Collider’s Most Anticipated Movies: July to September

by     Posted 25 days ago

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We’re halfway through the summer, and it’s been a pretty great one thus far.  Anticipated flicks like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Godzilla, 22 Jump Street, and more all paid off.  Now we’re entering into the second half summer 2014 and the beginning of the fall, and there’s still plenty to look forward to.

Once again, Adam, Dave, and Matt have each compiled a Top 5 list of most-anticipated movies for the next three months.  Hit the jump to find out what they can’t wait to see and why.

Matt’s Picks

[Note: I've seen Boyhood, Calvary, What If, Frank, and The Congress, so that's why they're not on my list.  In case you're wondering, they're all worth seeing.]

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

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Directors: Matt Reeves

Cast: Andy SerkisJason ClarkeKeri RussellGary OldmanKodi Smit-McPhee, Toby KebbelKirk AcevedoEnrique Murciano, and Judy Greer.

Release Date: July 11th

Why I’m Excited: Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a surprisingly great film, and while it created high expectations for the sequel, the trailers for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes indicate that director Matt Reeves has succeeded.  The latest trailer shows that while there’s a fair amount of action, there’s a heavy focus on the character drama as well as the prequel series’ fatalism since we all know that humanity is ultimately doomed in these movies.  Even though this is a summer blockbuster, Dawn looks like it will embrace that darkness while still remaining an entertaining film.

SEX TAPE

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Director: Jake Kasdan

Cast: Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, and Rob Lowe.

Release Date: July 18th

Why I’m Excited: Although I assume there are some who would prefer that director Jake Kasdan return to more indie comedies like Zero Effect and The TV Set, I’ve really enjoyed his more recent, mainstream-friendly R-rated comedies Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and Bad Teacher.  I think his latest, Sex Tape, should be a strong follow-up since it’s got a strong premise, a talented cast, and judging by the red-band trailer, it’s nailing the hard-R jokes.  I don’t mind if Kasdan returns to indies, but I think he’s doing a fine job when it comes to pleasing a wide audience, and I think Sex Tape will continue that trend.

I ORIGINS

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Director: Mike Cahill

Cast: Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Bergés-Frisbey, Steven Yeun, and Archie Panjabi.

Release Date: July 18th

Why I’m Excited: Although the movie received mixed reactions among my peers at Sundance, I’m going to trust Adam on this one.  I’ve tried to stay in the dark on this film, and thankfully I’ve forgotten most of the trailer, which I’m told spoiled most of the movie.  Aside from knowing that the story has something to do with human eyes and science, I’m going in cold.  I’m ready for smart, subversive sci-fi, and I’m hoping I Origins delivers.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

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Director: James Gunn

Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Rooker, John C. Reilly, Peter Serafinowicz, and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.

Release Date: August 1st

Why I’m Excited:  All of Marvel’s Phase One was a gamble.  Each piece had to work so that when it came together in The Avengers, people cared about the characters.  It was the ultimate sequel, and it paid off huge.  Since then, the studio has played it relatively safe and released nothing but direct sequels: Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  Now the studio is taking its next big chance with Guardians, which isn’t just the start of potentially a new franchise, but also an incredibly strange world.  I’m interested not just because it’s a new world, but because it looks incredibly strange and could be ridiculously fun.  Marvel has earned some capital, and I want to see how they spend it.

THE BOXTROLLS

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Directors: Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi

Voice Cast: Ben KingsleyToni ColletteElle FanningIsaac Hempstead-WrightJared HarrisSimon PeggNick FrostRichard Ayoade, and Tracy Morgan.

Release Date: September 26th

Why I’m Excited: Every time a stop-motion animated film comes out, I’m in.  I love the style, and while I understand why it’s rare (it’s costly, time-consuming, and most audiences are indifferent), I still think we should have more, especially when they’re coming from Laika.  The animation studio has carved out stop-motion animation as their niche, and their past two films, Coraline and Paranorman, have been very good not just because of their medium, but because they’re unabashedly weird while remaining heartfelt.  If the film is good, I hope Laika gets the hit they richly deserve.

