Today marks the opening of Robert Luketic’s Paranoia, a film that, despite literally being titled “Paranoia,” has absolutely nothing to do with “paranoia” in the slightest. While the film, a corporate espionage thriller, sets its a solid cast of Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman, Harrison Ford, and Amber Heard’s incredible skin in a twisted world of technology titan battles and criminal double-crosses, there’s no paranoia to be had here. Sure, Hemsworth’s Adam Cassidy may be a pawn in a seemingly never-ending war of one-upmanship between Oldman and Ford (both big-time tech guys who are apparently desperate to craft really cool flip phones or something) who constantly feels like he’s being followed and watched, but here’s the thing – he is being followed and watched. That’s not “paranoia,” and it’s not even some good old-fashioned intuition, it’s the gig Adam signed up for. Listen, if you take a job because you’ve been blackmailed into it and it’s a criminal enterprise and they give you a cell phone you always have to answer and there’s a weird guy (Julian McMahon) whose job seems to consist of threatening your life, you’re not being paranoid. You’re being observant.
And yet, Paranoia isn’t the only film from 2013 to completely muddle the meaning of its own title. In fact, there’s a bevy of one-worders out there that possess little to no awareness of their own titular meanings. Fortunately, we’re here to rewrite the dictionary for you, 2013 blockbuster style.
Admission, noun: 1. a gross manipulation of the college application process for one person’s wackadoo benefit, 2. a romantic comedy without necessary elements
Austenland, noun: 1. you wouldn’t want to live there
Elysium, noun: 1. a utopian space station that has no need for anything even resembling a gate system or a confined atmosphere, 2. home to the year’s worst ADR work
Epic, adjective: 1. forgettable, 2. the state of being just like, really into the film Fern Gully
Oblivion, noun: 1. the fact or condition of forgetting or having forgotten how bad Tron: Legacy was, 2. the condition or state of being replicated because you look like Tom Cruise or Andrea Riseborough, 3. the state of being just like, really into the films of The Matrix
Paranoia, noun: 1. a state of acute awareness of one’s surroundings, only heightened by the removal of one’s shirt, 2. a tendency on the part of an individual or group toward highly rational suspicions of the motivations of nearly bald captains of industry
Passion, noun: 1. intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction to remake a film less than five years old, 2. corporate double-crossing, the sexy way
Snitch, noun: 1. one who infiltrates a criminal enterprise under false pretenses in service to familial preservation, 2. a friend of Susan Sarandon (only when operating in a governmental position, not involving ping pong), 3. Rock, The
Trance, noun: 1. colors, colors, lights, lights, colorrrrrs
Wrong, adjective: 1. not right or proper according to a code, standard, or convention, 2. oh, that one actually works