LOVEFiLM Calendar 2013
13th - Golden Globe Awards
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler step into Ricky Gervais's giant shoes for the annual Hollywood Foreign Press Association shindig. Their not-so edgy comic stylings should be a good match. Hard to argue with the drama nominees (Argo; Django Unchained; Life of Pi; Lincoln; Zero Dark Thirty) but the Globes reverted to type with some eccentric nods in the decidedly sketchy Comedy/Musical section.
18th - DJANGO UNCHAINED
Love him or loathe him, Quentin Tarantino is unquestionably a virtuoso talent, and this combination of blaxploitation rage and spaghetti western verve brings out what may be the best in him. (Or the worst, I guess, if you are repelled by his violent cool.) Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz are the unlikely bounty hunter team who take on racist plantation owner Leondardo Di Caprio. The film is funny, surprising, and outrageous in more ways than one.
18th - THE SESSIONS
John Hawkes plays a paraplegic 40-year-old virgin (and devout Catholic) who decides to avail himself of the services of a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt). A forthright, witty and touching movie about, well… touching.
25th - ZERO DARK THIRTY
Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) was the perfect filmmaker to tackle the story of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Her movie is lean and analytical, visceral and compulsive. She zeroes in on the experience of a female CIA agent (Jessica Chastain) to illuminate the contaminating effects of terrorism – and torture - on the American psyche.
25th - LINCOLN
Spielberg’s long-gestating biopic focuses on just a couple of months of Lincoln’s Presidency, at the tail end of the civil war, when winning is no longer in question but his legacy is still up for grabs. The screenplay by playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America; Munich) is fascinating on the political jousting that led to the emancipation of the slaves, and Daniel Day Lewis might have been born to play the role.
17-27 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
The Indie Fest wraps up with Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs in the biopic jOBS. Before that, in less inspirational vein, Amanda Seyfried will play porn star Linda Lovelace in Lovelace, Steve Coogan is Paul Raymond in Michael Winterbottom’s The Look of Love, and Jean-Marc Barr plays Jack Kerouac in Big Sur. Joseph Gordon Levitt, Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore costar in Don’s Juan’s Addiction, which JGL also wrote and directed). There is also room for Park Chan-wook’s US debut, Stoker, which reworks Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt; Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight (reuniting Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, this time in Greece).
1st - FLIGHT
Your off-the-shelf addiction drama gets a big budget boost with the introduction of considerable collateral damage in the form of a smashed up airliner in this slick psychological effort from Robert Zemeckis. Denzel Washington is the heroic pilot who saves dozens of lives while under the influence of booze and drugs.
1st - HYDE PARK ON THE HUDSON
Another US President, Roosevelt, inspires fine work from Bill Murray in this rather otherwise rather flat footnote to The King’s Speech. Young King Bertie (Samuel West) arrives in the US cap in hand to court American intervention in the war, and finds FDR’s domestic arrangements rather unconventional.
1st - BULLHEAD
If you liked Matthias Schoenaerts in Rust & Bone, get a load of him as a testosterone-loaded cattle farmer in this propulsive Flemish drama.
1st - BULLET TO THE HEAD
Veteran action specialist Walter Hill (48Hrs) returns to the fray with a thriller about a cop and a hitman who team up to stop a common enemy. Sly Stallone and Jason Momoa (aka Conan) being the odd couple in question.
7-17 Berlin Film Festival
Europe’s third most important film festival serves up a mixture of second tier premieres (art house films with no hope of cracking Cannes) and Hollywood’s Christmas harvest – but it’s also nabbed a biggie with opening night attraction The Grandmasters, the first film in what feels like forever from Wong Kar-wai – who happens to be Jury President this year. Other titles to look out for: Greta Gerwig in Noah Baumbach’s delightful Frances Ha, and the devastating doc The Act of Killing.
8th - NO
How an advertising executive played the definitive role in the overthrow of Chilean dictator General Pinochet. A fascinating true story recreated by the gifted young director Pablo Larrain starring Gael Garcia Bernal.
8th - HITCHCOCK
Anthony Hopkins shows the dark side of the avuncular master of suspense as he sets about shocking America with his cruelest thriller, Psycho. But the movie really belongs to Helen Mirren as Alma Reville, Alf’s unsung wife and script consultant.
