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Will These Films Suck? The Question Mark Films Of 2013

Features
by The Playlist Staff
January 4, 2013 12:00 PM
39 Comments
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Least Anticipated 2013

Over the last few days, we've been pin-pointing 100 of the films we're most looking forward to over the next twelve months. Of course, they won't all be great -- and some will be terrible -- but they all give some reason for hope, to one degree or another.

Sadly, that's not the case with every film due for release. Don't get us wrong, we try to keep an open mind about everything, and we like nothing more than being surprised by a film had initially looked unpromising. But not every picture in 2013 can get our pulses racing in advance, and as such, we've picked out a few films that we're approaching with serious caution, and that we'd advise others to do the same with. Disagree? Got your own films you're dreading? Let us know in the comments section. And stay tuned for more from our 2013 preview next week.

After Earth
"After Earth"
Synopsis: General Cypher Raige returns from an extended tour of duty to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his 13-year-old son, Kitai. But when When an asteroid storm damages Cypher and Kitai’s craft, they crash land on Earth, and with father dying in the cockpit, Kitai must trek across the hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon.
What You Need To Know: Once upon a time, M. Night Shyamalan was potentially the most exciting new voice in commercial cinema, thanks to smart, well-executed pictures like "The Sixth Sense" and "Unbreakable," films which revolved around character and story rather than effects. But the filmmaker's been on a steady decline over the last decade, culminating in "The Happening" and "The Last Airbender," two of the worst major movies that we can remember getting a theatrical release. To his credit, he seems to realize something needs to change, pairing with megastar Will Smith (and his offspring Jaden), and taking a backseat on the writing, working from a script from Gary Whitta ("The Book Of Eli") and Stephen Gaghan ("Traffic"). But the product, if the trailer is anything to go by, is a plot where Smith Jr. runs away from ropey CGI baboons. Shyamalan's arguably always been a better director than writer (though not much of either of late), so maybe it'll do him good, but right now, this is coming out months after "Oblivion," and looks half as interesting. And "Oblivion" doesn't look that interesting in the first place.
Release Date: June 7th

The Big Wedding
"The Big Wedding"
Synopsis: A divorced couple are forced back together for their adopted son's wedding.
What You Need To Know: What happens if you combine the complete works of Nora Ephron, Nancy Myers and Shawn Levy, put them in a blender, sieved off any trace of how human beings actually behave, sprinkle on jokes rejected from the writers' room of a CBS sitcom, and disperse between a bunch of movie stars who want to buy another summer house? You get the trailer for "The Big Wedding," the feature directorial debut of "The Bucket List" writer Justin Zackham. Doing for actors in mediocre interior-design-porn rom-coms what "The Expendables" did for action stars, the film unites Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace and Robin Williams (along with British actor Ben Barnes, in brownface) in an unholy ensemble. Among a pretty terrifying roster on this list, this might be the least enticing of them all, especially given that it's another one that got delayed six months at the last possible moment.
Release Date: April 26th

Dark Skies Trailer Image
"Dark Skies"
Synopsis: A suburban family are tormented by a terrifying extraterrestrial force.
What You Need To Know: There's plenty of terrible-looking horror films on the way in 2013 (mostly of the found footage variety), but none looks as poor as "Dark Skies." The latest from Scott Charles Stewart, who made a fierce case with "Priest" and "Legion" for being the worst director currently working, it seems, from the preview, to be a Shyamalanish riff on "Close Encounters" and "Poltergeist," with a TV-level competence level, cast and production value, and what appears to be an ill-conceived child abuse metaphor. On the plus side, there does seem to be some comedy there; it's hard to watch the trailer, with Josh Hamilton's silent scream, or Keri Russell repeatedly banging her head against a glass door, and not laugh out loud once. On the minus, none of this humor is intentional. Oh, and J.K. Simmons is in it, finally providing an answer to the question "Is there anything we wouldn't pay to see J.K Simmons in?"
Release Date: February 22nd

