036-039 What's ahead in 2014 se FINAL.indd

Earlier this week, I had a chance to reflect on the year that just passed by looking back on my top five ScienceFiction.com films of 2013. Now, I have the opportunity to look ahead by previewing my most anticipated films of 2014.

Last year, I presented a similar list that took a look at five films that I’m excited for in the New Year that fall into the sci-fi, fantasy, and horror genres. However, as I was compiling my picks for this list, I had a hard time limiting myself to only five movies this time because there are so many offerings in those genres in the upcoming year that I’m looking forward to, so I expanded my Top 5 to a Top 10.

2014 is going to be a good year for us in the movie department. I can feel it! Now, without further ado, on to the list!

10. Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 Hiro & Baymax

It was only a matter of time before the acquisition of Marvel by Disney would yield some sort of animated collaboration. While many were expecting the first outing to involve some Avengers, I was intrigued to hear that ‘Big Hero 6’ was the Mouse House’s first choice for their animation team to tackle from the Marvel Universe. After a lifetime of Marvel and Disney fanboying, reading a few issues of the source material, and rediscovering that I’m a sucker for a boy and his robot, this easily made it onto my most anticipated list.

9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Before the Avengers, the X-Men, and even the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, one of the first superhero teams that caught my attention as a child was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They’ve always had a place in my heart, so you can imagine how irritated I was to learn that Michael Bay was getting his hands on them. I wasn’t a huge fan of what he did with the Transformers, but maybe things might be different with this brand new reboot of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ since he’s not directing. To be quite honest, this is on my list because I really want to see if it will be as bad as everyone thinks it will be. Also, I love Will Arnett.

8. Into The Woods

Into the Woods Meryl Streep

Disney has done some interesting things with fairytale characters in the past few years with things like ‘Once Upon A Time’, ‘Alice In Wonderland’, and the upcoming DCOM ‘The Descendants’. But now they’re going back to their musical roots by bringing the ultimate fantasy mash-up to life on the big screen by adapting Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s hit Broadway musical ‘Into The Woods’ with a cast containing heavy Hollywood hitters like Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, and Meryl Streep. As someone with a history and a passion for musical theater and Disney movies, this is certainly right up my alley.

7. Maleficent

Maleficent banner

That’s right, it’s another Disney movie. But after that trailer for Angelina Jolie’s ‘Wicked’-esque takes on arguably the most evil Disney villain of all time, how could anyone not be excited for ‘Maleficent’? If you haven’t seen it yet, go find it right now and mark your calendars for May 30th.

6. Interstellar

Interstellar

Christopher Nolan has a lot to live up to. After a universally loved Batman trilogy (that had a pretty weak ending in my opinion), ‘Interstellar’ is his first outing since  leaving the Dark Knight. But he was a talented writer and director before he took on the Caped Crusader, so it’ll be good to see him get back to his original work, especially since it involves space travel, time travel, and alternate dimensions. When handled well (or at least in a fun way), these are a few of my favorite things.

5. Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending

It has been a while since the Wachowskis have taken on a sci-fi film, but after the amazing ‘Cloud Atlas’, it seems only right for them to reenter the genre with something as epic as ‘Jupiter Ascending’. There’s been a lot of mystery surrounding this project, but all the weird set photos and brief plot descriptions are enough to get me really excited for the revolutionary pair to come back to science fiction.

4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Mockingjay

As I said in my Top 5 of 2013 list, ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ is the ‘Empire Strikes Back’ of young adult novel adaptations, so naturally I am anticipating their equivalent of ‘Return of the Jedi’ titled ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’ . Will I end up liking the final chapter of ‘The Hunger Games’ (that happens to be split into two parts) as much as ‘Jedi’, which actually happens to be my favorite ‘Star Wars’ movie? I doubt it, but I really want to see if I do.

3. Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy first still

Up until Marvel NOW started last year, the Guardians of the Galaxy were as obscure to me as ‘Big Hero 6’. But as details trickled out about James Gunn’s Phase Two film (and I started reading Brian Michael Bendis’ ongoing series), I became more and more interested in Star-Lord and his team. Despite not knowing all that much about these characters at the moment, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ has a stellar cast and it’s hard not to be excited for Marvel Studios’ only non-sequel property in the current slate of films. (And yes, I know that ‘Ant-Man’ is on the schedule already, but I’m gonna exclude it from the conversation because it’s part of Phase Three.)

2. X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men DOFP BTS

Before ‘Spider-Man’, ‘Iron Man’, or ‘The Avengers’, the first good live action Marvel movie was Bryan Singer’s ‘X-Men’. Now, Singer is finally returning to the franchise that he started by connecting his team with Matthew Vaughn’s First Class with an adaptation of the legendary storyline ‘Days of Future Past’. While I have learned not to get my hopes up when it comes to X-Men movies thanks to ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ and ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’, the series as a whole appears to be on an upswing and it’s hard not to have high hopes for Singer and this project despite a few misses on the director’s resume since 2006. ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ has so much potential to be awesome and this placement on my most anticipated list is my way of saying that I hope that it lives up to it.

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

captain-america-the-winter-soldier-04

This should really come as no surprise to anyone. Captain America is my favorite superhero, so naturally he’d top my most anticipated of 2014 list, especially since they’re introducing another one of my favorite characters from the comics into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Winter Soldier. Ed Brubaker’s run that brought about this blast from Cap’s past is one of my all-time favorite comic book stories, so I am very invested in how it’s treated on the big screen. Not only that, but I hear that ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ will have the most effect on ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’, so as someone who loved Joss Whedon’s first outing with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, I’m anxious to get as many details as possible that could lead towards that film. But I’ll probably save that for the second or third viewing because I’m going to sit back and enjoy the Sentinel of Liberty’s return to theaters. April cannot come soon enough for me.

That does it for my most anticipated films of 2014. What films are you looking forward to in this New Year? Share your picks in the comments below!