I will readily admit I'm part of the teeming masses that loves sequels. 16 of my 25ish are either sequels or part of a franchise. It's no different than any other year. And 2013 has some great sequels coming out - I don't know if they're going to blow anybody away with mind-numbingly awesomeness, but I did like the originals, so why not have more of the same? There's a certain level of comfort with these movies - you're familiar with the characters so it's not too hard to jump right into the action and/or drama. And who knows? Sometimes sequels can outshine the original (The Dark Knight, anyone? I'm ashamed Bill & Ted didn't make that list). Let the TOP 25 commence!
Starring: John Goodman, Billy Crystal
Director: Dan Scanlon
Release Date: June 21
What's to say about this movie? Why wouldn't you go see this? Wasn't the original Monsters, Inc. proof enough that this is going to be awesome? I don't know why I'm spending time trying to convince y'all - if you absolutely hated Monsters, Inc. then you're a robot who cannot possible understand human emotion. I just wish a little bit that this was a sequel and not a prequel. I get there's probably more jokes and funny situations to mine with these younger versions of Mike Wazowski and Sully. Apparently they weren't best of friends in school - so that's...fun. Who am I kidding? I'm gonna love this and there's really nothing more to say.
24. 300: Rise of an Empire
Starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Rodrigo Santoro, Eva Green
Director: Noam Murro
Writers: Kurt Johnstad, Zack Snyder
Release Date: August 2
The long-awaited sequel to the surprise hit from 2006 is descending upon us. And there's a completely new cast and crew working on this film. Most of those that worked on the original have moved on to greener (some may call it browner - depending on your viewpoint) pastures: Zack Snyder is tackling the Superman movie after making sure a giant blue penis got ample screen time in his Watchmen adaptation; and Gerard Butler has gone on to a bigger paycheck by making sure he's in every possible romantic comedy and other nefarious movies. So we turn our attention to the director: Noam Murro, who's done....absolutely nothing else. That worries me just a little bit - I don't know if Snyder's visual flare (24 pieces to be exact) will continue with this story. Which is fine, but I may be a tad disappointed. And the story is a prequel which tells the story of the rise of Xerxes as "the God King" and the Persian Empire. The original screenwriter is on board - so I've no doubt that the story is solid. It's just everyone else that makes me not too excited. I don't know if this movie will produce any more memes (before the internet had them!) like "Madness?!?!?" This is SPARTA!!!!!!!!" - I can only assume that this prequel will be better than watching that scene on loop for 10 hours. Scratch that, maybe nothing can top that, not even a giant blue penis.
Starring: Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Scott Z. Burns
Release Date: February 8
I think Steven Soderbergh is selling lies. He claimed last year he was going to retire from filmmaking, then later backtracking and saying he's going on a directing sabbatical. See, he wants to fulfill his desire to paint. When he realizes that sweet, sweet Hollywood gold isn't coming in and when his last painting sells for $20 and a coupon for a free half-foot sub at Subway, he'll come crawling back. But before all that even starts - he has to finish his contractually obligated business with said Hollywood and that includes doing some more awesome movies. Lately the dude's been on a roll - Haywire was insane (in a good way!) and Magic Mike was even more insane (if you know what I mean ladies *wink*. That's right - I'm comfortable saying I swooned quite a bit during the movie. Quite. A. Bit.). The film is right in my wheelhouse - psychological thriller that's also a diatribe on our addiction to self-medication? Hello? Hipsters? CK is joining you! Yes, I'll hold.... (Thank you Troy) And why not get a couple of the hottest young Hollywood kids to join in on this psychological thriller? Channing Tatum and Rooney Mara are really, really talented and add some Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones and this movie went from steamy to smokin'! Seriously, I wants to watch.
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich
Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer: Jonathan Levine
Release Date: February 1
Last year I wrote about this movie as number 41. Well the movie got pushed back (duh-doi) and I'm even more stoked for this movie. I have read the book and it's a really good, really quick read. When people say "a refreshing take," they're usually blowing smoke up your ass - but this time it's true! The book is told from the perspective of the zombie (I know, weird, but it's actually really well done) and it looks like the movie is narrated by R himself (he doesn't know his name - I'm guess Rodrigo). Basically what happens in the book is that zombies love to eat brains and when they do - they get a sort of rush or high off of people's memories. Well, one of the guys he eats - he taps into the dude's love memory and subsequently R becomes infatuated with his victim's girlfriend. This quite literal fatal attraction sets them off on a journey to save mankind. Now I would say the trailer is playing this out more casually and darkly humorous than the book is - but trailers can be deceiving. I hope the tone of the movie matches the trailer - because I don't know how to interpret the book better than with a dark sense of humor. Plus you have the guy who directed 50/50 - one of the best films from 2011 - tackling this script and directing! The cast is terrific - Nicholas Hoult is going to have a banner year this year (just you wait!) and I'm pretty dope on Teresa Palmer - she's more than just a pretty face, she can act! The always wonderful John Malkovich and Dave Franco (so hot right now) round out the cast. This is going to be a really good date movie. That is, if your significant other is into zombies and/or love. Just sayin'.
Starring: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Director: John Moore
Writer: Skip Woods
Release Date: February 14
Speaking of date movies - what better way to spend the holiday than watching cars/buildings/Russia getting blown up all because John McClane had to visit his wayward son? Nothing, that's what! Die Hard is one of those rare franchises that hasn't really lost that much steam - everyone says they hated the second and fourth installment, but secretly they loved them. They are not any different from the rest of them and I'm excited to see McClane in a foreign land. Instead of dealing with his firecracker of a daughter - he has to deal with his bratty son. Which is cool, I'm glad they're not sticking with some wisecracking sidekick-type character throughout this one (I love Justin Long, but man oh man was he pretty insufferable at times!). The trailer looks dope and I know the action is going to be top notch. What has me worried is that the director of Max Payne and The Omen is behind the lens for this one and the guy who wrote X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Hitman is the screenwriter. These movies were OK, not good or great, just plain and simple OK. At least these guys know how to make an action movie and I'm fairly certain there's going to be a lot of action, so I'm not too worried. As long as the movie isn't some brain-dead action flick like The Expendables or G.I. Joe, I'm in. Don't get me wrong - those movies are great at what they do, I just can never get into them at all - I am not the main target for those movies. But I digress - this is in my top 25 for a reason and the trailer has me sold that I'll be screaming Yippee Ki-Yay with Bruce Willis on opening day.