14 for 2014: Whedon Looks Ahead with ‘In Your Eyes’

There are many things to be excited about this year, some of them already covered here and some not (I haven’t even touched upon genre fiction or the best in new theatre), but the final place on my list goes to the JJ Abrams for people who are nonplussed by JJ Abrams: Joss Whedon.

in your eyes

Following his biggest success to date with ‘The Avengers’, his production outfit Bellweather Productions were afforded the chance to release the super low-budget Shakespeare adap ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. With the second Avengers movie ‘Age of Ultron’ being fit into its superhero costume ready to fly in summer 2015, Whedon is set to off-set his newfound blockbuster glory once again with Bellweather’s second production, supernatural romance ‘In Your Eyes’.

As good as ‘Much Ado’ was (and possessed of Whedon’s trademark spark), it’s great to hear that ‘In Your Eyes’ is an original script from Whedon. Directed by Brin Hill and starring Zoe Kazan (she of adorable indie ‘Ruby Sparks’), the movie was shot last year and is currently in post-production to be released this year. Great news for all fans of the Whedonverse and a nice, low-key taster before Whedon resumes his mantle of King of the Geeks with next year’s darker Avengers tale.

14 for 2014: Meeting Mother

Forget Sheldon and co, this is something to ‘bazinga’ over in 2014: the end of ‘How I Met Your Mother’, after nine seasons of consistent sitcom laughs.

Sure, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ draws the big US ratings and Sheldon-alikes in droves, but in its own way ‘HIMYM’ is a comedy just as tailor-made for us geeks. With loveable loser-in-love Tim Mosby our guide through the trials and tribulations of its characters, ‘HIMYM’ has rewarded the faithful with in-jokes, callbacks and a twisty-turvy backwards narrative that it would take a PhD to put together.

The final season (despite inevitable chit-chat about spin-offs and the like, hmmm) looks set to be the ultimate treat for fans as it promises to tie up the central conceit of the show: the who, when, why, where and how of mommy Mosby. The trip down memory lane has already commenced in the States, but UK fans can expect the show to return for its final run in the next few weeks. Legend-wait for it-dary!

Last year’s US trailer to give you a taste:

14 for 2014: New on Netflix

netflix original content

Following in the footsteps of last year’s Emmy Awards, last night’s razzle-dazzle Golden Globes saw Hollywood recognising the influence of online streaming service Netflix. The international entertainment platform is reaping the rewards of its decision to produce original content; while Robin Wright grabbed a gong for her role in ‘House of Cards’ yesterday, David Fincher’s political thriller was nominated alongside other Netflix productions including ‘Orange is the New Black’ and the new season of ‘Arrested Development’.

So, a new year promises to bring more Netflix shows – and potential future nominees. As well as new seasons of ‘House of Cards’ (which starts next month), ‘Weeds’ creator Jenji Kohan’s black comedy ‘Orange is the New Black’ and Eli Roth’s barmy supernatural series ‘Hemlock Grove’, there’s even more to look forward to.

netflix 2014

From cult-bait comedy animation ‘Bojack Horseman’ to new shows focusing on Marco Polo and Pablo Escobar, there’s something for everyone. Geeks in the room? You’ll be back-to-back downloading ‘Sense8’, due in late 2014 and the brainchild of the Wachowskis. I’m hoping for the same gasp-inducing sci-fi showmanship that left me floored a decade ago when I first saw ‘The Matrix’. Let it be Netflix, let it be.

14 for 2014: Interstellar Summer of Cinema

In 2014, there are myriad reasons to visit the cinema and watch moving images with strangers in a dark room.

First off, this year’s summer blockbuster lineup is a strong one for the comic book tribe. As well as the aforementioned mighty Marvel movies, there’s a return to ‘Sin City’, an electrifying comeback for Andrew Garfield’s ‘Amazing Spiderman’, and perhaps the best cast ever in the twisty-turny timebomb of an X-Men movie ‘Days of Future Past’.

As well as this, it’s the year of a Lego movie (yup), further entries in the ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Hobbit’ franchises, and another headache-inducing ‘Transformers’ extended toy TV ad. For something truly original and potentially special, look to sci-fi wonderment from the Waschwoskis in ‘Jupiter Ascending’ and Johnny Depp’s latest weirdo turn in ‘Transcendence’.

Deserving of its own special mention in the countdown is Chris Nolan’s first post-Batman masterpiece (bit early to use that word, but this is the guy who gave us ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Inception’, after all), the mystery wrapped in an enigma shrouded in a question mark that is ‘Interstellar’. With a starry cast, including Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, and an unknown plot involving a worm hole of all things, this could be ‘Gravity’ as directed by the master who gave us ‘Memento’. Bring it.

christopher nolan

14 for 2014: Game On, New Doctor Time

Are you one of the lucky geeks who got a next-gen console off Santa this Xmas? Of course I’m jealous, but then again the game line-up so far has been underwhelming even if the very idea of a PS4 makes my mouth fill with saliva.

Thankfully, gamers have a lot to look forward to this year whether your hardware is upgraded or not. Highlights abound and, for shame-faced PS3/Xbox 360 owners like myself, some of the more exciting titles are available on the old kit.

Sure, PS4’s ‘The Evil Within’ looks like good scary fun, but the console crossover likes of ‘Watch Dogs’ (‘Remember Me’ done right?), rad reboot ‘Thief’ and epic-in-waiting ‘Destiny’, from the makers of ‘Halo’/’COD’, lead the way in an exciting fashion. Meanwhile, crowd-funded point-and-click adventure puzzler ‘Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey’ is set to be a favourite of old-school fans and PC gamers nonplussed next-gen advancements.

game lineup 2014

As for the next thing on my list, I don’t think much needs to be said. Forget your annual GP visit, this year it’s all about one Doctor and his name is Malcolm Fucking Tucker. I feel Saturday nights are about to get unpredictable…

(props to the genius creator of this video)

14 for 2014: Return to Veronica Mars

Possibly my most anticipated film of the year, above and beyond the new Marvel big-hitters and the next couple of months’ Oscar-worthy pictures: yup, ‘Veronica Mars’ is bringing her Generation Y Nancy Drew antics to the big screen.

