For my anticipated movie of 2014 I am going with a cheeky three-way split. Fraud, you cry out? Easy there stranger: I am just being a tiny bit schizophrenic here.
After all most of us like more than one genre, or go to the cinema for more than one reason. Sometimes we want to be moved, sometimes amused and sometimes we just want to be overwhelmed by collapsing buildings and the occasional robot scrotum.
Hence, my three most anticipated movies of 2014 cater to different needs. The list goes as following: The Raid 2, Gone Girl and Unbroken.
Here’s why it had to be those three:
The Raid 2 should service the blood-thirsty adolescent who still lurks there somewhere in that 30-year-old shell of a man, the ignorant dude still asking: "whatever happened to Michael Dudikoff?"
The Indonesian actioner is, of course, a follow-up to Gareth Evans’s orgiastically violent The Raid from 2011, starring . In contrast to the exclusively in one building set predecessor, the sequel will offer a much larger playground for the incredibly visceral pencak silat and muyai thai- based pummeling we should expect from Evans.
In my book The Raid is the best action movie since Die Hard. Here’s hoping The Raid 2: Berendal can up the ante.
While being not exactly ashamed of feeling giddy like a 12-year-old (literally) for The Raid 2 it’s unlikely that it will end up as my favorite movie of 2014. There are just too many great directors delivering delicious pieces of filmmaking year after year!
One of the best amongst those craftsmen certainly is .
I expect his adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s celebrated bestseller Gone Girl to be the most perfect movie of 2014. The cast is certainly... intriguing enough: Ben Affleck stars as a token, suburbian husband who finds himself suspected for murder after his wife (played by ) vanishes.
There are apparently lots of twists and turns and unsuspected depths to be discovered in the novel, about which everyone and his brother has heard more than me. Of the supporting cast names like Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry and Patrick Fugit (the kid form Almost Famous) might elicit the one and other raised eyebrow or even the occasional "what the f*ck." But Fincher always knew what he was doing.
The only quibble I have with Fincher I have is a more general one – and I sound to like an old lady in front of a broken fireplace here: It's the lack of warmth in his movies. P
This is not a problem per se (it was in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). But a part of me, my wintery self if you will, likes itself a big, inspirational Hollywood movie for the end of the year. It doesn't have to be warm and fuzzy. I settle for rousing.
Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken just might be that movie. Although the actress is a bit of a blank page in terms of directing prowess, her one effort behind the camera, the war drama In the Land of Blood and Honey, showed ambition and a predilection for difficult subjects.
Unbroken tells the true story of Olympian athlete-turned-aerial-bomber-turned-Japanese-POW, Louis Zamperini. Based on Laura Hillenbrand’s page turner of a non-fiction book, Unbroken begs to be described in terms like incredible, inspiring, terribly moving, ect...
I like to call it sob-worthy.
Much of the success of the movie will depend on two factors: will the script get the bursting story of Zamperini's life into shape. Because Hillenbrand’s book features enough material for at least three movies.
It starts off with the coming of age story of the teenage delinquent becoming an athlete to focus his boundless energy. A proper underdog sports drama follows which rather important historical events like the 1934 Olympics in Berlin.
The war period of Zamperini's life again is split between his time in the Air Force, flying missions, a survival-at-sea-drama and his time as POW in Japan resembling a harrowing real-life versin of Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence.
This is decidedly not all: Zamperini had to deal with PTSD, alcoholism, etc. after the war.
It's an awful lot of life for one movie.
But, as the Coen brothers have worked on the latest draft of the screenplay, hopes should be high that Jolie will manage capture the magic of Unbroken - that is if she has cast the right actor for the role of Louis Zamperini.
Portraying the Italian American is . The actor is being touted as a major star. Unbroken could help in that matter. The British actor, mostly known for playing his role in the series Skins, is supposed to be spectacular in the prison drama Starred Up which will (probably) be released at some point in the US next year.
If he knocks it out of the park, Unbroken could become the big, old-timey Hollywood epic that the old lady by the fireplace so much desires.
But which 2014 movies are you looking most forward for?