It might seem like only yesterday that we took our seats for 2013’s “Iron Man 3,” “The Conjuring” and “World War Z,” but it’s time to do it again. The 2014 summer movie season kicks off this weekend with the arrival of the high-flying “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” The next few months at the cineplex have in store a fairly eclectic lineup of rollicking comedies, sci-fi extravaganzas, hopeful franchise reboots, indie darlings and, of course, plenty of superhero adventures. Really, when romances starring Shailene Woodley and Daniel Radcliffe share the season with Optimus Prime, Spider-Man and Godzilla, not even the sky’s the limit.
By now you may be familiar with the ‘Epic Split’ commercial that Jean-Claude Van Damme recently filmed for Volvo Trucks, in which the 53-year-old action veteran proves that his legs are still pretty bendable — and, apparently, that he has complete faith in the “stability and precision of Volvo Dynamic Steering” as twin trucks drive backwards in perfect unison as he balances between them. And that someone is Magic Mike himself. More or less in character as Jenko, his “21 Jump Street” persona, Channing Tatum performed his own ‘Epic Split’ (or ‘Sorta Epic Kinda Split’ anyway) while filming the upcoming sequel, “22 Jump Street.” Like JCVD, he prepares for this astonishing physical feat with a moment of personal introspection in solemn voice-over before demonstrating “the stability and precision of the food carts” on the set of the action comedy.
Well, so much for 2013. This past year had its cinematic ups (“Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Gravity,” “This Is the End”), downs (“Gangster Squad,” “A Good Day to Die Hard”), in-betweens (“Man of Steel,” “Star Trek Into Darkness”), and sweet surprises (“The Conjuring,” “Blue Jasmine”). It was a fun year , but 2014 is looking to be even more of a thrill ride, filled with franchise-friendly sure things, swing-for-the-fences passion projects, sleeper hits waiting to be discovered and, of course, a few (okay, a lot of) superhero movies. And we can’t wait to get started.