‘Genre’ films are those that represent a specific category or movie theme. Westerns, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror films all fall under the broader umbrella we have come to know as ‘Genre Films.’
With the popularity of these genre films, both domestically and internationally, there is no shortage of production these days on films based in the realms of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Comic Books. For genre fans, the year 2013 may very well be remembered as ‘The Year of The Genre Film.’
The old stigma of B-movie status attached to these types of films no longer holds true as this year’s movie calendar is loaded with interesting and highly anticipated offerings. In fact some of 2013’s biggest releases like ‘Iron Man 3’ and ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’ seem to indicate an evolved thoughtfulness and maturity in their stories, based on released synopses and initial teaser trailers.
From major releases like ‘Man of Steel’ to re-releases in 3D of episodes II and III of George Lucas’ beloved ‘Star Wars’ franchise…2013 truly is poised to be an incredibly entertaining year for genre fans.
Let’s take a look at what genre films are on the horizon, based on their release dates, for the first half of 2013. Click on the film’s title to view the trailer for those that really get your interest. Remember that release dates are subject to change.
Valentine’s Day brings us ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’, the fifth installment in the franchise. Bruce Willis (of course) returns as John McClane and joins forces with his son to take down some Russian bad guys before they steal Nuclear weapons. Willis also stars in ‘GI Joe: Retaliation’ on March 29th, as he and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson do their action hero thing in this sequel to the 2009 film, ‘GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra.’
‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ is director Sam Raimi’s vision of the origins of the Wizard of Oz himself, here played by James Franco. Franco’s Oscar Diggs is a circus magician who is transported away to the Emerald City and who may or may not be the Wizard its inhabitants are expecting. ‘Oz’ drops on March 8th.
April 12th brings Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman in ‘Oblivion.’ Director Joseph Kosinski (Tron:Legacy) brings his futuristic visual style to a story about Jack Harper (Cruise), a veteran soldier who, after receiving a court-martial, is assigned to repairing drones on Earth. Earth, in the years after a decades-long war with an alien race, has been decimated and left abandoned. Harper’s discovery of a downed spacecraft and its contents will lead him to question his mission, his beliefs, and may hold a key to the survival of mankind itself.
Summer officially kicks off on May 3rd, with ‘Iron Man 3.’ Robert Downey Jr. is back as Tony Stark, along with franchise regulars Don Cheadle and Gwenyth Paltrow. Ben Kingsley does the antagonistic honors as ‘The Mandarin’, an international terrorist who may have ties to the group that first abducted Tony Stark in the first film…leading him to become Iron Man. Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang-also with Downey Jr.) takes over the director’s chair from Jon Favreau, who directed the first two installments. The tone of the trailer is darker than the first two films and seems to suggest a more dramatic character arc for Tony Stark/Iron Man in this chapter.
On May 17th, Captain James T. Kirk and the Enterprise crew return for ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness.’ Director J.J. Abrams is famously secretive and mysterious regarding his projects (Super 8, Cloverfield, Lost) and this is not different with the sequel to the 2009 reboot blockbuster. What is known is that the plot involves a dark and unstoppable force in the form of a former Starfleet member, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, for whom Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) will stop at nothing to bring to justice. All of the key cast members from the last Star Trek are on board as well, including: Simon Pegg, Zachary Quinto, and Zoe Saldana.
And, let’s not forget the remainder of the genre offerings for 2013 Summer films: Zack Snyder’s take on Superman, Will Smith in M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘After Earth’, and Brad Pitt trying to survive ‘World War Z’.
Author’s note: This article has been republished to “refresh” readers as ‘Year of Genre’ Part II will be published Monday, May 20.