2014 Summer movies worth seeing

Dec 19 2017, 6:34 pm

With The Amazing Spiderman 2 now in theaters, the summer box office has officially begun
so we thought it would be good to give you the lowdown on some of the top flicks that will be released throughout the summer at a theatre near you. Here are 20 that might be worth checking out.

The Amazing Spider Man 2

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Chris Cooper, Sally Field
Director: Marc Webb
Release Date: May 2, 2014

The Lowdown: The Spiderman series was rebooted in 2012 with The Amazing Spiderman, now another story is upon us as our friendly neighborhood web slinger faces off against a plethora of enemies and foes. Jamie Foxx plays an OsCorp employee named Max Dillion – who becomes the dangerous Electro and Dane DeHaan portrays the tragic Harry Osborn. This is also a pivotal story in the relationship of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey. Shhh…I won’t say anything more, but most of you comic book nerds out there know what I’m talking about. If you are a fan of Spiderman go and see this on the big screen.

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Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliet Binoche, Ken Watanabe
Director: Gareth Edwards
Release Date: May 16, 2014

The Lowdown: Two reasons why you should see this movie, Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston and the fact that this project was filmed in Vancouver. Godzilla is a monstrous legend in cinematic history and it’s the perfect popcorn Summer movie to enjoy. Hollywood tried to reboot the film back in 1998 but in the process poo, poo’ed on the legacy all to the tune of a Puff Daddy song. Will we finally see a great adaptation to the classic Japanese films of yesteryear? From the looks of the trailer this film could end up being one of the best action flicks of the Summer and a must see.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy, Ian McKellan, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Peter Dinklage, Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page, Evan Peters, Fan Bingbing, Omar Sy, Daniel Cudmore, Shawn Ashmore, Lucas Till, Anna Paquin
Director: Bryan Singer
Release Date: May 23, 2014

The Lowdown: All you have to do is look at that cast and go yes please! I have to say that Marvel continues to knock it out the park with their film franchises. However, expect this new X-Men film to have the most convoluted story of them all as our favorite mutants journey back in time to help themselves in the past. It’s like Back to The Future but with a Wolverine. Judging by the trailer, the X-Men will be fighting large robots called the Sentinels who want to take over the world! mmuuuaaahaha. This will be one of the most successful box office movies of the summer. I definitely recommend checking it out.

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Cast: Angelina Jolie, Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Juno Temple
Director: Robert Stromberg
Release Date: May 30, 2014

The Lowdown: For those of you who have kids and have watched Disney’s Sleeping Beauty a million times, we now have a film that gives the classic tale a different perspective. If you are not familiar with the story, the evil witch Maleficent crashes Aurora’s christening, and casts an evil but delayed spell on the new royal baby. When Aurora gets older she falls asleep until her one true Prince rescues her with a kiss.

Now Disney is giving us the live adaptation but told from the point-of-view of the evil but maybe misunderstood witch played by the gorgeous Angelina Jolie. It appears to be a tad dark even for Disney so if you have kids who are sensitive to semi-scary movies, you might want to stick with just the original story for now. Otherwise this looks like a great family flick.

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A Million Ways to Die In The West

Cast: Seth McFarlane, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris, Giovanni Ribisi and Sarah Silverman
Director: Seth McFarlane
Release Date: May 30, 2014

The Lowdown: From the director of Ted and Family Guy, comes another Seth McFarlane creation. This time you can expect gutter humor taking place in the wild west.

Pot heads unite! I know there are many of you out there and I fully expect this film to be on your must see list at some point but when you feel motivated enough to get off the couch. This has all the makings of  being one of the funniest movies of the year if you like McFarlane’s brand of comedy.

From what I gather this movie is about a sheep farmer who tries to win back his girlfriend who dumped him for not being manly enough. To prove his manhood he teams up with a mysterious stranger (Charlize Theron) who is new to town.  Things get really weird when the ex-girlfriend’s outlaw husband (Liam Neeson) returns looking to cause trouble.

Warning there are some naughty words in the trailer. Earmuffs!

