As you've probably noticed, Hollywood has a strange, recurring habit of releasing two films about the exact same thing at almost the exact same time. Think Armageddon and Deep Impact (both were about asteroids), The Illusionist and The Prestige (old-timey magicians), and Titanic and Batman and Robin (ice) -- all of these were released in the same year as each other.
Normally, this usually only happens once every few years, like the Olympics. But this year, we're seeing a disturbing increase in the trend of movies double- and triple-dipping. Here are four exciting plots you'll see again and again (and again!) in 2013.
#4. The White House Is Under Attack!
Considering the entire decade of the 1980s, the fact that Hollywood hasn't done a mainstream White House hostage film until now is baffling. So this year, cinema history is making up for lost time and taking a big fiery dump in the Lincoln Bedroom.
"It's Air Force One, but ... on land! Land Force One!"
This first film, Olympus Has Fallen, centers on a disgraced Secret Service agent trying to protect the president from a terrorist attack on the White House. It's already been and gone in the theaters, but if you missed it, don't worry -- you can try again in a month with White House Down, which tells a totally different story about Channing Tatum as a dude applying for a job with the Secret Service, only to have to protect the president from a terrorist attack on the White House. (It's unclear if either film is a stealth remake of the 1996 Sinbad vehicle First Kid.)
#3. It's the Ice Age, Everybody Fight!
Global warming has given us a much clearer outline of the dystopian hellscape we will all someday be Mad Maxing around in -- it'll be cold. Such is the world presented by Frozen, an upcoming film about a kingdom trapped in an "eternal winter" thanks to a "prophecy." It'll be up to a bunch of queens and snow trolls and other shit with low Centigrade body temperatures to save the day.
From the title, we were expecting more lava.
The Colony, a film set in the icy wasteland of post-Armageddon Earth, centers on a settlement that runs afoul of a horde of snow zombies. The movie doesn't actually have much to do with snow, which simply serves as a fun li'l backdrop for Bill Paxton to unleash his patented half-laughing terror face.
Finally we have Snowpiercer. This film deals with a small group of people duking it out on a train that we wager pierces through snow. Once again, they spend most of their time hiding inside from the apocalyptic cold -- just replace scruffy Bill Paxton with scruffy Chris Evans.
"My name is Captain Winter, and I can throw my mighty beard like a boomerang."
#2. The Apocalypse Is Hilarious!
Comedies are also taking a piece of the mass extinction pie, replacing global ice storms with irreverent zaniness. The World's End (the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost/Edgar Wright reunion) and This Is the End (the American equivalent, starring James Franco, Seth Rogen, and Craig Robinson) both center on a group of friends who stumble upon the apocalypse during a night of drunken madcap hilarity. In both cases, the world-ending event involves strange blue alien stuff and cars crashing into buildings while the characters scream hysterically.
Meanwhile, Rapturepalooza tells the story of the biblical destruction of our world by the devil, because comedies about the devil always perform explosively at the box office. The role of Satan is played by Craig Robinson, who apparently has a separate mailbox for scripts about the fall of civilization.
It's unclear which of these mailboxes Peeples landed in.
#1. Somali Pirates Be Kidnapping!
The slew of Somali pirate movies coming out within the next several months has officially taught us how long Hollywood can sit on high-profile news stories before turning them into movies (the answer: four years). Captain Phillips stars a series of frightened expressions by Tom Hanks as the man famously held hostage by pirates in 2009:
Let's all just pretend this is a sequel to Forrest Gump. It'll be better that way.
Meanwhile, A Hijacking (which in fairness was made in 2012, but will be released this year all the same) follows a man getting his ship taken over by Somali pirates, and then being forced to sit still for long periods of time while other people make phone calls.
Under U.N. mandates, all prisoners must be provided with uniform soiled tank tops for the duration of their captivity.
And a little while after that, we'll be treated to High Value Target, a film about a special ops team attacking a pirate ship and taking one of them hostage. Terrified expressions and coerced phone calls are certain to guest star.