Thank Kickstarter and die-hard creator Rob Thomas for the cult show’s eventual evolution from cancelled TV serial to much-awaited indie movie comeback. The main cast are all back, led by Kristen Bell as the irrepressibly perky detective daughter – but the real excitement is what’s happened to Mars, her father and her cohorts since the abrupt ending of the show’s third and final season in 2007.

Check out the trailer here and let out a big ‘SQUEEE!’ of excitement:

More 2014 treats tomorrow.

14 for 2014: Con-apalooza and Pyramid Stage Fire

I’m not even halfway when it comes to my selection of the top things to look out for in 2014 – lotsa treats to come, including the two below. Get yer diaries out!

You may have already planned your con schedule for 2014 but the rising profile of geek-friendly conventions in the UK means that there’s more choice than ever! Whether you’re itching to go full cosplay wielding a lightsaber or are just curious to dip your toes in the growing pool of genre get-togethers, there’s an event for you. From show-specific shindigs to all-encompassing geek-outs, you’ll find the one: for me, it’s Birmingham Comic-Con and Memorabilia – and I may just join fellow worshippers at Hallowhedon this year! Have fun, ya big nerds.

conventions 2014

Unless you’re lucky enough to get a Golden Ticket in spring’s resale, you won’t be going to Glastonbury this year if you didn’t snap up a ticket last year. However, thanks to comprehensive coverage, you can experience Worthy Farm’s wonders without worrying about your next trip to the loo. With the likes of Prince and Madonna in the frame (I’m jumping the fence if this happens), it’s set to continue holding the crown as the UK’s/world’s best festival.

So far, Arcade Fire are signed up to head the Pyramid Stage. Make sure you book your summer hol either side of the big weekend so you can chill out with some frosty beers in the comfort of your living room – won’t this sound great on the Pyramid/your TV??

14 for 2014: Unrepentant Tori and Scully Falls Again

Next on 2014’s hit list?

Tori Amos has always drawn a dedicated and, well yeah, geeky fanbase – so last year’s unexpected announcement of new album ‘Unrepentant Geraldines’ and a supporting world tour was an early Christmas present for Toriphiles. Now we’re in 2014, we’re that bit closer to the spring release of Amos’s 14th studio album which promises to retain the orchestral flourishes of ‘Night of Hunters’ as her latest release on the Mercury Classics label. Can’t wait!

tori amos

2014 not ’90s telly enough for you? If you lived for the antics of Dana Scully and Fox Mulder 20 years ago (scary, right?) then no doubt Gillian Anderson’s blistering return to cult TV last year brought you back from your boxset blitz. Sure, she was a highlight of Bryan Fuller’s chilly ‘Hannibal’ (also returning this year, yay!) but Anderson’s turn as Stella Gibson in BBC crime drama ‘The Fall’ was perhaps the TV highlight of the year.

the fall season 2

She will be joined by Jamie Dornan as the scarily charismatic serial killer, in a role that proves there’s more to him than Christian Grey, for a second run of the show this year. It could be a risky decision a la ‘Homeland’ to extend the cat-and-mouse games, but if they pull it off it will be the one to watch in 2014. It’s filming now so let’s hope Aunty Beeb sets a premiere date later this year. Just make sure to lock your doors when you settle down to watch…

14 for 2014: One Last Sherlock and Marvel-lous Movies

It’s a grey, rainy Monday and Christmas is officially over even if you have some leftover mince pies in your lunchbox – because, that’s right, it’s back to work too! Not feeling January yet? Well, here begins my countdown of 14 things to be excited about in 2014. Not just any 14 things either, but 14 of the coolest, date-in-the-diary, OMFG-worthy things that any and every geek should be excited about this year.

Cumberbitches, you’ll be happy to know your boy’s made the list. Following on from New Year’s Day treat ‘The Empty Hearse’ and yesterday’s frighteningly funny farce ‘The Sign of Three’, we have one final mystery to maintain our Holmesian horn. Can anything top second season finale’s Moriarty-flavoured dance with death? Featuring ‘The Killing’s Lars Mikkelsen as new super-villain Charles Augustus Magnussen, it promises to be a suitably dramatic end point for now. Check out the trailer below – get through this week and this lil’ treat will be waiting for you, Sunday night on the BBC.

It’s only a matter of time before Cumberbatch or Freeman wind up in a Marvel movie, such is the studio’s current Thor-like grip on the hammer of Hollywood. As the Marvel universe continues into its Phase Two, following sterling efforts from ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Thor’ last year that surprised by being better than they had any right to be, this summer looks set to be one of Marvel-lous movies.

First up, there’s the second outing for Captain America in ‘The Winter Soldier’ which looks set to give the dullest Avenger some cred as he pairs up with Scarlett’s Black Widow for some 21st Century heroics. More interesting though is August’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ which sounds and, considering the first official still below, looks pretty mental. James Gunn takes Marvel fans into deep space, with a villainous Karen Gwilliams and kick-ass talking raccoon (yup, he talks – and sounds like Bradley Cooper in fact) amongst the loony licks we can expect.

marvel guardians

It could be the next level of comic book movies, or it could briefly derail Marvel’s movie empire – either way, it’s not gonna be boring. Look out for more non-boring things to look out for in 2014 throughout the week.