As the normal awards have concluded, the abnormals begin. Sometimes I can’t think of enough nominees, other times, it just seems like a movie is doing something so weird that it deserves recognition. A few of these have become an annual tradition, but most are just random and, well, arbitrary. Let’s get to it, shall we:
- The “You know what happens when a toad gets struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else” Award for Worst Dialogue: Prometheus. I admit that I’m hard on this movie, but it’s just so relentlessly stupid that I can’t help myself. In terms of dialog, this movie has it all. Michael Fassbender actually does a heroic job with his dialog, and comes through mostly unscathed. Most other cast members aren’t so lucky. Two scenes of note: 1. When confronted with a space cobra, a scared scientist actually says “It’s okay baby. It’s okay.” as if this terrifying creature was a cute puppy. 2. The hackneyed way in which it’s revealed that Vickers is Weyland’s daughter. The way “, father” (the comma is important and is almost pronounced out loud) is just sorta tacked on to the scene is just mindblowingly dumb. So there’s probably a bunch of other lines that qualify, but the problem with this award is… who really wants to sit down and document all of that?
- The Proximity to Jason Vorhees Award for Heroic Stupidity: The Woman in Black. I suppose there are some who like this movie, but I never really connected with it. It’s the typical haunted house trope where the protagonist discovers the house is haunted, but just kinda shrugs it off and continues to visit/stay there.
- The Park Chan-Wook Award for Excessive Vengeance: Django Unchained. Fantastic movie, and as revenge fantasies go, a pretty darn good example.
- Best Hero/Badass (Non-Human Edition): Bark Lee (a dog), from John Dies at the End. Gotta give some love to Kaedrin fave director, Don Coscarelli, and this bizarre little movie which managed to streamline some of the book’s more episodic non sequitur tendencies while retaining its sense of playful ideas and manic humor.
- Best Villain/Badass (Non-Human Edition): The monsters, from The Cabin in the Woods. The traditional Best Villain/Badass award always has a disclaimer mentioning that non-individuals (like generic zombies or vampires or whatever) are exempt, but Cabin in the Woods features (or at least, implies) every class of horror monster imaginable, and they all escape onto the screen in one of the year’s best sequences, so I thought it deserved some recognition.
- Best Computer Modeled Hair: Brave. For whatever reason, this movie hasn’t quite received the rapturous response of most Pixar releases (I enjoyed it more than most), but everyone at least acknowledges how amazing Merida’s animated hair looks.
- Least Representative Marketing Campaign: The Grey. The trailer promises Liam Neeson: Wolf Puncher, what we get is decidedly more elegaic. But then, there is a good wolf punching scene at the end, so there’s that.
- Best Opening Sequence: Detention. There are, perhaps, some more conventional choices, but I’m choosing Detention because it grabbed hold of me so immediately that I actually tweeted, “I have watched the first 6 minutes of Detention… Prediction: It will make my top 10 of the year list.” A prediction that will come true shortly. More thoughts on Detention.
- Best Closing Shot: Zero Dark Thirty. A simple shot, to be sure, but it invites so much interpretation that it’s a kinda lightning rod for critics. Actually, this movie could have also easily taken the best opening sequence as well, but in the interest of variety, I’ll just award it for that great, ambiguous closing shot.
So that wraps up the awards, with the top 10 list coming in the next couple weeks or so.