Friday, May 3, 2013

At the Movies – May 2013 – Part 3: Most Anticipated Films

Must-See of the Month:

Iron Man 3 (Shane Black) – Action Adventure – May 3
Plot Summary: The Mandarin, a formidable terrorist, targets Tony Stark and tears his world apart. Now, Stark must rebuild and seek retribution. Filmmakers: Writer-director Shane Black is an awesome choice to helm the first film in Marvel’s Avengers Phase Two (he also consulted on the first Iron Man film during the scripting process). Black has a decent writing resume when it comes to action, highlighted by his first project: Lethal Weapon. However, what probably has many people excited to see him writing and directing Iron Man 3 (his second feature directing) is his directorial debut Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (which also stars Robert Downey Jr.) – a brilliant, funny crime mystery. Black is working with composer Brian Tyler (also scoring this month’s Now You See Me), wonderful cinematographer John Toll (The Thin Red Line), and production designer Bill Brzeski (The Hangover Part II). Cast: In addition to Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, and Jon Favreau return. Rebecca Hall, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, William Sadler, and James Badge Dale join the Marvel universe. Expectations: Along with Man of Steel and Star Trek Into Darkness, Iron Man 3 is among the three most anticipated blockbusters of the summer (and very likely these three will be the best as well). It looks superb and will be the best of the series so far (and maybe the best of the entire Marvel Studios filmography to date, as The Avengers set the bar a little higher for Phase Two). And again, Shane Black helm the project is a big reason – plus the cast is fantastic. Trailer: HereReview: Here.

Worth Checking Out:

Star Trek Into Darkness (J.J. Abrams) – Action Sci-Fi – May 17
Plot Summary: After Star Fleet is grievously attacked from within, Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise engage in a foolhardy mission to bring the man responsible to justice. Filmmakers: Director J.J. Abrams revived the franchise for general moviegoers by making a fast-paced and fun sci-fi action film in Star Trek. And, to date, he has consistently directed very entertaining films that also aspire to a higher level of quality than generally found in their genres (yes, I am a big fan and advocate for both Mission: Impossible III and Super 8). He is working with the same group that collaborated on Star Trek, including: composer Michael Giacchino, cinematographer Daniel Mindel, and production designer Scott Chambliss. Cast: Returning cast members include: Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, and Bruce Greenwood, while Peter Weller, Alice Eve, and Benedict Cumberbatch join the cast. Expectations: Star Trek Into Darkness looks fantastic, and is there anyone not completely sold on Benedict Cumberbatch as a great villain? Between this and Iron Man 3, it is tough to decide which will be better and bigger (though, I think Iron Man 3 might take both categories). While Abrams is next off to revitalize Star Wars with Episode VII, I hope he comes back to finish his Star Trek Trilogy – and to that topic: while I am happy to have a great filmmaker in Abrams attached to Star Wars, I hope he does something different stylistically. As a fan of both franchises, I would like to have them at least feel and look different cinematically. Trailer: HereReview: Here.

Before Midnight (Richard Linklater) – Drama – May 24
Plot Summary: Nine years later (and eighteen since they met) Jesse and Celine are still talking, this time in Greece. Filmmakers: Writer-director Richard Linklater has done a good job going between Hollywood and indie films (though, I would argue his indie stuff is probably better). Before Sunrise and Before Sunset are probably his best films, so it only makes sense that he would finish the trilogy (my Linklater top five is as follows: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, The School of Rock, Bernie, and Dazed and Confused). He is working with composer Graham Reynolds (who scored Bernie and A Scanner Darkly for Linklater), cinematographer Christos Voudouris, and art director Anna Georgiadou. Cast: Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy reprise their roles and are also co-write the film with Linklater (like they did with Before Sunset). Expectations: Before Midnight looks like it will be just as rich and engrossing as the first two in the series. This is a good change of pace from the big blockbusters that populate May (even if it is too a sequel) and is definitely worth checking out (and yes, go out and see Before Sunrise and Before Sunset if you have not yet seen them). The series has wonderful writing exploring relationships and philosophical questions with vigorous humanity, depth, and insight. Trailer: Here.

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