Metro Weekly

Film: Fall Arts Preview 2014

50 new movies still coming to theaters in 2014

NOVEMBER

Interstellar — Christopher Nolan directs Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine in a sci-fi film about mankind using interstellar travel to discover new worlds for humanity to survive and thrive on. This really can’t be anything other than incredible — Nolan proved with Inception that he could handle high-concept thinking, so physics-based sci-fi should be a cinch. (11/7)

Big Hero 6 — The premise of the House of Mouse’s latest animated film is an unusual one. A young robotics prodigy uses his abilities to transform his friends into a crime-fighting group of heroes, with the main focus being his robotic, inflatable companion Baymax. There’s plenty of slapstick humor on offer in the various trailers and clips, but it remains to be seen if Big Hero 6 can match similar levels of excellence achieved by Disney’s other non-musical films, such as Wreck It Ralph. (11/7)

The Theory of Everything — Oh, come on. A film so obviously pitched at Oscar voters it’s almost offensive: the early life of brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking, who succumbed to motor neuron disease but still managed to become one of the most lauded scientists of his generation. Eddie Redmayne stars as Hawking, and his transformation over the course of the film’s length is remarkable, as is his resemblance to Hawking. Redmayne’s performance is clearly the star of the show, here, with Hawking’s work taking second billing. (11/7)

Foxcatcher — It may take a moment for you to realize that it’s Steve Carell you’re watching, so subtly transformative is the makeup used to turn the actor into John du Pont, the multimillionaire who established a wrestling facility at his Foxcatcher Farm. Du Pont trained Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum), brother of acclaimed wrestler Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), in a controversial program that broke the man’s spirit. If Carell can accurately capture du Pont’s descent into madness and the insane act he then committed, Foxcatcher could be incredible viewing. (11/14)

Dumb and Dumber To — Did anyone seriously enjoy the original enough to demand a second film? Are Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey struggling financially? Is anyone expecting it to be good? Please, I really need answers to justify this. (11/14)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 — Lionsgate’s cinematic juggernaut returns to steamroller the competition. Don’t expect a satisfying conclusion — for that you’ll have to wait until next year’s Part 2 — but if you’re even remotely plugged into pop culture, you already know whether or not you’re going to love this. (11/21)

The Imitation Game — It seems almost inconceivable that The Weinstein Company would pit The Imitation Game against The Hunger Games. Katniss will trample over the British drama at the box office and command all of the media attention. It’s all the more vital, then, that I say this: See it. It focuses on the work of Alan Turing, a British mathematician who aided the British army in cracking Germany’s Enigma machine — hailed as one of the most important moves in helping end the war against the Nazis. Despite his work, Turing was later prosecuted and chemically castrated for being gay. Benedict Cumberbatch takes on the role of Turing, with Keira Knightley as Turing’s colleague, fiancée and confidante Joan Clarke. (11/21)

Horrible Bosses 2 — While the original was a surprise hit three years ago, it remains to be seen if the sequel can be as successful. We all know the mediocrity that ensued when The Hangover tried to spin itself into a franchise…. (11/21)

Penguins of Madagascar — It’s odd that Dreamworks’ animation department seems to operate in one of two modes: pleasingly brilliant or depressingly unoriginal. Sadly, we’re in the latter category for Penguins of Madagascar, which takes the side characters from Dreamworks’ Madagascar franchise and gives them a standalone film far removed from the original. Billed as covert spies, they join an elite undercover organization to take down a villainous octopus. It’s going to be awful. (11/28)

Next films for December.

Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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