The Next 11 Months in Speculative Fiction Movies

The Next 11 Months in Speculative Fiction Movies

The staff of QFT gives their impressions of 22 movies coming out in the rest of 2014. The list isn’t every speculative fiction movie coming out this year (no one had anything to say about Transcendence, for example), but it’s a good starting point.


LEGO Movie – February 7


Clockwork Gnome – This looks amazing. I can’t wait to see this with my kids. The other LEGO movies, although much shorter, have been really fun.

Ninja Monkey – I suspect people will think I’m odd for being excited about this one. But the LEGO video games are some of the most entertaining products to come out in a long time. The problem is they’re all based on other properties. LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Harry Potter. So to make the jump to their own property, transition by focusing on an original but have Batman and TMNT as secondaries. This has the potential to be very funny and very good. “Come with me if you want to not die” delivered without a scratching record sound to point out how silly the overly familiar line is twisted seals it for me.

And by the way, the double-decker couch is a really good idea.

Quantum Fairy – I loved LEGOS as a kid and I’m pumped for this movie. The trailers look amazing and I don’t get the sense that all of the humor is being played out in 30 second snippets before I go into the theater.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – My husband was the one who told me about this movie. He kept telling me I should watch the trailer. I was a little skeptical because, come on, a movie about Legos? However, I watched the trailer, and it looks hilarious. So now, I am really looking forward to seeing it. Plus, it is something we can take out daughter to.


Robocop – February 14

Clockwork Gnome – Pass. Why can’t they come up with something new? EH? COME ON HOLLYWOOD!

Ninja Monkey – I’m surprisingly ambivalent about this one. Which means it’s pretty much a grab as soon as it’s on Netflix movie. This is actually good, because I was ambivalent about the first Robocop (though I now see it in slightly rose-colored nostalgia glasses), and I’m not sure I see the point of a remake. Still, Gary Oldman and Samuel L. Jackson and if the trailer isn’t misrepresenting the story approach, it could turn out pretty well.

Quantum Fairy – Trailers look pretty good, but I’m as “excited” for this as I was for the remake of Total Recall—not much. I’ll wait to see what Rotten Tomatoes viewers think after opening weekend before spending the bucks to see it on the big screen.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – I would watch this movie if I didn’t have to pay for it.


Muppets Most Wanted – March 21

Clockwork Gnome – YES! Muppets are always a good time.

Ninja Monkey – Another one of those that I’m more enthusiastic about than a man of my age should be. But Disney has redeemed a lot of their properties. Frozen and Tangled were very strong “original” films (taking their own approaches to fairy tales, as they did). And the last Muppets film was the strongest since the first 2 or 3 featuring Hensen’s creations. Throw Tina Fey in there, and well, I’m excited.

Quantum Fairy – I’ll see this in the theater because my wife is a huge fan, but based on trailers alone I have only a mediocre desire to see this film. I love the Muppet; however, while The Muppets in 2011 had some amazing moments, it otherwise did little for me.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – I loved the Muppets movie that came out in 2011. I thought it had great music and a fun plot. Although the last movie was good, I will probably wait for this one to come out on Redbox or even Netflix. It looks fun, but I’m just not that excited about it.


Divergent – March 21

Clockwork Gnome – These books were really amazing. I’m a bit hesitatnt to see the movie just because I think there is a lot they could screw up, but it looks as if they chose a great cast (Hooray for Kate Winslet!) so I have high hopes.

Ninja Monkey – This is another confession time. I haven’t read the book. It’s almost not standing out with the popularity of YA dystopia. The breaking conformity messaging seems a little ham-handed. Still, I don’t think I have anything against it. So we’ll see. Given that this opens the same weeked as Muppets, well, I’m pretty sure which I’ll see in theaters.

Quantum Fairy – This is a book, right? I should read it first.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – I still need to read this book. I’ve heard great things about it. If I end up loving the book, I will probably see the movie. Judging from the trailer, it looks like an OK movie. I just don’t know how it will stand in comparison with the Hunger Games series.


Captain America: Winter Soldier – April 4

Clockwork Gnome – Hubba hubba ding ding.

