Friday, February 15, 2013

13 Anticipated in 2013

Each new year we have movies that we are aching to see. Films that we've talked about or tracked so much we may even know down to how many days till the particular film releases. A handful of years ago I pondered, why not jot them down and share, which is in a small way the genesis of this website. Anyhow, before I fall down a rabbit hole of memories, let's get into this particular post; my most anticipated of 2013. Last year I listed twelve films being the year was 2012, so I decided to follow suit and add one more being 2013. After the jump, check out thirteen films I can't wait to see in 2013.

At the time of writing this 2013 looks like an odd year at the box office. Most of the slated films are exclusively major studio releases with a few smaller scale films mixed in. The festival circuit is just getting under way however with Sundance wrapping up last month, so we can expect a new flock of films beginning to find themselves filling in the calendar year. The studio rat race over the last decade to gobble up every known commodity and make a film of it seems to be catching up with them, very few original ideas out there. Even my own list is plagued by sequels and reboots, only five out of thirteen selected titles are not sequels or directly linked to a previously developed property. In any regard, here's thirteen titles I am anticipating in 2013.

13. G.I. Joe: Retaliation
This film almost made my list in 2012 (when it was originally slated to release) but Paramount decided to post-convert the sequel to 3D and bumped the title to 2013. A reliable source has informed me that was not the only reason Paramount bumped the title to 2013. Back in early 2012 this source saw a test screening and in it Duke (played by Channing Tatum) was killed off early on in the film. Speculation leads me to think because of the poor test screening reception as well as Tatum's rise in popularity after a string of successfully released titles last year ("Magic Mike" and "21 Jump Street"), Paramount went back and altered the death of Duke in 'Retaliation' to keep him around a bit longer. Regardless, the sequel releases this year and I am very hopeful this film will be what we G.I. Joe fans are hoping for. "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" is set for release March 28th.

12. Runner, Runner
In 2011 I saw "The Lincoln Lawyer" and immediately knew I needed to keep an eye on the director Brad Furman. Now here we are in 2013 and I am patiently waiting his next feature "Runner, Runner." Bonus is the film stars one of my favorites Ben Affleck! And that's not all that tickles my fancy about this project, the writers behind "Rounders" penned the script. The thriller follows a a businessman who owns an offshore gambling operation and see's his relationship with his partner come to a boiling point. Playing the partner/protege is Justin Timberlake who continues to impress in the right roles. Overall this project has the right combination of talent behind it and just enough intrigue in the concept to make my list. "Runner, Runner" is set for release September 27th.

11. Jack Ryan
My fingers and toes are crossed for this one. I am a huge fan of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan character. To date I have enjoyed each and every installment of the CIA operative. While the first onscreen Ryan (Alec Baldwin) remains my favorite, I have openly embraced each of the new actors that have taken on the character (Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck). I hope I will be able to say the same about Chris Pine. On the positive side, Pine has yet let me down. While Pine has been in some lesser projects, his performance has elevated the films enough to continue to have faith in his acting skills. Still, I do have my reservations about this project. First, who knows how good the script is. There have been a ridiculous amount of treatments. So many in fact, I lost track. Second, while I am a fan of Kenneth Branagh as both an actor and a director he has his work cut out for him. His last directorial effort, "Thor" was pretty mediocre and before that his career behind the camera has been real hit and miss. One extreme highlight, Kevin Costner is in "Jack Ryan" and he's someone that I would watch in anything. Costner will play a highly decorated CIA operative who recruits and mentors Jack Ryan. Oh right, I forgot to mention, this is a prequel set before the events of the last Ryan installment "The Sum of All Fears." Having Costner in a pivotal role really amplifies my interest in this latest Ryan story. Again, my fingers and toes are crossed in hopes this will end up great not good. "Jack Ryan" is set for release Christmas Day.