Bruce Willis, G.I. Joe: Retaliation
"GI Joe: Retaliation"
Synopsis: After the Joes are betrayed and massacred by villain Zartan, who's posing as the U.S. President, Roadblock, Lady Jaye and Flint must go on the run to find the only man who can help them -- the original Joe.
What You Need To Know: Massive delays were nothing new in 2012, but there was one that was more egregious than the others. How can bad can a film be if, five weeks before release, with merchandise already in stores, and having splashed out for a Superbowl spot, you delay it a full nine months? Director Jon Chu ("Justin Bieber: Never Say Never") didn't have much work to do to pull out something less incredibly terrible than Stephen Sommers' original, which barely even got the franchise going, but even the shared charisma of Bruce Willis and Dwayne Johnson doesn't seem to be enough to save this one, which allegedly had contentious reshoots to convert the film to 3D, and add a little more of star Channing Tatum, who'd been killed off early in the original take. We suppose fans of the toys (and if you consider yourself one of those, rethink the choices that have led you to this point) may be delighted, but this seems like a mish-mash of characters we don't care about, action that seems entirely weightless, and awkward, laugh-free banter. Surely the only person really keen to see this in Stephen Sommers, in the hope that it vindicates his work on the last one...
Release Date: March 29th

A Good Day To Die Hard
"A Good Day To Die Hard"
Synopsis: John McClane heads to Moscow to track down his wayward son, only to discover that he's caught up in a terrorist plot.
What You Need To Know: You might have expected that after the bloated, unexpectedly dour "Live Free And Die Hard" that the "Die Hard" franchise had been put to bed, but with the film proving the biggest-grossing in the series, that was hardly likely, and so John McClane has been wheeled out once again, this time bringing along his son Jack, played by "Spartacus" actor, and "Jack Reacher" villain Jai Courteney. By the odd-numbered "Die Hard" rule (the original and "...With A Vengeance" are worthwhile, "Die Hard 2" and "Live Free..." not so much) we're due for a good one, but the talent assembled is less than blinding; a screenplay by "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" and "The A-Team" writer Skip Woods, and everyone-else-was-busy action helmer John Moore ("The Omen," "Max Payne") in the director's chair. Even the supporting cast, bar "The Lives Of Others" star Sebastian Koch, seems more suited to a TV-level "Die Hard" spin-off then a sequel to the most perfect action movie ever made, although Jai Courteney at least showed presence in "Jack Reacher." And while the trailers suggest a little more spark than in Len Wiseman's fourth film, it still doesn't really feel like "Die Hard," particularly with ludicrous, CGI-aided stunts that would look implausible if it was the Hulk doing them, let alone a 60-year-old New York cop. A Good Day To Give Up On A Franchise?
Release Date: February 14th.

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39 Comments

  • MishuPishu | January 9, 2013 7:37 PMReply

    Wasn't Looper really the fifth Die Hard movie? So that would make this Die Hard movie the sixth one in the series so it's probably going to be lousy. But if you go by the timeline equation then this would be the fifth and Looper the sixth or following however many others come in-between. And, realistically, the ending of Looper is the only conceivable way to kill off John McClane anyway; a final moral ultimatum that saves all of humanity. The juxtaposition is mindboggling in only a DieHard kind of way.

  • Elle | January 8, 2013 7:40 PMReply

    Gangster Squad was moved to January because of the Dark Knight Rises shooting. There was a scene in the movie where a man open fires on an audience during a movie and the producers chose to take it out so reshooting was necessary. I don't think it has anything to do with the quality of this movie.

  • RC | January 8, 2013 4:26 PMReply

    "...who also wrote Battleship (presumably in crayon)..." I love you guys sometimes.

  • nightgoat72 | January 8, 2013 10:46 AMReply

    I think After Earth, The Tomb, The Last Stand, Red 2, and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters have potential.

    The rest will suck.

  • JD | January 9, 2013 11:08 AM

    Would agree that The Tomb, The Last Stand & Bullet to the Heat have potential. Bring on the late 80s, early 90s comeback

  • nightgoat72 | January 8, 2013 11:35 PM

    Oh, and Bullet to the Head looks awesome.

  • ASFan | January 7, 2013 9:08 PMReply

    Early word is that Schneider isn't in Grown Ups 2. But Sandler's Schneider replacement Nick Swardson is, so it'll still be as bad if not worse.

  • Kyle | January 7, 2013 7:49 PMReply

    How are these films even being lumped together, and followed by a question mark as though there was a chance any of them would be better than cookie cutter mediocrity. I seriously don't think I was like, oh, that might not suck.

    Kim Jee-Woon is a name that might fool many, but then you see Arnold and Johnny Knoxville. Sad. Park isn't quite selling out since Stoker looks like a potentially awesome, disturbing film. Glad Miike won't take the bait, but he is too busy making brilliance at times while doing more films than Bruce Willis acts in. He's had probably 5 films go straight to DVD in the past 2 years. And has been in at least 4 films that were released in theaters. At least. We get it... 50 Cent gangster movies where you're on too much valium can't kill your career. The Bonfire of the Vanities and Hudson Hawk couldn't destroy this beast, so a few sad cash-in attempts with dvd movies and washed up rappers... couldn't faze him.

