Spec-fic 2014: Movies by the Month

Greetings all and Happy New Year!

I'm going to break my blog-fasting with a look at what's coming up in 2014 in the world of Spec-Fic at the movies!


I, Frankenstein
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski

The story of the immortal (literally) Frankenstein's monster and his epic struggle against demonic forces...
On the one hand this film looks like it's in the same vein as Sucker Punch, Underworld, and 47 Ronin (which I didn't see). In short, it looks very campy, on the other hand it's got Aaron Eckhart and Bill Nighy so it might not be terrible...This one seems like a bit of a stretch, but if you like camp, you might go for it.

Knights of Badassdom
Starring: Peter Dinklage, Summer Glau, Steve Zahn, Jimmi Simpson

Dinklage, Glau, Simpson (I'm a fan of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, so I know I'm going to laugh if he's in a movie), yeah, it doesn't matter how stupid this plot looks, I'm probably going to see this movie. The trailer put a smile on my face, I love the meta of Dinklage playing a knight in a LARP, what else can I say?


Starring: Joel Kinnamen, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Samuel L. Jackson

I'm really looking forward to this one. I've been a fan of the original movie since I saw it as a kid, and it's only gotten more poignant as I've aged. I recently watched it with my wife, and it's just as current now as it was then as a statement about corporate greed and its destruction of the human factor in society. This one is a must see for me, and any fan of sci-fi and social consciousness.


Starring: Kate Winslet, Shailene Woodley, Theo James

I'm not too familiar with this one, but from the trailer I gather it's another social consciousness movie playing to the young adult market like the Hunger Games. It seems to be making a statement about conformity vs. the individual and rebellion against an overbearing state with eugenic overtones. I like Kate Winslet, but will this movie be any good? Who knows?


Starring: Johnny Depp, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Rebecca Hall

On the one hand, this movie is about a topic near and dear to me, the "Singularity" when humans and machines will "merge" in some form to create a new and more intelligent species. On the other hand, this movie is part of the "fear science" trend I've noticed in movies in the recent past, and I hate that. I suppose I'll see it if for no other reason than to see what they do with the topic, but I will walk into the theater with a bit of trepidation. On a final note, it's good to see Johnny Depp doing a more serious role again.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford

In the history of the comic book there have been some pretty poignant Captain America stories. Will this be one of them? That doesn't seem to be the direction Disney has taken Marvel in, per se, however, the Marvel movies they have made have been genuinely enjoyable, so I've got my fingers crossed for this one.


The Amazing Spider Man 2
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jaime Foxx, Sally Field, Paul Giamatti, Denis Leary

I haven't really known what to think about this Spider Man reboot. I still wish Marvel had the rights, but it's not like the first movie was bad, it just wasn't that good. I didn't see it in the theater (shout out to Netflix) because I was too worried it would be a waste of money. Whereas I am glad I didn't, this one might be enough to draw me in (I am a big Paul Giamatti fan). Come May, I guess we'll see. On a side note, I don't think it was wise to open this the same month as X-Men, but hey, what do I know about marketing, right?

X-Men: Days of Future Past
Starring: Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Ellen Page, Michael Fassbender, Peter Dinklage, James McAvoy, Holle Berry, +many others

What can I say about this one, except to quote Phillip J. Fry: "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!"

Starring: Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

This is another movie that deals with a topic near and dear to me. I grew up watching the translated Japanese Gojira films, and as with the 1998 movie I approach this one with a bit of trepidation. On the other hand, it's got Bryan Cranston, so I'm going to enjoy at least part of it.


Edge of Tomorrow
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt

I'm looking forward to this one despite my usual problems with Tom Cruise (he comes off as arrogant, even when acting but some of my favorite movies star him in them: Last Samurai, Minority Report). The plot of this one looks like a bit of a Groundhog Day (Bill Murry) meets sci-fi war, and I think if done well, it'll be a classic must-see.

Transformers: Age of Extinction
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci

I'm not really a Transformer's fan so I'll be taking a miss on this one. I can't find an official trailer on line either, so this text will have to do here.


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Starring: Gary Oldman, Kerri Russel, Andy Serkis

This is another one that I've been waiting all year for. The first one was fantastic, and I'm hoping for more of the same in this new take on a real sci-fi classic. If it's as emotional as the first film, this one is going to be a winner.

Jupiter Ascending
Starring: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum

The story of a lost star princess and her guardian rescuer as far as I can tell. The description on IMDB doesn't really add much to that, but it's pretty and might be good—maybe. I may give it a chance if the mood strikes but it's not high on my list.


The Giver
Starring: Taylor Swift, Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd, Meryl Streep

From the description this one is set in a perfect world where a boy learns from an old man that the world ins't actually perfect. That's it. Hmm. I think I'll definitely be skipping this one.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Starring: Lee Pace, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Vin Disel, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, etc.

I'm at a loss on this film. I have no real intention of seeing it as it looks excessively silly. I never read the comic book, so I'm not really attached to it that way either. It just seems like more of a kids' movie to me—like a village of Ewoks with guns, but hey, maybe I'm wrong about that.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Starring: Megan Fox, William Fichtner, Will Arnet, Whoopi Goldberg, etc.

TMNT was a big part of my childhood, and surprisingly, an big part of my college experience (where I met and started hanging out with one of the people who worked on the comics). I have a fondness for the 1990 movie which I feel was done right, right down to the hokey jokes. From what I've heard, I'm worried about this one but time will tell.


The Maze Runner

Starring Thomas Brodie-SangsterWill PoulterDylan O'Brien

Okay, well, the plotline listed on IMDB says that this one is about a community of boys with their memories erased who find out they're living in a giant maze... But the trailer... Well, weird is all I'll say.

Resident Evil 6: Armageddon 3D
Starring: Mila Jovovich

I had a soft spot for these movies for years, but I can't say I've seen the last one (5) and I probably won't see this one either, at least not in the theater.


No word on October releases at this time (save, maybe, another Paranormal Activity movie).


Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine

Christopher Nolan did such a good job with the first two Batman movies, and Inception being such an awesome film, I'm very much hoping he can pull off the same for this one as well. It's about time we had something as grandiose as Star Wars and as hopeful as Star Trek that can also stand on its own as a great film. Maybe I'm putting too much on Mr. Nolan here, but I think he might just be able to deliver. I don't know much about the plot yet, and the IMDB description could go anywhere with it, but fingers crossed!

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, etc.

Is it just me? I'd rather have a super long movie than a two-parter (or more: stares at Peter Jackson), still, after Catching Fire's strong showing (I really liked it, unlike the first movie) this one is a must see for me. I haven't read the books (yet) and I'm not sure if that's helping or harming the films in my eyes.


There is some talk of a movie starring George Clooney called "Tomorrowland" for December, but it might not be released until 2015, so I won't list it here. Also, we can rest assured there's going to be the last Hobbit movie next holiday season as well.

Video sources: Youtube
List source: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/2014/sci-fi


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