grub + travels + perspectives

20 Movies To See In 2014

So many great movies this year! While the internet is buzzing with the news that 2015 just might be the biggest movie year ever because of the gigantic sequels (OMG, there's a Jurassic Park 4!) and some other upcoming movies that already have a considerable following around the world, let's just hold our horses for a minute and appreciate the beauty that is 2014 because it is, after all, brimming with excellent movies as well.

A lot of 'must see' movie lists already sprouted at the beginning of this year and I browsed and browsed and browsed and picked a few out of it and made a list of that I will definitely be watching:

(Some movies have no official poster yet since they are still in production.)

1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
Image from here.
Plot: 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. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune -- all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent.

My Reason(s) To Watch: So far, all the Wes Anderson movies I've watched haven't disappointed me. I'm sure this will not too. Prepare for extreme quirkiness!

Release Date: March 7, 2014

2. The Fault in Our Stars
Image from here.
Plot: Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous, given that Hazel's other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support group.

My Reason(s) To Watch: I really liked the book, and I'm just as curious as everybody else how they translated it to film.

Release Date: June 6, 2014

3. Nymphomaniac Volume 1
Image from here.
Plot: A self-diagnosed nymphomaniac recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saved her after a beating.

My Reason(s) To Watch: It has mixed reviews. I read somewhere before that when something gets both great and bad reviews, it's worth the watch. So far, it's true. But it's getting a lot of hate as it is linked to soft pornography and having Shia LaBeouf in the cast. Hahaha.

Release Date: March 21, 2014 and April 18, 2014

4. Boyhood
Image from here.
Plot: The film tells a story of a divorced couple (Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette) trying to raise their young son (Ellar Salmon). The story follows the boy for twelve years, from first grade at age 6 through 12th grade at age 17-18, and examines his relationship with his parents as he grows.

My Reason(s) To Watch: Richard Linklater and Ethan Hawke. They can do no wrong. I'm intrigued by the movie's '12-year production.' Very much reminds me of the Before trilogy, Linklater was able to make us feel that Jesse and Celine were growing old at the same pace with us.

Release Date: January 19, 2014

5. Under The Skin

Plot: A voluptuous woman of unknown origin combs the highway in search of isolated or forsaken men, luring a succession of lost souls into an otherworldly lair. They are seduced, stripped of their humanity, and never heard from again. Based on the novel by Michael Faber, this film examines human experience from the perspective of an unforgettable heroine who grows too comfortable in her borrowed skin, until she is abducted into humanity with devastating results.

My Reason(s) To Watch: I always thought ScarJo sometimes picks interesting roles to portray and this is one of those. Very Species with the plot, I must say. 
"Johansson is nothing short of iconic here; her character is a classic femme fatale in the film noir tradition, down to the plump red lips and deep fur coat, but with a refrigerated nothingness at her core." (via)
The refrigerated nothingness certainly was evident on the film stills I saw. And it being described as 'one of the most difficult films to watch' (in a non-negative way) made me want to watch it even more. Also, the breathtaking Scotland scenery.

Release Date: April 4, 2014

6. Midnight Special
Image from here.
Plot: A father and son go on the run after the dad learns his child possesses special powers.

My Reason(s) To Watch: The story line's is very similar to Looper but Kirsten Dunst's in it so I'd definitely be watching it. Haven't seen her in movies since Upside Down which had such a boring plot! Also, I've developed an interest for Adam Driver. :)

Release Date: The movie's still in its filming stage in New Orleans. No news yet as when it will be released.

7. The Double
Image from here.
Plot: Simon is a timid man, scratching out an isolated existence in an indifferent world. He is overlooked at work, scorned by his mother, and ignored by the woman of his dreams. He feels powerless to change any of these things. The arrival of a new co-worker, James, serves to upset the balance. James is both Simon's exact physical double and his opposite -- confident, charismatic and good with women. To Simon's horror, James slowly starts taking over his life.

My Reason(s) To Watch: Richard Ayoade. This is Ayoade's second film after Submarine which I really loved. That, and Mia Wasikowska! I find Jesse Eisenberg really annoying for some reason.

Release Date: April 4, 2014

8. Veronica Mars
Image from here. Official movie poster can be found here.
Plot: Years after walking away from her past as a teenage private eye, Veronica Mars gets pulled back to her hometown - just in time for her high school reunion - in order to help her old flame Logan Echolls, who's enrolled in an unraveling murder mystery.

My Reason(s) To Watch: Because I religiously watched Veronica Mars as a young adult!!!!!!!! So excited!!!!

Release Date: March 14, 2014

9. Big Eyes
Image from here.
Plot: A drama centered on the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.

My Reason(s) To Watch: Tim Burton -- that is, Johnny Depp-less Tim Burton. And Christopher Waltz. I think he was fantastic in Inglorious Bastards.

