EDITORIAL: Franks Most Anticipated Films 2013

My tastes in movies are hard to pin down. Sometimes, I'm all about a good mindless action flick, sometimes I want a movie that will just leave me thinking, and occasionally (Ok, all the time) I want a gore-soaked romp filled with enough blood and guts to make even the most jaded individuals turn pale with disgust. So, while my list may not be a list that will tickle the fancy of everyone, there should be at least one movie on this list for everyone. Rather than placing these films in any sort of arbitrary order... How about if I just go chronologically, based on the date listed over at Dark Horizons ?

1) A Good Day to Die Hard- I have mentioned Die Hard in several of my recent posts. There is a reason for that. As a child of the 80's, the Die Hard franchise is sort of like a cozy little piece of nostalgia. The series has had its ups and downs, but in the end John McClane is always entertaining to watch. As such, while I hold low expectations for the story this film will present, with the fact that it has garnered an R-rating leaves me with hopes that John will at least be back to form after the MPAA-neutering he received in the last film.

2) Oz The Great and Powerful- Sam Raimi directed and a score by Danny Elfman? With a decent looking cast to boot, this looks like it is shaping up to be a fun little prequel to the beloved Wizard of Oz. I do not expect perfection here, but I am very much interested in seeing how this one plays out, and if they will try to make it connect with the original Oz flick, or if they are going to instead try for a new series. All should be well, as long as the studio doesn't stick Topher Grace in there as Venom...

3) Evil Dead- Ok, I'll admit, I have a love of Sam Raimi films, so this flick leaves me with a bit of a sour feeling in my stomach. Will it be true to the Raimi roots, or will they go for the standard generations highly-stylized gore? From the trailer, it looks like the campiness of the original has been tossed out the door, so I think any hope of a Raimi-esque reboot is also gone. All I can do is go in with an open mind and hope for the best.

4) Iron Man 3- After the love I showered on last year's "The Avengers" how could this not garner a spot on my list? Robert Downey Jr returns to the franchise that kicked off the Marvel cinematic universe, a land of shawarma and mysterious happenings in Budapest. While one beloved character will be notably absent (name left unmentioned to avoid spoilers for the one person who didn't see "The Avengers") I can't help but feel pumped to see the build up begin for the next Avengers film!

5) The Great Gatsby- This is one of those things that I am really on the fence about, but I decided to include it, because I have at the very least enjoyed a lot of Leonardo DiCaprio's latest acting efforts. I will forgive the whole dislike of Baz Luhrmann's earlier directing efforts (Including that previous DiCaprio work) in the hopes that this will be something worth seeing. At the very least, I think this will be a work that is visually interesting, with at least a loose tie to one of the great works of classic literature...

6) Star Trek Into Darnkness- This is another one of those no-brainers. J.J. Abrams' reboot of the popular franchise was something that even a non-Trekkie could get into. And I can only assume that the follow up will build upon that accessibility and expand this franchise into something that is not only popular with the world at large, but also with enough nods to the geek culture that allowed the series to rise to where it is. Fun times will be had. I will not allow it any other way!

7) Man of Steel- This one nearly got axed from the list. Several of DC's most recent forays into the hero flicks have been... lackluster at best, and god-awful at worst. Superman Returns, Green Lantern, and even The Dark Knight Rises, left me wanting to give up on DC completely. Only The Dark Knight itself offered a glimmer of hope, in the darkness. The latest trailers for this one leaves me with mixed feelings, but for a guy that loves comics, I will be there... and I will give it a chance, even if I am fairly sure this one could be a real stinker.

8) Kick Ass 2- What do I have to say here? The first Kick Ass was one of the most fun hero movies I have seen in ages. The emphasis was on fun. It was violent, bloody, and featured Nic Cage getting burned to a fucking crisp! That last part was especially fun to watch. With the sequel, I am hoping for more badassery. With the likes of Jim Carrey joining the cast, I can only hope his over-the-top nature will help fill the over-the-top hole left by Nic Cage's departure. This one is guaranteed to be fun... right?

9) Despicable Me 2- OK, I loved the minions. There, I admitted it. What can I say? The first film was not necessarily the greatest film ever made, but the minions... oh man those minions. They elevated a decent movie into something worth watching. One can only hope that the sequel will give more minion-y goodness, and less of the sappy-ness. If those little yellow guys are featured more prominently, I can guarantee this is one of those films I will be watching for on Blu-ray.

10) R.E.D. 2- A glorious romp about retired special agents. John Malcovich, Bruce Willis, and Helen Mirren all made for a very enjoyable film that, while not necessarily an awesome film, it was a fun time. The sequel brings back almost all of the original cast, and that alone will make it worthwhile. Sadly, without Morgan Freeman, I don't know.

11) Machete Kills- The Robert Rodriguez helmed, B-movie masterpiece was amazing. Cheesy beyond all belief, and reveling in that cheese. It knew not to take itself too seriously, and thrived because of that. Not only that, it managed to do the impossible... It produced a movie that prominently featured Jessica Alba that I didn't hate with every fiber of my being. The sequel looks set to ramp things up with a bigger cast, and more B-movie goodness.

12) Sin City 2- Hmm... Robert Rodriguez... Jessica Alba... a movie I didn't hate? This seems to be a running theme. So, my proposal, make sure Mr. Rodriguez is the only person to ever direct Jessica Alba! The list gets to end with all kinds of Rodriguez goodness, and me... I'm perfectly OK with that. The first film was an amazing piece of art, that felt like a comic book on the screen like few films ever quite manage. Can lightning strike twice? We should hopefully see in October.

So, there are a couple notable absences... Hobbit 2, Thor 2, etc... Why did they not make the cut? Because I had to get the list in shorter, and those two would have made the cut, if I made this a 15 movie list... Sadly, there is only so much I can write... and 15 seemed a little long. The upshot of this all is, I am guaranteeing I will review all 12 of these films... So, that is 12 more posts I am guaranteeing from yours truly!