My Most Anticipated Films of 2014

Muppets Most WantedFor the first time in a while we have a year without a Pixar film.  I tend to put all Pixar films on my anticipated film list every year, but The Good Dinosaur was delayed until 2015.  That will mean two Pixar films will be on my list for 2015, however, and I’m very excited about that.  I’m pretty excited about this year’s movies, however, with the end of The Hobbit capping the a year filled with Muppets, superheroes, robots and biblical epics.

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‘The Muppets…Again!’ begins production

The sequel to 2011’s The Muppets, called Muppets…Again! (aka The Muppets 2) has begun production in London.  It will be in theaters on March 21, 2014.  The Muppets was one of my favorite movies of 2011, so I’m very excited for this one, even though I’m not a very big fan of the human cast members this time around.

It finds the Muppet repertory company enjoying a triumphant world tour, only to become tangled up with a criminal mastermind named Constantine, who is out to steal an enormous diamond—and who happens to be a dead ringer for Kermit.

“I always loved those classic jewel-heist capers from the ’60s and ’70s, so I was very keen to do a movie that had elements of that [genre] featuring the Muppets and comedy and songs,” says returning director James Bobin, who co-wrote the script with Nicholas Stoller.The Muppets...Again!

My Most Anticipated Films of 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugI haven’t created a list of my anticipated films of the next year in some time.  My friend Teddy posted one, though, and inspired me to do my own.  (Reading through this list, you can get a pretty good idea of the type of movies I like, for the most part.  You could probably predict what movies I’d see, year after year.)

10. Thor: The Dark World

Since Disney has delayed The Muppets 2 until March 2014, it made room in my top ten for Thor 2.  Love the first one, and the sequel should continue that.

9. Monster’s University

Finally we have Pixar’s latest.  This is a prequel to Monster’s Inc.  It landed after a Dreamworks animated film on my list because of Cars 2.  However, it made my list because of Toy Story 2 and 3.  Brave was a definite step in the right direction for Pixar, and I’m hoping that they can bring back some of the magic of the Monster’s Inc. as they’re about to branch out again into more uncharted territory.

8. The Wolverine

This looks to be the Wolverine film we’ve been waiting for since Hugh Jackman first played him in 2000’s X-Men.  Definitely looking forward to it.

7. The Lone Ranger

My brother and I used to watch the old TV series when we were really little.  I can barely remember any of them, but there are pictures of us watching it.  I’m a fan of the Pirates movies (more or less), and that gives me some trepidatious hope for this film.  I just haven’t been a big fan of westerns.

6. Epic

The trailer for this totally caught me by surprise.  Each time that I saw it attached to a film, the whole theater (kids and adults) was suddenly silent, just watching as it unfolded.  I hope that, like Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon, Dreamworks has created another film that could just as easily have come from Pixar.

5. After Earth

A potential new science fiction world.  Looking forward to entering it, to see if it brings anything new to the genre.  I don’t expect it to land like a new Star Wars, Star Trek or even Avatar.  But I’ve been surprised before.  The successful launch of a new Sci-Fi franchise could be quite a twist!

4. Iron Man 3

Shane Black brings a fresh voice to the Iron Man films.  (I’m probably the only person in the world that liked IM2 better than IM.  I just thought that Iron Man fighting another large Iron Mech at the end of the first film was terribly anti-climactic and somehow reminded me of Ang Lee’s Hulk.)  Looks like the ante has been raised for Iron Man.

3.  Star Trek Into Darkness

I only saw the first one because of J.J. Abrams.  I’ll be seeing this one because I actually enjoyed that one.  As a fan of Star Wars, there was a time when I wouldn’t have been caught dead watching anything Star Trek.  Abrams changed all of that.  I haven’t watched any other Star Trek movies, and had only seen a few episodes of various Trek shows over the years, but J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek was the first time that I wanted to continue watching.

2. Man of Steel

Love what Christopher Nolan did with Batman, for the Dark Knight trilogy.  Now that creative team has worked on a Superman film.  The only difference is that Zack Snyder is directing.  I’ve only seen one of his films before this one, though.  The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.  That showed me that he could be the person to capture heroic flight in a film unlike anything we’ve seen before.  From the trailer, so far I think he’s nailed it.  The shot of Superman flying outside the Earth, Superman makes some very subtle movements that make him feel more like he’s actively flying, rather than just rocketing around.

#. The Muppets 2 (Delayed to March 2014)

As a big fan of the Muppets franchise, and a huge fan of The Muppets, the mere thought of another film from some of the same creative team is very exciting.  I thought they brought the Jim Henson magic back to the characters in a big way, and I look forward to seeing that continued on the big screen.

1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

If you know me, you know what a big fan of Tolkien I am.  I’ve seen An Unexpected Journey three times (so far).  I’ve been waiting for these films since the credits rolled on The Return of the King, and so far I haven’t been disappointed.  Where the story goes from the end of the first one, it gets far more epic and enthralling.  I have a feeling that, for much of the audience, like The Fellowship of the Ring, the first film in this trilogy will only be strengthened by the power of the next parts of the story.  For better or for worse, this is all part of one single story, and that makes it impossible for me to judge the first part on its’ own, without having seen the rest.

Honorable Mentions:

Oz: The Great and Powerful
Frozen
Ender’s Game
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Muppets Sequel Officially Announced

One of my favorite movies of 2011 was The Muppets.  They’ve just announced a sequel, officially.  Director James Bobin and writer Nicholas Stoller are set to return behind the camera, and it’s going to be a caper.

Walter, the new Muppet from the first film, will also appear in the cast.  Jason Segel may cameo but his character’s story arc is complete so it’s not likely that he’ll be returning in a leading role.

I’m very hopeful that the sequel will continue what the first film started, having recaptured the magic of the early Muppet films in a way that we haven’t seen in many years, and many attempts by the Henson studios.