Ninja Monkey's Movies for the Rest of 2013

Ninja Monkey's Movies for the Rest of 2013

I don’t get to do as much reading anymore as I used to. In 2012 I made it a goal to read 50 books during the year and it just took a lot out of me.

Unfortunately, I’m also poor, so I don’t get out to the theater much either. Most of my media consumption comes from Netflix (I have almost finished a complete re-watch of the original Star Trek series).

It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about upcoming movies though. I was completely upset that I didn’t get to Iron Man 3 during opening weekend. I did get to Star Trek Into Darkness, though, so that was good (our chat review is coming soon). Then this morning I saw the newest Man of Steel trailer.

And yeah, it has renewed my need to see it. Unlike many, I really liked Superman Returns. I’m a huge fan of the blue boy scout.

So that got me looking at the rest of the coming movies for the year, and as you’d expect. I have opinions. So here goes.

Man of Steel

Guys, it has Lawrence Fishburne. As Perry White. I am super excited about that. Yes, it also has Kevin Costner, but it’s not his movie, and the man has done some decent movies. I’m just really jazzed for this.

Just speculating about what director Zack Snyder is doing to the mythology occupies me for hours at a time.

After Earth

I have tried to get excited about this one. It’s just not happening. I enjoyed Shayamalan from Sixth Sense through Signs (Unbreakable is one of the best comic book movies ever, in my opinion). I even got a perverse enjoyment out of Lady in the Water. But the nicest thing I had to say about The Village was that at least it made more sense than Lady. And then The Last Airbender – I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. I find that I don’t care whether there’s a surprise because Will Smith hasn’t gotten me excited about a movie in even longer. And I’m kind of tired of him buying movie vehicles for his kids. The premise seems interesting, but I can’t see any moving conflict other than “STUFF KILLING THINGS” so I won’t be wasting my time here.

Monsters University

I loved Monsters, Inc, even if it is a bit ham-fisted, emotionally, even by Pixar standards. I’m not wild about the Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd premise for this prequel. But there have been very few truly disappointing Pixar features (Bugs Life and Ratatouille were a bit dull, and Cars 2…). I’m willing to give this some cautious interest.

World War Z

If I were in a relationship with zombie movies on Facebook, it would be “It’s complicated.” The original Living Dead movies are brilliant. Shaun of the Dead likewise. I’m not sure how I feel about 28 Days Later, or even whether I should mention it when talking about zombie movies. On the other hand, the mechanics of zombies has never really been treated believably in my mind. Zombie movies as a whole are just barely a cut above B flicks (which I also love). I want them to be objectively awesome, but they never cross that bar.

Not that I think World War Z will. But the whole climbing each other and the raw, hyper-aggression I haven’t even seen in recent “fast zombie” movies that is in the WWZ trailer… I am very intrigued.

The Lone Ranger

Isn’t anybody else tired of Johnny Depp yet? As folk heroes go, this masked avenger has never been near the top of my list. Add Depp in, then put him in “red face” (ok, white face, so they don’t have to simulate a racial appearance) and I’m not just bored, I’m bothered by it. I can honestly say I just don’t want to go see this, I’m of half a mind to convince others not to.

Despicable Me 2

Fortunately, the same weekend that Lone Ranger rides again we also get Despicable Me 2. I just want them to do more of exactly what they did in the first one. And, failing that, if the minions get sufficient screen time, I’m happy about that. There may be a touch of identifying with him worried about his daughter and boys, but I won’t let that influence my judgement at all.

Honest.

Pacific Rim

KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU KAIJU

I’ve always been a sucker for giant monsters. And I actually prefer them to be something other than professional wrestling in cosplay. Giant frigging robots against giant frigging monsters? You already have a sequel, planned, right?

The great part about this is it’s not connected to Godzilla in any way. I love me some Godzilla, but this ensures that they can do anything they want and need for the plot and appearance and production and the pedantic Godzilla fans will just have to shut their hole and watch it. Finally, a modern kaiju movie that everyone will have to evaluate on its won merits, and not a comparison to the B-movie bastard offspring of one of the most legitimately brilliant and interesting movies of the 1950s.

The Wolverine

I am apparently much more forgiving of superhero flicks than most comic book fans. Some of them are genuinely awful but when people start using terms like “train wreck” and “awful” about X3 or X-Men Origins: Wolverine I wonder what sort of score they’re trying to settle. Let’s be honest, neither was particularly brilliant. But they weren’t particularly terrible either. Their primary sin was not being a blockbuster.

And that’s why I want to see The Wolverine this summer. I secretly hope that his second solo appearance is a step toward getting to see him team up with The Avengers. Or at least go mano a mano with The Hulk. The lack of an “X” in the title only encourages my baseless speculation.

