Lauren’s #1 Pick: In the End by Demitria Lunetta (June 24th) – With so many YA novels out there on must read lists, some just don’t get the recognition they deserve. That’s where I would put In the After, the first novel in this two book series about a teenager who must protect herself and a younger girl she saved in a post-apocalyptic world. The first novel wasn’t all about surviving the alien creatures, but surviving the mental strain when forced to deal with a situation like this, and I can’t wait to see where the author takes this next.
Lauren’s #2 Pick: The first Captain America film may be a little down the list of favorite from Marvel, but that’s not to say that the character doesn’t have promise. In addition to my love of Chris Evans and Captain America’s strengths in action sequences, I can’t wait to see more of those out of place moments that we got to see in The Avengers seeing as the Cap missed the past handful of decades. Plus I have high hopes that the serious aspects of this character and film will work better than what was achieved in Iron Man 3.
Zac’s Already Seen It Pick #1: This will be tough to beat as the best film of this quarter. It’s awesome, don’t miss it.
Zac’s Already Seen It Pick #2: Under the Skin (April 4th) – I can not wait to see this again, and my appreciation might only grow fonder. You can check out my review on the site right now if you want to get even more excited.
Godzilla (May 16th)
Lauren’s #1 Pick: The line in the trailer about the nuclear testing being a cover for attacks to destroy Godzilla has me all kinds of excited. We can’t even kill him with nukes! How do you defeat something like that!? Seriously, that was all I needed to get hyped for this monster of a film. The rest of the trailer is just added bonus, as is the cast list.
Zac’s #1 Pick: I am avoiding all imagery of this after that incredible teaser, and the posters alone would have sold me on this. I wasn’t ecstatic about Monsters, Gareth Edwards previous film, but I loved what he did with the Kaiju alien things in that film and he should be a great fit for Godzilla. The film is also apparently a direct sequel to the Japanese original (forget all those vs. movies, those aren’t canon) and I am really intrigued to see how that plays out. I grew up on Godzilla VHSs, I’m full on board for this.
Zac’s Pick #2: X-Men: Days of Future Past – I’ve always been partial to the X-Men movies, even enjoyed the 1st Wolverine movie, but I was a very big fan of First Class. While I’m bummed Matthew Vaughn isn’t back, I’m excited to see what Singer does back behind the camera for the series he never wanted to leave. The cast is still great, and I am intrigued by the time bending elements of the film and how they might be retconning the series to work all together for the couple of films Singer wasn’t around for. More Fassbender, Lawrence and Jackman’s Wolverine is never a bad thing either.
Zac’s Pick: Edge of Tomorrow (June 6th) – I heart Tom Cruise movies. I will follow him any where, and this sci-fi action version of Groundhog Day could be a lot of awesome. I think they are going to hide a lot of the alien stuff in this movie as well and if they nail the world building, something Oblivion couldn’t, maybe this can be a sci-fi classic? Either way, Emily Blunt looks like a badass and she deserves to be one of the biggest female stars around.
Lauren’s #3 Pick: 22 Jump Street (June 13th) – Honestly most of my honorable mentions probably could put up a good fight for my #3 spot, but 21 Jump Street was too hilarious not to give its sequel a place in the spotlight. It can Channing all over my Tatum any time it wants.
Lauren’s Honorable Mentions: Afflicted (April 4th – limited), The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (May 2nd), Neighbors (May 9th), X-Men: Days of Future Past (May 23rd), A Million Ways to Die in the West (May 30th), Edge of Tomorrow (June 6th), How to Train Your Dragon 2 (June 13th)
Zac: I second all of these except Afflicted.
Lauren: I can’t help it. I’m a sucker for handheld horror films. I’ve accepted the overuse and choose to ignore it. Alien Abductions will also be giving me night terrors. Aliens are the worst. I’m looking at you, ET!
Heather’s #2 Pick: Christina Perri just has one of those captivating voices that draws me in. If her sophomore album is anything like the first, then we’re in for a winner!
Lauren’s #3 Pick: Christina Perri is a singer I brushed off early on as just “the girl with that one song on So You Think You Can Dance,” but when the day came that I finally listened to the rest of her album I was pleasantly surprised by it. So I’m with Heather on this one.
Alan’s #1 Pick: Manchester Orchestra’s Cope (April 1st) – Andy Hull just knows how to make good music. Simple Math was my favorite alternative rock album in 2011, and it sounds like Hull and Co. are keeping up their high standards with Cope. Honestly, I wasn’t too keen on the first single, but within the context of the album, each song sounds better than the next.
