As another year draws to a close, we can reflect on 2012 and recognise it as a fantastic year for film, with audiences supporting cinemas in terrific numbers. The staggering box-office success of Avengers Assemble, Skyfall and Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II has laid the foundations for a revival of the cinema industry. To follow a year as saga-concluding, record-breaking and Bond-resurrecting as 2012 will be a tough task, but 2013 is abundant with enticing films capable of doing so. 2013 is a year of returning franchise pieces (The Hangover Part III, Fast and Furious 6 and Paranormal Activity 5), Hollywood remakes (Oldboy, Evil Dead and Carrie) and 3D re-releases (Monsters Inc, Jurassic Park and Independence Day). Here are my thirteen most anticipated films for the fast approaching ’13.
Executive producer Guillermo del Toro presents Mama, a modern haunted-house thriller that tells the chilling tale of a couple who adopt two little girls they found abandoned in a decrepit cabin in the woods. As they look to begin their new life the family discover that girls disappeared on the day their mother was murdered and now a supernatural force is intent on claiming them back. Most excitingly of all is that Mama sees much sought after actress Jessica Chastain star alongside Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, best known for his role as Jaime Lanister for HBO’s acclaimed television series Game of Thrones.
Unlike his previous two films, Zombie Land and 30 Minutes or Less, Ruben Fleischer steps away from comedy and into the crime genre with Gangster Squad. Set within 1940s Los Angeles and inspired by true events, Gangster Squad follows a group of LAPD detectives who band together to dethrone the notorious gangsters who control the corrupt city. Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and Josh Brolin headline a promising cast brimming with tremendous talent, but none more exciting than Sean Penn depicting the dangerous mob boss Mickey Cohen, whose legendary menace has been evident in many successful crime films.
Man of Steel
Zack Snyder is a director who polarizes opinion, which is typical for a filmmaker with such a blatant style. However, he carries experience with comic book adaptations and his interpretation of Watchmen remains one of the standout graphic novel adaptations. Something we can certainly expect from him is a more gritty retelling of Superman’s genesis story. It’s a familiar tale that everyone knows, but Snyder’s film looks to be taking a different slant and has already confirmed that his film will provide the foundation for an Avengers Assemble-esque Justice League Movie.
Zero Dark Thirty
In 2009 Kathryn Bigelow’s multi Academy Award-winning (Best Picture, Best Director and five others) military action thriller The Hurt Locker stunned us all with its incredible story, beautiful cinematography and frightening realism. Four years later, Bigelow returns with another film from the genre. Zero Dark Thirty chronicles the decade-long manhunt for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden following the September 11 attacks in 2001 and his eventual death at the hands of US Navy Seals in May 2011. Regardless of an ending that everyone knows, Zero Dark Thirty presents an unmissable account of one of the largest pieces of contemporary history.
Despicable Me 2
Forget Toy Story 3, Tangled and How to Train Your Dragon, Despicable Me is the best children’s film of the twenty-tens. Entertainment for all ages, humour in full and varying forms and a heart-warming narrative, the first film had it all. 2013 sees Gru, the girls and the constantly funny minions return with a sequel. A teaser campaign has already brought laughs from audiences and we can predict more of the same for the feature film.
Anthony Hopkins stars as the legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock in this biographical tale of the influential director’s relationship with his wife, Alma Reville, during the production of his masterpiece, Psycho. Sacha Gervasi’s film is sure to provide interesting insight into the directorial icon’s enigmatic life, creative genius and eccentric personality.
The Wachowskis (The Matrix trilogy), and co-collaborator Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run), mark their return to cinemas with an adaptation of David Mitchell’s groundbreaking and “unfilmable” novel Cloud Atlas. An ensemble cast of incredible talent – Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Hugh Grant and Jim Broadbent, among many others – headline a film that tells the story of six separate but interlinked narratives that span five-hundred years, several genres, and a variety of locations. From the tricky task of adapting this puzzle-like narrative as well as juggling its financial complications, Cloud Atlas is one of the most ambitious film projects ever.
The Place Beyond The Pines
Ryan Gosling looks set to dominate 2013 in the same way he dominated 2011 where he starred in three of that years more impressive films; The Ides of March, Crazy Stupid Love and Drive. Once again he’s in three of 2013s releases and specifically for this he reunites with Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance. Place Beyond The Pines sees Gosling star as a motorcycle stunt rider who considers committing a crime in order to provide for his wife and child.
South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp stunned audiences in 2009 with his fantastic sci-fi hit District 9. The political notions of a Michael Moore documentary were immaculately blended with the bombastic action of a Michael Bay flick, but with much more subtlety, innovation and conviction. Blomkamp’s success has allowed his follow up to demand such great Hollywood stars as Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley (who starred previously in District 9), but the director remains on the familiar grounds of the science fiction genre. Elysium is a futuristic action thriller that follows a man who attempts to bring equality to a socially polarized world.
After their terrifying 2007 horror debut The Orphanage, Spanish filmmakers Juan Antonia Bayona and Sergio G. Sanchez reunite, as director and writer respectively, to provide an incredible true story. The Impossible is a true account of a Spanish family’s experiences prior to, during and after the Boxing Day tsunami that devastated Thailand, Indonesia and many other surrounding regions in 2004. Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts star as the couple who, with their three sons, are holidaying in an idyllic coastal resort when the tsunami hits. Now separated the family members embark on an impossible mission to find each other amidst the mayhem of one of the worst natural disasters ever.
Only God Forgives
Nicolas Winding Refn earned his legendary filmmaking status after his ultra-violent Bronson and viscerally cool follow up Drive (the coolest film ever). Only God Forgives sees the Danish director once again working alongside Hollywood’s hero Ryan Gosling; a partnership that proved perfect for Drive both on screen and off it. Gosling stars as a boxing gym-owning crime lord who seeks vengeance for his brother’s murder. Though it’s easy enough to track down those responsible, actually getting his revenge will take a lot more doing.
The World’s End
The concluding part of The Blood And Ice Cream Trilogy of course sees Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reunite under the direction of Edgar Wright for The World’s End. The story follows five friends who get together to try and outdo their legendary pub crawl from twenty years earlier only to become humankind’s only hopes for survival. It’s tough to have any fears, wondering if they can follow the successes of their previous films; after all, they followed Shaun of the Dead with the equally incredible Hot Fuzz. It’s safe to expect another inventive story brimming with genius references, memorable dialogue and a host of British talent.
Absent from film since the release of his 2004 mind bending, low budget science fiction debut Primer (if you haven’t seen it, you must), Shane Carruth marks his long awaited return with Upstream Color. The enigmatic filmmaker recently treated fans to a curious trailer that alludes towards an equally subtle creation. Though not made clear within the teaser the narrative will follow a man and woman who become entangled in a life cycle of an ageless organism. Their identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to piece together loose fragments of wrecked lives.