Release Date: August 28, 2014 (Netherlands)

10. Life After Beth
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Plot: Zach is devastated by the unexpected death of his girlfriend, Beth. When she miraculously comes back to life, Zach takes full advantage of the opportunity to experience all the things he regretted not doing when she was alive. However, the newly returned Beth isn’t quite the way he remembered her, and before long, Zach’s world takes a turn for the worse. (via)

My Reason(s) To Watch: I know, I know. Another zombie flick, right? I've read reviews online after this movie was shown at Sundance, and most of them were saying it was a meh movie. But Matthew Gray Gubler is in it! It's been a long time since I've seen MGG in a movie, the last one being 500 Days of Summer.

Release Date: January 31, 2014

11. St Vincent de Van Nuys
Image from here.
Plot: A young boy whose parents just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic, war veteran who lives next door.

My Reason(s) To Watch: The awesome Bill Murray. That is all.

Release Date: April 11, 2014

12. La Belle & La Bête (Beauty and the Beast)
Image from here.
Plot: You know how it goes.

My Reason(s) To Watch: I'm just really curious how they would add a French flair to this classic fairy tale. Plus, it's Christopher Gan (who directed SILENT HILL -- that scared the shit out of me!) Another reason is Léa Seydoux. Have you seen Blue is the Warmest Color?

Release Date: February 12, 2014 (France)

13. The Congress
Image from here.
Plot: Loosely based on legendary sci-fi writer Stanisław Lem‘s The Futurological Congress, it follows actress Robin Wright, playing herself, as an actress who sells a digital version of herself to a movie studio, following which she finds herself trapped in a series of trippy animated fantasyscapes.

My Reason(s) To Watch: It kind of reminded me of both Aeonflux and Yellow Submarine. I've watched the trailer and it was both an eye candy and very trippy but still tackles some issues concerning being an actress over 40 in Hollywood (which frankly I really have no idea about). I also really, really like animations.

Release Date: July 3, 2014 (France)

14. Only Lovers Left Alive
Image from here.
Plot: Tom Hiddleston stars as Adam, a bloodsucker who makes a living as a reclusive musician. He reunites with the love of his life, Eve (Tilda Swinton) a fellow vampire who leaves her home overseas to be with him in the downtrodden Motor City. They eventually get a visit from Eve's irresponsible sister (Mia Wasikowska) who irritates Adam and eventually causes trouble with the one human - the vampires refer to theliving as zombies -- with whom the depressed music hero gets along.

My Reason(s) To Watch: Tom Hiddleston as an underground musician and a vampire? Hell yes, count me in! Then there's Tilda Swinton and Mia Wasikowska. Just stop. Stop already. This movie is going to be awesome and I can't wait to watch it.

Release Date: April 11, 2014

15. Laggies

Plot: Laggies is a coming of age story about a 28 year-old woman stuck in permanent adolescence. Unable to find her career calling, still hanging out with the same friends, and living with her high school boyfriend, Megan must finally navigate her own future when an unexpected marriage proposal sends her into a panic.

My Reason(s) To Watch: Sam Rockwell and a little bit of Keira Knightley.

Release Date: January 17, 2014

16. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

Plot: Weaving together two of Miller's classic stories with new tales, the town's most hard boiled citizens cross paths with some of its more reviled inhabitants. SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR is the follow up to Rodriguez and Miller's 2005 groundbreaking film, FRANK MILLER'S SIN CITY.

My Reason(s) To Watch: It's. Sin. City. And I'm so happy that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is now a part of it!

Release Date: August 22, 2014

17. The Wind Rises

Plot: A look at the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II.

My Reason(s) To Watch: I've always loved movies by Hayao Miyazaki. Whenever I watch his movies, I just feel completely at home with and in it. The plots are all unique and very thought-provoking. If you think about it, there are actually no bad Miyazaki movies. All of his movies are enjoyable for both kids and adults. The Wind Rises is Miyazaki's last film as it was reported that the legendary anime film maker is retiring.

Release Date: February 21, 2014

18. Maleficent

Plot: The Sleeping Beauty tale is told from the perspective of the villainous Maleficent and looks at the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse young Princess Aurora.

My Reason(s) To Watch: Angelina Jolie is hot in most of her movies. But here, she's evil. She's the villain. And what is up with those freaky cheek bones? Like it just radiates all the evil within her. Like she's borderline a monster. I kinda feel like those cheek bones would give me nightmares, just like Natalie Portman's red eyes in Black Swan.

Release Date: May 30, 2014

19. Transcendence
Image from here.
Plot: A terminally ill scientist downloads his mind into a computer. This grants him power beyond his wildest dreams, and soon he becomes unstoppable.

My Reason(s) To Watch: It's like the badder version of Spike Jonze's Her (which I was supposed to include in this list but I was able to watch it a week ago). I just feel like whatever happens, I'm going to see this movie this year. It's like that staple blockbuster film that you have to watch because everybody's going to watch it. And it's been a while since I've seen Mr. Depp in a serious role. So, why not?

Release Date: April 18, 2014

20. Interstellar
Image from here.
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.

My Reason(s) To Watch: Christopher Nolan.

Release Date: November 7, 2014

Special Mentions:
The Interview
Ex Machina

Empire Online's The 100 Movies You Should See In 2014
Yahoo's 2014 Movie Preview: The 40 Films We’re Most Excited About