2013 movie preview
With a raft of fairy-tale reboots, heavyweight sequels and some not-so-promising remakes, there is a wide slate of movies on the way to our big screens in the first half of the new year, writes TARA BRADY
REMEMBER WHEN the word “summer” was used to denote the sunnier weeks of July and August? Not anymore, it’s not. Many moons ago the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise pushed summer back into late May; then Iron Man pushed back towards the start of that month and, finally, Trek and Thor kicked summer back into late April. This year, there’s hardly a beat between the old pre-blockbuster blockbuster rush – that fluttery weekend in March made famous by 300 and Alice in Wonderland’s respective successes – and the summer slate proper.
Arriving hot on the heels of Snow White and the Huntsman – a surprise hit for Universal last year – we’re getting a raft of fairy tale reboots. Bigger movie muscles – Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, Die Hard – are getting ready to flex. As ever, remakes – Carrie, Evil Dead – will plug the gaps in between and brand recognition reigns supreme. If you need us, we’ll be watching Gerard Barrett’s Pilgrim Hill in the dingy corner . . .
Jiro: Dreams of Sushi
David Gelb’s delightful documentary portrait of 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono was a hit at Access Cinema’s Japanese Film Festival two years ago: don’t miss it now it’s finally made its way onto the theatrical circuit.
Gasp in amazement as director Tom Hooper attempts to hijack the Oscars with this big screen adaptation of the long-running West End musical. Gaze in wonder as Anne Hathaway rips off Maria Falconetti’s performance in La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc with abandon.
Freed slave Jamie Foxx and German bounty hunter Christophe Waltz hunt down plantation owner Leonardo Di Caprio and a ruthless gang in Quentin Tarantino’s latest rollicking meta-adventure. You have to love that Kerry Washington’s character is called Broomhilda Von Shaft.
Professional sex therapist Helen Hunt falls for a virgin client in an iron lung played by John Hawkes. Expect Academy Award nominations galore and insert your own smutty punch-line here.
Daniel Day Lewis’ Abraham Lincoln battles his own inner demons and the slave-owning villains of the American Civil War in Steven Spielberg’s historical epic. Disappointingly, Joshua Fry Speed is not listed in the credits. What a waste.
Zero Dark Thirty
You can tell that Kathryn Bigelow’s film about the hunt for Osama bin Laden is not going for nuance by the title’s commercial association with Electronic Arts’ computer game Medal of Honor: Warfighter. But Jessica Chastain stars and we totally heart her.
Bullet to the Head
Don’t get unnerved by a cast list that includes Sylvester Stallone, Jason Momoa, and Christian Slater. This is based on Alexis Nolent’s splendid graphic novel Du Plomb Dans La Tete and it’s only directed by Walter “The Warriors” Hill. Only.
An airline pilot saves a flight from crashing, but the subsequent investigation reveals that supposed heroic aviator Denzel Washington is giving one of his shifty performances in Robert Zemeckis’ cockpit drama.
Hyde Park on Hudson
Another week, another presidential biopic: this time featuring Bill Murray as Franklin D Roosevelt and Laura Linney as the cousin with whom he had “relations”. Notting Hill director Roger Michell presides.
X-Men: First Class’s Caleb Landry Jones works for a biotech firm that harvests celebrity diseases so that adoring fans can share the sickness. Then he gets infected in Brandon “Son of David” Cronenberg’s debut feature, a wow at last year’s Cannes.
Superb Director’s Fortnight winning drama chronicling the advertising campaign that brought General Augusto Pinochet’s regime to an end in 1988. Gael García Bernal’s sly central turn is as ambiguous as it is accomplished.