2016 Kaedrin Movie Awards

Welcome to the eleventh annual Kaedrin Movie Awards! Eleven years! Over a decade of conceptual continuity! The idea is to recognize films for various achievements that don't always reflect well on top 10 lists or traditional awards. There are lots of formal award categories and nominees listed below, but once those are announced, we'll also leave some room for Arbitrary Awards that are more freeform. Finally, we'll post a traditional top 10 list (usually sometime in mid-February). But first up is the awards! [Previous Installments here: 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015]

Standard disclaimers apply: It must be a 2016 movie (with the one caveat that some 2015 films were not accessible until 2016 and are thus eligible under fiat) and I obviously have to have seen the movie. As of this writing, I've seen 68 movies that would be considered a 2016 release. Significantly less than your typical critic, but more than your average moviegoer and enough to populate these awards. Obviously this is a personal exercise that is subjective in nature, but the world would be a boring place indeed if we all loved the same things for the same reasons, right? Sound good? Let's get this party going:

Best Villain/Badass
Another middling year for villainy. I didn't have any problem populating the list, but true standouts were rare. Special note here to Captain America: Civil War, which blurred the lines between villain and hero enough that I just didn't include it in either category (I suppose I could have nominated the Zemo character, but... I'm not going to). As usual, my picks in this category are limited to individuals, not groups (i.e. no vampires or zombies as a general menace, etc...) or ideas.

Best Hero/Badass
A moderate year for heroism, but again, standouts are rare. Another nod to Captain America: Civil War, not nominated for reasons already explained. Again limited to individuals and not groups.

Best Comedic Performance
This category is sometimes difficult to populate because comedy so often comes in the form of an ensemble, but we had a pretty great year of comic performances (albeit, mostly unconventional ones), even if I have some duplication going on here.

Breakthrough Performance
Always an interesting category to populate. Sometimes, it's not so much about someone's industry breakthrough, but a more personal breakthrough. This can happen even with established actors. This year, we've got more of a moderate crop of young up-and-comers. The main criteria for this category was if I watched a movie, then immediately looking up the actor/actress on IMDB to see what else they've done (or where they came from). A somewhat vague category, but that's why these awards are fun.

Most Visually Stunning
Sometimes even bad movies can look really great... and we've got a light year here, but still plenty of good choices.

Best Sci-Fi or Horror Film
I like to give a little love to my favorite genres, hence this category. When I started this category, I always had trouble finding good SF movies, so I had to pad out the category with horror. But we've seen an astonishing increase in good SF in recent years, mostly micro-budget independent stuff, but this year has been a bit slower in that respect, even if we've got a really solid SF contender!

Best Sequel/Reboot
Often a difficult category to populate, but after a few stellar years of Hollywood output, we dropped off the "they made a sequel to what?" cliff this year. That said, a few things managed to stand out:

Biggest Disappointment
A category usually dominated by sequels, and what do you know, all of these are sequels (or whatever the heck you consider Suicide Squad) . This category is definitely weird in that sometimes I actually enjoy some of these movies... but my expectations were just too high when I saw them. Related reading: Joe Posnanski's Plus-Minus Scale (these movies scored especially poor on that scale).

Best Action Sequences
This award isn't for individual action sequences, but rather an overall estimation of each film, and this has been a decent but not overwhelmingly awesome year for action.

Best Plot Twist/Surprise
Well, I suppose even listing nominees here constitutes something of a spoiler, but it's a risk we'll have to take, right?

Best High Concept Film
A nebulous category, to be sure, but a fun one because these are generally interesting movies. Lots of borderline cases this year, but a few strong standouts...

2016's 2015 Movie of the Year
There are always movies I miss out on, whether due to availability or laziness, but when I do catch up with them, I'm often taken with them. Sometimes a very difficult category to populate, maybe because I didn't see much, or didn't like it, or just plain forgot that I saw it (which, to be fair, probably says something about the movie's chances). Still, a pretty respectable list this year, with plenty to choose from.

So The Witch leads the way with 5 nominations, with Rogue One, Kill Zone 2, and 10 Cloverfield Lane not far behind with 4 nominations each. The numbers expand dramatically from there, with 9 movies soaking up 3 nominations, and lots of movies getting 1 or 2 nominations. Overall, 43 different movies were nominated this year (not counting the last category, which would put me at 48. Also worth noting that 5 of the 43 were the disappointing movies...) making this a very broad year with few films really standing out... in these categories, at least. Stay tuned for the winners, which will be announced in 1-2 weeks. I still have a few movies to catch up with, so you may even see a winner that wasn't nominated (it's happened before!)

* This is the actual title of the movie. Someone actually thought that up, and then more people actually approved it and put hundreds of millions dollars behind it.

Update: So I just saw The Handmaiden and yep, it steps into two awards, easily. You will probably hear more about it later in the Kaedrin Movie Award season...