15 Movies to Be Thankful For This Year

movies to be thankful for

For the next few weeks, you’re going to be hearing a lot about how great a year for movies 2014 was. That’s true, but this is not that list — this isn’t our “best of 2014.” As it is Thanksgiving week here in the United States, we’ve come up with a list of movies from 2014  we should be thankful for. These are all good films, but each of them has something unique about them. Something that makes us thankful they exist.

So what does that mean? Well some of these films should probably not exist. Others should probably not have been good. And a few contained surprises, stories or topics that are simply miraculous for one reason or another. We’ll explain each below as we unveil the 15 films to be thankful for this year. Read More »

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How to Train Your Dragon 2

We’ve got some sequel-related odds and ends to take you into the weekend. After the jump:

  • Jennifer Aniston makes a Horrible Bosses 3 casting suggestion
  • Scooby-Doo and WrestleMania will team up once more
  • Den DeBlois gives a How to Train Your Dragon 3 status update
  • Producer wants Jonathan Levine to write Warm Bodies 2
  • That “leaked” Ghostbusters 3 script from 2009 is a fake
  • Now You See Me 2 makes room for Sanaa Lathan
  • Andy Serkis says the Apes franchise might go beyond a trilogy
  • Flip through some Night at the Museum 3 character posters

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a big hit this summer, grossing over $200 million in the US and over $700 million worldwide. That was good for Fox because they dated its follow-up months before release, setting its date for July 29, 2016. Matt Reeves will be back to direct and, of course, Andy Serkis will return as Caesar for the third Planet of the Apes prequel.

Though Dawn definitely teased what could happen next in the series, these new Planet of the Apes films have been anything but predictable. So while promoting the Blu-ray release of the recent film, Reeves and Serkis both dropped a few teases about the third film. Reeves described Caesar on a trajectory towards Moses-like reverence and Serkis said there’s war. Read more about the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes sequel. Read More »

Andy Serkis oscar campaign

For the last few years Andy Serkis has been at the center of the conversation about actors in performance-capture roles being nominated for Oscars. The Lord of the Rings series brought Serkis huge attention for his work as the actor behind Gollum, and in the years since he first dominated the screen in The Two Towers we’ve seen performance capture become a frequent, even routine part of the filmmaking process.

Now Fox has revealed that it will campaign for Serkis to land a Best Supporting Actor nod for his role as Caesar in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Yep, that’s a supporting actor nomination, rather than a reach for recognition in the Best Actor category. Read More »

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 director

The summer movie season is officially over and that means its time to wrap up our 2014 Summer Movie Wager. If you are unclear, every year a group of us attempt to predict which films will be the top ten of the summer season. You get points for being as accurate as possible.

Like most summers, 2014 was filled with surprises and familiarity. The biggest surprise? Guardians of the Galaxy. In just four weeks, it outgrossed every other film of the summer including massive hits like Transformers: Age of Extinction, X-Men: Days of the Future Past and more. What wasn’t a surprise? Almost everything else. Of the three contestants (myself, Peter Sciretta and Jeff Cannata) we all got at least 9 of the 10 films in the top ten right. The order was another story and is what finally declared a winner.

Below, check out the final point totals and watch our wrap-up video podcast.  Read More »

Chris Pratt Guardians of the Galaxy

With Summer 2014 approaching its conclusion, its time to look back and inventory the blockbuster season. For the last few years, the Summer movie season has been filled with a lot of disappointment. This year, however, a lot of great films hit theaters. My top twelve best movies of Summer 2014 list is comprised of a mix of big Hollywood blockbusters and some smaller independent films which played Sundance and other film festivals earlier in the year. Some of these may have flown under your radar. Which films made my top ten movies of Summer 2014? Hit the jump and find out.
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Kermit The Frog Reviews Summer Movies

Our friends at MTV got a chance to sit down with The Muppets stars Kermit the Frog and Pepe the King Prawn about the 2014 Summer Movie Season. Kermit and Pepe talk about Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (including the end credits stringer, spoiler be warned) and Matt ReevesDawn of the Planet of the Apes. They also chat about the trouble with computer generated characters, being typecast and Kermit reveals that he auditioned for The Avengers but was unable to win the role of The Incredible Hulk. Watch the whole interview embedded after the jump.

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Concept Art
Updated: We have added more concept art at the end of this post, which originally appeared on July 14th 2014.

I love looking at concept art. Often the art created to inspire the movies is more incredible than the films themselves (for example, look at some of the beautiful concept art created for the Star Wars prequels). The Aaron Sims Company were hired to create some concept art for Matt ReevesDawn of the Planet of the Apes, and have put some of their work online for all to admire.

ASC worked closely with Weta on both films to design all of the main and ancillary ape characters from the ground up. In the Rise of the Planet of the Apes, they sculpted a bust for Caesar to ensure a hyper-realistic feel. In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, ASC worked on aging the apes and creating the apes’ ceremonial look, which includes face paint and other ornamentation taken from nature.

While the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes concept art features some shots of the Apes living and hunting in the wild, I was more taken by the portrait work focusing on the faces of Koba, Caesar, Cornelia, and Maurice. One big revelation is that the Apes almost wore primitive clothing. Check out the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes concept art after the jump.
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