Hollywood is a fickle place — particularly its insistence on making sequels to movies that don’t call for a follow up film. I mean, Grown Ups 2? Really? The quality of the movies that come out in any given year is random and often unfortunate.
2012 was a pretty solid year for movies, in my opinion. Disney and Marvel wrecked pretty much every box office record with “The Avengers”. Christopher Nolan finally finished his Batman trilogy and the year ended with a bang, with the first installment of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” trilogy, Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” and Tom Hooper’s adaptation of “Les Misérables”, each coming out within only weeks of each other.
With the new year upon us, it’s time to look ahead to Hollywood’s 2013.
Disclaimer: This is one man’s list of movies that he would like to see, for any reason — plus one movie that he has absolutely no interest in seeing but can’t let go without comment. Your list almost certainly bears no resemblance to mine.
1. Iron Man 3 (May 3)
Robert Downey Jr. absolutely killed his first two performances as Tony Stark, and now he’s back again? Sign me up. Marvel and Disney have done quality work so far and there’s no reason to expect that to stop now.
Besides, I’d watch Robert Downey Jr. do pretty much anything for two hours.
2. Ender’s Game (Nov. 1)
I cannot believe I didn’t know about this before I started writing this column, but my excitement knows no bounds. Ender’s Game is one of my favorite books and I’m honestly surprised it has never been made into a movie before. I’m fully prepared to hate the film — just because I love the book so much — but I’m seeing it without a second thought.
Oh, and Harrison Ford is in it. So there’s that.
3. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Nov. 22)
I’m an unabashed fan of “The Hunger Games” books, and was actually surprised that the first movie came out as well as it did. It wasn’t a great movie, but it was solid, and didn’t stray too far from the source material. Catching Fire focuses less on Katniss and more on the rest of their world, so I’m not really sure how that will come out. But I’m looking forward to seeing Jennifer Lawrence doing her thing regardless.
4. The Great Gatsby (May 10)
I never got into F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel as much as a lot of other people I know, but this movie promises to be high quality. Leonardo DiCaprio can do just about anything he wants, so putting him in such an iconic role makes all the sense in the world.
Also, did you know Tobey Maguire was still a thing? I didn’t, and yet there he is. His presence concerns me.
5. Oblivion (April 19)
Based on the trailer, this appears to be “WALL-E” meets The Matrix, starring Tom Cruise. Which is to say that this movie will almost certainly be terrible. And yet, I can’t help but be excited for it. I will watch pretty much anything that is both science fiction and action-based, and the premise sounds terrible but interests me for some reason.
And if all else fails, I get to spend two hours making fun of Tom Cruise.
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6. Thor: The Dark Worlds (Nov. 8)
As with Iron Man 3, I’m on board with this without knowing anything beyond it’s a Thor sequel with Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman in it. I’m also intrigued to see where this one goes. There’s a lot of room to play around in the Thor universe, and they only really scratched the surface in the first movie and The Avengers.
7. Star Trek Into Darkness (May 17)
Let me preface this entry by saying that I am not even remotely a “Trekkie.” I never watched either generation’s TV show, I never saw any of the movies before J.J. Abrams’ first one. Having said that, I find Abrams’ work quite entertaining. I suspect that the die-hards hate people like me, but I’ll live. And the sheer amount of potential source material available makes the potential almost limitless.
8.* Monsters University (June 21)*
If you’re really not excited for a Pixar movie, especially a Monsters Inc. movie, we can’t be friends. That’s how that works.
9. Anchorman: The Legend Continues (Dec. 20)
Similarly, if you’re not excited for an Anchorman sequel, I hate you. They’ve got pretty much the entirety of the cast from the original back, so this almost has to be funny.
10. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (Aug. 16)
I love the Percy Jackson books and hated the first movie. So this may turn out to be an exercise in hate-watching. In fact, it will almost certainly be that. But the books are so good that I feel like I have to show up, just on the off chance that something amazing comes out of it.
11. Man of Steel (June 14)
I’m leery of having Superman rebooted, in part because of the vast potential for awfulness, but also because this is the beginning of DC Comics’ response to the success of The Avengers and the path to the Justice League movie is fraught with peril. But it’s still Superman, so whatever.
12. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Dec. 13)
Confession: I have not yet seen The Hobbit. I know, I know, I’m a terrible person. I just never quite got around to it. But I’ve heard good things, and I have to assume the second movie will also be good. And I promise to see the first one by the time I see the second one.
13. Oz: The Great And Powerful (March 8)
I’d go see this movie just because Mila Kunis is in it, but it doesn’t hurt that it’s about the Wizard of Oz. And I’m always partial to origin stories.
14. After Earth (June 7)
This movie stars Will Smith and his son, Jaden, and is directed by M. Night Shyamalan and is set in post-apocalyptic space. This sounds so awful that I have to go see it, if only to be hold the sheer power of that much awful concentrated in such a small area. This cannot end well, and yet I love it already.
15. The Smurfs 2 (July 31)
I know a lot of people didn’t like The Smurfs, but I enjoyed it, personally. Neil Patrick Harris was great, as was Jayma Mays, who you probably know from Glee. I’m a little skeptical of the sequel just on principle, but I can’t help but go see it.
16. Lone Ranger (July 3)
I’m mostly looking forward to this for the potential of Johnny Depp doing Johnny Depp things. I mean, the movie should be decent otherwise, but it’s Johnny Depp.
17. 300: Rise of An Empire
Come on, it’s a movie about Spartans. We go to MSU. This is obvious.
18. A Good Day to Die Hard (Feb. 14)
There’s so much potential for awfulness here, but it’s Die Hard. Explosions, explosions and more explosions. It’ll be fun. I think.
19. Jack Ryan (Dec. 25)
I just watched The Hunt For Red October, so I’m in on this. Jack Ryan’s a solid character, so there’s potential here.
20. Grown Ups 2 (July 12)
I mean, seriously. Really guys? Really?