The 25: Whitlock & Pope’s Most Anticipated Films of 2014 – #10-1

10. A Most Wanted Man (TBD US & UK)
A Most Wanted Man movie (2)

John Le Carre’s based-on-true-events novel about morally ambiguous diplomacy during the modern War on Terror gets the big-streen treatment with an interesting ensemble cast (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Defoe, Daniel Bruhl). People call Carre’s work “the thinking man’s thriller,” which is a way of calling something a critical darling that doesn’t do as well as movies where Tom Cruise rides motorcycles in the desert and does not-so-undercover spy work with sexy team members and explosions.

The film is directed by Anton Corbijn, who correctly surmised the appeal of George Clooney as a be-suited assassin in The American (which, in turn, was inspired by a Martin Booth’s espio-novel A Very Private Gentleman–do I sense the pattern of A Very Thoughtful Spy Movie brewing?)

I plan on seeing this, not only for the cast and story, but also to esoterically humblebrag about this at my local beer garden while drinking a microbrew you’ve never heard of. –GW

Next: Foxcatcher >>>

The 25: Whitlock & Pope’s Most Anticipated Films of 2014 – #25-11

25. Snowpiercer (TBA US & UK)
Snowpiercer (2014)

In an icy post-apocalyptic world, the only survivors live on a train powered by snow that it funnels in through its front, or something.  In fact, I hear it runs on “a perpetual motion engine.”  Perhaps, like the shark in Annie Hall, it needs to keep moving forward or it dies.

We love high-concept sci-fi here at W&P… but WAIT, the high concept gets even higher, and conceptier.  There’s some kind of carriage-based class system, and when a sooty Chris Evans – stuck at the back of the train – becomes unhappy with his lot he decides to battle through to first class.  So: snowy Marxist allegory fun, starring Tilda Swinton, Chris Evans and Octavia Spencer and directed by Bong Joon-Ho (the guy who did The Host – the Korean monster movie, not the Twilight alien movie thing).

Could this work?  Ask the audiences in Korea and France, where it’s been out for a while.  Elsewhere it’s being cut from 120 minutes to 100 because Harvey Weinstein isn’t just content with chopping up The Grandmaster–he won’t rest until he’s hacked apart every crossover Asian movie he can get his scissors to.  HE WILL NOT REST. –AJP

2013: The Year in Movie Fails

Here’s my arbitrary list of American/international market movies that really bit the big one, for  being anticipatedly horrible or for failing to live up to expectations. If you disagree with any of these, that’s fine—but you’re wrong. Just saying.

Before we get to my reviews, though, here are…

Crappy movies in 2013 that I didn’t watch because I knew they’d be crappy: A Good Day to Die Hard, Grown Ups 2, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Host, Jobs, White House Down, and That Other Movie That Is Basically The Same as White House Down.

And now, in no particular order:

Will Smith played someone named Cipher Raige, which sounds like the name of an angry mid-90s nu-metal band.
After Earth
I paid $14.50 to watch a Will Smith action movie in which Will Smith is not involved in any action at all (not even so much as an alien throat punch), and in which the dubious talents of The Smith That Squints were unnecessarily forced upon the world. M. Night Shyamalan has truly perfected the meta-twist, in that he keeps tricking people into seeing his films.

 
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