crimes. He joins forces with an unconventional priest (Edgar Ramirez), schooled in the rituals of exorcism, to combat the frightening and demonic possessions that are terrorizing their city. Based upon the book, which details Sarchie’s bone-chilling real-life cases.

Analysis: It sounds like a lot of TV shows, but could be interesting. May be one to watch out for.

Tammy

Release Date: July 2

Synopsis:

Tammy (Melissa McCarthy) is having a bad day. She’s totaled her clunker car, gotten fired from her thankless job at a greasy burger joint, and instead of finding comfort at home, finds her husband getting comfortable with the neighbor in her own house. It’s time to take her boom box and book it. The bad news is she’s broke and without wheels. The worse news is her grandma, Pearl (Susan Sarandon), is her only option—with a car, cash, and an itch to see Niagara Falls. Not exactly the escape Tammy had in mind. But on the road, with grandma riding shot gun, it may be just what Tammy needs.

Analysis: A plot about as generic as they come, but Melissa McCarthy has proven that this can still equal box office success.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Caesar - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Release Date: July 11

Synopsis:

A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.

Analysis: I was blown away by how much I enjoyed the first film, but the folks behind the camera have changed considerably for this follow-up. It’s going to have a lot to live up to, but I think audiences in general are ready for this one.

Jupiter Ascending


Release Date: July 18

Synopsis:

Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) was born under a night sky, with signs predicting that she was destined for great things.  Now grown, Jupiter dreams of the stars but wakes up to the cold reality of a job cleaning other people’s houses and an endless run of bad breaks.  Only when Caine (Channing Tatum), a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her all along—her genetic signature marks her as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos.

Analysis: The Wachowskis have a mixed history at best when it comes to box office success. How this one will do is anyone’s guess.

Planes: Fire and Rescue

PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE

Release Date: July 18

Synopsis:

“Planes: Fire & Rescue” features a quirky crew of elite firefighting aircraft devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from a raging wildfire. When world famous air racer Dusty (voice of Cook) learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of wildfire air attack. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his courageous air attack team, including spirited super scooper Lil’ Dipper (voice of Bowen), heavy-lift helicopter Windlifter, ex-military transport Cabbie and a lively bunch of brave all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire, and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero. “Planes: Fire & Rescue” ignites July 18, 2014.

Analysis: The first film was supposed to direct to video, but Disney opted for a theatrical release… and it worked. Not too surprised they are following it up with a second one.

Hercules

Release Date: July 25

Synopsis:

Everyone knows the legend of Hercules and his twelve labors. Our story begins after the labors, and after the legend…

Haunted by a sin from his past, Hercules has become a mercenary. Along with five faithful companions, he travels ancient Greece selling his services for gold and using his legendary reputation to intimidate enemies. But when the benevolent ruler of Thrace and his daughter seek Hercules’ help to defeat a savage and terrifying warlord, Hercules finds that in order for good to triumph and justice to prevail… he must again become the hero he once was… he must embrace his own myth… he must be Hercules.

Analysis: This will be the second Hercules film of the year. Dwayne Johnson may elevate it a bit, but expect some viewer fatigue.

Sex Tape

Release Date: July 25

Synopsis:

When Jay (Jason Segel) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) first got together, their romantic connection was intense – but ten years and two kids later, the flame of their love needs a spark. To kick things up a notch, they decide – why not? – to make a video of themselves trying out every position in The Joy of Sex in one marathon three-hour session. It seems like a great idea – until they discover that their most private video is no longer private. With their reputations on the line, they know they’re just one click away from being laid bare to the world… but as their race to reclaim their video leads to a night they’ll never forget, they’ll find that their video will expose even more than they bargained for.

Analysis: Such a generic plot that has been done to death. And using a sex tape – which you will see next to none of – as the MacGuffin is just sleazy in my opinion.

Step Up All In

Step Up All In

Release Date: July 25

Synopsis:

All-Stars from previous installments come together in glittering Las Vegas, battling for a victory that could define their lives and careers.

Analysis: I have no clue who sees these films, but obviously someone does as they keep making them. That being said, when a film series heads to Vegas, it’s usually the end.

August

Get On Up

Release Date: August 1

Synopsis:

Chadwick Boseman stars as James Brown in this biopic from Universal Studios and director Tate Taylor (The Help). Brian Grazer, Mick Jagger, Victoria Pearman, and Erica Huggins produce a film penned by Jez and John Henry Butterworth (Fair Game).

Analysis: The summer movie season seems an odd time to release this, but it should be good.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy cast

Release Date: August 1

Synopsis:

An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits — Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand — with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.