Elysium

Elysium’s strongest recommendation is that it comes from the creators of the superb District 9, which deserved to make a boat load more money than it did. It was believable and touching, and gave you sympathy for a character who is, fundamentally, a huge jerk.

The premise of Elysium is hardly ground-breaking, but neither was District 9, and they did so much original with it. Here’s hoping Elysium isn’t a dumb action flick and measures up.

1D: This is Us

I’m joking!

Carrie

My first thought on learning there’s going to be another Carrie movie was to wonder why anyone thought we needed another remake of a movie everyone knows already. After watching the trailer I can concede that perhaps the character development is better, but I’m still wondering why they thought we needed another remake.

Ender’s Game

We’ve been hoping for this movie for the better part of three decades. The fact that it’s finally going to actually get into theaters makes me a bit wary. What if it not only fails to meet our expectations (it won’t, because our expectations are unreasonable), but turns out to be a truly terrible bit of film making?

I guess we’ll wait a couple weeks to see another awesome movie.

Anyway, so far, it looks like they can be handling this really well. Casting and production values are spot on. Though I am truly, truly disappointed I didn’t hear Ender say “The enemy’s gate is down” during the trailer.

Thor: The Dark World

Despite arguments about Aang Lee’s Hulk, Marvel hasn’t made any major mistakes related to The Avengers ensemble. With two Hulks, a Captain America, three Iron Mans (mens?), and a Thor under their belts, lets not pretend that they’ll fail using actors and characters that have done so well for the studio. The director hasn’t done film before, but he’s done some truly epic TV work. I am so stoked for this movie. After I’ve seen Man of Steel this will probably be the movie I’m looking forward to most in the year.

Hunger Games: Catching Fire

I enjoyed the whole series of books. Well, the first two. The third just kind of was. And while I definitely don’t have any problems with the series, I still haven’t seen the first Hunger Games movie. Which may just be slacking on my part. But it does mean that I’m not stoked to see the sequel yet. Maybe this will change before mid-November.

The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug

By rights, this should be the one that gets me the most excited this year. But pretty much I know it’s going to be good. Jackson hasn’t failed me yet, and the first entry in this story was pretty dang good. So the lack of doubt about it removes some of the excitement from my anticipation I guess. Just so you know, yes. Yes, I will be seeing it opening weekend.

And there we go. You now know what I’ll be doing this year. There’s obviously some related movies I’ve missed, but this is what got my attention.

4 thoughts on “Ninja Monkey's Movies for the Rest of 2013

  1. Man of Steel also has Russel Crowe in what I assume is a small role as Jor-El, so there’s that.

    I have no interest in seeing yet another movie with one of Will Smith’s kids. That being said, the most recent movie with Will Smith that I enjoyed was Hitchcock. Again, it put a very real and human spin on the superhero genre. Hitch was decent.

    I expect Elysium to be very on par with District 9. Elysium itself reminds me of the Citadel from Mass Effect. I’m expecting beautiful and gritty contrasting visuals, dystopic themes teaching morals, and some great gritty action.

    I liked Hunger Games, both the books and the first movie. I highly recommend you watch it.

    As for the rest, agreed.

    One movie I’ve seen previews for which you didn’t cover, and I have mixed opinions on it, is R.I.P.D. It’s “Men in Black” meets “Dead Like Me” with Ryan Reynolds. Shows some promise and I like both of those original sources, but the film itself will probably be a stinking pile of crap.

  2. OK, you’re right. I liked Hitchcock. However, I assume that’s because I like Superhero movies more than Smith’s work. RIPD i don’t have a reaction to at all, which is why I didn’t talk about it. It’s just not striking a note with me.

    Same goes for Epic, which is also a related film that should be mentioned when talking about speculative fiction.

    Much Ado About Nothing I have mixed feelings about. I reckon there’s enough Shakespeare that we don’t need to redo the same play for film over and over. The last MAAN was a good movie, even with Keanu Reaves (it’s about the only Keanu role that fit his personality since Bill & Ted). So while this may be a GREAT version I wonder why we need it? Then again, Brannaugh’s Hamlet was only 6 years after Gibson’s. Gibson’s was pretty well done, but Brannaugh’s kicked it’s backside from here to Stratford-on-Avon. So maybe I’ll be proven wrong. Because you’re right. Whedon and Fillion.

    Then we can dream of Fillion’s Dogberry shirtless wrestling with Keaton’s Dogberry like we do for Montalban’s Khan and Cumberbatch’s Khan, but for very different reasons.

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