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Flixist's pants-off-in-excitement summer movie preview

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No pants, no problem

Summer! Summer! Summer! Step right up and get your big blockbusters for the next three months (and maybe a few indies too). Once again the thrilling and death-defying staff of Flixist is giving  you the run down on what excites us the most this summer, and boy howdy is it a great time to go watch movies.

So ladies and gents (if any of you are gentleman out there), kick up your feet sit back and enjoy what's sure to be the only summer preview that is guaranteed to have you so excited you'll remove your trousers! Remember before you scream out, "Wait! Where is X-Men: Days of Future Past," that these are the movies the staff is most looking forward to, not just a regular old run down of summer films. That's what makes it so exciting!

(Note: Trouser removal not guaranteed.)

Director: Marc Webb
Release Date: May 2nd, 2014
Trailer 

Although Sony wants me to ruin my hype for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with announcements of yearly sequels and spin-offs, I seem to want to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2 against my better judgement. While the first one was a bust, it had potential. Potential which might be explored in the sequel. It's just something about Spider-Man that always gets me. I want to see that dorky kid Peter Parker succeed, you know? Rather than rely on the other Spider-Man 2 for a good Spider-Time, here's hoping The Amazing Spider-Man 2 finally delivers on that "Amazing" in its title. -- Nick Valdez

Director: Gareth Edwards
Release Date:
May 16th, 2014
Trailer

When Godzilla was first announced I think we all rolled our eyes a bit. Another attempt to make the classic Japanes monster work in the West? Then we learned Gareth Edwards, director of Monsters, was in charge... and then the advertising kicked in. This might be the best advertised film of the year, with fantastic teases, stunning posters and incredible trailers. Let's just hope the movie lives up to the ad hype. -- Matthew Razak

Director: Seth MacFarlane
Release Date: May 30th, 2014
Trailer

I'm not really a big Seth MacFarlane fan, but A Million Ways to Die in the West looks like a pretty good time. Set in Arizona in 1882, A Million Ways to Die in the West is about a man, Albert, played by MacFarlane, discovering courage and bravery thanks to a willful and daring woman that he meets, played by Charlize Theron. Also there is a lot of dying. A lot a lot. A Million Ways to Die in the West should be a funny (albeit full of the low-brow humor that MacFarlane's known for) jab at traditional Western movies and the idea of a Western genera in general. -- Liz Rugg


Director: Josh Boone
Release Date: June 6th, 2014
Trailer

I would say roughly 85% of my friends are obsessed John Green's novel The Fault in Our Stars, meaning all I've heard since the reveal of a film adaptation is how amazing it will be and how the story it tells is so powerful. Maybe I have a withered heart, but I did a little eye-rolling at some of the more saccharine scenes in the trailer. Still, The Fault in Our Stars could prove to be a good time. The subject matter does seem interesting enough, and I have no doubt that I will be dragged to see it multiple times by different groups of friends, so I better start liking it now. All and all, it doesn't look overly cringeworthy, so thank goodness for that. -- Isabelle Magliari 

Director: Dean DeBlois
Release Date: June 13, 2014
Trailer

Despite the trailers for the film evidently ruining any and all surprises it's still pretty easy to get excited for How to Train Your Dragon 2. The first film was a stunning breath of fresh air, and one of the first non-Pixar animated films to really show that other studios can do emotion and quality animation. The dragon flying alone was worth the price of 3D admission and this sequel simply looks to be upping the anti. There's basically nothing to not be excited about here. -- Matthew Razak  

Directors: Phil Lord and Chris Miller
Release Date: June 13, 2014
Trailer

Look, I love self-aware jokes and crude nonsense as much as the next guy. But I loved 21 Jump Street because there were genuine moments underneath the repeated winking. That movie was not afraid to get dorky. Sincerity goes a long way with me. The first movie's blend of dorks and crude humor stood out in a summer dominated by cynical violence and even cynicalier (not a real word?) cash-ins. Guess what? That stuff is back. Yes, red band trailers for 22 Jump Street have been amusing, but it's actually the latest green band trailer that caught my attention. That movie looks dumb! And for once, that doesn't come from over-the-top nonsense or poor decisions! It's just raw glee on a screen; oozing from every beautiful pore on Channing Tatum's perfect face. - Mike Cosimano

Snowpiercer

Director: Bong Joon-Ho
Release Date: June 27th, 2014
Trailer

Since the last time we did one of these (this is at least my fourth time picking this film), I’ve actually gotten the chance to see Snowpiercer (thanks, French imports!), and you can bet we’ll have a review closer to release… but I saw it on a TV and I think it’s a film that will benefit greatly from a big screen. If you weren’t excited, get excited. If you were excited, you might want to temper your expectations a bit. It’s one hell of a movie, for better or worse, and definitely requires a second viewing. – Alec Kubas-Meyer

Director: Michael Bay
Release Date: June 27, 2014
Trailer

Over the past 19 years, I have collected around 400 Transformers figures. Nick may pretend to be the biggest Transformers fan on staff, but we all know the score. When Transformers: Age of Extinction rolls around, it will be my inevitable outrage that carries the most weight. I keep getting fooled by these goddamn movies. You would think, after years of this nonsense, I would learn. But no. I am excited, despite numerous objections from my conscious mind. I want a movie that capitalizes on this wonderfully pulpy sci-fi universe. There's a wealth of ideas just begging to be exploited. And hey, they've got Lockdown in this one! The various iterations of that character have been pretty cool ever since his first appearance in Transformers Animated; a trend I hope continues in Age of Extinction. Maybe it's my newfound love for IDW's excellent Transformers comics, but hey, I'm willing to give this series another shot. - Mike Cosimano

