As March comes to a close and Oscar buzz is dying down, it’s time to take a look at what movies have premiered in 2013 that could have some potential in next year’s Oscar race. We are almost a quarter of the way through 2013, but have we come across anything remotely close to being Oscar-worthy yet?
The highest grossing movie thus far this year is “Oz the Great and Powerful,” a film directed by Sam Raimi that stars James Franco and Mila Kunis and imagines the back story of the most famous wizard in “The Wizard of Oz.” Despite grossing $41.3 million, the film has gotten mixed reviews. Some have found that it rises to the occasion, while many argue that the film falls flat.
“When a movie is as beloved as “The Wizard of Oz,” making a prequel would seem a foolhardy enterprise. Put one foot on the Yellow Brick Road and you risk stepping on your viewers’ memories and dreams. Yet Raimi rises to the challenge with dash and dazzle,” Jason Best of “Movie Talk” said in his review. Others disagree.
“It took courage to believe anything could and should be added to “The Wizard of Oz.” It took brains to create such a sumptuous fantasia with pixels and keyboard swipes. Now, if it only had a heart,” Steve Persall of the Tampa Bay Times said. Overall, the movie has potential to provide another backstory like the highly popular musical “Wicked,” but it seems to fall flat in comparison.
Other highly anticipated movies of 2013 have been “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” “Identity Thief” and “21 and Over,” all of which have casts of well-liked actors, but have each received horrible reception.
“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” which stars Steve Carell, Jim Carrey and Alan Arkin, should be a comedic dream, but has flopped miserably. Although a movie about a group of struggling magicians isn’t exactly a promising plot, Carell and Carey are typically comedians who pull through for a good dose of entertainment. Rick Groen, critic from “Globe and Mail,” put it best:
“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, isn’t,” he said.
“Identity Thief,” featuring Jason Batemen and the hilarious Melissa McCarthy, also flopped. Batemen and McCarthy play opposing characters, one of which is a shopping addict on the other’s credit card. Despite the fact that this film brings together two actors who typically draw audiences and appear likeable, the movie was a big disappointment. The same happened with “21 and Over,” which had potential to be a movie similar to “Superbad” in both plot and character. “21 and Over,” a film about a straight-edge college student who makes the most of his 21st birthday, is unfunny and can be simply annoying.
So, what is the verdict? Have we found any movies with any sort of potential in 2013? Absolutely not. There is nothing even close. With most theaters across the country winding down from showing the Oscar nominees from this year’s awards, movie showings with any sort of draw are minimal. We’ll have to wait and see what else comes out in 2013 before we begin to speculate about the best movies of the year.