2013 Movie Preview: Part Three

It’s nice to know that when I type in the letter “e”, the first option in my search bar is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_in_film.  That escalated quickly.  Time for part three of our four-part 2013 movie preview series – today, we’ll examine July, August and September.  Unfortunately, this includes Adam Sandler.


Despicable Me 2 (July 3)
Premise: The sequel to the 2010 smash hit featuring a bunch of little yellow things.
Why It Could Work: The first one was very well-received…Al Pacino and Steve Coogan join the voice cast.
Why It Could Bomb: This makes me want to punch someone in the face.
RT Prediction: 71%

The Lone Ranger (July 3)
Premise: Armie Hammer stars as the Ranger, who works with Johnny Depp’s Tonto to fight greed and corruption blah blah blah a train blows up.
Why It Could Work: From the creative team behind Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
Why It Could Bomb: From the creative team behind Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.
RT Prediction: 55%

Johnny’s hair is a bird. Your argument is invalid.

Grown Ups 2 (July 12)
Premise: Oh, no.
Why It Could Work: Oh, no, no, no, no, no.
Why It Could Bomb: Taylor Lautner joins the cast.
RT Prediction: 8%Pacific Rim (July 12)
Premise: Soldiers in giant robots battle giant monsters who have risen from beneath the ocean.  You wouldn’t be interested, I know, but Guillermo Del Toro is directing.
Why It Could Work: Del Toro has about a trillion projects on his plate and chose this one…Idris Elba promises to “cancel the apocalypse”…Universal’s already developing a sequel.
Why It Could Bomb: Nothing about the trailer looks particularly fresh…oh, hooray, a giant monster movie!…Del Toro’s a bit overrated, to be honest.
RT Prediction: 70%

R.I.P.D. (July 19)
Premise: Ryan Reynolds is killed and joins a group of undead officers – the Rest In Peace Department – which includes Jeff Bridges.
Why It Could Work: Intriguing premise, no?…Reynolds and The Dude should have some fun comedy…Kevin Bacon plays the villain.
Why It Could Bomb: Director Robert Schwentke’s previous works haven’t exactly set anyone on fire…the Wikipedia page for one of the writers takes you to an Australian rules footballer born in 1938…Ryan Reynolds doesn’t have the best choice in scripts.
RT Prediction: 45%

The Wolverine (July 26)
Premise: Hugh Jackman dons the claws and heads to Japan.  This is apparently a big deal in comic-book land.
Why It Could Work: Darren Aronofsky was originally attached to the project to direct…James Mangold’s a solid choice as a replacement…it’s not really a straight sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Why It Could Bomb: Darren Aronofsky is no longer attached to the project…it does follow X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
RT Prediction: 70%

Anyone up for some steak?

The Smurfs 2 (July 31)
Premise: Sigh.
Why It Could Work: Because American children can’t think for themselves.
Why It Could Bomb: The first movie scored a very solid 23% on Rotten Tomatoes.
RT Prediction: 18%

300: Rise of An Empire (August 2)
Premise: The prequel to 300, or, how THIS…BECAME…SPARTA!
Why It Could Work: The first movie was a ridiculous amount of fun…Eva Green (the greatest Bond girl of all-time) plays the lead.
Why It Could Bomb: Directed by Noam Murro (who?)…why is this happening?
RT Prediction: 33%

RED 2 (August 2)
Premise: Hey, speaking of sequels that nobody needs…Bruce Willis returns to be old and kill people, I think.  Helen Mirren and Anthony Hopkins join the cast, fresh off the plane from Hitchcock, hopefully still wearing the makeup.
Why It Could Work: Fun cast…the first movie scored a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes, apparently…Professor Remus Lupin plays a character called “The Frog”.
Why It Could Bomb: Did anyone see the first?…did anyone call for a second?…does anyone know this is happening?
RT Prediction: 45%

Elysium (August 9)
Premise: A science-fiction tale of sorts set on a ravaged Earth in the year 2159…which is nothing new…but Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley star in Neill Blomkamp’s directorial follow-up to District 9.
Why It Could Work: Matt Damon…District 9 was spectacular…Matt Damon’s shaved head…Copley (the lead in District 9) might be the villain…Matt Damon.
Why It Could Bomb: The release date was pushed back from five months, which could be nothing or could be a telling sign that the film needed some more work…how do we know District 9 wasn’t a flash in the pan?
RT Prediction: 78%

Hey, that’s the same thing that Ray Lewis has on his right arm!

