2012 was a very strong year for movies. For the first time since its rule change, the Academy Awards might have reason to nominate a full list of 10 films for “Best Picture.” With the close of epics like Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Rises and Spielberg’s thought-provoking, performance-driven Lincoln, 2012 cinema definitely had legs to stand on. The real question now is what is there to look forward to? What will be the films to watch in 2013?
Box Office Blockbusters
Star Trek into Darkness: This follow up to J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot reunites the stellar cast of Chris Pine, Karl Urban and Zachary Quinto — Kirk, McCoy and Spock respectively. With what appears to be a darker tone than the first film, Star Trek into Darkness is poised to raise the stakes and the income for this franchise. Add in the enormous presence of Benedict Cumberbatch as the new, shadowy villain and you already have a drastic improvement from the first film’s Eric Bana.
Iron Man 3: The third film of Marvel’s Iron Man series and part of the wonderful world of The Avengers, Iron Man 3 brings Robert Downey Jr. back into the role of playboy-philanthropist Tony Stark. This time, Ben Kingsley plays the arch-villain, The Mandarin. With a new director onboard, this movie could represent the sequel that fans wanted after the semi-disappointing hodge-podge that was Iron Man 2.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Peter Jackson’s return to Middle-earth continues in this second installment of The Hobbit. While it is still unclear where the break will come, it is very likely that this film will contain the entirety of the Smaug confrontation so those looking for the dazzling special effects of a dragon in full battle need to look no further. Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and Richard Armitage all return to their roles and welcome newcomer Benedict Cumberbatch as the film’s villain.
Man of Steel: The likely candidate for largest blockbuster that is not a sequel, Man of Steel puts director Zack Snyder at the helm of realizing the Nolan brothers’ vision of Superman. With a far less cheesy approach than 2006’s Superman Returns, it will be interesting to see if this Superman is the right one for this generation. Actor Henry Cavill has big shoes to fill as the titular protagonist.
Anchorman: The Legend Continues: Will Ferrell returns as Ron Burgundy in a sequel that has long been demanded for by fans. With Ferrell’s declining popularity at the box office (Land of the Lost, Semi-Pro), it will be interesting to see if this film represents a return of comedic genius or a last stitch effort to cash in on established property.
This is the End: This film starring James Franco, Seth Rogen, Emma Watson, Jonah Hill and a host of other comedic talent, all as themselves, takes a much-needed humourous approach to the Mayan apocalypse nonsense of 2012. If you’ve ever wanted to see how a bunch of comedians would react to the end of the world, give this one a look.
Evil Dead: This remake of the 1981 classic looks every bit as disturbed and bloody as the original. While horror remakes have been genuinely disappointing in the past few years (Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street) this adaptation might be one to watch, despite the lack of Bruce Campbell.
The Award Winners
The Great Gatsby: Based on one of the great works of literature, this drama starring Leonardo DiCaprio looks like a surefire award winner.
Elysium: Director Neill Blomkamp returns from stunning the world with District 9 in 2009. This time, he has a budget and actors like Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. This may very well be the film of the year as science fiction claims an even tighter hold on cinema.