Be honest with yourself, Tarantino hasn’t made a great film in 10 years. Inglourious Basterds was average, Death Proof took itself too seriously and Kill Bill Volume 2 would have worked better if not compared to its thrill packed predecessor. Django Unchained at least shows that the auteur has no plans of mellowing with age. Set during the American civil war about a freed slave, the film has already received much criticism for its racial epithets (which Tarantino has often been criticised for in his work). Boasting a stellar cast including Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz and of course Samuel L Jackson, personally I’m hoping for a return to form for Tarantino. Though there are those that’d argue there was never a dip.
When mankind finds itself under threat from giant monsters that have appeared through a dimensional portal in the ocean, there’s only thing for it. Build giant robots to kick the living shit out of the threat. I don’t think much more needs to be said for Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming sci-fi effort.
World War Z
Considering how stale the genre feels we haven’t had a good zombie film in a while. Originally intended to be released last December, the film has underwent numerous reshoots and rewrites in the last year. Although this is usually a bad omen for a film, the trailer does show what could be an exciting post-apocalyptic action thriller. Living in Glasgow I had the opportunity to watch scenes from being shot and I also have friends that managed to secure roles in the production. I’ve an added bias interest in the film granted, but as I said the trailer looks promising.
Alfred Hitchcock is one of the greatest filmmakers ever to live. In my opinion, Psycho is his best work so it pleased me to hear that this biographical drama would centre on the making of that film. Featuring Anthony Hopkins in the title role, the trailer makes it looks like the kind of film that Hitchcock himself would have made. I’m also looking forward to the recreated scenes from Psycho which promises to be more fun than Gus Van Sant’s pointless remake.
Another film that was due for release in 2012, Gangster Squad was bumped back as a result of the Aurora shooting tragedy. Starring Sean Penn as feared mobster Mickey Cohen, a splinter group within the LAPD form in order to tackle the mob threat. They’ll do things other cops won’t including breaking the law. Also starring Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling, Gangster Squad appears to owe a lot to The Untouchables. With a great cast and a stylish look by Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer, I’m hoping Gangster Squad will be included in my top ten of 2013 reviews.
Iron Man 3
In many ways Iron Man 2 felt like a prologue for Avengers Assemble so it’s interesting that Robert Downey Jnr’s metallic hero will be the first film since Joss Whedon’s box office hit. John Favreau has relinquished director duties this time in favour of Shane Black. Personally I feel this is a good move. I wasn’t the greatest fan of Iron Man 2 and maybe a new pair of hands is needed. The trailer also promises a more (inevitably) darker affair, as Tony Stark is attacked in his private life. There’s a reason superheroes tend to have secret identities, and it looks like Stark is about to find out why the hard way.
Zero Dark Thirty
The hunt for Osama bin Laden is described here as the greatest manhunt in history. Chronicalling the decade long hunt and eventual execution of the world’s most wanted man, Kathryn Bigelow’s eagerly anticipated cinematic follow up to the brilliant The Hurt Locker. Starring Jessica Chastain and Joel Edgerton, the film has an Oscar buzz surrounding it. Likely to be as hard hitting as it is fascinating, I’m hoping it also shares the intensity of The Hurt Locker though maybe parallels to Point Break are best avoided (for the record I love Point Break there’s just a time and a place).
Described on IMDB as “Five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier unwittingly become humankind’s only hope for survival”, that’s pretty much all that’s known about one of the most eagerly awaited films of recent years. Why the hype then? It’s being billed as the end of the “Blood and Ice Cream” trilogy which also consists of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Good enough for me.
Star Trek into Darkness
Director J. J. Abrams, and writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have massive balls. While tackling the Star Trek reboot they decide to erase the future history of the series in order to create their own legend. It was a gamble that paid off as the film was a box office hit and received near universal acclaim from critics. In short, it was outstanding. The sequel doesn’t look to disspoint either, as we see Benedict Cumberbatch (who appears to be wonderfully cast) decimate all in his path. Why? We’re not entirely sure, though there are theories that Cumberbatch is iconic villain Khan. I’d be surprised if this was the case, although it’d cause fan boys to wet themselves, it doesn’t really tie into Abrams new Star Trek ideology if he’s just going to rehash the old films. Either way, the films looks like it’s going to be epic.
Man of Steel
I still remember sitting in the cinema, eagerly awaiting Superman the Return to start. I still remember the excitement I felt as I heard the familiar John Williams’ score and how blown away I was during the crashing plane set piece. Unfortunately that’s as good as it got and ultimately I was left disappointed with Bryan Singer’s tribute to Richard Donner. David Goyer helms screenwriting duties based on a story by himself and Christopher Nolan. Surely if anyone can resurrect a feldgling superhero franchise it’s the team that brought you the Dark Knight trilogy. With Zack Snyder chosen to direct, we have the man that was able to make a film adaptation of Watchmen when so many others had failed. Henry Cavill certainly looks the part as he becomes the first English actor to don the blue tights. Michael Shannon is cast as General Zod although he claims he won’t be asking the son of Jor-El to kneel (booo). Amy Adams will be Lois Lane while Kevin Costner and Diane Lane are perfect as Jonathan and Martha Kent. Russell Crowe plays Jor-El although it’s too early to tell if he’ll cause as much trouble as Marlon Brando did. With a teaser trailer released that doesn’t give too much away, it does promise to be a darker effort than what we’re used to with the last son of Krypton. That was inevitable, what won’t be is the finished product.