Al and Heather Judge the Films of 2012 and Reveal Their Total Lack of Standards

Heather: I don’t know about you, Al, but I just can’t wait to make more rash decisions about movies so that I can eat my words again like I did last year (X-Men: First Class, anyone?). I love doing these articles so that I can go back and see, in hindsight, just how spot-on or off the mark I was. As for the upcoming year in movies, I’d say I’m mostly unenthused.

 Al: I dunno, I think there’s some interesting stuff being served up.  How much of it will be good is another question altogether, but there are some real bright spots in the next twelve months. Some surefire disasters, too, but what’s more fun than sifting through twisted, screaming cinematic wreckage?

Anyway, let’s dive in!

1. Beauty and the Beast 3D
Release: 1/13/2011
Heather: I’m glad to see Beauty and the Beast coming back to theater, although I find the 3D aspect annoying and gimmicky. I love when these classic movies get re-released so that a new generation can experience them on the big screen. My first time watching Star Wars and Back to the Future all the way through was during their theater re-releases, and I wouldn’t trade either of those experiences for all of the chances I had to watch them before. Still, there’s a lot stuff being re-released in 3D this year that I just don’t get.

Al:  Would you believe I’ve never seen Beauty and the Beast? Scandalous, I know. I’d love the opportunity to see it in the theater, though probably only if I can find a non-3D version playing somewhere. Disney played it down in public, but they had 2D versions of The Lion King out last year that ran side-by-side with the 3D, so I’m hoping BatB will have the same thing.

2. Underworld: Awakening
Release: 1/20/2012
Al: I don’t always like Kate Beckinsale, but when I do, I like her in leather.  Probably not enough to make me pay for this movie, though.

Heather: You are not the most interesting man in the world, Al. Every man likes Beckinsale in leather. Heck, Kate’s got a booty that can even make da ladies shout. I probably will be watching this one unless I can find some of my husband’s friends to go with him instead, which shouldn’t be hard. I mean difficult.

3.  Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in 3D
Release Date: 2/10/2012
Heather: Speaking of confusing 3D re-releases, I will not be paying to watch this thing in 3D or any form. It’s annoying and gimmicky enough as it is and, as the ride at Disneyland proved, 3D only improves my tolerance of Jar Jar slightly because he seems close enough to slap in the face.

Al: I’m torn here. On one hand, I have no particular desire to pay George Lucas to watch 3D that I didn’t ask for, in a movie that I only sort of like. On the other hand, I’m only going to have the opportunity to see Star Wars in the theater a certain number of times. Plus, I’d hate for the OT re-release to get cancelled because the PT did poorly. I don’t know. I can’t think straight around Star Wars. I’m recusing myself on this one.

4. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Release Date: 2/17/2012
Al: The first Ghost Rider was horrifically boring but there were little bits of coolness sprinkled here and there. The trailers are making Spirit of Vengeance look pretty badass, so I’m hoping the finished product is at least fun to watch. Except for the part where he pees fire. I… I don’t know what to say about that.

Heather: There’s a part where he pees fire? I’m not ashamed to say that I almost want to watch the movie just for that. And Cage’s head being on fire. Actually, can we just skip the Ghost Rider thing and have footage of Nic being emulsified? I’ll pay good money for that.

5.  Dr. Seuss’s  The Lorax
Release Date: 3/2/2012
Heather: As a child, Seuss’s story was so powerful that I almost felt that the somber Lorax and his forest friends were real. I could see them in my mind, pleading with me to help make a difference in my world so that it wouldn’t turn out like theirs. What I couldn’t see was Taylor Swift flipping Zac Efron over her head and telling him how she’d always wanted to see trees and Zac being all “Oh dude I could so get lucky if I got me a tree” when in comes the guy from “Taxi” as The Lorax, who doesn’t even talk about trees but instead snarks at people and threatens to punch women. The voice cast is infuriating, and if the trailer is to be believed I don’t think the movie’s going to show the book any kind of justice at all.

Al: Wow, yeah. There’s such a simple joy and a powerful message in the book and this trailer has none of either.  It actually depressed me.  No joke.  I am less happy right now than I was two-and-a-half minutes ago.  Man, screw this movie.

6. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
Release Date:  3/2/2012
Al: So, fifteen years after the fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel grow up to be an unbalanced duo of leather-clad witch hunters? Yeah, okay. But I’m not exactly filled with confidence since the movie is less than two months away and doesn’t even have a trailer out.

Heather: Nothing about anything you just said gave me anything but a scrunched-up face for this movie. What is with all these strange re-imaginings of fairy tales? Did anyone want to know what those sugar fiends were doing with their lives post-murder? Also, is it just me or does the idea of someone named “Hansel” clad in leather make the gag reflex start up?

7.  John Carter
Release Date: 3/9/2012
Heather: As soon as I looked at the stills from this movie and put them together with the name I knew one thing: This is Princess of Mars, baby! Asylum uses the Barsoom series to capitalize on the Avatar fad and then Disney uses the Asylum movie to capitalize on…the fact that it’s Disney, I guess? Is someone there a huge fan of the books? Did they somehow make the same strange Avatar/Barsoom connection that Asylum did? The only other option is that someone at Disney saw Princess of Mars and thought they could do it better. I can’t argue with that reasoning, but why would you want to do it?

Al: I’m actually not familiar with the novels or the Asylum movie, but I knew when I saw the trailer for this that the chances of it being an original film were slim. It certainly caught my eye, but I really don’t know if it’s going to be any good or not.

8. 21 Jump Street
Release Date: 3/16/2012
Al: Never saw the original. Don’t care about the remake. I suppose I should at least watch the trailer. … Okay, watched the trailer. Still don’t care.

