I guess we can probably put a close on the whole summer movie season of 2014. Looks like The Guardians of the Galaxy won everything, and with good reason. As always, when we start seeing pumpkin-flavored things, it usually means that the summer blockbusters are going to give way to more serious fare and Gone Girl looks to be the first serious Oscar contender to come out this fall (October 3rd). As we gear up for our favorite time of year (Horror October!), we wanted to talk about Our Most Anticipated Films For the Rest of 2014.
Dan’s Pick – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Ever since I saw The Fellowship Of The Ring back in 2001 one of my favorite parts of the holiday season was getting to see the new Lord Of The Rings movie. Every December I would line up at my local theater and hold in pee for three hours as I watched Frodo trek across Middle-Earth and I loved it. When I heard that Peter Jackson was going to return for The Hobbit movies I was beyond thrilled. But we were all of us deceived.
The first installment of The Hobbit was a three hour headache. It was painfully obvious that Jackson had to do whatever means necessary to extend this book into three movie and it showed with a ton of throwaway scenes (Radagast The Brown I’m looking at you). The Desolation Of Smaug wasn’t much better either. While not nearly as slow and with more action, the second installment was at least passable, but it wasn’t what a LOTR fan such as myself was used to getting.
I was beginning to wish these movies had never come to me. But so do all that live to see such times, but I haven’t given up hope. The final installment of The Hobbit comes out this December and you can bet your elvish ass I’ll be there. With the dragon Smaug getting ready to rain fiery death to a bunch of unfortunate souls and legions of orcs descending upon the dwarves in the Lonely Mountain, this movie is teeing up some major action, ten times as impressive as The Return Of The King if what I’m hearing is correct. Plus, this may very well be the last time we get to venture into Middle-Earth ever. Unless someone decides to make The Silmarillion, which would probably have to be put into ten different movies, but here’s hoping!
Mark’s Pick – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Normally, I hate the idea of splitting the final chapter of a trilogy into two parts. Mostly, because it is an obvious money grab and will make the first movie entirely too slow, which is exactly the opposite of what should occur at that time. It is why I think Return of the King, even with its many false endings, was the best way to end The Lord of the Rings.
With that all said, I am more than a little excited for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. Is it because I will see anything that Jennifer Lawrence stars in, including House at the End of the Street? No — that is still a small part of it — it’s because I want to see Phillip Seymour Hoffman in a new film. Even though he died seven months ago, it still hasn’t sunk in that in the next year there will be no more new PSH movies to see. So it is with that excitement and dread that I am highly anticipating the last two Hunger Games films. It also doesn’t hurt that the previous two have been excellent films.
Anthony’s Pick – A Most Violent Year
I was going to put Interstellar as the movie that I’m most looking forward to this fall. It probably is, but then I need only mention space, Christopher Nolan, and McConaughey in my article to prove my point (Plus, I essentially did that already). Instead, I’m going to talk about a movie that probably isn’t getting as much attention, but deserves to be recognized: A Most Violent Year.
My parents grew up during the 1970s in Brooklyn, which if you’re unaware, was pretty much the shittiest place to be in any era during the 20th Century. You just need to pop on Saturday Night Fever to get a glimpse into what a terrible place New York was back then, with all that polyester and dirt. Truly, watch any 1970s New York movie and there’s just an impossible amount of dirt everywhere you look. Travis Bickle may have had a point.
Getting back on track, A Most Violent Year takes place in New York City in 1981, which is statistically one of the most violent years in the city’s history. It stars Oscar Isaac as a guy trying to expand his business while the New York underbelly starts to interfere. It also stars Jessica Chastain, whom I’ve been a fan of ever since Zero Dark Thirty and whom I predict will get some Oscar attention this year. Most importantly, though, this is a crime drama that takes place in the same shitty version of New York that spawned Taxi Driver, Mean Streets, The Panic in Needle Park, The French Connection, and countless other classics that managed to capture the ugly side of the Big Apple. I’m sold.