Ninja Monkey – Several years ago when a friend and I discussed how to make a good movie with Captain America it never even occurred to me to set the entire film in World War II. So many films do the origin story as intro, that it was a stroke of genius to make the entire movie his origin. He did good in Avengers, but let’s all admit that he was a supporting character (first among seconds, maybe?) and that Iron Man was the protagonist of that film. It would still make a good launching point to see Cap more dissident and having less blind trust in his government. Still, I may be naive in thinking that Winter Soldier will be Bucky, Steve’s old buddy (this is what he is in the comics), but that can make a good story too — the whole, past not controlling who you are. It’ll be interesting to see where they go, and either way I’m excited.

Quantum Fairy – I, for one, look forward to Return of Bucky. The one trailer I’ve seen disappoints – for sharing the movie title, Winter Soldier makes up about 10 seconds of almost 2 minutes, but Marvel movies have given me a lot of faith lately.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – Meh. This describes my feeling for Captain America. I will probably end up seeing it for my husband’s sake. Hey, maybe I’ll be surprised.


Amazing Spider-man 2 – May 2

Clockwork Gnome – Meh. Spider-Man lost me on the last couple of Tobi McGuire installments. I may or may not see this one depending on the reviews. It seems like it might be half decent.

Ninja Monkey – The first Spidey reboot film was ok, but not great. It certainly didn’t measure up to the first trilogy (and yes, I liked Spider-Man 3, but it doesn’t hold a candle to 2). Even with that background, this sequel looks really great. Three villains may be pushing it – it’s usually not pulled off well (see Batman and Robin, for example). But it looks like they might have done as incredible a job with Electro as they did with Dr. Octopus, which is high praise from me. And Harry Osborne looks to have a background role. Without spoiling things that are actually not spoilers (50 years of comic book history is past the statute of limitations for these things) let me just add that’s it’s been observed that Gwen’s outfit bears a resemblence to a certain outfit worn in the comic books on a certain remarkable occassion.
Short form, I think the story can be just “not sucky” and if the promises of the performance hold out I’ll still like this one a lot.

Quantum Fairy – I enjoyed the reboot after the travesty that was Spider-Man 3.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – I really liked the last Spider-Man movie and I am looking forward to seeing the next one.


Godzilla – May 16

Clockwork Gnome – I’ve never been a huge Godzilla fan. (Please don’t hit me Eric) I really don’t like watching cities be destroyed that much. Even if it’s by a huge lizard with amazing acting skillz. Yawn.

Ninja Monkey – KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU

I love me some Godzilla. This will come as no surprise to long-time QFT blog readers. And no, I’m not expecting this re-imagining to measure up to 1954’s original. I do expect it to improve over the 1998 Matthew Broderick version though (even though I enjoyed that one, it was still bad). Sadly, I don’t expect it will be enough to launch a franchise renewal — most die hard Godzilla fans won’t be happy unless it’s cheezy and the rest of the world won’t like it unless it’s brilliant. We’ll have to look for Pacific Rim and it’s confirmed sequel to do that for Kaiju.

Quantum Fairy – Pass.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – No way.


X-Men: Days of Future Past – May 23

Clockwork Gnome – CAN NOT WAIT to see this. I have to admit, I’m a huge fan of flashback type movies. I love it when they renew a franchise with a “back in our youth” installment including fresh faces. Plus historical fiction is one of my faves. X-Men ususally has decent script writers. Three thumbs up for watching on opening night.

Ninja Monkey – Yes, I want to see this. Yes, they’ve obviously made changes to the comic book’s story, including central figures. Still, they’ve got the old crew, and it promises to be much more First Class than Origins: Wolverine or X-Men United.

Quantum Fairy – Yes. Absolutely yes. I loved Fassbender and McAvoy in the X-Men: First Class.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – I think the X-Men movies have died off in quality. My husband and I saw Wolverine at the cheap theater. I thought the movie was entertaining, but the twists weren’t that shocking. I figure the new X-Men will be like this as well. I think this one might be a Redbox for me.


