Ten 2013 Movies I Could Take Or Leave…Preferably Leave

While there are a number of movies scheduled for release over the next twelve months that have me dizzy with anticipation there are an equal or perhaps even larger number that have yet to tickle my fancy. This is a list of the movies that — while they may well prove perfectly serviceable upon release — have so far left me lukewarm to cold…

Gangster Squad

Gangster SquadDelayed after the Aurora shootings so that an eerily reminiscent shoot-out could be re-shot, Gangster Squad left many pining for months longer than they might have liked. While some were sold at the mere inclusion of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone alone, I remain to this day resolutely unconvinced that there is any real mileage left in the gangster genre. Unfortunately, the trailers and promotional materials so far released have done little to convince me otherwise.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Hansel and GretelStarring the ungodly pairing of Gemma Arterton and Jeremy Renner (I’ll tell you everything, just make the pain stop), Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is likely to be something of a charisma vacuum, a personality void and boast a gaping wide chasm where the audience’s sympathies were supposed to be. And that’s before you’ve taken into account the trailers, each of which somehow manages to look worse than the one before. No thank you.

The Host

The HostWhile many cheered the end of The Twilight Saga this November, it is becoming increasingly clear that we are not out of the woods just yet. Inevitably, a film based on Stephenie Meyer’s post-Twilight novel, The Host — which trades sparkly vampires for spiritual aliens — is now on its way to cinemas too. Starring Saoirse Ronan, the film will follow Melanie’s struggles with an invading extraterrestrial “soul”. As if this didn’t sound suspect enough, there is talk of The Host becoming a trilogy (or quadrilogy of films, as has become the Hollywood norm), with subsequent novels in the planning stages.

Oblivion

Oblivion2013 is set to be a pretty important year for the sci-fi genre, with the likes of Guillermo del Toro, Neill Blomkamp, Alfonso Cuarón and J.J. Abrams releasing new movies set in some dystopian future. Not quite in the same league is Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion. Based on his own graphic novel, the film follows two of the last people on earth as they attempt to complete some mission or other following an alien invasion. Historical perspectives are set to change, however, when Tom Cruise saves a strange woman from a downed space-craft. Did I mention that Olga Kurylenko is in this movie? Pass!

Epic

EpicFrom Blu Sky, the promotional material proclaims, the makers of Ice Age and Rio! Excuse me for being honest, but that’s not a movie anybody wants to see. Even taken on its own merits — without the baggage that comes with such unfortunate heritage — it’s difficult to feel any real good-will towards Epic. Animation has entered something of third Golden Age of late, with many different studios expertly marrying state of the art CGI, vivacious voice-casts and sharp scripts to truly astonishing effect. None of this is evident in Epic‘s trailer, which just makes it look like another, well, Blu Sky animation.

The Hangover Part III

The Hangover Part IIIYou’d have thought that after all of the lawsuits faced by Part II Warner Brothers might have finally decided to call it a day on this flagging franchise. Sadly not. With the entire — and I mean ENTIRE — casts of the first two movies set to reprise their roles in some shape or form, and John Goodman cast as the film’s villain, The Hangover Part III will reportedly stray from the formula to date (if not the Las Vegas setting) and focus on the Wolfpack’s attempts to save Alan from a mental institution. I for one would much rather they just left him there.

Man Of Steel

Man Of SteelPoor DC. With Marvel going from strength to strength with The Avengers and a charismatic new Spider-man, DC have been left in the shadows — inexplicably, somewhere they’ve actively fought to stay. With their acclaimed and hugely successful pretentious The Dark Knight trilogy now behind them,  they’ve turned to Superman and Zack Snyder in search of their next box office hero. While I’ve never particularly cared for the character anyway, and have even less interest in Snyder’s interpretation of it, my biggest problem with the upcoming film is the involvement of Christopher Nolan. Whether Man Of Steel is a resounding success or a crushing failure, it will be either because of — or  despite  — Nolan’s input. Get a room.

Despicable Me 2

Despicable Me 2I hated Despicable Me – hated, hated, hated it. Whereas Megamind was sharp, subversive and incredibly funny, Illumination Entertainment’s attempt at a supervillian-turned-hero movie was bland, sentimental and spent far too much time focusing on either Dru’s annoying minions or charmless children. With the publicity so far focusing once more on the hateful yellow tic-tacs, it doesn’t seem as though the sequel is likely to change that any time soon.

The Wolverine

The WolverineHaving appeared in every single X-Men movie to date, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine has racked up five appearances since the 2000 original. Headlining all three of the original films, starring in his own prequel and apparently stealing X-Men: First Class with a brief cameo, he is easily the most recogniseable and bankable member of the franchise that Xavier built. He is also the least interesting. With this instalment set to return him to his roots, there seems little chance of further character growth, and just another dose of cigar-chomping, wild-haired sinew.

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

The Desolation Of SmaugGollum has always been the most interesting character in J.R.R. Tolkein’s books, even before Andy Serkis added new layers with his motion-capture performance in Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy. With the character having largely served his purpose in 2012’s  An Unexpected Journey, next year’s The Desolation Of Smaug looks to be just another three hours of directionless running, interchangeable dwarves and Martin Freeman’s bemused facial expression. And a dragon, presumably. Unless that’s saved for the even more unnecessary third instalment.

Other possible contenders include The Lone Ranger, 300: Rise Of An Empire and Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, none of which have me the least bit excited.

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Ten 2013 Movies That Can’t Come Quickly Enough

With only one of my predicted favourites making last year’s list of ten best films (and Resident Evil: Retribution ranking among the worst) you may well question my ability to forecast the hits ahead. I certainly do. Nevertheless, here are ten of the movies I am most looking forward to in 2013…

Les Misérables

Les MiserablesStraddling years thanks to its 2012 release in the U.S., Tom Hooper’s adaptation of the famous musical makes this list on account of my having not seen it yet. Attracting rave reviews and awards nominations the world over, the film is set to become something of a modern classic, with particular attention being paid to Hooper’s decision to have his cast sing their lines live on set. The trailer alone is something to be cheered, so there is every chance that Les Misérables could be the best Hollywood musical of the year; maybe even since South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut.

Warm Bodies

Warm BodiesStarring Nicholas Hoult as lovestruck zombie R, a victim of an apocalyptic outbreak that has left America in ruin, the film follows his special relationship with a human survivor. As feeling returns to his undead body, his romantic resurrection sets off a chain reaction that might just save the day. Originally dismissed as Twilight with zombies (by me, at least), the trailers have instead shown it to be something more. Something funnier. A rom-zom-com from Jonathan Levine, based on the best-selling novel by Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies could well be the Shaun Of The Dead/Zombieland of 2013.

