March 4, 2013

2013: Keenly Anticipated Singular Visions

These aren't necessarily the big money-spinners, or the super-explodey popcorn flicks. But these are the films that, due to the creative talent involved, I'm actually most looking forward to seeing this year. These are the films that aren't set in stone though, films that don't have release dates set in stone and will likely do a festival or two before they make it to NZ.

The World's End
Edgar Wright. Simon Pegg. Nick Frost. They've gifted us with Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. This is the conclusion of their (very) loose "blood & ice-cream" trilogy. It is guaranteed to be hilarious, intelligent and a veritable all-round cinema-extravaganza. I am busting at the seams with anticipation.

NZ Release Date: 3 October 2013

The Raid: Retaliation

Hey, so did you see The Raid last year? Or, more aptly, did you experience the full-force physical assault that was last year's most explosive action film? If you did, then I need explain no further.

If, however, you sadly didn't I'll break it down for you. The Raid was the action film to beat last year, focussing on a team of cops caught completely out of their depth in an apartment building ruled by criminals. It was a smorgasbord of violence, an extravaganza of knees and fists and feet and elbows to face and body and joints. It was an all-around blast and if the sequel is anything like the original, whooo. We're in for a treat.

NZ Release Date: unknown (Indonesia: 8 September 2013)


Chan-wook Park has built up a truly impressive body of work in his native South Korea: JSA, Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengenace and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. Stoker, his English-language American debut, stars Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode and Mia Wasikowska. The trailer is a suitably tense and atmospheric slice of what's in store for audiences.

NZ Release Date: 29 August 2013


The new film from Alfonso Cuaron - who directed what may still possibly be the best Harry Potter film - Gravity though long delayed will surely be worth the wait. This is Cuaron's first feature film since the fantastic Children of Men in 2006 and continues in the science-fiction vein with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as astronauts having to get their way back to earth after a mid-orbit collision.

NZ Release Date: 3 October 2013

Cloud Atlas
The Wachowkis and Tom Tykwer have tackled something extraordinary. Whether they were successful or not depends on who you ask. TIME magazine had it on their Worst of 2012 list, whereas any number of other reviewers online had it amongst their best.

The extended trailer that was released for the film goes some way towards capturing the scope of what the trio were reaching for and dang I'm keen to see for myself what this ended up like. With a phenomenal cast playing multiple characters across different eras and stories, I can see why Cloud Atlas could trip and fail but could also be something new. Despite being released in the States already, I have no idea when or if this will get any sort of release here in NZ.

NZ Release Date: unknown

Before Midnight
The capper to one of the most intriguing trilogies in film history with Richard Linklater once again following Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke as they walk and talk around a European locale. Early word has been good (very good). Linklater is one of those intriguing directors, one you're never quite sure of what he's going to do next or how it's going to play out, and that's exactly why I'm looking forward to it.

NZ Release Date: unknown

Spike Jonze is, so far, three for three with feature films. Being John Malkovich and Adaptation with Charlie Kaufman and Where the Wild Things Are with Dave Eggers all managed to be very much their own things, while also being distinctly Spike Jonze films.

There's not a lot out there about this at the moment - not even a US release date - but for the simple fact that it is a voice as distinct as Jonze's I can't wait to see what it's all about.

NZ Release Date: unknown

Inside Llewyn Davis
The Coen Brothers are, once again, on a hot streak. From No Country for Old Men to True Grit, their recent filmography has contained some of their best work. Inside Llewyn Davis, following a struggling folk singer in Greenwich Village in 1960, promises to be one of their smaller films. The trailer intrigues without revealing much.

As with all of the other films on this list, my interest is primarily down to the talent involved in the writing and directing chairs and when that talent is the brothers Coen, well of course I'm looking forward to what's on offer.

NZ Release Date: unknown

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