Well, 2011 has passed, come and gone like a Nicolas Cage film in-and-out of theaters in two weeks because it's so bad even by Nicolas Cage standards. And while it's tempting to look back at the year behind us, contemplating the varied genders Adam Sandler played, the many zoo animals that talked to Kevin James, I say we instead look to the future of cinema and the things we should already start getting depressed about in 2012.
So, in no particular order, here are ten film items that we should all probably be dreading in the coming year.
Battleship's inclusion in this list owes less to its actual offensiveness than to the grotesquely mutated version of the American Dream its very existence presents. Don't worry, plot-free board games: With a little pluck and a lot of clanging, robotic dins and CGI, you too can go from being an object of childhood nostalgia to what Michael Bay imagines yachting is like.
The Phantom Menace and Titanic re-releases--now in 3D!
They're two of the most gratuitous and, respectively, most over-anticipated and over-acclaimed films of all time. The last thing we need is for them to be given more attention for somehow being more gratuitous. We already made the mistake of making out with these gals in the late '90s; no reason to do it again now that they're old and hideously-unrecognizable from all the awful work they've had done.
Rock of Ages
Jukebox musicals should be banned, not used as a excuse for Tom Cruise to put on a long wig and work out his issues in public.
Ensemble Romantic-Comedies Based on Self-Help Books
The fact that we didn't combine Think Like a Man and What To Expect When You're Expecting into a single film is a true punishment. Also a huge oversight by Garry Marshall. That could have been his Citizen Kane.
Mirror, Mirror: The Really Painful-Looking Snow White Adaptation
Just as the coming year brings with it two ensemble romantic-comedies based on self-help books, so too does it hold in each hand a costume-heavy adaptation of Snow White. But only one of those adaptations includes Nathan Lane and the line "snow way!"
Sam Worthington's Hair
With Man on a Ledge and Wrath of the Titans both coming out next year, Sam Worthington will at last prove himself an actor capable of perming his hair into every Hasselhoff-ian style of the '80s.
I will accept "Premium Rush" as a limited edition Mountain Dew flavor. I will not accept it as the story of an EXTREME bike messenger who somehow straight-faced says, "I like to ride. Fixed gear. No brakes. Can't stop. Don't want to, either." Portlandia parody characters should not be the basis of action protagonists.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2
It's true: the last Twilight film's "Part 1" subtitle indeed meant there's still another two hours of Taylor Lautner's utterly blank expression. But, hey, on the bright side, after this it's over. And we'll be left with just our full-torso tattoos.
Another Six Months of Fretting About Superhero Movies
Will you be able to understand Bane!? Is third Hulk the charm!? Is Spider-Man's hair too lush!? Ut oh, the internet's collective asthma!
A Thousand Words
A single film has willingly combined the absurdly high-concept mind of writer Steve Koren (recent Adam Sandler classics Jack & Jill and Click), the director who played Eric on Head of the Class (recent Eddie Murphy classics Norbit and Meet Dave), and an actor who will do absolutely any broad comedy that can be explained to him in a simple sentence (Eddie Murphy). We should know better than to let Eddie Murphy get near prosthetics and/or ashen suitcoats.
Other things that will probably be pretty bad: The Three Stooges, finding out that The Smurfs sequel is totally going to call itself a "Smurfquel", Katherine Heigl's inexplicable near-remake of Bounty Hunter, however many things have been designated "Tyler Perry's"... Anything I've missed?