Looking Ahead to 2013: 1st Quarter (January – March)

lookingaheadNow that we’re done looking behind us here at HST, it’s time to ring in the new year by filling our calendars with the upcoming releases (movies, music, TV, and video games) we’re looking forward to most.  Big names, big sequels, big comebacks, big excitement.

Gangster Squad (Jan. 11)

Lauren:  Even though I would have preferred to see Gangster Squad in its original form (and hope to when it is released on Blu-ray/DVD later), the longer wait time has only made my excitement grow to see the unorthodox justice coming from the law.  It has also given me more time to giggle at Sean Penn’s goon makeup, but hey, I’ll take that one bad with the whole heck of a lot of good that this one is packing.

Heather:  Wow… Sean Penn’s makeup sure is something special… but I must admit it does look intriguing.

Zac: Gosling, I’m in. Though I agree, the film shouldn’t have been censored, but I am hoping for the best.

Alan: It’s a shame that they had to censor it, but this movie still looks pretty kick ass.

Struck By Lightning (Jan. 11 – limited)

Lauren:  Seems like a smaller coming of age story that may surprise in heart and laughs, hopefully going the Perks of Being a Wallflower route.  Plus the cast doesn’t hurt.  I’d probably see it alone for Rebel Wilson, but she is far from the only draw in what appears to be a compilation of actors from the TV world, for the most part anyway.

Heather: I like a lot of these people.  It is going to take a lot to live up to Wallflower, but I’ll give it a shot.

Broken City (Jan. 18)

Zac: I like Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg, but the preview seems to show the whole movie.  And it is being released in January… So lets just hope it is ok.

Mama (Jan. 18)

Lauren: “A ghost is an emotion bent out of shape.”  Oooooo, spooky…  Just like the little girl’s voiceover that keeps repeating the title of the film at a whisper before suddenly directing their eyes towards empty space.  This will probably ride on the performances of the little girls, but Jessica Chastain will be there to help.

Zac: The preview is creepy and I am a big fan of Chastain, but to be honest Del Toro’s producing track record hasn’t been all that great recently; Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark & Rise of the Guardians anyone?  Also, the Pacific Rim trailer is worse than the one for Mama, so color me cautiously curious.

Heather:  Oh my.  There is nothing worse than when people’s bones bend all funny and they walk like spiders.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (Jan. 25)

Lauren:  The title alone has probably turned away many, but it just makes me giddy with excitement.  I love new life being breathed into old folk tales and fairy tales and the like, so why not let Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton leave a trail of dead witches (who do look rather stupid in terms of make-up and visual effects, unfortunately) behind them instead of bread crumbs this time around?

Zac: Pumped. Looks like a hell of a lot of fun, and the trailer delivers on more fun than Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Plus Renner is great and Arterton deserves to be in more movies.  Hope added 3D CG doesn’t suck.

Heather:  I’m not sure how this looks like a whole lot of fun to either of you.  I’ll wait to hear the verdict before I rush out and see it.

Lauren:  [Predicting the future] Heather chooses not see this movie no matter the verdict.

Movie 43 (Jan. 25)

Lauren:  Don’t even ask me what this is about, cuz I have no idea.  What I can tell you is that this use of the huge cast of well known actors already looks ten times better than all those movies about holidays.  With that said, being highly hilarious can only go so far if the “story” is lacking in major ways, so fingers crossed that they’ve found the perfect balance.

Zac: No comment.

Heather:  Ummmm?  Sometimes I ask myself, why would ________ (in this case Kate Winslet) agree to be in this?  This is one of those cases.

Alan: You know, I feel like I’m the only one kind of excited by this. Small little comedy stories told in a giant movie format? As long as the jokes are funny and it doesn’t take itself too seriously, count me in.

Warm Bodies (Feb. 1)

Lauren:  I don’t really know how a love story between a zombie and a real live girl is going to work, but I am willing to see how they make the attempt to do so.  Plus the inner monologue of a fully functioning brain inside a ankle dragging corpse is a rather hilarious contrast in itself.  Watch the trailer before making any opinions about this one, it won me over.

Zac: The premise seems counter-intuitive, but maybe that is what the zombie genre needs. Plus, Jonathan Levine is behind the camera and he is three for three in my book.

Heather: This looks awful.

Side Effects (Feb. 8)

Lauren:  Thank goodness the worst reaction I’ve had from meds (Nyquil is the devil) didn’t cause this much trouble…  I just hope those creators of Contagion involved didn’t screw this one up too.

