Opinion: Four to watch in 2013 Guest Writer January 22, 2013 Features, Opinion 2943 Hollywood has been flooded with re-boots, franchises and cookie-cutter rom-coms it seems. 23 of the top 25 grossing films of the 2000s have been re-makes or adaptations. Hollywood hasn’t exactly reinvented the wheel as of late. In 2013, changes seem to be on the horizon, with a whole new smörgåsbord of fun takes on funny and exotic situations. For the Zesty Zombie Lover: “Warm Bodies” Opening Feb. 1 in the U.S., this fun film starring Nicholas Hoult and the lovely Teresa Palmer puts a whole new twist on the world of zombies. Writer/Director Jonathan Levine takes the notion of the flesh-hungry monster and turns it on its brain-craving head, framing the notion of love as the most powerful anti-virus around. The premise of the film may sound a little corny, but Levine’s blend of humor, satire and popcorn-chewing action make this film a must-see for even the novice zombie lover. Nicholas Holt shines as the zombie “R,” the perfect blend of hunky and nerdy, while Teresa Palmer seems to have as much fun acting as the audience does watching her. For The Wacky Connoisseur: “Identity Thief” Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman are perhaps an odd-couple match made in heaven, helping to propel this campy comedy into a laughable romp. Premiering Feb. 8, this silly goose chase breaks unusual ground with a plot that finds a mild-mannered businessman (Bateman) taking it upon himself to chase a harmless looking identity thief across the country as she happily gives him a lesson in identity theft 101. Some of the punchlines are very literal (picture McCarthy punching Bateman in the neck), while others are more understated. Definitely a fun way to spend an evening, but don’t expect it to be the next “Wedding Crashers.” The Quintessential Epic: “After Earth” Will M. Night Shyamalan twist his way back into our hearts with this sweeping futuristic epic? Set to open June 7, starring Will and Jaden Smith, this CGI-fueled movie takes place on our beloved Earth 1,000 years after it has been rendered uninhabitable. They crash land their spaceship and experience a hyper-evolved Earth designed to take no prisoners. The wise and courageous super-hero-esque father has to help his son navigate the deadliness terrain ever known. Although Will Smith is obviously trying to pass the action torch to his heir, and M. Night is desperate to achieve his once-beloved status again, the film still looks cool enough to warrant spending money on a ticket. The Weird Re-Boot: “Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters” Because “Red Riding Hood” fared so well (queue sarcasm), Hollywood decided to put another “dark spin” on a popular fairytale, but this time they managed to snag the esteemed Jeremy Renner to do so. Opening Jan. 25, this, errr, gore-drama takes the audience on a fanciful frolic around a “once upon a time” world as it follows two grown siblings devoted to chasing and killing witches all over the world. Also staring Gemma Arterton and Famke Jannsen, this hardly-delicious tale seems to be an attempt to ride the coat-tails of the supernatural craze sweeping the media- but it barely makes it on a broom!