The Something Something Film Review

Some films have that special something, and some films seem like they stepped in something. Allow me to help you know the difference, and maybe find you something good to watch.

Upcoming Films of Interest (2013)

There are plenty of big bloated blockbuster films that will invariably invade your commercials and set up camp on the peripheries of your screens. You know this.

But there are a whole heckuva lot of other films on their way that may not receive the proper fanfare. They get lost in the noise. I’ve found eleven films that may have flown under your radar, but deserve recognition.

So here’s a list of some sweet things on the horizon.

(some amazing foreign films)

THE YOUNG & PRODIGEOUS SPIVETyoung_and_prodigious_spivetOne of my favorite, all-time films is THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN. It is an amazing film on all fronts: visually, story-wise, acting, dialogue, music. Everything. It’s directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the same guy that did AMELIE. But everything, literally EVERYTHING else he’s done is worth watching several times: DELICATESSEN, MICMACS, A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT, (okay, well maybe his ALIEN sequel may be contended), but now he has a new film on its way.  And its an English-speaking one at that! It’s called THE YOUNG & PRODIGEOUS SPIVET. If you’re not familiar with any of those previous films, this looks to be a bit Wes-Andersonish. Quirky, precocious, talented child going on a cross-country trip. Jeunet is such a talented director. The stories he creates are full of whimsy and adventure, and it’s all done with a wink and a nudge. Did you love AMELIE? Watch these others; you won’t be disappointed. (set for release in October 2013)

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MOOD INDIGO – Michel Gondry, moodindigothe director of ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND and THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP, has a new one coming out called MOOD INDIGO. This one will be full-on French-speaking, but Gondry is such an inventive and visually-striking story-teller that I don’t think anyone will mind. It actually stars Audrey Toutou (of AMELIE fame), and is a surreal love-story that dips into crazy dream landscapes and has some amazing scenes just from what I’ve seen in the trailer. Gondry’s a director that even though I’ve been dissatisfied with his recent films (BE KIND REWIND, THE GREEN HORNET), he has the potential to reach greatness again, and this could be one to at least equal the great ETERNAL SUNSHINE. Maybe. (released elsewhere back in April, but no word yet on American release)

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THE GRANDMASTER – Are you grandmastersalready familiar with IP MAN? Ip Man was Bruce Lee’s Wing Chun teacher way back when. And a few years ago, there was a fantastic film made of his life. IP MAN was soon followed by IP MAN 2, and then there was a third one, a prequel, that was made by different people, but was also quite good. Anyways, in the Martial Arts Cinema-world, IP MAN made quite a splash, and actually deserved every accolade it received. The fight scenes were numerous and awesome, and the film around it, the story, was great. So now a new director is giving it a try. Although WONG KAR WEI is no newb. If you haven’t seen IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, or its futuristic sequel 2046, you’re missing out. But what’s interesting is that THE GRANDMASTERS will be a martial arts film (of course) and Wong is more known for impeccably-shot and nuanced dramas. So we’ll probably see a lot of stylish, slow-motion fight-scenes and an emphasis on the character development, which is something that most martial arts films could always do better. Starring Tony Leung and Ziyi Zhang (the young girl from CROUCHING TIGER). The trailer looks fantastic, and I can’t wait for more perspectives on the Ip Man saga! There’s also another film called IP MAN: THE FINAL FIGHT, directed by Herman Yau, who also directed the prequel. (No word yet on when American audiences will see either of these, but if you are at all interested in martial arts films, you are highly encouraged to check out the whole Ip Man trilogy.)

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(sci-fi and fantasy)

ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE Only_Lovers– Jim Jarmusch (the director of BROKEN FLOWERS, THE LIMITS OF CONTROL, GHOST-DOG, and a handful of others) has decided to jump on the vampire-film train, but I have no doubt that he will do something original and interesting with it. It stars Tilda Swinton, Tom Huddleston, and John Hurt. (The film is doing the Cannes festival now, so who knows when it’ll be released)

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BYZANTIUM – Here’s another vampire film, this time by director Neil Jordan, who has a long history of making interesting films, notably THE CRYING GAME, and INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE. byzantiumAgain, this just looks like an interesting take on the vampire story, and though we’ve seen a lot of those recently, I think a good director with a solid script can put a fresh face on anything. And this one looks good! Starring Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan as mother/daughter vampires on a coastal town trying to survive. Sure, it’s doing the teen-vampire-rebelling-against-whatever thing, but I think Jordan will bring a class and an intelligence to it that wasn’t there with a lot of the others of its kind. (This is set for release 6/28/13)

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(some other intriguing films)

