As we watch the hordes of moviegoers heading out to see the final film in The Hobbit trilogy, The Battle of the Five Armies, we can’t help but rejoice a little that this endless epic journey is about to end.
In this parody trailer for the previous installment, The Desolation of Smaug, you can “Rejoin Middle Earth’s other, shorter, less interesting fellowship as they continue their slow journey to Scrooge McDuck’s vault,” as the gravelly-voiced narration actor says in the hilarious trailer.
2014 has been an intriguing 12 months for movies. With no obvious breakout Oscar winners (a la 12 Years a Slave) or billion-dollar box office smashes (like The Avengers), it’s easy to think it’s been a forgettable year.
But that’s not really true. Peer beneath the surface and it has, in fact, been a very strong year for movie fans — from emotional masterpieces like Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and returns-to-form like Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street to action-packed blockbusters such as Guardians of the Galaxy, there’s truly been something for everyone.
So what are our picks for the 10 “must see” movies of 2014? Keep reading to find out.
If Wes Anderson was making The Force Awakens, the trailer might look a lot like this. Video Frame: Jonah Feingold/YouTube
We’ll admit it: we were all squeeing like fanboys when we saw the official trailer for the upcoming sequel, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
We may have watched it quite a bit more than once, but the YouTubers below have taken their fandom to another level, with some really well crafted remixes of the official short film.
Check out trailers below starring the cast of (and scenes directly from) the original trilogy, the trailer as Wes Anderson would do it, and a bizarre rendering of it all with pets in place of human actors. Oh, and there’s also the obligatory Lego version, as well, so be sure to scroll all the way down.
The sheer volume of leaked rumors is staggering. We want to believe while still hate being spoiled. Photo: Disney
Just like The Force, the Internet has both dark and light sides. How you see the possible spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens that just leaked is mostly a matter of perspective.
If you read on, you’ll be exposed to an embarrassing wealth of spoiler-y plot and character details about J.J. Abrams’ upcoming film. But be aware: Whether true or not, the sheer volume of close-up detail and conflicting information will change you.
If you want to go in unspoiled, read the following rumors at your own risk.
As for the supposed insider who leaked the information? Who knows their motivation? Even the Sith think they’re doing “the right thing.”
With the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer hitting everywhere this weekend, anticipation for the new movie — and thirst for all the details and rumors we can handle — is at an all time high. What are the story details? Who are the characters in the trailer? What about all the original cast members?
Set 30 years after The Battle of Endor (seen in 1983's The Return of the Jedi), The Force Awakens is directed by hotshot and super Star Wars fan J.J. Abrams, fresh off his success with the Star Trek franchise. If the trailer is anything to go by, the new films are in fantastic hands. What the final product will be is any fan’s guess, so here are seven crazy rumors about the details coming to the films next December.
Andy Serkis narrates the trailer and will play two different roles in the film
According to Jedi News, Andy Serkis is the narrator of the new trailer. He'll also play more than one role in the film. One role may be motion-captured as Serkis has been in many movies like King Kong and as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films, as one of a group of super acrobatic creatures. The other role has Serkis's character involved in some way with the young lady in the trailer, Daisy Ridley. This character will have a pivotal role that could have more to it than it seems. Like Obi Wan and Luke Skywalker, perhaps?
The rumor here is that Attack the Block star Boyega will be the audience viewpoint character, much like Luke Skywalker was in the original films and Anakin was (less successfully, perhaps) in the prequel trilogy. Latino Review goes even a step farther saying that Boyega may not initially be a Jedi, but might become one under the tutelage of none other than Skywalker himself.
In a somewhat conflicting rumor, Collider says that the twin children of Han Solo and Leia Organa may in fact be the lead characters in the upcoming film. Named Jacen and Jaina, the two might be powerful Force-sensitives who receive training from Uncle Luke, but go their own ways when Jacen takes to the Dark Side. File this one under "not likely, but fun."
Daisey Ridley may be playing Han and Leia's daughter
The determined-looking young lady on the improbably designed speeder vehicle in the trailer is none other than Daisey Ridley, a relatively unknown British actress. Speculation is that her character will be the daughter of Han and Leia, Kira, who will meet up with Boyega's character and help him find Luke. CBS News puts her between Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher in a publicity shot to lend some weight to this rumor.
According to TheForce.net, everyone's favorite smuggler with a heart of gold will put on the Stormtrooper armor again in The Force Awakens in a nice nod to the original trilogy. In A New Hope, Han and Luke both don Stormtrooper outfits to gain access to the Death Star prison hold and free Princess Leia, fresh from her viewing of her home planet being vaporized by the moon-sized super weapon. Here’s hoping Solo wearing the armor again won’t turn into a fourth-wall breaking corn-fest, but it’ll be fun to see him wearing the whites one last time.
Ralph McQuarrie's designs live on, especially in the little soccer-ball droid we get to see partway through the trailer, bloop-bleeping like R2-D2. It's rumored that this new comic relief is, in fact, another R-series droid, as fan site Jalopnik thinks, placing this cute little fellow as an astromech droid, as opposed to the humanoid droids and the non-barrel bodied mechanical creatures.
