Anticipated Movies of 2014

I just finished reading the book The Giver by Lois Lowry. The book follows a boy who is selected to be the ‘Receiver of Memory’ in the utopia-esque community he lives in. The film adaption, starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep and Taylor Swift, comes out this August.

I wanted to take a moment to look at some of the great films coming out this year. Not being a huge fan of movies with mindless explosions, most of the films on the list are not from adapted comics.

The Monuments Men

Image via Collider
Image via Slate

George Clooney’s latest directorial effort deals with the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Program, a group that saved art and important cultural items before their destruction by Hitler in World War II.  It is scheduled for a February 7, 2014 release.

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Image via Screenrant
Image via Screenrant

Seth MacFarlane’s follow-up to his smash hit directorial debut Ted, deals with a sheep farmer (MacFarlane) who lacks courage. With the help of a lady (Charlize Theron) he develops a sense of confidence. The film includes a top notch supporting cast consisting of Liam Neeson, Neil Patrick Harris and Amanda Seyfried. It will be one of the first movies released during the summer season,  settling in on May 30, 2014.

The Fault in Our Stars

Image via Wikipedia
Image via Wikipedia

John Green’s beloved book dealing with a cancer-stricken 17-year-old named Hazel is coming to the big screen. The film follows Hazel as she deals with the trials and tribulations of cancer while making a friend, Augustus Waters, along the way. Scheduled to release on June 6, 2014, it is sure to welcome book lovers and anyone wanting to go against seeing an action blockbuster in favor of a smaller more personal story.

The Giver

Image via Wikipedia
Image via Wikipedia

Jonas is a 12-year-old living in a society where jobs are assigned based on evaluation of skills and couples are matched according to their personalities. The community is seemingly perfect as the citizens take pills to suppress “stirrings.” Jonas is selected to be the new ‘Receiver of Memory’ where he discovers the power of knowledge. He starts to see the faults in the community he lives in.

The film adaption stars Brenton Thwaites in the main role of Jonas. Jeff Bridges plays the giver, the one who trains Jonas. Meryl Streep, Taylor Swift and Katie Holmes round out the cast a film that will cause the viewer to think about the world they live in. Hunger Games trilogy and dystopian world fans would like. It comes out August 15, 2014.

“They can fix this crap on Elysium”

Elysium does not go deep into the immigration reform and social status issues that are displayed front and center in the film’s trailer. It doesn’t have to. Upon viewing the film, it provides enough exposure of a message without being too in the face about it.

image by TriStar Pictures via

Elysium works as a sort of but not really follow up to Neill Blomkamp’s feature film directorial debut District 9 (2009). Watching the movie, one can tell that it expands upon some of District 9’s themes of segregation and reform. The movie is set in 2154 when the earth is polluted and full of waste. The city of Los Angeles, where main character Max (Matt Damon) lives, is run down and filled with garbage. Wealthy people live on a space station habitat called Elysium that orbits earth.

Ever since he was a kid Max has always wanted to go to Elysium. They have everything: plentiful food, safety, and medical healing pods that detect and cure any abnormalities in seconds. After a factory accident involving radiation poisoning leaves Max with days to live, he decides to go on a mission to Elysium. Max wants to get to one of Elysium’s medical pods so he can heal himself and continue to live.

Audiences may feel a sense of refreshment when watching the films. It is one of the few action/special effects heavy films this year that has more than just mindless fight sequences and star power to offer. The movie lets people think about a dystopian world that might actually become a reality. Blomkamp said of the theme of the film “No. No. This isn’t science fiction. This is today. This is now.”

Since the film has a few loose ends it did not tie up, it leaves much of its dystopian/sci-fi future themes to the imagination. That shouldn’t scare away viewers. The film holds well in providing a good overview of what director Blomkamp was trying to convey. Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley all give solid performances.