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January, Your New Name Shall Be "Dumping Ground"

How is 2008 going to be any different from 2007, or 2006 for that matter? It's all the same. Every year we repeat the same old tripe. It's like we're eternally waiting for something new and refreshing to happen (that isn't a delicious new Coke product - ding ding ding, send us free soda!) on this cold rock of a planet, but every time Dick Clark's depressingly frozen face appears on screen and the giant ball of the future drops, it doesn't actually signify any kind of change. Rather, it only represents the same cycle of events we endured years prior, just wrapped up in newer, more CGI'd numerical packaging.

Now that you're thoroughly aware of my cynicism, let's do something inane yet entertaining that involves movies. In that grand tradition of, um, tradition, January proves that this already bitter and warmth-deficient time of year is the perfect month for Hollywood's biggest duds to be released. Every studio's worried about awards, even when their formal ceremonies aren't held, so they let their biggest 2007 successes trickle over into January and gobble up as much attention as possible while they not so secretly also release those movies they idiotically greenlit and already promised too many people they would actually be in real, live theaters. Like, a lot of theaters. So I thought it'd be fun to see what stinkers are being "snuck" into our laps this January, and how much better or worse we are in 2008 than we were at the beginning of 2007.

The Instant Classics of January 2008:

First we had the requisite horror movie for baby new year: One Missed Call, whose TV ad I literally thought was a tongue-in-cheek Sprint commercial that was going to end by saying, "scared to death that you'll run out of minutes?" But it wasn't. Then this past weekend we had The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie, which has a title that makes it sound like the Veggies are college freshmen who smoke pot and illegally download the new Kanye CD in their dorm room, but then of course find Jesus. We also had the fake knights of the round table saga In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, directed by Uwe Boll, who is more famous for actually boxing his film critics who dissed his movies than for making the terrible action/fantasy/horror movies that caused that spectacle in the first place.

Upcoming we have 27 Dresses, where I'm sure Katherine Heigl can finally take comfort in the fact that she's not a stereotyped woman in a Hollywood romantic comedy - I mean, it's very empowering for a woman who's never been in love to hear, "don't worry, some guy that is either Ed Burns or James Marsden will save you from eternal loneliness." There's also J.J. Abrams' Cloverfield, which is a movie about which I'd love to start the rumor that the monster is the same as the dinosaur from Lost. Also there's Mad Money starring Katie Holmes, Queen Latifah and other women who probably say "you go girl" too much for even my mom's taste. Surely we cannot forget Meet the Spartans, the next gem from the Date Movie/Epic Movie guys, which is probably still worse than the numerous spoofs my best friend and I filmed at sleepovers in the 7th grade such as "Anaconda Takes Manhattan" and "The Saint: Identity Crisis." The quotable from the latter was, "Who Am I? The Saint? Or Batman?" Innovative, I know. Finally there's Untraceable, where Diane Lane goes after a murderer who kills based on how people visit his web site, where naturally, he has a streaming video of the person he's going to chop up. I can't even comment on the premise without choking on my own semi-vom, so I'll just mention that Colin Hanks also plays an FBI agent. Now that's comedy. Let's compare with...

The Unforgettable Films of January 2007:

So, without any preparation, I'm just going to go search to find out what was around in January of 2007 and see if any of these movies were better or worse than what we're slapped with this year. My results are beyond terrifying. It doesn't just prove that this year is the same old same old as far as quality of film. Do read on...

Requisite laughable horror movie to begin year? Check: The Hitcher. Terribly computer-animated children's film that could be mistaken for hip college comedy by title? Check: Happily N'Ever After. Subgenre action movie whose subgenre doesn't have an audience anymore? Check: Smokin' Aces. Beige-colored romantic comedy starring former TV actress? Check: Catch and Release. Monster movie that wishes it was something more than just another monster movie? Check: Primeval. Feel good movie where white people try to be black like their co-stars? Check: Freedom Writers. Spoof movie from the creators of Date Movie? Check: Epic Movie. Gut-twisting torture porn disguised as a crime mystery? Check: Alpha Dog.

I'm getting the chills. I now officially believe in the apocalypse. And it can't be that far off.

P.S. I'm counting down my 100 favorite songs of 2007 here for all you music geeks.

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  1. Blogger Sean | 9:30 PM |  

    okay, alpha dog was kinda good (if you skip the wretched scene where sharon stone tries to act in a three minute tear-filled monologue).

    uggh. the worst scene.

  2. Blogger DoktorPeace | 5:56 AM |  

    I'm confused. Are you saying that Cloverfield isn't gonna be awesome? Maybe you haven't noticed, but WE DON'T KNOW WHAT'S ATTACKING US! IT'S PROBABLY A WHALE GRANDMA!

    Me and Wipert almost went to One Missed Call to celebrate his last night in Wisconsin. We couldn't pull ourselves to do it, though. And we saw Hot Rod in theaters.

  3. Blogger Brigitte | 10:15 AM |  

    wow, that's quite an opening paragraph...is there anything you'd like to talk about? maybe like, how it feels sometimes that we're waiting for something (or someone? named godot?) that never comes?

  4. Blogger Brigitte | 10:16 AM |  

    wait...there was a veggie tales movie in the theaters??

  5. Blogger chris | 2:30 PM |  

    Does no one else find this trend disturbing?!?!?! It's the exact same month of releases!!!! I need reactions to validate my findings!!!!

    To answer questions:

    1) Doktor, I'm saying exactly that. Will I still see it? Surely.

    2) Brigitte, yes there is something I'd like to talk about - why did the same exact movies get greenlit and released in January only to make little to no money all over again?!?!

    3) Brigitte, yes there is ANOTHER VeggieTales movie in theaters. I know tone doesn't come across over the web, but methinks you're exciting. So you're fired.

    And then re-hired, because I don't want any women's organizations all up in my business.

  6. Blogger Sarah | 3:33 PM |  

    February is also pretty bad.
    You forgot that Diane Keaton also had two shitty movies out in both January and February of last year. Mad Money this year, and some other one and Because I Said So last year. Apparently she plays a woman who is neurotic and nags a lot in all three.

  7. Blogger qualler | 3:41 PM |  

    I'm willing to give Diane Keaton a free pass based on her work in her earlier, better films -- she's earned the right to phone it in for paychecks. The Date Movie / Epic Movie / Meet the Spartons phenomenon is horrible, though. I watched part of Epic Movie and was merely bored, but Date Movie actually offended me with its awfulness more than any movie I have ever seen. If it is possible to rate movies less than 1 star on Nerdflix, I would have given Date Movie that.

  8. Blogger Nicole | 3:48 PM |  

    I agree. January sucks. Especially since this is the very month when Minnesotans most need good entertainment in a warm place. If we all lived in Hawaii, maybe you wouldn't be so cynical, because you'd be busy surfing (or watching the wire on the beach...or inside with Spike). But I think that no one gets a free pass if it includes that movie with Mandy Moore and the VeggieTales movie is probably 55 minutes too long for even a child to sit through.

  9. Blogger DoktorPeace | 4:45 PM |  

    Hey guys, I thought of a hilarious joke for Meet the Spartans. So, like, the big Spartan guy yells "We are Spartans!" And then another faction yells "We are Trojans!" The music screeches to a stop, and everyone looks over, and the Trojans are life-sized condoms!!!!!!!!!!

    I'd probably laugh for like a year if I saw that.

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