by Varun Kumar
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Casey Affleck
Plot: “A group of explorers make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.”
Nolan seems to continually increase the ambition of his films, with ‘Interstellar’ having one of the biggest and most talented casts of the year. The actor who plays the film’s main character, Matthew McConaughey, has had a significant career turnaround; it’s remarkable a man who was once just eye candy for cheesy rom-coms and generic action films gave two of the most memorable performances last year with ‘Mud’ and ‘Dallas Buyer’s Club’, not to mention an awesome cameo in ‘Wolf of Wall Street’. While this movie was bound to be on my list of the most anticipated releases of 2014, the teaser that came out sold me even more. It doesn’t reveal anything aside from a few seconds of actual movie footage – but that’s enough.
2. Inherent Vice
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Jena Malone, Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon
Plot: “In Los Angeles in 1970, drug-fueled detective Larry ‘Doc’ Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.”
While there isn’t much information available about this film, its director is all we need to know it will be worth watching. The casting is also very ambitious and features many talented stars, most notably Joaquin Phoenix. After a mid-career blowout with ‘I’m Still Here,’ the actor has been turning in some of the best performances recently, one of which was in Anderson’s previous film, ‘The Master’.
3. Gone Girl
Director: David Fincher
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris
Plot: “On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne reports that his beautiful wife, Amy, has gone missing.”
On the surface, this movie has the workings of an average mystery thriller. This must probably be the worst cast Fincher has ever assembled. Ben Affleck, while a very good director, is a pedestrian actor at best; even worse, Tyler Perry is in this movie. Perhaps the most interesting casting choice is Neil Patrick Harris, as I haven’t really seen him in a serious/dark movie. But with Fincher having taken on some of the most questionable actors in the past (Justin Timberlake, anybody?) only for them to absolutely nail their role gives me all I need to be excited.
Director: Gareth Edwards
Cast: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen
Plot: “A giant radioactive monster called Godzilla appears to wreak destruction on mankind.”
Had I not seen the trailer, there would be a good chance this film would not be on my list. While Cranston is always an interesting actor, I just didn’t have much faith in this project because of the script going through many different writers and because of how Godzilla has gradually turned into a joke to rake in cash. But the trailer got my attention. First, the cinematography is incredible. Watching those soldiers dive down into a city that basically looks like a satanic paradise is riveting. But the biggest thing about this film is the tone. It finally presents Godzilla as a sheer force of destruction rather than just another cool CGI monster.
5. The Grand Budapest Hotel
Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, Lea Seydoux, Tilda Swinton
Plot: “Grand Budabest Hotel recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.”
Wes Anderson is one of the best working directors today, and his last project, ‘Moonrise Kingdom,’ was arguably his best. But there is a good chance ‘Hotel’ will replace it. The direction and cinematography look so meticulous that ‘Hotel’ almost resembles a Kubrick film. There is plenty of witty dialogue and humor throughout the trailer, as can be found in any Wes Anderson movie. This should easily be one of the best films of the year.