Thursday, January 24, 2013


Just like every other year that has gone before it, there are a plethora of new releases that I am looking forward to seeing in 2013, but to list every single one would take forever and a day, so I am only going to highlight my six most anticipated releases of 2013, starting with:

Quite simply the reason I am looking forward to “To The Wonder” is that it is the new film from director Terrence Malick and apparently it is kind of like a spiritual sequel to his previous film “Tree Of Life”.  Amazingly when the film premiered at the Venice Film Festival back in September, it was received with some of the worst reviews of Malick’s career to date.  However the recently released trailers still have me salivating to see “To The Wonder” which is the first film from this director to be actually set in the present.  It apparently tackles the themes of love and faith and stars Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem and Olga Kurylenko, with Emmanuel Lubezki returning behind the camera for cinematography duties.  If nothing else, we know it is going to be a gorgeous looking film.

Any film directed by Martin Scorsese is going to be on my most anticipated list and normally at number one, but even though I am very excited for “The Wolf Of Wall Street” just because it is a new film from the master, the topic of corruption on Wall Street doesn’t exactly thrill me that much.  I am sure that once a trailer appears, my anticipation will skyrocket like always but right now, my expectations are controlled.  It does have the potential to be amazing though when you look at the cast he has put together: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Jean Dujardin and Jonah Hill, to name just a few.  What does excite me about “The Wolf Of Wall Street” is it sees the first collaboration between Scorsese and cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto (who interestingly also shot Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”).

Amazingly in 2013, all three of my favourite South Korean directors are making their English language Hollywood debuts.  Although Kim Jee-Woon got saddled with what appears to be a generic Arnold Schwarzenegger action film with “The Last Stand”, both Bong Joon-Ho and Park Chan-Wook seem to have found much more interesting vehicles to show off their considerable talents.  “Snowpiercer” is Bong Joon-Ho’s latest effort but details on the film are slim at best.  All we know is that it is set in the future during a new ice age and it follows a group of characters on a train who are the last remaining survivors on Earth.  It is an adaptation of a French comic book by Benjamin Legrand and it appears as though it is going to be a very bleak film.  Whatever it turns out to be, nothing will stop me from seeing the new film from the director of such classics as “Memories Of Murder”, “The Host” and “Mother”.

I am a Rob Zombie fan, so sue me.  Personally I think the man always has an interesting vision for all of his films, but with “The Lords Of Salem” he is trying something new.  Instead of the brutal violence and rough, handheld camera work he is known for, Zombie is changing his aesthetic style this time with a film that is made of perfectly composed frames that are full of symmetry.  Also the film is apparently much slower in pace than his previous films, although still just as demented.  As soon as Zombie mentioned that one of the films he used for inspiration was Polanski’s “The Tenant”, I was hooked.  When the film recently premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, reactions were mixed, with some thinking it was a pile of shit and others thinking it was just amazing.  Just knowing that the film is more about the disintegration of a mind, has me thinking I am going to love this film, but either way it is going to be interesting to see Rob Zombie’s take on the world of witches. 

This is the brand new film from Park Chan-Wook and judging by the trailers alone, “Stoker” looks like a stunning piece of work.  Park Chan-Wook has always been known as a supreme visual stylist and thankfully that style seems to have made the journey to Hollywood with him.  I have tried to stay away from as many details about “Stoker” as possible but the film was written by Wentworth Miller (yes, that Wentworth Miller) and is about the Stoker family who consists of a mother, Evelyn and her daughter India.  When India’s father passes away, her Uncle Charlie comes to visit the family, and while he is initially charming, India starts to become suspicious of Charlie’s true motives for his visit.  From the synopsis alone, it appears as if “Stoker” is taking a page out Alfred Hitchcock’s “Shadow Of A Doubt” but when the film premiered this past weekend the person that seemed to be constantly mentioned in reviews was Brian De Palma.  In fact, one review stated that it was like Park Chan-Wook wanted to out De Palma De Palma at his own game.  This is just music to my ears because I consider De Palma the greatest living visual stylist in cinema today.  I am so excited for “Stoker” and the Australian release date of March 28 cannot come soon enough.  I also must mention the cast of this film which is full of Australians like Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, and Jacki Weaver, who are joined by Matthew Goode in the role of Uncle Charlie.

Forget what I just said above!  Forget the pretenders!  There is only one Brian De Palma and he is back!  That is right, “Passion” is the brand new film from De Palma and he finally returns to the thriller genre that he made his name in with such features as “Dressed To Kill” and “Blow Out”.  The film is actually a remake of Alain Corneau’s final film, “Crime D’Amour”, which initially worried me because I thought the original film was just terrible.  Thankfully though from all reports De Palma has made the story all his own, and while the remake follows the original storyline for the majority of the first two thirds of the film, apparently the final third is pure De Palma full of split screens, split diopter shots, and every other visual flourish De Palma is known for.  His familiar themes also rear their heads too.  From all reports, the story folds in on itself in a combination of dreams and dreams within dreams, that just sounds magnificent.  Fans of Brian De Palma are falling all over themselves for “Passion” claiming it to be a fantastic return to form, however like always, critics who are not enamored by De Palma and his style have been stating the film is an embarrassing mess.  Well since I am definitely in the former group, I am expecting “Passion” to blow my mind and that is why it is my most anticipated film of 2013.

Well, that is it.  My enormous round up of the year that was 2012 is finally over.  Hopefully you enjoyed reading it and got something out of it, but how about we go back to watching some new films now?

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