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I’m frequently sent information on upcoming entertainment news. I’ll be compiling and sharing the best and most interesting news with you here each week. This week’s post features the 2014 Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Slate. These 14 movies look like they’ll be great, here’s a quick look at each.
February 28, 2014 – The Wind Rises
(Touchstone Pictures / Studio Ghibli)
In “The Wind Rises,” Jiro (voice of Joseph Gordon-Levitt) dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes, inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni (voice of Stanley Tucci). Nearsighted from a young age and unable to be a pilot, Jiro joins a major Japanese engineering company in 1927 and becomes one of the world’s most innovative and accomplished airplane designers. The film chronicles much of his life, depicting key historical events, including the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression, the tuberculosis epidemic and Japan’s plunge into war. Jiro meets and falls in love with Nahoko (voice of Emily Blunt), and grows and cherishes his friendship with his colleague Honjo (voice of John Krasinski). Writer and director Hayao Miyazaki pays tribute to engineer Jiro Horikoshi and author Tatsuo Hori in this epic tale of love, perseverance, and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world. From Studio Ghibli, “The Wind Rises” is slated for limited release in North American theaters on Feb. 21, 2014, and expanded release on Feb. 28, 2014, under the Touchstone Pictures banner.
March 14, 2014 – Need for Speed
DreamWorks Pictures’ “Need for Speed” marks an exciting return to the great car culture films of the 1960s and ’70s, when the authenticity of the world brought a new level of intensity to the action on-screen. Tapping into what makes the American myth of the open road so appealing, the story chronicles a near-impossible cross-country journey for our heroes — one that begins as a mission for revenge, but proves to be one of redemption. Based on the most successful racing video game franchise ever with over 140 million copies sold, “Need for Speed” captures the freedom and excitement of the game in a real-world setting, while bringing to life the passion for the road that has made our love of cars so timeless.
The film centers around Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), a blue-collar mechanic who races muscle cars on the side in an unsanctioned street-racing circuit. Struggling to keep his family-owned garage afloat, he reluctantly partners with the wealthy and arrogant ex-NASCAR driver Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper). But just as a major sale to car broker Julia Bonet (Imogen Poots) looks like it will save Tobey’s shop, a disastrous race allows Dino to frame Tobey for a crime he didn’t commit, and sending Tobey to prison while Dino expands his business out west.
Two years later, Tobey is released and set on revenge — but he knows his only chance to take down his rival Dino is to defeat him in the high-stakes race known as De Leon — the Super Bowl of underground racing. However to get there in time, Tobey will have to run a high-octane, action-packed gauntlet that includes dodging pursuing cops coast-to-coast as well as contending with a dangerous bounty Dino has put out on his car. With the help of his loyal crew and the surprisingly resourceful Julia, Tobey defies odds at every turn and proves that even in the flashy world of exotic supercars, the underdog can still finish first.
“Need for Speed” is presented by DreamWorks Pictures, produced by Patrick O’Brien, John Gatins and Mark Sourian, and directed by Scott Waugh. The screenplay is by George Gatins. The story is by George Gatins & John Gatins, and, based on the video game series created by Electronic Arts. The film releases in U.S. theaters on March 14, 2014.
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March 21, 2014 – Muppets Most Wanted
(Walt Disney Studios)
Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe’s most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine—the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit—and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two, portrayed by Ricky Gervais. The film stars Tina Fey as Nadya, a feisty prison guard, and Ty Burrell as Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon. Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” is directed by James Bobin and produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman. Bobin co-wrote the screenplay with Nicholas Stoller, who is also executive producer with John G. Scotti. Featuring music from Academy Award®-winning songwriter Bret McKenzie, “Muppets Most Wanted” hits the big screen March 21, 2014.
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April 4, 2014 – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy—the Winter Soldier.
Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1941, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is produced by Kevin Feige, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, and stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp and Hayley Atwell, with Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is presented by Marvel Studios. The executive producers are Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, Alan Fine and Stan Lee.The film releases April 4, 2014, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
April 18, 2014 – Bears
In an epic story of breathtaking scale, Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure “Bears” showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life’s most important lessons. Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, their journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting—but risky—as the cubs’ playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the brown bears must work hard to find food—ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run—while staying safe from rival male bears and predators, including an ever-present wolf pack. “Bears” captures the fast-moving action and suspense of life in one of the planet’s last great wildernesses—Alaska! Directed by Alastair Fothergill (“Earth,” “African Cats” and “Chimpanzee”) and Keith Scholey (“African Cats”), “Bears” arrives in theaters April 18, 2014, to celebrate Earth Day.
