2013 Kaedrin Movie Awards

Over a month late at this point, but that’s just the joys of being an amateur movie lover. As of this point, I’ve seen 68 movies that could be considered a 2013 release. This continues a slight downward trend over the past few years (I usually get to the 70s at this point of the year and am publishing a top 10 by now), though the lateness of these awards puts me on par with last year at least. Still, I’ve done a lot of catching up in January, and now that no one cares anymore (on the one hand, I’m generally using the same timeline as the Oscars, on the other hand, everyone is sick of this sort of thing once the Oscars hit), am ready to commence my end of the year recap. [Previous Installments here: 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012] I’ll post the nominations now, and like last year, I’ll post all the winners next weekend.

2013 has been a good year for movies, though I suspect that ordering my top 10 (once I finally get there) will be extremely difficult. It’s usually very easy to find 5 or so movies that I love throughout the year, with 1 or 2 that really stand out and strike a personal nerve with me. This year, I feel like I’ll be able to narrow down to 10 very easily, but have an impossible time ranking them. There are still a few things I want to catch up with before I post that list, but the awards can start now. 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 (and thus 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 2013 (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).I suppose I should mention the requisite disclaimer that these sorts of lists are inherently subjective and personal. But then, the world would be an awfully boring place if we all liked the same stuff for the same reasons, right? So here are the nominees for this year’s awards:

Best Villain/Badass

A terrible, or at least, odd year for villainy. I ended up nominating a bunch of movies I didn’t particularly like, or I ended up nominating people that don’t quite fit the category. I have no idea how I’m going to pick a winner on this one. As with previous years, my picks in this category are limited to individuals, not groups (i.e. no vampires or zombies or pod people robots as a group, etc…).

Best Hero/Badass

A better year for heroism, certainly an overmatch for the weak villainy, but far from the best slate of nominees here. Still, there is at least one standout that fits perfectly for the category here, so that will be an easy decision. Again limited to individuals and not groups.

Best Comedic Performance

This category seems to get tougher every year. The problem is that I instituted it because of a string of great individual performances… but now I keep trying to find the right person in an ensemble to nominate (or justify folks in movies that aren’t really all that funny). Some solid choices this year, but it’s a weird one…

Breakthrough Performance

Always an interesting category, and lots to choose from this year. 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 can sometimes even happen for a long established actor, though I’m lighter on that front this year (even if it’s been a pretty great year for breakthroughs). Yes, the criteria is vague, but the fun of these awards is that they’re supposed to be idiosyncratic and weird.

Most Visually Stunning

Sometimes even bad movies can look really great…

Best Sci-Fi or Horror Film

In case it’s not obvious, I’m a total genre hound, and these are movies that don’t tend to get a lot of attention, so I like to shine a light on them.

Best Sequel/Reboot

Typically a difficult category to populate, and this year was no exception, so I was a little liberal with the nominations.

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 good movie can win the award because of high expectations.

Best Action Sequences

This award isn’t for individual action sequences, but rather an overall estimation of each film.

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

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

2013’s 2012 Movie of the Year

I instituted this category a few years ago because I was always discovering movies from the previous year after the fact. Of course, since then, I’ve had difficulty populating this category. This is going to be a tough choice, as I have to say, I wasn’t really blown away by any of the nominees…

There’s no clear leader in nominations, with a whopping 5 films tied for the lead with 4 nominations each (Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Fast & Furious 6, You’re Next, and Upstream Color). Her has 3 nominations. Inside Llewyn Davis has 3 as well, though one is a negative category, so that doesn’t quite count. And, of course, lots of movies have 1 or 2 noms. 44 different films nominated total, though 4 are 2012 movies. So I’m going to let these nominations stew for a week, then announce the winners next Sunday, followed by the traditional Arbitrary Awards and eventually culminating in my top 10 of 2012 list (which should come in before The Oscars)…