ONLY GOD FORGIVES – Well this one will no doubt get plenty of coverage, but I would feel weird about not including it. Its director, Nicolas Winding Refn, is on fire right now, mostly because of DRIVE, but the rest of his filmography is fantastic as well, mainly: BRONSON and VALHALLA RISING. only2What’s most impressive about these three films, is how absolutely different they are from each other. Tone, visuals, dialogue, pacing, music: Everything. Refn isn’t the type of director to only make one kind of film. And that’s refreshing. ONLY GOD FORGIVES is a crime-thriller set in Bangkok. A kind of avenging-the-death-of-my-brother-thing, but Ryan Gosling is hesitant about the avenging, and Kristin Scott Thomas (who looks AMAZING in this!!) is his blood-thirsty, overbearing, sailor-mouthed mother, and every trailer I’ve seen for this makes me believe that it will be on everybody’s Top Films of 2013 lists. Deservedly. (This is set for release 7/19/13)

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INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS – Really, the insidefact that it’s a Coen Brothers’ film is enough to get me interested. On their worst day, they still make better films than 80% of the “talent” out there. This looks to be set in New York in the ’60s, about a singer/songwriter struggling to find success/love/identity/whatever. Starring Oscar Isaac and Carey Mulligan (both were in the film DRIVE) and also starring John Goodman and a whole bunch of others. Quirky, human, great writing, great acting. I have no doubt this will be a film to watch. (This is set for release in December 2013)

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UPSTREAM COLOR – This one was released a little while ago to very limited theaters, but I am eagerly awaiting a DVD/BLU release (see below). A few years ago an indie film was made about time-travel. Upstream-colorIt was called PRIMER, and it was a mind-fu… well, let’s just say it made love to your mind. It was deliciously confusing, turning back upon itself and testing the bounds of time-travel logic and alternate-world-loops and causality. Really, anyone who bemoans the lack of interior-logic in time-travel movies neeeds to see PRIMER. Okay, so now that director, Shane Carruth, has made another film, and UPSTREAM COLOR looks to be as cerebrally engaging as his previous offering. Surreal, almost abstract. I’m just going to quote imdb for the premise: “A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.” Huh. Wow. I had a single chance to watch this in a small theater, but I missed it. If you enjoy unique films that challenge the conventional way of telling stories, this may be one to watch. (I literally JUST found out that this is out on disc. Sweeeet. Release? Now.)

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INHERENT VICE – Paul Thomas Anderson, vicethe brilliant director of such fine films as BOOGIE NIGHTS, MAGNOLIA, PUNCH DRUNK LOVE, THERE WILL BE BLOOD (et al.) and most recently THE MASTER, is working on an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s detective novel. He has a great cast so far (Joaquin Phoenix, Benicio Del Toro, Sean Penn, Reece Witherspoon, Martin Short), and just like with the Coens, I’ll watch anything this guy makes, but add to that that it’s a detective-story based on a Pynchon novel. Gold. (This one is still some ways from being finished, but it’s been on my mind)

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OLDBOY – So Spike Lee is making a remake of the fantastic Korean revenge-film of the same name. The original is actually the middle of a trilogy Oldboy-2013(and I believe the first one is being remade soon after this comes out) and I am really excited about this. It could go wrong so many ways, and really, just the fact that it’s Spike Lee doing it is a bit of a head-scratcher. This story is waaaaay outside of Spike’s comfort-zone, but that may be what makes this work. The original gets really dark, and takes some weird turns, but I remain cautiously hopeful that Spike and co. can make it work. I will say nothing of the plot, other than it is a revenge-film, you’ll thank me later (or not). The cast has James Brolin and Samuel L. Jackson. (It is set for release in October of 2013)

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47 RONIN – The story of the47_ronin 47 ronin has been told and retold for years in Japanese culture. It originally happened in the 18th Century, and there have been numerous versions with various embellishments depending on who’s telling it. Basically it’s a samurai story with Keanu Reeves and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. ‘Who’s that other guy?’ you may ask. You know him. He was Shang Tsung in MORTAL KOMBAT, Eddie Sakamura in RISING SUN, and Yoshida in SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO, and so many more. Basically, he’s the most famous Japanese bad-guy in American movies. I’m a sucker for samurai movies anyways, but this could be really good, despite the presence of Keanu. (This is set for release on Christmas 2013)

This got long, so I’ll stop it here. Let me know if you see any of these. Enjoy!

4 comments on “Upcoming Films of Interest (2013)

  1. Pingback: More Upcoming Films of Interest (2013) | The Something Something Film Review

  2. Pingback: Only God Forgives (2013) | The Something Something Film Review

  3. Pingback: Revisiting the Upcoming Films of Interest (Part 1) | The Something Something Film Review

  4. Pingback: Upcoming Films of Interest (2014) | The Something Something Film Review

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