Here in the U.K the cold weather is still very much upon us, so, what better way to remedy this than by looking towards the summer, and more specifically the best of what the season has to offer in film. Nothing’s more exciting than the period between May and September where the big money Blockbuster’s fight it out in an attempt to entertain us. 2012 was a frighteningly amazing year for film with the likes of The Hunger Games, The Dark Knight Rises and, of course, The Avengers gracing our screen and making handsome profits at the box office. The jury is still out as to whether this year can emulate last year’s juggernauts. Here are some of the reasons why this could be the case:
Iron Man 3:
U.K Release Date: 26th April
U.S Release Date: 3rd May
This is probably the most highly anticipated Blockbuster this year after Jon Favreau’s entertaining last two instalments impressed pretty much everyone. Shane Black takes the helm this time, reuniting with his Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’s star Robert Downey Jr. as the franchise takes the customary move to darkness, pitting a world weary Tony Stark, after the events of The Avengers, against Ben Kingsley’s terrorist leader The Mandarin. Kingsley looks in magnificent menacing form with a truly haunting set of vocal cords and with Black taking over writing duties too we can probably assume a tighter script than Iron Man 2. Apparently, Downey Jr.’s Marvel contract expires after this film, and although he will likely appear in The Avengers 2 we might have to accept this shall be his final solo appearance donning the metallic suit and I’m pretty sure it’ll deliver.
Star Trek: Into Darkness:
U.K Release Date: 10th May
U.S Release Date: 17th May
In 2009, J.J Abrams delivered a spectacular new take on the Star Trek franchise that satisfied both die-hard fans and newcomers who couldn’t pick a Romulan from a police line up. The likable cast, kinetic action scenes and terrific script, that showed a great reverence to original creator Gene Rodenberry, was always going to have a sequel. Due to its explicit franchise potential it was more a matter of when rather than if. So, four years later we have Into Darkness. Benedict Cumberbatch is antagonist to the crew of the Enterprise, playing a former member of Starfleet, who has some scores to settle. I’m sure we can expect more intense action and, with Orci and Kurtzman returning as screenwriters, a light hearted humour that is missing from many other franchises. Many will be scrutinising this film intensely after Abrams was drafted in to direct the new Star Wars movies. Some say he can’t do both, but he disagrees. Could there be a war between the Wars and Trek fans over Abrams or will he continue to deliver great films with both franchises. Only time will tell…
U.K Release Date: 12th July
U.S Release Date: 21st June
Pixar’s offering this year is a prequel to their 2002 favourite Monsters Inc, setting the action ten years before the original. Featuring Sully and Mike during their formative years at university it follows their rivalry and subsequent friendship as they clash while studying for their scaring degree. Although the trailer stinks of predictability, you can never write off Pixar. Despite some complaints of too many sequels and 3D re-releases as opposed to original ideas there will surely be lots of fun and laughs to be had. John Goodman and Billy Crystal are two of the strongest voice actors throughout the Pixar canon and to have just them reunite will be a joy. You also cannot fault the tireless work and playful attitude of the company, who composed an entire website of the University in which the monsters attend. With Finding Nemo 3D and Monsters is the same year the critics who complain about the lack of originality will still probably find that this second instalment will be the best animated film of the year.
The Great Gatsby:
U.K Release Date: 17th May
U.S Release Date: 10th May
Baz Luhrmann returns to cinemas this year for his take on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. No doubt, judging from the trailer and Luhrmann’s autuerish qualities, we can expect a colourful, contemporary look at the glitz and glamour of 1920’s New York in 3D, with the director taking his first foray into the third dimension. Akin to his favourites Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet alongside the aesthetically staggering images will be a modern soundtrack to give Gatsby an edge that is apparent in all of Luhrmann’s movies. With a cast so A-List names that just roll of the tongue including Di Caprio, Maguire, Mulligan, Edgerton and Fisher, and based on one of the well known and well read pieces of literature from the 20th century it will defiantly visually and emotionally astound.
Man of Steel:
U.K & U.S release date: 14th June
If you need to reboot a superhero franchise, who do you call? Yes, Christopher Nolan obviously. The Dark Knight has rose and he hopes to make Superman fly. He has, however, left directing duties to 300 and Watchmen director Zach Snyder, one of the most stylistically exciting directors of his generation. The script is being penned by Batman co-writer David S. Goyer and the Man of Steel himself chosen as Henry Cavill. Everything seems to be falling into place and with a strong supporting cast including Amy Adams, Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner it could be this summer’s biggest earner. However, people are wary, having being stung by Bryan Singer’s less than sensational Superman Returns seven years ago. Man of Steel is moving itself far away from its overlong and overboring predecessor going back to Clark Kent’s upbringing, who is struggling to find his place in a cynical world. It promises to make the Superman a mainstay of cinema once again, and with Snyder also producing and co-writing 300: Rise of an Empire, will surely make him the go to director.
World War Z:
U.K & U.S Release Date: 21st June
Once again, we are being bombarded by sequels this summer and so it is refreshing to see a new idea. Well, kind of new. Zombies are hardly revolutionary and since 2004 bought us both Dawn and Shaun of the Dead we have been inundated with every possible kind of zombie film possible, whether it’s big blockbuster zombie movies or small independently made zombie movies no neck has been left unbitten. This new offering, based on Max Brook’s horror novel of the same name, stars Brad Pitt attempting to put an end to the zombie pandemic destroying the world. The trailer shows the global scale of an undead apocalypse and hopefully will add something new to the series.
These are likely to be the big hitters along with the usual summer fare the likes of The Hangover 3, Smurfs 2, The Fast and the Furious 6, Despicable Me 2 and Wolverine which will no doubt do well at the box-office. There are also those films that perhaps boast a little less predictability. Kick Ass 2 now with added Jim Carrey, Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim which boasts Idris Elba “Cancelling the Apocalypse!” and Neill Blomkamp and Sharlto Copley reuniting again after District 9 for Elysium, a sci-fi epic. There will probably be those films that have slipped under the radar that will give us a nice surprise. I’m sure we’re all looking forward summer 2013, and if the weather doesn’t improve, at least we can take shelter at the cinema with the huge variety of films on offer.