  • Skippy | January 7, 2013 3:42 PMReply

    I don't want to be the nitpicker, but this had so many small typos and missing words that it looked like something from The Hollywood Reporter. It hurts the credibility of a piece when it looks like no one bothered to even give it a fast glance before posting it.

  • Mayophile | January 7, 2013 12:00 PMReply

    Not to nitpick but mayonnaise is only bland if you're talking about the American variety. Go to France or any South American country and your use of mayonnaise as a adjective for blandness will be reversed entirely.

  • maurizio d'alessandri | January 5, 2013 9:40 AMReply

    Just a question, what is the point in bagging the film before you have seen it. trying to destroy the film industry by bagging all these films before its release. sorry to say but that is bullshit. its as if you guys are turning into the worst kind of reviewers ever. there is a term in australia when a person gets big in films or sports. the haters call them tall popies, sounds like you guys are doing the same. sounds to me like you guys are not that good at either writing, producing, directing or acting in films so you bag people that can do it. get over yourselves. if you want the film industry to help build your already struggling econmey back up, start by stop being assholes and give these movies a chance. they might just surprise and if not then they might give you ideas on how to write or direct a film of your own.

  • maurizio d'alessandri | January 5, 2013 9:39 AMReply

    Just a question, what is the point in bagging the film before you have seen it. trying to destroy the film industry by bagging all these films before its release. sorry to say but that is bullshit. its as if you guys are turning into the worst kind of reviewers ever. there is a term in australia when a person gets big in films or sports. the haters call them tall popies, sounds like you guys are doing the same. sounds to me like you guys are not that good at either writing, producing, directing or acting in films so you bag people that can do it. get over yourselves. if you want the film industry to help build your already struggling econmey back up, start by stop being assholes and give these movies a chance. they might just surprise and if not then they might give you ideas on how to write or direct a film of your own.

  • maurizio d'alessandri | January 5, 2013 9:39 AMReply

    Just a question, what is the point in bagging the film before you have seen it. trying to destroy the film industry by bagging all these films before its release. sorry to say but that is bullshit. its as if you guys are turning into the worst kind of reviewers ever. there is a term in australia when a person gets big in films or sports. the haters call them tall popies, sounds like you guys are doing the same. sounds to me like you guys are not that good at either writing, producing, directing or acting in films so you bag people that can do it. get over yourselves. if you want the film industry to help build your already struggling econmey back up, start by stop being assholes and give these movies a chance. they might just surprise and if not then they might give you ideas on how to write or direct a film of your own.

  • maurizio d'alessandri | January 5, 2013 9:38 AMReply

    Just a question, what is the point in bagging the film before you have seen it. trying to destroy the film industry by bagging all these films before its release. sorry to say but that is bullshit. its as if you guys are turning into the worst kind of reviewers ever. there is a term in australia when a person gets big in films or sports. the haters call them tall popies, sounds like you guys are doing the same. sounds to me like you guys are not that good at either writing, producing, directing or acting in films so you bag people that can do it. get over yourselves. if you want the film industry to help build your already struggling econmey back up, start by stop being assholes and give these movies a chance. they might just surprise and if not then they might give you ideas on how to write or direct a film of your own.

  • Alan B | January 5, 2013 12:58 AMReply

    "The presence of Saoirse Ronan in the lead role gave us some comfort until we remembered "The Lovely Bones"" Wow, who wrote this clunker? Not only is this attempt at a gag witless and unfunny, it doesn't tell you anything about either film. 'The Lovely Bones' is an extremely ambitious film that didn't work, and Ronan clearly had to fight for the role, given her profile at the time. 'The Host', however, comes after Ronan has way increased her profile (she got Wright hired on 'Hanna', not the other way around), so she clearly is at a stage in her career when she has more control over her choices, despite her age. (She turned down 'Anna Karenina' to take part in 'The Host'). That's like saying "well, I don't know about Jack the Giant Slayer because ... Hoult appeared in 'The Weather Man'." The two productions have NOTHING to do with one another.

