The 2013 Winter Movie Season Preview


Ok, boys and girls. The Holiday Season is over… and the Spring Season, full of mini Blockbusters, is still months away.

Between now and then lies Hollywood’s dumping ground. The Hollywood fields lie fallow in the winter, bearing little quality product. It’s the two months of the year we need to “Get through”. While January typically offers some limited releases from the prior year going wide, there’s typically little else to get excited over.

Will this year be different? Are there any movies to get excited about these next two months? Let’s take a look at the release slate and see what we’ve got!


January 4th

“Texas Chainsaw 3D”


Directed By: John Luessenhop

Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Dan Yeager, Trey Songz, Scott Eastwood, Tania Raymonde

Take classic horror property. Update with unknowns. Repeat.

January 11th

“A Haunted House”


Directed by: Michael Tiddes

Starring: Marlon Wayans, Nick Swardson, David Koechner, Essence Atkins, Cedric the Entertainer, Alanna Ubach, Jamie Noel

Marlon Wayans (screenplay) strikes again! Once again he’s mining his Scary Movie/Parody movie comfort zone, this time with a more Afro-centric perspective. I know that it’s a comedy, but I’m actually a little frightened of the fact that this movie prominently features Nick Swardson.


“Gangster Squad”


Directed By: Ruben Fleischer

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Robert Patrick, Michael Pena, Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Mackie, Nick Nolte, Wade Williams, Mireille Enos

I know that the cast is loaded. I know that this was originally slated for a September release and not January (pushed back due to the Aurora shootings). I know that it’s a cop/mob movie. But something here is severely setting off my “Stinker Alarm”. I hope I’m wrong, I really do… I definitely like the cast, but I’ve got to call it like I see it, and my money’s on “Disappointment”.


January 18

“Broken City”


Directed by: Allen Hughes

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Barry Pepper, Kyle Chandler

Wahlberg and Crowe squaring off? Sure, that sounds good to me! This flick strikes me as a cross between “City Hall” and “Unfaithful”… Whether it’s half as good as either of those is yet to be seen.


“The Last Stand”


Directed by: Kim Jee-Woon

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Peter Stormare, Jaimie Alexander, Rodrigo Santoro, Zach Gilford, Johnny Knoxville, Harry Dean Stanton, Luis Guzmán, Génesis Rodríguez

He’s Back!

Is Schwarzenegger too old? We’ll see, in this January shoot-em-up. At least they acknowledge he’s getting old via a joke or two.




Directed by: Andres Muschietti

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

You know what has me hoping this might be good (aside from the involvement Jessica Chastain)? It’s produced by Guillermo del Toro. In Guillermo I trust. 😀


January 25

“Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters”


Directed by: Tommy Wirkola

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Zoe Bell, Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Thomas Mann

This movie has a chance at the “Dumb Fun” route to success. My worry is, it will take itself too seriously and just wind up “Dumb”. 😦 I’m not encouraged by the fact that this movie was bumped by its March 2012 release date, that’s not a sign of studio confidence.

“Movie 43”

Movie 43

Directed by: Patrik Forsberg, Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, Steve Carr, Rusty Cundieff, James Duffy, Griffin Dunne, Peter Farrelly, James Gunn, Bob Odenkirk, Brett Ratner, Jonathan van Tulleken

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Emma Stone, Gerald Butler, Chloe Grace Moretz, Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell, Naomi Watts, Anna Faris, Chris Pratt, Kate Winslet, Josh Duhamel, Richard Gere, Uma Thurman, Halle Berry, Patrick Warburton, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Liev Schreiber, Seann William Scott, Jason Sudeikis, Kate Bosworth, Bobby Cannavale, Justin Long, J.B. Smoove, Kieran Culkin, Leslie Bibb, Terrence Howard, Jack McBrayer, Tony Shalhoub

No, you’re not seeing things. That’s 12 directorial credits. 12. That’s not a confidence builder, right there. The fact that the movie is able to boast such big names amongst the massive cast is mildly reassuring, but there’s a strong possibility that this movie has nothing going for it beyond its shock value.




Director: Taylor Hackford

Starring: Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Bobby Cannavale, Clifton Collins, Jr., Wendell Pierce, Michael Chiklis, Nick Nolte, Sala Baker

You know? I’d actually like this movie to be good. I like Statham, J Lo was great a long time ago in “Out of Sight” and The Shield and The Wire represent. The trailer looks slick, let’s hope there’s a cool crime caper here to be had!


