Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Blog: My most anticipated films for 2013

We're quite a way into 2013 already, and sadly, not one good film has been released yet. (Why do crappy horror reboots and spoofs appeal so much?) So, to remind us all that 2013 won't all be crap in the cinema, here's my list of the films I am most anticipating this year.

I should say, this is just my opinion, not me predicting what films from this year will be the best.


Honourable Mentions:

Oz The Great and Powerful May look like Alice In Wonderland, but Sam Raimi directing makes me hopeful that this won't be 2013s answer to Tim Burton's overblown film.

Now You See Me Coming out of nowhere with one of the better trailers I've seen in a while and an intriguing plot, it looks like this could at the very least be a fun film.

Kick-Ass 2 The sequel to the best superhero film of 2010 is said to follow the comic book it's based on much more closely than the first film did. Having read the comic, this leaves me with mixed reactions as to what may be appearing. But the idea of Jim Carrey starring makes me even more hopeful.

The Last Stand Arnie makes his comeback in his first lead-role since Terminator 3, directed by Kim Ji-woon and starring Johnny Knoxville. Looks like it could be, at worst, a really entertaining guilty pleasure.

Elysium Neill Blomkamp's second directorial film boasts an interesting concept, a stellar case and has already gotten rave reviews from early screenings.

This Is The End A film about the end of the world by the guys behind Superbad. Count me in.

John Dies At The End From Don Coscarelli, director of the brilliant Bubba Ho-Tep, his next feature film looks to be even weirder, and perhaps just as fun.

Monsters University Despite a teaser trailer lacking in laughs, my anticipation for the prequel to Monsters Inc grows ever higher as the release date gets closer.

In Your Eyes A paranormal romance written and produced by Joss Whedon. Post-production had finished back in September, so unless there are anymore delays for whatever reason, expect this to release in 2013.

Warm Bodies From the look of the trailer, we can forget about it being a zombie version of Twilight and focus on it looking funny, which shouldn't be surprising since it's from the director of 50/50.

20. Anchorman: The Legend Continues

Release Date: December 20th

Premise: Barely anything is known about this film when it comes to the plot. There were rumblings that it could be a musical, and that a custody battle and bowling might be included, but as of a May 2012 interview, director Adam Mckay says nothing is set.

Why: If you know me, then you will know that Anchorman is my favourite comedy film of all time. So the idea of a sequel with pretty much all of the main cast and crew from the first film returning gives me high hopes for this one.

Hint of Doubt: I am still skeptical about this film, as many great comedy films (and films in general) have had sequels which cannot match the first film.

19. Pacific Rim

Release Date: July 12th

Premise: Giant Robots VS Giant Monsters. Nuff said.

Why: The concept of Giant Robots VS Giant Monsters is enough of a reason on its own, but the fact that it's directed by Guillermo Del Toro will make it more than another soulless Transformers film that's only here to visually excite 13 year old boys. Plus, with a cast like Idris Elba (The Wire, Luther), Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy), Charlie Day (Horrible Bosses, It's Always Sunny) and Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy), how can you not get excited?

Hint of Doubt: Can it live up to the hype surrounding the idea of Giant Robots VS Giant Monsters?

18. Thor: The Dark World

Release Date: November 8th

Premise: Thor battles to save all of the Nine realms from a mysterious enemy older than the universe itself. However, a primal race run by Malekith, who is out for revenge, intends to descend the universe into darkness.

Why: If you know me, then you'll know I am a massive fan of comic book films, be they DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse or any others. Thor made a spectacular debut back in 2011, so to return to the world of Asgard is a trip i'm more than excited to take. Despite Kenneth Branagh not continuing on with the franchise, we have Game of Thrones veteran Alan Taylor directing, and the cast will be joined by Lost's Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr Eko) and the Ninth Doctor himself, Christopher Eccleston.

Hint of Doubt: Thor was the big question mark of Marvel Phase One, as it was wondered how audiences would react to Gods in the same 'verse alongside Gamma radiated beings, WWII super soldiers and men of Iron. People reacted with loving praise, so the question now is whether the audience will react the same when the mythology is expanded even further than the first film went into.

17. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Release Date: October 4th

Premise: The film will be split into four different storylines.

A Dame to Kill For: Dwight McCarthy is called by his former lover, Ava Lord, who wants his help to escape her abusive husband, billionaire Damien Lord. However, Dwight soon learns that Ava's true intentions are much sinister than they appear.

Just Another Saturday Night: After Marv sees Nancy leaving with Hartigan, he starts drinking and later sees a group of teenagers torturing homeless people. He intervenes and ends up waking up the next day surrounded by dead bodies with no memory of what happened the night before

The Long Bad Night (Original Story): Set after Hartigan's suicide, Nancy tries to survive the remainder of the night with Roark Junior/Yellow Bastard's men on her trail.

Untitled Original Story: Johnny, a cocky gambler, disguises a darker mission to destroy his most foul enemy at his best game

Why: Sin City was one of the absolute best films of it's year of release, so to have a sequel finally come feels too good to be true. The idea of having two original stories may seem sacrilegious to the original comics, but considering creator of the comics Frank Miller is on board, that makes them seem more like proper stories than stories just for the films.

Hint of Doubt: Frank Miller did direct the awful The Spirit, plus there's that rule of diminishing sequels.

16. Dead Man Down

Release Date: March 8th

Premise: Victor (Colin Farrell) is an enforcer to a New York City City boss who was responsible for the deaths of his wife and daughter, an act that Victor seeks revenge for. Victor turns detective when his boss is under threat from an unknown killer. During this he is seduced by Beatrice (Noomi Rapace) who blackmails him into helping her with her own search for vengeance

Why: While I do prefer David Fincher's adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo to Niels Arden Oplev's, I did still like the latter's version and will not deny how well done it was. So i'm excited to hear he's teamed up with former TGWTDT star Noomi Rapace and Colin Farrell (who seems to act better in the smaller films like Seven Psychopaths and In Bruges as opposed to big budget ones like Daredevil and Total Recall).

Hint of Doubt: Terrence Howard is set to play the films villain, but the problem is that he isn't a good actor. So if he doesn't pull out a good performance, then the villain may not seem as threatening as he should be.

15. The Worlds End

Release Date: 14th August (UK), 25th October (US)

Premise: Five childhood friends reunite after twenty years to repeat a legendary pub crawl from their youth, returning to their hometown once again to attempt to reach the fabled pub "The World’s End". Over the course of the night, they begin to realise that the real struggle is "not just theirs but humankind’s", and completing the crawl becomes the least of their worries.

Why: The long-awaited final part of Edgar Wright's 'Blood and Ice Cream' trilogy makes its appearance. Edgar Wright's wonderful direction and many brilliant callbacks that are seen throughout his works make his films a joy to watch, so couple this with the wonderful Simon Pegg/Nick Frost buddy duo makes this one to watch.

Hint of Doubt: After Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, expectations will understandably be high. So what if it doesn't match said expectations?

14. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Release Date: 13th December

Premise: The film continues where the first left off, with Bilbo and the Dwarves on their mission to recover the Dwarf home and the appearance of Smaug the gold-loving dragon.

Why: Need I mention it's a return to Middle Earth on the big screen? Despite any problems, Peter Jackson can deliver an enticing story, wonderful visuals and let us not forget how brilliant Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen are in their roles, so the chance to see them both on screen again is worth the ticket cost.

Hint of Doubt: The first film was overlong, overused the CG and had too many Dwarves to divide the screentime amongst. What if this one makes the same mistakes?

13. Side Effects
Release Date: February 8th

Premise: A woman turns to prescription medication as a way of handling her husband's upcoming release from prison.

Why: From the trailer, this looks to be a really gripping film that's sure to mess with your head, and I cannot get enough of films like that.

Hint of Doubt: It feels like it could be one of those films that could easily veer into ridiculous territory.

12. Gravity

Release Date: N/A (after being pushed back from last year for 3-D. Thanks, studio dicks.

Premise: In Earth's orbit, satellite debris hits a space station, destroying most of it and killing all but two astronauts. The remaining astronauts fight for survival and to return home.