Stoker

StokerWith a script from Wentworth Miller, a cast that includes her from Alice In Wonderland, and a name that implies yet more vampires are on the way, you could be forgiven for thinking Stoker might be some sort of stinker. It turns out that being on the “Black List” is actually a good thing, however, and every indication is that Stoker is set to be something truly special indeed. The film — part family drama, part psychological thriller — co-stars Matthew Goode and Nicole Kidman, and is directed by celebrated South Korean director Park Chan-wook.

The Croods

The CroodsAlthough initially tempted to award all three 2013 DreamWorks Animated releases a place on this list, I instead decided to settle for the first set to reach audiences: March’s The Croods. Telling the story of a cautious cave-family forced to venture from their home by an earthquake, the film looks set to combine state-of-the-art animation, accomplished storytelling and lively characters in the vein of past successes How To Train Your Dragon and Rise Of The Guardians. An original tale, The Croods looks both more interesting and exciting than Pixar’s upcoming retread of Monsters Inc.

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3Wherever it might have ranked in your own top ten, there is simply no denying that Marvel’s Avengers Assemble was one of the most enjoyable films of last year. With the group-members each going their separate ways come film’s end, it will be interesting to see just how well the individuals fare without their team-mates there to help them out, both in the ring and at the international box office. First up is Iron Man, and while for years Tony Stark was the golden-boy of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, that all changed with Mark Ruffalo replaced Edward Norton as The Incredible Hulk. Whether it sinks or swims, this will be the one to watch come April.

Fast And Furious 6

Fast and Furious 6While you could argue that there has never been a truly awful instalment in the Fast and Furious franchise, until 2011’s Fast Five it would have been equally difficult to argue that there had ever been a particularly good one either. The previous instalment changed that, with the focus shifting from races to a more traditional action adventure format, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson bringing some much-needed charisma to a cast sorely lacking in it. Once again directed by Justin Lin, Fast and Furious 6 will be the first of two parts written by Chris Morgan to bring some closure to the series. It will also add Luke Evans and Gina Carano to the cast, and mark the return of Michelle Rodriguez as Letty Ortiz after her picture was glimpsed at the end of the previous movie.

After Earth

After EarthWhile there are those that have given up on  once-prolific director M. Night Shyamalan (many long, long ago), I for one have not. Sure, The Lady In The Water was slow, The Happening was ridiculous and The Last Airbender was childish, but they were by no means badly made movies. They were just badly written. With After Earth — a post-apocalyptic action adventure that stars Will and Jaden Smith as a father and son stranded on a long-abandoned earth — however, Shyamalan has left writing duties to someone else. The trailer looks very promising indeed.

Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About NothingFilmed in his own home between his commitments on Marvel’s Avengers Assemble (itself destined to be rapturously received), Joss Whedon drew on his pool of actors from his beloved television shows Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse to make an ultra low-budget adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Screened at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, the movie drew acclaim from numerous critics for its wit, ingenuity and originality. All established Whedon trademarks.

Kick-Ass 2

Kick-Ass 2In a landscape as saturated as the superhero genre it is very difficult for any one movie to stand out, largely because it is either a reboot, sequel or adaptation, but also because so many of the established characters are so very similar. Nevertheless, Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman’s Kick-Ass made something of a splash in 2010 for its adult language, extreme violence and for a subversive streak that was about a mile wide. The sequel, previously subtitled Balls To The Walls, looks set to develop on the success of the first movie. While this time not directed by Vaughn (who inherited and later abandoned the X-Men franchise too), Kick-Ass 2 will reunite the original’s cast to hopefully hilarious effect.

Gravity

GravityAlthough not without some bite, 2001’s Y Tu Mamá También seems a million movie miles from Gravity, the latest film to be directed by Mexican maestro Alfonso Cuarón. Of course, we had Harry Potter And The Prizoner Of Azkaban and Children Of Men to bridge the gap, but even then Gravity looks like something of an outlier. Originally set to star Natalie Portman and Robert Downey Jr, the film was later cast with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. The respective roles are of the last two surviving astronauts on a damaged space station. Although very different in theme and subject, Cuarón has never made a bad — or even mediocre — movie.

Other possible contenders include Evil Dead, Star Trek Into Darkness and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2, none of which have me quite as excited as the ten that made the final cut.

Top Ten Memorable 3D Moments

Ever since James Cameron almost single-handedly changed cinema projection forever, by necessitating a world-wide overhaul of equipment and systems to facilitate his 3D extravaganza, Hollywood has seemed determined to cash-in on this most recent (though hardly new) dimension.

Unfortunately, audiences have proven far less enthusiastic about the additional charge for glasses, considerable light-loss and tacked-on gimmickry that seems to have come hand-in-hand with the 3D format. With the situation exacerbated by low quality, last minute conversions in post-production, cinemas have seen profits wane as customers favour the traditional 2D versions of the latest releases.

But while 3D might not be the future of cinema as was prematurely forecast, it can nevertheless add to the cinemagoing experience when done correctly. Films shot in the format, by a director who knows what he or she is doing, can produce some stunning results, create a more immersive environment and go a long way towards justifying the additional costs. Here are ten examples of 3D done right.

10. My Bloody Valentine – The Naked Mile

A throwback of sorts to the format’s gimmicky heyday, My Bloody Valentine is a schlocky slasher that throws just about everything it has in the prop department at the screen, and by extension the audience too. The most memorable scene from the movie features not material assets, however, but those of supporting actress Betsy Rue. Attempting to escape the film’s killer at an out-of-town motel, Rue inadvertently treats audiences to one of the longest, most gratuitous nude scenes to ever grace mainstream multiplexes.

9. The Amazing Spider-man – Two Fingers To Gravity

While Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-man was prematurely dismissed by many as a cynical and unneccessary reboot of Sam Raimi’s original trilogy (which was barely a decade old at the time), there is still plenty to admire in the wall-crawler’s most recent outing. One of the film’s biggest strengths, in addition to the warm chemistry generated between leads Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, is Webb’s use of 3D. One scene in particular–involving a costume-free Peter Parker doing a handstand atop one of Manhattan’s tallest skyscrapers, before diving off the end–would leave many a fanboy clambering for the rooftop if only they had Parker’s abilities and OsCorp’s industrial webbing.