In a bit of wild speculation, Making Star Wars thinks some leaked concept art of the scary cyborg character staring at an old Vader helmet is actually Luke Skywalker, the protagonist of the original three movies, who ended up defeating Darth Vader while using the light side of the Force. Who knows, it might be true - the cloak is similar to the one Mark Hamill wore in The Return of the Jedi, and the mouth could be Hamill's, and that robotic hand is also the correct one for the Luke character.
Sail away to Neverland next summer. Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
You think you know Peter Pan’s story? Guess again, because director Joe Wright (Anna Karenina, Pride and Prejudice) has got an entirely new tale to tell.
Pan is the origin story of the boy who never grows up. He’s an orphan, left on a doorstep with a mysterious note from his mother. He’s secreted away to Neverland, where he mixes things up with Tiger Lily, Blackbeard (played by an almost unrecognizable Hugh Jackman) and a young, idealistic Captain Hook.
Check out the gorgeous trailer below for the full details.
Not every video game that ties into a blockbuster movie has to be crap, destined to fill the bargain bins of your local electronics store. There are a surprising number of quality titles based on movies that belie the rather common conception of movie video games as fodder for kids and bargain hunters alike.
As we wait for Jurassic World to end up on the silver screen (with an appropriately awful tie-in video game likely to surface), here’s a list of the good ones: ten of the best film-based video game spin offs from the last couple of decades.
This delightfully colorful video game had kids throwing apples and leaping across dangerous bazaar stalls to re-enact some of the crazy scenes from the Disney animated movie of the same name. The title blended some Prince of Persia gameplay with the easy-on-the-eyes color palette of the Disney hit to create a very playable video game experience.
Spider-Man 2 (2004 - Playstation 2, Xbox, GameCube)
Here's one of the only video game adaptations of Marvel’s web-slinger that actually captures the true joy of swinging from rooftop to rooftop in New York. Sure, the side missions are a bit repetitive, and it took some grinding to get to new story chapters, but this Activision title is worth seeking out just for the city roaming alone.
This game was less tie-in and more franchise-based, but it surely brought the braininess of the original story — full of political and social intrigue — to the forefront, rather than sticking with David Lynch’s weird adaptation for the silver screen. You get to build the army of one of the three houses from Herbert’s sci-fi epic, and then command and conquer the rest of desert planet Arrakis.
Perhaps the only Bond game worth noting, GoldenEye holds a special place in every gamer's heart from the era. While the graphics are dated beyond belief at this point, GoldenEye might be that one game that introduced everyone to the idea of multiplayer death matches in style.
Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (2005 - PlayStation 2, Xbox 360)
Strangely compelling, this pixel-based spin-off from the celluloid film of the same name had bargain-bin written all over it. Until you played the game and realized that it was a challenging, well-conceived romp through the jungles where a giant ape can fight a big old T-Rex. Hats off to Ubisoft for making something good out of something that could have been absolutely awful and still have sold some copies.
Sure, this is mainly a kids’ game, but being able to beat up other martial arts animals while controlling a giant panda is one of the great joys in life. The animation is fantastic, as should any video game based on a Dreamworks animated feature, and the difficulty curve ramps up nicely as you progress through the game. It’s a fantastic time with younger nieces or nephews who really shouldn’t watch you own noobs in Call of Duty.
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (2007 - PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Also available on Mac and Windows, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga launched an entire series of games that took the concept of toy bricks re-enacting entire genre movies to a whole new level. You'll thrill and laugh as you guide all your favorite Star Wars characters from all six films through their respective storylines, with a large does of humor thrown in for good measure.
Just because it's a kids game doesn't make Virgin Interactive's The Lion King any less compelling, especially when it came out in the early ‘90s. You’ll get to leap, run, dash, roar, and attack Simba’s enemies at each stage of this fun game on the Sega Genesis or Super NES. This one came out at the height of the 16-bit revolution and just hows off the fun to be had with a simple side-scroller themed with the hit movie’s lions.
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (2004 - Xbox, Windows)
I have to be honest: the movie this game is based on is one of the two films I've ever walked out on in my life. I just hated it when I saw it in the theater. Imagine my surprise, then, when the reviews of the game came out that said what a masterpiece it was. Vivendi Games somehow created a stealth-based video game (with Vin Diesel's help, we hear) that transcended its own source material. Hooray!
While Disney's movie Tron doesn't quite hold up these days, what with its rudimentary green screen and awkwardly tight LED unitards, the video game still holds a special charm for those of us who remember how cool it was to launch our light bikes across the master computer grid while feeding quarter after quarter into the hungry machines at the local arcade. It's like the movie was made to be a video game, or something.
Chris Pratt seems concerned. Photo: Universal Studios
The fourth movie in the Jurassic Park series is slated to terrorize movie screens a full year from now. In order to drum up some excitement for Jurassic World, then, Universal has created this tiny trailer to advertise yet another trailer for the upcoming blockbuster.
The new trailer for a trailer shows very little, with some dinosaurs, a bubble car, an inquisitive Bryce Dallas Howard, and megastar Chris Pratt looking determined. Check it out.