10. Iron Man 3
The first piece in the next phase of Marvel Studios universe begins with "Iron Man 3" and I am really hopeful it will pack as big as a punch as the first "Iron Man" did back in 2008. There is certainly some reservation considering "Iron Man 2" is such a stinker, but Marvel knew to sooth fans worries by turning a new leaf and bringing some new talent to the project. They brought in writer/director Shane Black. As a writer, I have enjoyed to loved all of his work. His directorial debut "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" let me know that he has a handle on working behind the camera. That film is certainly not as fantastic as you'd expect a comic book movie to be, but if the "Iron Man 3" trailers are any indication, Black will make the transition just fine. This installment of Iron Man looks to be a bit darker than we've seen previously and also has the benefit of finally giving fans one of Iron Man's biggest foes, the Mandarin. Here's hoping Ben Kingsely's performance as Mandarin does not rival his villainous portrayal in "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" as Nizam. "Iron Man 3" is set for release May 3rd.

9. Stoker
Heard of Chan-wook Park? If not, you have some homework to do. Park is one of a handful of directors that I am interested in whatever they are working on. Even if the topic doesn't necessarily appeal to me, their previous work is so strong, it is worth checking out.  He earned that honor with his Vengeance trilogy. As for "Stoker" at the time of writing this, I haven't seen or read anything about the film. Haven't even looked at IMDb. All I know is it is Park's next film and heard a ton of positive praise come out of Sundance last month. Guess what, that is plenty. "Stoker" is set for limited release in the US and UK March 1st.

8. Spring Breakers
This looks like the most straight up movie Harmony Korine has made. If you don't know, Korine has primarily dabbled in abstract. His last feature-length film, "Trash Humpers" followed sociopathic elderly people who do exactly what the title says. It is no stretch of the imagination to say the film is as odd as his perspective. "Spring Breakers" however seems fixated on having the audience shocked by the fact he's taken child/teen stars and put them in extremely sultry roles and not the abstract. The film follows four broke college girls who decide to fund their Spring Break by robbing a restaurant. I won't deny that one of the main reasons I want to see this film is the simple carnal desire of seeing teen tv stars Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez in tiny bikinis but I really hope there is more than meets the eye. "Spring Breakers" hits limited cinemas March 22nd.

7. Elysium
Neill Blomkamp grabbed my attention with "District 9" in 2009 and I am extremely excited for his science fiction follow-up. Hell, I enjoyed "District 9" so much I have decided I to go dark on "Elysium." Meaning, I am going to try and skip most of the promotional campaign. As of right now, attendees of 2012's San Diego Comic Con are the only people to have witnessed any footage for the film. No trailer has released yet and like I previously said, I am already sold on this project. In 2009, SDCC attendees were treated to an advance screening of "District 9" and with "Elysium" having a August 9th release date, I'd bet the same will be happening at this year's event in July.

6. After Earth
Most have wrote off M. Night Shyamalan but I still believe that Shyamalan has something worthwhile to say with his films. Shyamalan got his fame from having released a string of reveal films (The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Village, and Lady in the Water), now in a second phase of his career I feel people are still expecting to get Sixth Sense-d with each new film even though it is clear Shyamalan has moved on from that aesthetic. "After Earth" is a science fiction adventure following a father and son exploring Earth some 1,000 years after the planet was evacuated. The trailer for "After Earth" set the table beautifully and I seriously can't wait to see how this one turns out. Plus we get to see the role Will Smith took over portraying Django in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained." "After Earth" releases June 7th.

5. Despicable Me 2
This is honestly a surprising pick for me. "Despicable Me" was a film I did not want to see. I thought it looked weak at best, I mean what has Universal animation done of note? Regardless, my family and I saw it at the drive-in and I fell head over heels in love with Gru and the girls he reluctantly adopts. As a father, this film hit me like a ton of bricks, plus it is hilarious (even the simpleton Minions). I have always been a big fan of Mad magazine's Spy vs. Spy and "Despicable Me" much to my delight featured a storyline that rivaled the joy of Spy vs. Spy to the letter. So, this is a sequel I have high hopes for. Can Universal animation strike gold twice? Doubtful, but I am looking forward to finding out when "Despicable Me 2" releases on July 3rd.