8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II – Courtyard Apocalypse

Having run out of time to convert Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I into 3D ahead of its 2010 release, Warner Bros. were able to apply the extra dimension to the final instalment in the decade-spanning Harry Potter franchise. Although the battle of Hogwarts in its entirety makes solid use of the format, a single tracking shot of Harry, Ron and Hermione crossing one of the school’s many courtyards as wizards, giants, Acromantula and enchanted suits of armour do battle around them almost has you ducking and dodging with the three struggling heroes.

7. Coraline – Garden State

Split between the muted real world and a vibrant alternate reality, Henry Selick’s stop-motion sees Coraline seduced by her Other Mother. While this idealized version of her boring home-life eventually falls into decay and ruin, the early scenes are full of magic and wonder as Coraline is introduced to more attentive, sympathetic and exciting versions of her family and friends. On a tour through her Other Father’s manicured flower beds, she comes face-to-face with a giant praying mantis-esque contraption that will stay in your mind long after the garden has withered.

6. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace – You’re Bantha Poodoo

Re-released on February 9th, 2012, The Phantom Menace was once again savaged by critics and fanboys who saw it as a cynical cash-in by George Lucas and yet another personal assault on the memory of his cherished original trilogy. While the dialogue is still terrible and the performances just as wooden, the film’s strengths have always been its franchise-best score and spectacular special effects. While John Williams’ work remains untouched by the 3D overhaul, the various set-pieces are enhanced as the numerous areal attacks spill out of the big screen. In particular, the much publicised pod race excites and impresses anew as the racers flit around the breathtaking backdrop of rocky Tattooine.

5. Step Up 4: Miami Heat – Pimp My Ride

While the previous instalment boasts some particularly impressive dance numbers and is undeniably the better movie, Step Up 4: Miami Heat wins hands-down as a great example of the format’s careful implementation. Capturing each and every performer as they dance through the film’s many set-pieces, the 3D brings the performances to life in a way that 2D never quite could. A mix of dancing and performance art, the bigger scale and more scenic Miami settings help to create a number of moments that are quite simply stunning. This is best exampled in an early flash mob that sees The MOB hold up a busy street as they dance across the hoods of suped-up cars.

4. Hugo – Safety Last!

Martin Scorsese’s Hugo is a celebration of cinema in all of its forms. Set in 1930s Paris, the film explores the early beginnings of cinema (through the works of Georges Méliès) using state of the art computer graphics and cutting edge 3D technologies to bring the sets–which include almost every square inch of the Gare Montparnasse–to life. Perhaps the most bewitching scene recreates Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor’s Safety Last!, as Hugo hangs precariously from the hands of the station clock in an attempt to hide from the ever-vigilant Station Inspector.

3. Piranha – Fellate-O-Fish

While 3D films can of course be Oscar-worthy and relatively highbrow (see also Ridley Scott’s artily breath-taking Prometheus), it’s rarely better than when languising in the shameless grasp of a master of horror. Alexandre Aja’s follow-up to the likes of Switchblade Romance and The Hills Have EyesPiranha puts you in the midst of a swarm of mutant fish as they terrorise the pretty and mostly naked residents of a small fishing community. Undoubtedly the most memorable sequence is that which sees a set of regurgitated genitals spat out into the audience.

2. How To Train Your Dragon – Battling The Green Death

I’m maybe a little biased here, but in a film that contains memorable, jaw-dropping spectacle from start to finish it’s difficult to single out a particular scene for special mention. One of the only digital animations to utilise an Oscar-nominated cinematographer (Roger Deakins collaborates frequently with the Coen brothers), every scene is structured to make full use of the 3D technology. It is well documented that 3D is at its most effective during aerial scenes and DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon exploits this to wonderful effect. While one such flight sequence–which shows out heroes soar high above Berk to the inspiring melody of John Powell’s Test Drive–comes immediately to mind, it is the finale which sees Hiccup and Toothless face off against the monstrous Green Death which arguably takes the most breath away.

1. Avatar – I See You

In development since 1994, it is little wonder that 2009’s game-changer Avatar should take the top spot here. The first film that I ever saw in Real D, it blew me away with its expansive world-building, astonishing bio-diversity and innovative use of what was once (and perhaps still is) considered the ultimate gimmick. Most scenes could be cited as the most spectacular moment in a film brimming with spectacle, but it is the aerial assault in the film’s final act which, as in How To Train Your Dragon, manages to steal the show. As great swarms of Banshee-mounted Na’vi and Scorpion Gunships swoop in and out from between the floating Hallelujah Mountains, you could be forgiven for thinking you had just experienced the eighth wonder of the modern worldIn eye-popping 3D.

So what’s your favourite 3D moment? Or are you waiting for the release of Ang Lee’s Life of Pi before you make up your mind?

Ten Sequels I’m Beginning To Worry Will Never Happen

Sequels have a bad reputation. And, at a time when further instalments are announced before the release of their predecessors, when franchises are resurrected long after they have ceased to be relevant and prequels somehow ruin lives, it is not difficult to see why.

But while the near misses and false starts have been well documented (did you know that a script was written for a Se7en follow up called Ei8ht? And that it would see a returning Morgan Freeman solve crimes with his newfangled psychic powers? Of course you did), less attention is directed at the sequels that really should have been.

Indeed, with the recent reports that the cast of Kick-Ass are being approached in connection with a planned sequel (to start filming this summer for a 2013 release), marking possibly the biggest step forward for the project since Mark Miller’s last assurance on the matter, I couldn’t help but think about the other sequels that we had been promised over the years, but which have remained sadly unrealised. Seriously, what if these films never happen? Read more of this post

Ten 2012 Movies I Could Take Or Leave…Preferably Leave

With the year mapped out and the requisite drool reserves allocated to each of the releases I am most highly anticipating, I am left with a near-equal list of movies I don’t care much for at all. The cinematic landscape for the coming year is awash with bile, as Judd Apadow returns with another hateful bromance, Christian Bale’s career survives to let him grumble another day and G.I. Joe gives Development Hell the slip for a completely unnecessary second instalment. While other critics have their evil eyes set firmly on the upcoming 3D rerelease of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (let it slide, world. It’s time to make peace), I have other, decidedly less enticing things on my mind. Namely: Adam Sandler’s Jack and Jill.

