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Movie Reviews

2013 Movie Preview

Hello, fellow Wanderers! After an enjoyable winter break, it’s back to film with the ‘2013 Movie Preview’. Looking ahead, we can see some distinct patterns in film release dates and genres, with most of the anticipated movies coming out around the same time, and with the majority of them being Sci-Fi. I’ve broken the year up into thirds, and titled each segment according to the type of movies you are likely to see. The movies are arranged in order of release, along with a short description of why we are or aren’t excited about the film. So, let’s dive right in . . .

January-April: Bad Months

 

Warm Bodies  (Feb 1)

WTU Recommendation: Pass
A story about a zombie that falls in love with a human. Call me a skeptic, but this sounds like a flop to me.

Identity Thief  (Feb 8)

WTU Recommendation: Maybe
Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthey go head-to-head in this comedy about, you guessed it, identity theft. As a Bateman fan, I have to believe it will at least be funny, if not good.

A Good Day to Die Hard  (Feb 14)

WTU Recommendation: Pass
Bruce Willis, yet again, takes on hoards of bad guys in an over-the-top action film. Perfect for a Valentine’s release (sarcasm).

Dark Skies  (Feb 22)

WTU Recommendation: Pass
The trailer made me laugh harder than any comedy I saw in 2012. Consider this one a bust.

Jack the Giant Slayer  (Mar 1)

WTU Recommendation: Maybe
I personally think it looks awful. That being said, Ewan McGregor has surprised me before. Don’t hold your breath though.

Oz: The Great and Powerful  (Mar 8)

WTU Recommendation: See It
My first “see it” recommendation of the year, and I’m still not all that confident about it. I’m one of the few fans of Disney’s live-action movies, and a big fan of the Oz stories. James Franco was definitely a wise choice, and it could be his performance that makes or breaks this movie.

Dorothy of Oz  (TBA)

WTU Recommendation: See It
With no official release date, this animated film about Dorothy’s return to Oz stars Lea Michelle, Dan Akroyd, Kelsey Grammer, and Martin Short. A fantastic cast of voice actors, so I have a hard time believing this will be bad.

Dead Man Down  (Mar 8)


WTU Recommendation: See It
Colin Farrell takes on Cuba Gooding Jr. in a dark movie about an assassin. From the director of the Swedish version of the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy,” I feel like we are in good hands.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone  (Mar 15)

WTU Recommendation: Maybe
Steve Carrell, Jim Carey, and Steve Buscemi play Las Vegas magicians. Funny? Sure! But good? Maybe not.

The Croods  (Mar 22)

WTU Recommendation: Pass
An animated film about cave men forced to explore the pre-world. Frankly, it looks crude.

Host  (Mar 29)

WTU Recommendation: Pass
From the mind that brought us the Twilight Saga, comes another Blockbuster that will make you want to drill holes in your skull. Not to mention it’s almost a direct ripoff of “Invasion of The Bodysnatchers”, along with a shameless copy of an Animorphs side story(which you’ve probably never read, so just take our word for it.)

G.I. Joe: Retaliation  (Mar 29)

WTU Recommendation: Maybe
The first movie was a surprise success, to me and the studio at least, so they felt a sequel was only just. However, it suffered major setbacks, and the film was pushed back nearly 8 months. Still, it looks awesome, and shouldn’t disappoint.

The Place Beyond the Pines  (Mar 29)

WTU Recommendation: See It
Ryan Gosling will likely carry this movie into the good side of critics, much as he did with “Drive.”

Scary Movie 5  (Apr 12)

WTU Recommendation: Pass
Have you seen the other 4? Exactly.


Oblivion  (Apr 19)

WTU Recommendation: Must See
The only “must see” of this part of the year, and it looks great. Tom Cruise fixes drones on a post-apocalyptic Earth where aliens roam. He then meets up with a struggling group of human survivors led by Morgan Freeman, who are out to discover the truth in a web of lies. Count me in!


Pain and Gain  (Apr 26)

WTU Recommendation: Pass
One of my most hated directors, Michael Bay, brings us the “true” story of some weight-lifting bros who want to rob someone who is rich, and justify it by calling him mean. Looks bad. Really bad.

May-August: Great Months

 

Iron Man 3  (May 3)

WTU Recommendation: Must See
Robert Downey Jr. returns in what appears to be the defining moment of Iron Man’s ideals as he faces off against Ben Kingsley. I’m painfully optimistic about this movie.

The Great Gatsby  (May 10)

WTU Recommendation: Must See
Leo DiCaprio plays the Gatsby himself, and is supported by Carrey Mulligan. The date was pushed back to allow time for post-production 3D, which usually doesn’t look all that good. I’ll be seeing it in the standard two dimension format.

Star Trek: Into Darkness  (May 17)

WTU Recommendation: Must See
J.J. Abrams, master of secrecy and suspense, is keeping his mouth closed on any details concerning this movie. Could it be the Cumberbatch is playing a newly realized Kahn? I can only hope so!

Epic  (May 24)

WTU Recommendation: Maybe
A Dreamwork’s animated film that reveals the existence of a tiny world of small people living among us. While the story sounds pretty used, the movie doesn’t look all that bad.

After Earth  (Jun 7)

WTU Recommendation: Maybe
Will Smith and son must find a way to survive on a post-apocalyptic Earth that has evolved into a killing machine. It sounds intense, but it’s also directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the notorious director of ‘The Happening’.
Now You See Me  (Jun 7)

WTU Recommendation: See It
A group of magicians find a way to pull off one of the biggest bank heists in history.

Man of Steel  (Jun 14)

WTU Recommendation: Must See (Most Anticipated Film of 2013)
With the Nolan brothers writing and producing, Zack Snyder directing, and Hans Zimmer scoring, what’s not love?! Look for ties from this film into the Dark Knight Trilogy and beyond as we start to piece together The Justice League prequels.

