Continuing on with our top ten most anticipated movie releases, we bring you our top five offerings to look forward to - with an impressive moustache from Joaquin Phoenix and a significant amount of Matthew McConaughey. Brace yourselves.
5) 'The Grandmaster'
Wong Kar Wai is my favourite director of all time, so this is a little bit of self-indulgence. If there is any criticism of his work (and personally this is clutching at straws) it is that his thematic range could be more diverse. That was until 'The Grandmaster' was announced, a story about Ip Man – the martial artist who taught the legendary Bruce Lee. Uncharacteristic of the director, the trailer portrays Tony Leung in an epic HK art-house fight-em-up. The intrigue also lies in how 'The Grandmaster' will differ from the successful 2008 portrayal of Ip Man’s story, starring Donnie Yen.
UK release date: TBC // US release date – 30th August 2013
Imagine a simple request to iPhone’s Siri turned into an engaging conversation. Now imagine Siri was voiced by the caramel tones of Scarlett Johansson. Then imagine if that conversation somehow got a bit...erm...frisky. 'Her' is a dystopian tale of a heartbroken introverted writer developing a relationship with an artificial intelligence. Joaquin Phoenix seeks to return to his tortured best, supported by Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde and Rooney Mara. Great choices of Aphex Twin and Karen O for the pace and melody of the trailer.
UK release date: TBC // US limited release: 18th December
3) 'Don Jon'
Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut couldn’t arrive at a more opportune moment, contextualising the Government’s current attempt to fight the hypersexualisation of society through internet censorship. 'Don Jon' written, starring and directed by Gordon-Levitt has set the indie movie circuit alight with its comically candid approach to eroded intimacy in an age of sex addiction. Plenty of great New Jersey drawl and punchy comedy in the trailer.
UK release date - 15th November 2013
2) 'Dallas Buyers Club'
Matthew McConaughey unfortunately frittered so much of his career on manufactured rom-coms that he is instantly synonymous with the genre. Breakthrough performances in 'Amistad' and 'A Time To Kill' have slipped into distant memories of the 90s. However 'The Lincoln Lawyer' marked a rebirth, since which critics and producers have reacted with apologetic respect for his immense talent. So
much so that he is appearing in potentially the two biggest upcoming films and will be the focus of Christopher Nolan’s next major solo venture – 'Interstellar' due in late 2014.
'Dallas Buyers Club' is based on the true story of Ron Woodroof, a self-proclaimed Texan hellraiser (McConaughey) who contracts HIV. In the dire straits after the diagnosis he smuggles antivirals from Mexico, treating himself and administering to a community of fellow sufferers abandoned by state healthcare. McConaughey’s weight loss for the role is reminiscent of Christian Bale in 'The Machinist'. Even more unrecognisable is the transformation of co-star Jared Leto playing Woodroof’s transgender accomplice. 'You Ain’t Alone' by Alabama Shakes brings the notable slow-dance atmosphere to the sombre moments in the trailer.
UK release date – 7th February 2014 // US release date – 1st November 2013
1) 'The Wolf Of Wall Street'
“Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind.”
16 years after Michael Douglas’ immortal speech as Gordon Gekko in 'Wall Street', there has been little dramatic coverage of the 80s and 90s financial boom and bust. These were the most explosive eras of financial engineering and wealth creation, where cheating and recklessness bore huge profits, corruption was rife, markets were rigged and megalomania was rewarded with unimaginable riches.
In the book 'Liar’s Poker' by Michael Lewis, he tells us that the most successful traders in investment banks of the 1980s were bestowed upon them the honourable title of “The Big Swinging Dick”. Surely, it is fair to say that Martin Scorsese is Hollywood’s directorial equivalent. He has picked a winner in the true story of Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who ripped off over $100m dollars from investors to fuel a lifestyle pumped with a breathtaking amount of drugs and sheer mindless debauched thrill-seeking.
Free after imprisonment, Belfort sold the film rights to his memoirs 'The Wolf Of Wall Street' to Scorsese in 2008, with Brad Pitt reportedly losing out in the tender. Terence Winter, writer of 'The Sopranos' and 'Boardwalk Empire', has produced the script, but the big draw will be Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey bringing to life the money-distorted reality of Belfort and mentor Mark Hanna respectively. A lot of the escapades defy belief – for example the office midget-throwing darts competition. The trailer features Kanye West's 'Black Skinheads', probably a wise selection as he epitomises today’s currency for rich and hideously egocentric attention-seeking celebrity.
UK release date – 17th January 2014 // US release date - 15th November 2013