Now that the more straight forwarded categories are out of the way onto a grab bag of categories that I’m calling my Miscellaneous Awards. These are awards that didn’t quite fit in any of the other categories. For example I will attempt to name the best hero and villain of this year. Also I would travel to the land of remakes to see which ones fared the best and worst. Hopefully I left no movie stone unturned.
Last year I gave this award to the hero of The Hunger Games Katniss Everdeen. This year I am going an entirely different direction by choosing someone who was based on an actual real life person. Captain Phillips is a great representation of the idea of the true american hero. The everyday guy put into a situation, and doing what he needs to do in order to get the job done. I know some question the legitimacy of the film, but even if events have been embellished there is still a lot of bravery in Captain Phillip’s small acts to survive.
Honorable Mentions: Tony Stark (Iron Man 3), Gary King (The World’s End)
(Full Review) My choice for best villain is along the same lines of Captain Phillips as it too is based on a real life person. Michael Fassbender was a angry force of wrath in 12 Years a Slave. His performance may be one of the most purest forms evil I have ever seen on scene. Perhaps the worst part of his character is his justification, as he uses religion and scripture to rape and torture his slaves. No character had a larger impression on me than Edwin Epps this year.
Honorable Mentions: Loki (Thor: The Dark World), Mandarin (Iron Man 3), Muse (Captain Phillips)
There is nothing better than throwing on a random film and being blown away with what you are watching. That happened a few times this year–a sign of a great year in movies–and the biggest of those surprises was Motel Life. It is a movie I not hearing much talk about, which is a shame because it deserves it a great deal. It is a simple story but one full of great performances. Also its unique use of animation added a nice little creative layer.
Honorable Mentions: Grabbers, Prince Avalanche
(Full Review) While this year had a great deal of present surprises, there were also a few disappointments. The Counselor had a recipe for greatness. A cast full of some of today’s best actors, and one of the most notable directors of all time. Not to mention infamous author Cormac McCarthy writing his very first script. All that amounted to one of the most frustrated experiences in recent memory. Perhaps the worst crime The Counselor committed was being pointless. A simple waste of time.
Dishonorable Mentions:Man of Steel, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Oldboy, A Good Day to Die Hard.
No film this year did more in its first fifteen minutes than Gravity.Director Alfonso Cuarón brought his trademark long continuous shot to a entire new level with a sequence of weightless carnage. Slowly building the tension as you sit a float with the beauty of the nearby earth shining down on you. It was in that moment that Gravity announced its presence as a cinematic work of art. The technical skill that was on display was awe inspiring.
Honorable Mentions: American Hustle, Before Midnight, Pacific Rim
Gypsy Danger vs Kaiju-Tokyo Fight
There are so many things wonderful about the Tokyo Fight sequence in Pacific Rim. The neon glow along with the pouring down rain added just the right amount of awesome. The sheer scale and amount of massive destruction was an event to behold. Mostly it was just heaps of fun. Once you have a gigantic robot picking of a boat to use a makeshift sword you know the movie you are watching knows what it is and is all about having fun.
Honorable Mentions: Michelle Rodriguez & Gina Carano (Furious 6), White House Invasion Sequence (Olympus Has Fallen), Iko Uwais & Keanu Reeves (Man of Tai Chi)
Paul Rudd & Emile Hirsch (Prince Avalanche)
‘I reap the rewards of solitude’–A simple quote that says so much about the characters that make up Prince Avalanche. What makes Rudd and Hirsch such a strong comedic duo is their relationship is not all laughs. Sure both are full of oddities you can not help but laugh at, but both are also full of inner torment that make them more than simple jokes. You laugh at them at times, but there are moments than will slightly pull on your heartstrings as well. Also you have to love the fact that they bear a great resemblance to Mario and Luigi.
Honorable Mentions: Olaf & Sven (Frozen)
Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy (Before Midnight)
In a,way it is almost unfair in comparing the relationship of Hawke and Delpy in Before Midnight to any other romantic relationship as they have a two film head start. Still, seeing the evolution of t Jesse and Celine’s relationship was everything fans could hope for. This time around their relationship is far more messy, and not the dream so many pictured it would abe. That complication showed a different side to these characters. One we never saw before, and one that made us realize love is hard work no mater who you are.
Honorable Mentions: Christian Bale & Amy Adams (American Hustle) , Olivia Wilde & Jake Johnson (Drinking Buddies), Miles Teller & Shailene Woodley (The Spectacular Now)
You never know where a Cult film will come from. You have those ‘so bad they are good movies’ like Troll 2 or The Room that garner a religious like following. Then you have legitimate good movies that find an audience far after they first debuted.With Grabbers I see it having the potential to gain attention from those fans that fell in love with movies like Shaun of Dead as it plays on the tropes of classic horror and science fiction. It is a small film with big ideas, and that high concept works quite well even with a limited budget.
Honorable Mentions: Stoker, Spring Breakers
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Hollywood is not against making remakes…I know I was as shocked as you…and most of the time they are unnecessary. Every so often we get a good one and this year we got a few. The best in my mind was the remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I’ll be honest as I did not even know it was a remake until I did some research. If you are going to remake movies I say remake bad movies, or those that do not get the attention they deserve. That way they can shine some light on the original while making a great film as well.
Honorable Mentions: Carrie, Evil Dead
Wow…where do I begin to discuss this movie. So much wrong, when so much right could have happened. The worst part is this is a movie that did not need a remake, and director Spike Lee did nothing to disprove that notion. This added nothing new and was simply a piss poor imitation of greatness.
Dishonorable Mentions: The Lone Ranger
Movie Most Likely to Be Remade:
Last year I named one of the best documentaries as film that will most likely get remade. This year I am picking one of the best foreign films of the year. The biggest reason I see this as a candidate for the remake treatment is the subject matter. The idea of a teacher being accused of sexual mistreatment is a complicated matter that affects so many people on so many different levels. Taking this story and placing it into the United States would be quite easy, and could actually work quite well.
Honorable Mentions: The Purge, The Conjuring
I have watched a lot of movies that have come out this year, but there are a few big ones that I missed, none bigger than Her. It is a movie I would love to see, but it has yet to make it to my area. With all the buzz and people ainvolved I can’t wait to finally get a chance to check it out.
Honorable Mentions: Blue Jasmine, Blue is the Warmest Color