2012 was a great year to be a geek. From Avengers to The Dark Knight Rises to The Hobbit, and even from Prometheus to Skyfall, it was a pretty big year. (Read our list of movies we were looking forward to last year at this time here.) This year looks to be just a big, but in a smaller way.
Hm. That made no sense after I typed it. What I mean is this: the HUGE movies that everyone is looking forward to aren’t a prevalent this year, but there seems to be more movies in general that appeal to geek culture.
Here they are, in order of release date . . . with plot description from IMDB.com and the trailer if I can find one . . . and then some comments from me. Which of these movies are theater movies for you? Rentals?
HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS — January 25 — “In this dark spin on the fairy tale, siblings Hansel and Gretel are a formidable team of bounty hunters who track and kill witches all over the world.”
I don’t why I put this on the list — I have no plans to see it, but I guess I put it on here because I’ve heard some people have some positive reactions to it. (One teenager I heard: “It has Hansel and Gretel shooting witches? I’m in!”) This is not a list of movies I’m excited to see, but considering all the sci-fi on this list, a little fantasy needed to be represented! It does have Hawkeye from The Avengers in it, though . . . but I doubt I’ll even watch it if it showed up on Netflix.
JACK THE GIANT SLAYER — March 1 — “A modern day fairy tale in which the long-standing peace between men and giants is threatened, as a young farmer leads an expedition into the giants’ kingdom in hopes of rescuing a kidnapped princess.”
Again, can’t say I’m particularly excited about this. For one, it means I have to wait on my own Jack the Giant Slayer story. For two, I was amazed how similar these two trailers were when I saw them back to back at The Hobbit. But Hollywood is getting smart — they know fairy tales are public domain and fair game! Heck, that’s one element of how my comic book writing career started! But, again, there is not much fantasy on this list. Except one elephant in the room, at the end of the list. Again, I don’t plan tospend either time or money on this.
OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL — March 8 — “A stage magician is hurled into a fantasy world, and must use his wits to stay ahead of three enchantresses who have plans for him.”
What was that I said about not much fantasy. I’ve said that twice already, and the three first items are all fantasy. Trust me! It’s true! There’s not much fantasy on the list! Anyway, the third movie of 2013 that features public domain characters that I have written comic books about . . . I can’t watch this until I have finished writing my Oz/Wonderland Chronicles story, because I want to be sure no one can accuse me of stealing. (That’s why I still haven’t watched Alice in Wonderland.)
G.I. JOE RETALIATION — March 29 — “The G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence.”
This was on last year’s list. In fact, this had a trailer when it was on last year’s list. I don’t know the story about why it was not released last year. Doesn’t matter. I’m sure there is an interesting story. All I know is this trailer made this movie like even more goofy fun than the first G.I. Joe movie. This will probably be a rental for me, but it will be well worth the $1.29 Redbox price. Rental.
THE HOST — March 29 — “A parasitic alien soul is injected into the body of Melanie Stryder. Instead of carrying out her race’s mission of taking over the Earth, “Wanda” (as she comes to be called) forms a bond with her host and sets out to aid other free humans.”
I’m actually a bit intrigued by the concept here of an alien invasion. But it’s from the writer who brought us Twilight. I’m sure she’s a nice person were I to ever meet her. But I there’s just that baggage Twilight carries . . . you know? Probably won’t watch.
OBLIVION — April 19 — “One of the few remaining drone repairmen assigned to Earth, its surface devastated after decades of war with the alien Scavs, discovers a crashed spacecraft with contents that bring into question everything he believed about the war, and may even put the fate of mankind in his hands.”
If Stephanie Meyer makes me lose interest in The Host, Tom Cruise almost does the same for me here. TIme was, if he was in a movie I knew it would be cool. Because of Top Gun. But in between then and now a lot has happened, and he’s not a personality that is bigger than his roles. This movie looks interesting, though! The world is deserted! There’s s mystery! There’s monsters! There’s spaceships! What’s not to love? The first movie I’ll hit theaters for of 2013, perhaps? Theater.
IRON MAN 3 — May 3 — “Tony Stark uses his ingenuity to fight those who destroyed his private world and soon goes up against his most powerful enemy yet: the Mandarin.”
If Oblivion isn’t the first theater movie of 2013, Iron Man 3 will be. It’s Iron Man. Probably his last solo movie. We’ll be there. Theater.
ABOUT TIME — May 10 — “As he goes through life, a young man who can travel through time learns his unique gift can’t save him from the sorrows and ups and downs that affect all families, everywhere.”
I don’t know much about this movie. It sounds like Teen Wolf only instead of werewolves, it’s time travelers. Unless I hear that it’s raunchy or something, I’ll be looking for a way to see what seems to be a small, low budget, British sci-fi character piece.
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS — May 17 — “After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.”
I. Can. Not. Wait. Theater. (Do I need to even say that?)
AFTER EARTH — June 7 — “After a crash landing, a father and son explore a planet that was evacuated by humans 1,000 years earlier.”
Will Smith and M. Night and Will Smith’s kid in a movie that looks a lot like Oblivion. They will be compared to ech other, no doubt. we’ll see who wins: Top Gun being directed by Tron: Legacy’s director . . . or Fresh Prince being directed by the genius behind The Last Airbender and The Happening. Not sure — theater or rental.
