Top 5: Anticipated Movies of 2014 5. X-Men: Days of Future Past May 23 It is with a equal parts hope and worry that Days of Future Past makes the list. First the positive, First Class was the most entertaining X-Men team based movie (The Wolverine is better), Bryan Singer is retruning to the franchise he created and the story is a well known adaptation. The returning cast, from McKellen to Fastbender or Stewart to McAvoy, proved that they could master these complicated characters. Unfortunately this movie is also a sequel to X-Men 3, which is abysmal, Singer’s last two movies were less than good, there is over the top comic book elements in the story line and there are a crap ton of characters. Typically, the superhero movie succeeds when it focuses on a small cast and falls apart when it tries to throw in everyone possible. I am still optimistic that Days of Future Past can continue to build off the good momentum from First Class and potentially ‘solve’ the issues with X3 (which just sounds like some timey-wimey continuity headache). 4. Godzilla May 16 The first trailer looked awesome. Godzilla is a huge beast destroying Tokyo. This is the monster movie kaiju fans have been craving (sorry Pacific Rim). Godzilla has had numerous reboots, sequels and appearance on the big screen. The last Godzilla attempt by Hollywood was released in 1998 and wasn’t well received. Since they have waited sixteen years to try again I am confident that they feel the technology has improved and there is a Godzilla story worth telling. Hopefully this movie is 75% Godzilla destroying buildings, humans and other monsters and only 25% puny humans running around. Even when those humans include the talented Bryan Cranston, kaiju movies are truly about the giant monsters. 3. Amazing Spider-Man 2 May 02 After Amazing Spider-man the Raimi/Maguire trilogy is unwatchable. The reboot that no one wanted, but desperately needed was well received and the sequel looks to be bigger in every possible way…which is good…I hope. The tagline for this film is “His Greatest Battle Begins”, I hope that his greatest battle also ends. I am all for the next installment being setup or teased during this picture but I don’t want a cliffhanger ending, i.e Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest or Matrix: Reloaded. Garfield is a wisecracking, capable and likable Spidey, plus he is in a perfect replica of the comic costume. Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy is more than just a damsel in distress. With newcomers, and proven actors, like Jamie Foxx and Paul Giamatti joining the cast this is shaping up to be a dynamic and spectacular movie. Much like, Days of Future Past I hope that this movie does not crumble under the weight of its expanded character roster. 2. How to Train Your Dragon 2 June 13 The original How to Train Your Dragon is the best animated movie, ever. The journey of Hiccup as he bonds with Toothless was carried out perfectly. I still get goosebumps every time they go into the final battle. Cartoon Network airs a running series of the adventures of Berk that captures the spirit of the movie and the characters pretty well. This proves that the story and talent involved are capable of more than just a single one and done story. I have only seen the teaser trailer, but it has fully caught my interest and imagination. 1. Captain America: The Winter Solider April 04 The groundwork for Captain America is well established after his solo debut and Avengers. This story should be a character focused adventure that explores the impacts of being displaced in time. Winter Solider is based on the best modern story arc for Steve Rogers and includes a balanced cast of characters. The inclusion of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and newcomer Anthony Mackie as The Falcon will help detail how Captain America inspires others to his cause and truly capable he is. Captain America makes sense when he is working within Shield, questioning authority and being the ultimate boy scout. Avengers proved that Captain America could stand out from the crowd of flashier and more powerful heroes. here’s hoping that Winter Solider continues that trend. Level Up, Friends!