Sundance Review: Whiplash

Monday night I got to see one of the last screenings of the festival: The Best of Fest presentation of Whiplash. This film about an aspiring drummer competing for recognition at one of the finest musical conservatories (and his verbally abusive teacher who pushes him to the limit) has been one of most talked about films of the festival and when it won two of the biggest awards (namely the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Award and the Audience Award,) I was naturally aching to see it. Boy have I never heard a title so appropriate to a film. This movie will jerk you around and make you feel it long afterward. It's hard to explain all the feelings I have about this film, but it's important to make something clear right away: this film is unbelievably and emotionally intense; it is not for the faint of heart (meaning, though I myself see its value and respect it, I can't in full confidence say it was completely for me either.)

Many times when I find myself reviewing a movie I speak about the film as a whole and don't get into the specifics of what the content of the film actually contains. Truth be told, I never know who my audience is and what their sensibilities are, so I usually let them do their own research about that. In this case, while I can separate specifically amazing things this particular film offers and speak for its merit as a whole, I also can't ignore things that really made me feel uncomfortable. That being? Some absolutely atrocious language. That may sound silly to some, but it wasn't just the words but the venom and intensity with which they were spoken. I definitely felt their intended effect and it wasn't a good feeling. If that's the kind of thing that doesn't bother you, then this shouldn't be a problem. But...in all honesty it bothers me (and in fact you may look forward to another post where I tackle that entire subject altogether,) so for that reason almost alone I can't give the glowing review you're seeing all over the Internet. I do understand the purpose of it. Clearly what they were going for was achieved and the screenplay will no doubt be embraced and adored...but I just myself can't really feel that way.

Though that affected a lot of my feelings towards the film, there were many redeeming factors that I also couldn't deny. After all, I never said this movie wasn't a great film. It most definitely is...and perhaps is even arguably a masterpiece. It has quite a lot going for it. The performances, direction, cinematography, editing, its compelling story, and music were all nothing short of amazing. Both JK Simmons and Miles Teller give just as much to their roles as their characters do to their music. And it's kind of amazing to see the two go head to head with each other.

Whiplash was certainly one of the most gripping, mesmerizing and intense films I've seen in some time. The character studies that take place in this film are absolutely fascinating...but when it comes down to it, I just wish my ears could have suffered far less. If that doesn't bother you in the slightest that's fine, this just happens to be one gal's opinion that found it a bit much. EMILY RATING: 9/10.


Sundance Review: God Help the Girl

Before I begin my review I must make clear once again what colored my view on this particular film: sky-high expectations. Seeing this movie again knowing what it is will no doubt help me appreciate it for itself and not for what I wanted it to be. How does one get such high expectations for something they've never even seen a trailer for? Well a couple of photos, plot synopses, a deep appreciation for the music of Belle & Sebastian, as well as some glowing reviews made me sure this movie would be an instant favorite; when in fact there were moments that I instantly adored...but the movie as a whole needs time to grow on me.

I really liked the story going on here about a girl trying to cure her problems with the aid of music. Only two things really kept me from loving this movie: occasional lulls between the fantastic (and generally wishing the movie was a bit shorter and the pacing a bit quicker...) and the fact that though I knew the lead character had her own serious problems and deserved to be cut some slack...I still didn't particularly like her. That isn't a slant on the actress though as Emily Browning does a great job (we Emilys have to stick together!) I guess I wish some of the focus could have been spread more equally to her far more amiable bandmates (Cassie, in particular, could have used a bit more depth and screen time..and I have to say that Olly Alexander who played James was simply adorable.) 

These things aside, there really was quite a lot to love here. There was a lot of clever humor, wisdom and truth, wonderfully sincere moments and most importantly: great music! As would be expected of a hipster indie musical, a lot of the highlights revolve around the fantastic musical sequences. The choreography of these sequences were great and, in general, the production design as a whole really stood out. I really enjoyed this musical with its playful tone and it's definitely clear that this was a labor of love by Belle & Sebastian lead singer Stuart Murdoch...I just think if it had been a little bit tighter I would have ADORED it. Still, a great effort worth seeing that will no doubt grow on me. EMILY RATING: 7.5/10 with room to grow on a rewatch. 


