This year’s cinema offerings look tantalisingly promising, with only a few exceptions to steer clear of
As we cascade into a new year, so begins a new year of film. The pre-Oscar rush, the Valentine’s weekend opening the summer blockbusters and the Christmas crowd-pleasers; 2013 promises a mix of the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. On first glance, it appears to be mimicking 2011 in that it is a Year Of Sequels. Lots of animated sequels (why, gods of film? Why?). Lots of other more promising sequels too – the second The Hobbit, Thor 2, Kick-Ass 2, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Sin-City, 300, Iron Man 3, Star Trek. But as for original films, 2013 has plenty of those coming out too. And so, a preview of some the year’s ten most anticipated offerings:
Les Miserables (January 2013)
From page to stage to screen. The success story of Les Miserables is as epic as the saga contained within the pages of Victor Hugo’s novel, and brought to life so beautifully to the backdrop of Claude Michel-Schönberg’s incredible musical score. It is no mean feat to take what is perhaps the avid theatre snob’s most beloved musical, and condense it into a film. On stage, it plays out a dream. The film however looks to do it justice. The leaked clips and early trailers were spine-chilling, and the cast, pitch-perfect. And what better way to welcome the new year than with this heartbreaking tale of love lost, revolution fought, and redemption found?
Gangster Squad (January 2013)
It’s been a long time since the last good gangster film came out. Though none will ever reach the lofty heights of Goodfellas et al, this drama, starring Man of the Moment, Ryan Gosling looks highly promising. Ignoring the ridiculous name, the prospect of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling reuniting (their on-screen chemistry in Crazy Stupid Love was sizzling), the 1950s setting, and the LAPD-versus-Mafia premise makes this one not to miss.
Django Unchained (January 2013)
Oh Tarantino. It’s difficult to peak with your first two films and then spend the rest of your career trying to match them. One of the most anticipated films this year, the cast – Jamie Foxx, Leonardo Dicaprio, Samuel L Jackson – plays like a who’s who of ‘coolest guests for my dinner party’. The premise, a slave-turned-bounty hunter who sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal plantation owner, is equally as endearing as the cast. Set in the Deep South, this may be the rejuvenation that the genre of the American Western has been waiting for, and may well mark Tarantino’s return to his former greatness.
This is 40 (February 2013)
Opening on Valentine’s Day, Judd Apatow gives us love for a slightly older generation. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann play a couple struggling to come to terms with the fact that they aren’t quite in their 20s anymore. As with all Apatow films, expect very funny people, very funny lines and a very long running time. Despite their length however, his films are often worth it for the snatches of poignancy, barely noticeable amid the jokes, but which leave you thinking long after the credits have rolled.
Trance (March 2013)
And now a British film, brought to us by King Lord Duke Danny Boyle, UK film darling and bringer of all that is holy. As far as this nation is concerned, the man can do no wrong.
Oz: The Great and Powerful (March 2013)
Travel the yellow brick road, let fairytale sweep you up, let Sam Raimi take you to Oz. The film adaptation of Frank L. Baum’s 1900 prequel to The Wizard of Oz has an all-star cast, and previews promise glorious imagery and intricate storytelling. The thought of Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz as the three witches is tantalising, and Sam Raimi has a very good track record with actor, James Franco, last working with him on the Spiderman films. This may well be the fantasy film of the year.
The Great Gatsby (May 2013)
Postponed from its initial release date in December 2012, the much awaited film translation of the American classic is finally due to make an appearance. With Baz Luhrmann at the helm, and a cast so perfect that you’d think that F Scott Fitzgerald had them in mind when writing, the film promises all of the depth of the original source material, but with a modern, unique twist. The trailer contains a flurry of activity and serves as a dynamic insight into the giddiness of the 1920s. A perfect two-minute representation of the book.
Man of Steel (June 2013)
Hardcore fans might know Henry Cavill from the television show, The Tudors, where he played the rather charming Charles Brandon. Exceptionally easy on the eyes, he makes a perfect choice for the next Superman. Saying that, Superman has always been too much of a do-gooder for me, and the films are somewhat formulaic and overdone. Until this one. Zack Snyder promises this is a Superman unrelated to the previous films. Why play with a winning formula, I hear you say? Because the superheroes of yesteryear are gone. Our comic book protagonists are now multi-dimensional, angry, tortured by the weight of their own greatness. Expect a film which shows a much darker side to our eternally idealistic hero, and with Christopher Nolan on board, the internet is ablaze with speculation as to what this film may bring.
Malavita (October 2013)
Luc Besson, the French mastermind behind the excellent Leon: The Professional, teams up with De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer in a Mafioso black comedy. Based on a French novel, it centres around a notorious crime family relocated to rural France as part of the Witness Protection Programme, and struggling to adjust to everyday life. If nothing else, it is interesting to see that after all these years, De Niro and Pfeiffer prove that they are both still married to The Mob. Old habits die hard.
Romeo and Juliet (October 2013)
And to end the list, a classic revisited. The soft hues of the Italian renaissance paint the scenery for this new version of a very old love story. Director, Carlo Carlei is sticking closely to the original story for this version, a far cry from Baz Luhrmann’s chaotic 1996 retelling. Interestingly, this is the first time Juliet is being played by someone close to the 13-year-old character’s age – the actress playing her is 14. Watch out for Gossip Girl’s Ed Westwick playing Tybalt, and a well-cast Damian Lewis as Lord Capulet.
And there you have it. Ten of the year’s best, handpicked from the hundreds due to hit our screens. The last few years have been some of the best in cinema history – 2013 has a lot to live up to.
And just to make sure it does, here are a few to avoid:
Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith 3D
Of the many films reissuing in 3D this year, this was probably the most ill-advised. It was bad enough in 2D. All the dimensions in the world wouldn’t make the acting in this any less flat.
A Good Day to Die Hard
With a tagline like ‘Yippe-ki-yay Mother Russia’, what’s not to love? Well, everything, actually. Opening on Valentine’s Day, this is the film to take your wife to if you want a divorce. As a diehard (excuse the pun) fan of the original, seeing both the tagline distorted and John Mclane as a pensioner is just unnecessary.
The Fast and the Furious 6
There have been 6 Fast & Furious films in my lifetime. This is very upsetting. I’m assuming the plot will involve cars, a race, Vin Diesel perpetually in a vest, Vin Diesel in a fight, Vin Diesel driving his car fastest, and Vin Diesel emerging triumphant. Someone give the man a medal. And another item of clothing.
One Direction: The Movie
So I’ll be the first to admit that the One Direction boys are a guilty pleasure of mine. They’re adorable, their songs are catchy, and the fans clearly have a lot of love for them. And now they have a film! Which… no.
Images from: http://poachedmag.com/2013/01/09/5-reasons-to-catch-gangster-squad / http://www.lesmiserablesfilm.com/splashpage / http://drafthouse.com/movies/django_unchained/austin / http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/this-is-40-20121211 / http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2012/11/14/trailer-talk-oz-great-powerful / http://www.contactmusic.com/news/the-great-gatsby-trailer-no-2-suave-and-glitzy-effort-from-baz-luhrmann_3426931 / http://www.moviesushi.it/cinema/item/8485-robert-de-niro-sara-il-protagonista-di-malavita-il-nuovo-film-di-luc-besson.html / http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/movies/2012/05/romeo-and-juliet-hailee-steinfeld-douglas-booth-movie-twilight-vampires-cannes.html
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