I’m sure every blogger will be pulverizing the internet with their opinion on last night’s Oscar telecast, but honestly, I’d rather not add to the white noise. In case you’re curious, I’d give the telecast a B- grade…Moving on now. Let’s shift our focus towards 2013, where we can bitch and whine about a new crop of films that deserve a naked gold guy statue. Having survived 2012, with all the talk of apocalypses and the continuous existence of Glenn Beck, I’m excited to see what 2013 has to offer. This is the part of the post in which I ask all the religious folk to pray for me, and in return, I’ll try and refrain from mocking them too much. Here are the ten films I can’t wait to see:
Beyond the Hills: Buried deep in the history of Romania, Beyond the Hills finds writer/director Cristian Mungiu delivering a tale of an enduring friendship between two young women at a covenant. Showing his ability to craft a terse narrative in 4 Months, 3 Week and 2 Days, Mungiu’s newest film will surely generate thoughtful conversation and razor tight drama, plus apparently an exorcism.
The Place Beyond the Pines: After it premiered in Toronto last fall, Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines is apparently a knockout, a masterpiece. With Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper at the forefront, Beyond the Pines has fantastic actors in hand, but its Derek Cianfrance’s epic scope and grand storytelling generating a lot of buzz. Here’s to Cianfrance staking his claim as an exciting new talent.
Room 237: Arguably one of the year’s most anticipated documentaries, Room 237 burrows deep into the minds of the people who obsessively dissect Stanley Kubrick’s intent behind The Shining. Both an examination of Kubrick’s work and his fans, Room 237 explores the insanity and intelligence that stems from a movie riddled with symbolism, dead ends, and frightening imagery.
Evil Dead: I’m not particularly a fan of the original Evil Dead trilogy. Hell, I haven’t even seen the first film in the trilogy, but this remake looks like the most vile horror film in some time. Take a quick look at its red band trailer and tell me it’s not unnerving. I don’t particularly care for overly gory films, but there’s something so sadistic and maddening about its unapologetic existence, I can’t wait to experience it. BTW: trailer posted is not safe for work.
The Great Gatsby: This made my anticipation list last year out of curiosity, and it retains a spot on this list again for the same reason. After seeing the trailers, and knowing Luhrmann’s sensibilities, The Great Gatsby will definitely be a dazzling adaptation. The only question is will it be a memorable experience brimming with resonance? I hope so.
Monster’s University: I’m unapologetically in love with Monster’s Inc., so my anticipation for its sequel is beyond telegraphed. Listen, I know Pixar’s attempts at sequels have been mediocre at best, sans the Toy Story films, but I have an unshakeable belief in Pixar and the crew behind Monster’s University. I just hope it retains the first film’s immense heart and creativity.
Pacific Rim: Guillermo del Toro’s first film since 2008, and his first effort after leaving behind The Hobbit, Pacific Rim provides the acclaimed director with an opportunity to become a household name. Even though it doesn’t appear it will house del Toro’s fantastic vision for creatures, Pacific Rim looks like another entertaining ride from one of film’s best directors. And it has Charlie Day. How could you not like the combination of del Toro and Charlie Day?
Elysium: In 2009 writer/director Neill Blomkamp burst on to the scene with his terrific sci-fi film District 9, a fantastic allegory wrapped up in the rags of the sci-fi genre. Blomkamp’s ability to blend action, sci-fi ingenuity and emotional resonance blew me away back in 2009, and I expect him to achieve the same results with Elysium, if not exceed them.
Anchorman 2: Do I really have to explain this? Finally a sequel is in the works for one of 2000’s most quotable films. Yes, the first film is beyond stupid, but god damn do I love it. Let the silliness wash over you in the form of Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and David Koechner. Maybe there will be another epic news reporter street fight?
Gravity: Originally set for release in 2012, Gravity was a film I greatly anticipated last year. Said to feature a 17 minute long take, impressive special effects, and phenomenal acting, I desperately need to see Alfonso Cuaron’s first directorial effort since 2006, when he released the fantastic Children of Men. Test screenings have already declared this as one of the year’s biggest boundary pushing films.
Other Films on My Radar: The Counselor, Oldboy, Captain Phillips, The Monuments Men, Upstream Color, Only God Forgives, Trance, Spring Breakers, Man of Steel, Twelve Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street, Inside Llewyn Davis