While the Oscars and the usual less than stellar quality of movies released in the first couple of months of the year make it seem like a new year in film doesn’t start until March, 2013’s first slate of releases hit Friday. Unfortunately there isn’t much to get hyped about but let’s take a look at some films you should keep an eye out for in the coming year.
Anchorman: The Legend Continues (release date 12/20)
Will Ferrell returns to arguably his most iconic character after fans have practically been demanding a sequel to the 2004 hit comedy. The whole crew is coming back too, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and Christina Applegate. The original’s fans that will flock to the theatres for this one, though, are also the film’s biggest obstacles. Can the cast and director Adam McKay recapture and expand on what made the first one such a classic, or will the hype built over these last eight plus years be too much weight for this film to bear? One thing is for certain, Ron Burgundy will still be classy.
Before Midnight (release date TBA)
A much smaller, but just as passionate, base of fans have also waited since 2004 to find out what has happened with our two favorite international lovebirds, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy). This film pulled a sneak attack late in 2012 when whispers of a script being written were over taken by the fact that Richard Linklater and his stars had already finished filming in Greece. Thank goodness, because the less time we have to wait for this film the better.
Gravity (release date 10/18)
Alfonso Cuaron hasn’t made a feature length film since 2006 with the brilliant “Children of Men”, and his latest has been pushed back a couple of times already. Though when you consider that “Gravity” is an epic space odyssey that early word says uses many revolutionary special affects, the complications of it taking so long can be understood. Oh, and on top of all of that, the only two actors in the film are George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. You don’t get a big budget film like this very often.
The Great Gatsby (release date 5/10)
If English teachers want their students to get excited about reading “The Great Gatsby” may I suggest that you introduce them to it with the latest trailer for the most recent rendition, that should suffice to get their attention as it has a lot of people’s. Baz Luhrmann has always been a unique talent with a vivacious style, and like it did in “Moulin Rouge”, that style seems to fit perfectly in the period and place he is portraying. It was originally scheduled to be released in 2012, but was pushed back for unspecified reasons. That is somewhat alarming, but not enough to dampen my excitement for it.
Her (release date TBA)
“The Master” was the first film Joaquin Phoenix was in after returning from his faux retirement, but we won’t have to wait long for his next. He teams up with Spike Jonze in “Her”, where Phoenix will play a lonely writer who begins to develop an unlikely relationship with an operating system designed to meet all his needs. Should be a interesting and fun look into how we have become dependent on technology, and Jonze is a director who knows how to make odd film topics moving and endearing (see “Being John Malkovich” and "Adaptation").
Inside Llewyn Davis (release date 2/8)
Joel and Ethan Coen’s films are tough to crack for me. Some films I really love, and some I have a hard time really grasping. Regardless of that, they are exciting and gifted filmmakers and their new film “Inside Llewyn Davis” has a lot of promising aspects. A stellar cast with a lot of upcoming talents, including Oscar Isaac and Carey Mulligan, and a backdrop in the New York music scene in the 60s that should prove rich makes a believer out of me that there is something special here.
Lowlife (release date TBA)
James Gray is not a familiar name for most, but these three names should be, Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner, and Marion Cotillard. There are a lot of reasons that movies catch people’s attention, the story, the directors, this one should catch you simply for the fact that three of the best actors working today are going to be in the same film. Marion Cotillard plays an immigrant who is forced to perform in burlesques until a young magician, played by Jeremy Renner, tries to save her from it and reunite with her lost sister. Phoenix plays the man who forces Cotillard into that lifestyle. I will happily be introduced to the work of James Gray with this new film.
The Monuments Men (release date 12/20)
Nazis, a race against time, classic pieces of art, James Bond, Danny Ocean, and Carl Spackler, this is what “The Monument Men” has to offer. Starring Daniel Craig, Cate Blanchett, George Clooney, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin, and Matt Damon (rumored), based on the book “The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History”. Clooney will direct. It’s January, and you never can tell, but this film has all the making of a huge Oscar player.
These are just a taste of what 2013 will have to offer, and with big blockbusters like “Star Trek: Into Darkness”, “Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, and the sequels to “Captain America” and “Thor”, all types of audiences should be excited for the next twelve months.
Check out a sneak preview of "The Great Gatsby" below.