Sundance Review: The Double

Some movies are an acquired taste. The Double fits that category and THEN SOME. For people that just can't get into surrealist/stylish films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Moulin Rouge! or Amelie (which are all not perfect examples since they're way more mainstream than The Double...) then this movie is definitely not for you. Certainly many people in my audience seemed to feel this way as quirky and absurd humor flew over their heads constantly and they didn't know what to make of the unexpected turns the film would throw at us. But the thing about an unusual flavor, though acquired it may be....if you try it with an open mind you may actually find it refreshing. Whether or not you like or even love that new flavor is another matter, but the fact that it doesn't taste just like everything else is a welcome change.

Based on a Fyodor Dostoevsky novella, The Double has a very darkly classic...yet as I mentioned surrealist feel to it. Jesse Eisenberg gives a fantastic performance (or is it performances?) as both the insecure Simon who can never catch a break and the confidently suave James. Amazingly so, they're both the type of characters that he excels at and the audience is able to get a glimpse at the layers underneath these men. I'd say that it's Eisenberg that carries the movie, as I'm still not entirely convinced of Mia Wasikowska's talents. There's always something about her that seems somewhat underwhelming to me, but I suppose she fares well enough here.

But besides Eisenberg's performance what does The Double have going for it? Well as I said, it's certainly stylish. And speaking of stylistic choices, I must warn you that the use of sound can at times assault your ears. I admired how it was used at times, but also wish in some moments it was toned down just a tad.  I love the weird world that this film is set in....not quite modern and very bizarre. The computers look ancient and the television shows have that retro vision of the future type feel to them...yet somehow with other forms of technology it seems pretty recent. Like many things in this film, it's useless trying to analyze or figure anything out. You kind of have to let it be and accept some of the mystery....some things won't make sense. This movie is hard to recommend to just anyone. I'm not sure myself if I would say I loved it...I found myself appreciating and liking how different it was. Again, if you're the type of person that can handle that or hate not being able to understand everything that's going on in a movie, then stay clear of The Double. However, if you're game in trying out this incredibly weird, artistic journey into the deep recesses of a man's soul, then by all means give it a try when it comes to a theater near you. EMILY RATING: 8/10  


Shadowy Business

Welcome to the winter drought of movies! January almost never has any wide releases worth seeing but is Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit the exception? I didn't have too high of expectations for this reboot of the Tom Clancy character knowing that the film was originally slated to open with all the big holiday films...but then somehow got pushed back a month. And not just ANY month. The gap between December and January couldn't be bigger movie wise  How can a movie go from being released in one of the most coveted months to perhaps the LEAST coveted? I figured the studio didn't have much faith in the film and that it was likely mediocre. To my surprise, I found it to be a perfectly pleasant and entertaining action film! But on the other hand as time went on...I found it also happened to be entirely forgettable.

I'll be honest. This isn't particularly my favorite genre. Not because I don't find these CIA/FBI/spy movies entertaining...they just usually tend to be pretty generic and hard to tell apart from one another. To make films like these stand out from the rest of the pack you need 2 things. 1. Style 2. A dynamic and memorable lead. Sadly I think this film didn't have much of either. I do happen to enjoy Chris Pine (and feel he is a great lead in Star Trek,) but the character's personality only really got to shine in a handful of scenes....not nearly enough to stay with you.

And can we talk about Keira Knightley for a moment? What on earth was the point of having her character be an American? It would be perfectly believable for him to have met a British girl since you know the first scene is set in Britain. She manages okay, but it was pretty jarring to me seeing that British face speaking anything other than her usual lovely voice. It would be interesting to see someone not acquainted with her watch this...but I'm really not sure how far you would have to travel to find said person. It's a small gripe to be sure, but I admit I thought it was distracting. Other than that, her performance was fine enough.

Jack Ryan is blessed to feature a pretty solid cast besides Knightley and Pine. Kevin Costner and Kenneth Branagh (who also directs) do their part too to keep this film moving. And move it does. It's definitely on the shorter side and for that I'm grateful. I also have to admit I'm not as acquainted with the character as I should be, so I might not be the best authority on whether or not this is a good Jack Ryan movie. The only one I remember seeing was 2002's The Sum of All Fears....but found that too to be pretty forgettable as well. Maybe if I had seen the 90's films I would have more of an opinion of how Shadow Recruit is as an entry in this series, but for now I can only speak for its merits as an action film. Bottom line: if you wanna be entertained and kill a few hours at the cinema you could certainly do worse. It's a pleasant enough action flick... just don't expect this to stay with you. EMILY RATING: 6.5/10


Ice Ice Baby!

