Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2013
2012 proved to be somewhat of a disappointment to me in the realm of films considering the amount of excitement I held for the year in cinema. While I did end up liking The Avengers, Brave, The Amazing Spider-Man, and The Dark Knight Rises a lot, each of these films have their fair share of problems that do not make them as exceptionally brilliant as most expected. However a new year is a upon us and instead of dwelling on the past, it is time to look towards the future!
10. The Wolverine
While X-Men Origins: Wolverine proved to be bland and forgettable, I am going to give this follow up film the benefit of the doubt. The fact that the film switched directors offers some cause for concern, however the source material the script borrows from seems stellar and, frankly, I miss Hugh Jackman in the role!
09. Star Trek Into Darkness
I will admit that the first trailer (or teaser for a trailer? Or trailer for the teaser?....fuck this trend) did not exactly catch my interest. Nevertheless the film is a sequel to the biggest surprise of 2009 that was the first Star Trek film in the rebooted series. I liked the film a lot so this sequel is definitely on my radar and adding Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain has proven to be a tantalizing mystery.
08. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
I had absolutely no reason to be excited for or even watch The Hunger Games. However, like with most things that receive a lot of attention, my curiosity got the best of me. Boy was I surprised. The Hunger Games is far from perfect (The first half is really interesting and the second half is mostly exciting but severely under-develops the character relationships) but I did enjoy it a lot. If nothing else Jennifer Lawrence was excellent and watching her on screen again, in a film adaptation of a sequel many fans insist is superior to the original novel, should be worth while.
07. Monsters University
Pixar is worrying me a little. Toy Story 3 was brilliant and I really enjoyed the unpopular Brave, however between those two films, Cars 2, and the upcoming Monsters University, Pixar has produced three sequels and a princess film in the last four years. Where are the 'why didn't I think of that!' stories and ideas that used to come from Pixar? Well....all that aside I have come around to the idea of a prequel to Monsters Inc. Much like how the Toy Story films were released as the children who grew up with them were getting older, those who were children when Monsters Inc. was released will now be roughly college-age, as are the characters depicted in the prequel. As long as they can use this concept to reach audiences and have social commentary in the way the Toy Story series did, then we may be in for something special from Pixar.
Arguably being the perfect age during the Disney Renaissance of the 80's and 90's, my love for Walt Disney Animated film classics only continues to grow as I get older. However, for the longest time I could not help but feel Disney was losing their touch in the 2000's following a string of film disappointments and disasters. Recently the studio seems to be heading down the right path once more as both Princess and the Frog and Tangled truly captured what I felt to be the missing magic that is found in Disney's most memorable films. Their upcoming film Frozen, based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale titled The Snow Queen, seems to following a similar route with talent behind both the scenes and the microphones. The studios previous two fairy tale films not only captured the spirit of the Disney classics but also improved in quality in my opinion, so hopefully this new installment will continue the pattern. Also, Kristen Bell fans...she plays the lead character.
05. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
I still have not seen The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as of this writing, however the Lord of the Rings films are among my favourites (Return of the King blew my mind away!) and I am not too concerned about the mixed reactions to the first installment of the Hobbit films. The main reason I am excited for the second installment regardless of how I will feel about the first film? Smaug. Enough said.
04. Thor: The Dark World
Thor was a huge surprise for me. Based on a generic trailer I did not expect much from the film and while the film was not perfect, it does have a lot going for it. The sets and costumes are excellent, the actors all embrace their characters and throw themselves into the roles (especially the praise worthy Tom Hiddleston), and the film was just pure fun overall. So my excitement for the film stems mostly from my love for the first film and the intriguing title made further enticing by the impressive new cast members.
03. Oz: The Great and Powerful
In spite of the fact that I hate the look of 'all CGI world' films such as Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland or the Star Wars prequels, I could not help but be impressed by what this film seems to be offering. Being a huge fan of the original The Wizard of Oz film, starring Judy Garland, I love director Sam Raimi's decision to have portions of the film presented in full screen black-and-white and others in widescreen colour to visually match the previously mentioned musical classic. With a cast of some of my favourite actors being led by an extremely imaginative director there is no reason for me not to be excited for this film. Plus, I do not know how anyone can consider his filmography and not be excited by the fact that Sam Raimi is bringing the Wicked Witch of the West, one of cinemas greatest villains, back to the silver screen.
02. Man of Steel
I have not kept my disdain for Zack Snyder's style of filmmaking or my reservations towards Christopher Nolan (whose style is perfect for Batman but does not immediately seem suited for Superman) as the films guide a secret. Having said that...I have been relatively impressed by the trailers released thus far. The mood seems serious in terms of taking the characters, themes, and story as serious as any other film. A sigh of relief to me considering everyone seems to hate superhero films with story depth and three dimensional characters in the wake of The Avengers. Snyder's usual tropes are nowhere to be seen and Nolan seems to have understood what makes Superman the ultimate superhero. Although the line from Jonathan Kent in which he contemplates the notion of Clark letting others die to protect his secret is very much out of character. More than anything every single cast member is enough reason to be excited for film just to see what these great talents bring to such iconic characters. Time will tell, but for the moment the film seems to be aimed at giving us a new Superman story while exploring what makes the character important and bringing a mythic feel to the film. I hope this delivers because we need an excellent Superman film!
01. Iron Man 3
Iron Man remains one of the greatest superhero films ever made by my estimation and Jon Favreau belongs in the company of Richard Donner, Sam Raimi, Bryan Singer, and Christopher Nolan as one of the great directors who truly captured the essence of the characters and world they were bringing to the silver screen. In fact, to me, Iron Man remains the best of the films to take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The films offers so much: A perfect Tony Stark in Robert Downey, Jr., sizzling chemistry between Downey, Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow, great humour, and engaging stories alongside the dazzling action sequences. Some were put off by the serious tone of the first trailer for the film, but me? I loved it. Yes, I love my action and fun in superhero films (Which by the way...those who are saying Nolan takes the fun out of Batman....what the fuck are you smoking?! I have blast with those films!) but I love them even more if they give me a story that allows me to engage with the characters as well. Shane Black is a talented filmmaker and there is no reason to doubt that he will make Iron Man 3 a great one.
What films are you looking forward to this year? Sound off below!