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13 films to look out for in 2013

2nd January 2013

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It is said 13 is an unlucky number. Indeed, it would be easy to believe the cinematic world ends with the release of The Hobbit and The Dark Knight Rises (on DVD). But never fear - there’s fruit for the old imagination to bear yet. Here are 13 reasons why the forthcoming year will be very fortunate for the film industry indeed.

Gangster Squad. It’s LA. It’s the 1940’s and gangsters own Tinsel Town. They’re making a mockery of law, order, and generally everything devoid of bullet holes. Solution? Assemble a crack squad of undercover cops to go rogue and give organised crime a taste of their own, lead and blood favoured, medicine. This is Gangster Squad and if a gun toting, sinisterly high pitched Ryan Gosling isn’t enough to flap your flapper, then an ensemble cast of Emma Stone, Josh Brolin and Sean Penn should well do the trick. Originally scheduled for a release late 2012, the decision was made to postpone it in light of the tragic Denver shootings. Now Gangster Squad is back in January. This slick story of cops fighting fire with fire in order to reclaim the streets looks sure to set the year off with a bang. Released: 10th January

Movie 43. In its own words: unbelievable, unforgivable, unspeakable and just plain wrong. Movie 43 looks like comedies antidote to increasingly popular ensemble films such as New Year's Eve and Valentine’s Day. The trailer gives little away other than the film’s propensity to say things it shouldn’t and have characters doing things you wouldn’t. Although we’d normally be cautious of such a movie’s inclination to descend into vulgarity and penis jokes (fears the opening sequence of the trailer does little to dispel), the sheer size, scope, and variety of the cast leaves us feeling more than a little intrigued. From Stephen Merchant to Halle Berry, Movie 43 looks like it’s got it all. I mean, it’s got Gerard Butler playing an angry leprechaun! I think that’s all that needs saying on the matter. Released: 1st February

Stoker. As we creep into March the acclaimed director of Old Boy makes his English-speaking debut with Stoker. What can be divined from the rather sinister trailer suggests a film not for the faint hearted. Though not particularly high up on most people’s radar, Stoker is a psychological thriller which seems so utterly intriguing it could not be omitted from the 2013 list. A drama revolving around one seriously twisted family, a daughter seeks  to discover the truth behind her father’s mysterious death, all under the gaze of an enigmatic and seemingly homicidal uncle. Containing suggestions of incest, obsession and murder, Stoker is sure to mystify and disturb in equal measure. Released: 1st March

Iron Man 3. There’s no introduction necessary for Marvels most charismatic, narcissistic and downright coolest hero. If you’ve seen any or all of Tony Stark’s previous adventures, then there’s no need for Iron Man 3’s presence on this list to be justified. Emerging with new man at the helm, Shane Black, Iron Man moves on from the chaos of Avengers Assemble with a psychologically shaken Tony. Reportedly based on the popular Extremis Graphic Novel, Iron Man 3 will see Stark pitted against the infamous Mandarin: a terrorist capable of hitting Iron Man where it hurts (A fact to which the latest trailer definitely does testament). With Robert Downey Jr. reprising his signature role there’s no need for us to tell you it’s going to be awesome. What’s more is that’s just one of many marvel hero releases next year. Not forgetting The Wolverine and Thor 2, for starters. Released: 26th April

Star Trek: Into Darkness. It’s Star Trek Jim but not as we know it. If J.J. Abram’s latest incarnation of Star Fleet did anything a few years ago, it’s show just how cool Star Trek can be. An unexpected success, it’s no surprise Jim, Spock and co. are back for round two in Star Trek: Into Darkness.  As ever with an Abram film information is thin on the ground. We do know, however, that it revolves around an enemy striking close to home and a voyage to a war-torn world. With Sherlock himself (Benedict Cumberbatch) taking up villain duties, we should be in for a thrilling ride. Released: 17th May

The Great Gatsby. Again a film originally slated for release in 2012, Gatsby will hit our screens in time for the Spring Bank Holiday. Coming from the creators of Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet, hopes are high that the decadence, excess and spectacle that define the book will not be in short supply. No doubt with its eyes on the prize of an Oscar nomination, Gatsby is sure to be a high class affair, not to mention visually distinctive. With a cast featuring the omnipotent Leonardo Di Caprio, Hollywood hot property Carey Mulligan, and Spider-Man himself Tobey Maguire, The Great Gatsby is likely to be a glittering glamorous success. Released: 17th May

