List compiled by Eddie
With many a film on my most anticipated list, I felt it apt to post this list of the films still on the horizon for this year that should be something special (at least in my eyes).
Please note some of the films at the end of the list I have seen already, they are accompanied by a brief snapshot of my thoughts.
1. Gravity – Directed by Alfonso Cauron, Starring George Clooney, Sandra Bullock
Astronauts attempt to return to earth after debris crashes into their space shuttle, leaving them drifting alone in space.
It has been far to long since Cauron has last blown the minds of cinema going audiences with his masterpiece in 2006 Children of Men. After many years in production and various cast members the public finally got to see their first glimpse of Gravity last month with a short 1 and a half minute teaser. If that is anything to go by, we as a cinema going public are in for a real unique treat. Just make sure you can snap up an Imax ticket for this one.
2. 12 Years A Slave – Directed by Steve McQueen, Starring Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender
A man living in New York during the mid-1800s is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the deep south.
Dispite only making 2 films (Hunger, Shame) McQueen is now regarded as one of the most unique and talented directors working today. It’s not hard to see that with a cast like he has assembled here that actors are fighting to work with him. By all reports (Brad Pitt recently calling this film a “masterwork”) 12 Years a Slave (based on the novel of the same name) will be McQueen’s real calling card and his ticket to the Oscars.
3. Place Beyond the Pines – Directed By Derek Cianfrance, Starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper
A motorcycle stunt rider considers committing a crime in order to provide for his wife and child, an act that puts him on a collision course with a cop-turned-politician.
Being an Australian Pines only ever received a limited release in the country making it impossible for me to track it down. By all reports Pines is a pretty unique take on the crime genre and after Blue Valentine I cannot wait to finally watch Cianfrance’s film.
4. Man Of Steel – Directed by Zac Snyder, Starring Henry Cavill, Russell Crowe
An alien infant is raised on Earth, and grows up with superhuman abilities. He sets out to use these abilities to guard his adopted world.
This is the type of Summer Blockbuster I have been waiting for! With Nolan on producing and story duties and Snyder behind the camera there is no reason Man Of Steel cannot become the next Dark Knight trilogy. Mixing a great story with unique action, let’s just hope Cavill does the man with the S on his chest proud.
5. Only God Forgives – Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, Starring Ryan Gosling
A Bangkok police lieutenant and a gangster settle their differences in a Thai-boxing match.
After the critical and audience response Refn received from Drive it was safe to say he could make almost anything he wanted to. What he did make is this stunning looking and brutal film that pretty much polarised critics at Cannes. Some calling it a waste of time, others to violent then you had a few that outed it as a bonified neon masterpiece.
6. Elysium – Directed by Neil Blomkamp, Starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster
Set in the year 2159, where the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth, a man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.
As with Cuaron audiences have been waiting some time to see Blomkamp in action again after his stunning box office and critical smash District 9. If all goes to plan (which the trailer seems to suggest it is) Elysium could be a truly original and fascinating entry into the Sci-Fi canon.
7. To the Wonder – Directed by Terrance Malik, Starring Ben Affleck, Rachael McAdams
After visiting Mont Saint-Michel, Marina and Neil come to Oklahoma, where problems arise. Marina meets a priest and fellow exile, who is struggling with his vocation, while Neil renews his ties with a childhood friend, Jane.
As with Place Beyond the Pines, Australia gets quite a short straw when it comes to movie release’s, To The Wonder is no exception. From all reports To The Wonder is perhaps Mallik’s most divisive film yet, which is saying something! I have no doubt though that if Mallik can use the same beautiful story telling technique he really mastered straight up with Badlands, then I am confident I will again be enthralled by this master story teller.
8. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints – Directed by David Lowery, Starring Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara
The tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met.
After reading about this film’s reception on the festival circuit I would be lying if I said I was anything less than excited to see a film from this new fresh voice in cinema. From the looks of the trailer Affleck and Mara own their respective roles and the naturalistic cinematography makes it look like Roger Deakin’s himself has overseen the film. One to find and hunt down when it is released in a limited capacity later this year.
9. Wolf of Wall Street – Directed by Martin Scorsese, Starring Leonardo De Caprio, Jonah Hill
A New York stockbroker refuses to cooperate in a large securities fraud case involving corruption on Wall Street, corporate banking world and mob infiltration.
Based on the shocking and by all accounts quite full on true story Martin Scorsese will be back with a bang when his next DiCaprio collaboration comes out in prime Oscar season later this year. With what seems like the perfect mix of source material, director and cast there is no reason Wolf can’t be up in the ranks of the great Marty filmography.
10. Oldboy – Directed by Spike Lee, Starring Josh Brolin, Samuel L. Jackson
An everyday man has only five days and limited resources to discover why he was imprisoned in a nondescript room for 15 years without any explanation.
I must admit to not being totally sold on the original Korean made Oldboy. I felt it missed the mark slightly from how people have rated it so highly. With Lee behind the camera of the remake let’s hope it can be just as good if not even an improvement on the original. After now many misses (Miracle at St Anna’s), Lee needs this one to work more than ever.
World War Z – Brad Pitt and zombies, should be a fun night out.
The Tomb – Arnold and Sly together, in prison. I’m sold!
Star Trek: Into Darkness – Seen it! Not near the first JJ outing but never the less an entertaining blockbuster with a great choice of villain and actor. Gives the audience reassurance that the force is in strong hands with JJ at the helm.
Lone Ranger – A sucker for the western, I am hoping this big budget flick provides the good times.
Zero Dark Thirty– Seen it! Was somewhat let down by this film and its pretty cock-sure script. Almost screamed “look how smart I am”! Having said that the film was an interesting snapshot of a game of hide and seek like no other.
Kick Ass 2 – With Jim Carey on board there is no real reason this can’t be every bit as original and bonkers as the original. The loss of Vaughan as director causes some concern however.
Evil Dead – Was shown in about 3 cinemas Australia wide, very much looking forward to seeing if this lives up to the horror boastings.
Django Unchained – Seen it! What a fantastic, original and funny film. With a mix of pretty dramatic and serious moments QT really delivered with this spaghetti slave western.