Sunday, December 30, 2012

14 for 13

What a great year this has been for great flicks! Now, as 2012 winds down to it's final hours, we get our chance to share some thoughts on 14 of some of the awesome blockbusters coming at us in 2013. 

G.I Joe: Retaliation: (March 29th) AV: Psych! Almost a year after it's original release date (yes the toys had ALREADY shipped to Target), the not-so anticipated follow-up to the underwhelming G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra from 2009 actually promises to be pretty bad ass. The undeniably awesome additions of Ray "Darth Maul" Park, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Bruce "Yippie ki-Yay, MoFo!" Willis could be just what the doctor ordered to crank up an action franchise that should be synonymous with "Whoa!" If the current trailers are any indicator of this movie's offering, the year will have been well worth the wait. "Yo, Joe–don't screw this one up!"

Oblivion: (April 19th) TP – One of the last drone repairers on a war ravaged Earth begins to make some discoveries that bring into question everything he believes about the recent devastation from the war with the alien Scavs. Doesn’t sound too ominous, until you realize that repairman is Tom Cruise... and a source of many of his questions is Morgan Freeman! This looks to be the sci-fi action thriller that will kick off a packed year of sci-fi special effects blockbuster hits. Tom Cruise is one of the premier action heroes of our day, so when you give him a ray gun and a reason to use it... things can only go <boom>.

Iron Man 3: (May 3rd) AV: Can Marvel Studios strike [crimson and] gold a third time? Hinting at a darker, more distraught Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) suffers from trauma following the 'New York event', and squares-off against Shellhead's arch nemesis, the Mandarin, played by the indomitable Sir Ben Kingsly. Now this will sound like Fan-boy blasphemy, but the trailer doesn't do very much for me. Though in true teaser trailer fashion, it is vague. I'm quite confident this will be another stellar IM film, but for the record, the trailer seems like a bunch of effects shots mashed together with a cryptic voice over. At this juncture, I've come to expect a bit more from Marvel. 

Star Trek Into Darkness: (May 17th) TP - Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Karl Urban return as the dynamic trio of Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Doctor McCoy in what looks to be one of the biggest Star Trek movies ever. The trailer is breathtaking and the anticipation only heightens when the villain, Benedict Cumberbatch, is still only rumored about who his character is, beyond being described as “ an unstoppable force of terror” and “ a one man weapon of mass destruction.” Add to this the hook that “sacrifices must be made” and there’s just no telling what direction J.J. Abrams has in store for the crew... and the fans, of the starship Enterprise!

After Earth – AV: On June 7th, just two months on the heels of Tom Cruise's Oblivion (see above) another Hollywood action juggernaut, Will Smith, makes a similar trek with son Jaden, in this futuristic telling of Earthlings returning home after the Earth has somehow become unfit for humanity. A crash landing on mankind's ancestral home-world pits the Smith boys against the elements, dangerously evolved wildlife and even 'fear itself', as they struggle against all odds and every obstacle to overcome this "class-1 quarantined planet." This new Swiss–uh, Smith–Family Robinson should prove interesting... 

Man of Steel: (June 14th) TP - This film is, without a doubt, the most anticipated movie of the summer for me. I’ve been salivating over this since last year and the drool has only increased after the release of the full trailer. Henry Cavill simply looks awesome as Superman and if Michael Shannon’s performance in the upcoming “The Iceman” is a taste of what I have to look forward to as General Zod, bring it on! Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) looks to be taking this film in a direction that can only be described as epic. When you round out the cast with Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner and Laurence Fishburne, you’ve created a recipe for an excellent film... the superhero stuff is just icing on the cake.

World War Z: (June 21st) TP - Zombies are back! Brad Pitt plays a United Nations employee traveling the world trying to stop a zombie pandemic. Zombies aren’t new and they haven’t been interesting since they became fast and unrelenting engines of terror... so I’m real curious to see what this film will do differently to “bring them back to life” on the silver screen. The trailer looks like they will be keeping with the “unrelenting engines” theme, but on steroids! As exciting and unnerving as that may be, I hope there is more substance to this than what we’ve already seen. Just having Brad Pitt gives me hope that this can be something very big... and not end up a dead flick.