Heather: Wow that looks so stupid. The only reason I even know about the TV show is because I’m a Johnny Depp lunatic, but even my fandom for him never got me to watch it. At least this role got Jonah Hill to lose weight, so…good for him not dying of morbid obesity at 40?

9.  The Hunger Games
Release Date: 3/23/2012
Heather: The author of The Hunger Games, which came out in 2008, says that the story was based on her mind meshing together reality shows and the Iraq War while flipping through channels one night. Her story of schoolchildren being forced by the government to fight in a regularly scheduled battle to the death where only one can survive reminds me less of channel surf mind blur and exactly of Battle Royale, the Japanese film that came out in 2000 and is about exactly the same thing. The trailer looks good, but completely devoid of the pitch-black humor that I loved in BR. Still, I’ll give it a watch if only because it crushed the possibility of the Hollywood Ream Machine doing a remake of Royale.

Al: There are similarities between Hunger Games and Battle Royale, but, Heather, you have to read the books.  I blazed through the first one in a single sitting and the next two in just about the same amount of time. They’re fantastically fun YA lit and this trailer has got me stoked.  The movie is going to be made of straight-up awesome.

10. Wrath of the Titans
Release Date: 3/30/2012
Al: Even though 2010’s Clash of the Titans made my bottom 5 of the year, I didn’t hate it; it just felt uninspired. Nothing about Wrath makes me think that it will be any different, but I’m a sucker for Ancient Greek fantasy and will probably see this anyway.

Heather: I never saw Clash, though not because I think the original was such a masterpiece. Fan of Ancient Greek culture that I am, I couldn’t manage to give a care about it. If a group of friends wanted to see Wrath, I don’t think it would have me wanting to murder myself in the restroom.

11.  American Reunion
Release Date: 4/6/2012
Heather: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…… Oh. Hey. The woman who got boinked to death by a carrot in Jack Frost is back. ….. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……..

Al: I’ve always felt attached to the American Pie movies. I was a senior in high school when the first one came out, in the middle of college when AP2 came out, and newly graduated with lots of friends getting engaged during the summer of American Wedding. So, I don’t know if Reunion is really going to be any good, but seeing all the characters again has me kind of excited. Is that lame? Yeah, probably.

12. Titanic 3D
Release Date: 4/6/2012
Al: Now, your heart can go on in three big, beautiful dimensions! Actually, while the 3D doesn’t interest me in the slightest, there’s a decent chance I’ll see this. For all its faults, the last ninety minutes of Titanic are fairly epic and I’d love to see them on the big screen again.

Heather: By now everyone knows how I feel about 3D, but I’m with you. I haven’t seen Titanic in years because most of what makes it so epic is lost on the small screen, and I don’t want to take out that chunk of time for it. I wouldn’t mind seeing it in theaters again, though.

13. The Three Stooges
Release Date: 4/13/2012
Heather: I would try to make a clever reference and say this should have been Shemped, but that would just mean it would get replaced by a movie that is somewhat like this one. This movie should have been shanked.

Wait, wait, wait wait wait! Snooki gets jabbed in the eyes? I take everything back. I’m buying advance tickets.

Al: This can’t possibly be as bad as the trailer makes it seem. Maybe it’s secretly awesome and just trolling everyone. Maybe not.

14. Cabin the in Woods
Release Date: 4/13/2012
Al: A Mutant Enemy film produced by Joss Whedon and starring Chris Hemsworth, Bradley Whitford, and Amy Acker? Holy crap! And have you seen the trailer? Holy crap!  In my head, I’m already standing in line.

Heather: This is fantastic. I thought Tucker and Dale vs Evil was going to be the last movie to get me excited about watching teenagers stay at a cabin in the woods. It had me at Joss Whedon, but the trailer really sells this as a creepy, intriguing and unusual story. Run-of-the-mill slasher flick, this is not.

15.  Scary Movie 5
Release Date:  4/20/2012

Heather: *sigh*

Al: *double sigh*

16. The Avengers
Release Date: 5/4/2012
Al: This has been building for years and it’s either going to be a brilliant success or a soul crushing, spectacular failure. Either way, I’m so totally there.

Heather: I’ll bring the tissues and medication to calm our violent rage, just in case.

Al: Also, I was thinking: Mark Ruffalo makes for 3 Hulks in 3 movies. I’ve decided I want Bruce Banner to become a cursed role, where no actor is ever able to do more than one film before needing to be replaced. It would suck for Mark, but it would be kinda fun otherwise.

17.  Dark Shadows
Release Date: 5/11/2012
Heather: I’m intrigued to see how this is going to play out. I loved watching the show on Sci-Fi when I was young, but even then I knew that it was super cheesy. I might be persuaded to give it a try, but mostly out of morbid curiosity.

Al:  Gee, a “scary” Tim Burton movie starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter. Color me friggin’ shocked.  I swear the man is nothing more than a roadblock to other potentially cool, different directors getting a job. Every time a studio wants to make something interesting or unconventional, the executives say “Hey! Let’s get Tim! He’s creepy and wacky!” even though he’s been making the same damn movie for twenty years. Ugh, now it’s past my bedtime and I’m all aggro.

18. The Dictator
Release: 5/11/2012
Al: I saw Borat four times in the theater and, while I didn’t love Brüno, I liked it a lot more than most people. The Dictator looks less interesting to me, but I laughed loud and inappropriately at parts of the trailer. This one could go either way.

Heather: I was okay with Borat and I skipped Brüno because it looked horrible. The foot race was the only scene that had me chuckling in The Dictator trailer, but I’d watch it. I won’t love it, but it looks tolerable.

19.  What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Release Date: 5/11/2012
Heather: A bland chick flick based on an instructional book for expectant mothers expecting instructions. This is not “based on” the book of the same name, it’s just Buffalo Bill-ing the title. I’m going out to my glove box to grab the inspiration for my new manuscript about a bunch of couples who go out car shopping together. I’ll make a fortune.

