In terms of cinema, 2013 seems to be an unusual animal. After last year’s series of masive blockbuster hits like The Avengers, The Hunger Games, and of course, The Dark Knight Rises, this summer feels much more laid-back. So laid-back, in fact, that when I actually scanned over the schedule of summer movies 2013 for my choices, my first emotion overall was ambivalence. There just aren’t very many movies that I am actually excited to go and see this summer. It was a bit of a struggle to fill some of these slots. These five movies I ended up choosing, are really not just my top picks, but at the moment they seem to be my only picks.
5. Iron Man 3
This was the hardest spot for me to fill. There are a few superhero movies coming out this year, but I’m not tremendously invested in all of them. Thor 2 won’t be coming out until the fall, which invalidates it from this list. So this spot came down to Iron Man 3, The Wolverine, and a few other films that have some interesting premises, but I still don’t know enough about to give them a spot here.
Ultimately, the reason I chose Iron Man 3 over The Wolverine was the premise. In this film, we finally get to see Tony go up against his archenemy, the Mandarin. We’ve been waiting for years to see the confrontation, and it looks like our wait won’t have been in vain. From what we’ve seen in the trailer, it looks like Tony’s biggest challenge yet. As soon as they revealed Ben Kingsley was cast in the movie, I knew who he had to be, and I think he’s a great choice for the role. He’s also the one I was most happy for when I saw the trailer. We actually get to see him be threatening again. Conversely, we see Tony at a place even weaker than he has been before. This looks like it could do some very positive things for the Marvel franchise, and not just the Iron Man character.
The reason this only made the list at number five is I’m not the world’s biggest Iron Man fan. While I do enjoy Robert Downey Jr’s portrayal of Tony Stark, Iron Man has never really been my cup of tea. Just comes down to personal preference.
#4. The Bling Ring
This might be the oddball of my list, but it’s for very good reason. The premise of young girls burglarizing the homes of celebrities is something I’ve never seen before, and it looks like it’ll be very interesting. The film is being marketed as “based on actual events.” Considering Hollywood’s track record with adapting real stories, I’ll take that with a pound of salt, but that doesn’t make me want to see the movie any less. I have a very intellectual curiosity about this film. It does seem that it will also examine the problems of modern culture, as well as providing a materialistic fantasy.
One of the biggest reasons I want to see this do well is for Emma Watson. In my opinion, she is and was the most talented of the three stars of Harry Potter. Even though she’s worked in some other films like The Perks of Being A Wallflower, this will be her first major work since the end of the Potter series, and it could be very important for the next stage of her career. As she gets more distance from Hermione Granger, she’ll be better able to form her own identity as an actress. Choosing a more “bad girl” role like this will help widen her range, and I can only guess at what she’ll be doing next.
(But I’m praying to every God imaginable that she doesn’t go for 50 Shades of Grey like the rumors have been saying.)
#3. Pacific Rim
This is one of the projects where everything seems to be in line for it. You have the premise of humanity using giant fighting robots to combat massive alien monsters, you have Guillermo Del Toro directing the film, and you have Charlie Hunnam in one of the lead roles. Really, what’s not to like here?
Del Toro hasn’t had a film that he personally directed since 2008’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army, so I’m glad we’ll be getting to see something from him this year. He is one of the most creative people working in the business today, and I trust we’ll all have a lot of fun with this one.
Even though Charlie Hunnam is the star of Sons of Anarchy, one of television’s best and most popular programs, he still seems to be a bit under-the-radar, and I’m sure this film will help increase his profile. We’ll also get to see him share the screen with two of my favorite actors: his Sons co-star, Ron Perlman, and the always dependable Idris Elba.
This sounds like it’ll end up being a lot more smarter popcorn movie than any of the Transformers flicks, but then again, that’s not that hard to do.
2. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS
Back in 2009, JJ Abrams and company did what many people thought was impossible. They actually made it really cool to be a Star Trek fan. Their successful reboot took so many cues from the beloved original series, and made it both accessible and extremely entertaining for mainstream audiences. It’s hard to believe that was almost 4 years ago. In my opinion, while it does have its flaws, it still holds up very well after all this time. In a lot of ways, I’ve been anticipating this sequel more than the next installments of my beloved superhero movies.
As good as the first movie was, this sequel looks even better. For me the biggest enticement is Benedict freaking Cumberbatch as this mysterious, yet very dangerous new villain who turns the good guys on their ear. (For the record, I don’t think that he’s Khan.) Cumberbatch is an actor whose talent cannot be denied, and I’m sure this movie will propel him to the A-List, where he belongs.
Along with Derick, I was actually lucky enough to see the nine minute prologue that was attached to the first part of The Hobbit. If that is any indication of the movie we’re going to get, we’ll be in for something really really special in May. Of course, getting to see my number one celebrity crush, Alice Eve, in the movie doesn’t hurt its chances at all!
And my most anticipated movie of 2013 is………..
1: MAN OF STEEL
Really, my list begins and ends here. Like I mentioned earlier, I do feel very unattached to most of the movies this year. Some of them I couldn’t care less about, others I wouldn’t mind seeing, others I would really like to see. This is the only one I HAVE to see. Superman is my favorite superhero, and it looks like they finally got him right this time.
At his core, Superman/Clark Kent is more human than people give him credit for. He is both the ultimate immigrant, orphan and outcast. Even though he was lucky enough to find a new home with a family and friends that love him, he still has to deal with people like Lex Luthor and Sam Lane who think he’s a menace to the planet, which makes him feel like an alien. Thankfully, he doesn’t let that drag him down, and he actively chooses to be the difference he wants to see in the world. In losing his birth family and home in Krypton, he resolves to defend his adopted home against all costs, including threats from his own heritage like General Zod. It looks like we’ll get to see a little bit of all these themes with this latest adaptation, as well as some twists on the mythology that we haven’t seen before.
Since Christopher Nolan has godfathered this picture, it’s not surprising that the trailer gives very little away. We do see Superman will be viewed as the alien and the outcast, even in chains at some point, but we also have the assurance that we’ll actually get to see him throw down with Zod.
We’ve heard primarily good things about the film, which all appear to be based in genuine joy and not manufactured Hollywood hype. On a more personal note, every time I see this trailer, it makes me so happy I have to fight back a few manly tears.
With a star-studded cast and crew, as well as some extremely positive buzz, it seems like we’ll finally get the Superman movie we’ve always needed and the character has always deserved. More than that, we need him back. In ways most people don’t even realize, we need our greatest hero to come back and show us how it’s done.
Well, that’s my list of my five most anticipated movies this year. What are yours? Please feel free to list them in the comments below!