1. Iron Man 3
Tony Stark uses his ingenuity to fight those who destroyed his private world and soon goes up against his most powerful enemy yet: the Mandarin. The bad news is that Jon Favreau won’t be returning as director, but the good news is that Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) will, and Robert Downey, Jr. is still a commanding presence. The hitch arises if Black has to weave an Iron Man plotline into a potential Avengers sequel. All due respect to The Avengers, but we go to an Iron Man movie to see a movie about Iron Man. Not Nick Fury.
2. Monsters University/Untitled Pixar Film/How to Train Your Dragon 2: This is the
Animated Film entry, and it looks to be a stellar year for CGI cartoons. For the first time, Pixar will have two movies in the same year, starting with the prequel to Monsters, Inc. — which will focus on the rocky relationship between Mike and Sulley during their days at the University of Fear — and an as yet Untitled Pixar flick. We don’t know the details of that one, but I’m hoping it’s not another sequel (especially a Toy Story sequel that’s been rumored, although a two year lead time is not really enough time to get a Pixar flick off the ground, at least under the old regime). Additionally, a lot of folks argued that How to Train Your Dragon was the best animated feature of 2010 (better than even Toy Story 3), and you won’t hear complaints from me. Last year’s massive sleeper hit will return in 2013 along with all the principals — writer, director, cast — of the first one.
The kids aren’t down with Tom Cruise anymore, but let me tell you why this project is exciting: 1) It’s an original movie, 2) it’s sci-fi, and 3) it comes from Joseph Kosinski, who gave us TRON: Legacy. OK, ignore that last part, and focus on the original sci-fi part. The script comes from William Monahan (The Departed) and that has to be worth something, right? What’s it about? A fantasy about a former solider who is the last person left on Earth after a war with an alien race. When he encounters a crashed spacecraft with a lone survivor, the two set off on an epic adventure. I think the lone survivor is a woman, and they fall in love. As long as it’s not Cameron Diaz, this movie has a shot. Right? It’s one of the many intriguing sci-fi flicks on this list. Will 2013 be the year of the Sci-Fi?
4. The Croods
The world’s very first prehistoric family goes on a road trip to an uncharted and fantastical world.
5. Oz: The Great and Powerful
A stage magician is hurled into a fantasy world, and must use his wits to stay ahead of three enchantresses who have plans for him.
A recently slain cop joins a team of undead police officers working for the Rest in Peace Department and tries to find the man who murdered him.Hopefully by the time 2013 rolls around, Ryan Reynolds’ post-Green Lantern reputation will have rebounded on the hopeful strength of Change Up and next year’s Safe House with Denzell Washington (and here’s hoping 2013 doesn’t also see a Green Lantern sequel). R.I.P.D, based on the Peter M. Lenkov graphic novel, is about a recently slain cop (Reynolds) who joins a team of undead police officers working for the Rest in Peace Department and tries to find the man who murdered him. It’s been bouncing around in development for a few years, but Reynolds has seemingly been enthusiastic about getting it in before a possible Deadpool film. The good news is that Jeff Bridges is on board (in a role Zach Galifianaki declined) and director Robert Schwentke showed a little pizzazz in Red, though his Time Traveler’s Wife was pure crap.
7. love Punch
A divorced couple scheme to recover the retirement money that was stolen from them.Starring: Emma Thompson, Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Spall
8. The Hobbit: There and Back Again
This is a gimme, the second half of The Hobbit movie that kicks off in 2012 with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The great news is that The Hobbit will attract all of those Lord of the Rings fans, as well as the many — like myself — who loved The Hobbit but didn’t care much for the LOTR novels (or the movies). It also has a couple of cast members going for it that the LOTR movies did not, namely Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaugh) and Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins). The bad news: There’s a lot of LOTR characters in the movie that don’t belong, and despite the fact that The Hobbit was shorter than any of the LOTR movies, it’s being broken up into two films, which suggests that there may be the potential for a lot of bloat, a problem Peter Jackson had with the LOTR films.
After a crash landing, a father and son explore a planet that was evacuated by humans 1,000 years earlier.Stars: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Isabelle Fuhrman, Sophie Okonedo
10. The World’s End
Released: August 14
Why you should see it: After a long hiatus following their supremely witty cop movie parody Hot Fuzz, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are finally reuniting with helmer Edgar Wright for the third chapter in their Cornetto Trilogy. It’ll follow five thirtysomething friends (including Pegg, Frost, Rosamund Pike and Martin Freeman) who reunite in an attempt to recreate an epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier, and end up becoming the human race’s only hope for survival.