Thursday, January 2, 2014

Reel Facts & Opinions: The Year In Film 2014: Episode I

The first two months of any cinematic year can easily be described as Movie Siberia; a place where films not good enough for the summer or Oscar season are sent to languish and hopefully be forgotten. No one is expecting much critical or box office success from this time of year, but here are the more interesting ones for January and February…


THE LEGEND OF HERCULES – Renny Harlin (DIE HARD 2), directs this CGI-heavy take on the mythical Greek hero. Kellan Lutz (TWILIGHT), plays Herc.

I, FRANKENSTIEN – Aaron Eckhart (THE DARK KNIGHT), plays the monster in this modern-day take on the classic tale which adds battles with gargoyles and demons. Co-stars Miranda Otto (THE LORD OF THE RIGNS), and Bill Nighy.

JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT – Chris Pine (STAR TREK) is the latest actor to become Jack Ryan in this reboot of the franchise which has nothing to do with the Harrison Ford series, the Ben Affleck version, the Alec Baldwin effort, or anything that series creator Tom Clancy ever wrote. Co-stars Kevin Costner and Keira Knightly, and is directed by Kenneth Branagh (THOR).

KNIGHTS OF BADASSDOM – This indie flick is about a geeky group of medieval role-players who have to summon their inner-heroes when a magic spell actually works and causes havoc at a fair. Stars Peter Dinklage (GAME OF THRONES), Summer Glau (SERENITY), and Steve Zahn.


THE MONUMENTS MEN – This WWII comedy/drama was set to be released in December of 2013, but was delayed due to post-production problems (never a good sign). George Clooney stars and directs, and he is joined on-screen by Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, and John Goodman.

THE LEGO MOVIE – The ever popular child’s (and let’s face it, adults too) toy finally gets its own action/adventure movie. Stars the voices of Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, and Will Ferrell.

ROBOCOP – A remake of the 1987 hammy sci-fi film. Directed by Jose Padilha, it stars Joel Kinnaman (SAFE HOUSE) as the cop turned cyborg. He is joined by Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, and Michael Keaton.

POMPEII – Directed by Paul W.S. (worthless shit) Anderson (RESIDENT EVIL), this 79 B.C.-set tale concerns a slave turned gladiator who races to save his true love before Mount Vesuvius erupts. Stars Kit Harington (SILENT HILL), Emily Browning (SUCKER PUNCH), Carrie-Anne Moss, Jared Harris, and Kiefer Sutherland.

3 DAYS TO KILL – Kevin Costner is an international spy who has to complete one last mission before he can retire. Directed by McG (TERMINATOR SALVATION) and co-stars Hailee Steinfeld (TRUE GRIT).
NON-STOP – Liam Neeson is a U.S. Air Marshal fighting a terrorist on a (non-stop) flight from New York to London. Co-stars Julianne Moore.


Next month, Episode II looks at the month of March.




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