Have we moved beyond “dump” months (February, March, August) and into the concept of a dump year — i.e., 2011? If you think things are going to be bad in Washington with the Republican House majority, wait until you endure next year’s mainstream films. I’m talking about what looks to be the biggest mudslide of Eloi fast-food movies in human history — cheap/shallow/rancid concepts taken to the corporate limit, formula eye-dazzle, superhero comic-book/ComicCon crap. Just scan any list. It’s devastating. Shoot me now.

I realize that things always seem grim at the start of any annum, but apart from a list of fifteen 2011 films — Alexander Payne‘s The Descendants, Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life, Cameron Crowe‘s We Bought A Zoo, Zhang Yimou‘s Nanjing Heroes, Steven Soderbergh‘s Contagion and Haywire, Bennett Miller‘s Moneyball, Stephen Daldry‘s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Rod Lurie‘s Straw Dogs, Jodie Foster‘s The Beaver, George Nolfi‘s The Adjustment Bureau, David Fincher‘s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Steven Spielberg‘s The War Horse, Martin Scorsese‘s Hugo Cabret, Francis Lawrence‘s Water for Elephants and Jason Eisener‘s Hobo With A Shotgun — what do people like me have to look forward to?

I know, I know. There are always four or five major Sundance breakouts, and another four or five each from Cannes and Toronto. I’m sure I’m missing or overlooking at least 15 or 20 possibilities. I’d feel a lot better if there was at least half a chance of Noah Baumbach‘s While We’re Young opening by year’s end, but it’s not expected to start shooting before early summer so I guess not.

I don’t care what anyone says about Jon Favreau‘s Cowboys & Aliens. It’s obviously just another bottom-feeding bullshit genre movie with laughs and CG and six-shooters and Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, etc. Strictly ComicCon. A half-comic Jonah Hex with flash. Stop dreaming. You know what it’s going to be.

Read down the popcorn list and it’s like…please God, lemme outta here. Sinbad: The Fifth Voyage, The Green Hornet, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Cedar Rapids, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, Rango, Take Me Home Tonight, Happythankyoumoreplease, Battle: Los Angeles, Mars Needs Moms!, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules, Your Highness, Ceremony, Scream 4, Thor, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Hangover 2, Kung Fu Panda 2, X-Men: First Class Beginners, Super 8, Green Lantern, Cars 2, Rise of the Apes, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, Captain America: The First Avenger, Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World, Fright Night, Final Destination 5, The Thing, Footloose, The Three Musketeers, Paranormal Activity 3, Tower Heist, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Happy Feet 2 in 3-D, etc.

Wait…we’re going to have to wait until 2012 for Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski‘s The Lone Ranger?