Al:  Well, to be fair, the trailer does say “inspired by” and not “based on”.  You know, I’m not sure why I was so keen to put this one of our list this year. It’s basically just Divine Secrets of the Hormonally Schizophrenic Sisterhood.

Heather: Oops. Well, I stand by my vitriol as this is still a ridiculous idea. How does an instructional manual for being pregnant inspire one to make a movie about a group of couples being pregnant? Why do you even need to credit the source for that?

20. Battleship
Release Date: 5/18/2012
Al: 1) Liam Neeson yelling at the guy who played Gambit in Wolverine.
2)Brooklyn Decker “acting” and nearly falling out of her bikini top.
3) The Navy fighting the Decepticons.

Remember when all of those things happened the last time you played Battleship? Me neither. Remember when there was a chance in hell that I would throw down ten bucks to see this movie? Me neither.

Heather: I do remember those things, but only because recently my meds mixed together into one beautiful nightmare that played out quite a lot like the Battleship plotline. Unfortunately for the movie, I’ve now seen something better than it could ever offer and there’s no way I’d waste money on this.

21.  Men in Black III
Release Date:  5/25/2012
Heather: I could get pumped to see Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones together again. Wait, he retired in the last movie and his brain was wiped. How’s that gonna wor-  oh. It’s a time travel movie. I did not see that one coming. I don’t know…the young K (Kay?) lip-synching in the trailer was so atrocious that I’m not sure I can handle a whole two hours of that.

Al: The mind-wipe was at the end of the first one. K gets his memory back in #2, though I don’t remember much else besides that. I was actually pretty excited by the new trailer until Poolman pointed out that TLJ probably isn’t in most of the movie. Josh Brolin is a good choice to replace him, but my enthusiasm has been pretty dampened.

Heather: Shows how much I remember about MIB. The two were always just sort of okay to me, and Pooly’s probably right, so you have even more reason to count me out of this one.

22. Snow White and the Hunstman
Release Date: 6/1/2012
Al: Wow, they just completely made this movie up, didn’t they? And, honestly, as long as they were doing whatever they wanted, couldn’t they have at least made Snow White more than a trembling rose that needs to be rescued? Let her kick some ass!  I suppose that part may have just gotten left out of the trailer or something, but casting Kristen Stewart doesn’t really fill me with hope.

Heather: I could have watched three minutes of Johnny Depp doing the Futterwhacken and I still would not be more confused than I was after this trailer. This is basically Stardust plus Snow White minus any common sense or dignity. As for her kicking ass, well, she’s riding a horse and wearing armor at one point so maybe they’re hoping we’ll be fooled?

23. Prometheus
Release Date: 6/8/2012
Heather: The trailer’s music is overused and lacked any impact at all, and there wasn’t enough to even make me want to see more. The best thing this trailer did was tell me that it was done by Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner). For that, I could be persuaded that it’s worth a watch.

Al: Woah, woah, woah. It’s not just “done by Ridley Scott” — this is a PREQUEL TO ALIEN done by Ridley Scott. Now, I’m usually first in line for anything Scott directs, but Prometheus?  I’m hopping up and down in my chair over Prometheus.  I. Can. Not. Wait.

Heather: Wait, what? That’s awesome!

24. Jack the Giant Killer
Release Date: 6/15/2012
Al: Is this a Jack and the Beanstalk movie?  Really?  No, I don’t care who’s directing it, I am not watching a Jack and the Beanstalk movie.

Heather: When I first saw this on the list I thought for sure it was a remake of the 1962 fantasy flick by the same name. I’m not sure that would have been much better, since the Rifftrax guys recently did a theater release of them making fun of the original, but I might have had more respect for it. I’ll stick with the Disney version and Donald’s psychopath rant, thank you.

25. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter
Release Date: 6/22/2012
Heather: A movie based on a novelty book that’s just coasting off of the success of another novelty book, which in turn was just adding vampires to an already existing book. I am at a complete loss of logical words to convey my feelings, so:

Bananapeanut applebite thwompity thwimpity doo.

Al: Aw, come on! This looks fun! And clearly more historically accurate than anything with Daniel Day Lewis.

26. Brave
Release Date: 6/22/2012
Al: Pixar is making a movie about a feisty, butt-kicking warrior girl in the Scottish Highlands? Sold.

Heather: This movie looks absolutely stunning. Except…not to be too cynical, but I’m almost sad that the story has people in it because, at the end of the teaser trailer, the moment that the main character looks into the camera with her doll-face she looks very out of place. It’s a tiny quibble, though, and I’m over it. Having seen the full trailer just now, my original concerns that this is another “women are people, too!” story are justified, but the trailer did a fantastic job of making me interested in the characters and pulling me into their world. Therefore, this has now become one of three movies that I will absolutely make sure to watch in theaters this year.

27. GI Joe: Retaliation
Release Date: 6/29/2012
Heather: I didn’t see the first one, and I still don’t have plans to because it looks like a standard generic action movie to me. I wasn’t into Joes enough as a child to want to see a movie and, from the complete void of buzz I heard about the first one after it came out, I don’t think I missed much. Still, based on the trailer, I could be convinced to watch this one. I always enjoy The Rock (he’s a still-relevant Vin Diesel!), and there’s Bruce Willis with a quip delivery so majestic that I chuckled out loud. Most importantly, in comparing Retaliation‘s trailer to Rise of the Cobra, I’m just more drawn in. I’m more drawn in by the story, the actors (I saw nary a Wayans!), and not so much the visuals, but the cliff fight looked tense.

I swear I’m not completely against mindless ‘splodey fighty fun, but if I’m going to be fed re-hash then I’d like a little something to chew on.

