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Pop Off: Upcoming films to see

By Brendon Field
On February 4, 2013

We are only a month into 2013 and the release schedule for the rest and year has been largely filled in and contains a number of noteworthy pictures; here a few that appear intriguing if nothing else. I would like to state up front I will not be mentioning any sequels or superhero films, because frankly I'm sick of hearing about them. Trust me, you'll know when they're coming.
"The Great Gatsby:" The long awaited adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's acclaimed classic starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, and directed by Baz Luhrmann is set for release on May 10. For some reason it'll be in 3D. While this film is already garnering Oscar buzz, with many hoping it will finally bring DiCaprio a Best Actor award, I have my reservations. Filming concluded in 2011, but the original release date was pushed back six months. This doesn't seem to be the type of movie that needs 18 months of editing and marketing, so it may indicate a troubled production and a lack of confidence in the final product.
"Elysium:" This science fiction piece takes place in 2159 where the wealthy live on a space station while the poor are left on a ravaged Earth. Jodie foster stars as a government official attempting to keep order in and between the two habitats. It looks to be collection of metaphors for current world problems: the class system, immigration and environmentalism. Director Neil Blomkamp successfully combined action, drama and thematic storytelling in last picture, "District 9." Let's hope he can accomplish it again.
"Oldboy:" This is a remake of an acclaimed South Korean film from 2003, this time around under the direction of Spike Lee and starring Josh Brolin and Samuel L. Jackson. The story centers around a man locked in a hotel room for 15 years who begins a quest for vengeance when finally released. American remakes of foreign films have a mixed history, and were fairly rare after a string of mediocre attempts in the 1990s. But "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" may have rekindled the trend, and if "Oldboy" is successful, maybe next year we'll get an American made "Run Lola Run." That would be awesome.
"Jobs" and "Diana:" Large production biopics have become more common over last decade, just as their titles have become increasingly lazier. The two icons getting films this year are Steve Jobs and Princess Diana, set to be portrayed by Ashton Kutcher and Naomi Watts respectively. I expect "Diana" to be one of the year's best with Oliver Hirschbiegel, who has shown to be a master of historical drama in the director's chair. "Jobs" on the other hand I'm less sure of. It's being directed by Joshua Michael Stern, who has only made two other, not very well received films. Not to mention giving the lead to Kutcher is questionable, as he specializes in comedic characters with minimal intelligence. The result may be a career redefining performance, or the biggest miscast in recent history.

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