Zac: Contagion is great, don’t listen to Lauren.  Haywire and Magic Mike are both even better. Soderbergh is a must see and I love the cast as well. I would fully anticipate the movie to be completely different than the trailer.

Heather:  Finally a movie I can get behind!  And Jude Law and Channing Tatum don’t hurt either.

A Good Day To Die Hard (Feb. 14)

Lauren:  Drop John McClane in any situation and I am pretty sure he can make a great movie out of it.  And as an added bonus for those of you who weren’t the biggest fans of Justin Long’s character in the last film (personally I thought that dichotomy was pretty funny), this time around the sidekick is none other than a son we don’t really remember hearing about, who was hopefully also gifted with the kick-butt gene. Happy now?

Zac: The son has apparently been mentioned in previous films, fyi. I enjoyed Live Free or Die Hard, even if it wasn’t as good as the first and third films, and I will remain optimistic on this one until the credits roll.

Heather:  I’ve said it before, but I wish Bruce Willis was my uncle.

Safe Haven (Feb. 14)

Lauren:  A movie based on a Nicholas Sparks’s novel on Valentine’s Day? GIRLY SQUEAL!

Zac: *Sighs*

Heather: Why is it all Nicholas Sparks novels are set near water?  Except maybe a Walk to Remember.  I don’t remember water in that one, unless you count the tears streaming from my eyes…

Alan: *Sighs*

Dark Skies (Feb. 22)

Lauren: A psychological thriller about aliens who severely abuse, both mentally and physically, a family in their own home!?  Look’s like I’ve found the next horror film to keep me from sleeping for days!

Jack and the Giant Slayer (Mar. 1)

Zac: Like Bryan Singer and the cast, so I am looking forward to this.

Lauren:  As I said with Hansel and Gretel, I do love new takes on classic tales, so I will use that to push me past any misgivings I might have about this one.  Plus I already love Ewan McGregor in it and all I’ve seen is the trailer.

Stoker (Mar. 1)

Zac:  The English language debut of Chan-wook Park, director of Oldboy, Thirst, and Lady Vengeance… well I am already sold. Plus throw in that great trio in the lead and you have one of my most anticipated films of the year.

Heather:  This looks really dark, and really awesome.  Mia Wasikowska was my favorite part of In Treatment Season 1, so I’d see this just for her.

Lauren: I feel like after seeing this I will be walking around with that eerie feeling that I’m being watched.  So disturbingly creepy.

Dead Man Down (Mar. 8)

Lauren:  Colin Farrell plays a trained killer blackmailed by Noomi Rapace into being her instrument of revenge.  From what this trailer shows, it should be a visually stunning thing to watch.

Zac: I like the cast, and it is the American debut of the Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo director, let’s hope it works beyond them.

Oz: The Great and Powerful (Mar. 8)

Zac: I like Franco and all the witches cast in this film, but the Alice in Wonderland look is very off-putting and I am by no means a Raimi zealot, who has had his mantle stolen by del Toro, so I am very cautious about this one.

Lauren:  I cannot agree more about the Alice in Wonderland similarities that have me worried, but I am going to keep hoping for the best.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (Mar. 29)

Zac: More Tatum makes me happy, and hopefully those reshoots help the film be the fun ride it needs to be.  The cliff battle looks like it might be worth the price of admission alone though.  I had fun with the original, I am intrigued for this one.

The Host (Mar. 29)

Lauren:  Based on the first “non-teen” novel written after the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer (which I actually enjoyed more than the vampire/werewolf drama, even if the ending was a disappointment) , The Host creates a world in which this alien force uses human bodies as hosts (surprise!).  Saoirse Ronan holds the lead as a girl whose mind doesn’t give up so easily when her body is taken over, so it should be really interesting to see how they try to show this inner struggle.  And of course there’s a romantic element involved for those getting a little nervous following that sci-fi element.

Heather:  I still need to read this…

The Place Beyond the Pines (Mar. 29)

Zac: A reteaming of Gosling with his Blue Valentine director, Derek Cianfrance, is reason enough to be excited (plus the additional cast doesn’t hurt).  This played the festival circuit last fall to some good praise and I am very excited about this.

Lauren:  Sure, be excited for that reteaming.  It probably just means that I am going to leave this crying too…

Twenty One Pilots’ Vessel (January 8th)

Heather: There’s not a whole lot in the music pipeline for the first few months of 2013 (that I know of yet anyway), but I heard Twenty One Pilots open at the fun. concert and they knocked my socks off (the base was so loud they might as well have anyway). They don’t play my typical kind of music, and I think they are much better live than on their previous album/EP, but I will still probably check out their new CD anyway.

