While 2011 brought us many notable gems on the big screen, it also had several repeat offenses that we would like to forget about. So, as we bid adieu to the last twelve months, let's light a candle for some of those less memorable moments in cinema this year:
USELESS SUBTITLES: What ever happened to the simplicity of labeling a film by the sequence it falls in, like Rocky 3 or Terminator 2? This year we had two films with subtitles we're still scratching our heads about--Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Unless Tom Cruise is returning from the dead to vanquish bad guys (by way of a self-made sandstorm), get rid of the subtitle, which offers no insight to the actual plot of the movie. Without harping on the more obvious blunders of the latest installment of Transformers (which we'll get into down below), can we talk about how Dark of the Moon is neither grammatically correct nor has anything to do with the movie? Is it the dark side of the moon? Is it an eclipse? Who knows? The title is the last place this movie should have started trying to get creative. I'd rather they'd gone with the Gremlins route and called it Transformers: The New Batch.
ALL MOVIES OF AND RELATING TO A ZOO: Unless an ape named Caesar is starting a zoo uprising in your movie, we're not interested. We don't care that you bought a zoo or that you're a zookeeper. Actually, if we could get rid of the whole live action animal thing for 2012, we'd be ever so grateful.
EXORCISMS: This desperate plea will likely fall on deaf ears as Hollywood continues to crank out more movies exorcising the devil out of characters with The Devil Inside and the sequel to The Last Exorcism. But, if Linda Blair isn't twisting her head around and spewing vile pea soup, stop participating in the problem. We can't take this nonsense anymore.
MEN DRESSED IN DRAG IN RIDICULOUSLY LAME COMEDIES: It seems like Martin Lawrence and Tyler Perry are in a contest to see who can break box office records with the dumber franchise. I'm just waiting for the inevitable to happen--Tyler Perry's Madea vs Big Momma. Once that happens (and, mark my words, it will happen), can we just say so long to these two loud and boorish characters? After all, we want to be able to scream "Hallelujah!," too.
FAUX INSPIRATIONAL OCEAN MOVIES: For some reason, there was a fascination with lead characters whose limbs were lost at sea this year. And we'd like that to end, today. While both Soul Surfer and Dolphin Tale were well-intentioned, their plots were equally saturated with contrivance, which created the opposite effect from what they were going for.
JAMES FRANCO'S PHONED-IN PERFORMANCES: Has James Franco fallen hard or what? We keep forgetting that he's actually a pretty great actor, as evident in the last place we spotted his talent in 127 Hours. But since then we can't figure out whether Franco hates movies or do movies hate him. From his "I really don't wanna be here doing this" hosting stint at the Academy Awards, to his subsequent lackluster portrayals in Your Highness, The Green Hornet and even Rise of the Planet of the Apes, we're convinced Franco has checked out of the game. Oops.
TRANSFORMERS: Haven't those poor robots from the 80s been through enough? Must we continue to defame them with abysmal big screen movies, where they continue to come off dull? Their suffering must be plentiful. Let's say we bury whatever vendetta we clearly have against them and stop this massacre of their name. What do you say, Michael Bay? I think it's time.
"EDGY" ROMANTIC COMEDIES: There is nothing worse than a romantic comedy that doesn't play its position, but rather tries to be more than what it is--borrowed and predictable. This year we had three romcoms that left us bewildered and asleep in the theaters--Crazy, Stupid Love, No Strings Attached and What's Your Number?--that all claimed to be somehow "different" or "refreshing." I'd like the next romantic comedy of 2012 to be one in which we can't determine the entire plot (including dialogue) from its tired trailer. Please and thank you.
CORNY CONCERT MOVIES: The last thing Justin Bieber or those brats from Glee need is a nationwide big screen release where their crappy tunes are displayed like some kind of nightmarish simulcast. Boo. We liked it better when Michael Jackson did it, posthumously.