8th - A SONG FOR MARION
A change of pace for London to Brighton director Paul Andrew Williams: Terrence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave are the elderly couple who bicker over Marion’s participation in a community choir. The recipe of cheeky laffs and tears jerked is predictable, but it works.
8th - WRECK IT RALPH
This CG cartoon from Disney has a Pixar cleverness. Ralph (voiced by John C Reilly) is the designated bad guy in an arcade game. Going AWOL he sets off in search of fulfillment in alternate circuitry.
10th BAFTA AWARDS
The BAFTAs can usually be counted on to trumpet British achievements during the last lap of the Oscar race… This year that should be good news for Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln), who may be our only realistic hope of recognition in the major categories – unless Helen Mirren sneaks in a nod for playing Mrs Hitchcock. And Tom Hooper for Les Miserables…?
14th - A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD
John McClane may have jumped the shark some time ago, but the formula still works on a lunk-head level. This time he’s gone to Russia and doing his best to imitate Liam Neeson in Taken. Jai Courtney (Spartacus) is Jr. And John Moore (Max Payne) directs.
14th - THIS IS 40
Judd Apatow delivers a personal / self-indulgent midlife crisis of a comedy, not really a sequel to Knocked Up at all. Mrs Apatow, Leslie Mann, is the wife whose hubbie Paul Rudd isn’t being honest about their economics – though they live in such Beverly Hills luxury it’s hard to worry that they may end up on the street. It’s not exactly Amour.
14th - RUN FOR YOUR WIFE
Ray Cooney’s venerable West End farce comes to the screen with a cast headed by Danny Dyer and Denise Van Outen, and also featuring Christopher Biggins and Lionel Blair, Barry Cryer and Judi Dench as a bag lady. The only wonder is that they didn’t find a part for Jimmy Saville’s decomposing corpse.
22nd - CLOUD ATLAS
Put together the Wachowskis, Tom Tykwer, Tom Hanks, Jim Broadbent, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, Hugh Grant and David Mitchell’s award-winning, century-hopping novel and what have you got? One of the most ambitious and divisive movies of the year, guaranteed, a big budget spectacular with lofty ideas and an uncertain tone.
22nd - HANSEL AND GRETEL WITCH HUNTERS
Dead Snow director Tommy Wirkola puts Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton through their paces as Grimm siblings with a bone to pick with witches. In 3D and arriving a year after its original delivery date minus the original colon in its title.
22nd - TO THE WONDER
Terrence Malick used to wait decades between projects. He’s speeded up but early buzz from Venice and Toronto suggested this might not be a good thing. To the Wonder is a Malickian love story, his first contemporary film, starring Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Olga Kurylenko.
24th ACADEMY AWARDS
Argo or Lincoln? The Master or Zero Dark Thirty? Siliver Linings Playbook or Life of Pi? Surely not Les Miserables? Seth MacFarlane is the most surprising choice for host in quite some time, and just maybe inspired.
1st - COMPLIANCE
Ann Dowd gives an Oscar-worthy performance in this disturbing US indie film about a fast-food restaurant manager who interrogates an employee suspected of theft at the behest of a cop on the other end of the phone. Based on a true story.
1st - THE GUILT TRIP
Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand, together at last, embarking on a mother and son road trip with jocular results. The screenplay is by Dan Fogelman (Crazy Stupid Love) so all is not quite lost.
1st - STOKER
Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance director Park Chan-wook brings his baroque style to the States for what sounds like a toothy update on Shadow of a Doubt, with Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman and Matthew Goode. Look out for Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy (with Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen) in time for the London Film Festival.
1st - IDENTITY THIEF
Jason Bateman duels with Bridesmaids discovery Melissa McCarthy in this potentially funny comedy from Seth Gordon.
8th - OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL
If Sam Raimi pulls this off, it could be the crowning accomplishment of his career and the outstanding fantasy film of the year. James Franco is a circus magician who journeys to Oz but tangles with three witches, Theodoro (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams). In 3D.
