Russ’ Most Anticipated Films of 2014

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2013 was an amazing year for movies. There are still a couple big films from late in the year that I haven’t yet seen (my second cross-country move in the span of a year, left me scrambling to stay current for the year’s final quarter) and yet I’ve still got a list of favorite 2013 films that includes more than fifteen movies. With any luck I can spend the next evenings catching the couple last big ones to get that “best of ’13″ list out the door.

In the meantime, as many are I’m looking forward to 2014. The next year is absolutely packed-out for blockbusters, but there’s a lot of (potentially) good stuff to enjoy in 2014. Below is my own attempt to organize the coming year in movies, based on what we know right now.

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Journey to the West is, kinda, the new film from Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle┬ástar/director Stephen Chow. He co-wrote, co-directed and produced the film, but doesn’t appear in the movie — still, it bears his distinct influence. The movie features a bizarre collection of monsters and demon hunters, who collide in battles that are decorated with weird, outsized CG embellishments.

This trailer shows some of that crazy stuff, like the guy who inflates his leg to the size of a house, the better to kick someone in the face. There are giant beasts and over the top comedy, all inspired (vaguely) by ancient Chinese tales. Read More »

If you don’t have plans for the next couple of summers yet, you may be tempted to take some theme park trips after you read this post. After the jump:

  • Disneyland Paris will get a Ratatouille attraction in 2014
  • Check out the first model image from Shanghai Disneyland
  • Disney’s Imagineers will be the subject of a new documentary
  • Universal Florida‘s Transformers ride prepares for its launch
  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem opens in Hollywood next year
  • Stephen Chow is making a Journey to the West-themed park

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UPDATE: Reading more into this and looking at other translations, the ‘time-travel’ aspect may not be correct; rather it is the representation of historical characters that is becoming unacceptable. I’m looking into this more, and for now I’m leaving the headline and story as-is, but proceed with that note in mind.

It’s good to read at least one utterly batshit stupid thing per day, so here’s one for this afternoon: the General Bureau of Radio, Film and Television in China has reportedly decided that time-travel plots in movies and TV are not respectful to history, and therefore must be stopped. You know you want to know more, so read on… Read More »

If one were to make a wishlist of writers to tackle a film adaptation of one of the biggest folktales in world literature, Neil Gaiman might well be at the top. In the comic series Sandman and many novels, the author has demonstrated a great aptitude for adapting, interpreting and embellishing classic tales.

Now he’ll adapt Journey to the West, one of the four great classical Chinese novels, for a massive Chinese 3D film production. James Cameron is along for the ride, too, acting as script and tech advisor. Read More »

The Green Hornet. Well, well, well. What a bumpy ride this one’s been getting in the press and on blogs.

First of all there was a loud shout of skepticism about the casting of Seth Rogen, then euphoria at the signing of Stephen Chow, then Chow puled out of directing and rumours abound that he’s bailing entirely, then the film is reported to be on the chopping block… and now, well, some pretty compelling evidence that it isn’t. Not at all.

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