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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"The Last Stand"

Synopsis: A former LAPD cop, now sheriff in a small border town, must gather together a motley crew to stop a fugitive drug kingpin from making across the border to Mexico.
What You Need To Know: 2013 is the year that the Korean new wave make it over to Hollywood, thanks to Bong Joon-Ho's "Snow Piercer" and Park Chan-Wook's "Stoker." But one of the compatriots has something on the way that looks much, much enticing, as Kim Jee-Woon, director of "A Tale Of Two Sisters," "A Bittersweet Life," "The Good, The Bad & The Weird" and "I Saw The Devil," has arrived with "The Last Stand," which is also notable for marking the return to leading man duties for former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The idea of the action legends teaming for a neo-Western was an appealing one, but sadly it looks pretty generic; a lost 1990s actioner mixed with "I am old" gags for Arnie, and unspeakably-aggravating looking comic relief for a inexplicably second-billed Johnny Knoxville (what is it, 2005?). Maybe Kim's been able to put his stamp on it in a way that isn't evident from the marketing, and we're sure "The Expendables" crowd will have a good time, but this looks pretty disappointing to us.
Release Date: January 18th

"Olympus Has Fallen"

Synopsis: The White House is under attack and only one intrepid Secret Service agent can save the President.
What You Need To Know: Duelling projects can't be helped, but there's always going to be one loser, and when it comes to this year's trend of White House-set actioners, "Olympus Has Fallen" is sounding like the "Volcano"/"Infamous"/"Deep Impact" to "White House Down"'s "Dante's Peak"/"Capote"/"Armageddon." Gerard Butler, fast becoming a sign of box office disaster after "Chasing Mavericks" and "Playing For Keeps," plays the heroic secret service agent, with Aaron Eckhart as the president, and Morgan Freeman, Radha Mitchell, Dylan McDermott, Ashley Judd and Melissa Leo among the supporting cast. Director Antoine Fuqua's career post "Training Day" hasn't been especially memorable, and with pre-sale experts Millennium Films holding the purse strings, expect this to be closer to one of those Asylum blockbuster copy cats that to a real competitor to Roland Emmerich's higher-profile actioner.  
Release Date: March 22nd

"Red 2"

Synopsis: The aging former spies (Retired and Extremely Dangerous) are brought together again to face off against an old adversary.
What You Need To Know: The original "Red" was a nearly irresistible premise -- OAP spies teaming up to kick ass and crack wise -- and the cast, which included Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Mary Louise-Parker and Brian Cox, was just as enticing. Unfortunately, what it didn't have was a passable script, making it one of the more disappointing films of the last few years. The sequel, which sees the gang (minus Freeman, who died in the previous film) reunite with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Hopkins and David Thewlis also on board, has unfortunately failed to rectify that, with original scribes Jon and Erich Hoeber (who also wrote "Battleship," presumably in crayon) returning. A brighter spot is the presence of "Galaxy Quest" helmer Dean Parisot in the director's chair, but that didn't help "Fun With Dick & Jane" much a few years back. The original proved to be a surprise hit in the fall a few years back; the sequel may have a tougher right at the tail-end of summer.
Release Date: August 2nd

"Safe Haven"

Synopsis: A woman runs away from an abusive relationship, only to fall for a widower in her new home.
What You Need To Know: In 1999, Lasse Hallstrom won his second Oscar nomination, for helming "The Cider House Rules." Thirteen years on, the Swedish filmmaker has been absorbed into the Nicholas Sparks factory, following up 2010's "Dear John" with this second adaptation of a novel by the author of "The Notebook." And everything on the Sparks checklist is being ticked off. Attractive, blander-than-mayonnaise leads? Check, in the shape of Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough. Picturesque seaside location? Check. Kissing in the rain? Check. Hot-button issue dealt with in the most surface way imaginable? Check (domestic violence, no less). We know that we're not the target audience for this, but unless this turns out to be as serious surprise, we can't help but feel that the target audience deserve so much more than this kind of thing.
Release Date: February 14th

"The Tomb"

Synopsis: An engineer is sent to the escape-proof prison he designed, where he must team with another inmate to break out.
What You Need To Know: For much of the 1980s and 1990s, action fans dreamed of a potential team-up of their two great idols, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, but the only hint of it came with their pairing on the Planet Hollywood restaurant. Now they're getting on a bit, and Schwarzenegger has returned to acting from politics, the wish was finally granted, but to no great effect, in the two "Expendables" movies, and unfortunately there's not much reason to think that "The Tomb" will be much of an improvement. Penned by Miles Chapman ("Road House 2") and Jason Keller ("Machine Gun Preacher"), and directed by Mikael Hafstrom (who was behind the enjoyable "1408," but whose follow-up, "Shanghai," was so bad it never got a U.S. release, and whose one after "The Rite," was so bad we wish it suffered the same fate), there's not a glittering roster of behind-the-scenes talent, and aside from a slumming-it Amy Ryan, the rest of the cast list -- 50 Cent, Jim Caviezel, Vinnie Jones -- stinks of DTV action. Maybe it'll surprise us, but right now, it seems to be somewhere between "Prison Break" and a version of "Death Race" without the cars, and as such, pretty definitively inessential.
Release Date: September 27th

[Dis]Honorable Mentions: There's plenty of other stuff we're unsure of, including most of the films on the slate for January, including "Texas Chainsaw 3D," "Gangster Squad" (sorry, great cast, but this was bumped to January for a good reason), "A Haunted House," "Mama," "Movie 43" and "Parker." February's not much more fun either, with "Escape From Planet Earth," "Snitch" and one of several Tyler Perry films set for release.

March brings Steve Carell atop a strong cast in the promising-on-paper, less-so-in-trailer-form "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone," and Halle Berry will take "The Call," while "Scary Movie 5" arrives in April, for our sins. "The Smurfs 2" lands in July, only just beaten to the punch for the title of the year's least-essential sequel by "Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters." Ethan Hawke continues his descent into Nicolas Cage-dom with "Getaway" in August, with "Insidious Chapter Two," "Satanic" and the "One Direction" 3D concert movie all arriving on the same day.

In September, we get "Battle of the Year 3D," a breakdancing movie starring Chris Brown and Josh Peck that we're yet to be convinced isn't an elaborate parody. The second two "Star Wars" prequels get 3D re-releases in September and October, joining "Jurassic Park" and "The Little Mermaid" as new-money-for-old-rope 3D re-releases. In October, "Haunts" wins the title of the year's most generically-named horror film, but it may yet be better than "Paranormal Activity 5." And Robert De Niro seems to be set on proving that "Silver Linings Playbook" wasn't the start of some kind of creative comeback, with "The Big Wedding" followed by "Malavita" in October and "Last Vegas" in December. Finally, at the end of the year, we're not sure about "47 Ronin," given its tumultous production history, but we're intrigued enough by the basic concept that we don't want to write it off entirely.

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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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