GI Joe: Retaliation
It’s very unlikely that this will feature in my top ten come the end of the year, however I can’t deny having some love for it’s predecessor. It was cheesy, over the top and had the worst Scottish accent since Robert Duvall in A Shot at Glory, but it was fun and a had a strong cast. The sequel was supposed to see the light of day last year, however a decision to post-convert into 3D (yay he screamed sarcastically) and re-shoot a lot of the film to include more Channing Tatum, pushed the release date back almost a year. This won’t be The Godfather Part II, however at best it might just match The Expendables Part II.
The Lone Ranger
Johnny Depp stars in a film with Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton isn’t directing? If this film was released last year I’d wager it was a tell tale sign of the Mayan apocalypse. Instead it’s Gore Verbinski that has taken the taking of converting the classic TV series for a modern audience. Armie Hammer takes the lead as the Lone Ranger himself; however it’s Depp’s Tonto that caught most people’s attention. Stylistically it’s looking great, with a supernatural theme running through it, the film proves to be interesting at least.
Kick-Ass was a hit with fans and critics alike. Often criticised for its gratuitous violence and occasional “C” word, it walked a fine line between parody and serious film almost flawlessly. This means there is a lot of expectation placed on Kick-Ass 2 and even more so on new director Jeff Wadlow, replacing Matthew Vaughan. Wadlow’s resume doesn’t fill me with excitement however Jim Carey starring does.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
In 2005 Robert Rodriguez revolutionised green screen sets with his faithful adaptation of Frank Miller’s acclaimed comic series. In the same year, the director announced his desire to make a sequel however years passed and there was still nothing. Now with a release date for 2013 and with principal photography completed, it’s possible the film will see the light of day this year. Not that I’m holding my breath.
A Good Day to Die Hard
Does the world really need another Die Hard film? Probably not, but since Die Hard 4.0 got made, there’s no harm in ripping the arse out of John McClane one last time (for now). The new installment to the franchise sees everyone’s favourite vest wearing cop travel to Russia to find out why his son has been arrested. Being John McClane, he stumbles across a terrorist organisation and much chaos ensues. Die Hard 4.0 was criticised for toning down the swearing and bloodshed to secure a PG-13 rating and it’s likely this film will receive the same treatment. Maybe the fan boys will be better prepared for it now.
Darren Aronofsky’s attachment to The Wolverine certainly raised a few eyebrows and caused a few groans of disappointment when he left the project. However, for anyone familiar with Aronofky’s intention for Batman, it’s perhaps for the best. X-Men Origins: Wolverine provoked a lukewarm reaction from critics but did well enough at the box office to put a sequel in production. With James Mangold at the helm, the script appears to still be based primarily on the 1982 limited series of the same name by Frank Miller and Chris Claremont. It will also be interesting to see if or how it ties into more recent and upcoming X-Men films.
Thor: The Dark World
When Marvel announced their team for Avengers Assemble and the films that would lead up to it, I have to admit that Thor wasn’t one I had high hopes for. My mind was changed by Kenneth Brannagh’s effort, with the film proving to one of the strongest in the Marvel Cinematic series. Chris Hemsworth is brilliant as the bronzed blonde God of Thunder with Tim Hiddleston’s Loki further adding weight as to why English thespians make the best bad guys. With Christopher Eccleston joining the party as main protagonist Malkeith, The Dark World promises much of the same. Alan Taylor takes over from Brannagh and with TV shows such as The Sopranos, Carnivale and Game of Thrones under his belt, the new boy brings with him an impressive pedigree.
In cinema, the word remake has a tendency to make audiences recoil in disgust. Especially when it’s a remake of Park Chan-wook’s violent and disturbing thriller directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Will Smith. Both extraordinary talents but not the first names that spring to mind for taking on this film. Well don’t worry, instead Spike Lee is in the director’s chair with Josh Brolin starring. To be honest, this film isn’t filling me with much excitement however casting Sharlto Copley in the role that Colin Firth, Christian Bale and Clive Owen all turned down does. And for everyone crying that this film won’t work as a Western remake, I wonder what their thoughts on The Departed are?
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was a good film (you can read Jason’s review here). In fact it was really good. However its main flaw was arguably its length. Initially intended to be two films, studio execs with dollar signs in their eyes decided to stretch a 300 page book over three films (by comparison the complete Lord of the Rings trilogy has over 1000 pages). Nevertheless, we have at least another two trips to Middle Earth to look forward to and now that Bilbo has the Ring, it promises to take a darker turn.
Anchorman: The Legend Continues
Arguable one of the most quotable films of all time, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy is sheer brilliance. Does it justify a sequel however? Good comedy sequels are a rare breed, often rehashing the same jokes as the previous film (Hi The Hangover Part II). Little (if anything) is known about the plot, but the majority of the cast have returned and if it’s even half as funny as its predecessor, it’ll likely be this years funniest comedy. Then again, The Hangover Part III is also due a release…