I announced the official 2017 Kaedrin Movie Award winners last week. The basic purpose of these awards is to recognize aspects of films that aren’t reflected in more traditional, quality focused awards like a Top 10 list or something. However, sometimes even those awards can’t capture everything, so we come to the Arbitrary Awards, an opportunity to recognize movies that are weird or flawed in ways that don’t conform to normal standards. A few of these “awards” have become an annual tradition, but most are just, well, arbitrary.
- The “You know what happens when a toad gets struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else” Award for Worst Dialogue: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. A good portion of this award is perhaps due to dreadful miscasting, but the dialog, particularly the “banter” between Valerian and Laureline, just doesn’t work. Thanks to the visuals and some of the action, the dialogue doesn’t sink the film, but still. As a notable runner up: Bright features the line:
“Faerie lives matter” which is pretty bad.
- The Proximity to Jason Vorhees Award for Heroic Stupidity: Alien: Covenant. It follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, which is probably more stupid, but this one doesn’t even pretend to be smart.
- Best Monster with a Sense of Humor: Korg, voiced by Taika Waititi in Thor: Ragnarok. So great.
- This Monster Fucks Award: The Shape of Water. I love that this is a movie whose genesis was probably Guillermo del Toro watching Creature from the Black Lagoon and thinking “This guy fucks.”
- Most Unfortunate Facial Hair: Kenneth Branagh in Murder on the Orient Express. I mean, it’s glorious. But also stupid.
- Achievement in the Field of Gratuitous Violence: Brawl in Cell Block 99. This one requires no real explanation, does it?
- Most Extreme Toast-Buttering Sound Design: Phantom Thread. The extent to which I like this movie is the extent to which I like these handful of scenes, which are utterly brilliant.
- John Carpenter Memorial Award: The Void. Yeah, yeah, Carpenter isn’t actually dead yet,
but he’s not making movies like this anymore either, so here we are. Great practical effects, solid compositions, weird, horrific stuff.
- The Breaking News Award for Most Action Packed Long Take: Three. God bless Johnnie To. There’s not a lot to this movie, but it builds to a ridiculous single take that utilizes that Matrix-style bullet cam thing that justifies the entire exercise.
- Fictional Business Chain of the Year: The Continental, John Wick: Chapter 2.
- Most Needlessly Lurid Method of Surveillance: Kingsman: The Golden Circle. It’s like they heard the complaints about certain juvenile elements of the first movie and were like, let’s lean into that.
- The Scarlett Johansson in Her Award for Best Virtual Girlfriend: Ana de Armas as Joi in Blade Runner 2049. I mean, she actually appears on screen, so it’s not as tough as Scarlett’s role, but still.
- Most Excessive Needledrops of the Year: Atomic Blonde. I mean, they’re great, and all, but there’s like, I dunno, 20 too many of them.
- Best FPS Sequence of the Year: The Villainess. Various films have attempted to ape the First Person Shooter aesthetic over the years, but none as successfully as the opening scene in The Villainess, which is utterly amazing.
- Most Needlessly Mean Spirited Hazing Rituals: Raw. Man, veterinary school in France is intense.
- Best Movie With 10 Minutes of Plot Stretched Out To Feature Length: A Ghost Story. The award title says most of it, but it’s worth noting that 5 minutes of the 10-minute plot is just Roony Mara eating a pie. I kinda like this movie, but I kinda hate it too.
- Worst Publicist in the World Award: Herald, played by Kristen Wiig in Mother!. I mean,
sure, I guess she’s good at her job, kinda, but not really.
Coming down the homestretch, with only the Top 10 and Oscars commentary remaining. Stay tuned…