2014 movie adaptations: The good, the bad and the ugh, really?

Brenton Thwaites is a total babe in "The Giver," but he's supposed to be playing a 12-year-old. So. Yeah.

Brenton Thwaites is a total babe in “The Giver,” but he’s supposed to be playing a 12-year-old.
So. Yeah. Photo from Entertainment Weekly.

It seems safe to call 2014 the year of remakes, adaptations and franchises when it comes to movies. So far, there’s been quite a buzz on all the “big name” films coming out later this year, with what seems like a new “must-watch” trailer released every day. While a trailer is never full indication of a film, it can still give you a taste.

But whether that taste is of pure excitement, or makes you want to wash out your mouth depends. Check out our hit-or-miss list of which trailers look promising, and which ones want to make us want to punch out our laptop screens.

Hit: “The Fault in our Stars”

Release Date: June 6, 2014

Type of Adaptation: Book

If you couldn’t tell from our previous coverage, we’re kind of obsessed with this trailer, as well as all things TFIOS. It’s truly a perfect trailer. In less than three minutes, so many of John Green’s words and ideas not only came to life accurately, but beautifully. It’s possible to tear up from such a short amount of content, right? Right? If the movie follows its lead, we’ll have no problems here.

Miss: “The Giver”

Release Date: Aug. 15, 2014

Type of Adaptation: Book

The teaser trailer for the big screen adaptation of this middle school classic was released a few weeks ago, and we’re not happy. This isn’t even a full-length trailer, yet the amount of flaws are endless. While the book is geared toward a much younger audience, Hollywood just couldn’t let us have our 12-year-old hero by casting newcomer, Brenton Thwaites in the lead role, who in reality is 24. And he looks 24. Yes, he’s hot. But he’s supposed to be 12. In fact the entire casting of this movie is just awful (with the exception of Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep, of course), often trading sex appeal for accuracy. Since the trailer is short, we still need a little more info to make our final verdict, but so far, no me gusta.

Hit: “Godzilla”

Release Date: April 14, 2014

Type of Adaptation: Remake

The iconic tale is back with a whole new spin, and it looks awesome. “Godzilla” follows the model of every good action trailer, showing off a kickass heroine and some equally kickass effects. This is Bryan Cranston’s first role since “Breaking Bad,” and within the first 40 seconds of this trailer he gives a completely badass and compelling rant. We dig. With what looks like a nice balance of special effects, as well as new plot twists and ideas to update the story, it seems as if this one’s going to come out quite nicely.

Miss: “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”

Release Date: May 23, 2014

Type of Adaptation: Remake

First off, where the hell is James Franco? That’s the most important question we face while dissecting this trailer, which lacks in major excitement factor. Remaking this franchise really wasn’t the best idea. If memory serves, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” didn’t exactly score big with critics or the box office. Not enough people care, and in comparison to all of the other adaptations coming out, this one falls flat.

Hit: “Maze Runner”

Release Date: Sept. 19, 2014

Type of Adaptation: Book

Two words: Dylan O’Brien. That’s the first major excitement factor when it comes to this trailer. Based on the best-selling series, this “post apocolyptic/new world” thing that happens to be quite popular nowadays honestly looks refreshing. With different plot twists beside the concept of an “ideal society,” the trailer not only makes the movie look good, but the book as well, as viewers probably aren’t as familiar with it as they were with “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent.” And let’s just say it one more time, Dylan freaking O’Brien.

Miss: “Annie”

Release Date: Dec. 25, 2014

Type of Adaptation: Remake

Everything that is wrong with this trailer could’ve been an article within itself, but we’ll try to sum it up for you. While we love the idea of a racially diverse “Annie” (yay Quvenzhané!), the fact that they set this adaptation in modern times instead of the ’30s? No. Just, no. Before you say it’s not possible, remember Brandy in Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” remake? Yeah, they made it work. You have no excuse. Do you not remember that Annie was never supposed to see the city? Seriously how do they expect to sing NYC? Not to mention the fact that they thought it was okay to autotune the show tunes of our childhoods. They even changed Warbucks’ name. So many things about this are completely unacceptable, and we’re not happy about it.

Will these adaptations live up to their trailers? Will some be just as disappointing as we anticipate? Tell us all your movie feels @SpeakeasyMag (don’t worry we can’t watch the TFIOS trailer without sobbing too).

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