Please keep in mind that these films are not put in any order. This is simply a list of 10 of my most anticipated films of this new year. Even though I am looking forward to even more then what is here, these films I feel have great potential to be great. Many of these films have a lot riding on them.
1. The Wolverine – I have always been a fan of comic book movies, especially the Marvel ones. I will be the first to admit that X-men Origins: Wolverine was by far the worst movie in the X-men franchise and they really ruined what should have been an amazing origin story for Wolverine, but I have hopes for this one. The biggest reason is because they finally got a good director since Bryan Singer. James Mangold is a great director that knows how to make a good movie and should be big enough to say no to the studio when they try to interject their bad ideas into a movie. Also, I listened to his commentary on 3:10 to Yuma the other day and he talked about not all the special effects needing to be CGI and instead should focus more on SFX of the drama between characters. That makes me think he is going to do a good job fleshing out the character of Wolverine. The other thing going for this movie is it is being adapted from one of the most loved comic book story lines in Wolverine’s life.
2. Man of Steel – Surprise another comic book film. This one being on the other side of the spectrum being a DC character. Superman I feel has always been a tough character to show on screen and it was very evident on Superman Returns. Bryan Singer did a good job of reintroducing the world to the character, but he didn’t address Superman’s issue. Superman is an internal character. Unlike Batman who has Robin or Alfred to talk to, or Spider-Man that always has an ongoing dialogue about the action at hand, Superman just does what needs to be done and doesn’t talk about. Internal doesn’t work well on screen. So hopefully Zack Snyder, who has proved in the past he loves comic books, will do Supes some justice. From the first trailer released the action looks like it is done well and this one finally looks like it is focusing more on Superman as a person instead of the journey he has to go on. With Chris Nolan helping with this and knowing that this has a lot riding on it(possibly a jumping off point for a Justice League film), this should finally be the Superman film people have been waiting to see since the original.
3. Star Trek Into Darkness – A few years back when JJ Abrams decided to reboot the Star Trek franchise many people were against it, but then something amazing happened, Abrams made a great movie. The first Star Trek was a great combination of action, effects, humor and story. As long as Abrams can bring that combination back again and move the story of the Enterprise crew forward then we should be in for a great sequel. The only thing that was kind of lacking in the first movie was a really strong villain, which looks to be corrected this time around. Not a lot is known about Benidect Cumberbatch’s character right now, but the IMAX preview that was shown made him look pretty intimidating. Plus he has the perfect evil guy voice.
4. Pacific Rim – Guillermo del Toro, giant robots, and giant monsters, what else needs to be said? The movie looks amazing and if del Toro’s past films are any indication, then the story is going to be good as well. Guillermo’s style is always on the weird but cool side so hopefully this follows suit. I’m also excited to see how Charlie Hunnam handles his first big budget film. He is great on Sons of Anarchy, so I’m sure this will be equally as good.
5. Riddick – It’s been 9 years since Vin Diesel put on the goggles and traveled the underside of space as the anti hero in The Chronicle’s of Riddick, but finally he is back. Again directed by David Twohy, he is reducing the scope of the film back to the original film Pitch Black instead of the over bloated Chronicle’s. Trapping Riddick on a planet with scary monsters and bounty hunters trying to kill him will hopefully bring back what made this character so good the first time around.
6. Enders Game - I read this book when I was in college and it quickly became one of my favorite Sci-Fi novels. Since that time I have been waiting for them to make a movie based on this book. It’s a big budget story about a young boy, Ender, picked to be part of a group of kids that are trained to stop a large alien invasion and save earth. If Hugo was any indication if Asa Butterfield can handle a large movie then we are in good hands. Not to mention Harrison Ford in space in a Sci-Fi film is always a good thing.
7. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – The second chapter of this great Middle Earth story from the mind of JR Tolkien. The first Hobbit was another great movie from Peter Jackson, so it stands to believe that the next film will be just as good if not better. I think from the name it is safe to assume this time around Bilbo and company make it to the dwarf kingdom and take on the dragon Smaug. Once again Benedict Cumberbatch makes an appearance on this list. He voices Smaug and as I said earlier he has the perfect evil guy voice so it should be great here. I’m sure by the end we will all be left anticipating the final chapter in this big story about a little hobbit.
8. Oz the Great and Powerful – I am quite surprised to be putting this one on the list. I have never been a huge fan of The Wizard of Oz, but something about this film just looks really cool. I like James Franco a lot and have great respect for Sam Raimi since turning my favorite comic book hero(Spider-Man) into a box office god. I always felt that on a scale of weird to normal that Raimi was one step closer to normal than Tim Burton, so I’m hoping this doesn’t get quite as weird as Burton’s Alice in Wonderland film. If the movie is half as epic as the trailers have been making it out to be, then I think seeing this film will be a treat.
9. Oblivion – Tom Cruise and Sci-fi in the past has worked really well, so here is to hoping this film continues that trend. Personally, I think Cruise is a little weird, but I usually love his movies. Having just seen him in Jack Reacher I can say Cruise is still at the top of his acting game. From what the first trailer has shown this looks like a pretty wild ride of a movie. After bringing back Tron with Tron Legacy I am willing to give Joseph Kosinski a chance with just about anything. Here is to hoping this sophomore, original idea, attempt is a hit.
10. Thor: The Dark World – Some may be surprised I didn’t pick Iron Man 3, but I kind of know what I am getting with that one. I’m looking forward to it and I’m sure it will be good, but Thor has more of the unknown excitement I’m looking for. I’m hoping that this time around they show more of this huge universe that the first movie talked about. I felt the first one, though good, moved a little too fast and by doing that shrunk itself and lost some of it’s epicness. Chris Hemsworth is great as Thor, so I look forward to seeing more of that and if they bring back Tom Hiddleston as his brother Loki all the better.
So there it is. Only time will tell how these films turn out. Hopefully as these come out I’ll be able to post some reviews of them. Stay tuned and happy movie watching for 2013.