Man on a Ledge

Hollywood has had its fair share of the-clue-is-in-the-name film titles, with Snakes on a Plane, Cowboys & Aliens, We Bought a Zoo and (*spoiler alert*) The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford all springing immediately to mind. Man on a Ledge, however, manages to be so remarkably uninteresting that it instantly stands out from the crowd. We’ve already seen Man on Wire, after all. Sam Worthington wasn’t even interesting in 2010, the year in which he inexplicably starred in all of the movies, only Avatar surviving uniform dismissal by virtue of director James Cameron’s extraordinary vision and all of those flashing pixels. How he has been chosen to front another movie after the dismal Clash of the Titans is beyond me, even if all Summit Entertainment expect him to do is stand on a ledge. I bet he doesn’t even jump.

Jack and Jill

The latest Katie Holmes movie is never something to get particularly excited about, there was nobody camping overnight to see Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, but Jack and Jill takes this barely concealed indifference to a whole new level. Joining Lady Cruise on this occasion is Adam Sandler. And Adam Sandler. Apparently labouring under the delusion that The Nutty Professor I & II (along with every other Eddie Murphy movie produced in the 90s) was actually funny, Sandler has cast himself in the dual roles of Jack and Jill Sadelstein for little reason other than to herald some impending apocalypse. Shoot me please. In one eye for every character played by Adam Sandler.

Safe House

I’m sorry, but is it just me or have we seen this movie before? Like everything else in his back-catalogue, Ryan Reynolds stars as a low-hitting ubermensch who we – the imperfect masses – are supposed to root for simply because he is adrift in a completely fictitious job. Watching Ryan Reynolds under normal comedic circumstances is always trying enough, but the prospect of sitting through two joyless hours of him trying out his serious face opposite Denzel Washington (WHAT ARE YOU DOING, DENZEL WASHINGTON?) is nearly too much to bear.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

I don’t know about you, but when Nicolas Cage was first cast as the flame haired, leather-coated vengeance demon Johnny Blaze, I caughed a little bit of sick into my mouth. I’m sorry, what?? Naturally, the first Ghost Rider movie – with its boring story and Eva Mendez – was utterly terrible, and for the past four years we have been permitted the right to pretend that it was never in fact allowed to happen. Tasked with essentially rebooting the franchise, however, the filmmakers have somehow managed to make the same mistake AGAIN and have returned Cage to the role for another go at the character. Also, after Drive Angry, shouldn’t this really be Ghost Rider 3?

The Three Stooges

Having no doubt acclimatised to Development Hell during its decade-long stay, The Three Stooges aims to update the mid-20th Century sketch comedy of the same name for contemporary (read: even stupider) audiences. Boasting a plot that, for all intents and purposes, makes you want to kill yourself, the film focuses on Moe, Larry, and Curly, who inadvertently stumble into a murder plot, and wind up starring in a reality TV show while trying to save their childhood orphanage. I’m not even joking. Did I mention that it stars Sean Hayes from Will & Grace?

Battleship

Do you remember Battleship? It was the tactical, grid-warfare game that you could play on a page of squared paper if you really wanted to; the one that the Grim Reaper challenged Bill and Tedd to during their bogus journey. Do you remember the aliens? No? Oh, wait, that’s probably because there were no aliens. Hear that, Hollywood? NO ALIENS! Regardless, an upcoming adaptation housed at Universal Pictures is set to pit Liam Neeson, Rihanna and their boat against a myriad of extra terrestrial invaders. Naturally, the filmmakers were inspired by the financial success of MICHAEL BAY’s Transformers trilogy, and therefore, naturally, the film is going to be headache-inducing nonsense.

Snow White & The Huntsman

While most might laud Snow White & The Hunstman as fairest of them all in this, the year of the seven dwarves, I am forced by my utter hatred of this infernal darker is better movement to side with Mirror Mirror, however soul-shittingly awful it might appear to look. While it is impossible to get too riled by the absense of happy-clappy show tunes (the original fairy tale was, after all, a completely different beast), the rampant miserableness and unfathomable presence of body armour on show in the film’s trailer nevertheless have my heckles up. There’s already one Twilight movie due this year, we really don’t need another.

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift

The release of a new Ice Age, Blue Sky Entertainment’s flagship property, has always ranked pretty low on my must-see list. About as historically accurate as The Flinstones, the franchise proposes a history in which early man appears only initially, dinosaurs dawn AFTER the ice has melted, and a saber-toothed squirrel has continued adventures despite having been frozen in ice at the end of the first instalment. With nothing left to do but pair off the remaining characters (who wrote this, JK Rowling?), the ice age itself having ended whole movies ago now, this is one series of films that is practically begging for an extinction event.

The Dark Knight Rises

Oh shoosh, you must have seen this one coming. While it might indeed be the hype and the inevitably of the automated acclaim that I am dreading more than the actual movie (nobody’s suggesting this will be worse than Jack and Jill), there is still no denying that I would like nothing more than for Christopher Nolan to trot off back into the shadows and take his blasted interpretation of Batman with him. Now three movies in and not a single superhero in sight, I have spent the last – oh I don’t know, how long has it been since the last one? – listening to fanboy after fanboy ejaculate over every smidgeon of news pertaining to Bane, Catwoman and when the teaser for the viral for the trailer might hit. I just don’t care.

Halloween 3D

Torn arbitrarily between whether to include The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D or Halloween 3D on this list that nobody will read (or if they do, they will unlikely get past the previous entry), I finally settled on the latter on account of how unscary I have found the entire franchise to date. At least the story of an inbred maniac who wears the faces of his victims held interest over the course of a few movies (and even the requisite remake), Halloween, however, has been tedious from pretty much the beginning. A man named Michael Myers – ooh, the guy who played Shrek? Wearing an inside-out Captain Kirk mask? Scary – stabs babysitters with a knife. The end. Any acclaim received by the original Halloween movie was courtesy to John Carpenter’s direction, and John Carpenter’s direction alone. The fact that this one hasn’t even started filming yet just says it all.

Ten 2012 Movies That Can’t Come Quickly Enough

So, it’s been 2012 for, like, three days now and while I might have found the time to bankrupt myself on overpriced cocktails, watch season two of An Idiot Abroad and fail dismally at 3D hopscotch, I haven’t actually had time to write anything about my socially crippling love of films. While I had planned to offload a few alternative top 10 lists to celebrate my number one guilty pleasure of 2011 (Killing Bono), my biggest cinematic surprise (Real Steel) and the film I felt was most overrated by critics (Source Code), I thought it best to shut up and move on lest I remember that Harry Potter is now finished and therefore life might as well be too. Which movies do I hope to be taking solace in this year? Well, I’ve written you a list:

The Woman in Black

Having suffered a fate worse than death and wound up father to Ginny Weasley’s children, Harry Potter is too busy wearing slippers and wiping shed hair from his pillow to find another Dark Lord to duel to the death. Luckily, Daniel Radcliffe threw in the towel at just the right moment and lives to battle evil another day: the 10th of February, 2012, to be exact, when he will use Jane Goldman’s words to (hopefully) talk himself out of a rather terrifying looking haunting.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Arthur Christmas was brilliant, wasn’t it? But for what it made up for in wit, craft and innovation, it unfortunately lacked in thumb-prints. Luckily, Aardman Animations plan to return to the painstakingly arduous process of stop-motion animation for upcoming 3D extravaganza The Pirates! Band of Misfits. Boasting vocal performances from Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven,Imelda Staunton and David Tennant, Aardman’s latest looks bloody plunderful indeed.

