Cinemapocalypse: the end is nigh


17th February 2011

This week sees the release of both Big Momma's House 3 and Justin Bieber's biopic Never Say Never, which means that this has to be the worst week in cinema since the Glen movie theatre disaster of 1929 which saw 71 people get crushed to death. It might even be worse than that. But is this just the result of unfortunate scheduling, or is it the final sign of an impending Moviegeddon?

Now, I know that my Emmerich-like claims of world disaster sound like the Bieber-feverish rantings of a madman, but I've checked the Bible and there are seven indications of a forthcoming apocalypse. Looking back over this past year, it seems we've just been missing the signs.
1. Pestilence: Movie stars infected with ‘the crazies'

It all started innocently enough. A Nick Nolte here, an Olsen twin there - nothing that Hollywood couldn't sweep under the rug of ‘naughty behaviour'. But then Rip Torn, a long-standing respected actor and star of such well-loved films as Men In Black and Dodgeball, held up a fucking bank with a loaded gun. This was while being so intoxicated that he thought he was at home and had left his hat and boots by the door. Jesus.

Meanwhile, with Lindsay Lohan constantly stuck in a revolving door of the LA courthouse and Charlie Sheen either blowing lots of money on smack or smacking lots of hookers for blow (something like that), it comes out that our beloved Mel Gibson is a sexist wife-antagoniser and a terrifying racist. This is despite starring in the best buddy cop franchise of all time…which was interracial. These are indeed dark and confusing days.
2. War: Uwe Boll makes Holocaust drama, Auschwitz

Generally considered to be the worst director in the history of cinema who hasn't a) been the subject of a charming biopic by Tim Burton, or b) made The Room, Uwe Boll is best known for his nauseatingly bad videogame adaptations. So the fact that this tasteless German cretin has been allowed to tackle the Holocaust, the most sensitive and awards-worthy subject in movies, is surely an omen of forthcoming doom.
3. Famine: Hollywood is starved of ideas

There is a famine in Hollywood and it's more real than anything involving Irish potatoes or Comic Relief: the movie industry is officially out of ideas. This may come as no surprise, seeing as we've been moaning for years now about the endless slew of pointless remakes and needless sequels/prequels, but 2010 really threw up some barrel-bottom scrapers.

We thought it was bad when Ridley Scott announced his plans for a Monopoly movie and when filming started on an adaptation of the board game Battleship, but then Hollywood successfully pitched Magic 8-Ball: The Movie. Surely it's only a matter of time before some young studio exec looks around his desk for inspiration and thinks “Stapler? The Adventures of...Stapler? That could work…”
4. Death: Film legends bite the dust

2010 seemed to be a particularly bad year for movie deaths with Tony Curtis, Dennis Hopper, Norman Wisdom and Corey Haim, to name but a few, all kicking the Hollywood bucket, but 2011 has started with a clusterfuck of terrible news. Irvin Kershner? John Barry? Leslie Nielsen? Pete Postlethwaite? NOOOOOOOOO!! (*crane shot*)

If things keep going at the same rate, December 2011 will see the whole of LA populated by just one very nervous-looking James Cameron, who'll then spend all of his Avatar money on a lifetime's supply of oxygen tanks so that he can live under the sea like he's always wanted.
5. Martyrdom: Sacrificing self-respect

Hollywood's martyrs aren't the heroic, jump-in-front-of-a-bullet kind. They're the farting, pratfalling idiots who surrender their dignity on a regular basis to bring entertainment into the lives of literally some people. And this kind of behaviour is on the rise.

As Adam Sandler's career nosedives ever steadily toward comedy oblivion, together with his posse of dickheaded slapstick buddies like Rob ‘Gross-out' Schneider and Kevin ‘Looks Like My Big Toe' James, he has started to drag down the reputations of far worthier peers. Chris Rock's appearance in Grown-ups, Sandler's ensemble-of-shit, is still, to this day, a mystery of Biblical proportions.
6. Cosmic disturbances: Eye-raping 3D

According to Revelations, the sixth sign of the Apocalypse is the onslaught of worldly disturbances, such as earthquakes, solar eclipses and rivers running red, and I can point to a single place where it looks like all three are happening at once: Clash of the Fucking Titans.

In that migraine-inducing movie, gloriously presented in two and a quarter dimensions, there are cosmic commotions happening all over the screen. At one point, I thought the film reel was trying to escape from the projector. And this led to more post-converted, cash-in releases that left me so cross-eyed I exited the cinema with my right eye in the left socket and my left eye in the right socket.
7. The Final Judgement

This is it - the end of days that is sure to come soon. My guess is that this final trial of humanity will consist of us all having to sit through Sex and the City 3, written and directed by M Night Shyamalan and featuring a cameo by Katherine Heigl and a nasally voiceover by Justin Long.

As they sup cocktails and boast about the size of their vibrators, these Four Horse-faced Women of the Apocalypse will spread terror and havoc in all that crosses their path, and it is this unimaginable test of endurance that will determine the fate of mankind. And I'm sorry guys, but I just know I'll fold straight away, screaming to be punished for my viewing sins.

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