This is the End  (Jun 14)

WTU Recommendation: Must See
A new type of comedy where the actors play themselves trying to survive the apocalypse.

World War Z  (Jun 21)

WTU Recommendation: See it
Originally a “must see,” it was downgraded after the release was pushed back 8 months due to the original cut of the film being only 40 minutes long. With new writers, it is rumored to even be a trilogy, although I’m still skeptical.

Monster’s University  (Jun 21)

WTU Recommendation: Must See
Pixar has yet to seriously ruin a movie, although Cars 2 was close. Still, a nearly perfect track record.

Kick-Ass 2  (Jun 28)

WTU Recommendation: Must See
Kick-Ass was my favorite film when it was released. It took me by complete surprise, as the production was a cheap one and didn’t look all that spiffy in previews. The whole gang is back in this highly anticipated sequel.

The Lone Ranger  (Jul 3)

WTU Recommendation: See It
Once again, I am a huge fan of Disney movies, especially the ones involving Jerry Bruckheimer and Johnny Depp. Depp as Tonto seems one of the best fits for a role in recent years.
Despicable Me 2 (Jul 3)

WTU Recommendation: See It
Highly anticipated and hyped beyond belief, the sequel has yet to reveal much about its plot. Only time will tell if it can live up to the overwhelming success of it’s predecessor.

Pacific Rim  (Jul 12)

WTU Recommendation: Must See
The first time Del Torro has directed since Hellboy 2, this film is about giant “aliens” who are warded off by our own giant fighting robots. Awesome!

Grown Ups 2  (Jul 12)

WTU Recommendation: Pass
I felt the first movie was bad and stretched for material. What could have possibly been left out that warrants a sequel?
The Wolverine  (Jul 26)

WTU Recommendation: See It
This film is not going to be connected to Wolverine or First Class (both good movies), but will be connected with X-Men: The Last Stand (terrible movie). I’m not one to rag on Hugh Jackman, but can we move on from Wolverine already? Regardless, it should be fun to see him slice through baddies again.

Smurfs 2  (Jul 31)

WTU Recommendation: Burn It
Burn it with fire!

R.E.D. 2  (Aug 2)

WTU Recommendation: See It
I whole-heartily enjoyed the first one, though the sequel feels a bit unnecessary. I’ll enjoy watching the crew come together again.

300: Rise of an Empire  (Aug 2)

WTU Recommendation: See It
Once again, loved everyone involved with the first, but do we need a sequel?

Elysium  (Aug 9)

WTU Recommendation: Must See
Matt Damon and Jodi Foster battle for survival in the 22nd Century.

Sea of Monsters  (Aug 16)

WTU Recommendation: See It

In the second installment of Percy Jackson and The Olympians, Percy will continue to unfold the dastardly plot of Kronos. As huge fan of the books, I wasn’t all that thrilled with the first one. Look for this film to fly under the radar and post minimal profits.

September-December: Good Months

 

Riddick  (Sep 6)

WTU Editor Recommendation: See It

Vin Diesel returns as the marooned Riddick on a sun-scorched planet, where he must fight off two opposing factions of aliens. Cool.


I, Frankenstein  (Sep 13)

WTU Recommendation: See It
Aaron Eckhart and Bill Nighy bring new light to Frankenstein as he battles ancient wars.

Star Wars Episode II 3D  (Sep 20)

WTU Recommendation: See It
It’s 3D!!

Star Wars Episode III 3D  (Oct 4)

WTU Recommendation: See It
It’s also 3D!!

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For  (Oct 4)

WTU Recommendation: Must See
Frank Miller’s epic, dark, and twisted Sin City returns! Who hasn’t been waiting for this?

The World’s End  (Oct 25)

WTU Recommendation: Must See
Simon Pegg teams up with Edgar Wright, director for Scott Pilgrim, to bring to a close the unconnected trilogy of “Shawn of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz,” and now “The World’s End.”

Ender’s Game  (Nov 1)

WTU Recommendation: Must See
Harrison Ford stars in what could quite possibly be described as one the greatest young-adult Sci-Fi books ever written.

Thor: The Dark World  (Nov 22)

WTU Recommendation: See it
I may be alone on this, but I despised the first Thor movie. However, Disney has taken the reigns at Marvel and seems to know what they are up to. I’ll give it a shot.

Catching Fire  (Nov 22)

WTU Recommendation: Must See
My favorite book in the trilogy, Catching Fire is sure to be the Blockbuster we all anticipate it will be. Michael Arndt, the script writer, is known for Toy Story 3, Pacific Rim, and the first of the new Star Wars movie.

Frozen  (Nov 27)

WTU Recommendation: Must See
After Disney’s glorious dive back into animation with Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen seems destined to win out. Based on old Russian tales, it follows a princess who looks to reverse a spell and defeat the snow queen.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug  (Dec 13)

WTU Recommendation: Must See
Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth is always worth seeing, even if it is stretched out over 3 hours time.

Anchorman: The Legend Continues  (Dec 25)

WTU Recommendation: Must See
This sequel has been years in the making. Also, I love lamp! Need I say more?

47 Ronin  (Dec 25)

WTU Recommendation: See it
Keanu Reeves, the only non-Asian cast member, plays a samurai out for revenge after his master is killed. 

Conclusion

With a slew of Blockbusters and Sci-Fi names, this is “The Year of the Nerd!” With a snail’s pace start, 2013 will pick up the pace quickly, with multiple blockbusters coming out almost every weekend. Although there are some bad movies, and a lot of unnecessary sequels, look for this to be another record year for Hollywood. Happy Movie Going, Wanderers!

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