For those who know me well, you know that I'm not a huge advocate of winter. In fact...I detest it. However, every now and then the sun comes out and you find that there are adventures to be had! One such adventure? Visiting the ice castles of Midway, Utah. When I say plural ice castles I'm really lying... it's actually just one. But said castle was a lot of fun and worth the tiny journey. As I'm sure you've also realized by now, my mind is a trove of movie thoughts and so I couldn't help comparing this real life ice castle to some of the most memorable snowy wonderlands in film. So if you can't make it to see any such ice castles near you, I present to you the cinematic equivalents. These are 5 films that I was reminded of while I was there that can help you experience it vicariously and cinematically!

SUPERMAN - Perhaps the most famous ice castle of all is the one that happens to be the place where Superman calls home (well that and Smallville.) I've always thought the Fortress of Solitude was such an incredibly cool and mystical place and being in the ice castle I visited felt like stepping through Superman's front door. The only difference? Not so much solitude! In fact, there were times when it was quite the opposite and that was unfortunate. So hey if you watch Superman the only person you have to share the fortress with is Superman himself (and possibly Lois Lane or ghost of/AI Jor-El)

Marveling at the wonders of the Fortress.

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK - What can I say? I can't help but think of Hoth when the world is covered in snow. Particularly in the ice castle I was reminded of Luke in the wampa cave. Pro of the ice castle? No wampa. Con? No lightsaber to rescue me from danger! What danger may you ask? Crowds mostly. And walking into kids and having my scarf accidentally hitting them in the face. I'm not sure how a lightsaber would help, but it just might. One other con would be no force theme music playing!

Hide from that wampa all you want, he'll get you in the end. Next year we'll try and pose upside down.

CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE - Another mighty fine ice castle. This time belonging to a villainess. I was very happy to find a similar throne to the White Witch's inside our castle and promptly posed next to it. The consequence? Very wet jeans. The White Witch never lets onto this, but I suppose it makes sense why all her dresses are so thick. Definitely put me in the mood for some Turkish delight.

I probably could look more evil...

THE THING - We were constantly reminded of The Thing at the ice castle, if only because of the combination of seeing it recently and the fact that my friends' coat choices look like they came right out of the horror thriller set in Antarctica. We certainly had the trust no one mentality as we froze a bit waiting for our turn to various things. Even to this day (a mere few days later...) we're not sure if everything and everyone we saw were human.

Fun fact: when being confronted by the thing it's best to hold your wallet out so maybe it will rob you instead of taking over your body.

FROZEN - The newest cinematic winter wonderland complete with its own ice castle is perhaps the most fun on the list. Elsa can create a whole world out of ice just by....singing a song about it. This ice castle I'm sure took considerably more effort to create, but like Elsa's world it too wouldn't be complete without the addition of everyone's favorite snowman.

Yes, I want to build a snowman! 

And that concludes my adventures at the ice castles of Midway. If you haven't been, go for it before the winter is up!


Sundance Sneak Peek!

Sundance is just around the corner (a week from today to be precise!) and I couldn't be more excited. It's like Christmas all over again...for this indie movie lover anyway. And I'm proud to say, this is the first festival I've ever been on top of enough to pre-register for a ticket purchase slot (later today so wish me luck...) This time, I'm attempting to get my first dibs instead of trying my luck at the leftovers (though...I still may end up doing that if I get bored...) As always the festival has TONS to offer, so narrowing it down to just a few that I'll actually see has been quite hard! These particular ten have caught my eye, and if I don't get a chance to see them all (which let's be honest...I probably won't...) I'll definitely be paying attention to their general release.

10. THE SKELETON TWINS - IMDb summary: "After ten years of estrangement, twins Maggie and Milo coincidentally cheat death on the same day, prompting them to reunite and confront how their lives went so wrong. As the twins' reunion reinvigorates them both, they realize that the key to fixing their lives just may lie in fixing their relationship with each other." After how much I hated Girl Most Likely I'm wary of seeing Kristen Wiig in another indie, but I do love the idea of her and Bill Hader playing twins. The plot seems interesting enough and if they let both of them show their comedic skills instead of letting indie bleakness take over completely this could be fun. Sundance synopsis and showtimes click HERE

9. CALVARY - Sundance website summary: "Father James is a good priest, driven by spiritual integrity. One day in confession, an unseen man tells James that he’s going to kill him precisely because he’s done nothing wrong. Given a week to make his peace with God, James ministers to sundry lost souls—visits that double as a guided tour of suspects. His preparation for death is further complicated by the arrival of his daughter, who has recently attempted suicide. " This movie's plot sounds like something out of an old fashioned Hitchcock film (particularly reminded me of the very good film I Confess,) I'm not sure if it will veer toward drama or thriller...or perhaps drama/thriller but Brendan Gleeson is certainly a capable enough actor to make this one pretty solid. For more info on showtimes click HERE.

