Monday, 30 June 2014

Top 20 Films Still to Come in 2014

It’s nearing that time where the second half of the film calendar begins. Currently the sun is out in the British summer but by the time you’ve read this sentence, it will probably be over. There’s no better place to shelter form the weather than the cinema. When it’s too damn hot and you realise that Britain isn’t equipped at all with little amounts of air-con installed elsewhere, the cinema is the best place to cool off. When the weather turns to the more frightful, you can sit inside the dark room all cosy, only hearing the rumble of the stereo rather than the storm. That’s why it’s time to look forward to many cinema trips during the second half of 2014.

Currently, the year has been a bit of a mixed-bag. As usual, we get the delayed Oscar fair here in the UK which brought us Steve McQueen’s powerful, Oscar winning 12 Years a Slave; it gave us another classic piece by Martin Scorsese with the white-collared Goodfellas, The Wolf of Wall Street; and it gave us Spike Jonze’s wonderful romance Her which spoilt our eyes thanks to the beautiful cinematography by Hoyte van Hoytema. Then we’ve had the bittersweet swansong of the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, the surprising and refreshing blockbuster of Edge of Tomorrow and the most brutal actioner since, well, The Raid with The Raid 2. That along with two impressive films from Lord and Miller with The Lego Movie and 22 Jump Street. Even X-Men: Days of Future Past – their most ambitious product yet – had a lot of hype, a lot of potential but Bryan Singer’s capable hands crafted an intelligent ensemble blockbuster.

That’s not to say that the year has been brilliant. Aaron Paul’s feature follow ups to Breaking Bad have been poorly received – not his performances which have still been sterling. Gareth Edwards’s Godzilla gave new life to the creature but unfortunately not the characters surrounding it, leading to many impressive moments but wholly disappointing by the sheer mediocrity surrounding it. Disney’s possible foray into villainy was eventually a cutesy reimagining of one of their scariest villains with Maleficent, which instead sowed way too much sympathy into a protagonist that revelled in villainy for a single scene – Angelina Jolie really does impress in it, but sadly not much else does. With Jupiter Ascending from the Wasachowski siblings sadly pushed back to February 2015 in the UK, it can feel a little empty currently. 3 Days to Kill recently came out but that has not improved this year. Don’t let that dampen your spirits.

Let’s look at the top 20 films still to come in 2014 – big and small – that are worth looking forward to.

Note: Though there are no foreign releases here, it is because there appears to be no widely released films scheduled for the cinema. Though there are sure to be many great ones, is unlikely that they will get the wide distribution that some others did. Apologies!