Summer has already been rolling out, with Iron Man 3 and The Great Gatsby both making big impressions with audiences and at the box office. Now seems an excellent time for us to chime in on what we’re most anticipating out of this season, either in the mainstream or indie divisions! Here are the 3 most anticipated films from 3 of our staff members!
Question: What are 3 of your Most Anticipated Films of Summer 2013?
It has been a fun little cinematic experiment reuniting Richard Linkalter, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke every nine years to find out what has happened in the lives of Jessie and Celine. For this installment the couple is married and has young children and their intellectual investigation of love will likely focus on keeping the spark even after many years together. As I get older myself, I can’t help but feel like these movies increasingly reflect my own place in life and I cannot wait to hear the thoughtful conversations that will take place. (Spoiler Alert: The next movie in this series after Before Midnight is basically just Certified Copy). (IMDB page | *SPOILER FILLED* Trailer)
As much as I adored Pedro Almodovar’s last film The Skin I Live In (my fifth favorite movie of 2011), I actually prefer it when the Spanish auteur offers up something on the lighter side, in the spirit of his early films like Women on the Verge of a Nervous Break Down. His newest film, I’m So Excited!, might not wrestle with as many serious questions as his recent work, but it looks like a lot of fun with characters that fully inhabit the bizarre world that Pedro likes to create. (IMDB page | Trailer)
This stylistic period kung fu film from brilliant director Wong Kar Wai has been on my most anticipated list for over two years. I am a big fan of WKW and sincerely hope that he is able to bounce back after his last feature film My Blueberry Nights, which was regrettably panned by most critics. My only hesitation is that this looks more action heavy, which might mean it is more along the lines of his 1994 film Ashes of Time, which I like less than his more intimate character-driven stories. (IMDB page | Trailer)
I felt the need to put one out-and-out action film on my list, and in a summer that includes Elysium and Pacific Rim, no film has my blood pumping in advance more so than the sixth installment of a franchise that wasn’t very good to begin with. Thanks much to director Justin Lin’s increasingly fine-tuned savvy, the Fast & Furious franchise has inexplicably become more preposterously thrilling with each entry. After Fast Five essentially tore up Rio de Janeiro with a wrecking ball, Lin and co. don’t seem to ramping down now, its latest trailer utterly refusing logic in favor of all-out madness. The only downside is this may well be Justin Lin’s last time behind the wheel, with Universal rushing the time-table for the next (possibly final?) installment. Overwrought as it may be, I like the notion of this franchise not dying. Tomorrow we will ride faster, crank up the torque farther, yadayadayada… Forgive me. I’m still high on Gatsby fumes. (IMDB page | Trailer)
Mainstream horror fixtures like The Purge and James Wan’s The Conjuring are certain to inflict more than their share of jump scares on audiences this summer. If you’re a behind-the-curtain cinephile, though, you may be more interested in the bit of clever counterprogramming from Peter Strickland. This film about a sound designer working on an Italian horror film played the lighter festival circuit last year, and it earned quite a few admirers. Through its (totally sick!) trailer and poster, this seems like anything but a convention scare-fest, and hopefully all the better for it. Edgy sound designs at their most experimental have their way of twisting our brains into mush, so turning that around on the designers sounds giddy, exciting, and genuinely terrifying. (IMDB page | Trailer)
Woody Allen has a tendency to let himself go awry all too easily and frequently, with a ratio of one great film for every two mediocre ones. Given that Midnight in Paris was only good – Really good, and intoxicatingly fun, but not truly resonant in my heart – I’ve got an extraordinary sense of faith in Blue Jasmine. Could it be the singular focus of the story on fashionable housewife in an acute crisis? The spectacular casting of Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, (OMG) Sally Hawkins and (OMFG) Louis C.K.? Woody Allen’s triumphant return to New York, the city he’s time again professed his lurve of? It might just be the primary colour/flora referencing title, which reveals absolutely nothing about the film. I just feel like this is going to be something really special from Woody Allen. (IMDB page)
Though the summer movie season is typically best known for its output of multi-million dollar blockbusters, and those tend to generate the most discussion. But I have recently started to notice just how exciting a season the summer can be for smaller nonfiction films like Man on Wire, Tabloid, Cave of Forgotten Dreams and one of my favorite movies of the last few years, Exit Through the Gift Shop. Actress-turned-director Sarah Polley appears to be continuing this tradition of strong documentary releases with her cinematic memoir, which aims to unearth a painful family secret. Judging from the early reviews, it sounds like Stories We Tell is already an early contender to be one of the year’s best films. But I don’t really need early critical buzz to get me excited about the movie. Polley the director is currently 2-for-2 in my book, with her movies Away From Her and Take This Waltz showcasing her subdued deftness when it comes to breaking hearts. If this movie meets expectations, It will have been a good summer for movies. (IMDB page | Trailer)
When J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek iteration came out, I joked how “The Force is strong in this reboot.” The more I think about it, however, the more seriously I take that assessment: the Star Trek update is the movie I wanted the Star Wars prequels to be. Now, for all the humanistic and philosophical ruminations the old Trek movies and TV shows, one major obstacle always got in the way of my enjoyment: I found them <em>boring</em>. The filmmaking was bland, and the characters were archetypal in a way that neither shared Star Wars’ mythic quality (not that it ever intended to) nor found much on its own terms for me to cling to.
The new Trek boasts those qualities I so dearly want. I love Chris Pine’s spin on James T. Kirk, and I love Zachary Quinto’s Spock iteration. I also love the sinister quality Benedict Cumberbatch seems poised to lend to the villain of this sequel. While part of me hopes that Into Darkness will find a way to blend the series’ newfound energy with the old series’ thoughtful philosophizing (reviews indicate it won’t), I’m really just hoping it will continue the lighthearted fun that made the 2009 Star Trek so irresistible. (IMDB page | Trailer)
I still believe in Pixar, and I don’t think I am a fool for it. Yes, the animation studio’s recent output of lukewarm offerings has been worrisome. And yes, I am concerned this return to the adventures of Mike Wazowski and Sulley could be more in the vein of Cars 2 than Toy Story 3, given that Cars contributor Dan Scanlon is directing this prequel. But I also remember just how wonderfully conceived that world on the other side of the closet in 2001’s Monsters Inc was, and how beautifully the wizards at Pixar realized it (far more successfully, it warrants noting, than in Cars 2). Given this better-established world, and given Pixar’s still-respectable track record overall, I think my keeping the faith is completely justified. (IMDB page | Trailer)