February 1

“Bullet to the Head”


Directed by: Walter Hill

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Sarah Shahi, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Christian Slater, Jason Mamoa, Jon Seda, Brian Van Holt

Nothing is over!!

Is Stallone too old? We’ll see, in this February shoot-em-up. At least they acknowledge he’s getting old via a joke or two.


“Stand Up Guys”


Directed by: Fisher Stevens

Starring: Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Julianna Margulies, Mark Margolis, Alan Arkin, Bill Burr

Hell yes! LOL. The combination of Walken, Pacino and Arkin is enough to pique my interest! Old mob guys? Those guys? You betcha! Of course, it’s only batting 50% on Rotten Tomatoes right now… Dammit!!


“Warm Bodies”


Directed by: Jonathan Levine

Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Rob Corddry, John Malkovich, Analeigh Tipton, Dave Franco, Cory Hardrict

Ok, this just looks dumb. Seriously. I already have it penciled in as a nominee for the 2013 MAJOR Awards “Worst Movie” category.

February 8

“A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III”


Directed by: Roman Coppola

Starring: Charlie Sheen, Bill Murray, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jason Schwartzman, Aubrey Plaza, Patricia Arquette, Katheryn Winnick

Ok. If there’s one movie on this list that I’m really hoping lives up to its potential here, it’s this one. Could it wind up a hot mess? Of course it could. But it could also turn out to be a batshit crazy funny movie. Hopes are high for the latter. 😉


“Identity Thief”


Directed by: Seth Gordon

Starring: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, Amanda Peet, John Cho, Clark Duke, Maggie Elizabeth Jones, Mary-Charles Jones, Jon Favreau, Génesis Rodríguez

Bateman is funny. McCarthy is funny. The second trailer seems funny. We’ll see if they can put a cohesive flick together… I’m already suspicious about the gangster debt seeming subplot they allude to in the trailer. When you get your guard up over a subplot just during the trailer? That’s not a good sign.


“Side Effects”


Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

Starring: Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Vinessa Shaw, David Costabile

There’s certainly some talent attached here, between Soderbergh and the cast. I’m not overly enthused for some reason, but hopefully it will be (at the least) a decent enough movie along the lines of Soderbergh’s last couple.

February 13th

“Beautiful Creatures”


Directed by: Richard LaGravenese

Starring: Viola Davis, Alice Englert, Emma Thompson, Emmy Rossum, Jeremy Irons, Alden Ehrenreich, Thomas Mann, Kyle Gallner

Twilight lite! LOL


February 14th

“A Good Day to Die Hard”


Directed by: John Moore

Starring: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Yuliya Snigir, Cole Hauser, Amaury Nolasco, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Anne Vyalitsyna, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

“Live Free or Die Hard” was a June release that grossed $134 million domestically and $330+ mil worldwide. That was just over five years ago. Now they’ve targeted Valentines Day. Can you say “Lowered Expectations”?


“Escape from Planet Earth”


Directed by: Cal Brunker

Starring: (The voices of) Brendan Fraser, Rob Corddry, Jessica Alba, William Shatner, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jane Lynch, Paul Reubens, Sofia Vergara, George Lopez, Craig Robinson

Wow. That animation looks bland as hell. LOL. Doesn’t look that promising, to me. 😦

“Safe Haven”


Directed by: Lasse Hallström

Starring: Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough, David Lyons, Cobie Smulders, Mimi Kirkland, Noah Lomax, Mike Pniewski

Just how prolific is Nicholas Sparks, anyways? Are we gonna get an adaptation of his syrupy gobbledy-goop every year?


February 22nd

“Dark Skies”


Directed by: Scott Stewart

Starring: Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, Dakota Goyo, J.K. Simmons

This strikes me as “Paranormal Activity” with Aliens, minus the found footage conceit. J.K. Simmons makes any movie better, Hell, I even like his Farmer’s Market insurance commercials. But will he be enough?




Directed by: Ric Roman Waugh

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon, Benjamin Bratt, Barry Pepper

You know what? At least we get to see the Rock fighting people. None of this lame-ass family movie dreck he’s spent the last five to ten years or so on. Punch some people Rock, will ya?! Fer godssakes…


Well, there it is people. The lineup from now until March.

Are there any amongst this bunch that you’re looking forward to? A jewel in the rough? Which of these really set off YOUR stinker alarm?

Lets hear it! What are your thoughts about the 2013 Winter Season??