Al: I wasn’t a GI Joe kid either, but I thought the first movie was better than it got credit for. Will I pay to see a sequel? Nah. Will I see it on DVD? Most likely. Higher stakes, bigger ‘splosions, and Cobra in the White House sounds like a good time to me.

28. Magic Mike
Release Date: 6/29/2012
Al: A film all about the riveting world of male stripping? Count me in! Actually, I know nothing at all about this movie aside from the premise, which just sounds ridiculous.

Heather: This movie has done something very wrong to make me this bored about seeing mostly-naked men. I snicker at the obvious casting choice of Matthew McConaughey. He’s been practicing for this role for decades.

29. The Amazing Spider-Man
Release Date: 7/3/2012
Heather: We’ve already had three of these with a fantastic director and the best actor I could imagine playing Peter Parker. They were solid movies that, in my opinion, made people start believing that comic book films could be taken seriously again. The third one was a bit of a mess, especially with Topher Grace making his derp face through the whole thing and destroying Venom more completely than Spidey ever could have imagined, but I’m okay with just letting it end there. Or we could have a Topher-less Venom movie, which has been rumored but apparently won’t ever happen because Hollywood’s still terrified of centering a movie on a comic villain.

You might have noticed that I haven’t said a word about this movie yet, and that’s because there is nothing to say. We already had this movie. Absolutely nothing in that trailer, except for seeing his parents send him off to live with May and Ben, is anything at all that I didn’t see, and see done better, in the first move. It’s a decade later, and the Spider-Man-running-over-the-rooftops scene looks like the Mirror’s Edge trailer instead of an improvement on its predecessor, which was flawed, but had great emotional impact. You know what? I’m angry about this now and I WILL say something: This makes me want to puke. Sam Raimi crafted a Spider-Man movie that was somber but humorous, uplifting and inspiring. Toby Maguire was the nerdiest looking dorky goofball I could imagine and yet his charm, bravery and utter glee at attaining his superpowers made me very attracted to him as long as his face was covered. That’s how I think Spider-Man is meant to be. This movie is pointless and infuriating!

I’m sorry for nerd-raging all over the place…I’ll clean it up.

Al: You’re going to hurt me when I tell you I want to see this, aren’t you?

It’s not that I think it’s a necessary film (it’s not), but listening to Andrew Garfield and the other people involved make me really believe that they care about these characters and are putting everything they have into making the best Spider-Man movie they can.

It’s not like I’m super excited or buying tickets for the midnight show or anything, but they’ve at least won me over that far and that’s more than I ever expected.

30. Ice Age: Continental Drift
Release Date: 7/13/2012
Al: I saw the first Ice Age and really, really liked it. Then I saw the second Ice Age and enjoyed it, but not nearly as much. Then #3 came out and I didn’t really notice. Now we’re on Ice Age 4 and I’m certainly not going to see it, but I guess I’m not going to complain, either.

Heather: I’m complaining loudly and proudly. The first one was fantastic, and that’s where I think it should have ended. Please tell me they’re not going to Land Before Time this one.

Al: … Should we tell her?

31. Ted
Release Date: 7/13/2012
Heather: I couldn’t find any trailers for this one, which is a bummer. That also happened with Scary Movie 5 and American Reunion, but those are stupid and I don’t care. I really want to have a trailer for Ted, though, because I have mixed feelings about this movie and I want to know which side I should take. On the one hand, it’s Seth McFarlane. I like Family Guy, I loved the movies, but I hate American Dad. Can I handle a McFarlane movie starring Marky Mark that sounds as if it has the same plotline as Drop Dead Fred? Can I, movie? I need to know! Show me your goodies! Quit being a tease and…and give us a teaser trailer, at least.

Al: I don’t know about this one, either. Family Guy is funny but lacks any crumb of a soul and I just don’t know if I can do soulless for ninety minutes. The premise does make me laugh, though. I bet it would be a funny SNL sketch.

32. The Dark Knight Rises
Release Date: 7/20/2012
Al: Matalo! Matalo! Bane! Bane! Matalo! Matalo! Bane! Bane! Matalo! Matalo! Bane!

Heather: A trailer for The Dark Knight Rises is superfluous at this point. We all love it, we’re all going to see it. Plus, there’s Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, which I’m intrigued by. Can she pull this off? I think so.


33. Step Up 4Ever
Release Date: 7/27/2012
Heather: No trailer for this one, either, but it’s stupid and I don’t care.

Al: True dat. I’m not exactly sure who the audience is for these movies, but I know it’s never been me.  I admit that the story has got an Eighties sort of flair to it, though: a romance with someone from the wrong side of the tracks, an evil real estate developer, pop-and-lock protests. … Wait, do I suddenly want to see this movie? Bad Al!  Bad!

34. The Bourne Legacy
Release Date: 8/3/2012
Al: I think the Bourne Trilogy is the best action series in recent memory, and The Bourne Supremacy has become one of my all-time favorite movies. Can the franchise survive the transition away from Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass? I’m not too familiar with Tony Gilroy as a director, but Jeremy Renner’s performance in Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol makes me think he has the action chops to carry a film like this. I know I’ll be there to find out.

Heather: Even though I’ve heard such great things about them, the only one I’ve ever seen is the first Bourne movie. I’ve been meaning to sit down and watch them one of these days. Maybe I’m not the right person to be asking this question, but was a fourth one necessary? Does it even make sense to have one?

Al: It makes financial sense (the best kind of sense!). It could still be cool, though.