Kick Ass 2: (June 28th) AV: The first film was stellar; funny, fast-paced and wrought with edgy–decidedly adult–humor. Thus the first kick Ass movie was truly that. So it suffices to say that this next movie has a lot to live up to. In this latest installment, our hero bands together with a group of concerned everyday folks who were inspired by his previous anti-crime antics. But wait, could the Red Mist be plotting a devious and dangerous revenge, whose actions could effect everyone Kick Ass knows? Clench your fists for Kick Ass 2 this summer and of course, we'll be on hand to help bust some heads... and some blocks!

The Lone Ranger: AV: Hard to figure this one out, Pontificator. I mean, if you you grew up in America in the past 70 years–as we surely did, then the ongoing exploits of the crime-(and nose) busting lawman of the un-tammed west, The Lone Ranger is legendary. Starring Armie Hammer as the the man behind the mask, and Johnny Depp as Tonto (who knew?), we will be treated to some re-imagined Hollywood-flavored high-action hi-jinks, old west style. I just can't help shake a "so what?" response to this one but the trailer is compelling, I won't lie. I look to be amazed. The Lone Ranger rides into a theater near you, July 3rd.

Pacific Rim: AV: On July 12th, one of the most eagerly anticipated movies in the sci-fi/fantasy/hero genre comes to the big screen as Earth prepares a counter-attack against giant, other-dimensional monsters. Our secret weapon? Why, giant killer robots of course! With one of the most stunning and action-packed trailers to hit the trailer-sphere, Pacific Rim looks to bring to the big screen behemoth-sized monstrosities from beneath the waves that go to war with giant, mechanical super-warriors. This alien monster butt-kicking already has a sequel in production. In the word's of one of my favorite actors, Idris Alba, from this trailer "... today, we are canceling the apocalypse!" Hells to-the-yeah, we are!

The Wolverine: (July 26th) TP - As excited as I am about this film Vader, I have some reservations if what I’m hearing is true. I’m good with Hugh Jackman, he has made Wolverine his own and look forward to his continuing growth. I’m good with Will Yun Lee (Red Dawn) as Silver Samurai, I think he’s a good enough actor and physical enough for the role. I’m worried though, about where they will go with this film (besides Japan). In the DVD alternate ending of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” he heads to Japan as a sequel to that film. Now the word is this film will be a sequel to X-Men: Last Stand...complete with a cameo by Jean Grey (Famke Janssen)... <shudder/yawn>. When idea and script changes are abound and plentiful, I get worried...but remain hopeful.

300: Rise of an Empire: (August 2nd) TP - Set as a prequel to “300”, this film will tell the story of a Greek general named Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) and his army’s battle against the insane (and delusional) Xerxes (played once again by Rodrigo Santoro). I’m not sure about historical accuracy, but if it’s anything like the first (now second?) film, then it should be a great summer ride. The key to any type of success is to keep the same formula that made it great. The only problem I see with this reasoning is that the Spartans were a big part of that formula... and no disrespect to the other Greeks, but Spartans are the best, of the best. I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping that “of the best” is good enough for some big summer busted blocks!

Thor: The Dark World: (November 8th) TP - The Odinson returns, and this time he must save the world from being plunged into eternal darkness by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) and the Dark Elves. I’m excited to see Chris Hemsworth wield Mjolnir once again. With returning cast members Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleson, Idris Elba, and Anthony looks as though there is a winning combination of talent. As if two major villains weren’t enough, Thor has to contend with the likes of Kurse, played by the very talented Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. I can only hope that with this much stacked against our hero, we can get a glimpse of that berserker rage, to take the action off the screen...and into our laps!

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug AV: Got a little more room for a little more middle Earth? Then make way for what is sure to be the 2013 holiday season's biggest blockbuster, with Peter Jackson's follow-up film, The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug. Can Frodo and his merry band of homeless dwarfs endure the savagery of the 300-foot long, fire breathing dragon, named Smaug? And what of the mysterious Necromancer, rumored to be able–and willing!–to raise the dead? Answers will be revealed and "... shields will be shattered" when The Smaug-busting begins on December 13th.  
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