8th - PARKER
Jason Statham is the latest hard man (others were Lee Marvin and Mel Gibson) to play novelist Donald E Westlake’s principled thief, Parker. Director Taylor Hackford has assembled a strong cast to back him up, (Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Chiklis, Clifton Collins), making this a possible mainstream breakthrough for Statham.
15th - BEYOND THE HILLS
The latest from Cristian Mungui (4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days) is a slow-building but absorbing film about faith and love, set in a remote Orthodox monastery where a young atheistic interloper causes all manner of consternation.
22nd - JACK THE GIANT SLAYER
Another fairytale gets the CGI upgrade in another long-delayed blockbuster, this one from director Bryan Singer and longtime collaborator Christopher McQuarrie. Nicholas Hoult is Jack, who climbs a beanstalk to battle a giant and save a princess.
22nd - ABOUT TIME
Richard Curtis writes and directs this possibly sappy comedy about a young man who can travel through time (Domhall Gleeson), and uses his ability to court Rachel McAdams. Bill Nighy is his dad.
22nd - THE CROODS
Animted comedy about a prehistoric family road trip (before there were roads, obviously). From the guys who brought us Space Chimps and Lilo and Stitch.
22nd - REALITY
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes last year, this satire from Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah) is a Fellini-esque comedy about a Neapolitan fishmonger who becomes obsessed with appearing on the Roman edition of Big Brother.
27th - TRANCE
For his next trick, Danny Boyle tries to pull an Inception on a fraction of the budget. James McAvoy is the art dealer who turns to hypnotherapy to locate a lost painting. Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson costar, and the script is credited to Doctor Who scribe Joe Ahearn and John Hodge (Shallow Grave).
27th - GI JOE: RETALIATION
Channing Tatum compares musclepower with Dwayne Johnson, Ray Stevenson and Bruce Willis.
5th - CARRIE
If they have to remake Carrie, then at least Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry; Stop-loss) is an intriguing choice to take over from De Palma – and unlike Sissy Spacek, Chloe Grace Moretz is the right age to play the troubled teen. Julianne Moore is her mom.
5th - THE HEAT
Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy try to bring a sisterly twist to the buddy cop formula. Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) directs.
5th - A LATE QUARTET
Classy drama about a tony quartet whose professional and personal bonds are torn apart when one of their number (Christopher Walken) is diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Mark Ivanir costar.
12th - OBLIVION
Juicy looking scifi with Tom Cruise and Andrea Riseborough as the mop up crew charged with checking the drone monitors on the abandoned planet Earth. But the old place may not be as deserted as it first seems… Directed by Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy).
19th - EVIL DEAD
Another day, another remake. Sam Raimi’s 1981 low budget classic about five friends in a cabin in the woods is tackled by Uruguayan director Fede Alvarez. “The most terrifying film you will ever experience,” promises the poster. We will see.
19th - PROMISED LAND
John Krasinski and Matt Damon adapted Dave Eggers’ story about a salesman encountering unexpected opposition to his pitch to buy drilling rights on the outskirts of town. Both also star, with Gus Van Sant directing.
26th - IRON MAN 3
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang writer-director Shane Black seems like a good choice to try to reinject some snap into the Iron Man series – even if he’s unlikely to hold Robert Downey in check (not that we think he should).
26th - OUR CHILDREN
If Amour was too light and sentimental for you, then this French drama about a mother who kills her kids will be just what the doctor ordered. Emilie Dequenne (Rosetta) costars with Tahar Rahim and Niels Arestrup (both from A Prophet). It’s been a hit on the festival circuit.
3rd - I’M SO EXCITED
Pedro Almodovar reunion time, with Penelope Cruz, Antonio Banderas, Cecilia Roth and Javier Camara among the cast of what the teaser trailer suggests will be a very camp comedy.
3rd - BYZANTIUM
Neil Jordan takes another stab at the vampire genre (many moons since Interview with a Vampire). Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan are the immortals who wash up in a seedy seaside town and open up a brothel.
15 - 26 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL
Amid all the art house offerings (and nothing is confirmed as yet) don’t be surprised to find Only God Forgives, a violent Bangkok thriller reteaming Ryan Gosling with his Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn, and, who knows, maybe another Terrence Malick film, so far untitled, with Gosling again – and Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, and Rooney Mara. The latest Jim Jarmusch (a vampire movie with Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston) must also be a cotender, but presumably not Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, after the Melancholia flap.