  • Nadir Ahmed | January 4, 2013 7:19 PMReply

    "Gangster Squad" (sorry, great cast, but this was bumped to January for a good reason)" Wasnt it bumped to January from last September because of the Aurora Shooting. They had a scene in the movie which involved mass shooting in a cinema which they had to cut, as it would have been insensitive to keep it in. Thats why it was moved, not bumped to January

  • J. Jackson | January 4, 2013 4:04 PMReply

    Some what ironically Schwarzenegger said, "The first thing I look for in a script is a good idea, a majority of scripts are rip-offs of other movies. People think they can become successful overnight. They sat down one weekend and wrote a script because they read that Stallone did that with Rocky.

  • Alan B | January 5, 2013 1:03 AM

    I don't think that's ironic, at all. Whilst Schwarzenegger has a certain winking charm on screen, he's an extremely limited actor. There aren't many films or parts that he can do. So, his ability to stay on top for as long as he did shows his business acumen: for a time, he knew how to pick projects that gave him something a little different but still conformed to the Arnia archetype and audience expectations. That's actually really hard. Will Smith is a better actor, but he's probably the closest film star to that Arnie model: give 'em something similar, but different. Too close to what has been done before and people accuse you of self-plagiarism, too different and audiences turn away in droves. It's a tough balancing act.

  • DJP | January 4, 2013 3:07 PMReply

    Will Smith looks pissed. "Damn it, Night. This better be a hit. I'm running out of sequels!"

  • app | January 4, 2013 2:11 PMReply

    "Will These Films Suck?" most likely

  • J | January 4, 2013 1:37 PMReply

    Why is THE HOST being made into a movie. Why.

  • me | January 4, 2013 2:12 PM

    $$$$$$$

  • mark | January 4, 2013 1:13 PMReply

    Where is the Great Gatsby?

  • Knative | January 5, 2013 8:26 PM

    That movie will not suck. I mean, it might suck, it might suck hard, but if it does suck it will suck in such an awesome and hilarious trainwreck fashion.

  • Smyth E. Alan | January 4, 2013 7:32 PM

    Yes. That film should've paced this list.

  • Chris | January 4, 2013 12:45 PMReply

    Don't get me wrong, I don't have high hopes for "Olympus Has Fallen," but I'd much rather see an Antoine Fuqua film than a Roland Emmerich one, and yet the Emmerich film was inexplicably on your "Most Anticipated" list. I mean, are the writers at The Playlist REALLY that excited for a Roland Emmerich film?

  • CARY | January 4, 2013 12:43 PMReply

    "Gangster Squad (sorry, great cast, but this was bumped to January for a good reason)"
    Just curious... have you guys already seen this movie?

  • Jared | January 4, 2013 12:25 PMReply

    Count me in as the ONE person looking forward to Jack the Giant Slayer! Peter Jackson was putting the final touches on the Hobbit FX days before it's release, and it looked stunning, no matter how poorly paced it was. As far as Hoult, I'm surprised he's not caught on sooner here in the states, (even if only by the female population) for his amazingly good looks. I think that will change in 2013. Oh, and he can actually act.

  • rotch | January 4, 2013 12:18 PMReply

    "Gangster Squad (sorry, great cast, but this was bumped to January for a good reason)"... that good reason being the Aurora shooting, no?

  • Nadir | January 4, 2013 7:21 PM

    Wasnt it bumped to January from last September because of the Aurora Shooting. They had a scene in the movie which involved mass shooting in a cinema which they had to cut, as it would have been insensitive to keep it in. Thats why it was moved, not bumped to January

  • cirkusfolk | January 4, 2013 2:07 PM

    I've read some good reviews for it, but they said they could tell the reshoot action scene lacked something. Pity. I was never in favor of them reshooting or editing anything. Wonder if we will ever see the original version. 50 years?

  • caro | January 4, 2013 1:03 PM

    we are in January and who saw the movie or heard about the movie???

  • CARY | January 4, 2013 12:55 PM

    @CARO Total Film released their review in Feb 2013 issue, which was released more than a week ago. Obviously there were screenings for critics and journalists. I'm just wondering if Playlist staffs already saw the movie and were unimpressed by it.

  • caro | January 4, 2013 12:51 PM

    we are in January and who saw the movie or heard about the movie???

  • caro | January 4, 2013 12:50 PM

    we are in January and who saw the movie or heard about the movie???

  • Mike R. | January 4, 2013 12:39 PM

    That's exactly the reason Gangster Squad got bumped.

  • killemall | January 4, 2013 12:17 PMReply

    Why don't you guys spare us the suspense and write the reviews now.

  • Head Buckaroo | January 4, 2013 12:05 PMReply

    Every film is -- or should be -- a question mark film before you've seen it.

  • Wes | January 4, 2013 1:24 PM

    ^dishonest

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