Summer movie season is almost here, and theaters are going to be invaded by a wide variety of weird and wonderful creatures this year. From fearsome fairies to alien invaders and even a superhero space raccoon, here’s a look at the best creatures being featured in 2014 summer movies:
The Giant Lizard in “Godzilla” – May 16
Of course I have to start out by mentioning the return of the King of Creature Features! Once upon a time, I wasn’t a big fan of giant movie monsters. However, “Cloverfield” and “Pacific Rim” proved to me that it’s possible to make decent movies with over-sized stars. I also love that this reboot is being directed by a man who knows how to bring giant beings to life, “Monsters” director Gareth Edwards. “Godzilla” is absolutely massive in the trailer, and the special effects are pretty impressive. The incredible cast includes Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche, and Ken Watanabe. Sorry, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” – this is the only mutant reptile I want to see in action this summer. I think I’ll also be skipping the Dinobots in “Transformers: Age of Extinction” (I’m not sure Mark Wahlberg can save that franchise from the destructive force that is Michael Bay).
The Sinister Fairy in “Maleficent” – May 30
Watch out, Tinkerbell, fairies are getting a frightening makeover in this Disney movie that retells the “Sleeping Beauty” story. According to one of the trailers, we’re going to be told the true story behind why Maleficent became such a menace, and it’s possible that moviegoers might actually end up feeling a little sympathetic for the sorceress. It will certainly be interesting to learn her back story, but obviously Angelina Jolie is main reason this is a must-see movie. Elle Fanning stars as Princess Aurora, and Angie’s 5-year-old daughter Vivienne makes her movie debut as a younger version of the royal who gets cursed at birth. The trailer features plenty of Angelina’s angular jaw, jutting horns, and glowing green eyes. We also get to see Maleficent demonstrate her power by creating an army and a dragon out of brambles.
The Tentacled Extraterrestrials in “Edge of Tomorrow” – June 6
Director Doug Liman hilariously tried to sell this movie by saying that moviegoers will get to see Tom Cruise die 200 times. It’s the sci-fi version of “Groundhog Day” — Cruise’s character dies and is forced to relive the same day over and over again. However, his time loop happens during an alien invasion, and he uses his time wisely by figuring out the best way to fight the flying spaghetti monster invaders (the aliens are really stringy). The trailer looks super-serious, but The Guardian reports that the movie has a good balance of comedy and action. The interesting premise and the casting of Emily Blunt as a mech suit-wearing super-soldier might be enough to pique your interest if you’re not a Cruise fan.
The Flying Fire-Breathers in “How to Train Your Dragon 2” – June 13
“How to Train Your Dragon” was a magical movie that kids and adults alike could enjoy, so hopefully the sequel will be just as imaginative and exhilarating. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hiccup and Toothless will team up to save the Viking villagers of Berk from a force of evil. Based on the trailer, it looks like this villain probably also isn’t very kind to dragons. Because of the amazing visuals, it’s definitely not a good idea to wait until this one comes out on DVD.
The Smart Simians in “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” – July 11
Hopefully you didn’t let James Franco scare you away from “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” – it was shockingly good. Luckily, the trailer for the sequel also looks promising. It features Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his ape army all decked out in war paint. They definitely look ready to conquer they chaotic world around them. However, the human survivors, which include characters played by Kerri Russell and Jason Clarke, aren’t going to give up without a fight.
The Elf-Like Alien in “Jupiter Ascending” – July 25
Mila Kunis is destined to become the Queen of the Universe in this sci-flick from the sibling team that brought us “The Matrix.” Her character’s genes are very important, but it would be more interesting to know which genes were used to create Channing Tatum’s pointy-eared character. He stars as a genetically-engineered soldier tasked with finding and protecting the savior of the universe. The screenplay could end up being terrible, but the movie certainly looks stunning.
The Talking Raccoon in “The Guardians of the Galaxy” – August 1
Forget the mutants in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and the menagerie of villains in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” – the superhero movie star who becomes the talk of the summer will surely be Rocket Raccoon. Bradley Cooper voices the feisty, fur-covered hero who makes up for his small size by wielding a big weapon. The grouping of superheroes in this movie is way more interesting than The Avengers. “Parks and Recreation” star Chris Pratt plays the half-human/half-alien leader of the group; Zoe Saldana is an assassin with green skin; Dave Bautista plays a Hulk-like character (minus the green skin); and Vin Diesel voices a terrifying tree creature. The movie looks like it’s going to be fresh and funny, and it includes an impressive supporting cast full of familiar faces like Glenn Close, Karen Gillian, and John C. Reilly.