Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Least Anticipated Films of 2011

There are lots of lists of the films that people are most anticipating to see in 2011. I have my own. But I figure, I'm going to be writing about those anyway in the future. Why not get the bad stuff out of the way first? What follows is a non-comprehensive list of the 2011 films that I currently have no desire to see, that it would take cash payment, personal relationship status, or heavy intoxication to make me lie through my teeth and say I want to see them. I have a feeling I'm going to end up watching a lot of them anyway, but I don't have to like it. Included below are some additional thoughts for the borderline cases, or where I just feel like driving the point home. And a final caveat - I really hope I'm wrong about all of these titles. Much as I enjoy schadenfreude, I know nobody sets out to make a bad movie.

"Just Go With It" - I like Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler is decent on occasion, but I can't help thinking that all the best jokes are in the trailer. And they're not very good ones to begin with. This year's crop of romantic comedies look just as bad as last year's. The biggest potential landmines include "One for the Money" with Katherine Heigl, "Something Borrowed" with Kate Hudson, and "New Year's Eve," the sequel to last year's "Valentine's Day." Oh, and Judd Apatow is making a movie about bridesmaids called "Bridesmaids." Gee, that's memorable.

"X-Men: First Class" - Have you seen the new stills that have been released for this thing? They're hideous. I like James McAvoy, Rose Byrne, Michael Fassbender, and director Matthew Vaughn, but this is a franchise that has been grasping at straws since "X-Men 3," and in a year crowded with eager new superhero movies, another campy prequel is not going to cut it. FOX should just give the whole sorry series a few years off and then reboot the whole "X-Men" universe. Or do something really risky and make that "Magneto" movie.

"The Smurfs" - This year's "Yogi Bear." As a kid I loved "The Smurfs," and I would have welcomed a new "Smurfs" movie if it had gone back to the original Peyo comics for inspiration or its ad campaign was showing us images of the Smurf village or the woods or something familiar. But no, Papa Smurf and Brainy and Smurfette and all the rest are being converted into CGI and sent off to the real world, under the guidance of the director responsible for the live-action "Scooby-Doo" movies. Hank Azaria is playing Gargamel. It hurts just to type this synopsis.

"Your Highness" - I've already shared my reactions to the trailer for "Your Highness." Would I have gone to see a medieval fantasy adventure film starring James Franco, Natalie Portman, and Zooey Deschanel? In a heartbeat. Do I want to see a crass, lunkheaded spoof of one with Danny McBride schlumping around for two hours in search of a pot joke I haven't heard before? No. I'm really getting sick of the imbecilic, immature, man-child heroes that have taken over our comedies. At first they were kinda cute, but now they're just boring.

"Puss in Boots," "Happy Feet 2" and "Cars 2" - None of the films these sequels are following were good enough to warrant sequels. I feel a little bad for having a PIXAR film in here, though. Surely after their unparalleled run of successes, they're entitled to one obvious cash-grab sequel? Sorry, but no. I can't work up a shred excitement for the further adventures of Lightning McQueen and Mater the Tow Truck. "Puss in Boots" and "Happy Feet 2" actually get more benefit of the doubt right now because I haven't seen a frame of either one yet, but I'm sure they'll make up for that in no time.

And then there's "Fast Five" (That's the fifth "Fast and the Furious" movie), "Mars Needs Moms" (leftovers from the defunct ImageMovers Digital) "Scream 4" (inevitably to be followed by "Scary Movie 5"), "Big Momma: Like Father Like Son" (Yes, really), "Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World" (eight years after the last one), "5nal Destination" (Gesundheit), "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never," (insert obvious pun here) "Gnomeo and Juliet," "Johnny English Reborn," "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1," "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked," and of course, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon."

Sigh... It's going to be another long year.

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