Todd McCarthy Picks 15 Films to Look Forward to in 2013

by Todd McCarthy

The arrival of quite a few strong films over the past four months allows us to bid farewell to 2012 reasonably well satisfied with the year overall. The all-but-guaranteed grimness of any year’s January-March releases promises to dash whatever residual good cheer carries over into the new year, but, looking a bit further down the line, a number of upcoming films involve intriguing talents applying themselves to potential interesting material to mark them as must-sees.

Surveying various lists of films due to be released in 2013, the following 15 jumped out, for various reasons, as ones I’m most eagerly anticipating. They are listed, more or less, in order of their scheduled release dates.

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‘Lincoln,’ ‘Django Unchained’ Come on Strong in Golden Globes Movie Nominations

“Lincoln,” “Django Unchained,” “Life of Pi,” “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Argo” are the nominees for Best Motion Picture, Drama at the Golden Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced on Thursday.

In the Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical category, nominees are “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “Les Miserables,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” and “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” led all films with seven nominations, followed by “Argo” and “Django Unchained” with five and “Les Miserables,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Zero Dark Thirty” with four.

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The War Z pulled from Steam, Valve calls release ‘a mistake’

by Erik Johnson

After a launch marred by a string of controversy, The War Z has been completely blocked from purchase on Steam.

While the game remains listed on the PC digital distribution hub, you can no longer buy it. Valve has decided to offer a refund for any customers who felt they were mislead by the current state of the game.

“From time to time a mistake can be made and one was made by prematurely issuing a copy of War Z for sale via Steam,” a Valve rep told Kotaku. “We apologize for this and have temporary removed the sale offering of the title until we have time to work with the developer and have confidence in a new build.”

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Alice Eve’s Star Trek Into Darkness Character Revealed

Silas Lesnick

This Friday, Paramount Pictures will reveal the first nine minutes of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness before select IMAX showings of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Read the full list of participating theaters by clicking here). Today, was afforded the rare opportunity of visiting Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and talking with some of the talent behind next summer’s much anticipated release. We’ll have a lot more from the visit posted soon, but one mystery was officially revealed: Alice Eve’s role is that of Carol Marcus.

Marcus, played by Bibi Besch in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, was, in the original timeline, a Federation scientist whose work led to the top-secret “Project Genesis.” She had a relationship with James T. Kirk and became mother to his son, David, but the pair ultimately decided that it was best for her to raise the boy alone.


‘Man of Steel’ movie poster shows Superman handcuffed between soldiers

Will Superman channel his inner darkness as Clark Kent struggles to have a normal life despite his hard-to-control superpowers?

By Joyce Chen

Superman may be getting a bit of a makeover next summer with the release of Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” blockbuster flick.

The film, the latest in a long line of narratives about the superhuman superhero, is set to follow the story of Clark Kent’s struggle to find normalcy in his everyday life on earth while juggling his natural-born powers from his native planet Krypton.

Christopher Nolan, the visionary director behind “The Dark Knight” series and “Inception,” will help produce the film, possibly lending a darker tone to the classically optimistic superhero tale.

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The Cameras and Settings That Captured This Year’s Best Photos

Jamie Condliffe

Every year, Reuters publishes a list of its best photography, and you’ll recognise plenty of the 95 iconic images that capture this year’s biggest news stories. One keen Redditor, though, wanted to know more—so analyzed the EXIF data of all the images to find out how they were captured.

The result, put together by hallbuzz, is a sorted pool of data which reveals which cameras, lenses, and settings were used by the Reuters photographers to snap the best images of the year. Fortunately Peta Pixel points out that another user, mathiasa, took the data and turned it into a bunch of charts. Let’s take a look.

All of which suggests that the most likely kit choice for a photograph that made the list would be a Canon 1D Mark IV with a 16-35mm lens attached, using settings of 1/320 shutter speed, f/2.8, and ISO 200.


‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ poster has a ‘Dark Knight Rises’ vibe

The slow unveiling of next summer’s “Star Trek Into Darkness” has begun in earnest, first with the official plot synopsis released last week and now with the first poster, which seems to be taking a few tips from “The Dark Knight Rises.”

This year’s conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s trilogy began its marketing push with a poster showing the Batman symbol formed from a crumbling urban cityscape, and now J.J. Abrams’ “Trek” sequel appears to be in keeping with that approach.

Forget about seeing the USS Enterprise, Kirk, Spock or any of the beloved crew. This first poster promises death and destruction in the form of the film’s villain, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, seen from behind wearing a long trench coat.

Who is he? While no one has confirmed anything officially, the initial guess was that he would be playing Khan Noonien Singh, the villain most people know from “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” However, more recent speculation has centered around Cumberbatch being Gary Mitchell, a powerful villain with psionic powers played by Gary Lockwood in the original series episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before.”

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iTunes 11 is here at last. But will I use it?

By Chris O’Brien

Apple fans can finally stop holding their breath. At long last, iTunes 11 is here.

The latest update to the software that is now the world’s largest music retail store has been hotly anticipated since it was announced way back in September. It was supposed to land in October, but the company delayed it, citing some engineering issues that still needed to be fixed.

Finally, though, it’s here. But while many Apple fans will rush to download it, I have to confess that I’m not one of them.

It’s not that I have anything against Apple products. We now have a MacBook, iPad, two iPhones, iPod Touch and Apple TV in our house.

But in the last year I’ve almost completely stopped using iTunes. That was a big surprise to me. Getting an iPod and then iTunes in 2006 completely changed the way I bought and listened to music

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