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.
Greatest Movie Hero:
This year we had heroes like Spider-Man, Batman, and James Bond on the big screen, but I decided to go with a newcomer. The Hunger Games is a movie I had issues with, yet I can still appreciate the importance of a character like Katniss. For one there are very few female antagonist like her out there. Sure we have women actions stars, like Angelina Jolie, but we only tend to take our female action stars seriously if they are wearing tight leather paints. Jennifer Lawrence is no slouch in the looks department, but Katniss is never made to be a sex symbol. She is a strong female characters young girls can actually get behind. Plus you can’t deny her impact has been large and immediate. It’s great to see a female character in a franchise actually do something, and not just fawn over vampires and characters that are allergic to shirts.
Honorable Mentions: Mark Ruffalo-Hulk (The Avengers), Daniel Craig-James Bond (Skyfall), and Martin Freeman-Bilbo (The Hobbit)
The Bond franchise is known for having some of the greatest movie villains of all time, and Silva quickly made his case for being near the top of that list. Javier Bardem has given us two of the greatest movie villains with his performance in No Country for Old Men and this year’s Skyfall. You could argue that those two characters are the Yin and Yang of one another. Silva is a character who yearns to make you feel uncomfortable. Simply by the way he sits in a chair can fill you with stress. He provides a lot of fun and uncomfortable laughs with his performance as well. He’s one key to why Skyfall works as well as it does.
Honorable Mentions: Tom Hardy-Bane (Dark Knight Rises), Tom Hiddleston-Loki (The Avengers), Guy Pearce-Charlie Rakes (Lawless)
When I first saw trailers for The Grey it looked like a straight forward survival film. Some thought it would be nothing more than Taken with wolves. In the end it was so much more. On its surface level it was genre film full of tense moments of harrowing adventure, but inside all of that was this deep message about humanity’s inability to deal with its own mortality. That combination worked perfectly and made me want to go back to this movie again and again.
Honorable Mentions: 21 Jump Street, Goon
The Bourne Legacy
I’m a huge fan of the Bourne franchise and loved how it ended. If we never got another Bourne film after The Bourne Ultimatum I would be completely fine with it, and after The Bourne Legacy I wish we didn’t get another installment. Truthfully, I was completely against the idea of Legacy when I first heard it. A Bourne movie without Jason Bourne made no sense to me. When I heard who was involved my intial hesitation turned into anticipation. Unfortunately the end product made we wish I trusted my gut instinct. There were worse action movies out there this year, but none left so much on the table like Legacy. The plot was a mess and most of the action was lackluster. It seems automatic that we will get another installment, and I just hope it turns out better than Legacy.
Dishonorable Mentions: Red Hook Summer, Taken 2, Red Tails
The opening of Argo set the table for the rest of the film perfectly. For one it established the stage for the audience by reminding us what the world climate was like back when the real life events took place. Secondly it made it immediately evident the danger these people were facing. The sequence of the Embassy being overtaken was full of chaotic energy. A lot of credit has to go the director Ben Affleck and the editors for ratcheting up the anxiety as high as they did. The transition between the protest groups outside and the workers in the embassy kept reminding you of how close the threat was. I never would have thought paper shredding could be as thrilling as Argo makes it.
Honorable Mentions: Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises
The Avengers vs Loki’s Army
This was a fight five years in the making. Since we first heard Marvel was going to try and do the impossible many fanboys wondered if this grand experiment would actually work. All their hard work paid off in this nearly forty-five minute action set piece that made the pages of the comic come alive. Watching The Avengers assemble on screen was something I dreamed about as a kid, living out that dream did not disappointment. The energy in the theater rivaled any sporting event I have ever gone to. I can’t not remember the last time a movie provided me so much fun.
Honorable Mentions: Bane breaks Batman (Dark Knight Rises), The Raid..well all of it, Gina Carano vs Michael Fassbender (Haywire)
Richard Jenkins & Bradley Whitford (The Cabin in the Woods)
If you haven’t watched The Cabin in the Woods yet, first off stop what you are doing and go watch it, you may be surprised to read it even had a comedic duo. I’ve been a fan of Bradley Whitford ever since I first saw him in The West Wing and his performance in this has made my fandom grow even larger. Richard Jenkins is also fantastic with his dry sense of humor. Both of them work so well together with a endless array of witty retorts. I could honestly watch a television show with just these two characters. The Cabin in the Woods was a bucket full of crazy, and they help stir things up even more.
Honorable Mentions: Mark Walberg & Ted
Jean-Louis Trintignat & Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
This year has done its part to show that love is timeless. Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom showed the power of young love, and Michael Haneke’s Amour illustrated the power and challenges of timeless love. Both Jean-Louis Trintignat and Emmanuelle Riva give performances that are award worthy. There situation could have been nothing more than a parade of sorrow. They stopped that from happening by adding some dignity to an unimaginable harsh situation.
Honorable Mentions: Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward (Moonrise Kingdom), Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass (Safety Not Guaranteed)
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 legmiate good movies that find an audience far after they first debuted. One movie that I could see that happening to is Joseph Kahn’s Detention. Teenagers today (insert old man voice) have the attention span of dimwitted gnats. That’s one reason I could see this film striking a chord with them. It is a John Hughes story on crack meshed with random science fiction and horror moments that are thrown in just for fun. You need to go on a Mountain Dew fueled bender to pick up on half of what is going on. With everything it has packed into its ninety minute run time its only one well timed Ttweet away from becoming a Cult hit.
Honorable Mentions: God Bless America, The Comedy
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 Judge Dredd. Remaking a bad movie is something I can get behind, especially when something has as much potential as the Dredd franchise. They did it right this time learning from past mistakes. Karl Urban played Dredd the way the character should be played. The action was fitting and some of the best of the year. I am not sure why it was such a failure at the box office. Maybe it couldn’t shed the stigma of the original. Whatever the reason it’s disappointing we won’t see another installment from this potential franchise.
Honorable Mentions: 21 Jump Street, The Deep Blue Sea
Remaking Judge Dredd made perfect sense. Remaking Total Recall made very little. Maybe a good film could have been made. Maybe this was more than attempt to try to create another cash cow. Maybe I can get the two hours back this film took from me. My guess is the answer to all those inquires is, No. Len Wiseman continues to show he has no ability to bring anything new or interesting to the table. Nothing about this movie was original. Even for a remake it felt like recycled piece of foul garbage.
Dishonorable Mentions: Sparkle
Movie Most Likely to Be Remade:
When talking about remakes my mind can’t help but wander to what film this year will soon get the reboot treatment. I kind of cheated and picked a documentary. The Imposter was one of my favorite documentaries of the year so it’s not like I’m yearning for it to be remade. It’s crazy but true story will be completely ruined in a feature length live-action film, but the chances are it will happen.
Honorable Mentions: The Raid: Redemption
Zero Dark Thirty
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 Zero Dark Thirty. Hurt Locker was well deserving of all its praise, in my opinion, and I was hoping to find out the same about Zero Dark Thirty. Unfortunately it is not coming out in my area until Mid-January so I didn’t have the opportunity to catch it. Once I do you can guarantee I will check it out.
Honorable Mentions: Cloud Atlas