ASAP Rocky’s LongLiveASAP (Jan. 15th)

Alan: With only a mixtape, a bunch of features, and a FIFA 2013 commercial, ASAP Rocky has blown up on a major scale incredibly early in his career. His first mixtape had a cloud-rap kind of feel, and from what I’ve heard from his next release, it sounds NOTHING like that. However, those tracks I heard were pretty great, so if the full project sounds anything like that, we might have yet another great release from the head of the ASAP mob.

Tegan And Sara’s Heartthrob (Jan. 29)

Alan: Long time fans are really upset with the direction Tegan And Sara are going with their latest album, as they sound like they’re going to a more dance-pop feel with it. I guess I would also be upset about this…if the first single wasn’t so damn catchy. I’m not going to judge the duo until I hear the full project – I just hope that it’s as good as the single.

Frightened Rabbit’s Pedestrian Verse (Feb. 5)

Lauren:  I miss Chuck, but if there is one thing that can help me remember the good times it’s music by Frightened Rabbit because of how often they became integral parts of scenes in the show. “The Twist,” “Backwards Walk,” and “Keep Yourself Warm” have all moved up to favorite songs of mine, and now it’s time to move past the comfort of the show and on to the rest of what Frightened Rabbit has to offer.  This music video is also pretty great, just FYI.

Azealia Banks’ Broke With Expensive Taste (Feb. 12)

Alan: There has yet to be a “YouTube Star” to truly break out and be successful in today’s music world. Now it’s Azealia Banks’ turn. With over 40 million hits on this one song (“212,” shown below), she could be the biggest pop/rap star since Nicki Minaj first broke out a couple of years ago. The best thing about her? That she sounds nothing like Nicki Minaj.

Downton Abbey (Jan. 6)

Zac: The third season is a return to form after a mediocre second, and I am sure fans will be laughing and crying along with all the drama Julian Fellowes has to offer.

Heather: Mediocre 2nd??? Blasphemy!

Zac: It is easily the worst of the three seasons.

The Bachelor (Jan. 7)

Zac: If you love watching women acting crazy over a guy they only know a few mere days of real time interaction, this show is for you.  It is just a shame the Bachelor is a dud from the previous season with Emily, but it looks like they are filling the house with a ton of crazy.

Heather:  The more crazy the better!

Lauren:  I am judging you Zac.  I am far too sophisticated for this show… unless it just so happens to be on or my mom begs to watch it or something…  Twist my arm though…

Bunheads (Jan. 7)

Zac: I enjoyed this ABC Family dramedy from Gilmore Girls creator, Amy Sherman, and it sits right along Parenthood as a nice little distraction on a week night when you are winding down.

Heather:  Oh goodness this show is awful.

Cougar Town (Jan. 8)

Zac: The shift from TBS or ABC is supposed to not affect the show in anyway, but the absence of Bill Lawrence might.  We will see…  I just hope this remains one of the most fun sitcoms on TV.

Girls (Jan. 13)

Zac: The first season might have been my favorite HBO show from last year, yes even over Game of Thrones, and I have high hopes for the future of Lena Dunham’s comedy.  Great characters, both male and female, and the world is only going to get bigger in season 2 with the cast getting even more impressive.  Excited!

Lauren:  Phew!  I still have a little over a week to watch the whole first season and get caught up!

The Following (Jan. 21)

Lauren:  Killers vs. law enforcement on TV is not a new concept by far, but there is something about this show that looks to be bringing something fresh to the genre, as if basic channels are starting to learn from the grown up members of the cable world.

Zac: This looked good, but I am not hearing early word of mouth that would help boost that enthusiasm.

30 Rock Finale (Jan. 31)

Zac: 30 Rock comes to a hopefully fantastic end and it will also cap off a pretty great season that makes you almost wish the show wasn’t going away. I am expecting great things from Fey and crew and I am sure I won’t be disappointing.

Lauren:  Another show I need to catch up on.  I know that probably puts me out of the right to say this, but I don’t want to see Liz Lemon go.  Blarg…

House of Cards (Feb. 1)

Zac: The way we view television is about to be blown up by Netflix this year, and it all starts with House of Cards. Staring Kevin Spacey and spearheaded by David Fincher, this political drama will hopefully be timely, suspenseful, and above all successful so we can finally blow up the network system for the sham it is.  The trailer looks great and you can watch every episode of the series starting in February.

