Movies still to come in 2014: Part 2

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If you missed part one of our “still-to-come 2014 movies,” let me sum-up by saying we have a lot to look forward to in the month of October.

Once we get past Halloween, however, it gets even better — or at the very least, the frequency of promising projects increases — thus the inspiration for this sequel. Like before, this is not a list of recommendations but rather a list of movies people are excited about.

And with all that out of the way, let’s get to the movies:

Big Hero 6

(PG)

In many ways, Marvel has been responsible for keeping 2014 relevant. Studios have been dealing with low numbers and unforgiving critics since “the Monuments Men,” and while there have been some really great offerings like “Edge of Tomorrow,” the only movies people are still talking about deal with “X-Men,” "Captain America” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

When will the superhero bubble pop? Who knows. But I doubt it will be with Disney’s first big animation/Marvel crossover. The marketing is fun, colorful and safe enough for the family market.

Interstellar

(PG-13)

The recent trailer for Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” is simply beautiful. There’s something about looking to the stars for mankind’s future that seems inevitable, and stories that play with the idea always seem to catch our interest.

Matthew McConaughey is on fire at the moment, and Nolan consistently delivers compelling original material. Critics may not be talking about “Interstellar” just yet, but audiences are. In fact, if I were to guess a most anticipated movie being released before the New Year, “Interstellar” would be my first and second choice.

Birdman or (the Unexpected virtue of Ignorance)

(R)

The reviews and feedback we’re hearing about this movie are incredible. Even if they weren’t, Michael Keaton returning to the big screen as a winged vigilante just makes me smile. Throw in Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone and this line from Variety:

“‘Birdman’ offers by far the most fascinating meta-deconstruction of an actor’s ego since ‘Being John Malkovich,’ and one that leaves no room for vanity.”

You have a project I may or may not be already in line for. Will it live up to the hype? Can it live up to the hype? I have no idea. But there’s a good chance this will be an award show favorite come 2015.

Dumb and Dumber to

(PG-13)

It’s been 20 years now since Lloyd and Harry were introduced to audiences, and fans are hoping an original-cast sequel will be worth the wait.

Historically, comedy sequels are a bit of a let-down, but the trailers so far are pretty funny — beginning with the explanation of why it took 20 years for there to even be a sequel.

My advice to the fans? Put nostalgia in timeout and try to view number two as its own film. But full disclosure: if they ever do release “Goonies 2,” I’ll drive there blaring Cindy Lauper with a Baby Ruth in hand, so liv la vida loca “Dumber” lovers!

Wild

(R)

Reese Witherspoon is such a mixed bag of casting. When she’s not doing “Mud,” “Walk the Line” or “Election,” she’s doing “Little Nicky,” “Vanity Fair” and “Four Christmases.”

So when you tell me there’s a movie that focuses almost entirely on her, and the plot involves her character going hiking to work out her issues, my brain doesn’t know what to do with the information. I want to be excited, and I have total faith in the word-of-mouth publicity this project is gathering, but if in a couple weeks I see “Wild” has 20 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, my facial expression will probably remain the same.

But there’s Oscar talk here, and director Jean-Marc Vallee is definitely a guy to watch after “Dallas Buyers Club,” so this is a project worth talking about, and definitely one to include on this list.

Exodus: Gods and Kings

(???)

Why do we need another big-screen Moses story? Ridley Scott and Christian Bale seem to think they have the answer. They also seem to be very tight-lipped about said answer, since the recent trailer for “Exodus” isn’t sharing any revelation with its audiences.

Still, biblical movies tend to fuel water-cooler conversations, and trending conversations often manifest themselves as box-office returns. Should we be surprised to see this movie showing up around some of the most religious holidays of the year? No. Were there at least five other scriptural ideas Hollywood could’ve explored before revisiting Moses? Why yes, yes there were. I made a list.

Into the Woods

(PG)

Based on the Stephen Sondheim musical with the same name, “Woods” is showing off its hypnotic design and storybook color palette like a candy store’s front counter. It’s beautiful to look at, has an established musical background, and the cast involved doesn’t shy away from crazy. This is still my personal pick for the fall/winter movie season, but I’ve misjudged a trailer in the past.

So what do you think? Did I miss a movie, or include one that doesn’t deserve the attention? We’ll be chatting this list in next week’s episode of Flix Junkies, which will also include an interview with the director and star of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” so let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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