Reels of Oscar worthy films to keep all glued

Lee Meyer

THE big screen action and drama ended on a high last year. The Hobbit and Life of Pi are still running victory laps around our circuit. But what happens when they leave and the dust settles? From superhero romps to suspect sequels – it’s all there in 2013.

After the opening of big Academy Award nominee Les Miserables today, we don’t have to wait long for Ben Affleck’s Argo, which opens next week Friday and which has already earned him a Golden Globe for best director and has a clutch of Oscar nominations.

It’s a witty political thriller based on real events during the Iranian Islamic revolution in 1979 when militants stormed the US embassy in Tehran, and involves an intriguing “fake movie” scheme.

Also opening next week is a film which has earned Denzel Washington another shot at a Best Actor Oscar – the mystery thriller, Flight.

Lincoln, Steven Spielberg’s epic historical drama, which is the leading Academy contender with 12 nominations – including one for Daniel Day-Lewis who plays the president – opens on February 1.

Superman flexes his way onto the big screen after a seven-year break in Man of Steel.

Director Zack Snyder (Watchmen), and executive producer Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight trilogy) are something of a superhero dream team. Their film takes us to the beginning of the Clark Kent saga, meaning intergalactic travel and a surprise turn by Russell Crowe as Clark’s biological dad, Jor El.

From one man o’ steel to another – Marvel’s Iron Man 3 makes a much anticipated return.

Sir Ben Kingsley plays the latest candidate for world-domination in The Mandarin.

The film comes armed with a $200-million (R1.7-billion) production budget, just shy of Marvel’s previous effort, The Avengers, which went on to be the highest grossing film of 2012 and third highest of all time.

But if last year taught us anything, it’s that big numbers don’t always add up to big success.

John Carter was a notable bomb, barely breaking even on its $250-million budget.

That paled against kiddie’s film, The Oogieloves. It returned just $1-million on its $60-million investment, making it one of the biggest flops in Hollywood history.

Indie studio Lionsgate won’t be having that problem. They’re in the habit of scooping major studio rejects and turning them into low-budget, cult classics.

Horror fans will have something to scream about with their latest offering – Texas Chainsaw 3D.

Upon opening, the film made its way into top spot at the US box office ahead of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.

So, whether it’s music, musclemen, mystery or menace – you have a silver screen seat waiting for you in the weeks and month ahead.

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