Sunday, 27 January 2013

Moviewatch: looking forward to 2013

Watching movies is one of my great passions and a huge inspiration for my RPG plotlines.  It's rare that a movie is entirely useless from a DM's perspective (except maybe Battleship) and I often find myself tearing a bad film apart just to reuse it's kernel in a plot of my own.  So without further ado, and with January nearly over,  here's my list of movies that I'm looking forward to seeing in 2013.

JANUARY
  •  Storage 24 - Noel Clarke (aka Micky from Doctor Who) co-wrote and stars in this sci-fi horror set in a storage center.  I doubt if it will eclipse the excellent Attack The Block, but it's a great set-up for a modern day RPG so there should be loads of plot hook material ripe for the picking.

  • Hansel & Gretel: Witchhunters - Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton star as the grown up Brothers Grimm characters who have become globetrotting bounty hunters specialising in the supernatural.

  • John Dies at the End - Don Coscarelli directs what can only be described as a slack-stone-horror wherin two college drop outs encounter the mind bending, time traveling drug soy-sauce.  Check out Don's awesome anti-piracy trailer for a taste of what I mean.

FEBRUARY
  • Escape from Planet Earth - Brendan Fraser and Rob Corddry star in this animated interplanetary escape movie.  Fun for the little ones I think.

MARCH
  • OZ: The Great and Powerful - James Franco stars as Kansas con-artist and stage magician Oscar (Oz), transported to the land of the munchkins in this movie derived from the Frank L Baum classic.  Trailer looks sumptuous, and although I do think that The Land of Oz necessarily needs another movie, having a prequel told from a perspective other than that of Dorothy is probably the way to go.  One question remains though; What was the Land of Oz called before the wizard arrived?
     
  • GI Joe: Retaliation - Channing Tatum reprises his role as Duke, accompanied by Bruce Willis, Dwayne Johnson, Ray Stevenson and a host of others in this oft rescheduled sequel.  I expect to see lost of silly action sequences and ridiculous gadgets as the Joe's face off against their Cobra nemesis, Vartan (Arnold Vosloo).
       
  • The Host - Saorsie Ronan (Hanna) stars as Melanie Stryder who becomes the unwitting host to an alien soul.  Based on the novel by Stephanie Meyer (Twiligiht) this has equal chance of being great or awful, but I expect my 14 year old stepdaughter will demand to see it.  
APRIL
  •  Oblivion - Tom Cruise stars as a Jack Harper, a drone repairman stationed on an Earth devastated by an apocalyptic war with aliens.  Everything he knows about the war is challenged when he discovers the contents of a crashed spaceship.  From what I've seen so far the visual style is a contrast of futuristic white apple product design against a backdrop of bleak desolation, nice...  
MAY
  • Iron Man 3 - More of the same in the third outing for Robert Downey Jr.'s wisecracking billionaire tech genius philanthropist Tony Stark.  Is anyone tired of this yet? thought not...
  • About Time - Richard Curtis (4 Weddings and a Funeral) writes and directs this tale of Tim (Domhnall Gleeson), a young man who can travel through time.  The set up is a bit groundhog day/50 first dates, so one for the ladies,me thinks.  Although my lady prefers movies with a lot of shooting, car crashes and arms and legs flying eveywhere, ah well.

  • Star Trek: Into Darkness - Is it Khan? I don't care, I just want to see Karl Urban, Simon Pegg and Anton Yelchin reprise their roles as Bones, Scotty and Chekov.

  • The Purge - In a dark future USA, prisons are overcrowded and the government instigates a series of 12 hour prosecution free periods in which all illegal activity is made legal.  Lena Headey (Dredd, Game of Thrones) and Ethan Hawke star as parents trying to protect their family from a home invasion.  
JUNE
  • After Earth - M Night Shymalan directs and Will and Jaden Smith star as father and son Cypher and Kitai, whose spaceship crashlands on a hostile future Earth leaving Kitai to try to reach a distress beacon and send for help to save his father.  Will it be any good, probably not but it will do reasonably well at the box office and perhaps there will be a Shymalanian plot twist at the end...
  • Man of Steel - Much hyped attempt to reboot the superman franchise again.  Henry Cavill stars as Superman, Russell Crowe as his father Jor-El and Michael Shannon fresh from his bad-cop role in Premium Rush plays General Zod.
     
  • Monsters University - Twelve years after Disney/Pixar released Monsters Inc, John Goodman and Billy crystal are reunited as the hairy scary odd couple Sully and Mike, in this prequel set during their time at the University of Fear.  Expect laughs, "Mild Peril" and fun for all ages.
     
  • World War Z - Much hyped visualisation of Max Brooks novel starring Brad Pitt as UN employee Gerry Lane as he travels the world trying to prevent the zombie apocalypse.
     