MAN OF STEEL — June 14 — “An alien infant is raised on Earth, and grows up with superhuman abilities. He sets out to use these abilities to guard his adopted world.”
Superman! I just want this movie to be fun and inspiring. Theater. (Again, do I even need to say that?)
MONSTERS UNIVERSITY — June 21 — “A look at the relationship between Mike and Sulley during their days at the University of Fear — when they weren’t necessarily the best of friends.”
“PIXAR” and “prequel” don’t seem to fit together. I’m curious, because PIXAR means “awesome” and “quality”. But “prequel” also means “lazy” and “convoluted” sometimes. I hope this lives up to the original. Mike and Sulley are a great combo, and other than The Incredibles, they are probably the PIXAR characters who can hold a prequel best. Theater.
WORLD WAR Z — June 21 — “A U.N. employee is racing against time and fate, as he travels the world trying to stop the outbreak of a deadly Zombie pandemic.”
Another movie from last year’s list. The book has a lot of potential, but also isn’t structured like a movie. Still, it has potential. Wait and see.
THE LONE RANGER — July 5 — “Native American spirit warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice.”
I’m alternately intrigued and repulsed by what this movie seems to be. I like westerns. I like action movies. But I also like great stories. If this has all three, it could be amazing. But it also could just be a bloated mess of special effects and explosions and Johnny Depp acting weird instead of Johnny Depp acting. I’ll let you decide which one of those I like. Wait and see.
DESPICABLE ME 2 — July 5 — “Gru, the girls, the unpredictably hilarious minions and a host of new characters return.”
I was amused by the first one. If this one keeps the tone of the first one, I think this one will amuse me, too. But not in theaters. Rental.
PACIFIC RIM — July 12 — “When an alien attack threatens the Earth’s existence, giant robots piloted by humans are deployed to fight off the menace.”
Guillermo del Toro directs a movie that is Robotech vs. Godzilla. What is there no to love? Theater.
WOLVERINE — July 26 — “Wolverine travels to Japan to train with a samurai warrior.”
I’ll see it in theaters, but with low expectations. Theater.
ELYSIUM — August 9 — “Set in the year 2159, where the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth, a man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.”
Very curious about this. From the the director of District 9. I don’t know if it can live up to the bar set by District 9 . . . it sounds like a high concept sci-fi action movie about health care. Theater.
RIDDICK — September 6 — “Left for dead on a sun-scorched planet, Riddick finds himself up against a alien race of predators. Activating an emergency beacon alerts two ships: one carrying a new breed of merc, and the other captained by a man from Riddick’s past.”
I don’t know if this is actually happening on this date, and I can’t believe, actually, that this movie, about a character from an Alien rip off who moved into a sci-fi Lord of the Rings merits another sequel. But, it could actually get good. Rental.
THE TOMB — September 27 — “When a structural-security authority finds himself incarcerated in a prison he designed, he has to put his skills to escape and find out who framed him.”
Stallone. Schwarzenegger. That’s why this is on the list. No other reason. Rental.
GRAVITY — October 24 — “Astronauts attempt to return to earth after debris crashes into their space shuttle, leaving them drifting alone in space.”
I’ve heard this is a “real time” movie. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in it. I’ve been hearing about this for a couple years, now, and am curious to see if it is going to be good. Wait and see.
ENDER’S GAME — November 1 — “70 years after a horrific alien war, an unusually gifted child is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future invasion.”
A great book. A good cast. And a director. This movie could be great. This movie should be great. This movie has a lot of opportunity to, frankly, fail spectacularly. Theater.
MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN — November 1 — “A young boy and his dog, who happens to have a genius-level IQ, spring into action when their time-travel machine is stolen and moments in history begin to be changed.”
I want this to be good. I really, really do. I loved this cartoon as a kid and still do. Too many movies like this are awful, sadly. This could be the exception. Wait and see.
THOR: THE DARK WORLD — November 8 — “Thor battles an ancient race of Dark Elves led by the vengeful Malekith who threatens to plunge the universe back into darkness after the events of The Avengers.”
I hope this gets the same blend of sci-fi superheroics and fantasy action adventure from the previous movie, but it doesn’t matter. I’ll be there in theaters. Theater.
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE — November 22 — “The continuing adventures of Katniss Everdeen, which take place in a futuristic dystopian world, as she prepares for the Quarter Quell.”
The first movie surprised me, and I think I liked it more than the book. I need to read the second book, but if this one is the same level as the first, I’ll be happy. But I’ll not go in costume. Theater.
BEYOND APOLLO — December 2 — “The first two-man mission to Venus is aborted in mid-flight and abruptly returns back to Earth. When rescue crews go to retrieve the space capsule, they make a startling discovery: The Captain is missing – there is no sign of his body whatsoever – and strangely enough, the lone surviving astronaut has no clue about what took place.”
I know little about this movie. It sound interesting, though. I’m keeping my eye out for this one. Wait and see.
THE HOBBIT — December 13 — “The Dwarfs, Bilbo and Gandalf have successfully escaped the misty mountains, but Bilbo has gained the one ring. They all continue their journey to get their gold back off the Dragon, Smaug.”
Ending the year the same way we ended 2012! Theater.