4. Fast & Furious 6
No one could have guessed twelve years ago that "The Fast and the Furious" would become one of the funnest and campiest action franchises. Sure Universal hoped that to be the case but I seriously doubt anyone expected it to actually happen. But, here we are with "Fast & Furious 6" ready to release and seventh film close behind. These films have been getting bigger and more ridiculous with each new installment. Having seen a few trailers for Part 6, it is obvious this series still has plenty of ideas on how to get even more explosive then the previous film(s). Recently a spoiler revolving around the end of the 6th film and casting for the 7th Fast & Furious film hit the net and I really hope it turns out to be 100% accurate. It'll mean some extremely happy fans will be walking out of "Fast & Furious 6" May 24th.

3. The World's End
All I needed to know was "The World's End" represents the end of the Blood & Ice Cream trilogy. What is the Blood & Ice Cream trilogy you ask? It is a series of films that director Edgar Wright has done with the wonderful comedic duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The first two films being "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz."At long last the salivating and waiting can cease, fans will be able to devour the final piece to the trilogy. Presently all there is for this film is a poster and the synopsis, but I could careless, I don't need to see anything all I need is the release date to arrive so I can sit in a darkened theater and enjoy. "The World's End" hits the US on October 25th while most of the world will see it before that hitting cinemas starting with the UK on August 14th.

2. Star Trek Into Darkness
J.J. Abrams did good with the franchise reboot of Star Trek, so much so I am fully sold on the sequel. About a month ago I watched the teaser to "Star Trek Into Darkness" and it was enough for me to say I'm going dark on it. Much like a few other films on this list, I do not need to see anything further. I have made my mind up that I want to see it and I don't need to see a bunch more previews, reveals, or spoilers before I sit down to watch the film. So many times I watch all of the trailers to a film only to find myself anticipating sequences shown in the trailer. That can (at times) take me entirely out of a film or leave me guessing how the film will unfold and I hate that. I want to experience the film unfold without a bunch of preconceived notions or imagery bouncing around in my head. I want the experience to be as close to untainted as I can get. "Star Trek Into Darkness" releases May 17th.

1. Man of Steel
Either WB is going to have another successful comic series on their hands or this will end up being 2013's "Green Lantern." Being at number one of my 2013 anticipated list you can guess which side I'm hoping for. Superman isn't my favorite superhero, not by a mile. There are actually a handful of characters I like way more, but he is a character I respect and revere. He is a figure I hope the best for. All of the previous Superman films I have really liked except "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace," yes even "Superman Returns." The first two teaser(s) for "Man of Steel" gave me a super boner that I can't hide. It appears Zack Snyder and WB have hit the perfect mood for the out of this world hero trying to find his place on Earth. The first full trailer for this film made me cry, no frigging joke, but that does sorta work against the film. My bar is probably set too high, I may need to lower my expectations but I'm really pulling for a superhero film that knocks me on my ass the way "The Dark Knight" did in 2008. Will it happen? We'll find out June 14th.

Finally here's a list of films I'm definitely seeing theatrically in 2013 but didn't make the cut above: Thor: The Dark World, Kick-Ass 2, The Wolverine, Lone Ranger, Pacific Rim, Insidious: Chapter 2, Riddick, Ender's Game, The Internship, The Purge, This is the End, World War Z, R.I.P.D., The Tomb, Machete Kills, Gravity, Haunt, Malavita, The Great Gatsby, I, Frankenstein, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Anchorman: The Legend Continues, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Last Vegas, Pain and Gain, and 42.

How about you, what are some 2013 titles you are eagerly anticipating?


Great list and really awesome movie reviews last night I got to hit this MovieGravity to read review an rating about Birthday parties. They really presented good list of movies like here.