Community (Feb. 7)

Lauren:  Best day before my birthday present ever!  It has been far too long since this show’s quirky and inventive storytelling has graced our screens, and it cannot come back soon enough.  Even without what’s his face, who is too busy making Old Navy commercials to walk the halls of Greendale Community College any more.

Zac: Yay! Can’t wait for the fight for season 5.

Alan: In all seriousness, this is going to be a bittersweet fourth season. It’s more than likely in its final run, regardless of the amazing hashtag #SixSeasonsAndAMovie. I mean, they have to graduate at some point, right? Regardless, I am too pumped about this season, which looks to be as off the normal curve as ever.

The Walking Dead (Feb. 10)

Lauren:  Let me just recap my reaction to the final moments of the fall finale of this show: “Don’t you dare touch a hair on Daryl’s head you stupid, one-eyed monster face!”  The Governor (I still prefer “The Mayor,” as he was called in the comics) has captured the fan favorite crossbow toter, and thrown Daryl’s one handed brother under the bus in the process.  Will they work together to escape?  Will Michonne become a part of the group, as her eyes seem to plead for acceptance even under that hard shell?  Will Andrea finally stop being an idiot?  All better be revealed in the second half of the season.

Zac: As long as Daryll is still running around, I will be happy.

Heather: Ditto.  And somebody needs to kill Andrea.  She is a ho and an idiot.

Game of Thrones (March 31)

Lauren: The White Walkers are coming! THE WHITE WALKERS ARE COMING!

Zac: Haven’t read the books, but I heard the cliffhanger this season ends with is going to blow people’s minds; and that covers only half the third book.

Mad Men

Zac: The best show on TV, along with Breaking Bad, should be back on the air by the end of March and I am very excited to see were SCD(C?) will be at after adding their second floor and what has happened to our beloved Peggy.

DmC: Devil May Cry (Jan. 15)

Alan: Going back and trying to play the original Devil May Cry was a challenge in on itself – no one ever thought about remaking the camera system when they re-released this thing. But the demo and overall feel of the new DMC feels fresh and fun. Dante is as snarky as ever, and the revamped color scheme and attitude really makes this a must early on this year.

Dead Space 3 (Feb. 3)

Lauren:  A friend and I came to the agreement that we’d play Dead Space 2 at the same time, talking reassuredly to each other through our headsets to make braving the necromorphs a little more bearable.  Suffice it to say it didn’t really help since I am a scaredy cat, but maybe having co-op game play will do the trick as we learn what the voiceover meant at the end of the second game about other markers.  Bring on the snow.

Crysis 3 (Feb. 17)

Lauren:  I’ve not actually ever played the games in this series (Crysis 2 is finally in my hands though so I can soon rectify this failing), so I cannot speak at the same level of excitement as a fan of Crysis, but with the constant bragging that this game is past the current generation of gaming technology I can’t help but want to see what all the fuss is about.

Tomb Raider (Mar. 3)

Lauren:  I never grew up with the Tomb Raider series (and have only played the last couple of games), but even I can admit that this “reinvention” looks like more than a good thing as we come into Lara’s story when she is just starting out.  Who doesn’t like origin stories, right?  Ok, so I am sure a bunch of you are over those, but you have to admit that this looks amazing, with a new world that I am more than excited to exploration now that I’ve done almost all I can in Far Cry 3.  I just hope they’ve tamed down her sex noises…

Bioshock Infinite (Mar. 24)

Alan: I’ve been a fan of this series for a while now, and I’ve never been as impressed with a gameplay video than I am with Infinite. The first five minutes of this game look as bloody and as disturbing as it’s predecessor – and that’s when you are still on land. I can’t even imagine how sick and twisted the story of Columbia will be once I’m soaring with my crows, killing everything in my way to save Elizabeth. And with Kevin Levine heading this monster, it’s safe to say that Infinite will be as twisted as its original predecessor.

Lauren:  Yeah, I’ll admit it: I’ve always been too terrified to play the Bioshock games after watching a roommate play through it, thanks in large part to the initial intro to Rapture, as well as some shadow play on the wall emphasized by an angry psycho jumping out at the player (I don’t think I am making up that last bit).  But now that we’re out in the open sky with Infinite, I can trick myself into believing that things are safer in the light, even if it is clear that they aren’t.  I know the moment I come across the enemies called The Boys of Silence I will probably have to pause long enough for a pep talk.

Without Release Dates (AKA Most Likely To Be Pushed): Fuse, Grand Theft Auto V, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Final Thoughts

Didn’t see something on the list that you would have included?  Let us know below, and be sure to come back for the second quarter in April!

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