8. WISH I WAS HERE - IMDb summary: 'Wish I Was Here' is the story of Aidan Bloom, a struggling actor, father and husband, who at 35 is still trying to find his identity; a purpose for his life. He winds up trying to home-school his two children when his father can no longer afford to pay for private education and the only available public school is on its last legs. Through teaching them about life his way, Aidan gradually discovers some of the parts of himself he couldn't find." Zach Braff is back at the Sundance Film Festival. Garden State was much loved by me...and I even didn't hate The Last Kiss haha. I'm very interested in his third feature which was in part funded by some generous fans on Kickstarter. I'm very interested to see if this gamble will pay off. Sundance summary and showtimes HERE.

7. THE VOICES - IMDb summary: This genre-bending tale centers around Jerry Hickfang, a lovable but disturbed factory worker who yearns for attention from a woman in accounting. When their relationship takes a sudden, murderous turn, Jerry's evil talking cat, and benevolent talking dog lead him down a fantastical path where he ultimately finds salvation." Talking cat AND Ryan Reynolds? Where do I sign up?? Haha! Oh and it also has the always likable Anna Kendrick as well. Yeah, I'm excited for this one. Sundance summary and showtimes HERE.

6. THEY CAME TOGETHER - Sundance summary: They Came Together relates the epic love story of Joel, a corporate executive for Candy Systems and Research, a mega candy store chain, and Molly, the owner of a small sweet shop called Upper Sweet Side. When Joel is tasked with shutting down Molly’s mom-and-pop operation, the unlikely lovers find themselves hurtled into a whirlwind romance. From quaint bookstores and coffee shops to neurotic family members and psychotic ex-lovers, Joel and Molly must face some harrowing obstacles on their path to true love." I expect this to be somewhat of a parody of the genre...and with Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd I'm hoping it will be amiable enough (then again Paul Rudd & Tina Fey did nothing for me...so we'll see how this one goes.) Showtimes HERE

5. LAGGIES - Sundance summary: "Content to remain in a permanent adolescence, 28-year-old Megan clings to her job as a sign flipper for her father’s accounting company as her high school friends get married and advance their careers. When her high school boyfriend proposes unexpectedly, Megan panics and forgoes attending a professional development retreat to hide, at least temporarily, at the home of her new 16-year-old friend, Annika, and her attractive, single dad. " I'm not sure why this sounds so appealing to me, but there's something about movies where the characters are in an "in between" stage that I just love and relate with. Plus I'm interested to see Keira Knightley take on such a role when usually she plays such grand females who have their stuff together. I'm also quite fond of Chloe Moretz and Sam Rockwell (especially after The Way Way Back) so I think this one has some nice potential. For showtimes click HERE

4. INFINITELY POLAR BEAR - IMDb summary: "A manic-depressive mess of a father tries to win back his wife by attempting to take full responsibility for their two young, spirited daughters, who don't make the overwhelming task any easier." JJ Abrams is an executive producer here and the pairing of Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana is very intriguing to me. From both summaries, I get the feel that a lot of the focus will be on the relationship between Ruffalo's character and his two daughters, as well as sorting out his own issues. This has all the makings of a very good movie. For the sundance summary and showtimes click HERE.

3. THE DOUBLE - IMDb summary: "A comedy centered on a man who is driven insane by the appearance of his doppleganger." Now we get to the films I'm actively planning to see. This one was already released at the Toronto Film Festival to very positive reviews by critics and general audiences alike. The fact that it's source material is a Fyodor Dostoevsky novella certainly doesn't hurt either, and I'm looking forward to seeing Jesse Eisenberg in a leading role again. Sundance summary and showtimes HERE

2. GOD HELP THE GIRL - IMDb summary: "Set in Glasgow, Scotland, the film is about a girl called Eve who is in the hospital dealing with some emotional problems and starts writing songs as a way of getting better. Songwriting becomes her way forward, leading her to the City where she meets James and Cassie, two musicians each at crossroads of their own. What follows is a story of renaissance over the course of a long, dream-like Summer." What has me most excited about this indie-pop-musical/coming of age tale is that it's the pet project of Belle & Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch. Apparently ten years in the making, Murdoch not only wrote all the songs, but acts as director as well. Since Belle & Sebastian is currently a favorite of mine I couldn't be more excited to see this one. Sundance summary and showtimes HERE

1. COOTIES - IMDb summary: "A mysterious virus hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the kids into a feral swarm of mass savages. An unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives." You thought the zombie genre had stretched as far as it could go with zombie-rom-coms....little did we know what was in store next. Zombie elementary school children! The premise is hilarious and the film features a fantastic cast with all the comedic chops to make this film as funny as it can be. Sundance summary and showtimes HERE

There you have it! Now go forth and Sundance y'all.


