14 to See in 2013 (Part I)

January 11, 2013 -

Brett Blackman

This week marks the release of the first film of 2013 I’m excited for (I’ll catch the Matt Damon plays a conflicted nice version of Daniel Plainview directed by Gus Van Sant on DVD or Netflix Streaming), Gangster Squad. And for those who are superstitious, here are 14 top films to look forward to in 2013.

They are listed in order of release date.

1. Gangster Squad (January 11th)
Josh Brolin is the cop tasked to bring down gangster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn in lots of makeup) in 1940s Los Angeles. He recruits Ryan Gosling, and others such as Anthony Mackie and the T-1000, to be his squad. Gosling also finds the time to seduce a gangster moll played by Emma Stone. The film is directed by Reuben Fleischer, whose film Zombieland (which also featured the very talented Stone) was one of the best films of 2009, and one of the most enjoyable films of recent memory. From the trailer, the film looks great in terms of cinematography, style and Gosling/Stone, and also promises plenty of punch-ups and shootouts to keep the action enthusiasts happy.

2. Warm Bodies (February 1st)
a. Supernatural romances, thought we got rid of those after the last Twilight film, to the celebration of just about everyone. However, Warm Bodies promises something different, than two supposedly attractive people (honestly I don’t get it for either of them) staring at each other for way-past-what-should-be-the-running-time. The film follows a Zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult) who comes across (and probably almost eats the brains of) Julie (Teresa Palmer), a human. Something strikes a chord with him and he begins to form a…well…relationship with the girl. The film is narrated by R’s inner monologue and features both John Malkovich and Rob Corddry in supporting roles. Most importantly it’s written and directed by Jonathan Levine, director of the criminally overlooked 50/50 (truly one of 2011’s best films). Here’s to hoping Warm Bodies is the best Zombedy since Shaun of the Dead.

3. The Place Beyond the Pines (March 29th)
Another Ryan Gosling entry. Gosling and director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine-so depressing to watch but so good) reteam for this film, which follows Luke (the aforementioned Mr. Gosling) a motorcycle stunt rider, who turns to bank-robbery in order to support his illegitimate son with Romina (Eva Mendes). Luke butts heads with ambitious cop Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper). The film had some great early reviews, and from the trailers and description sounds like a compelling crime thriller that could be a cut above the average March faire. Also it seems they went to the People Magazine list of pretty people to cast the thing.

4. Oblivion (April 19th)
Say, what you want about Tom Cruise, he generally makes great films and acts well in them (before you jump on that there are exceptions to every rule). Even if Tom Cruise weren’t in this, the film still looks like a compelling Sci-Fi piece, about a soldier, Jack (Cruise), stationed on an earth, which has been abandoned after a major war destroyed most of it. However, as Jack is about to complete his tour of duty, he discovers that not is all as it seems on earth and…well this is where director Joseph Kosinski takes a page from JJ Abrams and tells us not all that much (kind of prefer it that way). The film seems like it could be a cut above average sci-fi actioneers and is certainly toward the top of the most-anticiapted list. Also, the film’s score is being composed by M83, so music fans should definitely look forward to something special coming from that.

5. Iron Man 3/Thor: The Dark World (May 3rd/November 8th [okay fine I cheated on the dates thing] )
Seeing as they are companion pieces to one another, you can’t really ignore it. Let’s face it you were going to see both anyway. That or you’ll end up being the annoying guy between your two geek friends at the midnight showing of Avengers 2 in 2015, and they will hate you forever for asking questions every 10 seconds. So save your friendships and see both. In terms of plots, well not much is known about Thor but from set photos it looks like Game of Thrones: Superhero Edition (not a bad thing at all), which is only emphasized by the film’s choice of director Alan Taylor, who helmed many great episodes of the HBO drama. Iron Man 3, reunites Shane Black and Robert Downey Jr. in what appears to be a darker yet-just-as-fun Iron Man film. RDJ and Black’s last collaboration was the criminally under-seen Kiss, Kiss Bang, Bang, so very excited to see what these can do again.

6. Star Trek: Into Darkness (May 17th)
Like Sci-Fi, can’t stand Star Trek? Join the club. But JJ Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek was a game changer for yours truly and many others I know, who found Abrams’ film to be a compelling and exciting film. The plot is shrouded in secrecy (Abrams likes to do that), but it involves Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain, and a seemingly very dark (tone and cinematography) plot, with the trailer suggesting trying times ahead for the crew of the Enterprise. Very much looking forward to this one, especially since the cast from the first film are all returning, and hopefully their excellent chemistry has remained intact, and perhaps even grown.

7. Man of Steel (June 14th)
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a new Superman film. The last one was boring, but this one appears (at least from the trailers) to have an actual plot and things happening other than random flying around (see 2006’s Superman Returns for details). It’s another origin story but director Zack Snyder under some guidance from producer Christopher Nolan, seems to have produced something spectacular, questioning what the world would do is a super-being really came to earth. Look for the man of steel as it flies into theatres this summer (yes I did that).

Previews of the next 7 films will be posted next week. Enjoy!

8. Monster’s University (June 21st)
9. Despicable Me 2 (July 3rd)
10. Pacific Rim (July 12th)
11. Elysium (August 9th)
12. The World’s End (October 25th)
13. Anchorman: The Legend Continues (December 20th)
14. Jack Ryan (December 25th)


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