2013 is shaping up to be a year of fantastic films, and as a film buff myself, I can say that I'm uber-excited for the 2013 slate of big budget fare that Hollywood is set to bring upon our cinematic table.
By all means, feast upon this list and get ready for what's sure to be another amazing year of films. (P.s. this list is not in any kind of order of importance...it's just a list.) Enjoy!
1. Pacific Rim
If you’re not in anticipation of Guillermo del Toro’s epic Godzilla movie then I just have a little less respect for you. Del Toro is famed for not only his great storytelling process, but his amazingly creative creature creations of which I’m sure this film will not be in short stock of.
Add to that a wonderful cast in TV and screen vets like funnyman Charlie Day, the always imposing Ron Perlman, Idris Elba plus fresh faced big-screen newcomer Charlie Hunnam, and you have the recipe for the biggest sci-fi action epic of the year. I’m buying my tickets now!
2. Man of Steel
If you missed the new trailer for Zach Snyder’s epic new Superman reboot, then you missed one of the best trailers I’ve seen this year. Christopher Nolan, who is producing the film and no doubt has injected some of his dark Batman Trilogy sensibilities into this film seems to be allowing this film to coexist inside of his Batman-verse, and director Zach Snyder has been responsible for some of the most impressive visual effects in cinema in the past decade.
The Superman character himself is kind of a goodie-two shoes dork, so this film is going to have to be grounded in some sort of plausible reality for it to work, and judging from the trailer that’s exactly what Snyder and co. have accomplished. Finally we might get a Superman film worthy of the character’s tremendous lore.
3. Iron Man 3
I’ve enjoyed every Iron Man film, as Jon Favreau has done a fantastic job helming the series thus far, but there’s no reason to shed tears as Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) is a fantastic replacement.
One look at the trailer will show you that the Iron Man looks to be his most vulnerable ever, and that might provide for a darker, more relatable and ultimately redeeming piece of action cinema that might be one of the years best.
4. Star Trek Into Darkness
J.J. Abrams first Star Trek film was way better than it should have been, and it’s probably unfair to say so being that his Mission Impossible III film was probably the best film of that series. Lets face it—the man can make a good film.
Sure he loaded the original Star Trek with loads of lens flare—his ode to his idol Steven Spielberg—but nonetheless the canted images of Star Trek popped off the screen and made of a quite enjoyable filmic experience. Expect no less with this film as Abrams intends to almost break and destroy the young team of the U.S.S Enterprise.
Elysium is Neill Blomkamp’s—a protégé of Peter Jackson—follow-up to his surprising hit District 9, which combined documentary style sci-fi and action into one of the best sci-fi films of the past decade. Even lacking any star power, District 9 blew my socks of with it’s humanizing of an alien genre—something that you rarely see in film today—while also providing a nice social commentary on racism and prejudice.
Well, for Blomkamp’s follow-up, he’s brought along screen stars Matt Damon and Jodie Foster for a sci-fi roller-coaster that has Damon’s character fighting to bring equality to a world where on the 99% get to live on a space station while the rest of us cling to life on a ruined earth. Count me in on this one.
6. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For
Robert Rodriguez has been promising this film for years now ever since the critically and commercially accepted original blew everyone’s mind with it’s mix of animation cells and live-action, not to mention it’s revival of Mickey Rourke’s career and a—finally—spirited performance by aging action star Bruce Willis (the stripping scenes starring Jessica Alba didn’t hurt either).
Clive Owen is also back for this installment, and if the sequel is anything like the original, or better, than you can guarantee this will be on everyone’s DVD shelf come Christmas time.
7. Gangster Squad
Gangster Squad has a pulp-ish color palette that strays away from the nourish sensibilities of the gangster film genre and looks more like a straight up action thriller, but it’s loaded with talent like Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Nick Nolte and more. With Sean Penn donning some facial prosthetics as the devilish antagonist, this film feels like a rock-roll version of The Untouchables…and I’m okay with that.
Possibly no other film on this list has me more excited that Stoker, the American, English language debut by über-talented director Chan-wook Park (Oldboy). If you haven’t seen his Oldboy—the American remake by Spike Lee is also on this list—then you’re missing out on one of the most stylish and inventive Korean films to come out in quite a while.
Stoker looks like a ghoulish atmospheric, high-tension of a nourish, murderous thriller, with fantastic looking performances from leads Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman. This is one film you will not want to miss.
9. After Earth
Despite his last efforts falling somewhere around the toilet bowl, I still have faith in the talents of M. Night Shyamalan. He just needs the right kind of script, and After Earth looks to be a good post sci-fi adventure featuring one of the most likeable and bankable actors on the planet, Will Smith.
The pairing of these two Hollywood legends is undeniable, so I’ll be seeing this film just on merit and hoping the film follows through on it’s promises. Smith really doesn’t make horrible films, so I expect he had enough good taste to sign his son onto this film based on the strength of the script. Of course, the film’s visuals look amazing, but will the story follow-up equally as strong? We’ll see.