Analysis: This is Marvel’s riskiest project yet, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

The Hundred-Foot Journey

Release Date: August 8

Synopsis:

In “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant – the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, the Maison Mumbai. That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), gets wind of it. Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own escalate to all out war between the two establishments – until Hassan’s passion for French haute cuisine and for Mme. Mallory’s enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), combine with his mysteriously delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Mme. Mallory cannot ignore. At first Mme. Mallory’s culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan’s gift as a chef and takes him under her wing.

Analysis: This is another odd choice for a summer release. Maybe the studios are trying something new? It will find an audience for sure, it’s just a question of how big that audience will be.

Into the Storm

Release Date: August 8

Synopsis:

In the span of a single day, the town of Silverton is ravaged by an unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes.  The entire town is at the mercy of the erratic and deadly cyclones, even as storm trackers predict the worst is yet to come.  Most people seek shelter, while others run towards the vortex, testing how far a storm chaser will go for that once-in-a-lifetime shot.

Analysis: I hadn’t heard they were remaking Twister… it sucked the first time, it’s sure to suck again.

Lucy

Release Date: August 8

Synopsis:

From “La Femme Nikita” and “The Professional” to “The Fifth Element,” writer/director Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, most memorable female action heroes in cinematic history. Now, Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in “Lucy,” an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic. “Lucy” also stars Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman and is produced by Virginie Besson-Silla for EuropaCorp. Universal Pictures will distribute the movie worldwide, except for France, Benelux and China.

Analysis: Luc Besson has made some amazing films, and Johannson is no slouch. Will it catch on with audiences is another matter, but I’m definitely intrigued.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Release Date: August 8

Synopsis: Not available.

Analysis: The Turtles are not what they once were, but there is a definite nostalgia factor here. Just wish they hadn’t picked Megan Fox for April.

The Expendables 3

Release Date: August 15

Synopsis:

In THE EXPENDABLES 3, Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team come face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill… or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables — but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables’ most personal battle yet.

Analysis: So long as they keep making money you might as well keep making them… even if no one really understands why they’re making money.

The Giver

Release Date: August 15

Synopsis:

The haunting story of “The Giver” centers on Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. The film is based on Lois Lowry’s beloved young adult novel of the same name, which was the winner the 1994 Newbury Medal and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide.

Analysis: Another young adult book transformed into a movie. Can we just stop. Please, let it stop.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Release Date: August 22

Synopsis:

Co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller reunite to bring Miller’s visually stunning “Sin City” graphic novels back to the screen in SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR. Weaving together two of Miller’s classic stories with new tales, the town’s most hard boiled citizens cross paths with some of its more reviled inhabitants. SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR is the follow up to Rodriguez and Miller’s 2005 groundbreaking film, FRANK MILLER’S SIN CITY.

Analysis: The first film wasn’t a huge success, but it did make money. I know they’ve sold me a ticket, but I don’t think it will do much for general audiences.

When the Game Stands Tall

Release Date: August 22

Synopsis:

Inspired by a true story, “When the Game Stands Tall” tells the remarkable journey of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel), who took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak that shattered all records for any American sport.

Analysis: There are a lot of sports movies coming out in 2014, and this is one of them. Kidding aside, I’ve never heard of this story until now, and I imagine I’m not alone.

Jane Got a Gun

Release Date: August 29

Synopsis:

“Jane Got a Gun” centers on a woman who must ask an ex-lover for help in order to save her outlaw husband from a gang who are out to kill him.

Analysis: The story of this film even making it to the screen would make for an interesting movie: A director leaving on the first day of filming, rotating cast once it was filming and many more headaches. It’s a western with Natalie Portman, I predict a flop, but an entertaining watch if you know the backstory.

Jessabelle

Release Date: August 29

Synopsis:

From the producer of “Paranormal Activity,” “insidious,” “Sinister,” and the upcoming “Dark Skies.” After losing her fiancé in a horrific accident, Jessabelle is forced to recuperate at her father’s ruined Louisiana mansion, where she discovers a strange gift from her long-dead mother, and a terrifying presence determined to destroy her.

Analysis: Low budget horror has been raking in money for several years now. No reason to think this one will perform any differently.

The Loft

Release Date: August 29

Synopsis:

Karl Urban (“Star Trek Into Darkness”) and James Marsden (“2 Guns”) star in the tense psychological thriller “The Loft,” the story of five married guys who conspire to secretly share a penthouse loft in the city–a place where they can carry out hidden affairs and indulge in their deepest fantasies. But the fantasy becomes a nightmare when they discover the dead body of an unknown woman in the loft, and they realize one of the group must be involved. Paranoia seizes them as everyone begins to suspect one another. Friendships are tested, loyalties are questioned and marriages crumble as the group is consumed by fear, suspicion and murder in this relentless thriller.

