Have you heard the news? After J.J. Abrams' Star Wars Episode VII: We're Using Goddamn Puppets, there will be a slew of new Star Wars films from such directors as Looper's Rian Johnson, Godzilla's Gareth Edwards, and Chronicle's Josh Trank. You know, directors with a track record of making generally entertaining science fiction movies! Isn't that good news?
Well, not exactly. Although we know next to nothing save some very basic facts about these upcoming films, this iota of information is more than enough to ascertain some extremely big conclusions. Namely, that these eagerly awaited future classics are pretty much fucked up from conception, not unlike the way some wizard bacteria got mad horny one day and knocked up Darth Vader's mom.
#4. They're Imitating the Marvel Movies
Disney's new creative model -- that is, simply buying companies more creative than them -- has paid off huge with Marvel's Avengers franchise. So after snatching up Lucasfilm, it makes perfect sense that Disney wouldn't think twice about adopting the same model for Star Wars and plan "at least three" spinoff films to go with the new core trilogy starring Hollywood starlets Lupita Nyong'o and Max von Sydow.
And considering what we know of Disney's record with sequels -- see 2007's seminal Cinderella III: A Twist in Time -- it's safe to say some of those spinoffs will score at least one sequel, right? But there's a problem with that. Take a look at the Marvel universe:
"HAIL MARVEL! Cut a franchise, and two more shall take its place!"
Robin Thicke's new album sold 54 copies in Australia last week. Stare at that number long and hard, just like Robin Thicke would want you to, ladies. It's way smaller than you thought it would be, huh? He did way better in the UK, though, where he sold 530 copies. Things aren't much better stateside, where sales dropped an astonishing 86 percent compared to his last album. You know the one, with that song with the naked video they only spent about 20 minutes making:
To give you some perspective, we're talking about a man who, less than one year ago, had the No. 1 album on the U.K. R&B charts. Seriously, it was the week of July 27, 2013. We aren't there yet on the calendar, and in terms of album sales, it's a place Robin Thicke will never be again: History makes it clear that if your next attempt bombs this hard, you're a one-hit wonder. In fact, if we're talking the time and distance between when an artist hits the absolute peak of their career and when it completely bottoms out, there is only one comparison you can make -- Robin Thicke is the new Vanilla Ice.
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty
Vanilla Ice will transition into the role of the next Spider-Man.
Once or twice, we at Cracked have gone out of our way to point out when a totally bullshit "news" story blows up and goes viral. And by "once or twice," we mean we've done this exact premise 25 times.
So far we've confined ourselves to going after stories that were outright false and spread mainly by the most crapulent news sources imaginable, but lately we've started to notice a different growing trend: attention-grabbing headlines that have nothing to do with the article's actual content. Websites can get away with this because, for thousands of people, the headline is all they read before clicking "share." One of NPR's writers proved this beautifully on April Fools' Day 2014, with an article titled "Why Doesn't America Read Anymore?" The actual article admitted they had nothing to say about literacy and it was purely a test to see if people would share content they hadn't even skimmed.
Sweet flashdancing fuck yes they would.
So apparently lying to millions of people is fine as long as you do it with the right headline. We've christened this trend headlying and put together a guide to spotting it before you give precious clicks to a bullshit article. You should start getting suspicious when you notice these dead giveaways:
#5. The Stupidest Detail Is the Whole Story
Hey, did you catch this story about a woman who parked her car on the highway, leading to the deaths of two motorcyclists? She's now staring at the chance of life in prison, and you probably feel like that's a fair punishment. Shitty drivers rank right above Nazi doctor and below Satan on our Sympathy Scale. If this story doesn't sound familiar, it's because almost all the coverage looked like this:
"But the ducks are cool, right?"
Michael Bay's latest cinematic rage abortion, Transformers 4: Age of Extinction, contains three hours of the most nonsensical plot ever constructed, consisting of informational lectures on statutory rape, robot John Goodman shooting a giant alien vagina, and Marky Mark using a sword as a laser gun. We tried to diagram the movie and just wound up with the contents of a serial killer's pencil box.
Source: Profound Mental Illness.