Man of Steel. Do we really need to explain why this is likely to be one of the most anticipated films of the year? It’s Superman! ‘Nuff said, right? Wrong! It’s Superman produced by Christopher Nolan: the guy who created the greatest comic book film-trilogy of all time. So yeah, it’s kind of a big deal. With the very capable Zack Snyder (Watchmen, 300) in the director’s chair, I think it’s safe to say we’re in for a treat. If nothing else it’s got to be better than Superman Returns. Released: 14th June

Pacific Rim. Okay here’s the pitch: It’s giant skyscraper sized robots fighting giant sky scraper sized aliens for the survival of humanity! What’s more is, it’s directed by the creature creator himself Guillermo del Toro. Hopefully under his steady hand and inventive eye we’ll experience something truly astonishing, with battles and carnage on an unprecedented scale. Of course the danger is to slip into a mindless special effect barrage which contains about as much narrative content as a till receipt. Hopefully Guillermo (the expert story teller behind Pan’s Labyrinth) will ensure we get something more magnificent and less Michael Bay. Definitely one to watch out for! Released: 12th July

Monsters University. Monster’s aren’t naturally scary, it’s something they learn - according to Pixar’s latest teaser trailer. And where do they learn? Monsters University of course! Next year we’re heading back to Sully and Wazowski’s uni days. That means dorms, pranks and parties! It seems back in the day the pair weren’t the best pals we see in Monsters Inc. Indeed Monsters University is set to be the tale of how they met and eventually formed a friendship for a lifetime. Stand by for hilarity, a menagerie of creatures and Wazowski being turned into a disco ball. Genius. Released: 12th July

The Lone Ranger. So imagine if Pirates of the Caribbean was Cowboys of the West. That’s exactly what seems to be coming our way next August. From the director and producer of the Pirates films, and not forgetting good old Johnny Depp, comes The Lone Ranger. Based on an old TV show about an ex-Texas Ranger who dons a mask and with the help of his trusty Native American Side-kick Tonto, and brings down pain on the evil and corrupt. It seems set in a time of industrial change where the locomotive is sweeping the West. The Lone Ranger appears intent on stopping unscrupulous individuals using this technology for ill means. Looking fun, fast, and furious if it’s anything like a live action version of Rango we shouldn’t go too far wrong. Except maybe leave out the hallucinogenic cactus juice. Released: 9th August

The World's End: From the minds who brought you Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz comes the final episode in the Cornetto trilogy. Starring the mandatory dream team of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, The World’s End sees old friends gathering to relive their youth and reattempt a legendary pub-crawl completed 20 years previously. A crawl which happens to end at the tavern called The Worlds End, except this time it seems the pub crawl will finish with a literally apocalyptic hangover. Starring the crème de la crème of british comic talent, including Martin Freeman, The World's End should be quintessentially British comedy at its finest. Released: 14th August

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. An unexpected triumph, The Hunger Games has to be one of the best big book adaptations this year. Furthermore with Twilight finally undead and buried, The Hunger Games looks set to take up the mantle of massive female lead fiction. So it is with this in mind that I think many wait with bated breath to see if lightning can be struck twice. With a new director in the seat and what many have criticised as a repetitive narrative device, only time will tell if Catching Fire can do it again. Released: 22 November

Anchor Man: The Legend Continues. By the beard of Zeus, he’s back! More mad-cap, endlessly quotable lunacy from San Diego’s finest is on its way next Christmas. With very little in the way of plot released yet (wait, the original never had a plot either...) it’s hard to say exactly where Ron Burgundy and Co. will be taking us this time - but I think it’s safe to say it’s going to be hilarious. A cult favourite for many, I’m sure we don’t need to tell you this sequel is “kind of a big deal.” Released: 20th December

And  that’s not even scratching the surface. There’s Only God Forgives, The Evil Dead, Carrie, Rush, Mad Max, A Good Day To Die Hard, Elyssium and much, much more. Not forgetting many of the year’s earlier releases such as Les Miserables, Cloud Atlas and Django Unchained, which have already premiered elsewhere around the world. If you make any resolution this New Year, make sure it involves seeking out some of these scorchers!

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