17th - THE GREAT GATSBY
This time last year it was hard to work up much enthusiasm for Baz Luhrmann’s 3D assault on F Scott Fitzgerald. But we’re much taken with the latest trailers, which do suggest that the Aussie’s glamorama style might take the starch out of the proceedings. And the casting of Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire seems spot on, even if there are still doubts about Cary Mulligan as Daisy.
17th - STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS
JJ Abrams resumes his bid to make better and better Star Trek movies. So far, so good.
24th - THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS 6
Justin Lin resumes his bid to make faster and furiouser Fast & Furious movies. This time, in the UK and Spain.
24th - THE HANGOVER PART III
Todd Phillips resumes his bid to make uglier and more painful Hangover movies. This time down Mexico way.
7th - AFTER EARTH
M Night Shyamalan is certainly due a return to form – maybe this scifi tale of a father and son (Will and Jaden Smith) crashlanding on an abandoned planet will be the one – even if it does look uncomfortably like Oblivion with a touch of Avatar thrown in.
7th - THE COMPANY YOU KEEP
Robert Redford (who also directed from Lem Dobbs’ script) stars as a former Weather Underground activist who has long since gone into permanent hiding – permanent until a journalist (Shia LaBeouf) blows his cover and inadvertently puts the Feds back on the case.
14th - MAN OF STEEL
It’s never too soon to try to resuscitate an under-performing superhero. This time Warner Bros have given the task to Zack Snyder, which may seem a bit foolhardy after Sucker Punch, but at least Christopher Nolan was on board to hold his hand (and David S Goyer has written the screenplay). Henry Cavill is Superman, Michael Shannon is General Zod, and Amy Adams is Lois Lane. Estimated budget: $225 million.
21st - WORLD WAR Z
Yet another troubled and much delayed production, this one an adaptation of Max Brooks’ bestselling zombie apocalypse novel, directed by Marc Forster with Brad Pitt in heroic action guy mode. They have at least cobbled together an eminently exciting trailer…
28th - THIS IS THE END
A palate cleanser in the unending menu of apocalyptic doom, the latest from Superbad scribes Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (they also direct) features Jay Baruchel as Jay Baruchel, Emma Watson as Emma Watson, Jonah Hill as Jonah Hill, etc, facing the end of the world at James Franco’s house.
28th - DESPICABLE ME 2
It’s, you know, a sequel.
4th - THE INTERNSHIP
Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, together again, as a couple of recently laid-off men who get a gig interning at an internet company where their managers are all in their 20s.
11th - MONSTERS UNIVERSITY
Pixar may have hit on something here: in a world inundated with sequels, prequels are a natural way to go for animation – presenting none of the aging actor problems you get with live action. Here Mike and Sulley go to college. What next? High school?
11th - PACIFIC RIM
Guillermo del Toro quit The Hobbit to make this: the trailer makes it look like a cross between Transformers and, well, Transformers 3, but in Guillermo we trust.
19th - KICK-ASS 2
Hit-Girl is back, looking a lot more grown up we wouldn’t wonder, in this follow up to the vigilante hero comedy. The original cast is back, augmented by Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes, but writer-director Jeff Wadlow (Never Back Down) doesn’t strike us as a suitable replacement for Matthew Vaughn.
26th - THE WOLVERINE
There is some real talent behind the latest X-Men spin-off. This time Wolverine trains with a Japanese samurai master. Director James Mangold made 3.10 to Yuma and Walk the Line; screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie is Bryan Singer’s go-to-guy.
2nd - 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE
Director Noam Murro made his first film five years ago, Smart People, a relationships comedy with Dennis Quaid, Thomas Haden Church and Sarah Jessica Parker. But you don’t make movies in Hollywood about smart people, as Murro is smart enough to have learned. He was attached to the latest Die Hard for a while. Now he’s doing the 300 prequel. Can’t hardly wait.
2nd - RED 2
What the old folks get up to… Bruce Willis is still kicking, so are John Malkovich and Helen Mirren. Apparently David Thewlis appears as someone called The Frog. Director Dean Parisot is best known for comedies like Galaxy Quest and TV fare like Justified. Might be fun.
