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December 29. 2012 11:44PM

Ian Clark's Pop Culture Cub: 2013 looks like it's going to be a great film year


 

THE PAST YEAR was a big one for major movies, but 2013 appears poised to top it.

Let's take a look at the most anticipated movies coming in 2013, in order of release date.

-- "Iron Man 3" (May 3): The third Iron Man movie has a lot riding on it. Not only is it the first Marvel Comics movie since the mega-smash "The Avengers," but it's also the first Iron Man movie without director Jon Favreau.

Stepping into Favreau's shoes is Shane Black, who also co-wrote the screenplay (which is based on the "Extremis" storyline from the comics). While Black's name might not jump out at you, his resume is quite good.

Black wrote the script for the original "Lethal Weapon" and directed the well-received "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" (which starred Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr.). The trailer for "Iron Man 3" is somber, but it wouldn't be an Iron Man movie without some humor. This one looks to be on solid footing and should kick-off the summer movie season with a bang.

-- "Star Trek Into Darkness" (May 17): It took long enough for the sequel to 2009's hit "Star Trek" reboot to get made, but it looks as though the wait will pay off as director J.J. Abrams gets back to work in one of the most beloved science fiction universes of all time.

I'm personally not a huge "Trek" fan (I liked the original series but never got into all the off-shoots from the past few decades) but I thought the 2009 movie was excellent and the sequel should be as well. Not much is known about the top secret plot, but English actor Benedict Cumberbatch is playing the villain.

-- "Man of Steel" (June 14): Superman is a character that's always been an enigma to me. Because of his nigh-invulnerable nature, I've always found him to be a tough character to relate to. Flawed characters such as Batman and Spider-Man have always appealed to me more.

That said, when Superman is handled well (as I thought he was in the "Smallville" TV series), the character can be quite engaging. Based on what we've seen so far in the trailers for "Man of Steel," I'm quite optimistic.

Director Zack Snyder has been a divisive figure in Hollywood. I loved "Watchmen" and "Sucker Punch," but many people did not. I also enjoyed his remake of "Dawn of the Dead," as well as another swing at a comic book adaptation in "300."

Henry Cavill looks great as Superman, and the team assembled behind Snyder included Christopher Nolan (the most recent Batman trilogy) and writer David S. Goyer (who wrote "Dark City" and "Batman Begins"). So overall, this movie has jumped from "interested" to "must-see" for me.

-- "Ender's Game" (Nov. 1): Based on the beloved 1985 science fiction novel by Orson Scott Card, "Ender's Game" has been a long time coming to the big screen. Boasting a great cast that includes Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley, I have high hopes for this one.

-- "Thor: The Dark World" (Nov. 8): Following only a six months after "Iron Man 3," the "Thor" sequel will keep the Marvel train rolling. Now that fans have been introduced to all of the different realms in the first "Thor" movie (which spent quite a bit of time on Earth) director Alan Taylor can take the story into more far-flung, "comic booky" territory and it should pay off.

-- Honorable mentions: Other potential hits also on the docket for 2013 include "The Wolverine" (July 26, rthe second in the X-Men spinoff series), "Lone Ranger" (July 3) and "Oz, the Great and Powerful" (March 8) and the surefire hit "Hunger Games: Catching Fire" (Nov. 22).

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Ian Clark’s Pop Culture Club appears weekly in the New Hampshire Sunday News. Check out his podcast "Nerdherders" on iTunes or at www.3nerds.us. His e-mail address is iclark@unionleader.com.


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