Welcome back to our preview of the cinematic highlights coming up in 2013. Yesterday, we looked at the first two months that contained more than a few award contenders, but with the spring comes not only warmer weather but distinctly more lighthearted films in the cinema. Welcome to THN’s look at March and April, the cinematic equivalent of those awkward teen years where the not-quite awards contenders/not-quite blockbusters usually land.
The snow starts to melt (hopefully!), the weather starts getting warmer (hopefully!), and we celebrate Jesus dying by painting eggs and hiding them for our kids. In between, you might get a chance to go to the cinema and here’s what you can expect from the month of March:
BROKEN CITY will be director Allen Hughes’ (MENACE II SOCIETY, FROM HELL, BOOK OF ELI) first without brother Albert by his side. The solid cast sees Mark Wahlberg as an ex-cop hired by New York City’s mayor (Russell Crowe) to trail his wife. Needless to say, conspiracies ensue. Mark Walhberg has turned into a really solid actor, and providing he’s in the mood, Crowe should shine as the shady politician. The film will arrive in US cinemas on 18th January while we will have to wait until 1st March in the UK.
THE GUILT TRIP would seem to be exactly that. Starring Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen as a mother and son on a road trip with Jewish stereotypes flying around like there is no tomorrow. If this somehow tickles your fancy, you can catch it in UK cinemas on 1st March, while it has already been released in the US.
IDENTITY THIEF should be (somewhat) funnier. Directed by Seth Gordon (HORRIBLE BOSSES) it pits Jason Bateman, typecast as the straight guy thrown into a crazy hunt for the woman who has stolen his identity, against Melissa McCarthy, typecast as the butch white trash woman who steals a regular guy’s indetity. It shouldn’t bring too much new to the table, but it should still be a good time none the less. It will be released in US cinemas on 8th February and will follow suit in UK cinemas on 1st March.
STOKER is the English language debut of Chan-Wook Park (OLDBOY) and looks to be a weird, moody film about a really disturbed family. My hopes are that this will be another demonstration of just how amazing Matthew Goode really is – the WATCHMEN actor is criminally underrated – and coupled with strong support from Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman could make this film something special. Hopefully Park will have more success in his English languaged ventures than a lot of other foreign directors making the jump. The film will arrive in both US and UK cinemas on 1st March.
OZ: THE GREAT AND THE POWERFUL will hopefully be a return to form for Sam Raimi after the franchise ending SPIDER-MAN 3 and the mess of a horror film in DRAG ME TO HELL. He’s got an impressive cast in James Franco, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz, with early footage looking absolutely spectacular. The question is whether Raimi can nail the tone ensuring it isn’t too slapstick or silly, a problem I’ve felt that the director has had in the past. The first real tentpole film of the year, will arrive in both UK and US cinemas on 8th March.
ROBOT & FRANK is a strange little tale about an elderly ex-thief whose son gives him a caretaker robot. Starring Frank Langella as…errm…Frank, the film was a big hit at last year’s Sundance and sounds like a light-hearted indie film that might break the monotony of the blockbuster season. The film will arrive on 8th March in the UK.
THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE is one of the films of next year that I’m most looking forward to, mostly because of the picture above. Steve Carrell is one of my favourite comedic actors because he is great at both subtle comedy; CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE and DAN IN REAL LIFE, as well as the more crazy roles like ANCHORMAN. This looks to solidly land in the latter as him and Steve Buscemi try to stay relevant in the world of magic when Jim Carrey enters the scene as a cutting edge street magician. Expect hilarity to ensue. The film will arrive in US and UK cinemas on 15th March.
THE PAPERBOY star Nicole Kidman has almost been universally praised for her role in the film, but the film itself has been received decidedly more mixed. From it’s camp tone to proverbial good guy John Cusack playing a psychopath, the film is apparently mostly missing the mark. If you do want to give it a chance, it will be released in the UK on 15th March, while it has already been released in the US.
MANIAC is another one of those horror remakes that keep on coming, but this one actually looks to be worth a look. Elijah Wood stars as the titular maniac who scalps women and attaches the hair to mannequins. The trailer is both bloody and creepy and Wood is not bad at playing psychos (as shown by SIN CITY). It is scheduled to arrive on 15th March.
SIDE EFFECTS is quite possibly the cinematic swan song of one of the more popular directors of the past couple of decades. Steven Soderbergh has previously said that this would be his last film before retiring (not counting the Liberace biopic starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon which is produced for HBO), although he has since said that it might just be a sabbatical. The film stars Rooney Mara as a woman who gets addicted to prescription drugs as she awaits her husband’s (Channing Tatum) release from prison. The film is set for a US release on 8th February and a UK release on 15th March.
CUBAN FURY is a rare turn for Nick Frost to star as the lead in a comedy about a cuban dancing rivalry between Frost and Chris O’Dowd, over the affections of Rashida Jones. Sounding absolutely brilliant it should be a nice snack before we get to the main course that is THE WORLD’S END in the summer. The film is scheduled for a release in the UK on 22nd March.
THE HOST has all the elements of being the next TWILIGHT, for good and for bad…mostly bad. Based on a series of books by Stephanie Meyer, the film does have a couple of positives going for it: Saoirse Ronan who has proven to be a really fine actress, and director Andrew Nicol who wrote THE TRUMAN SHOW and wrote/directed LORD OF WAR. If they’ve taken the basic idea of aliens occupying human hosts and then maybe completely re-written every single piece of dialogue from the book, it might not be as bad as the infernal TWILIGHT saga.