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The Fault in Our Stars

Cast: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell
Director: Josh Boone
Release Date: June 6, 2014

The Lowdown: Teen movies with strong female protagonists are making a big comeback in Hollywood and I say all the power to them. The very popular and award winning John Green book is finally getting the big screen treatment and this looks like one of those films that will not only convey a great message but it might get a little misty around the eyes. It’s allergy season okay.

Instead of fighting Vampires or shooting a bow and arrow at kids in a sick game, this story is about a young girl who has to deal with her own mortality as she finds out she has terminal cancer. Instead of falling into a pit of despair, Hazel Grace Lancaster tries to make the best of a tough situation all while falling in love for the first time. From what people have told me the book is amazing so this film could easily be the sleeper hit of the summer. Bring tissues.

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Edge of Tomorrow

Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton
Director: Doug Liman
Release Date: June 6, 2014

The Lowdown: Tom Cruise is looking for a hit and although I think he is one of the best actors of our generation, I think his off screen weirdness has hurt his drawing power. That said, this film has Bill Paxton in it and the director Doug Liman is also very solid so this could be a surprise hit. I don’t know much about the story although I’ve been told that the premise is similar to the classic movie Groundhog’s Day but it takes place in the future, with guns and stuff exploding everywhere.

It’s about a soldier (Tom Cruise) who has to keep reliving the same battle-infused day over and over again. It’s good to see the science fiction genre making a comeback in Hollywood, the question is how will this film stack up with some of the other sci-fi flicks coming out soon? The trailer actually reminds me of a first shooter game on one of them Xbox doohickeys.

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22 Jump Street

Cast: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, and Ice Cube
Director: Phil Lord and Chris Miller
Release Date: June 13, 2014

The Lowdown: Not only am I stoked that 21 Jump Street is getting a sequel, but the director tandem of Phil Lord and Chris Miller have returned to direct it. They have been making some pretty hilarious movies as of late with The Lego Movie and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum return as undercover cops but instead of going to high school, the two buddy cops are sent to college as freshmen.

21 Jump Street was a surprise hit in 2012 and wound up being arguably the best comedy of the year. Although there is a new address with 22 Jump Street, I fully expect this to be pure comedy gold.

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How to Train Your Dragon 2

Cast: Jay Baruchel, Kristen Wiig, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchett, Kit Harington and Djimon Hounsou.
Director: Dean DeBlois
Release Date: June 13, 2014

The Lowdown: As you can see this summer’s box office could be the largest ever (until next year) with such a great selection of action, drama, comedy and family films like the much anticipated sequel to How to Train Your Dragon.

The first animated film was beautifully done with some of the best animation seen on screen, not to mention the amazing and appropriate use of 3D.

Rant Alert! – Too many movies go 3D and we end up being suckers and paying the extra coin for the glasses and most of the time it wasn’t necessary. It’s almost like the studios do their darnedest to incorporate some 3D in their films to try and squeeze out every last penny out of us. 3D should only be used if it makes a difference and actually adds quality to a film. Not all animation needs to be 3D. One of the best animations in 2014 was Ernest and Celestine and it used a classic style of animation and substituted heart for 3D.

Anyway, How to Train Your Dragon 2 will have kids and parents lined up at the theater, glasses in hand, ready for another adventure with Hiccup and Toothless. This time Hiccup and his friends are older and have a few more species of dragons to play with. This will probably be one of the best movies of the year. Don’t take my word for it, watch the first five minutes of the film below.

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Cast: Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris, John Hurt, Alison Pill, Octavia Spencer, Ewen Bremner and Song Kang-ho
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Release Date: June 27, 2014

The Lowdown: For those of you who are not as “film buff’ish” as me, go and watch the foreign films The Host and Mother. Once you do that, you will be excited about the critically acclaimed Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s first English-language film Snowpiercer. Not only that, the movie has a kick-ass cast with Captain America’s Chris Evans, the lovely Tilda Swinton and Ed Harris to name just a few.