Why: Alfonso Cuarón is the man responsible for one of the best films i've ever seen: Children of Men. Apparently, the film is going to be done without any make-up, little dialogue and long takes, which is pretty ambitious, but I have faith in Cuarón, and expect great things and possible award nominations.

Hint of Doubt: Ambitious does not always translate well onto the big screen or with the viewers, so there is a chance the long takes and little dialogue will fail, or fail to get audiences to see the film.

11. The Monuments Men

Release Date: 26th December

Premise: In a race against time, a crew of art historians and museum curators unite to recover renowned works of art stolen by the Nazis before Hitler destroys them.

Why: The cast alone is worth this film netting a place on this list. Daniel Craig, George Clooney (who's also writing and directing), Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman, The Artist's Jean Dujardin,  Hugh Bonneville. Excited yet? Plus, Clooney has proved he's just as good at directing and writing with The Ides of March.

Hint of Doubt: It could be too ambitious a film to work on screen.

10. Much Ado About Nothing

Release Date: June 7th

Premise: Shakespeare's classic comedy is given a contemporary spin in this film by Joss Whedon, a name that may be more familiar to you after a little film called The Avengers.

Why: Written, directed and produced by Joss Whedon, this was filmed in his house for 12 days during the time he was making The Avengers. At the very least, it'll be curious to see how this will turn out.

Hint of Doubt: Can Shakespeare's tale work as well within a contemporary setting?

9. The Wolverine

Release Date: July 24th

Premise: Logan (Hugh Jackman) travels to Japan, where he engages a mysterious figure from his past in a fight that has lasting consequences which he must give an "ends justify the means" stance on.

Why: Set after X-Men: The Last Stand, the film will focus on the fan-favourite mutant after the X-Men have been disbanded. Based on Chris Claremont's brilliant limited series comicfrom 1982 , the film looks to do a better job of showing Logan as a person than X-Men Origins: Wolverine attempted (and failed) to do. Plus, it's always good to see Japanese characters not played by white actors (The Last Airbender).

Hint of Doubt: James Mangold did make Knight and Day...

8. Broken City

Release Date: January 18th

Premise: Former NYPD cop Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) begins following the wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) of the New York City mayor (Russell Crowe), and uncovers a much bigger scandal.

Why: The trailer makes this look to be an enticing drama with an engaging mystery. Plus, Russell Crowe looks to make a great villain just as Mark Wahlberg looks to prove why he deserves to be an Academy Award nominee.

Hint of Doubt: Mark Wahlberg is an actor who'll shift between good films and bad films more than most actors. For every The Departed and The Fighter, there's a Max Payne and Planet of the Apes. So it may as well be a toss-up as to whether this'll be good or bad. Plus, it doesn't help that this film's being released in January, which is notoriously known as the month of release for bad films. But then again, The Grey was released last January...

7. The Place Beyond The Pines

Release Date: March 29th

Premise: A multi-generational story of a motorcycle rider (Ryan Gosling) who considers committing a crime in order to provide for his newborn child, an act which puts him on a collision course with a cop-turned-politician (Bradley Cooper).

Why: Both Gosling and Cooper are two of the best actors to appear in the last decade, so to see them facing off is an opportunity too good to pass up. Plus, early responses from TIFF have been overwhelming and Derek Cianfrance has truly assembled a great cast, including Dane DeHaan, a wonderful young actor who was the breakout star in Chronicle.

Hint of Doubt: I've heard that the film's pretty much a three-part saga, so there's always the chance only one or two parts will actually be good.

6. Disconnect

Release Date: April 12th

Premise: Disconnect is a drama that interweaves three different stories, taking a hard look at the overwhelming control the internet plays over most lives in modern culture.

Why: I had not heard anything about this film until recently, but everything I've heard about this film now, from the performances to the writing, has been nothing but praise (especially for a performance from Jason Bateman). The fact of the matter is the internet plays a huge part on peoples lives nowadays, and I am increasingly anticipated to see this explored in this film. Plus, the idea that a film about making human connections in a world separated by the internet actually connecting with the audience would be a great feat.

