2013 is shaping up to be an exciting year in cinema and, while I’m not quite done yet with the films of 2012 (I’ll do a best of list for that around Oscar time), I think I should get this list done before I see any films from this year. So without further adieu, here’s my list starting from the bottom.
20. The Last Stand – Arnie’s coming back in full swing this year with The Last Stand, and while it certainly looks dumb it also looks f***ing awesome! Korean madman Kim Jee-Woon makes his Hollywood debut with this film, and his style is all over this. What it seems to lack in brains it definitely has in brawn, so I’m going to remain cautiously optimistic about this one.
19. Ender’s Game – I’ve never read any of the books, but the premise alone here has me interested. Whilst very little has been shown so far and I’m a little nervous considering what happened the last time Gavin Hood was handed a Hollywood project, this could hopefully be the start of a cool sci-fi franchise.
18. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For – I think it’s quite obvious that both Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller aren’t the men they used to be, but that can’t stop me from getting excited about finally re-entering the scummy streets of Basin City. I’m mainly optimistic about this one for two reasons. One: Joseph Gordon-Levitt just joined the cast. And two: Frank Miller isn’t taking complete writing credit, so let’s hope William Monahan has managed to cut down on the crap.
17. Carrie – I’m a fan of the original Brian De Palma film, but I think that not only is it a good time to take another stab at this story, it’s also in the safe hands of talented filmmakers. Chloe Moretz is a phenomenal young actress and I’m sure she’s found a way of making her version of the tormented psychic entirely her own. Let the blood flow!
16. Evil Dead – Speaking of remakes and blood, here’s one I never thought I’d say I’m looking forward to. Remaking The Evil Dead seemed like a bad idea to me for a long time. But the footage so far has convinced me it could work. If nothing else, they at least haven’t neutered out the gore. While it still looks a little too slick and clean right now, it will hopefully still stand shoulders above all the other pointless horror remakes.
15. Oblivion – Tom Cruise seems to be on a roll right now, and so far it looks like his next adventure won’t disappoint either. The design of this post-apocalyptic world looks both fresh and beautiful, and the trailer only hints at what sounds like an interesting story. Whilst many may be wary considering this is in the hands of Tron: Legacy’s Joseph Koskinski, I’m remaining confident that this will be an interesting ride.
14. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Whilst I haven’t read the books, I enjoyed the first Hunger Games film despite its many flaws. The first film left off in a way that has me interested in what happens next and I’m hoping they can iron out the flaws despite the film being in the hands of (in my opinion anyway) a much less talented filmmaker.
13. Monsters University – Pixar really needs a critical hit on their hands to get out of their recent slump, and I’m really hoping this one can re-establish the bar even though it doesn’t seem the most ideal way of doing it. Pixar has produced both amazing and terrible sequels, so let’s see what they can do with a prequel. But I’m still waiting for my Incredibles sequel!
12. Oz: The Great and Powerful – I am a humungous Sam Raimi fan and will watch anything of his without question and, whilst so far this one doesn’t seem all there, I’m looking forward to it anyway. The film so far looks a little too Burton’s Wonderland, but here’s hoping they’ve made a good tale that both honours the 1939 classic and does something new with the material.
11. Thor: The Dark World – The first Thor film managed to get past the flaws of its premise and create a strong new fantasy/superhero world to explore. And while it’s disappointing that Kenneth Branagh has moved on from the franchise, I’m confident that it will live up to the quality of its predecessor.
10. The Wolverine – Let’s get this out of the way: X-Men Origins Wolverine was a steaming pile of s***. But after the success of First Class and the new hands they’ve put the project in, I’m sincerely hoping that we can finally get the Wolverine movie the fans deserve. Just don’t fail me now or I’ll really need to get one of those amnesia bullets from the first movie.
9. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – The first Hobbit movie was enjoyable despite it’s problems, and here’s hoping Jackson has listened to the feedback and will accordingly adjust his second instalment. Considering I know the story already, I’m mainly curious how they’re going to end this one and how much of the book they’ll leave for the final film. Plus, we’d better see Smaug. His name’s in the bloody title, so if we don’t then that’s just false advertising.
8. Kick-Ass 2 – I’m a big fan of the first film and the graphic novel it’s based on. I’ve yet to read the sequel comic, but I’m excited for the film regardless. It’s sad that Vaughn has stepped down from directing duties, but if it’s even close to being good I’ll be satisfied.
7. Pacific Rim – Giant robots versus giant monsters. What more could you ask for from a summer blockbuster? Guillermo Del Toro is a visually charged director, and so far this is looking to be nothing but good old-fashioned fun. Let’s just hope I avoid singing the Power Rangers theme the whole time.
6. Gangster Squad – After the delay caused by the tragic events in Aurora this past July, Ruben Fleischer’s crime caper is ready to hit the screen. The cast alone is enough to get me excited, but Fleischer’s participation pushes this from interesting to must-see.
5. Man of Steel – Superman is due a true modern update, and right now it looks like it’s taking the right steps. Nolan’s influence is clear here, and hopefully he’s reigned in on Snyder’s more distracting visual trademarks. Henry Cavill so far looks perfect as The Last Son of Krypton, but we’ve yet to see him pull off the bumbling Clark Kent and that still has me worried. Come June, we should know if the world really needs a Superman.
4. Iron Man 3 – Jon Faverau’s departure from the director’s chair is sad, but in his place is the brilliant Shane Black who I’m sure will both follow the footsteps made by Faverau whilst bringing his own trademarks to the franchise. Shellhead is finally facing his arch-nemesis in this third instalment, and here’s hoping we’ll actually get a decent final battle in an Iron Man movie.
3. Star Trek Into Darkness – JJ Abrams’ first Trek film converted me from novice to casual fan, and the sequel so far looks to be topping it immensely. Everything looks scaled up and improved, and Cumberbatch definitely fits the shoes of the villain, whoever the hell he’s supposed to be.
2. The World’s End – Edgar Wright has so far yet to do any wrong in my opinion, and whilst his finale to the Cornetto Trilogy has so far remained quite secret it sounds great. That, and once he’s finished this, Wright finally moves onto the Ant-Man movie. Yay!
1. Elysium – District 9 was an absolute revelation and one of the most interesting sci-fi films in recent memory. Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up remains on the top of my list despite the lack of information about it. But with big names like Matt Damon and Jodie Foster attached, and a considerably bigger budget, I’m reasonably confident that we’ll be seeing another sci-fi classic come this September.