Top Ten WORST of 2013

Now that I've given you my 2014 preview and my 2013 unwatchables list...it is time to reveal the ten worst movies I saw last year. For some reason or other, I had the misfortune to watch these movies, and I must bestow a warning to others that they might not suffer the same fate.

10. TIE: WHITE HOUSE DOWN and A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD. Original review HERE. These two films have several things in common: both are loud, stupid action movies, both should never have been made and sadly both are unflattering imitations of the original Die Hard. Actually to be more accurate concerning the 5th Die Hard movie would be to say that it does not resemble any single aspect of the original movie at all; it is so far removed that you would never recognize that the character Bruce Willis is supposed to be playing is the same clever every man he was in the 1980's. The only good thing I can say is I enjoyed that the guy who played his son actually looked like he could be his son. But the father/son issues and cheesy dialogue? Yawn. As for White House Down? Well I certainly can't deny it was pretty freaking entertaining (a part of me even loved it...) But it was probably the most preposterous movie I've seen all year.

9. THE INTERNSHIP. Original review HERE. Recently I caught a trailer for this on one of my DVD's and realized that every funny moment in this movie was shown in its trailer. Basically, you can compact the entirety of worthwhile moments in this film to approximately 2-3 minutes. So yes I admit it had a few clever moments, but far too much was embarrassingly bad and predictably cliche. The bad far outweighed the good.

8. SNITCH. I'll be honest. I don't really remember this movie so much as I remember exchanging looks with one of my friends during the movie (probably once every two minutes) with constant disbelief at this movie's complete ridiculousness. Dwayne Johnson, I expect this from, but Susan Sarandon? I thought you were better than this. I suppose if I could make a lot of money by phoning in my work I'd do it too...

7. THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE. Original review HERE. How did a cast with such great comic potential turn out this dud?? Besides playing an everyman, Steve Carrell is also really good at playing a jerk. But Burt Wonderstone? Not a character you find yourself wanting to root for EVER. Plus how do you waste Steve Buscemi and Alan Arkin?? This movie was just so completely stale...it felt like it should have been made ten years ago.

6. SAFE HAVEN - Original review HERE. After how unintentionally entertaining The Lucky One was, I have to be honest and say I was pretty upset this film wasn't more awful. But hey, it's still a Nicholas Sparks film and thus plenty deserving to make an appearance on this list. But hey at least it finally made some HIMYM fans happy. SPOILER ALERT (Robin is the mother! See what I did there?) Also I said it in my original review, but I'll say it again: methinks ol Nicky boy was watching some Charlie St. Cloud for some inspiration on this one.

5. THE HOST - This is the first work that Stephanie Meyer was involved in that I had ever seen/read....and I gotta say it was (much like a Nicholas Sparks movie) very unintentionally hilarious. Saoirse Ronan is usually a very capable actress, but her inner dialogue had me in stitches. Basically, this movie was a very juvenile teenage girl's fantasy; the equivalent of reading my former self's diary. Sometimes (/all the time) thoughts of a teenage girl shouldn't be broadcast for the world to hear....it only makes everyone dumber.

4. UPSIDE DOWN - When I first saw the trailer for this movie I was incredibly excited. The premise seemed really cool and from the looks of it, the movie was a visual feast. Somehow the movie slipped in and out of theaters and I had to finally track it down on DVD to watch it. Surely this indie film just had the misfortune of no one having faith that it would do well.. but would find an understanding audience on DVD. Someone like me. But then I watched it....and oh what a tedious experience that was. This movie breaks you down until suddenly you just. don't. care. Your soul screams out "END THIS TRIPE GARBAGE ALREADY" A true shame for this had all the makings to be something great. Simply stated: interesting premise, horrible execution.