35. Total Recall
Release Date: 8/3/2012
Heather: I haven’t seen the original, (which I know is kind of ridiculous, seeing as I’ve watched Hercules In New York) so I have no idea what to expect because again, there is no trailer for this one. Because of my lack of knowledge I could be wrong, but isn’t Douglas Quaid supposed to be the main character? Arnold’s face is the entirety of the DVD box art. He has first billing. And yet, when I look up the remake on IMDB, the first two listed characters are female. Doug, played by Colin Farrell, is THIRD on the list. This makes zero sense to me, even considering the fact that Kate Beckinsale (first cast member listed) is an established action movie heroine, because freaking Jessica Biel is listed second. Seventh-Heaven-Texas-Chainsaw-Massacre-other-stupid-roles-I-don’t-care-about Jessica Biel?

Why? Total Recall fans please tell me why? And tell me why this Total Remake had to happen. Ha. You thought I was going to take the high road and not make a pun, didn’t you? You don’t’ know me very well.

Al: Yeah, I don’t quite understand this either. Of course, I love the Paul Verhoeven flick and enjoy Arnold in the role, so that probably tints my view on a remake. I suppose a new version could be truer to Phillip K Dick short story, but I’ve never read that so I don’t really have a valid opinion there, either.

36. Dog Fight
Release Date: 8/10/2012
Al: An election comedy about Will Ferrell vs Zack Galifianakis. This will either be completely excellent or truly awful, but I just don’t know which.

Heather: I’m really not a Will Ferrell fan and I’m just alright with Zack Galifianakis. I won’t be seeing this unless I see a compelling trailer.

37. The Expendables 2
Release Date: 8/17/2012

Heather: I was excited about the first movie, but I never did watch it because of the resounding chorus of nothing that my friends and the reviews I read had to say about it. Even people who didn’t outright hate it on Rotten Tomatoes kind of apologized for it or said it’s “not for everyone”. Well that’s silly. Most movies aren’t for everyone, so that’s no excuse for one to suck. From what I read and heard the cast, a major part of the appeal, was phoned in by some of the most anticipated actors. I mean literally phoned in.

But I digress. I have no plans to see 2.

Al: *I* liked the first one. It wasn’t as brilliant as I was hoping but I had a good time and don’t regret owning it. Now, with the addition of Chris Hemsworth, Chuck Norris, and JCVD, I think we could be on the verge of something beautiful here.

38. Dredd
Release Date: 9/21/2012
Al: I give Sylvester Stallone more leeway than most, but it’s tough to defend the first Judge Dredd. If there’s any chance that Karl Urban can wipe the original from my mind, I’ll cheer him on all the way to the box office.

Heather: Never saw this one; don’t care that much about Stallone. I’ll skip this unless the husband is really adamant about going to see it.

39. Frankenweenie
Release Date: 10/5/2012
Heather: I’m getting tired of doing this. “This”, as in “talking about sequels, remakes, reboots and re-releases”. How many times in one 52-movie-long article can I be expected to say “Well I didn’t see the first one, but…” or “I saw the original, and let me tell you…” or “Why are they making this movie again?” or “Why is this getting re-released?”?   *goes through the list*   Thirty-two? Are you kidding me? Out of the 52 movies we’re doing, I immediately recognize THIRTY-TWO of them as a sequel, remake, reboot or re-release? Al, this is ludicrous. I’m starting to fear that if we continue this series, 90% of our comments are going to be “Oh, look. Another reimagining/sequel/prequel/ reboot/remake/re-release”. Am I the only one depressed?

Speaking of depression, I like Tim Burton a lot and I’ll probably watch Frankenweenie.

Al: Bah! Burton can call me when he gets a haircut.

40. Taken 2
Release Date: 10/5/2012
Al: There seems to be minimal details about Taken 2, but I adore the original so I’m already all over this sequel. Bring it on!

Heather: Yet again I out myself as someone who hasn’t been keeping up on new releases as much as she should lately. I didn’t watch the first one, so obviously I can’t partake of this until I rectify that issue. I swear I don’t actively try to be irrelevant.

41. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D
Release Date: 10/5/2012
Heather: True fact: Chainsaws are bigger in Texas. I don’t know. I’ve got nothing but apathy for this. At least we’re near the end of the list, so we’re finally done with stupid 3D re-releases.

Al: Well, their most recent attempt at rebooting this franchise was just appalling, so I have to believe this one will be better. I just have to.

42. Here Comes the Boom
Release Date: 10/12/2012
Al: A high-school biology teacher fundraises for the school band by becoming a mixed-martial artist? Starring Kevin James? That sounds terrible. Just deeply, shockingly bad. Why would you make me aware of this movie, Heather? Why would you do that to me?

Heather: Because I’m a terrible person. Also, because that title makes me think of the “Here comes the dynamite” guy and I just thought that was too funny. Seriously, that’s the entire reason I put it on the list. You’re welcome.

43. Halloween 3D
Release Date: 10/26/2012
Heather: OH COME ON!

Al: I know, I know. But on the bright side, it’s NOT being directed by Rob Zombie!

44. Red Dawn
Release Date: 11/2/2012
Al: I cannot for the life of me figure out why this movie is being made. I can only assume someone stumbled on the original, buried deep in a vault, screaming “Avenge me, boys! AVENGE MEEEEE!”

Heather: Man, this takes me back to when I was substitute teaching and had the chance to show either Red Dawn at the end of the school year or Jumanji. I picked the board game movie and to this day have never seen Red Dawn. Something in your statement makes me think I made the right choice.

Al: I’m not saying you’re a Communist because you haven’t seen Red Dawn. I’m just saying I’ve got some friends in dark suits and reflective sunglasses who would like a few words with you. Comrade.

45. Skyfall
Release Date: 11/9/2012
Heather: Oh, it’s a Bond film. I honestly hadn’t heard about this one, which is strange because I usually hear a lot of buzz about Bond films. Al, as the resident Bond maniac here, can you explain this? Or is that Drew? I get you guys confused, you look so much alike.

