The Big 2013 Movie Preview

Box Office

2012 was one of the biggest years ever at both the US domestic and the global box office. The year saw four films cross the $1bn mark which signifies true mega-blockbuster status: The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit and Skyfall and overall box office hit a huge $10,835.9 bn.

But what about 2013? There are lots of interesting looking movies out this year – in fact far more than I initially thought! So in this preview I thought I’d list in date order the ones I’m really looking forward to or just curious about along with my super concise almost One Line Verdict!

Gangster Squad
One Line Verdict: The buzz hasn’t been great, but it looks fun – kinda like The Untouchables!

Warm Bodies
One Line Verdict:  Looks fun, and Shaun of the Dead proved Rom-Zom-Coms can work.

A Good Day to Die Hard
One Line Verdict: Not heard much buzz on this. And it’s out in a few weeks which is NOT a good sign. Perhaps Fox is thinking A Good Day to Dump a Bad Movie?

One Line Verdict: The Rock! Vs. Bad Guys! In generic action thriller! At this point you’re either in or you’re out.

Jack the Giant Slayer
One Line Verdict: The trailers don’t inspire confidence but who knows – I have a feeling this is why Singer is rushing back to X-Men.

One Line Verdict: Park Chan-Wook’s US debut! This has been getting great buzz and could be a potential sleeper.

Oz the Great and Powerful
One Line Verdict: I just don’t know. I hope it’s good and I love Raimi’s work. The problem with movies that are this big is that they have to be hugely successful. There is no other option. Even a decent return of $500m worldwide will see this film labelled a flop so it needs to be excellent and really grab people’s attentions. It will probably be better than Burton’s Alice in Wonderland but the landscape has changed a lot since then and a $1bn is a big, big ask.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
One Line Verdict: It looks fun – Carrey & Carrel as rival magicians! That has to be worth a look right?

One Line Verdict: The Hit Girl version! Horrors are often hit and miss.

Olympus Has Fallen
One Line Verdict: This has the same plot as White House Down! But with Gerald Butler, Morgan Freeman and Antoine Fuqua. Is that a good or bad thing?

G.I. Joe: Retaliation
One Line Verdict: At the risk of losing all of my credibility but  have to admit I enjoyed part 1 – so there! It was good goofy summer fun (at least better than the Transformer’s sequels which I always compare them to). The trailers don’t look that great though. The cast is good (including “Franchise Viagra” The Rock) but a lengthy delay (to convert it to 3d… allegedly) and the fact that director Jon M Chu’s past films are all dance movies means the jury is out.

Evil Dead
One Line Verdict: This has been quietly getting some great advance buzz and strong reviews. This could be special!

One Line Verdict: The trailer looks cool – but so did Tron Legacy which underwhelmed me. It looks like the sequel to After Earth!

Pain and Gain
One Line Verdict: That man The Rock again! This time with Michael Bay slumming it on a $30m budget but getting back to his R rated roots! Trailer looks very good – fingers crossed!

Iron Man 3
One Line Verdict: Shane Black + RDJ x Tony Stark + Post Avengers Euphoria = Box Office Juggernaut

The Great Gatsby
One Line Verdict: Amitabh Bachan makes his Hollywood debut! This looks like some eye popping counter programming for the hectic action packed summer season. Baz Luhrman is a critical darling and the cast look first rate. The year’s first real Oscar contender?

Star Trek Into Darkness
One Line Verdict: Abrams last call before Star Wars Episode 7! But will he take his eye off the ball?

Fast & Furious 6
One Line Verdict: Fast 5 In Europe! Nuff said! This franchise inexplicably gets more successful with each instalment but Fast 5 will be hard to top and the same creative team did make Tokyo Drift and Fast & Furious which weren’t good. I have faith though…

The Hangover Part III
One Line Verdict: Part 2 was so, so bad. The trailers are terrible – not a singe funny joke in two whole minutes! They couldn’t find one? Just one?

After Earth
One Line Verdict: Looks like a prequel to Oblivion! Will Smith & Will Smith Jr & M Night Shyamalan unite for another of this summer’s apocalyptic Sci-Fi actioners. Smith has something to prove but for Shyamalan this might be his last shot at a major tent pole. He has failed to deliver for every major studio now apart from Universal and his former partners at Disney. He needs a success more than Sony.

Now You See Me
One Line Verdict: I hope this is good, the first trailer is good and the premise of magicians as thieves could be awesome

Man of Steel
One Line Verdict: Got a good feeling about this! In Nolan & Snyder we trust!

This is The End
One Line Verdict: An end of the world comedy with the usual Apatow players Franco, Rogen etc…playing themselves! Could be very funny! Or could be a self-satisfied bore!

Monsters University
One Line Verdict: Must see!

World War Z
One Line Verdict:  Delays are bad. When a film has this many delays it’s very bad. The trailers are just damage control at this point. Also can Brad Pitt actually open a tent pole these days? He’s a star, sure, but is a he a draw? I don’t think so.

Kick-Ass 2
One Line Verdict: A new director and some new faces including Jim Carrey. The first film rode a wave of online buzz but failed at the box office (but did quite nicely on home video). Expect more of the same box office and hopefully more of the same film wise!

White House Down
One Line Verdict: Basically the same plot as Olympus Has Fallen! But with Channing Tatum & Jamie Foxx! That plus ID4 director and master-of-huge-things-exploding Roland Emmerich (who I think is actually underrated as a director) should mean bigger bucks but its release date is far more competitive than OHF!