3. GIRL MOST LIKELY - This, like Upside Down, starts decently enough, then slowly drives its audience insane. It's like the film just imploded on itself. Someone started a draft of a decent quirky indie film...and then suddenly had NO idea how to place their characters in a functioning PLOT. It just wanders and meanders until you're numb in the brain. Why is this story going on still? What knowledge does this have to offer humanity? Why does this exist?? It's just pointless. I never thought I'd say this, but Kristen Wiig charm can only take a movie so far.

2. HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS - These top four movies, in particular, have something in common. Each one of them made me want to die a little bit when I was watching them. I know I say that a lot...but with these four movies this is very much the case. They were nearly unwatchable and I almost turned every single one of them off (in hindsight, I probably just should have...but then I'd have no movies for this list!) This one is one of the worst offenders because this COULD have been so much fun if it didn't take itself so seriously. I like both Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton...but together they lacked anything resembling charisma. This is probably due to the fact that they both knew they were in a stinker, but if only they had been having fun perhaps the audience might have had some fun too.

And finally....my #1 most hated film of 2013 was:

1. IDENTITY THIEF - I happen to really enjoy both Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, so I figured this movie would be a mindless, fun comedy. What I didn't anticipate is how truly PAINFUL this movie was. That and nonsensical. It's so dumb it makes your head hurt, and when it doesn't hurt you're in pain at how truly unlikable these characters are. I certainly didn't care what happened to them. There was one point in this movie where I truly thought I was in a nightmare. How could this thing get any worse? And suddenly it manages to find a way to top the awfulness. This is the one movie that I ABSOLUTELY wanted to turn off but had no control over the remote control. Trust me though, I buried my head in some blankets and listened in pain to the disgrace of a conclusion. Oh, the humanity.



Time for 2014

2013 is now in the books and its time to see what 2014 has in store. This year doesn't seem quite as jam-packed with big films as last year, but there are certainly quite a few I'm looking forward to seeing. Here's the top ten that I'm most anticipating for 2014.

10. 22 Jumpstreet - 21 Jumpstreet was surprisingly hilarious and surprisingly well-received. I'm excited about a sequel...I just hope it's nearly as funny as the first.

9. Noah - Darren Aronofsky is either love him (Black Swan) or hate him (The Fountain,) so this movie depicting the story of the prophet Noah, certainly could go either way. The trailer was stunning and the talent is certainly there to make this an unforgettable film. If nothing else, perhaps this story can see the big screen glory that it certainly can be capable of.

8. The Giver - This was one of my favorite books I've ever had to read for school and I'm pretty excited that a film is finally being made from it. Plus Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges give me confidence that this adaptation is going to be taken seriously. What doesn't give me confidence? Taylor Swift and Katie Holmes both having roles. Guess we'll have to wait and see if the film is good despite them!

7. Godzilla - I was pretty (and remain somewhat) skeptical when I heard this was being rebooted again. But I must admit the teaser trailer definitely piqued my interest. Plus the cast is quite excellent and I would hope that an excellent script is what attracted them to the project.

6. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 - As I've said, this isn't a franchise I crave to visit...but the ending of Catching Fire definitely makes you anticipate the story to come.

5. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Another sequel to look forward to! Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of the most unexpected delights when it came out and now expectations will be high for a sequel. I'm a little sad that so much time has passed and would prefer the sequel to take place right after the events of the first film, but I'm still looking forward to what the sequel has in store.

4. X-men Days of Future Past - I'm really not sure how to feel about this film. I'm excited, but incredibly worried at the same time. I fear that too much is trying to be done. And as excited as I am to see a lot of the original X-men cast back, I kinda would have preferred a straight sequel to X-men First Class. I'm just afraid that worlds are colliding here! But that said, this is certainly one of the biggest films of the year, and it's cool that X-men is back in the (positive) spotlight again.

3. The Amazing Spider-man 2 - This, like X-men, is likely trying to tackle wayyyy too many things at once. But the difference is, that this trailer makes me feel slightly more confident that the gamble will pay off. It blows me away when I see it and I'm excited to take another spin in this universe.

2. The Hobbit: There and Back Again - Haters gonna hate, but I've thoroughly enjoyed this trilogy and I can't wait to see its resolution. Plus more Smaug can't be a bad thing AT ALL.

1. Interstellar - Details about Christopher Nolan's follow-up after finishing the Dark Knight trilogy are incredibly vague right now....but with a fabulous cast and that man at the helm, it's sure to be one of the year's best films. Plus as great as those Batman films are, I think I slightly prefer what he does with really fresh ideas. They take shape in an unforgettable way, and so Interstellar couldn't be more welcome as far as I'm concerned!

Agree? Disagree? Did I miss anything?