NATALIE STENDALL REVIEW: A look ahead to the potential summer blockbusters

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With awards season now firmly behind us, it’s time to see what summer 2014 has in store for movie fans. The warmer months are typically home to the action blockbuster and the family flick - and if those are your cup of tea you won’t be disappointed - but in this year’s onslaught of new movies there’s something for everyone. Join us as we take a take a sneak peak at this summer’s essential big screen viewing.

10. The monster movie. Godzilla - the original giant - is back, this time with a reboot from director Gareth Edwards (Monsters). Initial trailers look promising and there’s a growing buzz from movie fans online. Unlike the 1998 revamp, the trailer confirms we will get to see the beast in his full glory and he’s not to be taken lightly.

9. The bold adventure. This July, Transformers: Age Of Extinction sees a cast change up for the Hasbro series with Mark Wahlberg taking over from Shia LaBeouf. The most recent entries into the Transformers catalogue have been charged with tiring loudness and nonsensical plotting. Here’s hoping that this entry sees a return to form.

8. The visual epic. Director Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Black Swan) returns with a big screen version of the Noah’s ark story. Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins and Emma Watson, Noah brings together some impressive casting but with Ridley Scott’s Exodus also hitting the big screen later this winter, its unclear which of these two masterly directors will win at the box office.

7. The whimsical masterpiece. That’s right everyone, Wes Anderson is back this March with another gorgeous new offering in the form of The Grand Budapest Hotel. Starring Ralph Fiennes as Gustave caught in the middle of a family dispute, Grand Budapest Hotel brings back some Anderson favourites including Jason Schwartzman, as well as some interesting newcomers.

6. The must see family movie. Maleficent, Disney’s darker take on Sleeping Beauty, follows Angelina Jolie as the villainous witch who cursed Princess Aurora. It’s a directorial debut from Robert Stromberg, the visual effects guru who worked on Life Of Pi and Shutter Island, and with writers behind Lion King, Beauty And The Beast and The Blind Side, this is one to watch. If this live action flick doesn’t tempt you though, this April also sees the return of everyone’s favourite puppets in Muppets Most Wanted. It’s going to be tough to live up to Disney’s earlier reboot starring Jason Segel and Amy Adams but with Ricky Gervais playing Dominic Badguy, we’re very hopeful indeed.

5. The animated treasure. Laika Enertainment, who brought us the beautifully animated ParaNorman and Coraline are back this September with The Boxtrolls. Based on the children’s novel Here Be Monsters by Alan Snow, The Boxtrolls tells the story of an orphaned boy raised by cave-dwelling trash collectors. With voice-work from rising talent Elle Fanning along with Simon Pegg and Ben Kingsley, The Boxtrolls looks very promising.

4. The superhero flick. This summer, it’s anyones guess whether Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Marvel’s big screen newcomers, Guardian’s Of The Galaxy, will win the box office war. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is also released in April so there’s plenty to keep comic-book fans happy.

3. The whacky comedy. 2012’s standout comedy, 21 Jump Street, took the world by surprise with its charming undercover cop duo Schmidt and Jenko. The bro-mance fostered between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum is back this June in the aptly named 22 Jump Street. So far the trailer lacks the instant appeal of its predecessor but we have our fingers crossed.

2. Non-stop action. Another genre, another sequel. In 2012 Indonesian action flick, The Raid, saw a SWAT team trapped in an apartment building with a drug lord and his gang. Taking the gangsters floor by floor, The Raid showcased martial arts and specifically the art of Silat. This April, Raid victor Rama dives into the criminal underworld undercover in The Raid 2.

1. The sci-fi blockbuster. With Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar not scheduled until autumn, this summer’s sci-fi hype surrounds Jupiter Ascending. It’s the latest offering from the Wachowski’s, who brought us The Matrix and Cloud Atlas. The Wachowski’s uncompromising style makes for Marmite viewing but one thing’s for certain, Jupiter Ascending will be a bold and adventurous feast.

So there you have it, ten genres, ten eagerly anticipated movies. It’s set to be an incredible season at the big screen. What will you be watching?