Adam’s Picks

[Note: I’ve already seen Boyhood, which is phenomenal, I, Origins, which is an emotional roller coaster, and What If, which is very pleasantly surprising. Go see these movies when they come out. Please and thank you.] 

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

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DirectorMatt Reeves

CastAndy SerkisJason ClarkeKeri RussellGary OldmanKodi Smit-McPheeToby KebbelKirk AcevedoEnrique Murciano, and Judy Greer.

Release Date: July 11th

Why I’m Excited: There were plenty of reasons to be cynical about Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but somewhat impossibly, the film was actually really good.  The follow-up appears to double down on what made Rise so intriguing, giving us even more motion-capture ape scenes in a world where the species is slowing becoming more dominant.  With the “science gone wrong” stuff out of the way, director Matt Reeves can focus on the human vs. ape storyline in earnest (science has already gone very, very wrong), and I’m incredibly eager to see how the internal conflict plays out with Andy Serkis’ Caesar.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

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DirectorJames Gunn

CastChris PrattZoe SaldanaDave BautistaLee PaceKaren GillanGlenn CloseBenicio Del ToroDjimon Hounsou, Michael RookerJohn C. ReillyPeter Serafinowicz, and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.

Release Date: August 1st

Why I’m Excited: It’s no secret that I’m less high on the Marvel Cinematic Universe than others, but this one just looks like too much fun.  I’m hoping to see a weird, epic, and funny space adventure that’s not tied down too strictly to the Marvel mythology, and based on the trailers we’ve seen thus far, that looks like the kind of film director James Gunn has delivered.  There’s no reason Chris Pratt shouldn’t be a movie star, and I’m happy to see his charm and earnestness on full display as Star-Lord.  Also, Lee Pace just looks cool as Ronan the Accuser.

THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU

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Director: Shawn Levy

Cast: Jason BatemanTina FeyAdam Driver, Corey StollJane FondaRose ByrneKathryn HahnConnie BrittonBen SchwartzTimothy Olyphant, Abigail Spencer, and Dax Shepard.

Release Date: September 12th.

Why I’m Excited: Listen, there’s every possibility that this could be terrible.  Family dramedies are a dime a dozen, and rarely do they ever come off as something impactful or genuinely funny, opting instead for easy schmaltz.  But just look at that cast.  The lineup of this thing is great, and as someone who read and mostly enjoyed Jonathan Tropper’s novel, the casting feels spot-on.  Levy’s heart is in the right place, and the trailer highlights what looks to be some fantastic chemistry amongst the large ensemble.  Also, this continues my standing order of seeing anything and everything that Adam Driver is in.  The guy’s a firecracker.

THE BOXTROLLS

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DirectorsGraham Annable and Anthony Stacchi

Voice CastBen KingsleyToni ColletteElle FanningIsaac Hempstead-WrightJared HarrisSimon PeggNick FrostRichard Ayoade, and Tracy Morgan.

Release Date: September 26th

Why I’m Excited: I wish so badly that the films of Laika Studios were seen by even half as many people as those made by DreamWorks Animation or Blue Sky.  They’re doing something entirely different than anyone else in the animation business, and I’m not just talking about the stop-motion process.  Across its past two features, Coraline and Paranorman, the studio has crafted immensely compassionate and mature stories that refuse to pander to children.  Sometimes the world is scary.  Sometimes the world is sad.  These are facts of life, and Laika doesn’t shy away from them.  But the studio also never loses sight of its childish imagination, and The Boxtrolls appears to be no different.  Based on everything we’ve seen thus far, it looks like yet another sweet, silly, and slightly dark tale about outsiders, and I can’t wait to see it.

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY

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Director: Ned Benson

Cast: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy

Release Date: September 26th.

Why I’m Excited: This is a curious film that revolves around a married couple whose relationship disintegrates, telling the story from both perspectives in three separate movies.  Him tells the story from the point of view of McAvoy’s character, Her tells the story from the point of view of Chastain’s character, and Them (ie. the theatrical release) tells the story from an omniscient point of view.  It’s certainly an ambitious way to capture a relationship drama, made all the more promising by the involvement of Chastain and McAvoy.  Them opens in theaters first, but The Weinstein Company plans to release Him and Her to arthouse theaters shortly thereafter.  I, for one, am looking forward to checking out all three, especially after that stellar debut trailer. 

