Looking Ahead to 2014: First Quarter (January – March)

lookingaheadNow that you’ve had enough time to let our choices for what we enjoyed last year, it’s time to shift our focus towards what’s to come in 2014.

Books Comics

Heather’s #1 Pick: The Wind is not a River by Brian Payton (January 7th)

I have never read anything by this author before, but it was probably featured on Amazon or something as one of the best books of the month, which is usually where I find a lot of the books I want to read. Lo and behold, this is both a survival, love, and WWII story all wrapped up in one, a tale spurred on by the only battle to take place on American soil during the war. I’m sure I will eat this up.

Heather’s # 2 Pick: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (January 7th)

Did you ever read The Secret Life of Bees? I did, although I couldn’t tell you what it was about anymore. I know there was a young girl who went to live with (maybe) her aunts, and I am fairly certain there were in fact, bees in it (educated guess). Ok, even if I don’t remember exactly what happened, I remember loving it, so I am hopeful for this one.

Heather’s # 3 Pick: Andrew’s Brain by E. L. Doctorow (January 14th)

Again, I haven’t really read any of E.L. Doctorow’s other works. And to be honest, I can’t really tell exactly from the description of this book what it is about. From what I can gather, it is about a man, Andrew, confessing to someone everything about his life. And apparently it is a pretty strange one. I wish I could tell you more, but I have a feeling this will either be amazing or awful. Either way, I’ll give it a shot.

Lauren’s #1 Pick: Snowblind by Christopher Golden (Jan. 21st)

Goodness The Mist was weird, and The Fog was just bad…  That was my first thought when reading the description of this book, but then I got to thinking about how “Winter is coming,” and I am going to choose to go with that latter thought in preparation for this book about people who are terrorized by a snowstorm and the mysterious things happen within.

Lauren’s #2 Pick: Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1 (Jan. 29th)

The TV show continued on with a film, and now the film continues on with a comic.  This is one ‘verse that I never get tired of coming back to.

Lauren’s #3 Pick: Tomb Raider #1 (Feb. 26th)

Following where last year’s relaunch of Lara Croft’s tomb raiding adventures left off, Gail Simone brings this younger, more fragile Croft to the world of comics.  I love what Simone is doing with the current run of Batgirl, and I cannot wait to see how she adds her voice to this other young woman growing into her own in their respective worlds.

Music

Alan:  It’s pretty slim pickings for the first couple of months of the year in music.  Though limited early on, there are a couple of standouts come late February to middle of March that need to be mentioned:

Alan’s #2 Pick: St. Vincent’s self titled LP (February 25th)

Alan’s #3 Pick: ScHoolboy Q’s Oxymoron (February 25th)

Alan’s #1 Pick: La Dispute’s Rooms of the House (March 18th)

Movies

 

Lauren’s #2 Pick: Knights of Badassdom (Jan. 21st – limited)

I know I was burned before with All the Boys Love Mandy Lane when it comes to lengthy anticipation leading to utter disappointment, but I choose to ignore history and continue to be excited that Knights of Badassdom is finally coming out!  A bunch of actors I love, many rather attractive, pretending to be larpers in the midst of some actual fantastical stuff happening?  Sign me up.  To watch, not to larp.  Those foam weapons hurt.

The Monuments Men (February 7th)

Zac’s #4 Pick: I’m pretty sure the Oscars are going to roll around in March and the laymen will wonder why this isn’t nominated with it coming out right in the middle of awards season. The cast is about as top notch as you can get, Clooney is always great behind the camera (Leather-what?) and I am pretty sure this is a comedy, don’t let the ads fool you.

Grant’s # 2 Pick: Is it wrong that I can’t help but think of this as Ocean’s 11 during World War II?  I believe that Clooney can indeed shed all remnants of Leatherheads and make the most of this great cast.

Heather’s # 1 Pick: I don’t really keep up with upcoming movie releases, but I did see a preview for The Monuments Men recently and this is the only movie currently on my must see list for the next few months. Who am I kidding though? It had me at WWII. It doesn’t hurt that Georgie will be there too!

Grant’s #3 Pick: The Lego Movie (February 7th)

Maybe directors Lord and Miller can recapture the outlandish fun of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  The cast list is impressive and who doesn’t like Legos?

Zac’s #3 Pick: Nymphomaniac Pt. 1 (March 6th VOD, March 21st in theaters)

Lars Von Trier’s two part epic sounds insane, he promises it to be insane and I think will surely be one of the more compelling character portraits of the year. This four-ish hour film has me very excited, and not in a pervy way.

Lauren’s #3 Pick: 300: Rise of an Empire (March 7th)

The Spartan abfest is back!  Unfortunately Zack Snyder isn’t the director this time around, but the trailer still shows some promising footage of saturated battles and slow motion fight sequences, so hopefully there will be no reason for disappointment at this director change once all is said and done.  After all, this is (still) Sparta.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (March 7th – limited)

Zac’s #1 Pick: Wes Anderson looking his most playful, with his most insane cast to date, I want to know nothing more than that brilliant teaser trailer. Ralph Fiennes could end up being my favorite thing this year.

Grant’s #1 Pick: I don’t need to know anything else besides that a new Wes Anderson film is being released.  The new faces in his universe are just a perk.

Lauren’s #1 Pick: Veronica Mars (March 14th – limited)

Other than stuff from the Whedonverse, Veronica Mars is the one show that I like to think greatly influenced my personality and voice, so it’s fitting that it’s coming back to us as Serenity did years ago.  Everyone is coming back from the show for this new case that only Veronica can handle, and I cannot wait to see Kristen Bell back in the role that made her one of my top picks for my “I will force them to be my best friend” list.

Noah (March 28th)

Zac’s #2 Pick: Darren Aronofsky is making a movie. You should go to there. The biblical epic is hopefully keeping its crazy cards to its chest to hook in the Sunday crowds, but images from that comic have me hopeful this could be one of the director’s best; meaning, on par with everything he has done.

Grant’s #4 Pick: I might sound repetitive, but I follow the directors with good track records.  Aronofsky has proven himself to be a must watch.  Well…except for that one with the tree, that one sucked (just a joke Zac, put don’t send me anthrax).

Lauren’s Honorable Mentions: Big Bad Wolves (Jan. 17 – limited), Labor Day (Jan. 31), That Awkward Moment (Jan. 31), The Lego Movie (Feb. 7), The Monuments Men (Feb. 7), Winter’s Tale (Feb. 14), Pompeii (Feb. 21), The Grand Budapest Hotel (March 7 – limited), Divergent (March 21), Noah (March 28), The Raid 2 (March 28 – limited)

Television

The Bachelor (Started Jan. 6th)

Zac’s #2 Pick: It’s trash, but hilarious to make fun of trash. Bring on Juanuary!

Heather’s #1 Pick: Yes, the crazies are out in droves for Juanuary, but there is one thing that so far sets this season apart from the rest: One of the contestants brings her dog with her to the show. And what is better than a mansion full of lady drama? Drama and a dog!

Lauren’s #1 Pick: Teen Wolf (Started Jan. 6th)

Heather and Zac can call it Juanuary, but my Moonday nights are ruled by the werewolves.  Season 2 was a little rough due to the Kanima, but now that the alpha pack has been dealt with the second half of season 3 can take on the repercussions of what Scott, Stiles and Allison did to fight the Darach.  The horror genre feel is going to be a welcome shift for this fan as well.  Now if we can just get Stiles to take his shirt off.

Zac’s #1 Pick: True Detective (Started Jan. 12th)

HBO’s new annual anthology starts off with a crime being solved by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, directed by Cary Fukunaga. I briefly wrote up the premiere episode from this past Sunday on the site (here), but it is certainly not to be missed.

Lauren’s #2 Pick: The Winter Olympics (Starting Feb. 6th)

The winter version of this sports celebration may not have gymnastics (my personal favorite), but there are definitely some gymnasts out there flinging themselves through the air to impress us with their “our country is better than your country” skills.  Wonder how many athlete fails are going to have a Nancy Kerrigan “Why!?” gif attached to them thanks to the internets.

Video Games

 

Lauren’s #1 Pick: Thief (Feb. 25th)

Whenever I play games where there is the option, I fancy myself an agile, ranged weapon, thief (though it does make me feel bad inside).  Now there’s a whole game that blends that aspect with the fun I had while playing Dishonored!  I am going to steal all the stuff!  Thank goodness for this relaunch.

Zac’s Pick: Titanfall (March 11th)

This game looks incredibly fun and some of the first true next-gen muscle I have seen on the XBOXONE. The mech-multiplayer looks crazy, now I just need a friend and an XBOXOne.

Lauren’s #2 Pick: Murdered: Soul Suspect (Mar. 31st)

I enjoyed L.A. Noire, so I am hoping the same spirit of that detective game will be present here.  Added awesomeness, you’re solving your own death!

Lauren’s Honorable Mentions: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (Feb. 25th) – the first of the series still sits on my shelf unplayed, and I am a failure at life; Titanfall (Mar. 11th) – This just isn’t my genre, but even I have to admit that it does look pretty cool; Infamous: Second Son (Mar. 21st) – Only reason this is just an honorable mention is because I don’t have the PS4 to play it on.