Boyhood

Director: Richard Linklater
Release Date: July 11th, 2014
Trailer

I was convinced that Boyhood was going to play at the Tribeca Film Festival. Ethan Hawke seems to be there every year, and Before Midnight was a huge hit at last year’s fest. I thought it was a done deal. But then the slate came out and… no Boyhood. My interest in the fest dropped dramatically, because on concept alone, Boyhood beat out anything they could have possibly been showing. Richard Linklater’s story of a boy growing up was shot over 11 years to really give the impression of aging, something that has never been done quite like that and will probably never be done again. Our own Matthew Razak was blown away by it, but who’s surprised? It was always going to be brilliant. And now it just needs to come out. – Alec Kubas-Meyer

Director: Zach Braff
Release Date:
July 18th, 2014
Trailer

Zach Braff's controversial Kickstarter-funded film is getting a full release in July, and if the early reviews are any indication, it's a Garden State situation all over again — people either love it, or they hate it. Personally, I loved Garden State, and I fell in love with Wish I Was Here from the trailer. My favorite thing about Braff as a director is how he frames the shots, and there's no shortage of epic shots in the trailer. One of my favorite quotes from Scrubs is when Kelso asks JD, Zach Braff's character, if he's an idiot. JD replies "No sir, I'm a dreamer." I think that was more of a quote from Zach Braff than JD, and Wish I Was Here truly looks like Braff has dreamt big. -- Jonathan Wray


Director: James DeMonaco
Release Date:
 July 18th, 2014
Trailer

The Monday after The Purge came out, they announced a sequel. For the past ten months or so, I've been anxiously awaiting that sequel. When the first trailer came out, I almost peed my pants. When the second one came out, well, I'm sure you can imagine how that went. I loved the first film, and whereas that one showed us the story of one family locked up in their home, Anarchy promises to show us the nitty-gritty reality of how the other other half lives. Can't afford to convert your estate into a bunker? Car broke down an hour before the Purge begins? Good luck. This July, we will watch grizzly badass Frank Grillo (recently seen getting beaten up by almost every character in Captain America: Winter Soldier) leads a cast of expendable meat puppets through twelve hours of carnage, and I simply cannot wait. #CrimeDeux - Sean Walsh

Director: Mike Cahill
Release Date: July 18th, 2014
Trailer

I Origins look like one of those Sci-fi movies that's either going to be pretty cool, or fall completely flat. Even so, I am feeling hopeful for it! I Origins tells the story of Ian Gray, a molecular biologist who meets and falls in love with a mysterious woman with striking eyes. They have pretty different views on the meaning of life, science and faith, and the woman's eyes apparently lead Gray to startling scientific discoveries. I feel like I don't know enough about I Origins to know if it will be great or not, but that's kinda what I like about it. It feels mysterious enough that it could be really interesting, and that's certainly a fine hook for a sci-fi-philosophical-drama-romance movie. -- Liz Rugg

Director: Brett Ratner
Release Date: July 25th, 2014
Trailer

Let me be blunt. Brett Ratner's Hercules looks absolutely stupid. Yet for some odd reason I find myself wanting it more and more (it looks more like a hero than a zero). The difference between a good stupid movie and a bad one is whether or not it "goes stupid" for maximum badassitude. Since it stars Dwanye Johnson, a man who knows a thing or two about making stupid movies great, I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. There's a good chance his "I AM HERCULES!" yell will join the best yelled lines in cinema history, so I want to be there when it happens. -- Nick Valdez

Director: James Gunn
Release Date:
 August 1st, 2014
Trailer

I have never been more excited for a movie in my entire life as I have been for Guardians of the Galaxy. Chris Pratt (my favorite ever) leads a cast of awesome people (including Bradley Cooper as the gun-totting, wise-cracking Rocket Raccoon and John C. Reilly and Shaun of the Dead's jerk roommate as Nova Corpsmen!) in the first cosmic Marvel movie, which will presumably shed some light on the wrinkly-chinned Thanos's motivations as well as more fun with Infinity Stones (which will assuredly culminate in the third Avengers film). For an obscure team of space-traveling misfits, Guardians is a bold move for Marvel, dealing with an incredibly unknown quantity, but between James Gunn's steady hands at the reigns and one of the best ensemble casts of all time (Vin Diesel as the walking talking tree Groot and Karen Gillan as a bald, blue badass named Nebula? Yes please.), this may very well dethrone Shaun of the Dead as my favorite movie of all time.

Or at least I hope it will. - Sean Walsh 

Director: Gia Coppola 
Release Date:
 May 9th, 2014
Trailer

Last Christmas my mother gave me a copy of James Franco's short story collection Palo Alto for the sole reason that it mentioned my alma mater on the book jacket. I still haven't read it, and had minimal interest in the film until I was forcibly shown the trailer at Tribeca Film Festival a few weeks ago. I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw. There's a dream-like quality to Palo Alto akin to Sophia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides, one of my favorite looking films of all time. Gia has done well to take a tip from her Aunt's playbook, and I am hoping the film lives up to the high expectation its trailer has set for me. I am always a fan of sepia-tinted stories of girls and boys being woefully confused in love, and this movie looks to be just that. -- Isabelle Magliari

Director: Michael Bay
Release Date:
August 8th, 2014
Trailer

I'm sorry, but yes, I'm actually planning to go see the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles  movie. I grew up on the cartoon, I love the films, and I had every turtles toy imaginable, so when I heard that Michael Bay was rebooting the TMNT franchise, naturally, I immediately discarded it. When the trailer came out, though, I was pleasantly surprised. Don't get me wrong, I think it'll be completely blasphemous to the legacy, but it looks like a lot of fun. I know what I'm in for — explosions, slow motion scenes, and a testicle joke or two — but I can't help it. It just looks like it's going to be a lot of fun. -- Jonathan Wray

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