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The Most Baffling Pop Culture Moments of 2012

Illustration for article titled The Most Baffling Pop Culture Moments of 2012

Whether you feel 2012 has been a good year or a bad year, we can all probably agree that it's been a confusing year. A lot of weird things happened over the last 12 months — things we still can't quite believe occurred (and/or got approved by actual human beings). Here's eight things that happened in 2012 that we're still a bit boggled by.


John Carter's Marketing Campaign

Edgar Rice Burrough's John Carter books are the granddaddy of all sci-fi fantasy, inspiring Star Wars, Flash Gordon, Avatar, and pretty much every single sci-fi writer of the 20th century. So how did Disney market its John Carter movie? By saying none of that, and letting the public believe John Carter was some kind of cheap Attack of the Clones rip-off. Worse, Disney shortened the original title John Carter of Mars to the infinitely less descriptive John Carter, as if 1) the public had any idea who the early 20th century character was and/or 2) the name "John Carter" was somehow appealing without any indication of its sci-fi elements. So instead of being the massive blockbuster it was supposed to be, John Carter performed like a generic sci-fi/fantasy flick, and sounded like a movie about a principal who helps turn around a tough, inner-city school.


Whether Prometheus Was or Was Not an Alien Prequel

First Prometheus was an Alien prequel. Then it wasn't. Then director Ridley Scott just started waffling on answering the question. Unfortunately for moviegoers, his last answer was the most accurate, since Prometheus goes out of its way to set up about 90% of what the intrepid crew of the Nostromo eventually find in Alien, but with 10% glaring inconsistencies (such as the location the Enigeer dies, and vases versus eggs). Which means there's another planet where the Engineers had a "weapons plant," where one of their ships crashed in exactly the same manner as in Prometheus, and where the black goop went through the shockingly specific process of worm to human to Engineer to Xenomorph, before Alien's Nostromo arrived. Seems a bit of a stretch, albeit not moreso than a biologist trying to pet an alien vagina-snake.

The CW's Hatred of the Color Green

Illustration for article titled The Most Baffling Pop Culture Moments of 2012

The fact that The CW's Arrow is genuinely good is kind of baffling in and of itself, but here's the bigger question: Where did the "Green" go? Green Arrow isn't exactly the most popular of superheroes, but he has some name recognition; plus, it's not like superheroes aren't pretty popular nowadays. Rumor has it The CW was scared by the poor performance of The Green Hornet movie - because that movie's primary problem was obviously its hue - and thus dropped Arrow's "green" in fear. Audiences hate the color green! Well, not the color, exactly, since Arrow is still wearing a green outfit, but they hate the word "green"! They only like green things that aren't labeled green! This is clearly the only thing that makes sense!

Why the Peter Jackson Turned The Hobbit Into a Trilogy

Well, the obvious answer is "to make shit-tons of money," but Peter Jackson already has shit-tons of money, and he was going to make more shit-tons of money by splitting The Hobbit into two movies. The Hobbit's one book is less than 1/4th the material found in the Lord of the Rings trilogy; Jackson was already rifling through Tolkien's notes and supplements for things to pad out two 3-hour movies well before he made the decision to add a third film. Could there be any reason for this other than pure greed? Furthermore, apparently Jackson edited some things out of An Unexpected Journey. Meaning there's footage he didn't use. How is that even possible?


How the Hell a Battleship Movie Got Made

In 2012, a movie came out based on a board game. Now, that's astounding enough, since board games almost never have any kind of narrative upon which to base a story, but it gets more astonishing. The board game was based on a type of naval vessel that the American Navy hasn't used since the ‘90s, meaning it was a factually inaccurate movie based on a board game. And then, almost as if the filmmakers thought that perhaps basing a movie on an out-of-date board game wasn't enough, they added aliens to it. So - and I want to make this abundantly clear - in 2012, a movie came out based on a wholly inaccurate interpretation of a board game about things that no longer existed. Whee!


The Catwoman Cover

Illustration for article titled The Most Baffling Pop Culture Moments of 2012

If pictures are worth a thousand words, I would have to imagine this infamous DC Catwoman #0 comic cover's are "The fuck?" repeated 500 times.

Michael Bay's Non-Mutant Ninja Turtles

When the script for Michael Bay's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot leaked, people were somewhat dismayed to learn that the Turtles were aliens, technically making them neither Mutants nor Turtles (and probably not Teenage, either). Seeing as that negates at least half of the words in the actual title - and its not like TMNT is some third-rate Image comic, it's been a major cartoon and toy franchise for decades now - one wonders if the tiny, explosion-loving hamster in Bay's cranium finally stopped running. Michael, if you want to make a movie about alien ninjas, go ahead, but don't pretend its TMNT, for god's sake. Look, here's a helpful hint: If you want to make changes that completely contradict the project's title, that's not a change you should make, okay?


Why Studios Refuse to Tell Us Things That Don't Matter

There have been two major movie secrets this year: The name of the aliens invading Earth in Avengers and the name of Benedict Cumberbatch's villain in Star Trek Into Darkness. Both turned into major controversies... which then turned into distracting ordeals because no one would ever come forward set the record straight. This would have been fine had the names mattered at all, but no - the Avengers' aliens were the Chitauri, while Cumberbatch is playing an 18th century English clockmaker with no apparent ties to Star Trek. Not knowing who the aliens were the Chitauri added nothing to the Avengers experience, and while the Cumberbatch controversy made people talk about the Star Trek movie sequel more, but it hasn't engendered any good will, or even any excitement. What was the point of all this secrecy? Why are these people making issues out of things that aren't issues?


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