American Reunion

Having heroically saved a generation from the hazards inherent in humping a freshly baked apple pie, Jim Levenstein is set to return to cinemas in order to impart a few new pearls of wisdom. Set to reunite all-but-one of the first film’s winning ensemble (yes, even Chris Klein), this eighth fourth film in the American Pie franchise will see East Great Falls’ Class of ’99 return for a school reunion. While producer Chris Weitz might not have been as involved as he’d have liked, he did tell me that he’d seen some dailies and they were “really funny”.

The Cabin in the Woods

Having occupied the Joss Whedon circle of Development Hell for the last two years, thereby allowing The Avengers to arrive in cinemas as planned, The Cabin in the Woods saw Drew Goddard return to the director’s chair for the first time since 2008’s Cloverfield. Promising to subvert the more traditional tropes of the horror genre (a la Scream), and with the first trailer doing little to dhry appetites, this could well prove THE horror-comedy of 2012.

The Avengers

Why save the best for last when you can have it FIFTH! We only have to wait until May for Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, an audacious Marvel project which plans to unite four behemoth franchises in one $220 million dollar effort to save the world. Even more mouth-watering than the prospect of ALL THOSE PIXELS is the opportunity it will provide to see the titans clash out of costume, with each hero set to rub the other three up the wrong way. The silly to The Dark Knight Rises‘ serious, who needs shadows when you can have this much fun in broad daylight.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

After Cars 2 stalled in cinemas, and with How To Train Your Dragon having trounced Toy Story 3 in everything but Academy Awards, DreamWorks has really upped its game to the point where it is proving a genuinely credible match for the previously untouchable Pixar. Over the last two instalments, the Madagascar franchise has grown into something truly special, its ever-expanding cast of misfit mammals (and marsupials) developing into one of the most watchable animated ensembles around. Unless it changes its name to Madagascar: 3urope’s Most Wanted, this is undoubtedly the family film I’m most looking forward to this year.

Prometheus

With Ridley Scott channelling his dismay at the existence of two Alien vs. Predator movies into an intervention for the flagging Alien franchise he birthed (phallically) all those years ago, Prometheus promises to finally shed some light of on the colossal Space Jockey entity he teased in the original Alien movie. The first trailer (and indeed the trailer’s trailers), a masterclass in mouth-watering marketing, promised a return to form for a franchise steeped in diminished returns. Whether or not it features the series’ trademark xenomorphs, Prometheus might just be the film to beat this summer.

Brave

While I might not have thought all that much of Pixar’s last offering – or, indeed, previous release Up – I am nevertheless excited about their forthcoming project, Brave. Marking a tonal shift for the studio with the film’s less Disney Store-friendly tale of epic battles and mystic legends, Brave could prove a welcome change of pace for a studio that must by now surely be running low on things to anthropomorphise. Set in the Scottish Highlands and featuring a vocal performance from (among others) Craig Ferguson, this might just be Pixar’s answer to DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon. Maybe the most exciting arrangement of words in the English language.

The Amazing Spider-man

While I might occasionally bemoan the remake culture which has become increasingly prevalent in recent years, there is no denying that the practice does have its place in the filmmaking process. Although Sam Raimi’s original Spider-man movie did an admiral job of bringing everyone’s favourite friendly neighbourhood web-slinger to the big screen, a number of factors – the Green Goblin’s mask, Kirsten Dunst and the near-entirety of the third instalment – prevented the first trilogy from being as good as it could have been. (500) Days of Spider-man with Andrew Garfield might just be the big screen incarnation we’ve all been waiting for.

Resident Evil: Retribution

Everyone has a guilty pleasure franchise, and mine is undoubtedly Resident Evil. While the film series might sully the game’s mythology, routinely disappoint on just about every level and retcon at least one element with every instalment, it nevertheless delivers an entertaining slice of zombie-lite every two years or so. Marking the return of Michelle Rodriguez, Sienna Guillory and Oded Fehr, Resident Evil: Retribution promises to be somewhat of a greatest hits for the franchise.

Films of the Year – 2011

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but one year ago, in a fit of madness, I started a blog. In deciding to name that blog popcornaddiction, I hoped to convey not only a truth about my unrecommendable diet, but also aspects of my palette that were decidedly more cinematic.

I like my movies big, brash and full of the kind of high-octane emotion that leaves women crying incoherently on the floor and men spitting loudly into telephones. Although I like so savour masterpieces and worship at the feet of the auteur as much as the next person, my tastes are predominantly more mainstream. Having worked in a seven screened multiplex for most of my university career, I love nothing more than to have my blocks busted and popcon flicked by the latest tent-pole release.

I realise that this probably makes me less of a critic, and more of a drooling fanboy, but this is my blog and while I do pride myself on relatively broad horizons I have no intention of pandering to some ideal that dismisses 3D and thinks children’s movies are just for kids. As such, my favourite films of the year are unlikely to be representative of other bloggers, critics and journos, and for that I do not apologise. Other opinions are available, but in my own personal opinion they are wrong; X-Men: First Class was fine, Drive was perfectly alright and True Grit was, well, a bit rubbish actually For me it was a year notable for the welcome return of Scream, a surprisingly decent Footloose remake and – don’t judge me too harshly – the ludicrously entertaining Fast Five. In that vein, my pick of the year’s best are as follows:

10. The King’s Speech

I know The King’s Speech has undergone a bit of a kicking since its January release, but still, it won an Oscar didn’t it?  Tom Hooper’s film, which starred a stutteringly brilliant Colin Firth and a surprisingly sane Helena Bonham Carter, proved as profoundly moving as it did achingly funny. Aided ably by Geoffrey Rush’s elocutionist, the filmmakers managed to tell a grand story against a grandiose backdrop while maintaining a humour and humanity which managed to charm even the Fuck Police. A compelling script, subtle direction and triad of exceptional performances conspire to create one truly unforgettable movie with magisterial presence and timeless elegance.