So what is it all about? It’s based on the famous graphic novel Le Transperceneige and is set on a future earth that just went through an apocalyptic ice age. The only people who survived are living on a train called Snowpiercer. So what happens when many people from different backgrounds are stuck on a train? You get drama, intrigue and a class war. The Weinstein Company was going to trim the movie down for North American release, but they thankfully decided to stay true to Joon-ho’s vision. Warning the trailer below has some blood and violence.

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Transformers: Age of Extinction

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer
Director: Michael Bay
Release Date: June 27, 2014

The Lowdown: The first three Transformers movies were huge when it came to international box office success. Gone is Shia LaBeouf and the rest of the original cast as this new flick takes place years after the wonton destruction of Chicago in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Instead we get Mark Wahlberg as our hero and we are finally introduced to some bad-ass Dinobots. If you are a kid of the 80s like me, it’s about freakn’ time!

Just a side note, this is the first film of a brand new trilogy in the Transformers franchise. It’s movies like this that make summer time at the theater so much fun. It’s Michael Bay directing so expect some cars and unnecessary explosions.

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Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Allison Janney
Director: Ben Falcone
Release Date: July 2, 2014

The Lowdown: I included this movie because Melissa McCarthy can be hilarious with the right material. The movie is about a woman who has a cheating husband, a job that sucks, and family members who don’t exactly show a ton of support. She is finally fed up and looks to rob some sort of fast food place and go on a road trip with her grandmother. (Susan Sarandon)

I’m not sure what to make of this comedy but if Susan Sarandon has signed on it probably means the script is solid. If you are fan of McCarthy, this could have the potential to be a very funny movie. The trailer has a few chuckles.

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Life Itself

Cast: Martin Scorsese, Werner Herzog, Errol Morris
Director: Steve James
Release Date: July 11, 2014

The Lowdown: This documentary has already received two thumbs up by many critics at film festivals around the world. Acclaimed and Oscar-nominated documentary film maker Steve James, gives us an inside look at the late, great film critic Roger Ebert. The power that Roger’s thumb held on the movie industry is legendary and although he disliked Usual Suspects and a few other movies I loved, he was one of the greatest film critics of our time. If you love movies as much as I do, this is a doc you want to have on your radar this summer. Many are already saying it should be a nominee for best documentary. No official trailer has been released.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Cast: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Judy Greer, Toby Kebbell, and Kodi Smith-McPhee
Director: Matt Reeves
Release Date: July 11, 2014

The Lowdown: In 2011 the reboot of the Planet of the Apes began with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which surprised many as actually being really good. It told the story about a chimpanzee named Caesar who went from being James Franco’s lovable pet to an angry chimp who began a monkey revolution!

This sequel takes place ten years after the end of the last film and finds Caesar (Andy Serkis) leading a band of apes in a world where most of the humans were killed off by a deadly virus. Some humans survived and find themselves fighting the deadly disease and those filthy apes! Damn you, damn you all to hell!

Andy Serkis is amazing as Caesar and judging by the trailer WETA (The people who brought us the special effects for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit) have done some marvelous work with CGI once again. Oh and Gary Oldman is in this film. It will be interesting to see if this sequel outdoes the prequel, because if that’s the case, mark this on your calendar as a must see.

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Jupiter Ascending

Cast: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Douglas Booth, Eddie Redmayne, James D’Arcy, and Terry Gilliam
Director: Lana Wachowski & Andy Wachowski
Release Date: July 18, 2014

The Lowdown: Finally the Wachowskis have gone back to their roots and put together what could be another science fiction masterpiece in Jupiter Ascending. The creators of the Matrix had some fun with Speed Racer and the very confusing Cloud Atlas, but the sci-fi genre needed Andy and Lana to come back and give us another futuristic tale that was full of thought and eye popping special effects.

Mila Kunis stars as a young maid named Jupiter Jones, whose ordinary life is thrown into danger when a genetically engineered hunter (Channing Tatum) tracks her down and tells her she was born to an incredible destiny that will pit her against the Queen of the Universe. The first trailer for the film looks breath taking but let’s hope the script holds up. This is apparently the first film of what could end up being a successful trilogy. Sean Bean is in it so you know the character he plays will die in some dramatic fashion. It’s safe to say that this is one of the most anticipated films of the year.

