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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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"Grown Ups 2"
Synopsis: Lenny has relocated his family back to the small town where he and his friends grew up. This time around, the grown ups are the ones learning lessons from their kids on a day notoriously full of surprises: the last day of school. 
What You Need To Know: With his last two films, "Jack and Jill" and "That's My Boy" proving his least successful "traditional" starring vehicles since "Eight Crazy Nights" a decade ago, Adam Sandler, continuing his quest to actually become his character from "Funny People," has made his first ever sequel. "Grown Ups 2," a followup to the 2010 film that's Sandler's biggest ever worldwide grosser, reunites Sandler with Chris Rock, Kevin James and an increasingly grateful David Spade and Rob Schneider for more hilarious antics. Wait, did we say hilarious? We meant toxic. The filmmakers having not quite realized that the target audience would probably not notice if the exact same film was projected a second time, so the plot, such as it is, sees Taylor Lautner and Milo Ventimiglia as bullying frat-boys, with half of the male cast of "SNL" cameo-ing too. It's too early to tell more about the content, but rumors are that Kevin James will fall over, there'll be jokes about poop and making out with old people, and the female characters will all be nagging shrews. It will also make more money than every movie you actually like in the next twelve months.
Release Date: July 12th

"Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters"
Synopsis: Years after surviving an encounter with a witch in a gingerbread house, Hansel & Gretel have grown up to become badass witch-slayers, but come across their most fearsome adversary yet.
What You Need To Know: "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" might have died a death at the box office last year, but that hasn't stopped Paramount from pressing ahead with the release of "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" later this month. Mainly because they'd already delayed it a year, and they can't just not release any movies like they did in 2012. It was a promising prospect on paper; a horror-comedy directed by "Dead Snow" helmer Tommy Wirkola, and produced by Will Ferrell & Adam McKay. But when one remembers the other films from Ferrell & McKay's company (or tries; things like "The Goods" and "The Virginity Hit" passed into obscurity almost immediately), you start to feel a little nervous. And trailers seemed to reveal a film that's essentially a bloody, misogynistic version of Terry Gilliam's "The Brothers Grimm," with the comedy handled by leads Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton; both talented actors, but hardly the new Mike Nichols and Elaine May when it comes to comic timing. Gorehounds may end up being satisfied, we're not sure anyone else will be.
Release Date: January 25th

"The Host"
Synopsis: "The Host" is a love story set in the future, where earth is occupied by a species who erase the minds of their human hosts, leaving their bodies intact. Melanie Stryder is one of the last surviving humans who fights back, risking her life for the people she cares about most—Jared, Ian, her brother Jamie, and her Uncle Jeb — proving that love can conquer all.
What You Need To Know: We might be free of the "Twilight" movies for a few years, but Stephenie Meyer's shitty storytelling lives on, with this adaptation of her 2008 novel, her first best-seller away from her trademark vampire saga. She didn't stray that far from the material she made her name on, though, with a love-triangle (or quadrangle, we suppose) set-up, albeit with an "Invasion Of The Body Snatchers"-style twist. Some might take comfort from the presence of Andrew Niccol (writer of "The Truman Show," director of "Gattaca"), but "In Time" proved that he's been off his game for a long time, and the drab visuals of the trailer are hardly comforting. Plus the "Twilight" movies also proved that talented filmmakers like David Slade and Bill Condon can only do so much with the material. The presence of Saoirse Ronan in the lead role gave us some comfort until we remembered "The Lovely Bones," and some of the other cast, which includes Diane Kruger, William Hurt, Max Irons and Jake Abel, look to be a little adrift with the material.
Release Date: March 29th

"I, Frankenstein"
Synopsis: Set in the present day, Frankenstein, freed from his creator, becomes involved in a noirish mystery involving a war between immortals in an ancient city.
What You Need To Know: Oh, Aaron Eckhart. While almost every other actor involved in "The Dark Knight" series got a major career boost, the one-time Harvey Dent has made a series of questionable choices since that film, most notably the awful "Battle Los Angeles." And now, he's stuck behind a dodgy make-up job in this horror actioner, presumably because Paul Bettany was busy or something. From the mind of "Underworld" creator Kevin Grevioux, who appears to have gone through his old scripts and used find/replace to swap mentions of 'vampire' for 'Frankenstein,' the film's ended up in the hands of Australian writer/director Stuart Beattie, whose "Tomorrow, When The War Began" was a hit at home, but picked up derisive reviews in the rest of the world. Some might be tempered by the news that Bill Nighy is playing the bad guy, but that didn't help the "Underworld" movies either, and that at least had the selling point of Kate Beckinsale in a catsuit kicking ass, not a guy with a disfigurement wandering around in a trenchcoat. An early September release date makes it pretty clear that Lionsgate's best case scenario for this one are capturing some of the audience that are missing a "Resident Evil" movie at that time of year.
Release Date: September 13th

"Jack The Giant Slayer"
Synopsis: Adaptation of the classic fairy tale, about a simple farm boy whose magic beans unlock the way to a kingdom of giants in the sky; giants who are in no way friendly...
What You Need To Know: All being well, the fairy-tale craze is starting to dry up, bar some high-profile Disney films like "Maleficent" and "Cinderella" on the way. But there's still a few films that should have been 2012 entries to filter through, and the most expensive of them is "Jack The Giant Slayer." Anyone who was hoping for the return of "Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer to stripped-down small-scale fare is going to be disappointed; this is a big, effects-filled fantasy epic. It also, and it hurts us to say, because we'd like a Singer comeback as much as anyone, looks pretty terrible, with ropey effects for the giants, and a broad, campy tone. We're not quite convinced yet that Nicholas Hoult is the star that Hollywood wants him to be, and while there's some reliable players in the supporting cast (Ian McShane, Bill Nighy, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Eddie Marsan), "Snow White & The Huntsman" proved that a host of fun character actors does not a watchable film make. Maybe Singer's got a piece of "Princess Bride"-esque fun up his sleeve, and maybe those effects will be improved by the time of release (less than two months away now...), but right now, we can't think of a single person who's actively looking forward to seeing this.
Release Date: March 1st

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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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