Hint of Doubt: Hasn't the whole 'interconnecting lives' thing been played out since Crash?

5. Iron Man 3

Release Date: April 26th (UK), May 3rd (US)

Premise: Tony Stark faces a powerful enemy, The Mandarin, when he embarks on a quest to find those responsible for destroying his private world. Along the way, he discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: "Does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?"

Why: From the looks of the trailer and the synopsis, it sounds like this film will feature more development of Tony's character within a somewhat darker tone. Despite this, don't worry that it'll mean a loss of humor, as it's been reported the film's as quippy as it's predecesors, and Shane Black is an inspired choice for director, and a great choice for balancing a dark tone with light-hearted humor. Plus, you can't pass up the opportunity to see the Extremis storyline play out on the big screen.

Hint of Doubt: After sharing screen-time with Earth's mightiest heroes last year, can the world go back to simply watching one hero at a time again?

4. Man of Steel

Superman, bearing the famous "S" shield on his traditional red and blue costume, is shown handcuffed and being escorted by soldiers toward the viewer down a dark hallway. The film's title and release date is written underneath.Release Date: June 14th

Premise: Clark Kent is a journalist in his twenties who was adopted as a child after he was transported to Earth from the dying planet of Krypton. Raised with the values of his adoptive parents, he feels alienated because of his unique super abilities and struggles to find his own place in life. When the world is attacked, he becomes the hero named Superman to protect the Earth and its people

Why: Any fears I had about this film were more then regulated once the second trailer hit the web. It makes the film look like a magnificent take on one of the most well-known superheroes, and the fact that Christopher Nolan produced this film certainly helps matters.

Hint of Doubt: While I did enjoy Watchmen, 300 and Dawn of the Dead, Snyder did also direct Sucker Punch, which leaves me a bit worried as to how this film will turn out. 

3. Star Trek Into Darkness
A man standing against a ruined cityscape

Release Date: May 17th

Premise: After being called back home, the crew of the Enterprise find a seemingly unstoppable force which has attacked Starfleet and left the planet in chaos. Captain Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise are tasked with leading the deadly manhunt to capture the party responsible and settle an old score.

Why: J.J. Abrams blew the world away in 2009 by rebooting the long-running space franchise in such a spectacular manner, so the follow-up to that is very much highly anticipated, and it's helped that the trailer looks absolutely spectacular. The main talking point is whether Benedict Cumberbatch's villain is actually named John Harrison, or if he's a cinematic version of Kahn or Gary Mitchell, and the anticipation to find out is rather exciting.

Hint of Doubt: What if, after all this secrecy, we get the answers and the response is merely "Is that it?".

2. Stoker

Release Date: March 1st

Premise: After her father dies, an enigmatic uncle moves in with a girl and her emotionally unstable mother. Although she has suspicions about his motives, she finds herself drawn to him.

Why: The english-language debut film of Park Chan-Wook, director of Oldboy, with a script that was voted to 2010's 'Black List' of the top 10 unproduced screenplays in Hollywood, produced by Ridley Scott, and with a brilliant cast consisting of Nicole Kidman, Jacki Weaver, the underrated Matthew Goode and Mia Wasikowska, who was one of the few good things in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. Anything less than five star piece of brilliance will surely be a disappointment;

Hint of Doubt: There is the fear that Park Chan-Wook's film first film was be a disappointment.

1. Only God Forgives


Release Date: N/A

Premise: Ryan Gosling plays Julian, owner of a Thai boxing club which is a front for his family's drug smuggling money, who is forced by his mother to find and kill the person responsible for his brothers murder.

Why: The last time Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling made a film together was back 2011's Drive, which is my top film from that year and one of my favourite ever films. While reading the July 2012 issue of Empire magazine, they said "if you liked Drive, you are going to have an aneurysm over Only God Forgives" and went on to label it Winding-Refn's second instant classic. So it's only natural that this is my top choice.

Hint of Doubt: There'll always be a 'what if it isn't good?' fear, but at this point, it's a very small one.


What are your most anticipated films for 2013? Do you agree/disagree with my choices? Say so in the comments below

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