This Friday's a big day. It's the
But the year is still young. It is, after all, only mid-January. If you look at the release schedule for the rest of the year there's all kinds of fantastic-looking movies on deck for 2013. Here are twelve more, for an even thirteen in honor of the year of our Lord. (And yes, one of them is by our lord and savior Jean-Luc Cinema Godard himself):
Since I know most of you (okay, almost all of you) are like “what the heckin' tarnation is this so-and-so yammerin' about in between all those swear words” whenever I talk about Bollywood, here's a brief precis: the franchise started out as a vague Hindi knockoff of “The Fast and the Furious,” and turned into a chance to hire a new star bigger than the titular hero (Abhishek Bachchan, son of the single greatest movie star of the last 50 years in any country, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan; the degree to which Abhishek pales in comparison is really funny sometimes, especially whenever he has to dance in Dhoom 2) to be the badass antihero “villain” in each new sequel. This time it's Aamir Khan, who at the moment is the biggest of The Three Khans, who themselves reign above all others in Hindi cinema. Anyway, I can tell you're all about to fall asleep, but take my word for it, this movie's worth putting on your calendar.
Goodbye to Language
Speaking of which, this here's a Jean-Luc Godard movie in 3D. Jean-Luc Godard, to be brief, invented two things in the early ‘60s: modern cinema and being fucking awesome. And dude is still making movies and I think the last fuck he gave about anybody else's bullshit was in like 1953. I don't care if it's just me and four other NYC critics sitting around arguing about which one of us can say “jejune” more condescendingly, I'm gonna be right there for this one as well, cheering in French.
Similar in principle to the above, with the added mass appeal of being a kung-fu movie directed by the premier visual stylist of this generation (Wong Kar-Wai) and maybe the world's greatest living actor (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai). Kung fu movies are great even when they suck, but with Wong Kar-Wai and Tony Leung even if there's the standard Wong Kar-Wai “damn . . . dude's a genius with a camera but he sure could use a writing partner” thing (granted, more of an issue in the ‘90s than it's been since, and even then it wasn't THAT much of a problem), this is worth getting fucking stoked about.
I refer you to “Children of Men,” also known as the reason for the rest of his career the thing to say is “hell yeah!” when you hear Alfonso Cuaron has a new movie coming out. And yeah, this promises to be almost completely different from “Children of Men”—it's set in space, for one, and for two it's in 3D—but any excuse to rewatch “Children of Men” works for me.
Happy New Year
In which “Om Shanti Om” director Farah Khan reunites with that picture's star Shahrukh Khan (no relation), which is great because “Om Shanti Om” is amazing. Also, if what I heard is true this one is about Shahrukh and three other middle-aged dudes in a dance contest; I know, you're like “so what?” but Farah Khan is the greatest choreographer world cinema has seen since Busby Berkeley, so snapsnapsnap girlfriend. Get those dancing shoes on.
Inside Llewyn Davis
New Coen Brothers picture. No more need be said.
George Clooney (who's also directing), Daniel Craig, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin . . . Jesus Christ. Talk about movie stars. As Kevin Pollak said in The Usual Suspects, “You sure you brought enough guys?”
New Alexander Payne! Every single movie he's ever made sounds like it's going to be terrible, and every single one of them has been a sublime work of absolute directorial assurance filled with terrific performances. This one was summed up to me as “an old guy in Nebraska is basically just an asshole for the whole movie,” which on its surface, again, sounds like “ehhh, I'll pass.” BUT IT'S ALEXANDER PAYNE!!!
New Soderbergh. See “Inside Llewyn Davis.”
Star Trek Into Darkness
Now, JJ Abrams' first “Star Trek” movie had some things in it that were technically a little dumb, like for some reason 8-year-old James Tiberius Kirk driving muscle cars and listening to the Beastie Boys in the 23rd century and JJ's typical lens flare fetishism. Ultimately I'm prepared to ignore the latter and wink-wink rationalize the former as JJ unsubtly employing recognizable signifiers to the end of audience reassurance, because that last “Star Trek” movie fucking ruled. Now on top of Chris Pine's surprisingly effective new-school Kirk and Zachary Quinto's amazing Spock they've got Benedict “Motherfucking” Cumberbatch as the bad guy (don't give a shit if he's Khan, Benedict Cumberbatch is the truth) and no need for anymore dumbass backstory anachronisms. Live long and prosper, byetches.
Twelve Years A Slave
Another one with the impressive cast list: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch (again), Paul Giamatti, Alfre Woodard, even Quvenzhané Wallis from “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” British director Steve McQueen (“Hunger,” “Shame”) is adapting the memoir by Solomon Northrup, played by Ejiofor, and this should be fucking intense (it's about slavery, and one presumes it'll lack Quentin Tarantino's light touch with the subject). But this also might be Chiwetel Ejiofor's Oscar part, and then you'll HAVE to learn how to pronounce his name. I can, but I'm not telling. Nya nya.
Okay, I know only twelve people saw “Primer” in 2004, and all of us have been bugging the shit out of the rest of you ever since trying to get you to watch it with entreaties like “Come on, watch it! Figuring out the plot'll give you a fucking nosebleed, it's great!” And that makes it sound like a slog or like it's confusing. But people, “Primer” is fucking EXCITING. And this here is Shane Carruth's new picture, and the plot synopsis reads like it's in a different language and the trailer looks like Terrence Malick has been shooting cocaine into his dick. Who's with me? Aw, man, just you eleven other fuckers AGAIN? WE NEED TO GET MORE PEOPLE UP ON SHANE CARRUTH, GODDAMMIT. He makes gorgeous, insane, wildly alive cinema.
And the best part is, this is just scratching the surface. There's lots and lots more good shit on the way. The movie you're looking forward to that I didn't mention? I'm gonna be seeing it too.
Danny Bowes is a prolific writer and critic who lives in New York City. You can look for his column every Wednesday, and read him online at moviesbybowes.blogspot.com.
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