9. Life in a Day

Life in a Day – the cinematic experiment executive produced by both Ridley and Tony Scott – is an extraordinary and ambitious insight into a day in the life of the human race. Compiling and consolidating over 4,500 hours of amateur footage, from 80,000 submissions and 140 nations, director Kevin MacDonald has created a coherent, compelling and delightfully accomplished snapshot in time, an invaluable time-capsule to chronicle the YouTube generation. Babies are born, deaths are mourned, teeth are brushed, animals are slaughtered, rituals are practised and crimes are committed. Thrilling, you might easily scoff. But it is.

8. Midnight in Paris

Having come to terms with the fact that I might never ‘get’ Owen Wilson, it certainly came as a surprise when a collaboration with Woody Allen had me drawn swiftly to my senses. Leaving the cinema at midnight, in Nice, I was utterly enchanted by this tale of nostalgia for some ever-changing Golden Age. Midnight in Paris tells its story with a verve and emotionality that handles the rampant nostalgia with expert precision, boasting enough wit, charm and cameos to keep even the stubbornest Francophile entertained, quickly atoning for the bloated pictorial prologue that precedes it.

7. Thor

The first of two fledgeling Avengers to receive the big screen treatment this year, Thor was always a much more intriguing prospect than July’s Captain America movie. Trapped in development Hell for years, it was always going to be a difficult endeavour breathing cinematic life into one of Marvel’s most outlandish properties, made ever more unfashionable with Christopher Nolan’s recent reign of darkness. With director Kenneth Branagh (an inspired decision on Marvel’s behalf) refusing to shy away from the goofier aspects of the character’s mythology, Thor is a very different – a very necessarily different – superhero movie. And it is all the better for it.

6. The Troll Hunter

Following a slight case of found-footage fatigue – hot off the tails as we are of REC and Cloverfield – you could be forgiven for thinking the genre overcrowded and the format flagging. Rather than feeling tired or derivative, however, The Troll Hunter is an engaging and innovative return to form for a technique caught up in an endless cycle of American remakes and Paranormal Activity sequels. Thrilling, funny and absolutely breathtaking, The Troll Hunter is an unmissable piece of stand-out cinema from director André Øvredal’s. Even if I’m still not entirely sure what it’s called (The Troll Hunter? TrollHunter?).

5. Melancholia

How many times has the world ended now? Ball-point figure? While we have seen it attacked by aliens, riddled with comets, conquered by apes, ravaged by virus and infested with zombies, I for one can’t say I have ever seen the end of the world through recognisably human eyes. Or through the eyes of anyone eighteen or over. While it is undoubtedly not for everyone, Melancholia is a masterpiece in mood and menace, building to a sense of completely hopeless acceptance as Dunst, Gainsbourg and Sutherland’s characters deal with the inevitable apocalypse in different and yet wholly realistic ways.

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II

To say I cried at Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II would be an understatement of Grawp-like proportions. The biggest compliment I can bestow on this final chapter is that it hit me like a bat-bogey hex. It is testament to not only the work of Yates and his team of filmmakers – Alexandre Desplat, I love you – but the underestimated talents of Radcliffe, Watson and Grint that a story so high on Pumpkin Juice should ever deliver an emotional punch of such ruthless affect. As we leave Hogwarts for the last time – awash with rubble and barely recognisable – it is with the utmost closure on what really has been the motion picture event of a generation. I’m welling up again just thinking about it.

3. The Guard

I don’t really like comedies. I tend to find studio offerings like Tower Heist and Just Go With It too broad to make anything approaching an impact, while this year’s Bridesmaids embodied everything that isn’t funny about genre maestro Judd Apatow’s sense of humour (except the bit where they all shat themselves, LOL). John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard, as with his brother’s sister movie In Bruges, however, managed to deliver solid, hearty laughs without ever resorting to the ruinously try-hard schtick that plagues most contemporary comedy. Lampooning cop shows, subverting comedy conventions and gently poking fun of Irish culture, The Guard was unarguably the most fun you were likely to have in the cinema this year.

2. We Need to Talk About Kevin

Something has happened. Something bad. Lynne Ramsay’s Kevin is – almost from birth – a truly terrifying creation. Ezra Miller’s performance is cold, calculating and counter-intuitively compelling; he is perfectly horrifying without once raising his voice, jumping out of the shadows or making that petrifying clicking noise attributed to cursed Japanese children. From its matter-of-fact title to Ramsay’s bi-linear adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s epistolary novel, this is no-frills masterpiece-making at its most devastating. There is no period dress, no operatic over-emotionality and no delusions of grandeur, just an exquisitely unrelenting build-up of tension that deserves – heck, demands – your recognition. All of it.

1. Super 8

Super 8 has it all: production values, solid stakes and performances that more often than not leave you utterly speechless. The film – both within the film and the feature itself – is as fun to watch as it looked to make, the nostalgia and unreserved love that has gone into each frame making it onto the big screen. In a sea of superheroes and sex-comedies, Super 8 is a breath of old air; compelling, heart-stopping and packing some seriously impressive performances, J. J. Abrams’ latest is the best Spielberg movie Spielberg never made. And then some.

Fails of the Year – 2011

Forever wishing to give cinema the benefit of the doubt – especially as Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo appear to be in such capable hands – I have decided to hold off on judging the year’s best films until I have had the opportunity to catch up on a few more. I feel no such responsibility with making similar conclusions regarding the year’s most unforgivable affronts to the medium of film, however, and with my predictions only proving partially accurate, a few glaring oversights coming back to bore me as the year drew on, here are the top ten movies that left me wishing I could have found my life’s driving passion in sport or music instead.

10. Apollo 18

While it is generally accepted that low-budget found-footage movies will delay the money shot until the last possible moment – when they know for sure how much money they have left to spend on it, no doubt – Apollo 18 takes this rule of thumb to the extreme. Divulging little more about its central trio than that they like barbeques and dislike accidentally rubbing jalapenio juice into their crotches, director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego ensures that by the end of our tenure aboard the titular space ship alongside our fellow astronauts we are wishing we could finish them off ourselves. There is a reason we’ve never gone back to the moon, and it appears to be because it was so damn boring the last time.

