Another reader question. Rob is pretty straightforward:
[A]ny 2013 movies you’re really looking forward to?
Indeed. My primary go-to guide is this io9 preview, which covers 77 sci-fi/fantasy flicks. Since that kind of stuff is definitely my bag, let me just run down a couple highlights, listed in chronological order.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation – I dug the first one. What else can I say? Bring on the mountaineering ninja battles.
Upstream Color – Shane Carruth has finally made his second movie. Being as how Primer is one of the masterpieces of the 2000s, I couldn’t be more excited for this. I’m especially atwitter over the Kubrickean visual rhymes all over the most recent trailer. I’ll go ahead and say that I hope this will not only be one of the best (if not the best) films of the year, but of the decade.
Oblivion – Cool trailer. Joseph Kosinski did an awesome job with Tron: Legacy, and the biggest misstep with that film was casting Garret Hedlund in the lead role. With Tom Cruise as the headliner, I’m thinking this will rock.
This is the End aka The End of the World – For some reason, I’ve become a huge Seth Rogen fan in the last few years. I still despise Superbad, but I’ve liked most of his other stuff. As much as I bag on raunchy comedy, the redband trailer made me laugh.
The Lone Ranger, Pacific Rim, RIPD – July’s gonna be packed. The first two films already have cool trailers out, and with Gore Verbinski and Guillermo Del Toro directing them, I’m pretty confident I’ll have a good time. Not nearly as confident about RIPD, but when I saw him speak at a convention, James Hong said that he got strong vibes (Blade Runner strength) about its potential. Good enough for me.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters – I dug the first one. What else can I say? Bring on the Fillion.
Riddick – I’m a fan of the first two films. I fully expect much spacefaring badassery.
The Tomb – Arnie and Sly team up to break out of a high-tech prison. Fingers crossed that Dominic Purcell is their man on the outside!
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For – I liked the comics. I liked Sin City. I even liked The Spirit. Odds of me liking this? Three to one in favor.
The World’s End – Pegg, Frost, and Wright re-team for genre shenanigans. What better reason for the world to end, if not to have them do a movie about it?
Ender’s Game – Let me clarify that I’m not looking forward to this per se. Gavin Hood is a hack, and my expectation is that he’ll screw this up. But it’s based on one of my very favorite books, so I’ll be seeing it no matter what. The line between fandom and masochism is oh so very thin.
Thor: The Dark World – The first one was surprisingly solid, and this one apparently has Thor versus the Ninth Doctor. Fantastic!
Saving Mr. Banks – A biopic about the making of one of my ten favorite films of all time? Yeah, pretty pumped.
Gravity – The director of Children of Men does hard sci-fi.
Snow Piercer – The director of The Host and Mother does a post-apocalyptic, socially-conscious… something. Really, I don’t know much about this one, other than the people involved make it a must see.
That’s the easy part. Other films I’m hoping will come out in the theater near me this next year are as follows:
Chinese Zodiac – Jackie Chan’s last action picture. Absolutely required viewing.
The Grandmasters – Wong Kar-Wai does period kung-fu epic. Advance word is that it’s incredible.
Amour – This should be out pretty soon near me. To say I’m “excited” to see it wouldn’t be accurate. Let’s just say that I expect it to be an experience I will appreciate having had once I’ve had time to recover from it.
Bullet to the Head, The Last Stand – More Sly and Arnie. Because I’m one of those idiots who went to see Expendables 2 opening day.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters – Probably really bad. Then again, the trailers make it seem like it has some Hong Kong-esque energy to it.
Parker – Statham plays Richard Stark’s (aka Donald Westlake’s) most indelible creation. Pretty jazzed about this, especially as a potential franchise. Parker aged along with the books (more or less), so Statham could conceivably have a lifelong ride with this one.
A Good Day to Die Hard – Duh.
Stoker – An English-language vampire flick by the director of Oldboy. Not enough to get me salivating, but the trailer was pretty sexy.
Dead Man Down, Oz the Great and Powerful – I’ll probably be seeing one of these for my birthday. Not particularly looking forward to either, but you never know.
To the Wonder – Terrence Malick hasn’t made a great film since The Thin Red Line, but everything he does is still worth seeing.
Much Ado About Nothing – I’ve already blogged about this one. Very excited.
Oldboy – I expect the remake to be better than the original. You decide if I’m joking or not.
The Monuments Men – I’m a fan of Clooney as a filmmakers, and this sounds like a cool Oscar-season ensemble piece.
That’s pretty much it for the ones I know I’m hyped about. There are a few big other big ones I know that I’ll see just because, and a few about which I’m on the fence. The biggest maybe-maybe-not film at the moment is probably Iron Man 3. I’m not a particular fan of the first two, though I liked the second one better than the first. I’m also a bit leery of films trying to tap into The Dark Knight in order to grant themselves some legitimacy, and it feels like Iron Man 3 might be going for that vibe. At the same time, it looks visually impressive, it’s gone Shane Black directing, and if there’s one thing the Marvel films have done pretty well, it’s build up the need for heroism, even if the heroes are flawed and human. One of the things I think the trailer did particularly well was have that chest cell behind the logo wink out, then wink back on again. A small gesture, but well-delivered. I know I’ll probably see it within a week or two of its opening; I just hope it tops the disappointing first two films.
All of that said, though, one of the things I most look forward to in any given year is the number of films that I hadn’t previously anticipated, but which completely take me by surprise in the most pleasant way. The above list is by no means exhaustive. I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for me that I haven’t anticipated.
So, dear readers: what are you planning to see in 2013? ☕