JACK THE GIANT SLAYER is a bit of a worry for me. I loved Bryan Singer’s X-Men films, and he made some solid dramatic films in APT PUPIL and THE USUAL SUSPECTS, but his recent work has been a bit underwhelming and nothing I’ve seen from this film does anything to dampen my scepticism. My fingers are crossed because I do like Nicholas Hoult and I think there’s promise in a different take to the old fairytale, I’m just worried that it’ll degenerate into a CGI mess. If you want to give it a shot, you can catch the film in the US on 1st March and in the UK on the 22nd.
GI JOE: RETALIATION has disaster written all over it. The reason being that Paramount reportedly decided to substantially reshoot and reshape the original version of the film that was scheduled to be released last summer, wanting to include more Channing Tatum. The reasons for which are unclear. I hated the original GI JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA, but actually liked the trailer for this one, so I hope they haven’t butchered it. It will arrive in UK cinemas on 27th March and in the US two days later on 29th March.
TRANCE is the latest film from Danny Boyle, which should be enough to entice the majority of people to the cinema. After a decade of great films Boyle directed the Olympic opening ceremony last summer to huge acclaim. His latest film concerns an art heist and a lead character who starts to lose grip on reality after being hypnotised. The film stars James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel and arrives in the UK on 27th March and in the US sometime in 2013.
21 AND OVER is one of those films that shouldn’t be funny, but based on the trailer this could be one of my guilty pleasures of the year. It revolves around a promising student celebrating his birthday with his two best friends the day before a big exam. Drinking ensues and hopefully hilarity as well! The film arrives in US cinemas on 1st March and in the UK on 29th March.
April is my favourite month of the year!…not really because of anything that is relevant to this site or this article, but because the world comes together to rejoice at my birthday! However there are a few pretty good films coming out this month.
CARRIE has been a point of contention for film fans with many talking about how horrible it is to remake Brian De Palma’s classic. Personally, I’m not against remakes as long as they try to bring something different to the table and I think this could be fantastic. With a brilliant cast led by the amazing Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore and a brilliant teaser trailer I’m excited. The film arrives in the US on 15th March and the UK on 5th April.
THE HEAT on the other hand isn’t a film that I have high hopes for. It basically looks like Sandra Bullock as her character from MISS CONGENIALITY and Melissa McCarthy as every character she seems to have been cast as since BRIDESMAIDS (see IDENTITY THIEF). I think both are talented and funny actresses but I haven’t seen anything so far that bodes well. The film will arrive in both UK and US cinemas on 5th April.
SNITCH looks like your standard action film starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. But the cast including Susan Sarandon, Barry Pepper, Jon Bernthal and Michael Kenneth Williams give hope this story about a father going undercover in the drug world for the DEA to get his son out of jail can be elevated beyond the implausible mess it seems to be. The film is scheduled for the 22nd February in the US and the 5th April in the UK.
OBLIVION looks…hmmm…it actually looks alright, but there’s just something about it that puts me off. Maybe it’s because I got burned by the last big sci-fi that I dared to trust (why did you break my heart PROMETHEUS!?), but it just seems a bit…*shrugs shoulders*. Tom Cruise is usually dead solid in roles like this, Morgan Freeman is a badass in everything, Andrea Riseborough is only on the rise from here on out and I actually don’t mind Olga Kurylenko, so I’m crossing my fingers that this will end up wow-ing after all…but there’s just something off about it. The film will arrive in UK and in IMAX in the US on 12th April, with a full US release the week after on the 19th April.
THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES looks incredible. Ryan Gosling is the go to guy in hollywood for…well…everything, and after SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (my personal film of the year), I have a renewed respect for Bradley Cooper and this could be the film that cements his place as a great, dramatic actor. Watching the trailer, I can’t help but think that this won’t get a happy ending – not helped by the fact that it is directed by Derek Cianfrance (BLUE VALENTINE) – but it could be an early Oscar contender. The film will arrive in the US on 29th March and in the UK on 12th April.
SCARY MOVIE 5 looks bound to be one of those ‘satire’ films that Hollywood just won’t stop making. ‘Starring’ Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan, along with Ashley Tisdale, the trailer for this one is awful. If you’re really masochistic, you can catch this one in both US and UK cinemas on 12th April.
EVIL DEAD, for me, is similar to CARRIE. Having never watched the original (I know, blasphemy and such), I don’t have a particular close bond to it and think what has been released so far looks really good. The fact that Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell are both on board as Executive Producers can’t be bad and should ensure the project isn’t a complete butchering of the original. The film is due out 12th April in the US and in the UK on 19th April.
OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN stars Gerard Butler as a former Secret Service agent trying to prevent a terrorist attack on the White House, with Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, Melissa Leo and Ashley Judd on board adding some class. With no trailer out, this is tough to call, but it might be worth giving a shot on its release in the US on 22nd March and the UK on 19th April.
PROMISED LAND is hopefully a film that can bring John Krasinski the respect he deserves. Having starred in the US version of THE OFFICE he’s been one of the best things about that show from day one, both comedically and dramatically. It doesn’t hurt PROMISED LAND is led by Matt Damon, who co-wrote the script with Krasinski, and joined by Frances McDormand. The film has not had the best reaction in the states, but I’m stubborn and I will hope for the best until the end. The film is out in the US on 4th January and arrives in the UK on 19th April.
IRON MAN 3 is quite possibly the highlight of this month as Marvel looks to kickstart their much anticipated Phase Two. The tone of the trailers have seemed a bit more serious than the last two instalments in the IRON MAN franchise, but with Shane Black (KISS KISS BANG BANG) at the helm, it can’t be all angsty monologues and sad, beaten up Tony Stark. New characters joining the series are played by the likes of Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle returning to lend Robert Downey Jr. some support. The film will arrive in UK cinemas on 26th April and in US cinemas the week after on 3rd May.
That’s it for me on this countdown. Join us tomorrow though as we’ll bring you the highlights of May and June as the Blockbuster season kicks off.