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May 16, 2014 – Million Dollar Arm
(Walt Disney Studios)
May 30, 2014 – Maleficent
(Walt Disney Studios)
From Disney comes “Maleficent”—the untold story of Disney’s most iconicvillain from the 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty.” A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal—an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom—and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well.
The film stars Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville.
“Maleficent” is produced by Joe Roth and directed by Robert Stromberg, with Angelina Jolie, Don Hahn, Matt Smith, Palak Patel and Sarah Bradshaw serving as executive producers. Linda Woolverton wrote the screenplay. “Maleficent” opens in theaters on May 30, 2014.
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July 18, 2014 – Planes: Fire & Rescue
From the world of “Cars” soars “Planes: Fire & Rescue,” a new comedy adventure featuring a quirky crew of elite firefighting aircraft
devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from raging wildfire. When world famous air racer Dusty (Dane Cook) learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of wildfire air attack. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his courageous air attack team, including spirited super scooper Lil’ Dipper (Julie Bowen), heavy lift helicopter Windlifter, ex-military transport Cabbie and a lively bunch of brave all terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire, and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero. Directed by Bobs Gannaway (“Secret of the Wings”), “Planes: Fire & Rescue” ignites July 18, 2014.
August 1, 2014 – Guardians of the Galaxy
From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team–the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits–Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; the deadly and enigmatic Gamora; and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand–with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which first appeared in comic books in MARVEL SUPER-HEROES #18 (Jan. 1969), stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, with John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Commander Rael and Benicio del Toro as The Collector.
James Gunn is the director of the film with Kevin Feige producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jeremy Latcham, Alan Fine and Stan Lee serve as executive producers. The story is by Nicole Perlman and James Gunn, with screenplay by James Gunn. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” releases in U.S. theaters on August 1, 2014.
August 8, 2014 – The Hundred-Foot Journey
In “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant – the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, the Maison Mumbai. That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), gets wind of it. Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own escalate to all out war between the two establishments – until Hassan’s passion for French haute cuisine and for Mme. Mallory’s enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), combine with his mysteriously delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Mme. Mallory cannot ignore. At first Mme. Mallory’s culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan’s gift as a chef and takes him under her wing.
“The Hundred-Foot Journey” abounds with flavors that burst across the tongue. A stimulating triumph over exile, blossoming with passion and heart, with marjoram and madras, it is a portrayal of two worlds colliding and one boy’s drive to find the comfort of home, in every pot, wherever he may be.
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October 10, 2014 – Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
(Walt Disney Studios)
Disney’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” follows the exploits of 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life — a day that begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by one calamity after another. But when Alexander tells his upbeat family about the misadventures of his disastrous day, he finds little sympathy and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him. He soon learns that he’s not alone when his mom (Jennifer Garner), dad (Steve Carell), brother (Dylan Minnette) and sister (Kerris Dorsey) all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Anyone who says there is no such thing as a bad day just hasn’t had one. “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” directed by Independent Spirit Award winner Miguel Arteta (“The Good Girl,” “Cedar Rapids,” “Youth in Revolt”) from a screenplay by Rob Lieber, is a 21 Laps Entertainment/Jim Henson Company production. The film hits theaters nationwide October 10th, 2014.
November 7, 2014 – Big Hero 6
(Walt Disney Animation Studios)
No info available yet.
November 21, 2014 – McFarland
(Walt Disney Studios)
No image of info available yet.
December 25, 2014 – Into the Woods
(Walt Disney Studios)
Meryl Streep ventures “Into the Woods” as the Witch who wishes to reverse a curse so that her beauty may be restored. The humorous and heartfelt musical, a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, explores the consequences of the quests of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, and the witch who cast a spell on them. In theaters Dec. 25, 2014.
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I am really looking forward to seeing most of these, especially Need For Speed, Maleficanet, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.