Pop Rocks: The Most Interesting 2014 Summer Blockbusters (No Sequels or Remakes Allowed)

Guardians of the Galaxy with an ass-kicking raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper.
The rules for summer blockbusters are pretty simple. These films must be big in scope and be expected to do well at the box office. That normally means lots of space, CGI, superheroes, name celebrities and millions of dollars. The summer of 2014 appears to be about the same as most years. There will be plenty of films that hit the big screen in a huge way. There will be surprises and flops.

And, like many recent years, there will also be remakes and sequels, lots of them. So, when compiling a list of blockbuster releases this summer, it seemed like a good idea to weed those out and start only with films that haven't been made before or aren't part of some series. So, out go both Godzilla and Spiderman 2 even if I think I'll probably see both. Also, wave goodbye to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which makes me feel uneasy at best, dirty at worst.

What remain are, surprisingly, some pretty interesting movies.

Edge of Tomorrow

Big Star: Tom Cruise

Actor to Watch: Bill Paxton

Synopsis in 10 Words or Less: Groundhog Day with guns and no sense of humor.

Chance of Success: 4 in 10

Cruise plays a soldier trapped in a time loop, being forced to repeat the same day over and over, a day that culminates in his death and some seriously nasty war. Emily Blunt is there to train him how to escape, we assume both from the loop and from dying. The premise is reminiscent of a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode called "Cause and Effect," but probably scarier and full of more Cruise-isms. Despite the appeal of the film's star and the director of the Bourne Identity films, this would likely be a sleeper hit if it succeeded. Still, never count out the power of the Cruise.

Jupiter Ascending

Big Star: Mila Kunis

Actor to Watch: Sean Bean

Synopsis in 10 Words or Less: The Wachowskis return to sci-fi.

Chance of Success: 7 in 10

Years after the turkey of a finale to the Matrix trilogy, the Wachowski brothers siblings return to sci-fi with what sounds like an extremely convoluted story about a young maid (Kunis because girls that look like that always clean toilets for a living) turned would-be royal and targeted for assassination by some threatened monarchs. Bean always seems to play an interesting character, but I'm dubious of the choice of Channing Tatum as soldier/savior. Still, the fact the Wachowskis are involved leads me to believe that, at the very least, this will be a movie full of great CGI, killer fight scenes...and thinly veiled references to S&M.

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Regarding the Wachowski's return to sci-fi - it sounds like you are blissfully unaware of Cloud Atlas, quite literally one of the worst movies I've ever seen. The Wachowskis did something amazing with the original Matrix and have simply been garage ever since.


It's implied in your article that Maleficent is from Snow White.  It's not, it's from Sleeping Beauty.

jeffbalke topcommenter

Godzilla is a remake of an earlier film, hence the "No remakes, no sequels."

jeffbalke topcommenter

@Becka  Thanks. Got it right in the references to other films, but not in that one. Late night typo. :)

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