From sci-fi and formula films to Westerns and adaptations of literary landmarks, here are the top 10 Hollywood films to watch out for in the first half of 2013.
The last time director Tony Hooper made a movie, it won the Best Film Oscar. The King’s Speech (2010) director pushes the boundary again with his new film. It’s a musical based on a French theatrical production that’s been running since 1980, which in turn is, of course, based on Victor Hugo’s 19th century novel. The film opened to mixed reviews internationally, but Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman’s performances were lauded.
Releases on: January 18
A Good Day To Die Hard
Guns will blaze, buildings will blow up and cars will be smashed. Die Hard relies on the formula of franchises that never gets old — don’t change the ingredients, and don’t change the lead actor. So you have an ageing John McClane (Bruce Willis) at the helm, but his son Jack McClane (Jai Courtney) joins in on the action. Together, they will prevent a nuclear weapon heist in Russia. Sounds predictable? Perfect.
Releases on: February
Salman Rushdie’s acclaimed, magic-realist novel is the coming-of-age story of a boy and of independent India. The story spans the era from Partition to the Emergency, and is told through protagonist Salim Sinai, who has telepathic powers, and who is switched at birth with a rich man’s son. The film promises to be colourful, and is a must-watch for fans of the book. Be warned though adaptations of great books often tend to disappoint.
Releases on: February 1
Zero Dark Thirty
Rarely is the biggest star of a film its director. But Oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker; 2008), does not need to cast big names. She’s taken on a story the entire world wants to know — the hunt and assassination of Osama Bin Laden. The heroine — played by Jessica Chastain — adds further interest. We reckon we’re already talking sure shot Oscar nominations.
Releases on: February 15
What’s a Hollywood list without a Western film? And while the Indian audience doesn’t always get the cowboy twang or the obsession with the Old West, you can’t miss a film that features Quentin Tarantino and Leonardo DiCaprio. Django (Jamie Foxx) is a quick drawing, sharp shooting freed slave out to rescue his wife from an evil plantation owner (DiCaprio as Calvin Candie). Expect blood to be spilled creatively: white cotton flowers sprayed red, for instance.
Releases on: March 29
Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is a drone ship repairman in a post-apocalyptic existence where humans live in space and earth is supposedly uninhabited (think the world in Wall-E; 2008). But he risks everything to
rescue a survivor. What man wouldn’t, when the survivor looks like Olga Kurylenko? The sci-fi film directed by Joseph Kosinski (his last was Tron: Legacy; 2010) is based on a graphic novel, also called Oblivion.
Releases on: April 12
Iron Man 3
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), the playboy billionaire genius and the only superhero who has no qualms in revealing his secret identity, meets his most powerful enemy yet — The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). This time, the villain seeks out the hero to destroy him rather than the other way around. Watch it for fan-boy thrills, stunning gadgets and Stark’s trademark wisecracks.
Releases on: May 3
Fast & Furious 6
The sexiest cars, the brawniest men and dialogues as clichéd as "If I wanted you dead, you would be." This is Hollywood’s version of the Golmaal franchise — it’s inane stuff , but it’s insanely successful. The five previous instalments — each hard to tell apart from the other — have all been hits, and the sixth is unlikely to be the last.
Releases on: May 24
Man Of Steel
Christopher Nolan changed the idea of a superhero film with the Dark Knight trilogy. Now, he’s on board as a producer for the highly anticipated rebooted version of Superman. Between him and director Zack Snyder (known for visually stunning films like 300; 2006, Sucker Punch; 2011 and Watchmen; 2009), expect a darker, more complex and spectacular version of one of the most popular comic book heroes of all time.
Releases on: June 14
The Great Gatsby
Perhaps the tiny role played by Amitabh Bachchan will get the Indian audience to watch the screen adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald’s novel. It’s about the frivolity of post-World War I USA of the 1920s, and a millionaire called Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his love Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan).
Releases on: May 10