Movies I Wanna See Most: 2013


It is, in many ways, ridiculous to try and boil down an entire years worth of movie releases into ten slots, especially at the outset of the year when not everything is known about what might be coming in the latter part of the year. This is especially tough for someone like me who likes to go the theaters at least once a week (I was able to see 165 films in theaters or newly released on DVD & Blu-Ray in 2012) but for the majority of the general public, those who actually go out to the movies, this is not an low amount for them to see in a theater every year. That is how I like to think of this list; if I were only going to see ten films this year and could recommend films to go see without having myself seen them these would probably be them. Granted, I am a pretty big fanboy of comic book flicks and sci-fi movies as well as comedy so be warned when I say that my list won't include a ton of smaller, indie flicks that I hope for you to discover as the year goes by because I will likely be doing the same thing. No, these are the ones I know will be hitting theaters and I know exactly when they will be hitting theaters because I can't wait to see them. Your opinion may vary but even so, I hope you take a look into each of these and maybe find something you might find to be intriguing. It was extremely difficult to narrow this down to ten and so I have included an alternate list of ten as well, but for the main list we have five sequels, three big budget comedies (one of which is not a sequel), two summer tentpoles hoping to launch new franchises, one original sci-fi film and one new Martin Scorcese movie. Click the jump to see the full list.


10. This is the End (June 28) Written and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg this outrageous comedy should be a hysterical send-up of each of its stars. It isn’t hard to see this group consisting of James Franco (whos party is crashed by the apocalypse), Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, Jay Baruchel, Jason Segel, and Craig Robinson making fun of themselves but it will be interesting to see some of the other attendees including Rihanna and Emma Watson play versions of themselves. 2013 looks to be a nice year for comedy and hopefully by the end of the year this will stand near the top of the pile. Watch the Red Band trailer here.


9. The Lone Ranger (July 3) With star Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski re-teaming with one another after the first three Pirates of the Caribbean and 2011’s wonderful Rango it is needless to say that The Lone Ranger should be a gorgeous action/adventure epic. Though the production was plagued with plenty of issues and a much publicized battle over the budget the final film looks to be as fun as it is exciting. Armie Hammer seems to be taking the responsibility of leading man with ease and it has a wonderful supporting cast that includes Tom Wilkinson, Helena Bonham Carter, and Barry Pepper. Watch the latest trailer here.


8. Elysium (August 9) Back in 2009 we were introduced to a new directorial voice in the form of Neil Blomkamp. With his debut, District 9, the director turned the sci-fi and alien genres on their head by capturing these usually epic films in the style of a documentary. His highly anticipated follow-up titled Elysium follows Max (Matt Damon) who is an ex-con and is forced on a mission that could bring the fractured society to equality. The film takes place in 2159 where the rich live in floating cities and everyone else lives on the ruined Earth. The rest of the cast includes the likes of Jodie Foster, Diego Luna, and Sharlto Copley (who plays bag guy Kruger as seen in the inset picture).


7. The Wolverine (July 26) We have learned recently that this latest installment in the X-Men franchise will follow the events of The Last Stand rather than being more of a prequel a la the horrible X-Men Origins movie that we would all like to believe never happened. Jackman is back in the title role and has been paired this time with director James Mangold (Walk The Line). Mangold has promised a more focused Wolverine story derived from Chris Claremont and frank Miller’s universally praised comic series. The story is said to follow Wolverine as he ventures to Japan and comes to bad terms with a crime boss and falls for his daughter. Originally Darren Aronofsky was set to direct and though I would have really liked to see his take on a comic book film I enjoy Mangold’s work and look forward to what he might do with such a loved property, but no doubt one in desperate need of re-invention.


6. Star Trek Into Darkness (May 17) I was hardly eager to see J.J. Abrams original Star Trek in 2009. I was not an avid fan of the series and had never before watched an episode or film about Captain Kirk and his Enterprise crew. Needless to say, as Abrams sequel is now on my list I am very excited to see the continued adventures of Spock, Scotty, Uhura, Bones, and Chekov. I was able to find an IMAX in my local area playing the first 9-minutes of the film prior to The Hobbit (you can read my full description here) and if it promises anything it promises to be epic. Most are concerned with whether Benedict Cumberbatch is playing Khan or not, but as I have no real history with the series I am simply excited to see where in the universe Mr. Abrams takes his audience this time around. Watch the latest trailer here.


