by Sean Kingston
If You Only See One…. A selection of some of the most exciting and critically anticipated films from the first half of the year.
The Wolf of Wall Street – (Release Date: 17th January)
Martin Scorsese’s chronicling of Wall Street fiddler, Jordan Belfort, feels like it’s been coming for a long, long time. The buzz culminated this week with a Variety article confirming that the film has secured the record for the highest amount of F-bombs dropped (an impressive 506), and a “never bad news” brand of wet paper controversy over whether the filmmakers are endorsing or condemning the excesses and debauchery on-screen. Already grossing healthy numbers in the States, this one won’t disappear under the radar.
The Lego Movie (Release Date: 14th February)
Nobody really held their breath when Warner Bros. announced The Lego Movie. But our fears could prove unfounded come February; directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller previously helmed Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street, neither of which were wholly without charm and the film has amassed a tremendous comedy voice cast in Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Jonah Hill, Nick Offerman, Will Arnett and Charlie Day. A cracking trailer leaves hopes very high for this one.
The Raid 2: Berandal (Release Date: March)
Gareth Evans’ The Raid: Redemption came out of nowhere in 2011, quickly establishing itself as the action film of the year (some would argue the decade), and was the first Indonesian film to ever place on the US box-office list. Evans gives his protagonists little hosing down time, as the events of Berandal kick off just two hours after the original film. The trailer alludes to the story taking place out in the wider world as opposed it’s predecessor’s claustrophobic tower-block setting, which may leave room this time for a little, you know, plot.
Transcendence (Release Date: 25th April)
Christopher Nolan’s regular Director of Photography, Wally Pfister, moves from the viewfinder to the director’s chair for this trippy looking tech thriller. Johnny Depp plays a scientist who, after a falling victim to radiation poisoning, has his mind transplanted into a computer. What follows looks like an update of The Lawnmower Man, which may be no bad thing if Pfister can keep a handle on the material. If nothing else, Transcendence seems like it will inspire a healthy amount of debate.
Godzilla (Release Date: 16th May)
Director Gareth Edwards scored big in 2010 with Monsters, deftly placing characters before effects, and most importantly, injecting no small amount of social commentary into his sci-fi. He seems the ideal candidate to reinvigorate the Godzilla franchise, a monster metaphor born out of post-WWII Japan, that was stripped of all its symbolism and allegory with Roland Emmerich’s 1998….interpretation. Add to a promising director a very capable cast and a fantastic first teaser trailer and we might just have something here.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (Release Date: 13th
Four years after their first adventures, Hiccup and Toothless return with a sequel to their unexpectedly charming and funny first outing. How to Train Your Dragon 2 finds the inhabitants of the island of Berk peacefully co-existing with the dragons, until the emergence of a new foe threatens the harmony Hiccup and his pal worked so hard for. Dreamworks have confidently already announced How to Train Your Dragon 3, but writer/director Dean DeBlois has set himself quite a challenge to live up to a fantastic original.