The end of the year is always a nice time for going to the theater. Studios are desperate to cram anything they want for "awards consideration" into the final two weeks of December, leading to a larger than usual number of thoughtful, well-made films available for your holiday viewing pleasure.
Yeah, well, Christmas is over, suckers. A brand spanking new year sprawls before us, just like that person you passed out with at your neighbor's NYE party without bothering to get their name. And looks about as appealing.
Sure, there are some promising films on the horizon (The Dark Knight Rises, Lincoln...Resident Evil: Retribution), but like Van Helsing said, we'll have to pass through the bitter water before we reach the sweet.
Steve Van Helsing. Used to play hockey with him.
I'm not saying 2012 is looking any more pungent than your typical year, on the other hand, it was impossible to limit my list of least anticipated to only ten this time around.
One for the Money - January 27 Plot Synopsis: "Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl), an unemployed lingerie buyer, convinces her bail bondsman cousin Vinnie to give her a shot as a bounty hunter."
This is the first in what I'm sure Lionsgate is hoping will be a successful series of films based on Janet Evanovich's "Stephanie Plum" series. Heigl, on the other hand, is looking to overcome her reputation as box office poison in something that sounds like a gender-reversed Bounty Hunter.
And yes, I know Evanovich's novel came first. For those looking forward to a long onscreen relationship with Stephanie Plum, I have three words: Captain Jack Aubrey.
Big Miracle - February 3 Plot Synopsis: "The tale of a small town news reporter (John Krasinski) and a Greenpeace volunteer (Drew Barrymore) who are joined by rival world superpowers to save a family of majestic gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle."
Russia, one of the "rival world superpowers" mentioned, was apparently trying to make up some karma, since they allow Chukotka in Russian Far East to kill 140 gray whales a year.
Wanderlust - February 24 Plot Synopsis: "George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) are an overextended, stressed out Manhattan couple. After George is downsized out of his job, they find themselves with only one option: to move in with George's awful brother in Atlanta."
Yes, please, another movie about "finding out what's important" after losing your job. If you've recently been "let go," maybe you could catch a double feature of this and Larry Crowne. And then start on that drinking problem.
Dr. Seuss' The Lorax - March 2 Plot Synopsis: "The animated adventure follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world."
What? You thought the story The Lorax was a cautionary tale about the exploitation of natural resources and the dangers of environmental degradation? Learn to read between the lines! Obviously the subtext is that Thneeds, in addition to being something everyone needs, are a useful romantic accoutrement.
Seriously, fuck this shit.
21 Jump Street - March 16 Plot Synopsis: "An undercover police unit consisting of young looking officers infiltrate high schools to control youth crime."
I missed the boat on the original TV series, because I'd already undergone puberty at the time, but I'm reasonably sure Johnny Depp never said, "I think I crapped my pants." Unless it was a Very Special Episode.
What to Expect When You're Expecting - May 11 Plot Synopsis: "Follow the relationships of four interconnected couples as they experience the thrills, terrors, surprises, aches and pains of preparing to embark on life's biggest journey, parenthood."
Did you know a baby's poop stinks? And pregnancy makes a woman cray-cray? And raising a child is an incredible and uplifting experience? No? Then you haven't been watching movies for the last three decades, because Hollywood crams that shit down our throat every 8-10 years.
Battleship - May 18 Plot Synopsis: "Aliens, known as The Regents, arrive on Earth to build a power source in the ocean when they come in contact with a navy fleet. Based on Hasbro's classic naval combat game."
I need to go kick my parents in the butt, because my version of "Hasbro's classic naval combat game" was seriously lacking in Transformers-style alien robots and Brooklyn Decker's boobs.
Men in Black III - May 25 Plot Synopsis: "When the world is threatened by an evil alien, Agent Jay travels back in time to 1969, where he teams up with the younger Agent Kay to stop an evil villain named Boris (Jemaine Clement) from destroying the world in the future."
Or, put another way: "Tommy Lee Jones wanted as little to do as possible with Will Smith's naked paycheck grab."
My advice? Stay indoors for the entire month of May.
Magic Mike - June 29 Plot Synopsis: "Magic Mike schools a young dancer in the tricks of the trade of stripping."
This marks the second appearance on this list of Channing Tatum's abs. I don't know, maybe I'm off on this. Ladies, does the prospect of a scantily clad Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer, and Joe True Blood Manganiello appeal to you?
McConaughey just looks so...greasy
The Amazing Spider-Man July 3 Plot Synopsis: ...do you really need a plot synopsis?
How many versions of Peter Parker's origin story have we already seen? There was the old 1967 TV cartoon, the show with Nicholas Hammond, "Spidey Super Stories" on The Electric Company, the animated series from the '80s and '90s, and the Sam Raimi films. Even North Koreans know the story by now. If you're going to subject us to Spider-Man again, just jump in and have him fighting Electro or Kraven the Hunter and don't waste half the movie on getting-bitten-jumping-on-the-wall-OMG-I-have-super strength bullshit.
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While We're At It, Just About Every Sequel/Remake That Isn't The Dark Knight Rises
Including, but not limited to: The Three Stooges, Red Dawn, Total Recall, GI Joe: Retaliation, Halloween 3D, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D (wasn't there already one of these?),Wrath of the Titans, American Reunion, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II, Madagascar 3, Step Up 4, Paranormal Activity 4, and Scary Movie 5.
Oh, and Atlas Shrugged: Part II, which will screen exclusively in the living room of one of the seven people who saw the original.