Daniel Fogarty


78 thoughts on “The 2013 Winter Movie Season Preview

  1. Wow, thanks for this. A lot of real trash upcoming: Schwarzenegger, another Die Hard, a string of indistinguishable horror films, geesh. What catches your eye here?

    • Chalres Swan could be good if it comes together in an offbeat, quasi Wes Anderson kind of way… Stand Up Guys could be awesome if it winds up being the movie the trailer promises.

      But hey. It’s January and February, you know? “The Dead Zone” 😦

      • Nice. Yeah, even the newest Matt Damon/Gus Van Sant drama, which comes out tomorrow, fails to excite really; I think all the best films of the year have been filed at this point…though I like the bad films of winter, too

  2. A few good movies here. But the one that I wouldn’t waste my money on is the Charlie Sheen one. Looks like just more of his crazy crap. But, I could be wrong. I’m willing to wait till this one comes out on HBO. Hansel and Gretel looks interesting….

  3. Huh…is it just me or is 2013 lackluster compared to 2012? Maybe it’s just me. I am looking forward to Gangster Squad. I’m hoping you are right that this movie is not a big fat disappointment. We’ll see, right?

    • Well… in fairness, this isn’t the entire year. Last year’s offerings up through March were pretty much comparably lame…

      In terms of the year overall though, I think its going to be hard for ANY year to match 2012. I mean, wow. Last year was loaded Jen. I hope 2013 is half as good, you know?

  4. I want to see The Last Stand mostly because of Kim Ji-Woon, so at least it will be well made dumb fun, and Bullet in the Head because of Walter Hill, so at least it will be well made dumb fun. Wait… I’m sensing a pattern here LOL And my god does Beautiful Creatures look absolutely terrible. Cautiously optimistic about Stand Up Guys, Charlie Swan, Side Effects though. Still, can’t wait for something substantial to show up haha.

    • I know the feeling.

      There’s always a puncher’s chance that we’ll get a handful of decent movies during this season. Studios often underestimate their own product, you know? But still, I’ve come to view anything released at this time of year with suspicion….

      I share your hopes for the movies you mentioned, and YES, “Beautiful Creatures” does look freaking terrible. I already dread sitting through it.

  5. Wow. Talk about slim pickings! There is very little here that interests me, very little at all. I do like the look of Mama though. Fortunately, we still haven’t had Les Mis, Django or Lincoln so those can tide us over for this month at least.

    • Hah! Lucky you…

      We’ll get “The Impossible” (this week) and “Zero Dark Thirty” (next week) going wide, and those Oscar buzz. But aside from that, it’s time to suffer through for a bit. 😦

  6. It’s weird but the Dead Zone, is usually my favorite time to go out to the movies. Yeah, they all blow and suck, usually, but it’s still fun none the less and at least you know what you see is going to have some terrible expectations already off the bat. At least that’s how I look at it. Nice post bud!

    • Well, ok. I guess if you put it that way. You go in knowing that the movies are probably sub-par and occasionally you wind up being surprised? I guess I can see that.

      I still prefer the Holiday season, where you get movies with Oscar intentions co-mingled with blockbusters, but… if you’re a fan, Dan, then that’s cool 😀

  7. I kind of having this “so bad its good” vibe with The Last Stand just from the trailer. I’m pretty sure I’ll be heading out to see A Good Day to Die Hard.

    The one with the most promise is Mama. Its Guillermo Del Toro. What more can I say? Hansel and Gretel, Parker, Identity Thief, Snitch all look decent. Mostly because I like those actors.

    I would like to think Warm Bodies would be good since they filmed next to where I worked and closed all the streets around the building with the most random warnings of what could be seen (ie. cows and explosions) for a week. All I saw was how they redesigned the whole street. But the trailer does look extremely corny, so I’m going to read the book first then decide.

    • “kind of having this “so bad its good” vibe with The Last Stand just from the trailer” Hopefully, right? I mean, for a lot of these flicks, that’s their best shot at success…

      And hey, you dont need to explain the del Toro factor to me, LOL. I’m right there with you! 😀

      I can understand how your connection to “Warm Bodies” would make you hope for its success, but I have to say, it looks like tripe to me. 😦 First off, the zombie purist in me is offended. Zombies dont “cure themselves”. Then, those cheesy bone zombies are obviously just there so that they can have a threat aside from zombies once the actual zombies start “curing themselves”. Finally, it has a “Twilight level tween romance” factor.