Dave’s Picks

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

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DirectorMatt Reeves

CastAndy SerkisJason ClarkeKeri RussellGary OldmanKodi Smit-McPheeToby KebbelKirk AcevedoEnrique Murciano, and Judy Greer

Release Date: July 11th

Why I’m Excited: I was never a huge fan of the original series (with the exception of the 1968 original film), but I was very impressed with Rupert Wyatt’s 2011 reboot.  It took a premise that could very easily go in the wrong direction (see Tim Burton’s 2001 attempt) and anchored it with a very human story that just happened to be acted out by apes.  It doesn’t hurt that I’m a huge fan of Serkis’ work and am anxiously awaiting the day he gets the recognition he deserves.  All signs point to Matt Reeves’ sequel staying true to the previous film while hopefully improving on all the aspects that made it a stand-out picture in a sea of standard action movies.  Oh, plus apes riding horses and wielding guns; what more do you want?

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

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DirectorJames Gunn

CastChris PrattDave BautistaZoe SaldanaLee PaceBenicio Del ToroGlenn CloseKaren GillanMichael RookerJohn C. Reilly, and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel

Release Date: August 1st

Why I’m Excited: Normally when a big film, especially a Marvel/other superhero film, is this close to its release date, I already feel saturated by the amount of marketing I’ve been exposed to.  That’s not the case with GotG.  Maybe it’s because the property is so unfamiliar that I don’t feel like I’ve already seen it a hundred times.  Maybe it’s the off-kilter tone that Gunn brings to it that gives it a sense of freshness.  Or maybe it’s just because there’s a talking raccoon and a rampaging tree.  Either way, it’s a risky move for Marvel and an interesting entry in an otherwise predictable summer schedule.

DRAGON BALL Z: BATTLE OF GODS

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DirectorMasahiro Hosoda

CastLaura BaileyKyle HebertSean Schemmel and Jason Douglas

Release Date: August 5th

Why I’m Excited: This one caught me by surprise, as I’m sure it did for you, dear reader.  In combing through this quarter’s release dates, I noticed that the first DBZ movie in quite a few years was coming to American shores.  Granted, it’s been available in Japan and numerous other countries for well over a year, but if I’m to enjoy it by wholly legal means, I’ll just have to wait a few more weeks.  Worth it!  I’m a big fan of the original series that American TV helped to popularize Stateside, and I’ve consumed most of the show’s features so far, so Battle of Gods is an early birthday present for me.

THE MAZE RUNNER

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DirectorWes Ball

Cast: Dylan O’BrienKaya Scodelario, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, and Patricia Clarkson

Release Date: September 19th

Why I’m Excited: The YA adaptation craze that has swept through cinemas in recent years has been oddly devoid of male protagonists.  That’s all well and good for the Twilight and The Hunger Games fans to name a few, but it’s been a while since the boys got their turn.  The Maze Runner has a strong male role in O’Brien as its lead, but plenty of worthy supporting cast members as well.  I’ve got two hopes resting on this one: one, that it will encourage young boys to pick up a book and actually read a story, and two, that it finds an audience and performs its way into a franchise.  I’m sure the studio feels much the same way.

THE BOXTROLLS

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DirectorAnthony Staachi and Graham Annabele

Voice Cast: Ben KingsleyToni ColletteElle FanningIsaac Hempstead-WrightJared HarrisSimon PeggNick FrostRichard Ayoade, and Tracy Morgan

Release Date: September 26th

Why I’m Excited: I can’t say enough positive things about Laika Entertainment.  They’ve got that Pixar sort of spirit without being backed by the mega-corp that is Walt Disney.  This heartfelt approach to storytelling combined with a can-do attitude that permeates everyone who works there makes for some incredibly unique and memorable films.  The Boxtrolls isn’t exactly an original creation, but the world that Laika brings to life is like no other you’ve ever seen.  It helps that I got to visit their studio earlier this year and saw the incredibly detailed sets for myself; keep an eye out for that set visit report in the coming days.

 




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