Must-see movies in 2013: Sequels, prequels & reboots

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We’ve made it to the beginning of 2013, and yet it’s hard to believe 2012 has flown by so fast. Looking back, there’s no doubt we’ve sat through some pretty great cinematic experiences, but we like to keep our eyes in the future. Here are some of the year’s upcoming film releases that get our senses tingling just thinking about them.

First published on 8 Jan 2013. Updated on 22 Apr 2013.

Iron Man 3
Opens 25 April
Dir: Shane Black. 2013. USA/China. Robert Downey Jr., Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jon Favreau.
So the sequel left much to be desired. But you have to admit, the first film was a pleasant and surprising hit. With Robert Downey Jr.’s cocky charm and Iron Man’s jaw-dropping array of gadgets, what’s not to love? In this third installment, Jon Favreau has passed the baton to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang director Shane Black (who also co-wrote the screenplay) for a fresh perspective. And if the trailer is anything to go by, we expect a glorious battle between Stark and the mighty Mandarin (Kingsley) – his most nefarious arch-nemesis to date.

Star Trek Into Darkness
Opens 16 May
Dir: J. J. Abrams. 2013. USA. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, John Cho.
After J.J. Abrams’ epic reboot of the Star Trek franchise in 2009, hordes of die-hard fans and first-time viewers praised the film’s fresh, new look backed by an outstanding cast and stunning visuals. This year, the crew of the Enterprise is back on the big screen, where they discover an uncontrollable force of evil among the organisation that has provoked a ravaging massacre within the fleet, leaving the world in a pile of rubble. With no fear or thought for life or death, Captain Kirk (Pine) leads the way on a hunt for revenge on the one-man weapon responsible for the annihilation of all they hold dear. If this sequel is as good as its predecessor, it’ll spark off a new wave of sci-fi fans in no time.
 
Man of Steel
Opens 13 June
Dir: Zack Snyder. 2013. USA/Canada/UK. Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Laurence Fishburne.
Even if you’re not a fan of Superman, here’s one name that will change your mind: Christopher Nolan. The brilliant director of legendary films like Memento, Inception and most recently, The Dark Knight trilogy is one of the producers behind this superhero reboot, so rest assured you won’t be disappointed (yes, we’re talking to you, Brandon Routh). There’s a new man in town – Henry Cavill – who will no doubt play out Clark Kent’s serious yet sensitive side and strong sense of justice to perfection. This story takes things back to the beginning, where Clark struggles with his life’s purpose while growing up under the care of his adoptive parents and eventually rises above the flames to protect a world in need.
 
Monsters University
Opens 20 June
Dir: Dan Scanlon. 2013. USA. Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Joel Murray.
Who can forget the adorable pair Mike and Sulley from Disney/Pixar’s 2001 animated comedy? After more than a decade, the duo (with Goodman and Crystal reprising their roles) bring their light-hearted brand of laughs back to the big screen as we catch a glimpse of their relationship during the good old days at the University of Fear. Set 10 years before Monsters, Inc., the teen monsters and frat brothers start off as rivals, but through the highs and lows of college, they turn out to become BFFs.
 
Kick-Ass 2
Opens 27 June
Dir: Jeff Wadlow. 2013. USA/UK. Jim Carrey, Chloe(e with 2 dots) Grace Moretz, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Lyndsy Fonseca.
As the sequel to Matthew Vaughn’s 2010 cult favourite, expectations are riding high on this one. After DIY superhero Kick-Ass’ awe-inspiring acts of bravery, a new group of self-made amateur vigilantes pop up on the streets, led by Jim Carrey’s new character – Colonel Stars and Stripes. When the sinister Red Mist assembles his own league of super villains, the good guys have to band together to defeat evil once and for all. For us, we just can’t wait to watch Chloe Moretz reprise her role as the tough, no-nonsense, foul-mouthed teen assassin Hit Girl.
 
The Wolverine
Opens 25 July
Dir: James Mangold. 2013. USA. Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Tao Okamoto, Famke Janssen, Brian Tee.
After taking a backseat in X-Men: The Last Stand, the enigmatic Logan has emerged from the ashes and journeyed across seas to Japan. As samurai steel smashes into adamantium claw, the invincible mutant encounters someone from his past who may or may not have the ability to eliminate his healing powers and genuinely hurt him. Word on the street is that one of the ‘X-Men’ gang (our guess is Jean Grey/Phoenix) will make a cameo in the film, but what we’re really looking forward to is Wolverine’s furious slashing and Jackman’s volatile, gruff temperament (a complete change from his emotional Jean Valjean in Les Miserables).
 
Thor: The Dark World
Opens 14 Nov
Dir: Alan Taylor. 2013. USA. Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Kat Dennings, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Eccleston.
In the wake of Thor and The Avengers, the mighty, hammer-wielding Thunder God is at hand, once again, to save the universe and restore order to the cosmos. Unfortunately, there’s always someone standing in the way. The enemy’s name? Malekith (Eccleston), a vindictive leader of the ancient Dark Elves, who has made it his goal to annihilate the universe. When even Odin (Hopkins), the king of Asgard, is powerless against the dark forces, Thor is forced to make immense sacrifices and overcome perilous dangers to win this battle. With the flood of superhero flicks upon us this year, we hope there will be an insanely epic battle scene here so it can stand strong on its own.
 
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Opens 22 Nov
Dir: Francis Lawrence. 2013. USA. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman.
When word hit the street that Suzanne Collins’ bestselling trilogy was due on the silver screen last year, expectations were high and comparisons were made to the Twilight series (no competition there). But as the third highest-grossing film of 2012 (surpassing The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2), its sequel is highly-anticipated, especially for those who have read the books. This time, Gary Ross has handed over the directorial reins to Francis Lawrence, who did films like Water for Elephants and Constantine, and we hear filming has just wrapped in Hawaii last month. We can’t wait to see the Capitol residents’ bizarre yet fascinating fashion choices, the vicious fights to stay alive, and of course, the spunky Katniss (Lawrence). Our only grouse – it’s a long wait to watch our spirited heroine work her bow-and-arrow magic for the Quarter Quell.
 
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug         
Opens 13 Dec
Dir: Peter Jackson. 2013. USA/New Zealand. Martin Freeman, Sir Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugo Weaving.
In An Unexpected Journey, the enchanting world of hobbits, elves, dwarves and wizards in Middle-earth captivated audiences all over the globe, especially those who never got over their obsession with The Lord of the Rings. The first part ended with fire-breathing dragon Smaug awakened from deep slumber, so we’re looking forward to a heated brawl between the scaly creature (voiced and depicted via motion-capture by Cumberbatch) and the not-so-timid-after-all Bilbo Baggins (Freeman). If that’s not enough to entice you, part two promises to feature the return of everyone’s favourite golden elf, Legolas (Bloom).
 
Anchorman: The Legend Continues
Opens 20 Dec
Dir: Adam McKay. 2013. USA. Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Christina Applegate, Luke Wilson.
Have you heard the news? San Diego’s top-rated anchorman Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) is back after almost a decade for the sequel to 2004’s hilarious hit. The plot has been kept under wraps for now, so all we know is that producer Judd Apatow couldn’t finish reading the script because he was too exhausted from laughing. It’s a good sign, right? Apart from that, the main cast members are reprising their roles, and there may be musical numbers to look forward to, so expect a good round of knee-slapping, rib-tickling laughs. Stay classy, y’all.
By Benita Lee
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