Big bud­gets and even big­ger

Hav­ing stud­ied the syn­opses, watched the trail­ers and mined the web for in­side info, Cine­mad­dict movie re­viewer MATTHEW DAL­LAS boils down the 2013 movie slate into a bak­ers’ dozen of most-an­tic­i­pated re­leases.

Kapi-Mana News - - FEATURE -

How hot has the id­iot box got in the past year or two?

I’m not talk­ing about home DIY and cook­ing shows, mind you, but those sta­ples of cin­e­matic good­ness – qual­ity drama and com­edy – have quickly be­come the do­main of the small screen.

I tried to pick my 2013 short­list from a va­ri­ety of gen­res, but more than half have at least one foot in sci­ence- fic­tion – sig­nalling the dom­i­nance of spe­cial ef­fects in Hol­ly­wood and how ad­vanc­ing tech­nol­ogy has opened the door on the kinds of sto­ries that can be told.

How­ever, there’s al­ways room for ro­mance and char­ac­ter stud­ies an­chored by a crack­ing script – if you can find it.

Quentin Tarantino’s Django Un­chained has been left out since it was in­cluded in our 2012 list. #13 This Is The End

The low­down: While at­tend­ing a party at James Franco’s house, a swag of com­edy celebri­ties such as Seth Ro­gen, Jonah Hill and Ja­son Segel, are faced with the apoc­a­lypse.

The hoopla: Laugh­ing in the face of cer­tain death would seem to be the an­gle on this one. Ro­gen and Evan Gold­berg di­rect their own script, star­ring a who’s who of Amer­i­can comic ac­tors and, er, Ri­hanna, as them­selves. Ex­pect burly repar­tee and more F-bombs than A-bombs.

The rub: Smells a lit­tle like an ego project, but Ro­gen and Gold­berg have had this on the back­burner for years. Hopefully not too in-jokey and re­cap­tures the tone of their ear­lier work ( Su­per­bad, Pineap­ple Ex­press).

ETA: Au­gust 1. #12 Mon­sters Univer­sity

The low­down: Prequel to the suc­cess­ful Mon­sters, Inc., which cov­ers the early friend­ship of mon­sters Sul­ley (voiced by John Good­man) and Mike Wa­zowski (Billy Crys­tal) at the Univer­sity of Fear.

The hoopla: The first movie was one of Pixar’s best and we know from Toy Story that the stu­dio won’t just do a re­hash for a se­quel. Mon­sters, Inc. was largely set at the scare fac­tory, so there’s plenty of po­ten­tial to re­veal more of Mon­stropo­lis.

The rub: The first pic­ture drew a lot of its heart from the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Sul­ley and hu­man tod­dler Boo. Hard to know

where it’s coming from this time.

ETA: June 20 #11 Oz: The Great and Pow­er­ful

The low­down: Prequel to cin­ema clas­sic The Wizard of Oz which imag­ines the ori­gins of the tit­u­lar wizard, as played by James Franco. A cir­cus ma­gi­cian/grifter is whirled away from Kansas to the Land of Oz where he en­coun­ters three witches (Mila Ku­nis, Michelle Wil­liams, Rachel Weisz) who were await­ing the ar­rival of a great wizard.

The hoopla: Who wouldn’t want to go down the yel­low brick road one more time?

Franco is a very en­gag­ing lead­ing man, and Sam Raimi ( Spi­der­Man tril­ogy) knows how to hit a tone that en­ter­tains adults and chil­dren alike.

The rub: I fig­ured this as a cyn­i­cal cash-grab but then I saw the trailer and I couldn’t re­sist it. Still, I’m a lit­tle wor­ried the re­liance on CGI to con­vey the vis­ual splen­dour of Oz will have a dig­i­tal fak­e­ness to it, a la Alice in Won­der­land.

ETA: March 7 #10 The World’s End

The low­down: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz gang Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as­sem­ble for a com­edy about five friends who restage an epic pub crawl from their youth, only to be­come hu­mankind’s only hope for sur­vival.

The hoopla: What’s up with all the apoc­a­lyp­tic come­dies? Not much is known of the plot, in­clud­ing which genre mash- up the threat is likely to mine; sci­encefic­tion (aliens/mon­sters), ac­tion (war­fare) or hor­ror (zom­bies), but Wright, Pegg and Frost have been a win­ning tri­fecta to date.

The rub: As fun as the premise sounds, it’s not a long way from the lagered cheek of Shaun of the Dead. But given the vi­sion and in­no­va­tion Wright brought to Scott Pil­grim vs. the World, I can’t see him cov­er­ing old turf.

ETA: Late year. #9 Star Trek into Dark­ness

The low­down: Highly an­tic­i­pated fol­low-up to JJ Abrams’ suc­cess­ful 2009 Star Trek re­boot in which Kirk, Spock and the crew take on a venge­ful force, and must lead a man­hunt to find a one-man weapon of mass de­struc­tion.

The hoopla: Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch (tele­vi­sion’s Sher­lock Holmes) is on­board as the big bad, who is ru­moured to be fan­favourite, su­per­hu­man vil­lain Khan. It looks like all the main crew are back – Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Ur­ban, Simon Pegg, Zoe Sal­dana – and with in­tro­duc­tions taken care of, there’s po­ten­tial for epic sci- fi sto­ry­telling.

The rub: Un­less they go back to mak­ing Star Trek movies for Trekkies only, it’s hard to find a down­side – and there is no way that’s go­ing to hap­pen.

ETA: May 16. #8 Sil­ver Lin­ings Playbook

The low­down: A former teacher (Bradley Cooper) re­turns from a stint in a men­tal hospi­tal to re­build his life, only to be side­tracked by a mys­te­ri­ous young woman ( Jen­nifer Lawrence) with a propo­si­tion.

The hoopla: Film-maker David O. Rus­sell ( I Heart Huck­abees) is no stranger to the kook fac­tor, and ap­pears to have crafted a real win­ner here; Sil­ver Lin­ings Playbook is earn­ing rave re­views and mak­ing plenty of top 10 lists in the States.

The rub: Bradley Cooper is an un­likely choice for the un­hinged Pat, but the scenes I’ve seen sug­gest he’s up to the task.

ETA: Jan­uary 31.

What an eye­ful: A dodgy ma­gi­cian, played by James Franco, finds him­self the fo­cus of a prophecy in Oz: The Great and Pow­er­ful.

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