2012 was a great year for cinema goers. Although we did have a slew of films so terrible the T-800 should have been sent back in time to terminate the filmmakers. The Devil Inside immediately comes to mind, Silent Hill: Revelation and another entry in the abysmal Resident Evil series (somebody… anybody… dear god PLEASE stop these movies). Those were just a few that come to mind. In 2012, I saw more movies that I liked more than I hated. We got a slew of superhero flicks, like the Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, the colossal sized The Avengers and my personal favorite, Dredd. There were many I found enjoyable, such as Cabin in the Woods, Paranorman and Django Unchained. At first I thought there would be no way to top last year, but as I look forward into 2013, I can see some titles that I can’t wait for. So let’s take a close look at my ten most anticipated titles of this year.
It’s been thirty five years since the original film changed the ‘post apocalyptic’ genre. It’s follow up, Mad Max, changed that same world, making it more scarce as people battle for land and gas and Beyond Thunderdome… well, we all need to get beyond Thunderdome (HA). This film has been rumored for years. It seemed like it was going to move forward at one point and then Mel Gibson, sigh, finally flipped his shit switch and went bonkers (something about Jews), sidelining this project. As the years went on, it seemed less and less likely that it would happen and then out of the blue, Tom Hardy, just then getting on his A-game, was announced in the title role. Fans welcomed this and Charlize Theron was added as well and to be honest, that’s all I recall hearing about this. I remember seeing a photo of Charlize with a shaved head and that was it. I don’t remember reading anyting about this or seeing any photos or set videos. I wasn’t even sure if it was real or not, then came the announcement they wrapped shooting with a bootleg photo of Hardy as Mad Max! Now I can’t wait to see an official poster of Mad Max and hopefully his Interceptor.
MAN OF STEEL
I’m going to come out and say it: I am NOT a Superman fan. Or at least not a very big fan in the sense that I love Spider-Man and Judge Dredd. He seems like he would be a hard character to write for seeing as he’s pretty much indestructible. I can imagine that gets boring writing for (it certainly gets boring reading it). My first reaction to hearing that Zach Snyder was directing a new Superman film was, “Oh, so we get to see an entire Superman film in slow-motion.” Once I heard it ws going to be ‘dark and gritty’ I had that initial fanboy reaction, ‘Why is every super hero film trying to be like The Dark Knight series?’ My opinion recently changed when I saw the new trailer during Django Unchained. The look of the film, the style, was a grey tone as Superman questions who he is and if the world will accept him (a reasonable question for an Alien). Seeing Henry Cavill flying in the newly designed suit, which looks really good by the way, was cool to see. Superman Returns ended up being a boring art house type of film with a real estate scam and Superman mostly used his powers for peeping. Man of Steel looks to be utilizing a superior villain and all of Supes’ powers. Bring it on.
KICK ASS 2
Kick Ass was violent and brutally comical look at what would happen if someone were to actually put on tights and goes to fight crime. It was a gory, action packed good time (sounds like something they would write on the poster) and Chloe Moretz stole the show as Hit Girl. After Kick Ass, many films of the same genre tried to copy its dark sense of humor with violence and foul language, but none of them could compare. A sequel was inevitable, both comic and film, and it’s shaping up to be a bigger and badder film. With the returning cast and the addition of Jim Carrey, this is one I think I’ll see more than once in theater. I have no doubt that this sequel will be bloodier and funnier than the first!
GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD
For all the haters out there that are groaning at another action movie sequel, Fuck you! It’s Die Hard! Bruce Willis is so badass that people stopped writing roles for Bruce Willis to play and just started writing Bruce Willis into their scripts. Nobody says, “Hey Bruce, I wrote this part that I think you would be perfect for.” I imagine it’s something like, “I wrote Bruce Willis in the script, so we have to get Bruce Willis.” He made John McClane so iconic that Bruce himself is permanently stuck in that role. It’s exactly how I imagine him in real life. Anyway, this is the first Die Hard movie that was written with the intention of being a Die Hard movie (the others were supposed to be sequels to other action films or different films entirely) and setting it in Russia seems like an interesting change. It also comes out on Valentine’s Day, so take the one you love out for a night of gunfire and explosions! Yippie Ki Yay, Mister Falcon!