9th - THE LONE RANGER
The Pirates of the Caribbean team turn their gaze Westwards. Gore Verbinski already flexed his trigger finger in the animated Rango, and has corralled Johnny Depp to play Tonto. But don’t underestimate the second billed Armie Hammer in the title role, he could emerge a movie star in his own right.
14th - THE WORLD’S END
A comedy about the end of the world, where have we heard of that before (see June 29). This time it’s the Brit version, with Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg attempting to rekindle that Shaun of the Dead spirit, without the zombies. Hopefully it will be Stella.
14th - PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS
If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again, right? The first Percy Jackson movie cost an estimated $95 million to make and doubled that in worldwide box office – but barely broke even when you consider marketing costs. And nobody much liked it either. But with a screenplay by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Ed Wood; Man in the Moon) and Thor Freudenthal (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) installed as director, plus the introduction of Nathan Fillon as Hermes, Stanley Tucci as Dionysus, maybe this will be wittier, sparkier take on Greek myth and magic.
16th - ALAN PARTRIDGE: THE MOVIE
Had to happen. Now it has.
23rd - THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES
Lily Collins (Mirror Mirror) is Clary Fray, the female Percy Jackson (or maybe a cousin to Buffy), a shadow chaser who sees the demons most of us cannot. Cassandra Clare’s novels have sold in uncommon numbers, but non teens may feel they have seen all this before.
28 – 7 September VENICE FILM FESTIVAL
Al Pacino in Michael Radford’s King Lear, perchance? And possibly Alfonso Cuaron’s long-delayed scifi, Gravity. Believe it or not, there is also a third Malick film, Voyage of Time, with Emma Thompson, that might just materialize this year (but don’t bet on it).
6th - WHITE HOUSE DOWN
Busy Channing Tatum is the secret service agent trying to save President Jamie Foxx from a paramilitary coup. Maggie Gyllenhaal helps. Directed by Roland Emmerich from a script by James Vanderbilt (Zodiac; The Losers).
18th - I, FRANKENSTEIN
From the Dark Horse comic books by Kevin Grevioux (Underworld), a fresh take on Frankenstein’s monster (here named Adam, and played by Aaron Eckhart). A US-Australian coproduction
20th - ELYSIUM
Neil Blomkamp follows up his hit District 9 with another allegorical scifi thriller. Matt Damon is the skinhead prole who leads a rebellion against the earth’s off-shore oppressors, a super-rich class who live on the space station Elysium. Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley costar.
27th - RUNNER, RUNNER
So good they named it twice. Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake tangle in a crime drama involving gambling and Gemme Arterton from the director of The Lincoln Lawyer.
9 – 24 LONDON FILM FESTIVAL
11th - CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
One of a couple of films you will see this year about Somali pirates, and probably the most high profile. Tom Hanks plays Captain Richard Phillips, whose cargo ship was the first US vessel to be hijacked in 200 years. Paul Greengrass (Green Zone) directs from a Billy Ray screenplay.
30th - THOR 2
Aka Thor: The Dark World. Spotting a gap in the market for fantasy superhero movies, Marvel Studios cleverly commissioned a second helping of the Thor franchise. Alan Taylor takes over from Kenneth Branagh in the director’s chair and Christopher Eccleston is the bad guy this time, leader of a group of Dark Elves.
13th - THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
The worst is behind us, so promised Gandalf and I would like to believe him. Peter Jackson resumes his long trek through Tolkien’s shortest novel, counting his box office gold every step of the way.
20th - ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND CONTINUES
One of Will Ferrell’s funniest movies gets a sequel nine years on. In Ron Burgundy’s own words: “It’s time to do it again, but this time, I’m on top.” With Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and David Koechner.
26th - JACK RYAN
Tom Clancy’s CIA hero has been played by Harrison Ford (twice), Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck, and now Chris Pine… Who uncovers a Russian plot to undermine the US economy through a terrorist attack. (As if Congress wasn’t already doing a fine job of that on its own.) Kenneth Branagh is the director and plays a Russian heavy.