What I like to call “Geekfest 2013” is underway. It started with the release of “G.I. Joe,” continued with re-release of “Jurassic Park” in 3-D and followed with “Oblivion.”
To qualify for inclusion, a film needs to possess a frame of reference particularly beloved by geeks, like comic books, science-fiction, action-figure toys, or action-adventure animation. (Sorry, “bronies.” The objects of your affections don't make the grade!)
Here's a rundown of some films that I believe are worthy of inclusion in this year's Geekfest, in order of release through June.
“Iron Man 3.” The pressure is on director Shane Black, (“Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang”) who has taken the reigns from John Favreau. Favreau's previous effort, “Iron Man 2,” was considered a disappointment by some. Now it's up to Black and star Robert Downey Jr. to not only surpass the previous film, but to keep the Disney/Marvel Studios post-”Avengers” momentum going. My bet is on Downey, and I'm going to let it ride.
Click here to view the "Iron Man 3" trailer.
“Star Trek Into Darkness.” Now that director J.J. Abrams (a man who already has one foot firmly planted on the geek pantheon) has taken on the responsibility for restoring “Star Wars” to its former (pre-prequel-trilogy) glory, some “Trek” fans fear that their first love will be cast aside. Assurances have been forthcoming that Abrams will at least continue to produce, if not direct, future adventures of Captain Kirk and friends.
Funny how no one seems concerned that “Into Darkness” might not do well enough to earn a third film. Having seen the first Abrams Trek movie several times, and from what I've seen in the previews for the new one, I wouldn't be concerned about that, either.
Click here to view the international trailer.
“After Earth.” Another father-and-son project for Will and Jaden Smith. I could be wrong, but I'm not getting a real good vibe from the previews for this. Maybe it looks too much like a cross between “Oblivion” and “The Jungle Book,” or maybe it's because the last Will Smith movie I really liked was “I, Robot” in 2004. Not sure how up I am for yet another big-budget insomnia cure like “I Am Legend” (In My Own Mind) or “Hancock.”
Click here to watch the trailer.
“Man of Steel.” Okay, this is it. My “most anticipated film” of 2013. Director Zac Snyder has more than his share of detractors, but I'm a huge fan. I loved “The 300,” “The Watchmen” and even “Sucker Punch.” I have been waiting all my life to see a great Superman movie, and all of the previous films about the big blue boy scout came up way short, in my opinion. Snyder has the visual style to make a mind-blowing movie about everyone's favorite last son of Krypton. With Christopher Nolan shepherding the project, it's difficult for me to imagine how it could go wrong. But, as Han Solo once said, “I don't know, I can imagine quite a bit.”
“World War Z.” With the success of AMC's “The Walking Dead,” it's not hard to see why there would be a big-budget zombie movie on this year's slate of would-be summer blockbusters. In an apparent effort to broaden the film's appeal among zombie nonfans, Paramount has been avoiding the z-word in the previews. Which is odd, especially given that “World War Z's” stampeding, swarming flesh-eaters seem more terrifying than your typical gurgling, staggering, garden-variety reanimated meat-puppets. Brad Pitt attempts to uncover the cause of the zombie pandemic before humanity is completely destroyed.
Click here to view the trailer.
Well, that's the end of Part 1. Stay tuned. I'll run down more of this year's geek-friendly films at a later date.