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Looking Ahead to 2013′s Films (Part 2)

March 1, 2013


Gimme the Loot – Adam Leon
The first film by Leon ended up being quite a festival darling last year, playing Cannes, Tribeca and SxSW (where it won Best Narrative Film) en route to earning the One to Watch award at the Indie Spirit Awards last week. We don’t get too many films about graffiti writers, but it’s a rich and engaging world (or it used to be in the 80s and early 90s before all of this stencil stuff started up), and it sounds like Leon’s film captures that spirit, following two kids from the Bronx, Malcom and Sophia, who want to become the biggest writers in NYC, but need to go even farther outside of the law to do it. (March 22nd, Limited)

Before Midnight – Richard Linklatter
It’s dangerous holy ground that the trio of Linklatter, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke are treading on here, as they revisit the lives of Jessie and Celine one more time. They successfully navigated the first sequel, but are they dipping into the well one time too many now? Before Sunset had a great open ending that left both a satisfying and unsatisfying conclusion (to be with Celine, he has to abandon his son, to be with his son, he has to abandon Celine). Closing that off could come with severe consequences for this beloved indie duo, or they could pull it off. (TBD)

Gravity – Alfonso Cuarón
Cuarón has been quiet since he made Children of Men in 2006, but he returns with a stereoscopic vengeance in 2013 with this 3D space drama starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, who play astronauts stranded in space after debris destroys their ship. I would be wary about that logline from most directors, but I have enough faith left in the Mexican director to overcome even the most egregious of Sandra Bullock-y moments. If nothing else, Cuarón can create intense atmospheres that fold you personally into the action, and that’s what sells most space films anyway. (Oct 18th)


Ender’s Game – Gavin Hood
I’m not sold on whether or not Hood was the right choice to take on Ender. The lone checkmark in the positive column in Tsotsi, the South African gang drama, but he’s got some serious negative checks in the form of Rendition and Wolverine. If a person can mess up Wolverine that bad, what’s to stop him from messing up the tougher prospect in Ender’s Game (working with so many kids, from a source that hasn’t been as accepted by the mainstream already, really ups the difficulty level). Still, Ender will no doubt be a success on story alone, as well as the talents of its stars, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld and Harrison Ford. It’s surprising it’s taken this long to get off the ground. Its sequel, The Speaker for the Dead, should be a cakewalk to adapt too. Not. (Nov 1st)

The Monuments Men – George Clooney
George Clooney takes a multi-hyphenate role in this big budget Oscar bait companion to the documentary The Rape of Europa about a real-life group of American and British art historians who stole back paintings and sculptures stolen as the Nazis goose stepped their way across Europe. The film will reteam Clooney and Matt Damon, while adding Jean Dujardan, Daniel Craig, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman, and one of my favorites, Bob Balaban. (Dec 20th, limited)

NEXT WEEK: Foreign Films.

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