9
Jan
2014

The Movies of 2014 – 4th Quarter

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The Movies of 2014 4th Quarter

Welcome to the third 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.

October

Gone Girl

Gone Girl

Release Date: October 3

Synopsis:

(Book Description)

Marriage can be a real killer.

One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Analysis: With David Fincher directing and starring Ben Affleck, it should do well.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Release Date: October 10

Synopsis:

Disney’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” follows the exploits of 11-year-old Alexander as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life—a day that begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by one calamity after another. But when Alexander tells his upbeat family about the misadventures of his disastrous day, he finds little sympathy and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him. He soon learns that he’s not alone when his brother, sister, mom and dad all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Anyone who says there is no such thing as a bad day just hasn’t had one.

Analysis: I know nothing about his property, but something tells me it will do well.

The Interview

Release Date: October 10

Synopsis:

“The Interview” follows a talk show host and producer pair who find themselves caught up in an assassination attempt against the political leader of North Korea.

Analysis: It’s hard to tell from this description that it’s a comedy with Seth Rogen. Holding judgement for now.

The Judge

The Judge

Release Date: October 10

Synopsis:

In “The Judge,” Robert Downey Jr. stars as big city lawyer Hank Palmer, who returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town’s judge (Robert Duvall), is suspected of murder.  He sets out to discover the truth and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before.

Analysis: Variations on this premise have been done more times than I can count, but I will say with acting talent this strong, it’s going to be hard to say “no” to.

The Best of Me

Release Date: October 17

Synopsis:

(Book description)

In the spring of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply, irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for one another seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.

Now, twenty-five years later, Amanda and Dawson are summoned back to Oriental for the funeral of Tuck Hostetler, the mentor who once gave shelter to their high school romance. Neither has lived the life they imagined… and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever changed their lives. As Amanda and Dawson carry out the instructions Tuck left behind for them, they realize that everything they thought they knew—about Tuck, about themselves, and about the dreams they held dear—was not as it seemed. Forced to confront painful memories, the two former lovers will discover undeniable truths about the choices they have made. And in the course of a single, searing weekend, they will ask of the living, and the dead: Can love truly rewrite the past?

Analysis: Probably will do well. Not my cup of tea, but different strokes and all that.

Book of Life

Release Date: October 17

Synopsis:

Guillermo del Toro will produce the animated film – described as being an action-packed, fully CG-animated picture, with a “Romeo and Juliet” style love story set against a Mexican “Day of the Dead” backdrop. It represents the first time in almost twenty years — since 1993′s Cronos — that del Toro has collaborated on a feature project set in Mexico. Music is also integral to the story; the film will feature an international roster of A-list recording artists performing new songs as well as re-imagined iconic songs.

Analysis: To me, this sounds awesome. To audiences? Not expecting it to do well.

Dracula Untold

Release Date: October 17

Synopsis:

Luke Evans (“Fast & Furious 6,” “Immortals”) stars in the origin story of the man who became Dracula.

Analysis: Just what the world needs… more vampires.

Paranormal Activity 5

Release Date: October 24

Synopsis: Not Available.

Analysis: It will involve a house… and ghosts… and video cameras. Cha-ching.

Untitled Vince Vaughn Movie

Release Date: October 24

Synopsis: Not Available.

Analysis: It’s a comedy, that’s all I know. What I do know is, Vince Vaughn is not packing movie seats.

November

Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6

Release Date: November 7

Synopsis:

From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Big Hero 6,” an action comedy adventure about brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who finds himself in the grips of a criminal plot that threatens to destroy the fast-paced, high-tech city of San Fransokyo. With the help of his closest companion—a robot named Baymax—Hiro joins forces with a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters on a mission to save their city. Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring comic-book style action and all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the CG-animated “Big Hero 6″ hits theaters in 3D on November 7, 2014.

Analysis: Should do well with Disney and Marvel attached, and it looks gorgeous.

Interstellar

Release Date: November 7

Synopsis:

“Interstellar” chronicles the adventures of a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.

Analysis: With Christopher Nolan directing it will be a hit.

Blackbird

Release Date: November 14

Synopsis:

“Blackbird” is the story of Noni Jean, a hot new award-winning artist who is primed for superstardom. But all that glitters isn’t gold, and the pressures cause Noni to nearly take her own life – until she is saved by Kaz Nicol, a promising young cop whose been assigned to her detail. Drawn to each other, Noni and Kaz fall fast and hard, despite the protests of their parents who urge them to put their career ambitions ahead of their romance. But it is ultimately Kaz’s love that gives Noni the courage to find her own voice and break free to become the artist she was meant to be.

Analysis: Sounds intriguing, but also sounds like a small release.

Brad Pitt/David Ayer Untitled

Release Date: November 14

Synopsis:

April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.

Analysis: I really have no clue how this will do based on this description. Okay… I guess?

