We announced the official 2015 Kaedrin Movie Award winners last week, but those awards are skewed towards certain types of movies. Sometimes movies are weird or flawed in ways that don’t fit well into a traditional awards setting (let alone the Kaedrin awards!), but they also deserve recognition. The point of the Arbitrary Awards is to highlight these oddities. A few of these “awards” have become an annual tradition, but most are just, well, arbitrary. Let’s roll:
- The “You know what happens when a toad gets struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else” Award for Worst Dialogue: Chappie. “I’ve got blings?… I’ve got blings!” This award is often difficult because, you know, it’s not like I go out of my way to watch bad movies, and good movies with a particularly bad line of dialog (such as the film this award is named after) aren’t that common. I suppose one could make a case for Mad Max: Fury Road, actually, but there’s so little dialog and during those scenes you’re so busy catching your breath that it never quite registers as bad dialog. Anyway, Chappie is pretty clearly the winner, though I almost gave it to Point Break for the dialog that shows up in the trailer alone (“I believe that like me, the people behind these robberies are extreme athletes, using their skills to disrupt the international financial market.”). Alas, I never actually saw the movie, so it’s hard to really go for it.
- The Proximity to Jason Vorhees Award for Heroic Stupidity: Jurassic World. This movie has some ok bits, but dear Lord, these characters are all pretty dumb. Honorable mention goes to the dumb toaster plan that is devised in It Follows.
- Best Villain/Badass (Non-Human Edition): The demon from It Follows. One of the great premises of our time, and the way the demon is used visually in the film makes it the obvious choice for this award.
- Best Long Take/Tracking Shot: Victoria. In a year with a lot of great long takes, this one really takes the cake. The entire movie is a single take, and this isn’t one of those cheats like Birdman where the filmmakers use clever cuts and CGI to make it seem like a single take. It’s actually one single take. This is incredibly impressive.
- Most Ostentatious Long Take: The church sequence in Kingsman: The Secret Service. Alright, so I can’t let some of these other long takes go. This is also an impressive long take, involving more action and ornate choreography than Victoria (though I’m sure Victoria‘s choreography was just as impressive, now that I think about it). It’s a really fascinating scene, full of conflicting emotions, confusion, slow motion, and an excellent usage of Free Bird. It’s ostentatious and showy, but that doesn’t make it any less brilliant.
- Least ostentatious Long Take: The fight in Creed. Not the title bout, the one before that. It’s fabulous filmmaking, but it doesn’t call attention to itself like the Kingsman one does. In fact, you barely even realize it’s a long take while you’re watching it. It’s the sort of thing that sneaks up on you, and that is no less impressive or brilliant.
- Achievement in the Field of Gratuitous Violence: Bone Tomahawk. Surprising, because the rest of the movie seems kinda restrained, but you know the scene I’m talking about. *shudder*
- Best Original Score: The Hateful Eight by Ennio Morricone. I’m certainly no expert in this arena, but I love this tense, ominous, grand score from Ennio Morricone.
- The About Face Award: Maggie. It’s a zombie movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and yet it’s nothing like you’d expect from such a premise. Certainly an about face for Arnold.
- Tensest Border Crossing: Sicario. The movie as a whole didn’t quite come together for me, but director Denis Villeneuve sure knows how to create a tense set piece like that border crossing.
- Best Short Film: The Chickening. I always give short films a hard time when Oscars season rolls around, but this is a must watch short film. You should totally watch it. Runner up would be World of Tomorrow, which sort of lost me at the end, but which was interesting nonetheless.
So there you have it. Look for the top 10 in the next couple weeks (depending on what last minute viewing I can squeeze in), followed by some Oscars roundup.