Friday, April 19, 2013

2013 Awards Season Preview - Part 5: Because I Said So

     Below is my fifth and final set of films for the 2013-2014 Awards season, titled Because I Said So.  Each article in this series has presented a group of upcoming releases that are currently on my watch list.  I divided the articles up to each represent the strengths found in cinema in one of the last four years (with 2013 as an unknown wild card for this fifth post). We have no idea what 2013 will bring.  In its honor, I present this set of films that don't fit any of the other four categories that Oscar usually draws from (and a few that I just forgot in those categories).  This category can contain any genre, but comedies, super hero fare and fantasy form the majority.
     On a side note, no awards season will ever be mostly about these kinds of films.  Generally speaking, the Academy ignores them almost entirely.  Maybe an odd tech, acting or screenplay nod, but that's it.  It is almost certain that none of these films will make the Best Picture list.  However, that doesn't mean that there are no films in this group that SHOULD.
      The movies that already have release dates are presented in chronological order.  The films that have not received such dates are listed alphabetically afterward.  The fifteen films (that have not already been released) that I am most excited about seeing appear in bold with short descriptions of why.  Do not be surprised if we see some of these get pushed back until 2014.  I will be surprised if we don't.  Still, for now, the films I'm covering in 2013 just Because I Said So are...

  01/11 - Gangster Squad (yeah, rough reviews, but Gosling & Penn keep it in my DVD que anyway)
               Struck By Lightning (Glee's Chris Colfer wrote and stars in this high school comedy)
  01/25 - Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
  02/01 - Warm Bodies (zombie in love story from writer/director Jonathen Levine)
  02/14 - Beautiful Creatures (Emma Thompson, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis & teen witches)
  03/01 - Jack the Giant Slayer (directed by Bryan Singer)
  03/08 - Oz, the Great and Powerful (James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz & Michelle Williams)
  03/15 - The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (Magicians #1: Carrell, Buscemi, Carrey, Arkin, Gandolfini...)
  04/05 - Upstream Color
  04/12 - The Angel's Share (directed by Ken Loach)
  05/03 - Iron Man 3
  06/07 - Much Ado About Nothing: Joss Whedon follows up Marvel's Avengers with...a Shakespeare adaptation?  No, seriously, and the trailer looks fantastic.  Stars Whedon mainstays Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof.
               Now You See Me: Director Louis Letterier brings us magicians #2 (and this one looks much better).  Stars Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Caine, Dave Franco & Melanie Laurent
  06/14 - Man of Steel: Zack Snyder may be directing, but Christopher Nolan is producing and contributing on the story, so I'm hoping it's going to do for Superman what The Dark Knight trilogy did for Batman. Early promotionals are VERY promising.  Even the casting of Kevin Costner as Pa Kent couldn't chase me away from this.  Also stars Henry Cavill (Clark), Amy Adams (Lois), Russel Crowe (Jor-El), Dianne Lane (Martha Kent), Michael Shannon (Zod) & Laurence Fishburne (Perry White).
               This Is The End:  Fourth wall bending apocalypse comedy about a party at James Franco's house from directors Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg.  If that isn't bizarre enough to get your attention, the film stars the three gentlemen listed above as well as Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Paul Rudd, Emma Watson, Jason Segal, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Rihanna, and Kevin Hart.
  06/21 - World War Z: What can be done with zombie flicks that hasn't already been done?  THIS!!!  Marc Forster (Finding Neverland) directs, Brad Pitt stars, and the effects team is probably going to the Oscars!!!
  06/28 - White House Down (stars Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx & Maggie Gyllenhall)
  07/05 - The Way, Way Back (written & directed by Nat Faxon & Jim Rash with Carell & Collette)
  07/19 - R.I.P.D. (undead cops starring Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon & Mary Louise Parker)
  07/26 - Wolverine (Hugh Jackman returns, hopefully the second time is the charm)