Maleficent – May 30

Clockwork Gnome – I’m intrigued by this film. A.J. isn’t the best actress in the world. I don’t care how fun she is to stare at, she’s pretty good at butchering a good script (see tomb raider), but Disney is fairly adept at editing and the graphics look amazing. Prolly won’t be taking my little girls, however. I think this is a sneaky way for Disney to pick up some tween viewers.

Ninja Monkey – I’m on the fence. I’m hardly a fan of Angelina Jolie, but I’m intrigued by the animation choices and that Jolie describes it as something she could take her kids too (ok, not really that last one). I think I really need to be convinced that this will add something to the Sleeping Beauty story, and the trailer doesn’t do that for me. Still, I’m willing to be convinced it does.

Quantum Fairy – Disney’s Sleeping Beauty was a re-telling of an old French fairy tale that was invented by Christians to poo-poo Paganism. Now its live action with more emphasis on the villain. It will be interesting how Disney changes it to fit society today (versus the late 1950’s), and despite my objections to the original subject matter of Christian propaganda, and zero chance of Angelina Jolie’s new implants being shown, I’ll still see this in the theater.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – I am super excited about this one. I am also very interested to see how Angelina Jolie is going to do with this role. The last movie I saw her in was Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and that was pretty disappointing (wow, that was a long time ago). So, I’m hoping she will surprise me in this one.


Edge of Tomorrow – June 6

Ninja Monkey – It’s time for me to admit it. I like Tom Cruise science fiction movies. I really don’t care about him personally, but that hardly enters it. Given that this film shares a premise with Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day, this movie could go either way. I’m hoping the shiny will prevail and that we get a good story with it.

Quantum FairyGroundhog’s Day with guns and Tom Cruise? I’ll wait for it to hit digital download to rent.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – This seems like a mixture of Oblivion and Pacific Rim. Also, machine monsters remind me too much of Transformers and the Transformers movies make me want to beat my head against a wall.


How to Train Your Dragon 2 – June 13

Clockwork Gnome – Yes. The first movie was so great. Great animation, great script, great story. Although the whole story seems to be laid out in the trailer (which I HATE) I’m hoping it delivers once again.

Ninja Monkey – For how much I really liked the first one (Toothless looks exactly like my cat), I don’t know why I’m ambivelant here. Maybe it’s because cartoon sequels usually aren’t that great? Still, I liked Despicable Me 2, so I should give it a chance.

Quantum Fairy – My wife and I loved the first film. It wasn’t perfect, but the end resolution was very satisfying for an animated film, simultaneously conveying the idea that there are real repercussions for your actions, and that its okay to be a little different. The second film has a great cast and hopefully will live up to the first, but to be honest the fact that a third installment has already been announced for 2016 does make one wonder if this film will be plagued with the “curse of the second”, it will just be plot bridge from 1 to 3.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – I’m sure it will be entertaining. I saw the first one, and it was really cute. I don’t think I would go out of my way to see this one, though.


Transformers: Age of Extinction – June 27

T4

Clockwork Gnome – Pass. How many times do I have to watch robots smash the world up before the franchise is over? No city smashing please.

Ninja Monkey – Very little is known about this one yet. There’s suspicions that Grimlock will be in it (yay!) and no Shia LaBeouf (yay maybe?). But we have a few plot ideas. It’s probably going to be much along the lines of the last three. Which means don’t go if you want story or character. You go (like I oh so very much will) because you want to see shiny robot-car movie. And explosions.

Quantum Fairy – I haven’t seen a Transformers movie since the first Michael Bay/live action one. This will be no different..

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – Nope, nope, and nope. I just can’t take any more Transformers movies.


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – July 18

Wait, wrong trailer.

Clockwork Gnome – Yes! Although I still haven’t seen the first movie, I’ve heard it’s amazing and I really should watch it. I’ll prolly do so the week before this comes out and then I’ll see this as well. Here is one case of recycling that I think worked (as far as I’ve heard) still, I wish they’d would pass a law saying ONLY NEW CONTENT allowed out of Hollywood (and Nashville for that matter).

Ninja Monkey – Another great big “meh.” I’m a huge fan of the original series of movies, especially the first one and the overarching meta-plot. But the remake was boring. And I never bothered to see the second. I probably won’t with this one either.

