2009 Kaedrin Movie Awards

As of today, I’ve seen 74 movies that would be considered 2009 releases. This is on par with the past few years, if not a little bit more than usual. Believe it or not, this is probably a lot less than your typical movie critic, but it’s also a whole lot more than your average moviegoer. In any case, this post constitutes the kickoff of my year end movie recap (only a few weeks late!) The categories for this years movie awards are mostly the same as last year (with one notable addition), and will proceed in a similar manner. Nominations will be announced today, and starting next week, I’ll announce the winners (new winners announced every day). After that, there might be some miscellaneous awards, followed by a top 10 list.

2009 seems to have been a decent year for movies… better than 2008 and possibly 2007 too. Perhaps we’ve finally emerged from the black whole of bad writing caused by the writers strike, though I think we’re still seeing some of the effects. In any case, the top 10 has come together relatively quickly, though the last couple of spots are still a bit of a challenge to fill. There are a couple of movies I’m still hoping to catch up with before I release my top 10, but there’s no reason to delay the awards for that. Besides, one of the points of these awards is that they allow me to give some love to films that I like, but which aren’t necessarily great or are otherwise flawed (as such, the categories may seem a bit eclectic). Some of these movies will end up on my top 10, but the grand majority of them will not.

The rules for this are the same as last year: Nominated movies must have been released in 2009 (in the US) and I have to have seen the movie (and while I have seen a lot of movies, I don’t pretend to have seen a comprehensive selection – don’t let that stop you from suggesting something though). Also, I suppose I should mention the requisite disclaimer that these sorts of lists are inherently subjective and personal. But that’s all part of the fun, right?

Best Villain/Badass

It’s been a pretty lackluster year for villainy… Some easy choices, but this was a hard category to populate this year. As with previous years, my picks in this category are for individuals, not groups (i.e. no vampires or zombies as a group).

Best Hero/Badass

It’s been a pretty damn good year for heroic badassery. Again limited to individuals and not groups.

Best Comedic Performance

Not a particularly strong year when it comes to comedy, but there still seem to be plenty of good performances, even in films I wasn’t particularly fond of…

Breakthrough Performance

Not a particularly huge year for breakthrough performances either, but definitely several interesting choices. As with previous years, my 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). This sometimes happens for even well established actors/actresses, and this year was no exception.

Most Visually Stunning

Sometimes even bad movies can look really great…

Best Sci-Fi or Horror Film

I’m a total genre hound, despite genres generally receiving very little attention from critics. Interestingly, SF makes a pretty good showing this year, even though I wish there was a little more science in the fiction for most of the nominees. As usual, some solid horror films round out the list well enough…

Best Sequel

Honestly, I only saw a few sequels this year, so this was a difficult category to populate (as it is every year). Still, there were a few decent options (even if I cheated a little with one of them, which is more prequel/reboot than sequel)…

Biggest Disappointment

Always a difficult award to figure out, as there are different ways in which a movie can disappoint. Usually, expectations play just as big a part of this as the actual quality of the film, and it’s possible that a decent movie can win the award because of astronomical expectations. This year had several obvious choices though.

Best Action Sequences

This was a decent year for action, though not especially a standout year. This award isn’t for individual action sequences, but rather an overall estimation of each film.

Best Plot Twist/Surprise

Not a particularly strong year for the plot twist either, though there are a few standouts.

Best High Concept Film

This is always a strange category to populate because the concept is a bit nebulous, but nevertheless, there are a few interesting choices…

2009’s 2008 Movie of the Year

A 2008 movie I didn’t get to see until 2009… This is always a problem for the amateur movie lover. Towards the end of the year, 500 movies come out, but they only play in New York or LA for a grand total of like 3 hours (enough for 2 showings at each theater!) Plus, there’s always a movie I dismissed and neglected to see which I end up seeing a year later and loving. Last year, I was having so much trouble putting together a top 10 that I even revised the list to include Mad Detective. But there were a couple other interesting 2008 movies that I didn’t catch up with until later…

Anyone have any suggestions (for either category or nominations)? Comments, complaints and suggestions are welcome, as always.

It looks like Ingourious Basterds is leading the way with 5 solid nominations. Following that with a solid 4 nominations is Star Trek. Surprisingly, Avatar was also nominated for 4 awards, but one of those is “Biggest Disappointment” which I think puts it behind Trek. At 3 nominations, we’ve got Watchmen and Crank: High Voltage, while a whole slew of other films garnered 2 noms, and an even larger amount earned a single nomination. As I mentioned earlier, I’m going to give myself a week to think about each of these. I might end up adding to the nominations if I end up seeing something new. Winners will be announced starting next Sunday or Monday. As with the last few years, there will be a small set of Arbitrary Awards after the standard awards are given out, followed by the top 10.