  • Kick Ass 2: Balls to the Wall - Aaron Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz return as lycra clad superteens "Kick-Ass" and "Hit Girl" in the eagerly awaited sequel to John Romita Jr.'s awesome comic book.  Guest stars include Jim Carey as "Colonel Stars and Stripes" and Christopher Mintz-Plasse whose "Red Mist" character has become "The Mother Fucker".  Can't wait till this comes out it should be awesome.
JULY
  • Despicable Me 2 - A sequel to the 2010 hit animation starring Steve Carrell as Gru assisted by the voice talents of Al Pacino, Russell Brand and Steve Coogan to name but a few.  Expect it to be slick and full of laughs for all the family.
  • Pacific Rim - Guillermo Del Toro's eagerly anticipated Kaiju movie starring Charlie Hunnan (Sons of Anarchy) and Idris Elba (Prometheus) as they defend the earth from giant monsters in their equally giant robots.  Awesome trailer and should prove to be at worst an hors d'ouvre for more giant monstrosities in the Godzilla movie slated for 2014. 



  • The Wolverine - Hugh Jackman is back as the eponymous adamantium clawed hero in this rendition of the Silver Samurai storyline.
AUGUST
  • 300: Rise of an Empire - Frank Miller and Kurt Johnstadt reunite for this sequal directed by Noam Murro.  A cast of relative unknowns are all that stand between Xerxes and his ultimate goal conquering ancient Greece.
  • RED 2 - Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and John Malkovitch reunite as the Retired and Extremely Dangerous spies in a new adventure.  Expect ridiculous levels of action and dead pan laughs as the gang try to outwit the badguys out to retire them for good.  I am particularly looking forward to seeing David Thewlis as "The Frog" (Best character name I've heard in ages).

  • Elysium - Matt Damon Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley star in this Neill Blomkamp tale of a dystopian future set on a ravaged Earth populated by the destitute ruled over by a wealthy elite from their orbital spacestation.
  • Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters - Chris Columbus returns to direct a second Percy Jackson adventure based on the mythical childrens novels of Rick Riordan.  I absolutely loved the first movie, it was witty, intelligent, fun and action packed with a smattering of greek mythology to keep the parents happy.  Infinitely preferable to that derivative magical boarding school drivel the english teachers were happy to let kids suck up so greedily during the noughties.
SEPTEMBER
  • Riddick - Vin Diesel returns to the role that made him famous.  Our eponymous anti-hero is left for dead on a killer alien planet only to be beset on all sides by bounty hunters predatory aliens and his old enemy Necromunger Commander Vaako (Karl Urban).

  • I, Frankenstein - Aaron Eckhart plays the monster trapped between two warring clans of supernatural immortals.  Based on the Dark Horse comic book of the same name, this sounds like another go at the Underworld / Blade horror-action subgenre, perhaps Bill Nighy's villain will lift this movie out of obscurity.
  • Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers - A sequel to the highly entertaining kids animation Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. 
OCTOBER
  • Sin City: A Dame to Kill For - Robert Rodriguex is back directing Frank Miller's dark vision of a crime riddled city in it's spectacular "comic noir" style.  Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Rosario Dawson and Clive Owen all return, so expect dark, dark things and plenty of graphic blood spattered violence.  BTW has anyone written a Sin City Fiasco playset by any chance?
  • The World's End - Edgar Wright directs Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in the last of the "Cornetto" trilogies.  Five friends reunite after 20 years to relive their epic pub crawl and unwittingly save mankind.  Stellar cast of British actors including Martin Freeman, Rosamund Pike, Eddie Marsan and Paddy Considine should ensure this movies success.
NOVEMBER
  • Ender's Game - Fans of Orson Scott Card's epic Sci-fi series have been patiently waiting for someone to step up to the plate and make the first movie of the saga.  Talentented young actor Asa Butterfield (Hugo) stars as Ender Wiggins, recruited to battle school in  preparation to defend humanity from impending invasion by a vastly superior alien race.  Can he even survive the training?
     
  • Thor: Dark World - Chris Hemsworth returns as the norse superhero battling the forces of the evil dark elves in this post Avengers Assemble sequel.
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - Second installment of the Suzzane Collins trilogy where Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) are once again forced into the Hunger Games whilst their world descends into revolution and chaos
DECEMBER
NO DATE AS YET
  • Frankensteins' Army - In the last days of World War II, Russian troops stumble upon one of the Nazi's most terrible secret weapon projects... An army of re-animated Frankensoldiers.
  • Snowpiercer - Chris Evans and Jamie Bell star in this post apocalyptic sci-fi movie of survivors aboard a train. 
  • Machete Kills - Danny Trejo returns as Robert Rodriguez's taciturn mexican vigilante in this no-holds barred grindhouse action thriller. This time he's joined by Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen.  Another outing for Machete is also planned with the ludicrously titled Machete Kills Again... In Space!
STILL WAITING FOR...

War of The Worlds: Goliath - Animated steampunk movie sequel to HG Well's War of the Worlds produced in association with Heavy Metal Magazine.  This one has been threatening to come out for a while, hope it doesn't turn into vapourware.

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