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Upcoming 3D Movies Summer 2013 - Blockbuster Edition

3D Films in May, June, and July

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Let's get right down to it! This year's summer blockbuster has nine stereoscopic 3D films lined up for release. Here's a little preview:

1. May

  • 5/03: Iron Man 3 (Marvel/Disney) - What do we know about Iron Man 3? We know it takes place in the post Avengers Marvel world. We know that, thanks to Joss Whedon's excellent treatment of the character, Iron Man's profile has been raised (if that's even possible), and his character has a great deal more depth and nuance than it did at the outset of the Marvel movie-verse. We know that Tony Stark is facing a villain with a far more interesting back-story than Whiplash, and that Pepper seems to be fairly central to the plot, which means this will be the most personal battle Iron Man has fought to date. So what do we know about Iron Man 3? We know that there's absolutely no reason to doubt this film.
    IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes
  • 5/10: The Great Gatsby (Warner) - When it was first announced (ages ago) that Gatsby would be a 3D production I was pretty excited. Baz Luhrman always brings a distinct audio-visual perspective to his films, and contrary to the popular belief that 3D is best suited to action, I've always felt that the stereoscopic illusion lends a nice sense of depth to dialog scenes.

    Since then, my expectations for Gatsby have cooled somewhat. Audience reception for the first trailer has been strongly divided, but then again, Luhrman has always been a fairly polarizing figure in the industry. And then the film was removed from its December release and pushed back almost half a year, which has understandably led to speculation that the film hasn't lived up to Warner Brother's expectations. The jury is still out, of course.
    IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes
  • 5/17: Star Trek Into Darkness (Paramount) - Iron Man, Star Trek (2009), and Batman Begins each have one thing in common—they all managed to be successful origin stories, and at the same time laid the groundwork for a wider universe with potential for something even greater. Batman Begins evolved into The Dark Knight. The Iron Man franchise faltered with Iron Man 2, but went on to spawn the wider Marvel movie-verse that culminated this past summer with the Avengers.

    Whether J.J Abrams can capitalize on the success of his first Star Trek film remains to be seen because I don't think the trailer tells us a whole lot we didn't already know about the franchise, but for me there's one very encouraging thing about Trek Into Darkness that the first film didn't have—Benedict Cumberbach. If you've ever seen him on BBC's Sherlock, you know that Cumberbach has an absolutely riveting screen presence. I'm dying to see what he can do on the silver screen.
    IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes
  • 5/24: Epic (Fox) - In an uplifting trend for the industry, some of the best animated films from the past few years have come from studios other than Pixar and Dreamworks. Arthur Christmas, ParaNorman, Rango, and Wreck-It-Ralph are a few that spring to mind.

    Now, I've haven't loved Fox's work in the past, and Ice Age is probably my least favorite of the major animation franchises from the past decade or so, but with the studios all on relatively equal footing these days any original animation property has the potential to be great.

    I'm pretty lukewarm on the Epic trailer, but animated films are notoriously difficult to judge from their trailers. You never know when the next sleeper gem will emerge!
    IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes

2. June

  • 6/14: Man of Steel (Warner) - Like many members of my generation, Superman is my least favorite of the super-hero franchises, precisely because (at least so far) nobody has successfully modernized the character. The most recent manifestations of Spiderman, Batman, and The Avengers were all uber-successful, because they did things with the genre that had never been done before, adding layers of, grittiness, drama, and character depth that was previously rare in comic book adaptations.

    Zach Snyder has made some pretty good films, and I really hope he can bring the franchise back to a place of relevance. Superman is a character with decades of history, and deserves a chance to pick up a new generation of fans.
    IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes
  • 6/21: Monster's University (Disney/Pixar) - As much as it pains me to say this, Pixar hasn't exactly been on fire these past few years. After Toy Story 3, which is Pixar's last masterpiece, they made Cars 2, Brave, and now a Monster's Inc. prequel. Nobody expected all that much from Cars, because let's call it what it was—a merchandising play. You can't blame a studio for capitalizing on a sure thing, so fine.

    But then we all held our breath hoping that Brave would bring the studio back to the level they were at when they made Ratatouille, Up, and Wall-E, and sadly we were somewhat let down. Brave was a fine film, but it was decidedly ordinary, which is not something we've come to expect from an original Pixar property.

    I'm sure Monster's University will be good. It will be funny, and charming, and it will be a joy to revisit these characters. But a big part of me hopes that Pixar will let their old franchises rest for awhile and get back to the thing they do best—extraordinary, original film-making.
    IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes

3. July

  • 7/03: Despicable Me 2 (Universal) - Despicable Me was one of the most unexpected mega-hits in recent memory, so this is a sequel that has an awful lot of hype to live up to. Call me crazy, but I have a feeling this movie can be better than the original.

    Despicable Me introduced some really great characters and a compelling conceptual back-story, but the story ultimately let me down. In short—this is a franchise with a lot of untapped potential, and my hope is that with the characters and setting already established, the story department will be able to spread their wings and give us something that truly shines. It's rare for an animated sequel to one-up its predecessor, but in this case I think the conditions are ripe.
    IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes
  • 7/12: Pacific Rim (Warner) - I've got a soft spot for monster flicks, and the fact that Guillermo Del Toro's steady directorial hand is at the helm lends Pacific Rim an air of credibility that it might not have had otherwise. Throw in the voice of Gladdos, and a monumental fleet of rock-em sock-em robots, and it's hard to imagine this movie will be anything but pure, unadulterated, fun. And if ends up being a little bit more than that, well, all the better.
    IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes
  • 7/31: The Smurfs 2 - Quite frankly, the first Smurfs film wasn't very good and a stretch to think this one will be any different. The best family films are the ones that aspire to do more than what's expected of them. Top animation studios do this all the time, and the best films from Walt Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, Laika, Sony, Aardman, etc., are much, much more than simple children's entertainment. And then there are franchises like Alvin and the Chipmunks, or The Smurfs. They serve their purpose, but they tend to be flat and expected, and often pander to the popular culture zeitgeist.

    If you only plan to see one family flick in July, go see Despicable Me, because it will almost certainly be the better film.
    IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes

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