January 7, 2013 1 Comment
While there are a number of movies scheduled for release over the next twelve months that have me dizzy with anticipation there are an equal or perhaps even larger number that have yet to tickle my fancy. This is a list of the movies that — while they may well prove perfectly serviceable upon release — have so far left me lukewarm to cold…
Delayed after the Aurora shootings so that an eerily reminiscent shoot-out could be re-shot, Gangster Squad left many pining for months longer than they might have liked. While some were sold at the mere inclusion of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone alone, I remain to this day resolutely unconvinced that there is any real mileage left in the gangster genre. Unfortunately, the trailers and promotional materials so far released have done little to convince me otherwise.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
Starring the ungodly pairing of Gemma Arterton and Jeremy Renner (I’ll tell you everything, just make the pain stop), Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is likely to be something of a charisma vacuum, a personality void and boast a gaping wide chasm where the audience’s sympathies were supposed to be. And that’s before you’ve taken into account the trailers, each of which somehow manages to look worse than the one before. No thank you.
While many cheered the end of The Twilight Saga this November, it is becoming increasingly clear that we are not out of the woods just yet. Inevitably, a film based on Stephenie Meyer’s post-Twilight novel, The Host — which trades sparkly vampires for spiritual aliens — is now on its way to cinemas too. Starring Saoirse Ronan, the film will follow Melanie’s struggles with an invading extraterrestrial “soul”. As if this didn’t sound suspect enough, there is talk of The Host becoming a trilogy (or quadrilogy of films, as has become the Hollywood norm), with subsequent novels in the planning stages.
2013 is set to be a pretty important year for the sci-fi genre, with the likes of Guillermo del Toro, Neill Blomkamp, Alfonso Cuarón and J.J. Abrams releasing new movies set in some dystopian future. Not quite in the same league is Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion. Based on his own graphic novel, the film follows two of the last people on earth as they attempt to complete some mission or other following an alien invasion. Historical perspectives are set to change, however, when Tom Cruise saves a strange woman from a downed space-craft. Did I mention that Olga Kurylenko is in this movie? Pass!
From Blu Sky, the promotional material proclaims, the makers of Ice Age and Rio! Excuse me for being honest, but that’s not a movie anybody wants to see. Even taken on its own merits — without the baggage that comes with such unfortunate heritage — it’s difficult to feel any real good-will towards Epic. Animation has entered something of third Golden Age of late, with many different studios expertly marrying state of the art CGI, vivacious voice-casts and sharp scripts to truly astonishing effect. None of this is evident in Epic‘s trailer, which just makes it look like another, well, Blu Sky animation.
The Hangover Part III
You’d have thought that after all of the lawsuits faced by Part II Warner Brothers might have finally decided to call it a day on this flagging franchise. Sadly not. With the entire — and I mean ENTIRE — casts of the first two movies set to reprise their roles in some shape or form, and John Goodman cast as the film’s villain, The Hangover Part III will reportedly stray from the formula to date (if not the Las Vegas setting) and focus on the Wolfpack’s attempts to save Alan from a mental institution. I for one would much rather they just left him there.
Man Of Steel
Poor DC. With Marvel going from strength to strength with The Avengers and a charismatic new Spider-man, DC have been left in the shadows — inexplicably, somewhere they’ve actively fought to stay. With their acclaimed and hugely
successful pretentious The Dark Knight trilogy now behind them, they’ve turned to Superman and Zack Snyder in search of their next box office hero. While I’ve never particularly cared for the character anyway, and have even less interest in Snyder’s interpretation of it, my biggest problem with the upcoming film is the involvement of Christopher Nolan. Whether Man Of Steel is a resounding success or a crushing failure, it will be either because of — or despite — Nolan’s input. Get a room.
Despicable Me 2
I hated Despicable Me – hated, hated, hated it. Whereas Megamind was sharp, subversive and incredibly funny, Illumination Entertainment’s attempt at a supervillian-turned-hero movie was bland, sentimental and spent far too much time focusing on either Dru’s annoying minions or charmless children. With the publicity so far focusing once more on the hateful yellow tic-tacs, it doesn’t seem as though the sequel is likely to change that any time soon.
Having appeared in every single X-Men movie to date, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine has racked up five appearances since the 2000 original. Headlining all three of the original films, starring in his own prequel and apparently stealing X-Men: First Class with a brief cameo, he is easily the most recogniseable and bankable member of the franchise that Xavier built. He is also the least interesting. With this instalment set to return him to his roots, there seems little chance of further character growth, and just another dose of cigar-chomping, wild-haired sinew.
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
Gollum has always been the most interesting character in J.R.R. Tolkein’s books, even before Andy Serkis added new layers with his motion-capture performance in Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy. With the character having largely served his purpose in 2012’s An Unexpected Journey, next year’s The Desolation Of Smaug looks to be just another three hours of directionless running, interchangeable dwarves and Martin Freeman’s bemused facial expression. And a dragon, presumably. Unless that’s saved for the even more unnecessary third instalment.
Other possible contenders include The Lone Ranger, 300: Rise Of An Empire and Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, none of which have me the least bit excited.