5. The Hangover Part III (May 24) Most people still have a bad taste in their mouth from The Hangover Part II as it was considered more of the same but director Todd Phillips has promised his third and supposedly final installment in the series will offer something different. Everyone is returning including Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, Heather Graham, even Mike Epps and Mike Tyson. Though most cynics of the second movie will dismiss this latest film before even giving it a chance I rather enjoyed the second film if not for its lack of imagination but for the opportunity to go on another wild trip with these guys. Let's be honest, the whole reason the first film worked was the chemistry between the three leads. Doug even seems to be in on the trip this time and so I am eager to spend some more time with the wolfpack while hoping Phillips does indeed follow through on his promise.


4. Iron Man 3 (May 3) I love that Marvel is continuing its stories as just as they would occur if this were truly happening. Many people complained about Iron Man 2 not being solely an Iron Man film and while I overall didn’t like the second installment as much as the first in the Iron Man series, that was the least of its problems in my opinion. With director Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) taking over directing duties this time around and following up the massively successful Avengers, there is a ton of expectation on the shoulders of Iron Man 3. If the first trailer is any indication though, we are in for something up to the challenge. Adding to the cast Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall and Ben Kingsley as fan favorite villain The Mandarin doesn't hurt either. While I enjoyed Thor, which will also get a sequel in 2013 subtitled The Dark World and hitting theaters November 8th, it is impossible to deny the charisma of Robert Downey Jr. and the super hero that kicked it all off for Marvel. That is why Stark made the list. Watch the trailer here.


3. The Wolf of Wall Street (TBA) Though it is fair to say that Leonardo DiCaprio could very well earn a nomination if not a win for best supporting actor in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, the actor is still covering his ground if he again fails to attract the votes of the Academy. In his Fifth collaboration with director Martin Scorsese (Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island) DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a stock broker who ran a boiler room in the 90's and was indicted in 1998 for securities fraud and money laundering. Scorsese seems back in familiar territory here and has rounded up a supporting cast for the ages including The Artist's Jean Dujardin, Friday Night Light's Kyle Chandler, Jonah Hill, John Favreau, Rob Reiner, and Matthew McConaughey.


2. Man of Steel (June 14) The first Superman film that will have no link to the original Richard Donner film, director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) promises us not your typical Superman tale but instead what it might actually be like to live in a world and possess such powers. The main theme of Superman has always been in the vein of idealism and going a little darker with this tale might be cause for some to have a knee-jerk reaction, but let us stay calm as the latest trailer promises as beautiful a tale as it does a more gritty one. Most fanboys have responded well to what we've seen so far despite early concern with Snyder being at the helm. Luckily, the fact Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight trilogy) is producing this film and it has given those same fanboys reason to believe and hope for the best. I struggled with whether to put this at the top of my list or not but I have never been the biggest Superman fan while I have been waiting for the number one film for eight years now...


1. Anchorman: The Legend Continues (December 20)
Since making a surprise appearance on Conan O’Brien back in March everyone has been excited at the actuality of another adventure with Ron Burgundy. Since that announcement though we have received very little info about the movie (other than that the news crew may play witches) except for a short teaser that premiered in front of The Dictator back in May. We were recently granted a concrete release date and though we will have to wait an entire year for this follow up to Will Ferrell’s biggest property I have optimistic hopes that it will be completely wroth it. Director Adam McKay (Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, The Other Guys) has spoke of things such as musical numbers and a storyline that centers around the 24 hour news cycle and diversity in the news room including Latino and African American anchors (which we all know is something fun to deal with, ahem, Veronica Corningstone). The entire cast is returning including Dave Koecher, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Christina Applegate and possibly Kristen Wiig. I can only hope this isn't the biggest disappointment ever, but I trust in the team of Ferrell and McKay and their track record is anything but disappointing. Watch the teaser trailer here.

10 Others to Consider...

A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III

After directing a few documentaries and short films and becoming Wes Anderson's writing partner on The Darjeeling Limited and Moonrise Kingdom, Roman Coppola has directed his first feature length film that will debut in February of this year. Starring Charlie Sheen, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, and Aubrey Plaza. The simple description is that of a graphic designer's enviable life sliding into despair once his girlfriend breaks up with him. Check out the trailer here.

Director: Roman Coppola
Writer: Roman Coppola
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray



Pain & Gain

Michael Bay isn't usually a director you equate with a most anticipated list but his first non-Transformers film in seven years has surely inspired some positive buzz around it. Starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson as bodybuilders in Miami in 1995 who become caught up in an extortion ring and kidnapping scheme that goes terribly wrong looks seriously engaging from the first trailer we were treated to a few weeks ago. The story is, believe it or not, based on a true story that was documented in a series of newspaper articles by Pete Collins of the Miami New Times. Watch the trailer here.

