Becky Johnson previews the year ahead of us in film.
It is with great regret that we say goodbye to 2012, the year that brought us an unrecognisable Tom Hardy in the climactic end to the The Dark Knight franchise, the most heart-wrenching Bond film there’s ever been and Stephen Chobsky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which finally provided a high-school flick that didn’t scream ‘rom-com’. But fear not; though the Mayans may disagree, it’s not the end of the world, and 2013 is set to be yet another amazing year for film, even better perhaps than the one we’ve just had.
Les Misérables provides a no-holds-barred welcome to 2013, featuring an all-star cast complete with a few musically closeted surprises. Expect heart-stopping harmonies and a heightened appreciation for a warm bed and central heating. If musicals aren’t your thing, look no further than Tarantino’s latest directorial effort Django Unchained, which sees Jamie Foxx in a comical search for redemption; just remember, the ‘D’ is silent. February sees the arrival of some long awaited features; look out for an unrecognisable Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock in a biographical look at the life of the world-famous director. A performance that will presumably be complemented nicely by Helen Mirren as his belle, Alma Reville. Expect some further star-performances in the screen adaptation of David Mitchell’s novel Cloud Atlas, a complex look at the intertwining relationship between past, present and future events; stay alert or get lost, it seems. For something more straightforward, try A Good Day to Die Hard, the fifth instalment in the Die Hard franchise, which sees John McClane (Bruce Willis) team up with his estranged son to take on underworld forces. There’s more action with a side of comedy in Warm Bodies; Nicholas Hoult takes on his first starring role as teen zombie with a romantic interest in someone a little out of his league, i.e. she has a pulse.
March brings with it a somewhat less edgy version of Rooney Mara in thriller Side Effects, which sees the unlikely pairing of her and Channing Tatum as her husband, who’s concerned for her safety as she begins a course of antidepressants that bring with them some unexpected repercussions. If you seek further thrills then try Stoker, the story of India (Mia Wasikowska), who develops an unhealthy infatuation with her uncle following the death of her father; not one for the more closed-minded perhaps. A much more PG option comes in the form of Oz: The Great and Powerful; the story of what happened before Dorothy, complete with some beautiful cinematography and an even better looking cast. As we move into April, the nostalgia continues with the release of the Carrie remake; Chloe Moretz takes on the lead role as a victim of bullying seeking revenge with the help of some terrifying telekinetic powers. We also see the release of Iron Man 3, which will no doubt be one of the year’s highest grossing blockbusters; Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) goes in search of retribution after his personal world is destroyed.
Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan take the lead in the long-awaited The Great Gatsby, a story of a mysterious socialite who falls into bad circumstances as he fraternises with an old, unfortunately spoken-for, flame. You can also look out for the third instalment of The Hangover, which, fear not, isn’t centred around the gang suffering the consequences of another stag party but sees them going on a road trip – what could possibly go wrong? Another sequel comes in the form of Star Trek Into Darkness, in which we see Chris Pine reprising his role as Captain Kirk to destroy a weapon of mass destruction. The action continues into June, as Man of Steel hits our screens; Henry Cavill takes on the role of Superman to save his adopted world; also look out for Russell Crowe as Jor-El and Amy Adams as Lois Lane. Brad Pitt also becomes involved in an effort to save the planet in World War Z, as a UN employee caught up in a zombie epidemic. If zombies aren’t your thing, however, check out Jesse Eisenberg in Now You See Me, where a team of magicians carry out bank heists during magic shows and reward the audience with the money; it isn’t long till the FBI are onto their case, however.
Comedy comes in many forms in July’s film line-up. Firstly, in the animated Monsters University, a prequel to 2001’s Monster’s Inc. We take a look at the duos time during college; prepare to be surprised (and amused), as they’re not as close as you might think. Kick-Ass 2 will surely provide us with some further laughs, with the original cast reprising their roles and the addition of Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes. If you’re looking for a more serious dose of superhero action then look no further than The Wolverine, which follows on the from the events of X-Men Origins and sees Logan (Hugh Jackman) travelling to Japan to battle a samurai. More fighting action is to be had as we hit August, as the sequel to 300 is released; look out for more highly burnished, dream-like scenery and a questionable amount of casual nudity. Finally, Johnny Depp plays the front man in Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger, pairing up with Armie Hammer to take on a corrupt railroad company. You may be somewhat unsurprised by the casting of Helen Bonham Carter alongside Depp, but don’t let that put you off.
We begin September with the pairing of Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum in White House Down, Tatum makes a satisfying move away from his usual rom-com role to play a secret service agent put in charge of protecting the life of the US president (Foxx). For something more futuristic, take a look at Elysium; a man (Matt Damon) takes it upon himself to try and bring about equality between the classes; audiences can look forward to a panic-stricken contribution from Jodie Foster. October brings with it its own action in the form of the sequel to Sin City, with a good portion of the cast reprising their original roles; the film-makers have claimed this one will be even more beautifully constructed than the first. For something more romance-filled, keep your eyes peeled for the remake of Romeo and Juliet, featuring full-lipped Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfield as the star-crossed lovers and a screenplay by Julian Fellowes. Speaking of Shakespeare, October also sees the release of 10 Things I Hate About Life; loosely (and I mean, loosely) following on from 10 Things I hate About You, it tells the story of a young man and woman who meet while both contemplating suicide and decide to spark up a relationship instead… Every cloud…
As winter approaches, we should be kept warm by the second instalment of the The Hunger Games franchise, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, in which we see Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) preparing to take part in the Quarter Quell. If the success of the first film is anything to go by, this one should do extremely well at the box office. We will also be greeted with the sequel to Thor in the form of Thor: The Dark World, which actually follows on from Avengers Assemble as the Dark Elves, led by the evil Malekith, threaten to plunge the universe back into darkness. Peter Jackson uses his directorial talents to bring us the second instalment of The Hobbit, straight from Middle Earth. The Desolation of Smaug sees Bilbo and the dwarves continue their journey to retrieve the stolen treasure from the Dragon. If a more laugh-out-loud sequel is what you’re after, then make sure you catch Anchorman: The Legend Continues, which no doubt will be brimming with annoyingly infectious one-liners that you’ll be quoting for years to come.