The Lone Ranger
One Line Verdict: I’m just NOT INTERESTED! Depp’s mugging is getting tired and this whole film looks too reminiscent of recent high profile flops. They should have pulled the plug when they saw the budget was escalating. I hope Bruckheimer goes back to his 90’s action movie roots.

Pacific Rim
One Line Verdict: Controversy alert: I thought the trailer was pretty weak! I still think Guillermo del Toro is yet to make a great Hollywood film. The fanboys are all over this but as we saw with Snakes on a Plane and Scott Pilgrim that doesn’t always mean big box office. I hope this is good and does well if only that GdT gets to make his At the Mountains of Madness which sounds far more interesting.

One Line Verdict: A cool idea – ghost cops investigating super natural crime. Universal needs more franchises. This could be another Cowboys & Aliens though.

One Line Verdict: Very bland looking DreamWorks Animation film about a snail racer.

The Wolverine
One Line Verdict: Well it has to be better than the last one at least! I would have preferred Arronofsky but James Mangold is saying the right things. The X franchise has been slipping financially after X3 so Fox needs a hit.

300: Rise of an Empire

One Line Verdict: – 300 Part 2! Aka 302! This feel like it is has arrived too late. And without visionary Zach Snyder at the helm, will this be as authentic an experience?

Red 2
One Line Verdict:  I didn’t see the first but it did well financially, this looks like much of the same.

One Line Verdict: At long last Neill Blomkamp’s follow up to District 9! That alone is enough to make it one of the year’s most exciting prospects!

One Line Verdict: Very bland looking Cars DTV spin off that has been upgraded to a full theatrical release. This is basically an ad for all the accompanying merchandise. Hey if it means Disney / Pixar / Marvel get more money to make more interesting projects then go for it!

One Line Verdict: This just feels too late. Diesel is on a second wind after returning back to the Fast franchise but this one just feels like “too late no one cares!”

One Line Verdict: Thor & Ron Howard driving cars. What else can I say?

The Tomb
One Line Verdict: So this is basically Prison Break starring Arnie & Sly! Sold!

Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers
One Line Verdict: I hope it’s better than the first, which was entertaining but didn’t live up to the hype.

Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame To Kill For
One Line Verdict: Finally Sin City 2! An awesome cast yes but in the wake of 300, The Spirit and Spartacus and every other heavily stylised green screen show and movie can this stand out? Robert Rodriguez is a fun but lazy director. This can go either way.

Captain Phillips
One Line Verdict: Tom Hanks vs Somalian pirates as directed by Paul “Bourne” Greengrass. This looks like Zero Dark 30 style Oscar Bait but that doesn’t mean it can’t be good.

One Line Verdict: Spike Lee’s version. The cast is promising but this will have to be excellent to even compare with Park Chan-Wook’sorginal.

Paranormal Activity 5
One Line Verdict: I haven’t seen any of these yet but the franchise train still rumbles on! This is a smart business play for Paramount. A minimal production budget will mean this will make money and then some.

The World’s End
One Line Verdict: Wright & Pegg & Frost: Part 3. If Edgar Wright can recapture the magic from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz whilst utilising some of the technical skills he picked up on Scott Pilgrim, then we could see the best Blood & Cornetto pic yet!

Ender’s Game
One Line Verdict: Harrison Ford is in it. Harrisons Ford’s track record post 1995 is very poor. Gavin Hood is directing, Gavin Hood’s track record post Tsotsi is very poor. This does not bode well.

Thor: The Dark World
One Line Verdict: Brannagh is out and Game of Thrones Alan Taylor is in. Expect an earthier and darker tale (well it is called the Dark World). Amazingly Thor is no longer the risky move for Marvel – that accolade now belongs to Guardians of the Galaxy

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
One Line Verdict: Now this could be awesome! This has potential to be even better than the book. We’re set for a recap of part 1 / victory tour and then a second round of games. IMO the books got slightly worse as they went on due to the expanded mythology but this means the films could actually get much better.

One Line Verdict: Disney Animated pic. Concept art looks great, but concept art always looks great. We’ll see.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
One Line Verdict: Although I loved Lord of the Rings, I just can’t muster much interest for the Hobbit. This will do well but the film needs to be remarkable to overcome the muted reception to the first instalment.

Anchorman 2
One Line Verdict: Works 80% of the time, every time! Nuff said!

Saving Mr. Banks
One Line Verdict: The making of the Disney classic Mary Poppins with Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks and Colin Farrell. I really wanna see this as I love Mary Poppins! This looks like Oscar bait all the way.

47 Ronin
One Line Verdict: Keanu & Samurais. A great concept but alas this has been delayed so many time that all signs indicate a disaster.

Jack Ryan
One Line Verdict: Spies, Kirk & Brannagh! Resurrecting the Tom Clancy hero will be tough with the sheer volume of competing spy movies these days, but it’s a good cast and Brannagh will use all the tricks and tools he learnt on Thor to deliver. Paramount will be pushing this hard as they need more franchises now that Marvel is with Disney. But is the title going to remind people of Jack Reacher or John Crater and negatively affect its prospects?

One Line Verdict: Alfonso Curarron doing Sci-Fi. The last time we saw that combo we got the fantastic Children of Men so this could be excellent!

One Line Verdict: Aston Kutcher as the somewhat crazy yet somewhat cool Steve Jobs! AK is capable of a good performance (see Butterfly Effect) and certainly looks the part but truthfully all eyes are looking at Sony’s rival Aaron Sorkin biopic.

So that’s it for now. Later this year look out for a more detailed look at the prospects for this year’s Summer movies.

Did I miss any films? What films are you looking forward to this year?

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