      Notttttttttttttttt feelin’ it. LOL

      • I know…I think the majority of movies made in Montreal (unless Quebec based) are actually pretty crappy..haha! I’m just trying to be hopeful…although the concept from the get go is not really working for me, but one of my friends read the novel and said that its not that I don’t know. haha!
        By the way, Isn’t this categorized as a rom-com?

  8. Parker looks like Payback meets No Country For Old Men with a rock solid cast; deal me in please.

    Broken City looks decent with some over the top names and good potential.

    Snitch looks interesting as Fogs mentioned getting the Rock a character where he can do some damage is a better fit than 1 too many family flicks for him as an actor.

    Good Day to Die Hard – although a pale imitation of a copy of the first still intrigues me, and I’ll be watching…the rental DVD probably but still a fan of the character.

    • Yeahhhh I think everyone feels a certain sense of loyalty to John McClane. Let’s just hope Bruce Willis lets the character go before we all grow to resent him. 😦

      Meanwhile, love the “Payback meets No Country For Old Men” analogy, it does kind of give off that vibe. Hopefully its half as good as either of those!

      I’d be happy if half of those four turn out good. 😉

  9. Egads. Scraping the bucket bottom here. But that’s fine, I have The Great and Powerful on the other side to see me through.

    Not meaning God, but the one movie I’m barely able to contain myself for in the new year. Can’t recall the last time I was as pumped to see a movie as I am Oz.

    Out of this drek, though, only Side Effects seems mildly promising to me. I like the premise, at least, but could defnitely end up being too dramatic.

    But, that’s ok! The world of cinema needs its drek! It’s some of the best times to go to the theater — hardly anyone is there, so you aren’t all sweaty and having to sit uncomfortably to see. And you can usually talk openly to your theater-mate, which is nice when you’re going to be making fun of the movie the whole time. I fondly remember a first date from years ago that started with the premise, “Hey, let’s go see Fast and the Furious to make fun of it the whole time!”
    And, besides, some of my favorite movies include the likes of The Quick and the Dead and Mortal Kombat, so bring on the cheese! I may find an addition to my movie collection here after all.

    • Oh, wow. Big Oz hopeful, huh? I’m getting way too much of a “Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland” calibre vibe off of it to get my hopes up too much.

      Your philosophy is sound. We do need shitty movies in order to give context to great movies. Trust me though, I LIKE Cheesey fun, I’m a big big fan. What I’m afraid of here is that this crop wont even contain any of that… it’ll just be straight up bad. We’ll see of course. My movie pessimism is at its zenith this time of year… LOL 😉

      • Yeah, there is the concern that it will just be too much flashy fluff, and not as much of an homage to its source as it is a perversion, as with Alice in Wonderland. But, I’m keeping the hope alive. I love classic children’s literature, and I love tasteful additions to the genre, so I’ll stay stoked for now.

        And I’m willing to wager one of these movies will appeal to my taste in cheese, and right now, my money would be on Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters or Charles Swan III.

  10. Move along, nothing to see here….

    OK, more seriously. I can see what you’re saying about Gangster Squad. It doesn’t look awful to me, but there’s something just a tad “off” about it. Same with Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters; I suspect more “dumb” than “fun” there though I hope I’m wrong. Parker is kind of in the same boat as well… might be all right, I hope it’s all right, but there’s something suggesting a great disparity between how good the people involved think it is and how good it actually is. Maybe the way they’re plastering the name everywhere; trying too hard.

    Movie 43… obviously not so much a film as a set of sketches, hence the 12 directors. Very low expectations… “Once you see it, you can’t unsee it” has to be one of the worst lines used in a trailer ever. That’s not an endorsement, people.

    Nicely played with Schwarzenegger and Stallone. But I hope they’re not too old. Surprised you didn’t follow through on the same joke with Bruce Willis, though. 😀 Kind of like you on A Good Day to Die Hard… doesn’t sound like expectations are high. Might still be fun, though. And say… does this mean A Good Day to Die Hard is a Valentine’s Day movie? 😀

    Despite the low RT rating, Stand Up Guys looks promising. So does Charles Swan III; that might be the highlight of the bunch.

    Warm Bodies looks like it can’t decide whether to parody Twilight or be it. Good call on Beautiful Creatures… while it may have some potential, it has a definite Twilight vibe to it.

    Snitch looks lousy, but like you say, at least it’s the Rock getting back to punching people.

    • Yeah, I have 0 faith in gangster squad… just not feeling it, in spite of the stellar cast.

