9 December 2012 4:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

If the year's two biggest blockbusters strive to be meatier than Transformers, hooray. But great pop shouldn't be too po-faced

As 2012's bum end approaches, I've been getting up to speed with some of the thrilling cultural phenomena that somehow passed me by, months after everyone else got bored of them. My life's been one big catch-up channel. It's not just idle curiosity: I'm preparing an end-of-the-year TV show, so I have to digest this stuff quickly: Homeland. Gangnam Style. The dog that won Britain's Got Talent. Brand new items in my mental trolley.

Some patterns emerge. Recently I watched The Dark Knight Rises and Skyfall and realised they're essentially the same. In both films a screen icon gets the shit knocked out of him early on and spends much of the second act intermittently clutching his back and complaining. You might as well be watching a $200m advert for Voltarol. »

- Charlie Brooker

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