2013 Preview Part 1: APOCALYPSE

With 2012 having been a pretty spectacular year for film, its now time to look forward to the varied delights 2013 has in store. Luckily for you dear reader, I’ve been a busy boy and fished out over twenty films that will have you foaming at the mouth for 2013. The new year can’t come quick enough. In an attempt to avoid a mammoth post that will bore you senseless I’ve split this preview into four posts, the first of which you’re currently wrapping your eyes around at this present moment. Each post will strive to cover the films that will define 2013 and predict the main themes of next year’s blockbusters. Let’s begin, shall we? First up, the Apocalypse. Naturally…

So the Mayan’s were wrong. The world didn’t spin out of its axis and we’re all still alive. What a relief, right? Wrong. That is, if Hollywood’s ever-enduring obsession with the apocalypse has anything to do with it. Next year is littered with releases tackling nuclear wastelands and consequences of the ‘end of days’. Here’s 6 of the front runners…

Warm Bodies

Release Date: 8th February 2013

Possibly one of the most intriguing entries into the Zombie genre for a while. Warm Bodies takes you through a day in the life of a zombie, post-apocalypse. The opening four minutes (above) released exclusively on YouTube gives a great tantalising taste for the horror-comedy. Adapted from the book of the same name, Jonathon Levine writes and directs. His previous feature 50/50 was a heartfelt dramedy and one of the highlights of 2011, so expect no less from Warm Bodies. The book by Isaac Marion comes recommended by zombie fan Simon Pegg, big praise indeed. Speaking of Simon Pegg….

The World’s End

Release Date: 14th August 2013

The-Worlds-End-2

Marking the third and possibly final (say it ain’t so) installment in their self-proclaimed ‘blood and ice cream’ trilogy, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg present their own take on the apocalypse. The World’s End follows a group of old friends meeting up for a big reunion knees up. They decide to go on a pub-crawl that ends at Camden’s World’s End pub whilst, surprise surprise, the world ends around them. Boasting an impressive cast including the likes of Pegg himself, long time collaborator Nick Frost, Eddie Marsden, Paddy Considine and Martin Freeman, The World’s End will hopefully follow in it’s predecessors’ footsteps serving up a sharp 90 minute gag-a-thon with an extra helping of gore. No one has let slip what particular apocalyptic situation will encompass the film, but as principal photography only wrapped shortly before Christmas there’s still a lot to be discovered about this 2013 comedy. The first released still (above) is enough to chewing over for the time being.

This Is The End

Release Date: 28th June 2013

Focusing on a small group of celebrities as the world succumbs to its demise, This Is The End does look incredibly similar to The World’s End. Let’s hope that the similarities are merely concept deep, because there’s a lot to get excited about regarding this new stoner comedy. An expansion of short film Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse, Seth Rogen and pals have gone for a meta approach, each playing themselves amongst the chaos of doomsday, so expect cameos galore from the likes or Michael Cera, Emma Watson and more. The short scene featured in the trailer promises a lot of light-hearted jibes between the Judd Apatow/Greg Mottola regulars which will be especially exciting for any fans of their LA based comedy microcosm. However anticipation for This Is The End is somewhat dampened by the recent slump in quality from writers Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen who penned the underwhelming Green Hornet and the quite frankly appalling The Watch. But, let’s look on the bright side, for all we know This Is The End could be a return to form.

World War Z

Release Date: 21st June 2013

Lots and lots of zombies from Marc Forster. Brad Pitt will have long hair and will run around a lot.

Oblivion & After Earth

Release Date: 12th April 2013 (Oblivion), 7th June 2013 (After Earth)

Okay so I’ve lumped Oblivion and After Earth together for no other reason than, judging by their trailers, they’re practically the same film. You can watch them respectively here and here. Contrary to the first two films on the list, Oblivion and After Earth find the earth well and truly over and devoid of any human life, so get over it you capitalism-loving square. And its the job of Tom Cruise/Jaden Smith/any interchangeable action hero to explore the planet and work out what happened. All right, that last bit might have been a tad mean but its probably safe to say that neither of these films are going to be at the top of anyone’s wish list for the new year. That being said, I could be proved wrong. Oblivion signals the second feature outing of writer/director Joe Krosinski, and whilst his previous film TRON: Legacy possessed a paper-thin plot the visuals were top dollar. So, if the trailer is any good indication, Krosinski’s strong visuals seem to have prevailed over to Oblivion.

will-smith-after-earth-trailer-sony

M. Night Shyamalan is currently sitting in the last-chance saloon and After Earth could be his ticket out of stagnation. The resounding success of The Sixth Sense meant that Shyamalan’s subsequent feature efforts failed to live up to his barnstorming break-through onto the mainstream in comparison. The Happening had a laughably poor premise, whilst The Last Airbender was plain embarrassing. Will After Earth regain his reputation or flat-line it further? The appearance of Will Smith used to guarantee a film’s success, but after Men In Black III the ball could be in anyone’s court.

Perhaps the most annoying factor of both these trailers is how much of the plot they give away. Oblivion practically shows you whole film in a two minute form ruining what looks like a great introduction to Morgan Freeman’s character, and After Earth‘s most enduring message seems to go something like, ‘Will Smith will be doing serious acting in this film. Look, that’s his serious face.’

Elysium

Release Date: 20th September 2013

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Set in 2159, Elysium is the story of Max’s mission to bring equality to the fractured remains of earth; the poor living on the surface whilst the wealthy live the good life on a swanky space station. Brought to you by Neill Blomkamp, writer and director of District 9, this futuristic action adventure will be a must-see for Sci-fi fans across the globe. Not much else is known about the project apart from the cast which stars Matt Damon as hero Max, Jodie Foster and Blomkamp veteran Sharlto Copley. Centering on similar themes featured in District 9 of social divides, Elysium is an intriguing prospect and could potentially be the dark horse hit of autumn next year.

Pacific Rim

Release Date: 12th July 2013

Godzilla versus Transformers overseen by Guillermo Del Toro? Cancelling the apocalypse are we Idris Elba? Count me in, eery sound effects an’ all.

Read the second part of my 2013 preview here.

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