Most Anticipated Films of 2013

The only problem with producing a list like this so early in the year is that there are always films that would be more than worthy of inclusion that haven't been announced yet.  I have no doubt that something else will pop up as the year goes on that I'll get wicked psyched for, but right now these are the movies that I'm most looking forward to in 2013 (trailers provided where available along with tentative release dates):

Honorable Mention: The Lone Ranger, The World's End, Anchorman: The Legend Continues, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, The Wolverine, Monsters University, Much Ado About Nothing, Warm Bodies, A Good Day to Die Hard.

10) Despicable Me 2 (July 3) - Despicable Me was a very pleasant surprise in 2010.  The characters were great, the story was fun, and the minions!  Can't forget the minions!  The trailers thus far have been the same as the trailers for Despicable Me - short and fun, but not giving us any idea of what to expect for a plot.  It's a little surprising that the animated feature that makes my list is something other than a Pixar flick, but that's how much I enjoyed the original.  If this is half as good as Despicable Me, we'll still have a pretty good movie.

9) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (November 22) - I really enjoyed The Hunger Games last year and thought it was a very good adaptation of the book.  I was glad that it did so well so that we would be assured of seeing the rest of the story play out on the big screen (unlike The Golden Compass a few years ago).  The cast all returns, lead by Jennifer Lawrence coming off of another Oscar nomination and Francis Lawrence (no relation) has taken over for Gary Ross on directing duties.  It'll be interesting to see if this change effects anything.  Catching Fire is getting a late November release date, making a move to a more prime real estate spot on the release calendar than The Hunger Games' March landing time last year.  Unfortunately, its too early for a teaser trailer, but I'm still pretty excited about this.

8) 42 (April 12) - I've always had a love for baseball and Jackie Robinson is one of the most important figures in the game's history, so it shouldn't be any surprise that this new Robinson biopic makes my list.  The first teaser trailer released a couple of months back and was intriguing, but the recently released full trailer looks really good.  I am not familiar with Chadwick Boseman, who plays Jackie Robinson, but it looks like he gives a good performance.  He's joined by Harrison Ford, Alan Tudyk, Chris Meloni, Lucas Black, and John C. McGinley.  I really hope that this turns out well.

7) Thor: The Dark World (November 8) - Thor is one of my favorite comic book characters and the first Thor film from 2011 might be my favorite from the batch of films that are known as Marvel Studios' Phase One. This is another one with a release date late in the year so there's no trailer, but I can't wait to see where they go with Thor considering his was the one movie that could be considered as essential leading into last summer's The Avengers.  The fact that Malekith is going to be included is awesome because he was a big part of Walter Simonson's classic run on the Thor comic in the '80's.

6) Iron Man 3 (May 3) - The first trailer for this causes me to have such high expectations, at this point, I can only hope that it meets even half of them.  If it somehow does manage to live up to them, it will be one amazing film.  The Iron Man franchise is really what got the ball rolling for Marvel Studios in their cinematic universe, and the third installment looks every bit as good as its predecessors.  Only hinted at in the original Iron Man, The Mandarin finally makes his film debut as played by Ben Kingsley.  Robert Downey, Jr. jumps into Tony Stark's shoes once again and looks to have a pretty tough go of it this time around.  Could this be a slight turn towards the real and gritty for Marvel?  It looks like it may be, and that could be just what this uber-popular franchise needs to keep things fresh.

5) Man of Steel (June 14) - Superman is not by any stretch one of my favorite comic book characters.  While good stories have certainly been told about him, I've always found him a little too perfect, what with the basically unlimited powers and all.  Man of Steel is being directed by Zack Snyder and produced by Christopher Nolan and from the looks of the trailer, they are trying to bring Superman back down to Earth a bit.  I've always been a fan of the original Christopher Reeve Superman and would love to see the character reborn on the big screen in successful fashion.  Henry Cavill certainly looks the part and a cast that also includes Russell Crowe, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon, and Laurence Fishburne certainly bodes well.

4) The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (December 13) - Another film with a winter release date so we don't have even a teaser trailer yet.  I'm still not convinced that turning The Hobbit into a trilogy is necessary, but after seeing An Unexpected Journey, I'm all in for Peter Jackson's return to Middle Earth!

3) Elysium (August 9) - Not having a trailer to share for these movies is killing me!  Oh well, no trailer is needed to get excited for Elysium, the latest project from District 9 director Neill Blomkamp.  District 9 was amazing, especially considering the small budget Blomkamp had to work with.  One can only imagine what he could put together with more resources.  That and a cast that includes Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, William Fichtner, and District 9 alum Sharlto Copley makes my hopes very high for this sci-fi flick.

2) Star Trek Into Darkness (May 17) - J.J. Abrams brings us round two of the rebooted Star Trek franchise.  Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, and Bruce Greenwood return from the first installment, throw in Benedict Cumberbatch on top of that as the villain and it looks like you've got a winner.  Cumberbatch was rumored to be Khan, which would be a cool nod to previous Star Trek continuity, but I don't think it will negatively impact the film if that doesn't turn out to be the case.  The trailer is typical Abrams: action packed and intriguing, but not revealing much of the story.  Luckily, with a May 17 release date, we won't have to wait too long to find out what is really going on.

1) Pacific Rim (July 12) - Guillermo del Toro is one of my favorite directors.  The last film he directed was Hellboy II: The Golden Army back in 2008.  It has been too long, and if you ask me, the world is a better place when he's calling shots from behind the camera.  He's had a number of projects stall for various reasons since then, but he gets back to directing with Pacific Rim, a monsters versus mechs battle with the fate of the world in the balance.  And it looks amazing.  Del Toro put together a cast of recognizable faces from television (Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman) and added a couple of tv/film vets for good measure (Ron Perlman, Idris Elba).  This really is just about any guys dream: giant monsters and giant robots paired with Guillermo del Toro's design and storytelling ability.  I.  Cannot.  Wait.  For.  This.

It's looking like another pretty solid year for films, and this list doesn't even include the films that will inevitably make up the list of awards contenders later in the year!  What are the films that you are most looking forward to in 2013?


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