1. Vampires are pissing us off.
We tried to ignore them. When that didn’t work, we tried — with Vampires Suck — to parody them. But in the end, both that film and the main franchise it was spoofing, The Twilight Saga, turned up on the Razzies shortlist. The take-home? We’re just fucking sick of it. Considering the success of AMC’s The Walking Dead, we’re going to call 2011 for zombies.
2. M. Night Shyamalan is finished.
Not only was The Last Airbender unspeakably awful, but it also premiered amid controversy over the film’s whitewashing of characters that were supposed to be Asian. Meanwhile, Shyamalan’s last movie that wasn’t laughed out of the cinema was Signs, way back in 2002. Hollywood, take note: this guy is a pop-culture punchline. Stop giving him money.
3. Comic book movies aren’t guaranteed slam dunks.
From The Dark Knight to the Spider-Man trilogy to Iron Man, films adapted from comic books killed it at the box office in the 2000s. And that has inspired the movie versions of just about every superhero series out there. But considering the awfulness that was Jonah Hex — which even an all-star cast including Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, and Michael Fassbender couldn’t save — we’re hoping producers will think before they put their dollars behind mediocre scripts.
4. Gimmicky action flicks aren’t working.
When you cast Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as married spies, people are going to watch. Do a variation on that already thin plot with the unlikely duo of Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl and you’re going to get Killers — a movie that tried to make us believe That ’70s Show‘s Kelso as an international assassin. Please. And if that sounds bad, how about pairing Jennifer Aniston with Gerard Butler, as a bounty hunter charged with capturing his ex-wife? Oy.
As for The Expendables… any film that brings together Sylvester Stallone, Steve Austin, Dolph Lundgren, and the lady who played Cordelia on Buffy is bound to be either awesomely bad or just plain awful. Guess which one this was.
5. The age of the man-boy is over.
For a few years now, Judd Apatow and his merry band of bromantics have ruled the world of film comedy with their portraits of dudes who just can’t deal with adult life, marriage, careers, etc. But this year, the man-boy trend hit bottom in Grown Ups, a flick written by and starring Apatow favorite Adam Sandler. With a cast of grating comedians including David Spade, Tim Meadows, Rob Schneider, and Kevin James, Sandler gave us — you guessed it — yet another movie about middle-aged dudes who can’t grow up. Yawn. Oh, and PS: What is Steve Buscemi doing in this movie? Steve, you’re better than that!
6. All good franchises must come to an end.
We will defend Sex and the City up to midway through its last season. And hey, even if they traded on stupid puns, the Fockers movies used to be kind of amusing, if you were drunk or something. But in the case of both Sex and the City 2 and Little Fockers, filmmakers got greedy and pushed a phenomenon past its breaking point. Let’s not do that in 2011, shall we?
7. Some movies and characters are best left to history.
You can gather Dan Aykroyd, Justin Timberlake, Anna Faris, and Nate Corddry together to voice the characters of Yogi Bear — but if you can’t find an interesting storyline to give them, why bother? The same goes for Clash of the Titans, which leveraged a budget of $125 million to remake a movie that wasn’t even good when it starred Laurence Olivier.