The usual seven or eight high-intrigues or must-sees (possibly Calvary, The Voices Inside, White Bird In A Blizzard, A Most Wanted Man, They Came Together, The One I Love) will emerge from Sundance 2014, which begins a couple of weeks hence. And then comes the seven-month slog of winter, spring and summer, during which an occasional pop-through might happen — maybe. The only guaranteed goodie going to Cannes will be Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s Birdman. (A list of other likelies will emerge around mid-March, I’m guessing.) Anyone can recite the big-studio releases but which among these are likely to assemble a strong critical following? Okay, Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Inherent Vice, Bennett Miller‘s Foxcatcher, Ridley Scott‘s Exodus, Michael Mann‘s Cyber, Tim Burton‘s Big Eyes, Spike Lee‘s Sweet Blood of Jesus, David Fincher‘s Gone Girl and Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar. But what else? Things always look hazy at this stage but right now? Honestly? It looks like a middle-range lineup. Which isn’t so bad. As long as it’s not flat.
Possibly Good, Agreeable or Passable 2014 Films (maybe, here’s hoping, bending over backwards, all CG fantasy and superhero crap automatically excluded): George Clooney‘s The Monuments Men, Jose Padilla‘s RoboCop, Akiva Goldsman‘s Winter’s Tale (probably not that good, to judge by the trailer), Paul W.S. Anderson‘s Pompeii (video game crap), Wes Anderson‘s The Grand Budapest Hotel, Jason Bateman‘s Bad Words, Joe Carnahan‘s Stretch, Diego Luna‘s Cesar Chávez, Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah, Richard Shephard‘s Dom Hemingway, Ivan Reitman‘s Draft Day (beware-of-Reitman factor), Ted Melfi‘s St. Vincent, Wally Pfister‘s Transcendence, Nick Casavetes‘ The Other Woman, Amma Asanate‘s Belle (mezzo-mezzo?), Nicholas Stoller‘s Neighbors (likely crap), Craig Gillespie‘s Million Dollar Arm, Seth McFarlane‘s A Million Ways to Die in the West, Doug Liman‘s Edge of Tomorrow, Phil Lord and Chris Miller‘s 22 Jump Street, Clint Eastwood‘s Jersey Boys, Matt Reeves‘ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Andy and Lana Wachowski‘s Jupiter Ascending, Luc Besson‘s Lucy (probable crap), Phillip Noyce‘s The Giver, Shawn Levy‘s This Is Where I Leave You, Antoine Fuqua‘s The Equalizer, David Ayer‘s Fury (probable crap) and Angelina Jolie‘s Unbroken (adapted by Joel and Ethan Coen).
That’s 29 or 30 plus the nine biggies in the opening graph plus whatever emerges from Sundance and Berlin. Maybe 50 titles worth a tumble. Cut down on that total by at least a third and we’ll be left with 33 or 34 titles that will probably end up with 75-plus Rotten Tomatoes ratings. Of those perhaps 15 or so will turn out to be really good.
What am I missing?