As far as movies go, 2013 has been a bit boring so far. There were the movies we assumed would be great (Spring Breakers and Side Effects), the movies we assumed would be bad (A Good Day To Die Hard and G.I. Joe: Retaliation. No offense, Bruce Willis.) and a couple of small but pleasant surprises (I enjoyed Warm Bodies and Oz: The Great and Powerful more than I ever expected to). But think about last year at this time: we already had movies like The Cabin in The Woods, 21 Jump Street, Chronicle and The Grey under our belts and we were mere days away from The Avengers! I’m hoping that the upcoming summer movie season is just an embarrassment of riches because the spring movie season was kind of just embarrassing.
Crystal’s Top 15 Most Anticipated Summer Movies of 2013
15. The Way, Way Back (July 5)
If you ask me, every good summer movie season needs a smart indie comedy. Last year was Moonrise Kingdom, 2011 had Midnight in Paris and with an impressive cast and writers (and first-time directors) Nat Faxon and Jim Rash coming off their Oscar win for 2011’s The Descendants, I think The Way, Way Back could definitely be 2013’s answer.
14. Pacific Rim (July 12)
It’s directed by Guillermo Del Toro and it has giant robots fighting monsters in apocalyptic times. SOLD.
13. The Spectacular Now (August 2)
This movie premiered at Sundance earlier this year and received rave reviews AND the Special Jury Award for Acting. Not only has it been a long time since I’ve seen a good teen dramedy but the script, based on a teen bestseller (that I read half of many years ago and forgot to finish because that’s the kind of person I am), was adapted by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber of (500) Days of Summer fame.
12. Monsters University (June 21)
This movie was nowhere near this list until about a week ago. Like many moviegoers, sequels/prequels make me nervous and seeing as Pixar’s last two movies (Cars 2 and Brave) were of questionable quality, a return to the Monsters Inc. well made me uneasy. However, Monsters University recently started advanced screenings and I am hearing nothing but good buzz. Fingers crossed Mike and Sully can restore Pixar to their former glory.
11. The Bling Ring (June 14)
This entry on the list is quite simple: I’m a big Sofia Coppola fan so I’ve been excited for this movie for a while and the recently released trailers have just made me even more excited.
10. The Hangover Part III (May 24)
It’s hard to keep track of which way the cultural pendulum is currently swinging on this franchise. Are we still mad at the last sequel? Excited for this one? The original Hangover is still one of my favorite recent comedies and while I agree that Part II was a step down, I still enjoyed it and don’t think it was anywhere near as offensively bad as everyone else seemed to. I am genuinely, unironically excited to see this next – and supposedly final- Wolfpack adventure.
OK, look. Like literally everyone and their mother, I fell hard for Channing Tatum last year so this movie automatically makes the list. Adding to my excitement is Jamie Foxx playing the president and the promise of lots of ridiculous action sequences and explosions going boom courtesy of director Roland Emmerich. But mainly Channing Tatum.
8. Elysium (August 9)
Matt Damon does sci-fi, courtesy of Neill Blomkamp, writer/director of District 9. SOLD.
7. Much Ado About Nothing (June 7)
6. Iron Man 3 (May 3)
Marvel is my jam, guys. Sure, Iron Man 2 was disappointing but since then, Marvel’s kind of been on a roll. Seemingly free of the problems that plagued Iron Man 2 (studio pressure to start making Avengers preparations, the fear of going too “dark” etc.) and with the addition of writer/director Shane Black (if you haven’t seen Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, you need to), I think Iron Man 3 might finally be the sequel that lives up to the potential that the first Iron Man displayed back in 2008.
5. This Is The End (June 12)
You know it’s a big summer when the directorial debut of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg doesn’t make my top spot. I honestly can’t imagine a scenario where this movie isn’t the best thing ever. James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Jay Baruchel and Craig Robinson all play themselves and have to survive the apocalypse. Hilarity ensues, most definitely. A couple of trailers have been released and while I unsurprisingly found them hilarious, I became even more excited for this movie when I saw the trailers with an audience and they absolutely killed. This is going to be a fun one.
4. Only God Forgives (July 19)
You know it’s a big summer… (comedy rule of three, kids). Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive was hands down my favorite film of 2011 and is still one of my most favorite movies in recent memory. Only God Forgives reteams Refn with Ryan Gosling, an actor who was not only absolutely perfect in Drive but has accumulated quite the impressive filmography over the past few years. (We’ve all agreed to pretend Gangster Squad didn’t happen, right?) The recently released trailer sent me into hysterics, I’m so excited.
3. Before Midnight (May 24)
2. Star Trek Into Darkness (May 17)
I have seen 2009’s Star Trek an insane number of times so I am glad that I finally have another movie to fawn over. Fangirling and lens flare jokes aside, Star Trek was a darn good film and I have really high hopes for the future of this franchise.
– Kick-Ass 2 (August 16)
The first Kick-Ass movie had some issues but was pretty great overall. I’m a little hesitant about this sequel because of creative switch-ups and a continually changing release date (once staking out a late-June release -prime summer territory- it now occupies a low-stakes date in mid-August) but the red-band trailer released a few months ago was intriguing and suggests that the addition of Jim Carrey being bizarre might make the movie worthwhile after all.
– The Kings Of Summer (May 31)
This movie wasn’t on my radar until last week when I saw a trailer for it in front of The Place Beyond The Pines and thought it looked interesting. Since then, I’ve heard from trusted sources who’ve seen advanced screenings that it’s pretty fantastic so I am officially excited.
– Now You See Me (May 31)
I have no idea if this movie is going to be good or not but I have a big fat crush on basically everybody in it so therefore I am excited to at least look at this movie.
And now the pessimist in me comes out to play…
Top 5 Summer 2013 Movies I Could Not Possibly Care Less About
5. The Wolverine (July 26)
I just don’t care. I didn’t see the first Wolverine movie and from everything I’ve heard, I’m not missing much. Was anyone begging for a sequel? Besides Hugh Jackman? Wake me up when it’s time for X-Men: Days of Future Past.
4. The Great Gatsby (May 10)
Because I am a total cliche of a person, “The Great Gatsby” was my favorite book all through high school and college. I wrote MULTIPLE papers on it, I highlighted and underlined my book so extensively that the pages actually disintegrated and I had to buy a second copy. It was a whole thing. So obviously I’m a little hmm… invested in this adaptation. Again, because I am a cliche of a person, I was obsessed with Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge as a teen. On paper I should be pumped about this movie. But I’m not. In fact, I am actively irritated by it. Also, it’s in 3D and Tobey Maguire still seems terrible. I will most likely still end up seeing this because I’ll have to see for myself what they’ve done but I am not particularly looking forward to it.
3. World War Z (June 21)
I have loved basically everything that Brad Pitt has done for the past decade. The book “World War Z” is phenomenal. These 2 facts seemingly have absolutely nothing to do with this upcoming film – all I see are silly-looking CGI zombies. I have been fascinated by the insane behind-the-scenes drama that has plagued this movie but that does not at all translate into me wanting to watch this.
2. The Lone Ranger (July 3)
Alternate title: “Jack Sparrow Goes West”. GAG
1. Man of Steel (June 14)
Come on, guys. You’re giving a Superman movie AND Zack Snyder the benefit of the doubt again?
Alright guys, how does your summer watchlist match up with mine? Comment below or tweet me @talentedwreason. And if you’d like to find out if these movies live up to my expectations, you can read my ongoing film diary over on Letterboxd.