A movie writer person's work is never done. Even as we put together our lists of the year's best films and prepare to congratulate ourselves on recognizing the genius of Ben Affleck, we must look forward to the coming year.
The year 2013, of course, will likely be just like any other: a handful of truly great films, a couple handfuls of absolutely terrible films and tons of otherwise forgettable crap. This is the category in which most movies find themselves, but -- as usual -- it's the [potentially] absolutely terrible stuff I'm interested in.
I could be wrong, and have been in the past (Thor was much better than I predicted, for example). And it isn't easy to condemn a movie based solely on a plot synopsis, cast listing and teaser trailers.
But I'm sure gonna try.
The Last Stand -- January 18
There was a time when I looked forward to a new Schwarzenegger movie with all the fevered glee of a child on Christmas Eve. Then I lost my virginity. As a fan and scholar of '80s action movies -- and someone who sat through The Expendables 2 -- it pains me to say that Arnold's time has gone.
Safe Haven -- February 14
Lasse Hallström directed one of my favorite movies of all time (My Life As A Dog) but is apparently now relegated to Nicholas Sparks adaptations. Why is that a bad thing? Let's take a look at a representative sample of Sparks's work:
Yes, this is going to be much different.
The Last Exorcism Part 2 -- March 1
This is like that joke about why they keep calling it "Final" Fantasy. Only it's not a very funny joke and I'm the only one who ever makes it.
Pretty Much All the Sequels As long as I'm here, there are a ton of sequels on the way in 2013. Certainly some of these (Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Lunesta) are actively being looked forward to by lots of people. But the rest? The Smurfs 2? Scary Movie 5? Fast and Furious 6? There's even a new "Percy Jackson" movie, which comes as quite a shock to those of us who didn't realize there was a first one.
2013 will also see new installments of The Hangover (#3) and Grown-ups (#2). The only thing less welcome the coming year could bring us is a Limp Bizkit box set. And if A Good Day To Die Hard is as annoyingly F-bomb-free as its predecessor, they might as well put Jar Jar in it.
The Host -- March 29 This was the first year in a long time without a Twilight movie, but that isn't stopping Stephenie Meyer from putting in another appearance. It's alien parasites instead of vampires and werewolves this time, but there's still a disturbingly expressionless female lead pursued by two overly emo dudes.
The Big Wedding -- April 26 It's about "a long divorced couple being forced to pretend that they are still happily married at their son's wedding." How and/or why the hell do you hide a divorce from your adult children? Oh, what am I worried about? It isn't like Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Robin Williams or Katherine Heigl have made any bad movies recently.
After Earth -- June 7 Sorry, Will Smith has been coasting along making mediocre/bad movies for ten years, and M. Night Shyamalan is one for his last five (Devil...wasn't terrible). I'm going to need something more substantial than Smith casting his kid (again) before I fall for this.
The End of the World -- June 14 Does it seem like Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jason Segel and James Franco are in every goddamn comedy these days? Well, good news: This time around, they're actually *playing themselves* in what promises to be a hilarious look at what happens when the Apocalypse happens during a party at Franco's. Look for cameos galore and lots of weed and dick jokes.
R.I.P.D. -- July 19
Might as well get started on that Prince Namor movie, as long as we're making film adaptations of comic books nobody reads.
One Direction 3D Concert Movie -- August 30 I think it'd be funny to sneak into projection booths on opening night and swap this out with Rust Never Sleeps. At least it would be until 500,000 pissed off pre-teens set fire to our cities.
Jack Ryan -- December 25 Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and now Chris Pine. All of these guys have taken their turn playing Tom Clancy's heroic...analyst. And with the exception of The Hunt for Red October and some of Patriot Games, none of them have won us over. Pine rides a mean motorcycle, though. So there's that.
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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty -- December 25 Ben Stiller is making a serious run at Steve Martin's position as Least Self-Aware Crap Remake Actor. Hey, maybe they can collaborate on an update of The Jerk: Stiller can reprise the Navin Johnson role while Martin plays banjo in the background and counts his huge piles of money.