Pop Rocks: Why 2010 Is Going To Suck, Pt. 1

I know I'm not the only person who feels like high-fiving everyone at the end of the holiday season, heady with the triumph of having survived another two weeks of forced jocularity, awkward family moments, bad TV, and worse music. The new year, with it's promise of fresh opportunities to screw up and unburned bridges to torch, fills us all with swelling feelings of renewal and hope.

Well, not so fast, disco citizens. The year might lay before us like a vast unspoiled plain, but dark clouds of foreboding are even now gathering on the horizon. It doesn't take Nostradamus (or even Zoltar) to see there are plenty of reasons to be apprehensive about The Year We Make Contact. I'm speaking, of course, about the continuing trend of movie sequels, remakes, adaptations, and other atrocities.

Granted, the trend of recycling existing material instead of providing original content really picked up steam in the previous decades, but if the slate of movies scheduled for release this year is any indication, films of the "Teens" will suffer from the same creative bankruptcy as those in preceding years. Don't believe me? Here are just a few of the titles we can look forward to in the coming annum:

Clash of the Titans -- March 26

It'll be just like the original, only with no stop-motion, no Laurence Olivier, and no huge Harry Hamlin chin. And as much as I like seeing Liam Neeson as Zeus, I'd have much preferred Taken 2 to "Release the kraken."

Piranha 3-D -- April 16

Okay, so I'm not completely dreading this. It stars Elisabeth Shue, after all, and she's been carbonating my hormones since The Karate Kid. The action also takes place at Lake Havasu, Arizona during Spring Break, and hundreds of rich shitheads getting messily devoured is something I think we can all get behind.

The official trailer isn't online yet, though if this clip (featuring co-star Jerry O'Connell) is any indication, my optimism is...well-placed.

Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps -- April 23

I don't know about you, but I never get tired of that Shia LaBeouf. Those Transformers movies were just...great, and he didn't ruin that 4th Indiana Jones movie (okay, help ruin it) at all, no sir. Plus a cameo by (alleged) wife-threatener Charlie Sheen as Bud Fox? Excelsior!

A Nightmare on Elm Street -- April 30

It wouldn't be a new year without another horror "reimagining" from Michael Bay, complete with revisionist Freddy history. As if the fact that he slaughters annoying cheerleaders isn't reason enough to love the guy.

Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3-D -- April

Maybe it's because I'm not a middle-aged woman trapped in a loveless marriage, but I don't get Chesney's appeal. Besides, if we're ranking country singers who hide their baldness under their cowboy hats, he's waaay below Dwight Yoakum.

Robin Hood -- May 14

We've covered this already, but I wouldn't be much of an entertainment-type writer person if I didn't urge you to avoid it again. Then again, if they keep the rockin' soundtrack (a la A Knight's Tale), the comedy value might make me reconsider.

Shrek Forever After -- May 21

It must be nice to have the kind of job security Mike Myers does. It doesn't matter how many Cat in the Hats or Love Gurus the guy makes, all he has to do is throw together some pop-culture gags that will already be dated by the movie's release and a bad Scottish accent and he's still guaranteed a $250 million domestic gross. Viva Shrek.

Sex and the City 2 -- May 28

Whether you're one of those SatC fans who inexplicably relates to buying $400 pairs of shoes and letting any man with a pulse in your pants or -- like me -- you're eagerly sharpening your knives for the next installment of these privileged hags trying to give meaning to their grasping existence, I'm sure this will offer something for everyone.

Whew. And that only gets us to June. We'll finish the year out in a couple of days. In the meantime, just because I have to watch all these crappy movies doesn't mean you should. I'd take this guy's advice if I were you.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar