15. This is the End
Why we are excited: The entire Judd Apatow/Seth Rogen posse is present with the added twist that they will be playing themselves at a celebrity party as the apocalypse approaches. There is a great opportunity for self deprecation and some brutal in jokes if the gang take their gloves off.
Reason to be wary: This comedy collective are starting to outstay their welcome with their particular brand of stoner slacker comedy which was never truly hilarious. Their various projects have gradually declined in quality and have repeated the same format over and over again. Will need to pull something special out to buck the trend.
14. Anchor Man: The Legend Continues
Why we are excited: In these times of comedy stagnation only a comedy creation as special as Ron Burgandy has the power to inspire a whole new generation to develop a proper sense of humour.
Reason to be wary: Yet another classic comedy character being dragged out from ages past? There is enough concern that while each of the original Anchor Man co-stars successfully spawned their own careers, Ferrell has not enjoyed as much success in recent times. The reputation of his greatest comedy creation hangs in the balance.
13. Side by Side
Why we are excited: Documentary exposing the effects digital film has had on the film industry, dissecting its impact at every level, and comparing it to the traditional side of film. Should illuminate areas of the industry few people are knowledgeable about including access to a wide array of famous directors and Hollywood type weirdo’s. Expect 3D to get a verbal gang raping as well.
Reason to be wary: Sounds like being forced to listen to a boring debate over the sound quality of vinyl records versus digital files. Keanu Reeves leads the inquest.
Why we are excited: From the disturbing mind of the masterful Korean director responsible for the incredible Vengeance Trilogy (including Oldboy) .
Reason to be wary: A rather conventional sounding set up of an Uncle moving in with his deceased brothers family sounds a little restrained. Being his first Hollywood/Western project it is likely to be slightly less horrific than we have come to expect.
11. The World’s End
Why we are excited: The final piece in the loosely connected Cornetto trilogy (Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) this should be another fine collaboration from the Simon Pegg – Nick Frost – Edgar Wright ultimate tag team. A group of old friends are cajoled into repeating a legendary pub crawl; and there might be some science fiction somewhere along the line. With the ever incredible Paddy Considine, and Freeman backing them up the laughs should still be in plentiful supply.
Reason to be wary: Pegg has made a couple of forgivable missteps during his Hollywood rise to fame. Also it’ll be a difficult task to live up to the high standards of their early work, as was seen with the mediocre Paul. Expect this to be on an entirely different level.
10. Oz: The Great and Powerful
Why we are excited: Fresh from his recent pieces of shit Sam Rami boshes out a grand scale prequel to the classic Wizard of OZ. James Franco plays the hustling huckster who travels to a fairy tale world and finds a rich land full of gullible denizens ripe for the plucking. All that’s in his way are 3 sexy witches including Mila Kunis.
Reason to be wary: Could be Hollywood dross. Apparently this is an original interpretation, though not entirely a reboot, if that makes any sense. Sounds like a legal nightmare. Please god let them have a cameo from the Wheelers and let another generation share in our nightmares.
9. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Why we are excited: A new collection of stories from the familiar seedy criminal underworld, full of more psycho’s and cartoonish oddballs than you can shake a twig like object at. Just about everyone who survived the first outing has returned. If any of the magic of the first film has been retained then the excruciating wait will have been worth it.
Reason to be wary: Good god this has taken its time, hasn’t it?
8. A Field in England
Why we are excited: Ben Wheatly, Director of the excellent Kill List and Sightseers, helms this classic style horror set during the English Civil War. Revolving around army deserters, mad alchemists, and a field of magic mushrooms, it sounds like the makings of a disturbing experience from this rising master of the darker side. An excellent cast of alternative British comedy talent including Julian Barratt, Reece Shearsmith and Michael Smiley suggests there will be a sharp and subtle comic undertone to this arty horror.
Reason to be wary: The darkness will probably be too unpleasant for most.
