While moviegoers wait for the summer of 2015 (Star Wars VII, Avengers 2 anyone?), we'll have to nibble on 2014 appetizers. It might be an underrated collection of summer films after all is said and done.
As a group, it's not overly impressive, but there's a few that have a chance to impress. Here's a list by yours truly of five summer films to be excited about, from 5 to 1:
5. "22 Jump Street" (June 13) -
The original, starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as undercover cops who return to high school, was a laugh-a-minute riot. Both are back for "22," but the trick is if the duo reclaim the magic. Instead of high school, Tatum and Hill graduate to college.
4. "Godzilla" (May 16)
- The 1954 original was classic movie nostalgia, but the 1998 remake starring Matthew Broderick was unwatchable at times. This time, the classic Godzilla roar is back, and hopefully some of the magic of the original. The cast of Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick Ass, Kick Ass 2) and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) is interesting, but ultimately it will be the script and the King of the Monsters that will be the difference.
3. "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" (July 11)
- It's predecessor, 2011's "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," was one of Hollywood's most pleasant surprises in years. It was excellent. "Dawn" takes place eight years after "Rises" as human survivors of a virus plan to rise up and defeat Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his simian army. Gary Oldman headlines the cast, and that's never a bad thing for a film.
2. "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" (May 2)
- I liked, didn't love, the 2012 reboot with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, most because the origin storyline didn't deliver for me. Garfield and Stone are back, and we will be introduced to new Jamie Foxx (Electro) and Dane DeHaan, who appears to be the Green Goblin. Spider-Man is near to my heart since I was a youth, and that's mostly why TAS2 is No. 2 for me. I'm hopeful it delivers.
1. "Guardians of the Galaxy" (Aug. 1)
- Admittedly, I know nothing about these Marvel characters, but I was instantly hooked by the trailer. It's strange-looking, but something tells me Marvel's magic touch will pull this off. Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana are the headliners, but there's a giant walking tree and gun-crazed raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper. I'm in!
- Mark Podolski | @mpodo