2 Guns (August 16)
Premise: Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington star.  As guns, I suppose.
Why It Could Work: Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington.
Why It Could Bomb: …do a lot of generic action-thrillers.
RT Prediction: 47%

The To Do List (August 16)
Premise: A high-school senior (Aubrey Plaza, actual age: 28) tries to fill out a list of sexual experiences she needs to have before going to college.
Why It Could Work: A ridiculously stacked cast (Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Clark Gregg, Donald Glover, Maeby Funke, McLovin)…the script was on the 2010 Black List.
Why It Could Bomb: Oh, good, another raunchy sex comedy.
RT Prediction: 82% (Sleeper!)

Insidious Chapter 2 (August 30)
Premise: The sequel (of COURSE) to the well-received 2010 horror film about…I don’t know, something allegedly scary.
Why It Could Work: The original director (James Wan), screenwriter (Leigh Whannell) and leads (Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne) all return.
Why It Could Bomb: I haven’t seen the original, but this is one of the funniest still pictures I’ve seen in a while.
RT Prediction: 48%

Riddick (September 6)
Premise: The third installment in the Chronicles of Riddick franchise, which is…apparently a franchise.  Vin Diesel stars.
Why It Could Work: Boy, your guess is as good as mine.
Why It Could Bomb: Who is Riddick and what are his chronicles, exactly?
RT Prediction: 30%

I, Frankenstein (September 13)
Premise: Aaron Eckhart stars as Frankenstein’s monster.
Why It Could Work: It’s written by the guy who wrote The Avengers!  No, wait, just kidding, it’s the guy who played Terrax in the animated series The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Why It Could Bomb: You’ve barely heard of anyone involved…it’s a Lionsgate movie.
RT Prediction: 22%

Machete Kills (September 13)
Premise: The sequel to the 2010 film, in which Danny Trejo’s Machete hacks up some more people.  Starring (take a deep breath) returning cast members Trejo, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez and Lindsay Lohan alongside newcomers Sofia Vergara, Damien Birchir, Amber Heard, Antonio Banderas, Zoe Saldana, Edward James (breathe…breathe) Olmos, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Alexa Vega, William Sadler (almost there), Lady Gaga, Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson.
Why It Could Work: Did you read that cast?…Charlie Sheen plays the President of the United States.
Why It Could Bomb: Did you read that cast?
RT Prediction: 80%

I can’t believe I just publicly predicted an 80% rating for this movie.

Prisoners (September 20)
Premise: A Boston man kidnaps the person he suspects is behind the disappearance of his young daughter and her best friend.  Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Terrence Howard, Viola Davis, Maria Bello and Melissa Leo star.
Why It Could Work: One hell of an ensemble cast.
Why It Could Bomb: This has gone through actors and directors left and right and been in development for forever.
RT Prediction: 76%

Rush (September 20)
Premise: Begin the day with a friendly voice, a companion unobtru…er…Ron Howard directs a story about two rival Formula One drivers from the 1970s, played by Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Daniel Brühl (the German war hero who flirts with Shoshanna in Inglourious Basterds).
Why It Could Work: Ron Howard has a ton of big hits…a screenplay from Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Skyfall)…Thor.
Why It Could Bomb: Ron Howard’s last three movies, non-Frost/Nixon category, are The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons and The Dilemma.
RT Prediction: 55%

Runner Runner (September 27)
Premise: A businessman who owns an offshore gambling operation finds his relationship with his protégé reaching a boiling point.
Why It Could Work: The suddenly relevant Ben Affleck stars alongside World’s Greatest Entertainer Justin Timberlake…
Why It Could Bomb: …but lest we forgot, Affleck’s amazing directorial skills haven’t made him much better as an actor.
RT Prediction: 61%

The Tomb (September 27)
Premise: Stallone.  Schwarzenegger.  Cent.
Why It Could Work: There might not be an attempt to write a script (hopefully not).
Why It Could Bomb: You and I made more money than The Last Stand this weekend…50 Cent is involved.
RT Prediction: 28%


Tomorrow, we finish this lengthy series with October, November and December – in other words, all the good movies of the year.



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