Dumb and Dumber To

Dumb and Dumber To

Release Date: November 14

Synopsis:

Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reprise their signature roles as Lloyd and Harry in the sequel to the smash hit that took the physical comedy and kicked it in the nuts: “Dumb and Dumber To.” The original film’s directors, Peter and Bobby Farrelly, take Lloyd and Harry on a road trip to find a child Harry never knew he had and the responsibility neither should ever, ever be given.

Analysis: Just… no.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Release Date: November 21

Synopsis:

In “Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2,” we follow heroine Katniss Everdeen’s journey as she leads the districts of Panem in a rebellion against the tyrannical and corrupt Capitol. As the war that will determine the fate of Panem escalates, Katniss must decipher for herself who she can trust and what needs to be done, with everything she cares for in the balance.

Analysis: Do you even need to ask how this will do? Millions upon millions.

McFarland

Release Date: November 21

Synopsis:

A track coach in a small California town transforms a team of athletes into championship contenders.

Analysis: I think this is the fourth or fifth sports film this year, and the second about high schools. What the heck is going on?

Home

Release Date: November 26

Synopsis:

There are moments frozen under glass. Inga (Academy award winner Marcia Gay Harden) is a poet. She wants to buy and restore a house she is drawn to that reminds her of her childhood home, but her distant husband Hermann (Michael Gaston) sees little value in it or many of the things Inga loves. Inga realizes that many things in her life are coming full circle. Her crumbling marriage is a stark contrast to her relationship with her 8-year-old daughter, (Eulala Scheel, Ms. Harden’s real life daughter) with whom she shares her hopes, fears and inner-most thoughts following her recovery from breast cancer. By day their lives seem magical, full of cloud watching, kite flying and lazy summer drives. But at night, Inga is troubled by her marriage, its lack of intimacy and her fear of her own mortality. By weaving optimism into her life’s story it is in her own writing that she hears the echo of her mother’s journey and experiences the revelation that allows her transformation.

Analysis: It will find an audience to be sure, but not a huge one.

Horrible Bosses 2

Horrible Bosses 2

Release Date: November 26

Synopsis:

Fed up with answering to higher-ups, Nick, Dale and Kurt decide to become their own bosses by launching their own business in “Horrible Bosses 2.”  But a slick investor soon pulls the rug out from under them.  Outplayed and desperate, and with no legal recourse, the three would-be entrepreneurs hatch a misguided plan to kidnap the investor’s adult son and ransom him to regain control of their company in this follow-up to the 2011 hit comedy “Horrible Bosses” that reunites stars Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis as everyone’s favorite working stiffs.  Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey also reprise their starring roles, while Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz star as new adversaries standing between the guys and their dreams of success.

Analysis: The first Horrible Bosses did $209 million in worldwide grosses off of a $35 million dollar budget. Yes it made money, but it isn’t like it was a blockbuster. If they were able to keep the budget down on this one, which is doubtful, it should do well also.

December

Exodus

Exodus

Release Date: December 12

Synopsis:

Director Ridley Scott tackles the Biblical epic story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt into the Sinai desert and eventually to their Promised Land.

Analysis: And we have our second biblical epic of the year. Ridley Scott directing with Christian Bale starring, it may do well.

Paddington

Release Date: December 12

Synopsis:

Based on the beloved fictional character from children’s literature created by Michael Bond in 1958. The story follows the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British who travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined – until he meets the kindly Brown family who read the label around his neck (‘Please look after this bear. Thank you.’) and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist…

Analysis: Does anyone even care about Paddington Bear at this point? Seems like an odd choice.

The Hobbit: There and Back Again

Release Date: December 17

Synopsis:

“The Hobbit: There and Back Again” is the epic conclusion to Peter Jackson’s trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The film concludes the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins, who joins the Wizard Gandalf and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.

Analysis: It’ll make money. Do I really need to say more? Okay, fine, it’s the THIRD film to adapt ONE book. This was one of the worst money grabs I have ever seen out of Hollywood.

Annie

Release Date: December 19

Synopsis: It’s the Broadway musical, you know the story.

Analysis: Why? Seriously, why? It’s been done, and does anyone care about Annie at this point?

Night at the Museum 3

Release Date: December 19

Synopsis: Not available.

Analysis: The first two films did over $1 billion globally. I am not surprised this is happening.

Into the Woods

Into the Woods

Release Date: December 25

Synopsis:

“Into the Woods” is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them.

Analysis: It has a huge all-star cast with the likes of Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick and many more. With the Disney name attached… probably a hit. But then again, it’s a musical, and those are very hit and miss as of late.

Unbroken

Release Date: December 25

Synopsis:

Based on The New York Times bestselling book “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption” by Laura Hillenbrand (“Seabiscuit: An American Legend”). Originally published by Random House in 2010, the book follows the incredible life story of Olympian and war hero Zamperini who, along with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash in WWII—only to be caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.

Analysis: And the third World War II movie of the year. Wonder why the sudden interest. They usually do pretty well, though.

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