Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby

No year in cinema ever shapes up exactly the way we’d expect. In fact, it’d be boring if one did. Still, when faced with the promise of a whole new year of movies, I can’t help try and predict which ones I’ll love or hate. I put my best guesses in list form last year, and I did it again this year.

Now, in the spirit of journalistic integrity (or, less charitably, critical solipsism), it’s time for me to look back at my most anticipated films of 2013 and see just how reality measured up to expectation. Hit the jump to see how great or terrible I was at guessing what’d be my favorite films of 2013.

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Much Ado BTS 2

By now the story of Joss Whedon‘s Much Ado About Nothing is well-known. On a break from post-production for The Avengers, which would go on to gross $1.5 billion worldwide, the writer/director grabbed a bunch of friends and over 12 days shot a modernized version of the classic Shakespeare play at his own house. The resulting film, released in June, didn’t make as much as The Avengers – in fact, it made just .3% as much – but the passion in it is likely on a similar level.

Next week, Titan Books is releasing a book for Much Ado About Nothing that includes Whedon’s full screenplay, an exclusive interview, and never before seen images from the production of the film, such as the one above.

After the jump, see four more exclusive images as well as some special excerpts from the script and the interview. Read More »

(This review originally ran during SXSW, in March. As Much Ado About Nothing hits theaters today, we present it once more.)

In the world of drama, nothing is quite as distinct or lovely as the prose of William Shakespeare. His vocabulary, his rhythm, rhymes and descriptions, all established a standard against which others are still measured. Modern day dramatist Joss Whedon also has a distinct style, characterized by wit, humor, and cultural authority. Surely it’s not in the same league as the Bard’s. But with the writer/director’s modern adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, Whedon has found an enjoyable and surprising balance between the two.

The film will be released June 7, but had its U.S. Premiere this week at South by Southwest. Read more below. Read More »

Joss Whedon Joins Twitter, At Least Temporarily

Many of us have enjoyed following fake Joss Whedon accounts on Twitter but, the man himself is now on there. At least for a little bit.

Yes, Whedon seems to be in charge of the Twitter account for his upcoming film, Much Ado About Nothing, which just revealed its first trailer. Whether or not he’ll continue tweeting there once the film is released in June is still questionable but maybe we fans can convince him to pull a Marc Webb or Bryan Singer as he moves forward on his next film, The Avengers 2, and use the service to post images of the production.

UPDATE: Whedon commented about the news on one of his fan sites. Read it below. Read More »

Joss Whedon‘s last directorial effort, The Avengers, was a massive affair all around. The culmination of Marvel Studios’ ambitious years-long Cinematic Universe effort, the summer blockbuster boasted an all-star cast, a $220 million, and, eventually, a $1.5 billion box office take. So as a palate cleanser, he went super-duper-small for his next film.

Shot over just twelve days at Whedon’s own home during a break in The Avenger‘s post-production period, Much Ado About Nothing reimagines William Shakespeare‘s classic play as “noir comedy” set in present-day Santa Monica. Whedon alums Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Sean Maher, and Fran Kranz all star. Watch the first trailer and check out a poster after the jump.

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Angie’s 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2013

The thing about these most-anticipated lists is that they can’t help but be woefully underinformed. While a few of the earlier 2013 releases have already revealed trailers or received film festival attention, others haven’t unveiled so much as an official still. So I’m going mostly by instinct, and as a result I will doubtlessly cringe at some of my misguided predictions when I look back on this list a year from now.

But that’s all part of the fun, of course. What’s exciting about a new year of movies isn’t any one specific title, but the hundreds of new opportunities it offers to be moved, thrilled, delighted, or surprised. That said, there are a few movies I’m especially eager to get to, and you can read my picks for 2013 after the jump.

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It’s a big deal when the new movie arrives from the director of one of the biggest movies ever to set box office receipts blazing. But this time it’s a little bit weird, too. Because the director is Joss Whedon, whose film The Avengers became a massive success early this past summer. His next film, however, is something very different: a black and white adaptation of William Shakespeare‘s comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Whedon shot the film with friends on off days from The Avengers; it’s a true indie.

Now Roadside Attractions and LiosnGate have decided to release Much Ado About Nothing in a few markets on June 7, 2013, with a wide release to follow on June 21. It could be an interesting experiment, to open the film essentially opposite DC and Warner Bros.’ Man of Steel. Read More »

Though Joss Whedon has floated the idea of releasing Much Ado About Nothing over iTunes if the film couldn’t find a theatrical distributor, in truth it seemed unlikely that the man behind the $1.5 billion Avengers juggernaut would be unable to find some studio, somewhere, willing to strike a deal. And indeed, Lionsgate / Roadside has now stepped up to release the film. The company also released Drew Goddard’s Whedon-scripted Cabin in the Woods earlier this year. More on the Much Ado deal after the jump.

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