Analysis: No new ground will be tread here, and with the lack of big names… not sure what it will do. It’s also a remake of a foreign film, those always do so well.

September

Addicted

Release Date: September 5

Synopsis:

Based on the NY Times best-selling novel by acclaimed author Zane. Zoe Reynard is a woman who truly has it all- the perfect husband, two wonderful children and a successful career. However, as perfect as it may seem from the outside, inside she is craving something more. She soon finds herself risking it all, helpless in an overpowering addiction to sex. Powerless under this erotic high, her sexual escapades begin to spin her life out of control and carry her down a dangerous path she may not survive.

Analysis: Fantastic, another film about sex. (See Sex Tape earlier in the year) Just doesn’t sound that interesting to me.

The Green Inferno

The Green Inferno

Release Date: September 5

Synopsis:

“The Green Inferno” follows a group of student activists who from New York City travel to the Amazon to protect a dying tribe, but crash in the jungle and are taken hostage by the very natives they saved.

Analysis: I really don’t even know what to think on this film. It sounds like a decent watch at home, but I just don’t see many people going to the theater for this.

No Good Deed

Release Date: September 12

Synopsis:

Terri (Taraji P. Henson), a devoted wife and mother of two, lives an ideal life that takes a dramatic turn when her home and children are threatened by Colin (Idris Elba), a charming stranger who smooth-talks his way into her house, claiming car trouble. The unexpected invitation leaves her and her family terrorized and fighting for survival.

Analysis: How many times do we need to see this story?

Search Party

Release Date: September 12

Synopsis:

24 hours ago, Nardo (Thomas Middleditch) was standing at the altar next to the love of his life. Now he’s shivering in just a pair of gold leggings in the Mexican desert, and the only men who can save him are his best friends (TJ Miller, Adam Pally). Writer Scot Armstrong (“Road Trip,” “Old School” and “The Hangover: Part II”) makes his directorial debut in a comedy that follows a rescue by the guys you call when you’ve run out of all other options.

Analysis: Is anyone shocked someone from The Hangover series is involved in this? It’ll probably do okay.

This is Where I Leave You

Release Date: September 12

Synopsis:

When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.  Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide—driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.

Analysis: It stars Jason Bateman and Tina Fey, both of whom I adore, but they are not box office draws. A familiar premise without huge names… not going to do well.

Dolphin Tale 2

Release Date: September 19

Synopsis:

“Dolphin Tale 2″ will tell another true story inspired by the life of Winter, but also involves a new baby dolphin named Hope who was rescued by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in 2010. Winter, who still resides at the Aquarium, played herself in the original.

Analysis: Considering the backlash against aquariums from the documentary Black Fish, I don’t think this will do well.

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner
Release Date: September 19

Synopsis:

When Thomas wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape. Based upon the best-selling novel by James Dashner.

Analysis: I know absolutely nothing about this story beyond that synopsis, but seeing as someone has already been hired to work on a script for the second book, I think it’s safe to say this is the launch of yet another franchise.

The Boxtrolls

Release Date: September 26

Synopsis:

The new 3D stop-motion and CG hybrid animated feature is a comedic fable that unfolds in Cheesebridge, a posh Victorian-era town obsessed with wealth, class, and the stinkiest of fine cheeses. Beneath its charming cobblestone streets dwell the Boxtrolls, foul monsters who crawl out of the sewers at night and steal what the townspeople hold most dear: their children and their cheeses. At least, that’s the legend residents have always believed. In truth, the Boxtrolls are an underground cavern-dwelling community of quirky and lovable oddballs who wear recycled cardboard boxes the way turtles wear their shells. The Boxtrolls have raised an orphaned human boy, Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead-Wright), since infancy as one of their dumpster-diving and mechanical junk-collecting own. When the Boxtrolls are targeted by villainous pest exterminator Archibald Snatcher (Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley), who is bent on eradicating them as his ticket to Cheesebridge society, the kindhearted band of tinkerers must turn to their adopted charge and adventurous rich girl Winnie (Elle Fanning) to bridge two worlds amidst the winds of change – and cheese.

Analysis: Animated films in the fall have been having mixed success the past couple years. This one sounds pretty odd and I’m not expecting it to be a hit.

The Equalizer

Release Date: September 26

Synopsis:

In The Equalizer, Denzel Washington plays McCall, a former black ops commando who has faked his death to live a quiet life in Boston. When he comes out of his self-imposed retirement to rescue a young girl, Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz), he finds himself face to face with ultra-violent Russian gangsters. As he serves vengeance against those who brutalize the helpless, McCall’s desire for justice is reawakened. If someone has a problem, the odds are stacked against them, and they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. He is The Equalizer.

Analysis: A movie based on a TV series that hardly anyone remembers, it will have to succeed on its own merits.

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