      I have a feeling that that “Movie 43” tagline is going to be way to appropriate. WAY too appropriate. 😦

      Glad somebody picked up on the Schwarzenegger/Stallone bit, but I think you’re right. I should have kept it going. LOL. I think I was distracted by other, more pressing things to say about “Die Hard”, whereas the lead story on the other two is both “Old Action star makes new shooter. 😦 LOL

      I really hope that either Stand Up Guys or Charles Swan comes through… my hopes for the next few months may be pinned on them!

      • With “Movie 43”, even if it weren’t for the fact that the sketches in question look awful, there’s just the fact that it looks like a sketch comedy movie. There aren’t exactly a lot of successes on that front… even with Monty Python, their sketch movies were the weakest ones, and only “Meaning of Life” was even new content. Other than that… pretty much looking at “Kentucky Fried Movie”, aren’t we? And while I’ve yet to see that, I’m betting there’s a reason it’s only a cult hit.

      • Yeah, Kentucky Fried is a decent flick. Even then, I rarely think of it amongst my faves or anything… probably due to the “Sketch” nature of it like you say… the randomness leaves it a little scattered.

        Hey. If Movie 43 is 1/10th of that movie, I’d be relieved. LOL

  11. I’ll probably see Broken City. It looks decent and even if it isn’t, Russel Crowe’s in it. I might see Warm Bodies if I get peer pressured into it, but I won’t go see it on my own. I love the Black Keys song in the trailer though. If it’s actually in the film I might be able to tolerate it 🙂

    • I dunno. It’d take a lot more than a soundtrack song to get me through a bad movie… 😦

      Meanwhile, I hope Broken City is decent at least. I like the combination of Crowe and Wahlberg. Strikes me as interesting.

  12. The Rock and Arnold are back!! Hoooooray!!!! That’s all I got:) (saw the hobbit for the third time today, it’s nearly beaten Dredd for film of the year gahh)

      • I’m not a Stallone fan, and I couldn’t even get through the first Die Hard, so I didn’t mention those. Hansel is distracting me with his gorgeousness, sorry (not really, but I feel like it’s been waaaayyyy too long since I’ve had some new Renner material available, so however shitty this new thing is I’m gonna watch it.)

        Isn’t it awful how we watch ridiculous films for one person in it that we love? On the other hand, going through Jeremy and RDJ’s IMDB page has been quite enlightening, so I’m not complaining about the occasional craptacular production they choose to appear in.

      • I guess it is… for the most part I find that if I “love” a performer its because theyre good, and that usually results in good things.

        Stallone of course may be the exception, but even his best days were cheesy LOL

  13. I’m not sure I’m going to see many of the films this season, though I am very interested in A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III and A Good Day to Die Hard.

      • I know Die Hard 5 is probably going to be a cheese-fest but that’s the reason I want to see it. Charles Swan has a great cast, and I’m really excited for it.

  14. “Are there any amongst this bunch that you’re looking forward to? A jewel in the rough?”

    Nope, not a one. Thanks for playing our game and Vanna will have some lovely parting gifts on the way out.

  15. Wait a minute. New movies by Schwartzenegger, Statham, Stallone, and Willis? What is this, the Year (or Quarter Year) of the Expendables? The only way this would be better is if Terry Crews was in that Wayans movie.

    Also Jeremy Renner and the Rock totally need to be on the Expendables.

  16. My wife is totally interested in Hansel and Gretel, and I think I am too. Hawkeye fighting witches with crossbows and other things. The Charlie Sheen movie also looks like complete and total crazy on a stick, hard to say just based on the trailers if I’ll love it or hate it though. Could easily go either way. Nothing else really even registers for me. And bad marketing aside, I’m too much of a fan of sketch comedy to not like movie 43. I hope it’s more Mr. Show than Tim and Eric, or I wish I knew what were the best and worst years of SNL so I could be like “I hope it’s more like ’93 SNL than ’84 SNL”.

    • “Crazy on a stick” Ha! Yeah, that’s what I’m hoping for! 😀

      Wow, I mean, I enjoy sketch stuff too, but I dont know if that would be enough to salvage “Movie 43″… I guess my only hope for that movie is that they really do genuinely go the offensive comedy route and succeed with it. The problem is, if you try that route and you fail, you’re just left with “Offensive” 😦

      I’ll give Hansel and Gretel a shot, I mean it could be cheesy B Movie fun for all I know. Hopefully it is, right?

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