  08/02 - The Spectacular Now: Director James Ponsoldt's follow up to Smashed is an off-beat high school romance about living in the present versus living in the future.  Stars Shaillene Woodley, Miles Teller, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Brie Larson, Bob Odenkirk, Jennifer Jason Leigh & Kyle Chandler.
  08/16 - Kick-Ass 2 (the first chapter survived Cage, can this one survive Carey?)
               Thanks For Sharing (stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Ruffalo & Tim Robbins)
  08/23 - The Grandmaster (directed by Kar Wai Wong)
               Mortal Instruments: The City of Bone: This might be terrible, but the trailer looks like GREAT fun.  Director Harold Zwart DID manage to exceed my expectations roundly with the Karate Kid remake, so who knows how he'll handle a movie about teen-age demon hunters?  Stars Lena Headey, Lily Collins & Aiden Turner with Jonathen Rhys-Meyers and Jean-Pierre Jeunet mainstay Robert Maillet in supporting.
               World's End (Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright with Martin Freeman & Rosamund Pike)
  10/04 - Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For (would be highlighted if it weren't a sequel)
  10/18 - Don Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut)
              Seventh Son (Family fantasy starring Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges)
  11/08 - Thor: The Dark World (no Branagh direction, but Hemsworth and Portman return)
  11/22 - Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  11/27 - Black Nativity: Ok, so an all black musical version of the Christmas story sounds like it could be uber-cheesy, BUT...the film stars Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassette, Jennifer Hudson & Mary J. it could also be brilliant...or at least have some brilliant acting.
  TBA -   Almost Christmas (comedy starring Paul Rudd, Paul Giamatti & Sally Hawkins)
               Big Wedding: Ok, so a comedy of errors about two families coming together for a wedding has been done to DEATH as a story concept, I admit.  Debut director Justin Zackham is completely untried, I grant you.  However, I WILL be watching any film that stars Susan Sarandan, Dianne Keaton, Robert DeNiro, Robin Williams, Amanda Seyfried, Katherine Heigl & Topher Grace.  This one does.
               Drinking Buddies (with Anna Kendrick & Olivia Wilde)
               Filth (crime drama with McAvoy, Bell & Poots)
               Frank: Michael Fassbender plays a mysterious band leader in a comedy that also features Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, & Scoot McNairy.
               The Harvest (horror flick with Michael Shannon, Samantha Morton & Peter Fonda)
               The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman: This debut feature from director Fredrik Bond is a twisted tale of love and crime.  It stars Shia LaBeouf, Mads Mickelson, Melissa Leo, John Hurt, Rupert Grint, Evan Rachel Wood & Vincent D'Onofrio.
               Prince Avalanche: The latest comedy from director David Gordon Green tells a story of two highway workers played by Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch.
               The Rover: Animal Kingdom director David Michod brings us a Western with an Australian accent starring Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson & Scoot McNairy.  Michod co-wrote the script with Joel Edgerton.
                Tar (James Franco, Mila Kunis, Henry Hopper, Jessica Chastain, Zach Braff, Bruce Campbell...)
                Third Person: Paul Haggis directs a tale of three interlocking love stories starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Olivia Wilde, Kim Bassinger, Maria Bello, Adrien Brody & Liam Neeson.
                 Two Mothers (reviews from the festival circuit were not great, but I can't resist)
                 Untitled Nicole Holofcener Project
                 Winter's Tale: Director Akiva Goldsman bring high concept fantasy starring Russell Crowe, Will Smith, Jennifer Connelly, Colin Farrell & William Hurt.
                 Zulu (Orlando Bloom & Forrest Whitaker)

     And that concludes The Movie Frog's viewing agenda (as of now) for 2013 releases.  I can't resist doing a post script edition where I make some totally unsubstantiated stabs in the dark about possible Oscar nominations.  Look for it in a couple of days.  Until then...

     Related Articles: Upcoming 2013 Award Season PreviewPart One: Pulpy PlayersPart Two: Specialties That Might SpellbindPart Three: Little Pics That Might CouldPart Four: The Usual SuspectsThe Dark Knight Transcends

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