9. Take Me Home Tonight

What is it about the 80s that provokes such unwavering nostalgia? With Hollywood throwing back with films such as The Rocker and Hot Tub Time Machine, there appears to be a perfectly renewable audience for movies that channel boomboxes, Farrah hair and Back to the Future. Starring Topher Grace, a particularly desperate looking Anna Farris and – in a turn of events that will no doubt turn the world inside out – an overweight comic actor who is even more hateful than Jack Black and Zach Galifianakis combined, this movie is aimed exclusively at the type of person who longs to have been alive in the 80s, where they could “do it” on a trampoline and solve all of life’s problems by riding a giant metal ball into a swimming pool – the director, then.

8. Bad Teacher

Much has been made of the similarities between Bad Teacher and curmudgeonly classic Bad Santa. To me, however, any such comparisons end swiftly with the titular prefix. Where the latter was subversive, witty and oddly charming, Bad Teacher is a one dimensional, derivative and woefully crass exercise in Bad Filmmaking. Cameron Diaz’s Halsey is a bad teacher because she makes her pupils watch TV instead of read books, because she dresses inappropriately at the sponsored car wash and because she plans her next boob-job when she should be marking papers. Hilarious, huh?

7. Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son

I get it, fat people are funny. Three movies in, though, you might imagine that Regency Enterprise had something more to say – some flesh to add to the premise’s big bones and trademark fat suit. Interpreting this criticism as a categorical need for more fat people to laugh at, the studio has duly provided us with Brandon T. Jackson as the rapper son of Malcolm Turner’s cross-dressing undercover agent. Seriously, with some of the rubbish that has been accepted into Juilliard in recent years, I’m really failing to understand how it is still so prestigious? With Turner having now been in the role for over a decade – A DECADE! – we can only hope that this spells the end of Big Momma’s Franchise.

6. New Year’s Eve

Imagine every base-level romantic comedy you’ve seen in the last 10 years. Now imagine watching them all again, at once, without any of the pleasure – however guilty – and all of the bits that make you wish you could swallow your own face. With dire performances, a self-congratulatorally indulgent narrative and jokes that are almost (but importantly not even) hysterically unfunny, New Year’s Eve is to cinema what the ball drop is apparently to New Yorkers: a hollow and desperately sad piece of pig-ignorant Americana that you can feel actively sucking the splendour out of life, one cameo at a time.

5. Transformers: Dark of the Moon

With Megan Fox ostracised for calling MICHAEL BAY a Nazi (Poland must be the only country he hasn’t blown up), and the film’s director echoing star Shia LaBeouf’s admission that the second film really was utter pants, it looked like Transformers: Dark of the Moon was on track to be at least watchable; a first for the franchise. Instead, it was business as usual at the pixel factory as the robots fight, the girl pouts and Sam Witwicky runs, runs as fast as he can lest he pause long enough to have to try on a new facial expression. With the trilogy finally – mercifully – over, perhaps now we can leave Bay to his career-long mid-life crisis and get on tempting our brains out of Autobot-induced hibernation. No, I can’t tell what’s going on in the picture either.

4. Green Lantern

Considering how much time I’ve spent banging on about the merits of silly superheroes (of which Hellboy is still by and far the best), the irony – or is it hypocrasy? – of my distaste for Green Lantern has certainly not gone unnoticed. For while it might forgo the tiresome “darker is better” mantra that has been redefining Hollywood ever since Christopher Nolan cleared his throat with Batman Begins, it is a movie completely lacking in any talent and/or workable humour to offset the story’s resounding hocum. All the talk of the emerald energy of willpower and yellow power of fear is frankly too much, and with appalling special effects to match the script my biggest fear is that Green Lantern might have played right into Nolan’s gritty hands.

3. Cowboys and Aliens

Renamed after Cowboys and Aliens and More Aliens and Convenient Phoenix Metaphors and Indians and Sam Rockwell and God and a Hummingbird performed poorly with test audiences, Cowboys and Aliens was one of the most obnoxious, humourlous and darn right ridiculous movies released his summer. Side-lining Harrison Ford (why? WHY?) in favour of Old Expressionless and Plot Point #4 (dutifully reprising her role from last year’s Tron: Legacy), John Favreau effectively made the anti-Iron Man: a comic book adaptation that took itself far too seriously. Ford is the best thing in Cowboys and Aliens by a good Kessel Run – and that’s coming from someone who really likes hummingbirds.

2. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Rather than confronting the issues harmonised by the planet’s critics, Rob Marshall’s apparent overhaul never makes it beneath the surface. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a pale imitation of a once great, and then at least competent, franchise; a perfect example of the law of diminishing returns in action. Shot largely in the dark and depriving Jack Sparrow of a sparring partner (wasting the character in the thankless role of straight man), this latest adaptation of the Disneyland attraction is anything but a roller-coaster ride, providing precisely zero swash for your buckle.

1. Sucker Punch

I forgive you for being enticed by the stylish and action-packed trailer. After all, I was right there with you. It made the film look sleek, layered and, above all, coherent. A squad of asylum inmates escape into an alternate reality, Alice in Wonderland style, and must fight an array of fantastical monsters for a series of items that will lead to their freedom in the real world – sound about right? Turns out, however, that these items were little more than a map from the next room, a lighter from a visiting suit’s pocket, a kitchen knife from their workplace, a key from around their orderly’s neck and a not-so-mysterious “sacrifice”. Not a steampunked zombie Nazi in sight.

Also worthy of mention: The Green Hornet, Red Riding Hood, 30: Minutes or Less, The Three MusketeersImmortals, AbductionColombiana, Conan the BarbarianProm, The Hangover: Part II, Horrible Bosses, Just Go With It.

January 2011 – It’s on like Donkey Kong

Since bringing in this new year with shots of Danish Aquavit and a sizeable slab of brie, I have tried to kick-start my year into shape and set my numerous resolutions into motion with a new blog and a new mindset. Thoroughly failing to reboot my life with a new job and daily productivity so far, I have nevertheless sustained a half-decent blog through the first month of 2011. Go team me.

Beginning the new year with the obligatory list of my 10 favourite movies of 2010 and a review of my highlights working for HeyUGuys, I also posed a series of actresses who might be able to save the inevitable Buffy reboot from total travesty. Wasting no time in rounding up my most anticipated and dreaded releases of this coming year, I was finally free to set about reviewing the films already taken by other writers for HeyUGuys and BestforFilm.

So far this year I have watched: The Kings Speech (magisterial), Bridge to Terabithia (surprisingly poignant), Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (disarming), Casino Royale (21 months early), Tangled (for which I have the monopoly with reviews at HUG, BFF and on this here blog), Tron: Legacy (snore), The X-Files: I Want to Believe (ponderous), 127 Hours (arresting), Cloverfield (engaging)  Blue Valentine (devastating), The Emperor’s New Groove (perfection), Step Up 3D (entertaining), Season of the Witch (crap), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I (enchanting), The Green Hornet 3D (insulting), The Next Three Days (acceptable), Morning Glory (wonderful), Black Swan (infectious), Conviction (passable) and Hereafter (underestimated).