IRON MAN 3
Following the Extremist storyline (and probably several others as well, but that one being the dominant story arc), Iron Man 3 looks to be darker and grittier than the previous 2. I hate hearing that, let alone saying it: darker and grittier. It’s what every film maker says they want to do with superhero films. What happened to superheroes fighting supervillains? Why has that idea become so taboo? Why does every superhero now only getting into pissing matches with his buddies? Well anyway, fans finally get to see the Mandarin in this one since he was hinted at in the first film. Besides, everyone loves to see RDJ as Tony Stark, a rich, egotistical alcoholic… wait a second…
THE GREAT GATSBY
The Great Gatsby has always been one of my favorite novels and I really liked the 70’s film with Robert Redford. This is another one of those films I remember hearing that they were remaking and they had cast Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, Tobey Maguire as Nick Caraway and Carey Mulligan as Daisy (amazing casting by the way) and then nothing. Recently when going to see Django Unchained, they played a trailer for it. I didn’t realize this was from the director of Romeo and Juliet, so Gatsby looks to have that musical look and feel to it, which is fitting for the time period, but that’s what director Baz Luhrmann does best.
SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR
Robert Rodriguez went through this phase where he tried to tackle too many projects at once, promising original films and sequels to previous films and you know what happened? Every single goddamn one of them got pushed aside for Machete (hated that film and I have my reasons). I started ignoring every bit of news on Sin City 2, seeing as he kept promising it every year, but this past year something different happened… they actually started casting. Seems like it’s going to principal photography and is gonna finally get rolling! Now with Joseph Gordon-Levitt cast in the lead as Johnny and Josh Brolin as Dwight, this is going to be a balls to wall film.
THOR: THE DARK WORLDS
I always look forward to superhero movies. Why? Because I read comics, I thought that was obvious. I’ve never been a huge fan of Thor (or Hulk for that matter), but I did enjoy the first Thor movie. I’m not even ashamed to say I liked it better than Captain America… and that one had an 80’s style montage! Now, I don’t know much about Thor and his villains, but I know this one involves the Dark Elves and like Iron Man 3 will tie in to another Avengers movie. So that’s pretty cool.
For years, Will Ferrell and Adam McCay danced around the idea of a sequel and said that it was coming, but nobody knew when. Eventually, the population… all you mouthbreathers… just gave up on the idea. And then there was that appearance that Will Ferrell did on Conan. The actor came out dressed as beloved fictional anchor Ron Burgandy and officially announced the sequel, nearly a decade after the original. This was like a real world equivalent of that scene in The Dark Knight Rises where Batman returns for the first time in years and people recall tales from the past. You can’t believe it. I’m really hoping this one will have a hard R rating, so they can have even more crude humor and gags. The best news about this movie is people will finally stop quoting the first film and start quoting the second one for years to come.
It’s no secret how protective horror fans are of classics, so when remakes are announced, the community instantly cries in outrage, fill message boards up with hate and abuses loved ones… all before even seeing the movie. I have to admit, I use to do the same thing, but then when you see a few good ones and listen to what the filmmakers had to say, you learn to step back and approach the film on its own as a separate movie. But with certain remakes, you want to see certain characters or memorable scenes recreated decently. So naturally when Evil Dead was announced, it was a very mixed bag. This is THE Evil Dead. The staple in the horror movie world. People’s lives would be destroyed if they fuck this up, so there was a lot of pressure in remaking this. Luckily Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Robert Tapert were all attached and even hand picked the director. The director was chosen not only for wanting to use all practical effects (meaning no CGI… thank god!), but also for not wanting to include the character of Ash. We all waited for images, news… anything. Then came the trailer and the same thing happened all at once across the world: We all screamed universally, for the first time in a long time, in excitement. We wept with tears of joy and for a moment, world peace seemed within reach. The remake doesn’t shy away from any gore or content, including key scenes like the severed hand, a chainsaw and tree rape. Evil Dead is shaping up… no, it will be just as iconic as the original. I think this film may define a new generation of horror. April cannot come soon enough.