The Movies I'm Pumped For in 2013

2012 was a great year for film.  I was able to land a job that justified me watching 20 movies at the cinema this year.  It was an awesome.  But 2013 is looking like it can be a pretty fun year too.  Sure, there seems to be a huge slate of sequels and some of those are from films I only barely enjoyed the first time.  There are some pretty interesting mainstream flicks that I'm looking forward to watching.

Here are my top picks for 2013.

Warm Bodies (February 1):  It is a love story between a zombie and a young girl.  I realize how that can make several lovers of the genre want to retch.  When I first heard about this, I felt just a little bit nauseous too.  Then I saw the trailer, it became very clear this was being played for camp and wasn't taking itself seriously like Twilight.  Plus Simon Pegg, star and co-writer of the brilliant Shaun of the Dead, is a huge fan of the novel that this is based on, which also gives me pretty geared up.

Oz: The Great and Powerful (March 8):  Wizard of Oz is one of the greatest fantasy franchises of all time.  The novel series unleashes a wonderful and imaginative world, but also provides some solid messages such as the strength of women.  The 1939 film is one of my most beloved childhood treasures, and a film my friend and I plan to go see in the theatre for a re-release.  The trailer has me properly stoked for this thing, and it may not only be a visual epic but also have a charming story.  I also appreciate the homage to the classic film by making Kansas black and white.   

42 (April 12):  There hasn't been a really solid sports history film in a long while.  Jackie Robinson's breaking through the colour barrier in Major League Baseball is one of the most significant and powerful stories in all of sports.  This is a story that deserves to be told for the big screen.  It has the potential to provide thought provoking drama but also some emotional heart tugging moments.  The trailer has reaffirmed that this can be a deep and powerful film, but also a loving look at America's favourite pastime.

Oblivion (April 19):  One of the best fiction films of the '00s was Minority Report starring Tom Cruise.  His return to science fiction looks like it could be another really entertaining film that contains some depth.  Last year, Looper brought science fiction filled with action and awesome special effects, but also had thought provoking storytelling that elicits discussion after.  This film promises some cool battles with strange alien creatures, but also a mystery that may tie into what really happened to Earth.  Oblivion appears to be trying to deliver several intriguing stories rather than just being a cookie cutter space thriller.  Plus it has God himself, Morgan Freeman.

Iron Man 3 (May 3):  It is in set in New York right after the chaos that happened in Avengers, which makes this film extra appealing.  Robert Downey Jr. has always been brilliant as Tony Stark, and this has been a very solid franchise.  The trailer hints that the series is going in a bit of a different direction as Stark seems to be very conflicted and torn over some issues, which always makes these types of films more engaging.  A superhero film is at its best when the powerful protector is struggling with inner turmoil and torn on what is the right decision.  Plus it looks like Stark will have to battle his own suits, and even blow them up, which definitely has me ready to line up for my ticket.  Ben Kingsley is the main villain and Guy Pierce appears to be bad too, which is also super awesome cool.

Star Trek Into the Darkness (May 17):  The reboot is one of the best Stark Trek films ever.  It provided amazing special effects, intense action, nuance characters, and lens flare.  It looks like all those things will be back in this much anticipated sequel.  There is a lot of talk on who Benedict Cumberbatch will be, and many people are hoping for Khan.  I don't think he will be, but it is someone from Kirk's past, which delivers up all kinds of turmoil and chaos.  It looks like Kirk is put in a spot where he has to make a decision that could harm his crew and will likely torment him, and that is the kind of stuff that makes Stark Trek great.

Man of Steel (June 14):  I wasn't keen on a reboot when it was first announced.  But the trailer looks incredible, and looks like they're reworking the canon to provide a very different story than the original film series.  It looks like a grittier and darker Superman rather than the high camp of the '80s.  I love the scene where Clark Kent's dad is essentially telling him it is more important to protect his secret than save lives.  Superman is almost all-powerful, and so he is at his very best when conflicted about his immeasurable strength but also trying to deal with the flawed humans he loves.  He wants to protect them, but they also don't always understand him.  This looks to be a major theme of this film, and I have a lot of faith since it is also being produced by comic book film hero, Christopher Nolan.

Pacific Rim (July 12):  Voltron vs. Godzilla.  A scifi geek's dream match.  It is being directed by Guillermo del Toro who has proven he can provide a unique twist to fantasy films, and it'll be interesting to see what he can offer up in the science fiction realm.  Even if the story ends up being basic, it is freaking sea monsters battling giant robots with a massive budget, so it should at least be cool to watch.  Plus Idris Elba has one of the coolest action film lines ever, "Today we are cancelling the apocalypse." 

OldBoy (October 11):  This is based off a hit Korean film from 2003.  If you want high concept and bizarre twists with great action, then you want a Korean film.  It is about a man who was kidnapped and trapped in solitary confinement for 20 years, but then inexplicably released only to find out he is part of some bigger trap and plan.  This version stars Josh Brolin, and by now, my loyal readers know I am just begging for this guy to be the next big star, because he can be awesome.  Plus it is directed by Spike Lee, which really has me intrigued because he'll often take a different spin on well-known genres.  Spike Lee's last big mainstream film was Inside Man, which I thought was fantastic.  I'm properly giddy about this one.

The Monument's Men (December 18):  This involves largely the same film crew that did ArgoI absolutely loved Argo, and thought it had almost everything you could want in a film.  This time around it is George Clooney who is directing, and he has proven to be another great actor turned director.  This has to be an Oscar nomination favourite, and I am looking forward to when the first trailer comes out.  It is based off a non-fiction book by Robert Edsel that talks about a group of art curators and experts who unite who try to recover masterpieces from the Nazis before the works get destroyed.  It is an interesting concept, and the cast at this point is pretty incredible.

I left out several films that I am eager to see.  I recognize most of the films here fit among similar genres.  There is a lot of variety coming up over the next 12 months, and I'm looking forward to a great year of films.