Coming soon to a multiplex near you
Movies of 2013 bring back aging action stars, some promising scripts
By: Scott Hayes
| Posted: Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 06:00 am
When it comes to entertainment in the theatre, moviegoers should hope for the best but expect the worst in 2013. How many times have we all been fooled by shiny, glossy trailers, gleefully purchased expensive tickets before sitting down to two-and-a-half hours of murky plots, barrel-bottom acting and the latest film school hack director at the helm?
Far too many times.
The only way to protect yourself against another tragic, wallet-emptying trip to the multiplex is to plan ahead and do your research. Knowing is half the battle and so, with your entertainment dollar in mind, the St. Albert Gazette is happy to provide a guide to the movies of 2013.
The year starts off with some old but familiar faces. Sadly, one of those is wrapped in leather. Texas Chainsaw 3D (this Friday, Jan. 4) is Lionsgate Studio’s attempt to revisit another classic horror thriller. It’s been almost 40 years since the original Massacre came out and this new entry to the franchise tries to remake the 2003 version that was in itself a remake of the original. Certainly, this one must be unique in some way, right?
If action is your thing then you just can’t beat former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to form. In The Last Stand (Jan. 18), the 65-year-old Austrian thespian plays a sheriff who must stop a fleeing drug kingpin racing to cross the border to Mexico. There will be guns and one-liners, you can be sure of that.
Not long after that, Sylvester Stallone steps in with Bullet to the Head (Feb. 1), another element of proof that action heroes of the 1980s never die, they just wait for the next chance to reload. Here, the 66-year-old plays Jimmy Bobo, a hitman who teams up with a policeman in order to bring down a violent gangster. This will not be anything like Singin’ in the Rain.
Interestingly, Schwarzenegger and Stallone reunite later on in the year for The Tomb (Sept. 27). It's the unlikely tale of a guy who designed a prison and then is sentenced to a crime he didn’t commit … in that same prison. Somehow, he must find a way to escape. Let's all wish him luck.
Aging action heroes abound indeed. Bruce Willis, now in his late 50s, revisits the character John McClane in A Good Day to Die Hard (Feb. 14), the fourth sequel of a smirking New York cop who is always the last person you want to hang around with at Christmastime. Trouble finds him like the tax collector finds your hidden penny jar.
Sly, Arnie, and Bruno aren't alone. Tom Cruise recently returned to running down streets with December's Jack Reacher. Next, he has the part of Jack Harper in Oblivion (April 19), a movie about a guy who fixes drone aircraft on an otherwise abandoned Earth in the future. He's so good that he's dangerous, just like every other movie he's ever been in. Chances are he'll have to yell and run down a street in this one too. At least it has screenwriter William Monahan to help it along.
If you can't get enough of Tom then there's good news for you. Maverick, the lovable pilot who is so good that he’s dangerous will, once again, feel the need, the need for speed. Top Gun 3-D (Feb. 8) is one of several past hits that are being resurrected through the magic of optical reverse engineering. There's also Little Mermaid (Sept. 13), Jurassic Park, and Star Wars Episodes II and III, Attack of the Clones (Sept. 20) and Revenge of the Sith (Oct. 4)
Monsters Inc., which got the 3D treatment just before Christmas, returns with the prequel Monsters University (June 21), just as all your little monsters are getting out of school for the summer. If the second is written anywhere near as well as the first, it will certainly get top grades in my report card.
In my estimation, it's as important (and often more important) to pay credit to those people who work so hard to put movies together but never show up on screen themselves. Specifically, I mean the director, the cinematographer and the screenwriter, that magical person who creates all of these stories out of thin air.
There's a laundry list of films that I have my eyes on for just that reason.
First, there’s A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (Feb. 8), written and directed by Roman Coppola, son of Francis Ford, brother of Sofia, cousin of Nicolas Cage and Jason Schwartzman. That's the same release date for Side Effects by Steven Soderbergh. Bryan Singer and Christopher McQuarrie, the team behind Usual Suspects, reunites for Jack the Giant Slayer (March 1), a modern day live action fairy tale.
McQuarrie also has a hand in the next superhero chapter of The Wolverine (July 26). Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark again in Iron Man 3 (May 3), helmed and co-written by Shane Black, the guy who brought us Lethal Weapon and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Man of Steel (June 14) revisits the early days of Clark Kent and Superman, this time under the direction of Zack Snyder who showed us a thing or two with the Watchmen a few years ago.
Finally, South Africa's Neill Blomkamp brings us Elysium, also known as Baja Dunes (Aug. 9), with the help of returning cinematographer, St. Albert's own Trent Opaloch. Blomkamp created a riveting vision with District 9 back in 2009. Elysium is another sci-fi story with elements of human rights and equality in its DNA. After that, Opaloch gets to work on the sequel to Captain America, set for a 2014 release.