Happy New Year folks. Now there are going to be some highly anticipated, possibly great movies coming out in 2012, but before anyone gets too carried away hyping up the year as one of the best ever, that's going to turn it all around for Hollywood, let's temper expectations a bit. Along with "Dark Knight" and "Avengers," there's going to be plenty of the same old uninspired filler, needless sequels, and cash grabs that plagued us in 2011. Since I don't write this blog for money, I have no intention of subjecting myself to most of this crap, but sometimes these things are beyond my control. So I present to you, a run-down of the 2012 movies that I am most definitely not looking forward to in the coming year. And hopefully, this will be the last time you see mention of any of them in this blog:
More 3D Conversions - "The Lion King" in 3D was a surprise hit a few months ago, so Disney is sending out "Beauty and the Beast 3D" in a few weeks and "Finding Nemo 3D" in September. We can also look forward to "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" and "Titanic" returning to the screen in three dimensions. Oh, and a pair of new remakes of old horror films, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D," and "Halloween 3D."
Die, Franchise, Die - After the gorgeous, if brainless "Immortals," I don't see how anyone can work up any enthusiasm for "Wrath of the Titans," which looks as ugly and misshapen as the first "Titans" film. And you know that the profit margins on the original films was the determining factor that got "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island," "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance," and "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" greenlighted. I can't see the fourth "Bourne" movie they're making without Matt Damon as anything but a mistake, even if I like Jeremy Renner – is this another stealth reboot in disguise? And I really disliked "Taken," and so have no urge whatsoever to see "Taken 2."
Movie Stars as Warning Klaxons - The simple presence of some actors in a film raises giant red flags. So unless the reviews say otherwise, I feel confident in writing off "Here Comes the Boom" with Kevin James, "I Hate You Dad" with Adam Sandler, "One for the Money" with Katherine Heigl, and "21 Jump Street" with Jonah Hill. Words cannot describe my feelings toward the trailer for "21 Jump Street." Right on the edge are "A Thousand Words" with Eddie Murphy and "The Lucky One" with Zac Efron, based on the book by Nicholas Sparks. I don't mind Efron so much, but I have serious beef with Nicholas Sparks.
It's Still Too Soon - The films in this category and the ones I really, really want to be wrong about. But nothing I've heard about the new "Amazing Spider-Man" inspires much hope, and I continue to think that Marvel is committing a serious tactical error trying to bring the franchise back this soon after the Sam Raimis films. Meanwhile, the "Red Dawn" remake was delayed by several years by the MGM bankruptcy, but I doubt anyone was actively rooting for its release. It has a premise that was outdated and ridiculous back in the 80s and is even moreso today. The Farrelly Brothers' new take on "The Three Stooges" also looks like a disaster, but I'm trying not to put too much stock in the trailer.
The Dregs - I can't even find the energy to be disdainful of stuff like "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," " Ice Age: Continental Drift," "Step Up 4," "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days," "Resident Evil: Retribution," Underworld: Awakening," or "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2" anymore. I'm just glad for the fact that a lot of these high-numbered sequels look like they're finally going to be the last ones in their series, or at least the last ones to be released theatrically. I expect that "Resident Evil" and "Underworld" will eventually join all the other direct-to-DVD horror franchises still churning out tie-ins year after year, that are much easier to ignore.
And here I reiterate my final caveat, the same as last year - 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. However, looking at some of these titles, I can't help thinking that the deck is being stacked against us again.
Happy watching, I hope.