Al: I do love me some 007, and I think it’s relative buzzlessness comes from the studio being closed, then sold, then opened, then closed, then sold again. Or something like that.  But Bond 23 is definitely happening and I’m totally excited.  I don’t know what it’s about, but Daniel Craig is a kickass James Bond, Javier Bardem has the potential to make a heck of a villain, and Sam Mendes is one of my favorite underrated directors (yes, you can win Oscars and still be underrated). Plus, they’re bringing back Q!

46. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II
Release Date: 11/16/2012
Al: I worked in a bookstore for about two years after college and noticed an interesting phenomenon: at least once a week, a woman, aged anywhere between twenty and forty, would enter the shop; browse around aimlessly until the coast was clear; approach my register; look around guiltily; and finally ask in a nervous whisper, “Do you have any Romance novels?” It was like being part of a drug deal. These women were enjoying something in secret because the rest of the world had convinced them that the stuff they liked was stupid and worthless. Y’know, kinda like growing up reading comic books or watching Star Trek or playing Dungeons and Dragons.

Now, fast forward ten years later and we have The Twilight Saga: a big, bold, taken-the-world-by-storm romance series that these women can laugh and scream and gush about in public at the top of their lungs. It’s not my particular cup of tea, but I say Geek On, ladies. Geek On.

Heather: My sisters, who are 17 and 13 years older than me, hold Twilight-watching parties. The only thing good thing about this movie is that it has given me enough fodder for years of vengeance teasing. Let’s just see who’s the silly one just because she’s younger. Younger and better looking. This is my time! MY time, you hear me?!

47.  47 Ronin
Release Date: 11/21/2012
Heather: Okay, I know you’re the martial arts aficionado of the site. I’ll have to blindly rely on what you think about this movie, because again there is no trailer that I could find and I haven’t seen the original yet. I have misgivings about Keanu Reeves as a samurai, but I see no other reason to have trepidations about it.

Al: Well, I know that the 47 Ronin is a big-deal Japanese legend and I know Keanu takes the whole martial arts mindset pretty seriously, so I’d like to think the he’d avoid starring in a movie about it that was obviously garbage. That being said, something still smells hinky.

48. Les Miserables
Release Date: 12/7/2012
Al: I‘m sure my old English teachers would be disappointed to learn that I’ve never read the novel of Le Mis, and my drama teacher would be disappointed to learn that I have never seen nor heard the musical. So I have zero opinion of this film. The cast looks nice, though.

Heather: Comrade! Oh, wait. I was made to watch the 1998 one years ago.  I remember enjoying it, but even if I had hated it I would be all over this new one because it stars Hugh Jackman. Looks aside (and that’s really tough for me to put aside), he’s a great actor and, most importantly, a wonderful singer with stage experience. I’m in. This is still going to be a musical, right?

49. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Release Date: 12/14/2012
Heather: YES YES YES YES YES! I’ve seen this trailer at least five times since the day it came out and I still get so many chills running through me that it starts to hurt. I’m so excited to finally have a live-action version to replace the animated Rankin-Bass flick. So far this is the only remake coming out this year for which I see an actual need. Also, I have great expectations of Martin Freeman as Bilbo. I wish I didn’t have to wait a whole year for this one.

Al: I’ve had issues with making a Hobbit movie from Day One and became even less enthusiastic when Peter Jackson took over directing from Guillermo del Toro. I’ve even made myself a promise to not care about the movie until it comes out. I already know that I’ll see it and I’ll love it, so I’m refusing to waste my breath on it now. With that said: OH MY GOD DID YOU SEE THAT TRAILER? Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, I am SO there. *pant* *pant* *pant*

50. World War Z
Release Date: 12/21/2012
Al: Truth be told, I’m getting pretty tired of zombies. However, I devoured the Max Brooks book that this was born out of, so I’m sure I’ll be checking this one out.

Heather: I vaguely recognize the title, and I’ve been tired of zombies for a while. Unless we’re talking about the sugary mixed drinks or Left 4 Dead, that is, ‘cause those are awesome.

51. Django Unchained
Release Date: 12/25/2012
Heather: I’m intrigued by this one. It’s about a bounty hunter who is a former slave out to rescue his wife, and that’s enough to get my attention. Then you have the fact that it has a solid cast and Tarantino directing. I’m no fangirl by any means, but the man makes interesting films. I’ll see it.

Al: I’m onboard with anything QT makes, but I really wanted to see Michael K Williams (Omar!) in the lead role. Jamie Foxx is okay, though. I guess. *kicks dirt*

52. The Great Gatsby
Release Date: 12/25/2012
Al: I have no particular like or dislike of Gatsby, but I’m a big fan of Baz Luhrman. It’s reportedly going to be in 3D, though. What’s up with that?

Heather: I don’t remember Gatsby, and the only opinion I have of Luhrmann is that he makes some visually stunning films. Man, there are a lot of movies this year that I don’t care about.

Al: Yeah, fifty-two movies was a lot. Let’s never do that again.  Wait — 2013 has Ender’s Game, Iron Man 3, Star Trek 12, Man of Steel, and a new M. Night Shyamalan movie!  What are we waiting for?!

Heather: We’re not going to get to see those, Al. The world ends one week after The Hobbit gets released, which is good news for you because that gives me less time to hunt you down and kick your ass for being on board with that Spider-Man movie.

37 comments

  1. Awesome work, you guys. Didn’t have much else to add, but seriously — way to go the distance. I predict I will see less than 10% of these movies, but I look forward to hearing what you thought of them a year from now!

    • Thanks, Drew! The sad thing about this year is I’m only even interested in seeing 10% of these. I feel so unenthusiastic about it all. I just hope I’m not wrong about the few movies i’m truly excited about.