Quantum Fairy – Stoked.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – I really liked the first Planet of the Apes, but I’m not too excited to see this one.
[Ninja Monkey notes that REC probably means the first remake and not the first Charlton Heston film]


Hercules – July 25

Clockwork Gnome – Yes. I don’t care about the acting or script. Just yes.

Ninja Monkey – Do we really need 2 of these in one year? Why do you do this to us, Hollywood? Pass.

Quantum Fairy – As a history buff, I’ll probably see this on digital download so I don’t have to pay $20 to mock the inaccuracies in mythos and props while simultaneously enjoying the special fx and monster killin’.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – Probably not.


Guardians of the Galaxy – August 1

Ninja Monkey – Look, I’m not the world’s foremost authority on this particular property. But a) it has Rocket Raccoon, who I suspect will be my favorite character. And b) I’ll be honest: it’s been long enough that the mental and emotional trauma of Daredevil and Elektra have healed. Marvel hasn’t done wrong in a long time, and they’ve done some pretty awesome. I am therefore stoked.

Quantum Fairy – I’m very nervous for this one. In concept it sounds like a huge jump: take one of the least-known Marvel franchises and blockbuster it in the same year as other successful blockbuster sequels. But, Bradley Cooper as Rocket Racoon, with Karen Gillan, John C. Reilly, and Djimon Hounsou give me some hope that this will be done right. Vin Diesel is a “could go either way” for me. He gets typecast, but I don’t hate him. Marvel faith!

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – I haven’t heard much about this one yet, but I know my husband is excited about it.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – August 8

teenage_mutant_ninja_turtles_promo_2

Clockwork Gnome – I’m going to let my husband take my son to see it.

Ninja Monkey – I’m cautious with this one. TMNT was created, and then exploded into pop culture, at a difficult time in my life and sitting down and listening to Corey Feldman voice Donatello was a comfort for me. Yes, it was dumb, but it was a good dumb. They’re going their own way with this one though. It may not have a lot to do with the original characters other than looking like turtles and doing martial arts. They’ve been described as “aliens” — though that could have been metaphorical. I want to love this one so bad. But I’m not certain at all that I will be able to.

Quantum Fairy – I was a huge fan when I was a pre-teen and TMNT was getting into its heyday. They introduced me to eastern culture and were full of fun imagination. I’m still a fan years later, but I’ll have to see who I can drag to this. Fingers crossed for a Vanilla Ice reprise on the soundtrack.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – Unfortunately, my parents banned my siblings and I from watching these cartoons when I was growing up. As a result, I just don’t have any childhood connection to these guys that would make me want to see this movie.


The Maze Runner – September 19

Vuth2hW

Clockwork Gnome – Yes. This book was awesome. Talk about great fresh new ideas. Can’t wait to see the movie, although I’m afraid Hollywood is going to screw it up like they do with so many great books. Plus Mr. Dashner is one of the nicest guys in the world. I wouldn’t miss supporting him anywhere.

Ninja Monkey – Another YA Dystopia. However, I have read this one, and this (and it’s first sequel) were very good. And it’s got a unique setting and reason for being a dystopia. For those reasons, I’m really hoping they did an awesome job adapting this. Author James Dashner is excited about it, so I hope that means good things.

Quantum Fairy – I have not read the book. Mr. Dashner’s sister tells me its great. I’ll go see it in the theater still.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – I will need to read the book before I see this one.


Boxtrolls – Sep 26

Clockwork Gnome – Love the trailer that shows the making of this film. That was pure genius. I wouldn’t have seen the movie had I not seen that trailer. Looks like another great one to take my kids to.

Ninja Monkey – I’m neither intrigued nor really repulsed by this. For that reason, I probably won’t ever see it. If it were a kids movie based on Troll Hunter, that would be pretty awesome.

Quantum Fairy – I’m not sure what this is, it sounds a lot like the legend of “Pillow Pants.” I have yet to watch the trailer, but I would pay $10 to watch Simon Pegg sit in a recliner and read Quantum Fairy Tales’ rejected poetry submissions.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – This looks like something similar to ParaNorman quality (which makes sense since they have the same director). I thought ParaNorman was OK, but I definitely won’t be seeing this one in the theaters.


Dracula Untold – October 3

Clockwork Gnome – I do not watch vampire movies. It’s a thing I have. They give me nightmares and I like my sleep.

Ninja Monkey – There’s not even really pictures for this one yet. The strongest thing I can see it has going for it is Luke Evans (with his resemblance to Orlando Bloom in certain lights) in the titular role. But vampires just aren’t interesting. Not even the original one. Let’s let it rest for a while, guys.

Quantum Fairy – Speaking of people that I would pay money to watch read rejected poetry, Samantha Barks is listed on IMDB as having an unnamed role in this film. I don’t care if she dated a Jonas brother, if the characters from Les Miserables looked like the actors who portrayed them, Marius is an idiot.

On the film itself, without much to go on other than a vague idea of combining the classic novel by Bram Stoker and the history of Vlad the Impaler, this will come down to writing for me. They barely resemble each other. Marrying the two shouldn’t be too difficult, but the writers don’t have a long resume to go off of, so its a gamble at this point to say how good or awful this will be.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – The only Dracula movies I have seen involve Abbott and Costello and then Leslie Nielsen in Dracula: Dead and Loving it. I’m not sure what to expect with a Dracula movie that is actually scary or suspenseful.


Interstellar – November 7

Ninja Monkey – The trailer really tells us nothing about the movie except “SPACE.” Oddly, that’s nearly enough. I’m excited, not for the movie, but to see actual stills or plot details.

Quantum Fairy – Meh. Decent cast, could go either way as well. This could be another year of promising casting with crappy directing and writing.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – With Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, I trust that it will be a pretty decent movie. I’m always up for a good sci-fi movie too.


Mockingjay – November 21

hunger-games-mockingjay-movie-poster

Clockwork Gnome – YES! Loved the first two moives. Thought they did a good job sticking with the plot. Can’t wait to go see all the dodo’s cry who don’t know how it’s goign to end. Boo hoo kids! (pssst… EVERYONE DIES!)

Ninja Monkey – GEEZ WHY ARE THEY SPLITTING ALL THESE LAST-BOOK-IN-A-YA-TRILOGY MOVIES INTO TWO FILMS?! I don’t get it. True, Harry Potter book 7 was quite long, but I don’t think there’s even enough that happens in Mockingjay to make material for two movies. And there isn’t any background material like The Hobbit has to add new plots. I think they’re weakening it to try and squeeze more money. Anyway, first movie was ok. Still haven’t watched #2 but probably will when it comes to netflix. So #3 will probably get the same treatment.

Quantum Fairy – They divided another book up into multiple movies to make more money? Here’s my shocked face: :|. I still haven’t seen Catching Fire but I loved the book series. I suppose if you’re going to split one of the books up, this is the one to do it on.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – This is the number one movie that I am most looking forward to. However, despite the greatness of the last two movies, I am a little worried about Mockingjay being split into two parts. I’ve read all the books in the series and was pretty disappointed in the first half of Mockingjay. For me, things just dragged on until all the action started happening at The Capitol. I really hope the movie doesn’t reflect that. However, if this next movie is like the last two, I don’t think I will be disappointed.


Hobbit: There and Back Again – December 17

hobbit

Clockwork Gnome – While I loved the first movie, didn’t really enjoy the second. Felt like it was a saggy middle to the extreme – way too much action, not enough dialogue and dwarf singing. I’m hoping the last movie saves the series.

Ninja Monkey – Look, I know it’s early to even have pictures. I loved the last two, despite the elf-king’s eyebrows. I’m sure I’ll love this one. Even if it will be bloated.

Quantum Fairy – It’s finished? Are you sure Peter Jackson? I’m pretty sure there’s more manuscripts from lost Tolkien files you haven’t filmed.

Despite my sarcasm, I’ll be there opening day. I loved the book as kid.

Ruby-eyed Cyborg – I LOVED the Lord of the Rings movies. I remember going to the midnight showing of Return of the King back when it first came out. So, naturally, I was so excited about the Hobbit. Unfortunately, An Unexpected Journey put me to sleep (literally). I haven’t had the desire to watch any more movies from the series, so I probably won’t be seeing There and Back Again. I know, I’m a monster.

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