Director: Michael Bay
Writers: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Rebel Wilson



The Great Gatsby

Most people would assume that after Warner Bros. moved the release date of Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby from this past Christmas to the beginning of the summer movie season roster that it was a bad sign. I remain optimistic though as it seemed more a smart move than a timid one. Though the summer movie season is always crowded and December is much kinder to more prestigious projects Luhrmann has the appeal of Leonardo DiCaprio and a whole lot of flash. This may not be the hot summer film everyone will be looking forward to but it might end up being the one everyone is talking about. Watch the latest trailer here.

Director: Baz Luhrmann
Writers: Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton


Monsters University

Though as of late the powerhouse of Disney and Pixar has been slipping in its quality with Cars 2 receiving the worst reviews in the companies history and Brave not living up story-wise to the expectations most had for the first Pixar film with a female protagonist. This summer though it seems the studio is destined to regain its status as the leader in computer animation. Monsters Inc. is one of my favorite Disney/Pixar films and is much more deserving of a sequel than Cars ever had the right to. With Billy Crystal and John Goodman returning to give us a glimpse of Mike and Sulley during their days at college I can't help but think Pixar might have a good ole, full on comedy in store for its audiences this year. Watch the teaser here.

Director: Dan Scanlon
Stars: Billy Crystal, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi


World War Z

World War Z was in this same category on my list of most anticipated films for 2012, but was also pushed to this June in hopes of becoming a summer tentpole. While I am always interested in anything Brad Pitt decides to do it is the good word of mouth that surrounds the novel from which this film was adapted. The Max Brooks memoir is a collection of accounts in the form of first person anecdotes which lacks a singular narrative. How this will be turned into a film is still uncertain and seemed to cause a few issues as this production is most popular for being plagued with difficulties. Still, I am anxious to see how the final product turns out. Watch the trailer here.

Director: Marc Forster
Writers: Damon Lindelof and Matthew Michael Carnahan
Stars: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos and David Morse



Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall

I went into 2010's Kick-Ass not knowing what to expect and came out loving it. I enjoyed the film so much it ended up on my top 10 list for that year and now, after many many moments of not thinking it would come together we are on the verge of seeing the sequel. Though original director Matthew Vaughn (Stardust, Layer Cake) was too busy with the X-Men: First Class sequel (which he has since also passed on) and new director Jeff Wadlow doesn't have the greatest credentials the entire original cast is returning plus Jim Carrey as Colonel Star and Stripes. Count me in!

Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writers: Jeff Wadlow
Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse


Rush

The last time Ron Howard made a film it was 2011's The Dilemma. It seems to have been a tough road back for the once consistent director. 2013 might just be his year though as he has decided to take on the story of Niki Lauda, a formula 1 racer who nearly died in 1976 during a race.

Director: Ron Howard
Writer: Peter Morgan
Stars: Daniel Brühl, Chris Hemsworth and Olivia Wilde


Gravity

Any time I hear Alfonso Cuaron and sci-fi in the same sentence, I'm hooked. Though Gravity was originally scheduled for November 21, 2012 it has been moved to an undetermined date this year, I have read October 18 but this is unconfirmed. Whenever the film does finally arrive in theaters you can count me in as being there for the midnight show. Early reports from screenings last year call Gravity the most technologically advanced film of the new millennium wrapped in a subtle character study.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Writers: Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón
Stars: Sandra Bullock and George Clooney



The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

In what was my favorite book of The Hunger Games trilogy Catching Fire is, like every middle chapter in a series, the most satisfying. Though I would have liked to see director Gary Ross stay on board for the entirety of the film adaptations I can respect his decision to back out. Still, though I enjoyed I Am Legend, I am somewhat hesitant to be too confident in Francis Lawrence who may capture the scope of the games in this second installment but might not get all of the nuances of the character of Katniss as well as Ross did. Hopefully, Thanksgiving will prove more satisfying than usual this year.

Director: Francis Lawrence
Writers: Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth



Saving Mr. Banks

Following up The Blind Side for which his star Sandra Bullock won an Oscar, director John Lee Hancock might be poising Tom Hanks to be nominated for his sixth and possibly win his third award as well. In Saving Mr. Banks Hanks plays Walt Disney as he brings Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) from London to Hollywood in order to adapt her novel for the big screen. As this transaction turns into a struggle we learn about Travers early life in flashbacks and learn about her father (played by Colin Farrell) who inspired the character Mr. Banks in the book.

Director: John Lee Hancock
Writers: Sue Smith and Kelly Marcel
Stars: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks and Colin Farrell