  2. All great thoughts. What really struck me when looking through this list is how almost all of them are sequels, remakes, 3D rehashes, or based on books.
    Can these be good movies? Absolutely. Movies based on books can be truly epic (The Hobbit) or can cause the original author to roll in his grave (The Lorax). Some sequals can be compelling additions to an original story (Dark Knight Rises) or make you wonder why they even bothered (Scary Movie 5). Remakes? I guess The Hobbit technically counts as a remake, but most on this list seem unnecessary (do we really need to go through the Spider-Man origin story again? Toby’s Spider-Man movie isn’t THAT dated, is it?). Although I’d certainly see a big-budget remake of Disney’s Mickey and the Beanstalk if I could see an extended version of Donald trying to eat his friends!
    3D rehashes are understandable from a money-making perspective. It costs studios very little to do this so they will almost certainly turn a profit. I just worry why all the “creative writing” majors in college don’t seem to find jobs in Hollywood.

  3. Whether or not The Hobbit is a remake is kind of iffy. I generally consider something within the same medium (live action vs live action) as a remake, but that’s probably just a personal quirk. It’s definitely being called a prequel, though, which I do find issue with. I mean, technically it’s correct, as it supplements the LOTR series of films and tells the story of what happened before. But, since Hobbit was written before LOTR, it irks me on a literary level. I think the new Star Wars movies when I think prequel.

    The idea that the Toby Spider-Man is dated is confusing to me, as well. I just don’t get it.

    I would love an extended version of Donald trying to eat his friends! Donald’s crazy-eyes would be terrifyingly hilariously on the big screen.

  4. I’m actually holding out hope for Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, just because it’s written and directed by the same guy who did Dead Snow.

    A part of me expects these hopes to be dashed, but what can I say?

  5. My thoughts:

    ALL the 3D reissues: WHAT THE HELL? Hollywood, I’m getting tired of this crap. It’s bad enough when you make NEW movies into blur-fests with booga-booga leap-out bits, but to do it to old ones? HAVE YOU NO SHAME?!

    I realize I’m in the minority here, but I actually kinda liked Ghost Rider, so I’ll probably see the sequel.

    The Lorax: Ehh, I dunno. Clearly this will NOT be absolutely faithful to the book, but I can see some potential room in there for an expanded version of the original tale. At any rate, I enjoyed Despicable Me, so hearing that it’s being made by the same crew has not made me throw up my hands in disgust. I’ll probably check it out.

    Hansel and Gretel: Never heard of it before now. I’ll see whether the reviews are positive first.

    John Carter: Going by the trailer, this could be cool. I’ve ordered Princess of Mars from the library, so whether or not I enjoy that will affect my level of anticipation for it. Either way, though, I’m there. I like a good Mars flick.

    Hunger Games: Probably won’t see this, because I haven’t read the books. Maybe if it turns out to be a big hit, I’ll check them out and then watch it on DVD.

    Wrath of the Titans: Bleh. Didn’t see the first one, ain’t seein’ this.

    Three Stooges: Oh ye gods, this will be horrible. I’m not a fan of the genuine Stooges, but at least they were original. This, though, is gonna suuuuuuuck.

    Cabin in the Woods: Probably won’t be seeing it, since I am a horror lightweight, but I agree that the trailer looks interesting.

    Avengers: If this movie turns out bad… Ooh! You just better look out, Marvel. You just better look out.

    Dark Shadows: I wasn’t really aware of this one. I’m kinda semi-interested, ’cause I do like Burton, but I’m not familiar with the source material.

    Battleship: This could be interesting.

    MIB3: Haven’t seen number 2 yet. If I do in time, then maybe.

    Snow White: The trailer actually looked pretty cool, so…

    Prometheus: I’ll definitely see this at some point.

    Jack the Giant Killer: Could possibly be good. I’m not sure.

    Brave: Pixar is always good, and the trailer is gorgeous, so I’m definitely looking forward to it.

    Amazing Spider-Man: Totally agree with you, Heather, but I’m seeing it anyway just to check out what they do with it.

    Dark Knight Rises: Oh man, I’m there. Who isn’t? BAAANE!

    Bourne Legacy: I’ll probably wait for the DVD.

    Total Recall:…Mmmaybe? I guess it could be good. It’ll be weird without Arnie, though.

    Dredd: Well, I like the character, anyway, so maybe if I get the chance…

    Frankenweenie: I’m not sure this NEEDED to be remade, but hey, I liked the original.

    Skyfall: I’ll probably see it at some point.

    Hobbit: Definitely interested, but Thorin looks too tall. Other than that? I’m there.

    So yeah, realistically I’ll probably only see about three or four of these, but lots of selections! Great article, guys!

    • Thanks, Deneb!

      As for John Carter, don’t judge it based off of Princess of Mars. I don’t know if you’ve read my review of it, but that movie is just plain atrocious. What else can one expect of an Asylum film? John Carter looks a trillion times better, but seems just as pointless to me. Interesting side note: The guy who did the effects for Princess of Mars also did the effects for Lo, which is a great film you need to see if you have not.

      Amazing Spider-Man? Deneb, noooooooooooooo!

      • Actually, I was referring to the book ‘A Princess of Mars’, which I’m guessing is the source material for the movie, seeing as how it’s the first one in the series. I may have read your review of the Asylum movie – if so, it was a while back and I’ve forgotten the details.
        The thing is, I liked the old franchise just fine, and it annoys me greatly that they’re kicking it out, but I also like Spider-Man. There doesn’t NEED to be a different treatment of the character, but if there is, and there’s any chance that it might spawn a new franchise – well, I don’t want to get left behind.

  6. A much smarter idea, checking out the book. After that terrible movie, actually reading it hadn’t even crossed my mind. Let me know what you think of it. For all I know it could be a decent series.