Ingrid Michaelson’s Lights Out (April 15th)
Lauren’s #1 Pick: Michaelson is one of the best performers I’ve seen live, so better start prepping for the next show now by learning the lyrics to all of her new songs. I’ve heard a few songs from the album so far, and based on those it’s not hard to imagine that this album will be adding to the long list of awesome music forming the playlist of Michaelson epicness.
Heather’s #1 Pick: It seems to me that Ingrid Michaelson just keeps getting better and better. I’ve been listening to one of the singles that has already been released, “Afterlife,” every morning on my way to work – I’m already in love with her new album based on the songs from it I already have. April 15th can’t come fast enough!
Alan’s #2 Pick: Badbadnotgood’s III (May 6th) – Jazz/Hip Hop Canadian trio BBNG have already released two fantastic EP’s, filled with covers of some of the best songs of the past ten years (some even older), speckled in with some originals as well. So what are we going to get with III? Hopefully something truly amazing.
Heather’s #3 Pick: Lily Allen’s Sheezus (May 6th) – I can only hope that the title of Allen’s new Album is making fun of Kanye West’s Yeezus. It seems like the kind of thing she would do, with her sass and wit that come out full force in her songs. And this album, from what I’ve heard, is no different; Allen’s gonna stick it to the world, but telling it like it is never sounded so good. (Side note – Allen beats out Coldplay for the number 3 spot because I can’t stand Coldplay’s single “Magic” off their upcoming album).
Lauren’s #2 Pick: Coldplay’s Ghost Stories (May 19th) – I’ll agree with Heather on not being a fan of their single, but I’m still going to keep my hopes up since it’s Coldplay. I mean this in the best possible way: I spent many a night falling asleep to a playlist of their songs. They just put me in a good place, so they will never not be on my must list.
Zac’s #2 Pick: The ten weeks a year that Game of Thrones is on the air are always a lot of fun, and the mayhem that is coming to Westeros will hopefully start coming to fruition. Still, if we continue to get excellent character building of such a wide variety as the show has delivered year after year so far, I won’t complain if those walkers don’t show up for another season.
Lauren’s #1 Pick: Book 3 in the Song of Ice and Fire series was definitely my favorite in the series (it should also be noted that I’ve only read the first three books, so this statement only holds so much weight. On book 4 currently.), and I cannot wait for those around me who don’t know what’s yet to come to finally catch up. It’s going to be epic! I don’t know about Red Wedding proportions, but people will be talking.
Zac’s #1 Pick: Mad Men‘s Final Season (April 13th) – We will only be getting seven new episodes of Mad Men in this first half of the final season, but that doesn’t mean I’m any less excited. Matthew Weiner has a chance to top Breaking Bad as the best TV show of the modern era and I can’t wait to see what will happen with Don Draper and everyone else at Sterling, Cooper & Associates.
Zac’s #3 Pick: Louie Season 4 (May 6th) – I was often critical of Louie‘s last season, and Louie C.K. himself seemed to share my views. Taking an extended hiatus from the show to reboot his creative juices, I am hoping the show will be more consistently great again this year as the shows highest highs are as good as anything else on television. Season 3 might have been a bit uneven, but it also had the best episode of television that I have seen in the last many years. I have high expectations, I hope Louie can meet them.
Lauren’s #2 Pick: It doesn’t even matter that I haven’t been a big fan of either of The Hobbit films so far, the Lego games make all things better.
Zac’s #3 Pick: I will be getting this at some point, but might wait till they bundle the whole thing together since this is only part one & two. Which is LAME, fyi.
Zac’s #1 Pick: Child of Light (April 30th) – This is a gorgeous looking RPG that will be available for download and the early previews have me very intrigued. I only play RPGs once in a blue moon, but I think I might give this one a shot.
Alan’s #2 Pick: MLB 14 The Show (May 6th) – Now that there is no 2K baseball game coming out, I decided to make the change to the PS4, so I get the chance to play virtual baseball one more time. If it’s anything like its early predecessors, it should be fantastic.
Watch Dogs (May 27th)
Lauren’s #1 Pick: The Division and Destiny might have me a little more excited overall, but Watch Dogs was probably the first game that really had me itching for the newest generation of gaming. What can I say, I’ve always secretly wanted to be a hacker, so thank you Ubisoft for sending this our way. No technology will be safe from my prying eyes MWA HA HA!!!
Zac’s #2 Pick: The first game that might get me to pull the trigger on next-gen.
Don’t see something that would have been on your list? Let us know! And remember, these dates can always change so be sure to avoid writing them onto your calendar in pen.