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Guardians of the Galaxy

Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close and Benicio del Toro
Director: James Gunn
Release Date: August 1, 2014

The Lowdown: It’s another comic book movie. Get used to it as we will be inundated with Marvel and DC creations for the next decade. Nonetheless, Guardians looks like it could be a lot of fun and a tad bizarre. The movie is about a bunch of misfits who form an uneasy alliance while they are on the run after stealing a coveted orb.

It has a Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), a half-alien, half-human who left Earth at a young age and has spent his adult life as a rebel, but backing him up is a ridiculous cast of supporting characters: Groot (Vin Diesel), a walking tree; Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), a gun-loving furry mammal; Gamora (Zoe Saldana), a green space assassin; and Drax The Destroyer (Dave Bautista), a hulking alien driven by revenge.

This is one of the weirder stories in the Marvel Universe and judging by the trailer alone, it might be cool enough to be another great comic book adaptation. Parents be ready to go out and buy the toys!

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Megan Fox, William Ficther, Will Arnett
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Release Date: August 8, 2014

The Lowdown: Did we need another TMNT movie? Yes. Luckily there is no Vanilla Ice and an unnecessary dance scene in this one. That said, something tells me that this film is going to flop badly. There have already been rumors of re-shooting and editing which is never a good thing to hear.

Most of us grew up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but did you know that the original comic books were pretty violent and not as PG as the films or the cartoon were? So if they were going to do a reboot, why not move in the direction of the original comics? I’m not sure what to make of the trailer, and although I really want this movie to succeed, I’m going to go into it with low expectations. Have I sold you on this one yet? The reason it was on my list is that most of us will be curious and that might be enough to draw people to the theater to check it out.

Thanks to state-of-the-art special effects, we no longer need short Karate experts in Jim Henson’s turtle costumes. With a very large budget there should be some great eye candy and hopefully a story and tone that will keep us riveted. If not, we always have pizza.

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The Giver

Cast: Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, Katie Holmes
Director: Phillip Noyce
Release Date: August 15, 2014

The Lowdown: The book is considered a classic and has been used in English classrooms across North America. It is truly an literary marvel. The story takes place in a utopian world where there is no conflict, racism or sickness. Every member of society has a specific role, and a teenager named Jonas is selected to be the Receiver of Memories. As Jonas uncovers the truth behind his world’s past, he discovers that many years earlier his forefathers gave up humanity in order to have a stable society.

So for those of you who were forced to read the award winning novel and write an agonizing essay, you finally have your big pay off with the silver screen adaptation. It has an all-star cast and although the movie may not follow the book as closely as some may want, it should be on your list of movies to see this summer. You owe it to your English teacher.

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The Expendables 3

The Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Terry Crews, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Kelsey Grammer, Glen Powell, Victor Ortiz, Robert Davi
Director: Patrick Hughes
Release Date: August 15, 2014

The Lowdown: How can you resist? Look at the above cast and tell me you aren’t excited for the third installment of a film series that many of us wished they had made in the 80s.

For this, leave your brain at nearest receptacle, possible summertime hit we get a bad guy named Conrad Stonebanks played by the evil Mel Gibson and let’s not forget Wesley Snipes who makes a return to the big screen after spending some time in prison. Harrison Ford is cashing in on the nostalgia by playing a pilot named Max Drummer. This movie feels like it should be all kinds of wrong but it feels so right.

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The Maze Runner

Cast: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Sangster, Will Poulter, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee
Director: Wes Bell
Release Date: September 19

The Lowdown: This movie looks very cool. It’s about a kid who wakes up in an elevator that takes him to a mysterious place called The Glade. He meets some more boys, and one girl, all who had arrived in the same mysterious way at different points in time. The only way to escape or find the truth is by running a maze but only during the daytime.

This movie looks to have a nice blend of  mystery, thriller, and drama all fused together to make what could become an instant classic. There is a lot of potential here and I have high hopes for this one.

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The above is a good blend of summer movies to look forward to as there is something for everyone. This is just a nice appetizer to what is coming in the summer of 2015 which is already being called the biggest year in film. 

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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