    Spider-Man grumble grumble hate grumble…*kicks dirt*

    • Well, from what little I’ve read of Edgar Rice Burroughs, he tended to be a better idea-and-story man than an actual writer (ever read the original ‘Tarzan of the Apes’? Oy), but the John Carter series does have a pretty good reputation, so I’m hopeful. Sure, I’ll give you a mini-review once I’ve read it.

    • OK, the library finally came through with ‘A Princess of Mars’, I have read it, and being a man of my word, I shall now proceed to give you a mini-review.
      Basically? It’s pretty good. The actual writing is not always exactly brilliant – Burroughs had a tendency towards purple prose, as well as explaining things that nobody asked about and compressing things that we would have liked to know more about – but in terms of general atmosphere, it’s great. John Carter himself is kind of boringly perfect, with no real flaws to speak of, but hey, that’s the classic adventure hero in a nutshell, and anyway, who cares about that when he’s fighting fifteen-foot tall four-armed green barbarians and romancing beautiful alien princesses?
      In short – flawed, but very readable. It certainly held my attention all the way through, and I’m launching into the second in the series on the morrow (I got it as a compilation of the first three, which I recommend, as the first one ends on a bit of a cliffhanger). If you’re in the mood to enjoy some gloriously pulpy goodness, then by all means check it out.

      • Thanks for getting back to me on this one. Once I finish The Hunger Games series and go through Game of Thrones I’ll give it a try.

      • Great! Hope you like it. The series is a bit dated in some ways, but it’s certainly action-packed reading.

  7. Re John Carter: I once tried the original book but it left me cold. Pellucidar was a more fun setting.

    Re Avengers: I’m betting on soul crushing, spectacular failure.

    Re Dog Fight: I’m guessing truly awful (I sure am being cynical here).

    Re Sky fall: It’s Kyle who was the Bond maniac.

    47 Ronin ends up being the 47th movie mentioned in this article. Weird! That’s what it is. Weird!

    Re The Hobbit: It was Rankin-Bass who did the animated Hobbit back in the Seventies.

    • Correction: Kyle was the only Bond maniac that you *know of*. I’ve actually been feeling lately like MRFH has had a distressing lack of 007. I wonder what I could possibly do to fix that…

    • I dunno – they’ve put an awful lot of effort into making the individual movies good, and none of them have really disappointed so far (although Iron Man 2 came close). I think there’s a good chance that Avengers will turn out to be, if not earth-shattering, certainly entertaining. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong, but…

  8. It’s both humorous and shocking to see so many Mutants, who are paid (I presume) to review movies, saying, “I haven’t seen that, I was going to see that, I’m not interested in that, maybe I’ll see that, I’ll only watch a few….”

    One would think all of the Mutants would be enthusiastic movie buffs, but your comments reveal you to be more normal and less mutated than one might think. I guess that’s why so many of you are needed to keep the site going. It’s an excellent site, by the way, but it’s rarely a good idea to pull back the curtain.

    • Ah, there’s where you’re wrong – we’re not paid one cent. It’s strictly volunteer. At least, I think it is, and if I’m wrong, then JUSTIN WHERE THE HELL’S MY PAYCHECK?
      As for us being movie buffs, I’d say we ARE all movie buffs, but movie buffs have lives, too, you know, and can’t spend all year bounding from theater to theater like cinephilic jackrabbits.

      • Not to mention the whole having to make time around a job because we’re not paid to do this, have to pay for the movie watching means ourselves, and not being able to claim it as a business expense.

        Unless Justin really has been holding out on us (in which case I will gladly split the money with Head Mutant to keep my silence and uphold the “volunteer” pretense)

  9. Thank you for your backhanded compliment, Gilgamesh, but you’ve made a huge mistake in claiming that we are not movie buffs.

    To expand upon what my colleagues have already pointed out, the fact that we are unpaid and still use our precious time and hard-earned money to not only watch movies, but then do hours of research and writing in order to bring you articles and reviews about these films and everyone involved with them, proves exactly the opposite of what you are claiming.

    We receive nothing in return for what we do, except for the joy that it brings us. You’ll find no truer definition of a movie buff.

    As for this article, it’s just a bit of purely arbitrary fun and silliness.

  10. Wow, I’m stunned and confused. Mutant Reviewers from Hell is a vast web site. There has to be money involved somewhere! Since Justin is often referred to as the Head Mutant, it’s natural to assume that a boss-employee relationship is in effect. It would be unnatural to assume otherwise, especially since I’ve seen past posts saying, “New mutant so-and-so has just been hired!” or words to that effect. Also there have been many remarks about deadlines, which is common chatter among employees.

    Now that I think about it, I haven’t noticed any ads on this site, which makes the economics of it even more befuddling. How could the casual reader possibly know that you’re all doing this as volunteers? That changes the picture entirely. You are indeed movie buffs if you put so much effort into a site just for the fun of it.

  11. Nope, we’ve all been doing this pro bono since its inception in 1997. The whole “office/employee/hiring/firing” thing is just a pleasant fiction we’ve developed to sound more organized than we actually are. The staff here does all of this on their own time and because of their love of film, and they put in more hours than you’d believe doing it.

    • Pleasant fiction? But you told me I just worked in a satellite office! I bet I don’t have to write reviews in a broom closet at all, do I?

  12. I bet Justin keeps all the huge profits for himself. He’s soaking in champagne in his solid-gold bathtub while you all toil in the mines.

  13. The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn’t fail me just as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read, however I genuinely thought you would have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something that you could fix if you weren’t too busy seeking attention.

    • I can fix the awful movies coming out this year? I wish I’d known that sooner, before The Lorax was released. There’s still time to take care of Mr. Bay and his Turtles movie, though. Oh ho ho yes….

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