Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2: Revenge of the Leftovers, Django Unchained, Frozen, Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, Monsters University, Pacific Rim, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The World's End, Wreck-it Ralph
2012 was a particularly fine year for escapist blockbuster cinema and I will be celebrating the best of it soon with my Top Ten Films of 2012 post. But first I’m going to look forward to what the next twelve months have to offer. These are the ten films I’m most looking forward to this year.
10. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2: Revenge of the Leftovers
The original Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs was an unexpected treasure and stands as a shining example of what can be achieved with irreverent material. The sequel is due to arrive some time in 2013 and will hopefully serve as a much needed improvement on Hotel Transylvania, Sony Pictures Animation’s last film. If the studio had a better track record my expectations, and the film’s place in this list, might be higher.
9. Pacific Rim
The stunning first trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s giant monsters versus robots extravaganza rocketed-punched the film inexorably into my sights. With such a seriously talented director in charge of the project the feeling is strong that this could be what the Transformers films should have been. Expect spectacle and lots of CGI tempered by some real humanity. A potential dark horse.
8. Man of Steel
I’ve been a fan of Superman films for as long as I can remember, including the often maligned Superman Returns so I’m keen to see how successfully the franchise can be reimagined, especially with Christopher Nolan’s influence and a greater focus on realism. I have my doubts; I’m not convinced by Henry Cavill in the lead role but he deserves his chance and I will watch the film with great interest when it arrives.
7. Django Unchained
Quentin Tarantino’s latest feature looks like it will serve as an excellent companion piece to his previous effort, the excellent Inglourious Basterds. This ‘southern’ will hit similar themes of racial discrimination and revenge and will feature more of the brilliant Christopher Waltz. The signs look good and Tarantino’s films are never boring so this could be another winner.
6. Monsters University
I’m not the world’s biggest Monsters Inc. fan, although I do like the film a great deal I don’t think it’s an example of Pixar firing on all cylinders. This smartly conceived prequel, however looks like it could outdo the original film by telling the story of Mike and Sully’s time at college. The film has been tipped by some to be the year’s highest grossing. Let’s hope it deserves it.
5. Iron Man 3
The first film in Phase Two of Marvel’s plan for world domination will hopefully put Tony Stark’s film career back on track after the lacklustre Iron Man 2. With Kiss Kiss Bang Bang director Shane Black who conjured some of the most entertaining work yet seen from Robert Downey Jr. The signs are very good and Disney and Marvel will want to keep the momentum of The Avengers going strong so this could be a big show.
4. The World’s End
At last the final entry in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, which combines the talents of collaborators Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright, is due to hit cinemas this year. The film will follow a group of Londoners on a pub crawl during the apocalypse and if it is as side-splitting as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz then it will be a lock for funniest film of the year.
3. Wreck-It Ralph
Wreck-It Ralph actually featured on last year’s list but the film was pushed back into early 2013 for its UK release so here it is again in a much higher position. Telling the story of a 1980s arcade game villain who grows weary of being the bad guy and abandons his game the film will feature a number of cameos from famous video game characters. By combining my two favourite things, animation and video games Disney have themselves a guaranteed hit.
2. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The first film in the new film trilogy was, in my opinion, a triumph so my anticipation for part two has hit new heights. With the titular dragon finally set to make a proper appearance you know the film is going to be spectacular and if they can build on the extra character work of the first film the follow-up could easily be another barnstormer.
All we’ve seen of Frozen so far is a piece of concept art but the very concept of it is enough to put it in the number one spot. Disney has been trying to adapt Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen for some time and I’ve been dying to see what they can do with it for years. The title, another gender-neutral adjective, suggests the film will share some of the creative philosophies of the magnificent Tangled. Whether or not the finished article will make its UK release in 2013 or, like Wreck-It Ralph, end up pushed back a couple of months one thing is for sure, there isn’t a film I’m looking forward to more right now.