Despicable Me 2
SYNOPSIS Gru (Carell) has cleaned up his act and renounced villainy now that he’s father to three adoptive daughters. But he’s called into action against a new threat – even while this new terror steals Gru’s own minions. We suspect that Wiig’s character may be a love interest for Gru, too.
WHAT TO EXPECT Everything we’ve seen suggests that this will be on a par with the first film, which was a clever comedy with a surprisingly big heart. Also, there will be more from the Minions, who seem to be so universally adored that they would run away with the next US Presidential election.
SYNOPSIS A decade or more before Monsters, Inc., James P. “Sulley” Sullivan (Goodman) and Mike Wazowski (Crystal) are members of the same fraternity, both planning to become scarers once they graduate. The pair are rivals, at least at first, but as we know they’re going to end up as BFFs, so presumably that forms at least part of the plot.
WHAT TO EXPECT It’s Pixar, so our expectations are sky-high. The trailer was amusing, and if the plot remains a bit of a mystery right now, the pairing of Sulley and Mike is one that we’re very happy to see again – and a cartoon set in college is an idea that hasn’t already been played out a million times, so that’s promising.
SYNOPSIS Grug (Cage) and his family, including rebellious daughter Eep (Stone), survive by staying near their cave at all times – but when an earthquake destroys it they discover, to quote another animated film, a whole new world. And more importantly, from Eep’s point of view, a handsome stranger called Guy (Reynolds).
WHAT TO EXPECT Director Chris Sanders’ last film was the remarkable How To Train Your Dragon. Even if this is half as good, that would be something – and the trailer has some promisingly gorgeous creatures and the voice of Nicolas Cage.
SYNOPSIS Jean Valjean (Jackman), imprisoned 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread, is finally paroled – but lawman Javert (Crowe) resolves to keep a close eye on him. Valjean, offered kindness by a priest, resolves to become a better man and, years later, is a factory owner and mayor. One of his workers, Fantine (Hathaway) is unjustly fired by his foreman and sinks into misery as she tries to pay the rapacious Thenardiers (Baron Cohen, Bonham Carter) who are caring for her daughter Cosette (Isabelle Allen, later Seyfried). Valjean befriends the dying Fantine and promises to care for Cosette – despite the fact that Javert is back on his trail. Cut to more years later, and Valjean and Cosette find themselves in Paris just as a student rebellion bubbles up, involving student Marius (Redmayne) and the Thenardiers’ daughter Eponine (Barks). Cue more tragedy. Oh, and lots of singing.
WHAT TO EXPECT In a word, Oscars. In a few more words, a quality adaptation of the stage musical that looks sumptuous and is brilliantly performed by the cast, singing live on set as they go. Also, a giant elephant statue! What’s not to love?
SYNOPSIS As the US Civil War winds down, Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) rushes to pass the slavery-banning 13th Amendment before the issue becomes a part of the peace talks and is potentially scuppered by the South’s terms of surrender. To get it through Congress he must wrangle everyone from fiery abolitionist Thaddeus Wood (Jones) to conservative peacemaker Preston Blair (Holbrook) and his own Secretary of State, William Seward (Strathairn) – even resorting to under-the-table tactics and bribery, courtesy of W. N. Bilbo (Spader). Lincoln’s emotional wife, Mary Todd Lincoln (Field) and gung-ho son Robert (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) give him worries closer to home.
WHAT TO EXPECT If Velazquez shot a prequel to The West Wing, it would look something like this. Day-Lewis disappears completely into his role, to the extent that you’ll have to remind yourself he’s an actor. The film won’t be to everyone’s taste – it’s basically a series of discussions between men in small, dark rooms – but as a portrait of America’s greatest President it’s hard to resist.
The Great Gatsby
SYNOPSIS Midwesterner Nick Carraway (Maguire) moves to Long Island and becomes fascinated by his glamorous neighbour Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio), a man who throws glamorous parties but shows no interest in his guests. Nick soon learns that Gatsby’s only real interest is Daisy (Mulligan), the girl across the bay he loved and lost. But the course of true love/obsession (discuss: 10 marks) does not run smooth, with Daisy married to Tom (Edgerton) and not quite available.
WHAT TO EXPECT Something that’s visually dizzying and drunk on the high spirits of the 1920s, judging by both Luhrman’s previous efforts and the trailer. But with DiCaprio, Maguire and Mulligan in the lead roles and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel as the source, it should have some emotional and dramatic heft in there as well.
The Wolf Of Wall Street
SYNOPSIS DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a stock broker who ran a boiler room in the 1990s, lived the high life and was indicted in 1998 for securities fraud and money laundering. He served 22 months in federal prison after cooperating with the FBI and had to pay back $100 million to stock brokers.
WHAT TO EXPECT BFFs Scorsese and DiCaprio are together again, which is never a bad prospect, and they’ve assembled a heck of a supporting cast: Oscar winner Dujardin, Friday Night Lights MVP Kyle Chandler and so-hot-right-now Matthew McConaughey among them. It’s far, far too early to talk Oscars for February 2014, but if it weren’t, we’d be talking about this one.
Other movies to watch out for:
Saving Mr. Banks (Tom Hanks plays Walt Disney..enough said)
The Counselor (Ridley Scott with an epic cast)