Tom Cruise is another actor who doesn’t really make bad films, and writer/director Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) knows how to handle big budget sci-fi visuals. Screenwriter William Monaghan is on board for this film, who wrote the fantastically paced and plotted The Departed, so I have high hopes for this film about Cruises character who goes back to a war ravaged earth only to find the existence of a colony of humans thought to be extinct.
11. Pain and Gain
Finally, director Michael Bay is making a film that doesn’t involve towering robots fighting other towering robots that turn into vehicles. With Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Mark Wahlberg starring in this “true story” of two bodybuilders that get involved in a kidnapping scheme, it seems that Bay is going back to his Bad Boys roots…and I like that.
Dwayne Johnson is the heir apparent to the Arnold Schwarzenegger throne, and Marky Mark…well, he’s serviceable. But, there’s a chemistry that seems to be building there, and I’m very curious to see how this action-comedy plays out as I have high hopes for it.
12. World War Z
This is a film that has been plagued by production problems from the start, and it is a film that was thought to be unfilmable based on the novel’s history-book style presentation, but the trailer has redeemed hopes for me that this film may be an enjoyable zombie flick. With Brad Pitt starring, let’s hope this thing doesn’t fall apart halfway through, but by the looks of the trailer this may be the most epic zombie film of the year.
13. Kick-Ass 2
No director Matthew Vaughnisn’t returning for this second installment of Kick-Ass, which is a crying shame because he helped make the original film a bloody-good time, but perhaps new director Jeff Wadlow can follow Vaughn’s formula and continue the great ass-kickery that made the original one of the sleeper hits of 2010.
It also doesn’t hurt that the original stars are returning along with the recently absent Jim Carrey and Latino favorite John Leguizamo. Let’s hope we’ll see Chloe Grace Moretz slicing and dicing bad guys up again like nobody’s business.
14. The Wolverine
The first series in the Wolverine franchise was a forgettable piece of garbage, with James Mangold directing (Walk the Line) chances are we’ll get a film a little heavier in narrative and drama with good spurts of action instead of a bunch of cheesy and downright awful CGI sequences that we received in the first one.
Also, this film is expected to tie into the Marvel universe a bit, which will help bring along the other X:Men films and create a bit of unity.
We haven’t got much to go on in this film yet except for the amazing premise of a recently slain police office who joins a team of dead police officers in search for the man who killed him. R.I.P.D. stands for the Rest In Peace Department, and it’s based on the graphic novel of the same name (of which I read and thought was fantastic).
Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges will be starring opposite each other, which is another reason to jump on this film’s bandwagon. Director Robert Schwentke is helming this picture, and he did a fantastic job with RED, which was equal parts action and equal parts black humor. Speaking of RED…
16. RED 2
I enjoyed RED probably more than I should have, but it’s undeniable that the film was a slick ode to action cinema starring aged veterans of screen like Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman firing weapons which we haven’t really seen before, and that was the allure of that action film.
While Morgan Freeman isn’t joining the cast this time around, another veteran is: Anthony Hopkins. Anthony Hopkins firing automatic weapons in an action film? Sold and sold.
17. 2 Guns
I’ll pretty much see anything with Denzel Washington in it, and if the word ‘Guns’ is in the film’s title, then I’ll pretty much buy a ticket. This actioner sees Denzel teaming with Mark Wahlberg as undercover agents set-up by the mob.
While the premise doesn’t sound too original, you can bet that you’ll be seeing Denzel screaming and shooting at bad-guys in all his blinky-face glory…and that’s just dandy with me. Plus, Denzel, with his advancing age, doesn’t have too many more of these roles left in him, so let’s give the guy some support y’all.
Ah yes…the film many of fan-boys do not want to be made. Sure Chan-wook Park made an amazing version of the Asian manga, Oldboy, but Spike Lee promises that his film will be more of a reinterpretation of that comic and not a straight remake of Park’s film. Does that mean we won’t be seeing a live squid-devouring scene by star Josh Brolin?
That remains to be seen, but I’m curious as ever to see how Lee handles the source material here and if he can make a film as successfully violent and visceral as Park’s.
Do you love The Professional? I do. It’s one of my favorite films. What if I was to tell you that the writer/director of that film Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) is coming back to American cinema, and this time he’s teaming with Robert Deniro who’ll play a man on the run from the mob after they find him hiding out in a witness protection program? Sounds amazing right? You’re damn right it does.
Also, American cinema favorites Tommy Lee Jones and Michele Pfeiffer are co-starring. Welcome back Mr. Besson…welcome back.
20. The World’s End
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are teaming up once again under the tutelage of frequent collaborator, director Edgar Wright for what is being hailed as the ending to their "Blood and Ice Cream" trilogy, and if you haven’t see their other two collaborations, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, then you’ve missed out on some farcical action that’s loaded with dainty entertainment.
This one’s about five friends who reunite for a few brews only to unwittingly become mankind’s last hope for survival during the apocalypse. Sounds like fun? That’s because it will be.