The Best Film Highlights of 2014
Another New Years is here and 2014 will soon be in our rear view. While we make our resolutions and hope for the best for 2015, it’s always nice to reflect on what the past has given us. Here are some of the highlights of the 2014 year in film.
Comic book films keep getting better.
With Disney and Marvel combining forces, they’ve set the bar extremely high for comic book films. With a bar set so high, Marvel realizes that they have to consistently perform and other studios realize that they have to compete to stay in the game. With that said, superhero films have become the most competitive market and that competition has proven to be a catalyst for the franchises’ continual momentum.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” were all game changers when it came to comic book films. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” was the film that proved Captain America was a worthy hero. It was the first time we saw his true hand-to-hand combat skills in action and integrated the espionage side of the story we were waiting to see. It is consistently at the top (or close to the top) of every fan’s list since its release.
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” got the X-Men franchise back on track. After a few bad films (and some horrid), Bryan Singer made his way back to the director’s chair and came back strong. As (arguably) the best reviewed film in the franchise, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” brought together the entire cast new and old for a beautifully shot, wonderfully told, story of heroes and villains. There was something for everyone in this film and by its close, it had us all ready for the future of the X-Men.
Who the Hell are the “Guardians of the Galaxy?” That was the question on most people’s minds before viewing the film. Even true comic book readers had to go through their backlogs of issues to refresh their memory. But while we may have had lower expectations for the film, “Guardians of the Galaxy” proved that Marvel has the Midas touch when it comes to films. Not only did the film spark a newly found appreciation for the characters but it became the biggest box office hit of 2014 grossing over $332 million.
Along with the films came a plan from multiple studios to satiate the appetite of the public for quite some time. Marvel released their schedule of films all of the way through 2020. Among the films announced, Marvel confirmed a Doctor Strange film, an Infinity War two part film, and sequels to many of our favorites.
To counter Marvel’s announcement, DC announced their lineup as well including many favorite DC characters. Superheroes like the Flash, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman will all get their standalone films while other characters will get a new face.
Oscar Winners put the new and old in the spotlight.
The Academy Awards has its winners and losers like most years but in 2014 it was a game changer for some Hollywood professionals. Some careers were rejuvenated, others expanded their reach, and of course there were some notable newcomers.
Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both took home Oscar wins for “Dallas Buyers Club.” While Matthew McConaughey still had the allure of “True Detective” to further his credibility, “Dallas Buyers Club” was the final touch. It’s about time that we got the McConaughey we’ve been waiting for.
Jared Leto wasn’t a typecast actor like McConaughey but his acting career was inconsistent. Some true fans may still appreciate his role in “Requiem for a Dream” but that performance was quickly overshadowed by Leto’s role in “Dallas Buyers Club.” His first Oscar win was well deserved as he went to great lengths to portray the character of Rayon. With dedication to both his mind and spirit, Leto gave the performance of a lifetime. Hopefully he has a lot more to show us!
Where would the Oscars be without its newcomers? Every year we’re introduced to a new face but this year everyone was saying (or at least trying to say) Lupita Nyong’o. The “12 Years a Slave” actress was essentially new to the business and started out on top. Winning for Best Supporting Actress, she exemplified the “rags to riches” story that we all love to hear. Everyone was talking about her and now everyone wants her in their films. She even scored a role in the next “Star Wars” film.
Sony gets hacked!
It was unfortunate for Sony but Sony getting hacked was more than fortunate for the media. The effects of this incident were much greater than expected reaching all the way into the subject of foreign relations with North Korea. We learned of Sony’s troubles with Spider-Man and dealings with integrating Spider-Man into the Marvel Universe. Outside of the gossip, we also learned that Sony was interested in Idris Elba for James Bond and surprisingly wanted to have a crossover film for “Men in Black” and “21 Jump Street.” Out of all of the notable topics that came from the Sony hack, the most controversial was the effect of the hacks on “The Interview.”
When given demands to halt the release of “The Interview” from the so-called hackers, Sony quickly gave up. It wasn’t until other powerful figures shamed Sony (including the President) that they decided to release “The Interview” to the public. What was interesting though was how they released the film. It was the most notable mainstream film to get a streaming VOD release allowing viewers to watch in the comfort of their homes. Surprisingly it did very well for it having a limited release in theaters and being mostly streamed over the internet. With this type of release, it may have unknowingly set a precedent for the future of film releases.
Trailers, Trailers, TRAILERS!!!
2014 has been the year for trailer hype. With cinematic events like the Avengers sequel and cinematic rebirths like “Star Wars” coming in 2015, it’s no surprise that 2014 would be the year to usher them in. Whether it’s a new film, sequel, or reboot, 2014 definitely had the trailers to prepare us for 2015!
The first trailer to pique people’s (particularly female) interest was the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trailer. With hardcore sexual themes adapted from the best selling novel, the controversy and intrigue of this film is sure to raise eyebrows. While this film may not be a blockbuster, my guess is that it will be a box office success with its Valentine’s Day opening weekend.
The next trailer was released in late 2014 but still has people talking. Since “Jurassic Park” was first released, we’ve been anticipating a proper sequel. From the look of the Jurassic World trailer we may have the best sequel yet. With “Guardians of the Galaxy’s” Chris Pratt involved and the setting taking place back on the original island, who knows what may come of this film. One thing we do know is that people will be lined up to see “Jurassic World.”
The “Avengers” set box office records and there is no doubt that “Avengers: Age of Ultron” will do the same. The trailer for Age of Ultron was probably one of the most anticipated and watched trailers of the year and I can see why. From the characters we’ve grown to love, the characters we’re being introduced to, and the cinematic beauty displayed in the trailer, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is already too big to fail.
While “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is hard to top, there was a trailer that may have received more views. The widely anticipated trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was a revolutionary event in itself. Just when we thought George Lucas had put the nail in the Star Wars coffin, Disney comes along and pulls it out. With Director JJ Abrams behind the film, we can expect a cinematic spectacle in December 2015. While it’s debatable regarding the quality of this trailer versus others, it’s undeniable that this trailer had the most impact given the circumstances.
And of course, the debut of FilmFad.com…
We started out this year (2014) as an outlet to talk about movies and we’ve grown into so much more. With exclusives like Lou Ferrigno revealing Hulk TV show details or Dan Jurgens talking about a Booster Gold TV show we’ve made a name for ourselves on the news front. With our original podcast, The FadCast we’ve established our voice and an outlet for humor. And with our views being consistently in the six figure mark every month, we’ve had unbelievable growth!
2014 has been Film Fad’s year to shout and we’ve been heard thanks to our writers and fans out there. We’re still a new kid on the block but in 2015 we promise to show that we’re here to stay. We’ve all had a blast doing this and will continue strong into 2015 and hope that you will be there with us as we grow!