Playing for Laughs: Most Anticipated Comedy Films of 2013

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The third and final installment in The Hangover franchise, this 2013 comedy flick is directed by--who else--Todd Phillips, the man at the helm of the first two Hangover movies. Following a disaster-filled trip to Thailand, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zack Galifianakis) & Doug (Justin Bartha) are back in the states and caught up in another set of misadventures. Also reprising their roles from The Hangover Part II (2011): Ken Jeong, Heather Graham & Jamie Chung.
Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
January 4th, 2013

Playing for Laughs: Most Anticipated Comedy Films of 2013

-- While 2013 looks to be the year of the superhero action flick, comedy films are certain to make a strong appearance. Nine films in particular stand out as hotly anticipated must-see pictures. While a number of these movies are live-action films, several entries are animated features or partly animated films. Disney/Pixar makes an appearance with "Monsters University," a prequel to "Monsters Inc.," but it shares screen space with "Despicable Me 2," "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2," and "The Smurfs 2."

Noticing a lot of sequels? Get used to it. Hollywood's love of sure-thing series continues this year with many animated features as well as all but one of the most anticipated live-action comedies. From "Grown Ups 2" to "Scary Movie 5," the formula of the tried-and-true still sustains the silver screen.

According to Movie Insider, the most anticipated comedy of 2013 is "Scary Movie 5," which will feature the same raunchy, silly humor you've grown to expect with the Scary Movie franchise, although it is being advertised as a franchise reboot. This film, plotted around rival dancers at a French dance company, will certainly remind viewers of "Black Swan" and is rumored to also lampoon "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and "127 Hours."

"Monsters University," following up Pixar's popular "Monsters Inc.," is another strong contender. Lovable monsters Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan meet at Monsters University in this movie prequel. While in "Monsters Inc." they were the best of friends, at Monsters University they were quite the opposite. Look for lots of new monsters in this movie to delight the kids. "Despicable Me 2" will also be released in the summer of 2013. Little is currently known about its plot, but the main voice actors, including Steve Carrell and Russell Brand, will reprise their roles from the first movie.

"The Hangover Part III" is a new entry in the familiar franchise, but it looks like it's changing things up a bit. Details are scarce and the movie is still in production, but this movie has Alan (Zach Galifianakis) going through a crisis and needing to lean on the Wolfpack. The gang wind up in Las Vegas again, but instead of a bachelor party or wedding, this time they'll be breaking someone out of a mental institution. "The Hangover Part III" is a little more grim than earlier entries in the franchise.

In a similar vein, "Grown Ups 2" is a second entry in a buddy comedy ensemble. Five friends reprised by Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, Adam Sandler, David Spade, and Kevin James will return to face off against a group of frat boys. This film will be loaded with cameos, including Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shaquille O'Neal. "Anchorman: The Legend Continues" brings Ron Burgundy back for continuing misadventures. Will Ferrell and Steve Carrell will be together again in this movie along with much of the original cast. Like "Grown Ups 2," this movie will be filled with cameos.

"Red 2" is an action-comedy following much of the same ground as "Red." Look for lots of explosions and over-the-top sequences with the original group of retired spies. The first movie ended in Moldova, with Bruce Willis and John Malkovich on the run with a stolen nuclear device in a wheelbarrow. While details about the plot of "Red 2" have not been released (or leaked) yet, fans speculate that it will pick up where the first movie left off.

"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" will continue on from the first movie, with Flint finding he has to save the world yet again from mutant food. His machine is still functional, though defective, and is creating mutated tacodiles and shrimpanzees that are wreaking havoc. Only Flint can stop it. "The Smurfs 2" features Paris, France, as Gargamel learns only the Eiffel Tower can generate enough energy to send him back home. The Smurfs have to keep him from taking evil Smurf clones the Naughties and Smurfette with him. This entry looks to be more kid-oriented than the first movie and may not be as fun for adults.

One final upcoming comedy is not getting much buzz yet, but stands well-positioned to get some real interest soon. "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" stars Steve Carrell (who apparently is in every movie in 2013) and Jim Carrey as rival magicians and Olivia Wilde as the female lead. Also appearing are Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin, and James Gandolfini. David Copperfield cameos as himself as well. Filmed primarily in Las Vegas and featuring a special stage magic trick developed for the movie by Copperfield, "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" may be this year's surprise breakout movie.