January was the month in which How to Train Your Dragon 2 was thoroughly demystified, Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy were cast in The Dark Knight Rises and we caught our first glimpse of Andrew Garfield as Spider-man. January was also – as is often the case – home to Burns Night, spurring a list of the eight most random Scots cameos in film.

With 22 months remaining until the release of Bond 23, January also proved the perfect opportunity for a franchise retrospective. Joining The Invisible Suit and a whole host of other bloggers, I have endeavoured to watch a Bond movie a month for the BlogalongaBond challenge.  Starting 2011 with Dr. No, I have only 21 months left until I am free of this beautifully pointless exercise.

So, January has been a busy month. While I have yet to escape to greener (journalism-centric) pastures, I have founded a place to vent my frustration at idiotic customer questions and commit my overwhelming popcornaddiction to web.

Film of the month: Morning Glory.

Ten 2011 movies I could take or leave – preferably leave

Plagued with a truly incomprehensible taste in cinema, I often find myself at odds with the general consensus – Hollywood’s primary audience. Often finding myself bemused as I sell ticket after ticket to the latest Adam Sandler or spoof movie, I more often than not find myself frustrated by the popularity of cinematic do-do. Back in 2010 the primary culprits were Grown Ups, Due Date and Machete – three movies that, despite their undeniable popularity, I just could’t get on board with. As such, here is a list of ten upcoming movies that I could take or leave, from what I have heard and been told I just cannot feel enthusiastic about. A sister list to my Ten 2011 movies that can not come quickly enough, this list is hopefully full of welcome surprises – I just seriously doubt it.

1. The Green Hornet


Having already seen Seth Rogen engage in unbelievable fight sequences during the bafflingly enjoyable Pineapple Express, I really have no interest in seeing his hero journey unfold on the big screen. A superhero I have never heard of, this comic-book movie looks plagued with the serial manchild’s infuriating lack of likeability.

2. Red Riding Hood


Advertised as Twilight with lycanthropes, Red Riding Hood looks set to neuter another movie monster (the werewolves in The Twilight Saga are not actually werewolves)  in favour of yet another wet teenage romance. With Amanda Seyfried taking a break from both writing and reading letters this year, she still looks far from rediscovering the watchability she oozed in Mamma Mia!.

3. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides


My ass still numb from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, forgive me if the thought of watching Jack Sparrow stumble his way through another convoluted adventure leaves me cold. Not as intolerant of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly as the rest of creation, I still count second outing Dead Man’s Chest as my favourite in the series, the fear that they might have changed the formula too much following the disastrous final instalment preventing me from getting excited about this obvious cash-in.

4. The Hangover: Part 2


A reluctant fan of the 2009 original, the initial idea of a sequel had me salivating as much as the next man. With Due Date showing me just how irritating Zach Galifianakis could be, however, I live in dread that his character will recieve increased screentime in the sequel on account of his taste-defying success. My least favourite member of the ensemble, Alan’s determination to be as unsympathetic, juvenile and random as possible prevents me from giving the DVD as much screentime as I had expected when I bought it.

5. Green Lantern


Don’t get me wrong, I like Ryan Reynolds. I liked him in Buried despite the trouser-snake plot contrivance, in The Proposal despite Betty White and in Blade: Trinity despite everything else about it. I ever laughed in the trailer when he tells his one night stand there is water in the tap. The rest of the trailer, however, with its pomposity, bland FX and rubbish looking aliens reminded me just how much of a Marvel fan I am. DC just doesn’t have the same calibre of superheroes.

6. Transformers: Dark of the Moon


Is it any surprise that MICHAEL BAY’s latest explosion made it onto a list of least anticipated films of 2011? The last instalment in a decidedly crap franchise, Bay has promised that this one will finally focus on character – now that Megan Fox’s breasts are firmly out of the picture. With each movie introducing another legion of indiscriminate robots – each a blur of heavily pixilated cogs and pistons – Shia Labeouf has somewhat remarkably remained the most believable thing onscreen. Left cold by the original and comatose by the sequel, I would rather stick forks in my eyes than sit through another shitstorm of loud noise and not-so-special effects.

7. Cowboys and Aliens


Possibly the most hyped movie of 2011, this is undeniably going to be my Dark Knight of the year. A movie that will inevitably be universally adored despite all of its crippling flaws, the novel premise is not enough to get me excited about a Daniel Craig movie. We will deal with this nearer the time, but for now it is just important you know that I couldn’t care less.

8. Puss in Boots


After revolutionising the common fairytale with Shrek, DreamWorks started flogging their dead ogre immediately. With the second instalment only looking good in comparison with the third, it was left until 2010 before the studio had an idea worth committing to film. It is my firm belief that it all started to go wrong for Shrek, Donkey and Co. with the introduction of Antonio Banderas’ Puss in Boots, a character so unfunny that I almost forgot how to laugh. The prospect of two hours alone with Banderas’ womanising cat already has be doubting that Shrek the Third could really be that bad – can it?

9. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1

While I wouldn’t get excited about any Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn has always looked the less appealing movie(s – don’t get me started) of the lot. With the vampire myth well and truly sullied, the stupidity of sparkling vampires and shirtless werewolves is Eclipsed (groan) by the content of Meyer’s overwhelmingly ridiculous book four. *Spoilers alert*.

With Bella Swan due to wind up preggers, Edward scheduled to finally – FINALLY – turn her into a vampire so she can quit her moaning and Jacob preparing to fall in love with the formers newborn baby hybrid, there might be something stupid enough to disguise the frowning, swooning and crippling lack of sexual tension.

10. Sherlock Holmes 2


Having enjoyed my first ever Guy Ritchie movie with RocknRolla, I was fooled into thinking the famed detective was in good hands. A slow motion bout of fisticuffs and the world’s least engaging mystery later, I realised just how wrong I’d been. While I will admit that there is a passing mention to martial arts in the books or whatever, I will not listen to your assurances that  Arthur Conan Doyle had written Sherlock Holmes as some sort of action hero. With Rachel McAdams’ Irene Adler proving the best thing in Sherlock Holmes, the news that she will most likely be absent from this needless sequel has killed any and all trace anticipation. Sorry Noomi Rapace, but no.