7. The Alan Partridge Movie
Why we are excited: It’s been in the making for what seems like a lifetime but Norwich’s finest export finally appears to be hitting the big screen. With recent success in book and webisode formats, Coogan has proven that his masterful creation is still as funny as ever, if not more so. Expect a lot of Hollywood cameos from Coogan’s big name comedy mates.
Reason to be wary: Could still turn out to be a disaster given the long gestation period and the poor track record of British TV comedy characters being translated to the big screen.
6. Star Trek: Into Darkness
Why we are excited: Star Trek is cool again! Well it’s cool now at least. Actually, no it’s not really, but you are at least allowed to enjoy it in peace and not become a social pariah… maybe. After the sexy first outing proved to be surprisingly enjoyable, hopes are sky high that JJ Abrahams can go a step further with this follow up and create something quite special before he jumps ship onto the new Star Wars films.
Reason to be wary: The first rebooted Trek still lacked a few things including a truly menacing villain. So it can only be good news then that Ben Cumberbacht is on board and will be adding that special sophisticated villainy that only Englishmen seem to provide.
5. World War Z
Why we are excited: The highly rated book World War Z set itself apart from the horde by applying zombies to the serious business of globalisation and world conflicts. Despite the heavy subject matter all the usual genre tropes are weaved into the story, though this time on a ridiculously large scale.
Reason to be wary: The zombie genre has been saturated for a good decade now, going from trendy sub culture to an almost monthly fixture. The book offered a certain politicised freshness, can the bug budget film retain this?
4. Twelve Years a Slave
Why we are excited: Steve McQueen (the English, black, and living version) already has an impressive back catalogue of 2 whole films – Hunger, and Shame – both of which are rather special. With his next project he seems to be trying something a little more ambitious with a 19th century slave romp. The cast is looking quite staggering, with regular collaborator Fassbender joined by Brad Pitt, Giamatti and Benedict Cumberbach. All the hallmarks of a classic.
Reason to be wary: Most likely will be unbearably brutal and honest with a dark psychological trauma grinding its main characters down into a irredeemable emotional quagmire. Quality.
3. Only God Forgives
Why we are excited: Nicolas Winding Refn’s follows on from his recent classic Drive, returning with his favourite thing in the entire world; Ryan Gosling. In this Thailand set gangster yarn Gosling faces down a rival in an organised Thai Boxing scrap. Refn is a master of cinematography (just watch Valhalla Rising) and demonstrated some explosive yet artistically shot action sequences in Drive. Thai boxing is apparently central to the story and should be as brutal as it is beautiful – the quite disturbing promotional material simply shows Gosling with a mangled face. Expect some pain.
Reason to be wary: If you don’t like sheer cinematic quality you are in the wrong place.
2. Pacific Rim
Why we are excited: Yet more mega bucks science fiction from talented directors? Why the Dickens not? Del Toro is the man to finally deliver a live action version of a Japanese anime with giant bipedal robots scrapping against giant aliens. With Godzilla esq city wide destruction expect some serious anti-monument destruction from some scary alien mutha-fuck-ers. The Wire’s excellent Idris Elba heads the cast in what is sure to be one of the blockbusters of the year.
Reason to be wary: The world of CGI robots has been shockingly bad thus far but do not expect Del Torro to sink to the levels of Michael Bay god bless his cotton socks. This will be real cinema… hopefully.
Why we are excited: 2013 is certainly looking like the year that science fiction is crowned King. Neil Blokamp returns after the electrifying District 9 with another cool-as-fuck looking indie-blockbuster cross over. Few concrete details have been confirmed except that Matt Damon will cement his claim to “hard man” reputation in this very futuristic looking space epic. Expect big guns, extreme violence, jet black humour, and some incongruous globalisation themes sneakily included under the all action plot. Pretentious and cheap thrills? Sounds like our thing.
Reason to be wary: Erm… None we can think of.