The 2019 Kaedrin Movie Award Winners were announced last week. The premise of those awards is to recognize aspects of films that aren’t reflected in more traditional awards or praise like a Top 10 list or whatever. However, any awards system will fail to capture all the nuances and complexity available, so we come to the Arbitrary Awards, an opportunity to commend 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. Previous Arbitrary Awards: [2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006]
- The “You know what happens when a toad gets struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else” Award for Worst Dialogue: Serenity. Sometimes this award goes to bad movies, other times it goes to movies that are so bad they’re good. This utterly bonkers movie straddles the line, and is almost worth watching for the absurd twist at its core, but the dialogue is also quite impressively bad (A favorite line read: “Baker Dill, you’re no more than a hooker“, funny just because of his name, but then the struggling fisherman responds: “A hooker who can’t afford hooks”).
- The Proximity to Jason Vorhees Award for Heroic Stupidity: Glass. Overall, I like a lot about this movie, but boy, are those hospital employees stupid!
- Award for Achievement in Seagull Violence: Robert Pattinson in The Lighthouse. I was mixed on the film overall, but the, er, seagull scene was pretty eye opening, and it’s worth noting that Willem Dafoe probably deserves more recognition somewhere too.
- Best Stripper Who Doesn’t Really Strip That Much: Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers. There’s this thing in Hollywood movies were really famous people play strippers but they don’t actually take their close off but in this case, who cares, J Lo is magnetic and super charismatic in this film that definitely warrants more recognition than it’s got.
- Give This Person Their Own Action Franchise, Dammit: Mackenzie Davis was really fantastic in the middling Terminator: Dark Fate, it really just made me want to see her in an original action movie that isn’t saddled with all the baggage of the Terminator sequels.
- Most Explosive Ending: Ready or Not. I will not spoil the ending, but I admire that they went there.
- Best Entrance to Graduation: Booksmart. This movie is fun, if not quite the revelatory experience some have proclaimed it as, but I kinda loved their entrance to their graduation, so here we are.
- Best Documentary About a Complete Fraud: The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley. The story of multi-billion dollar medical-testing startup Theranos is fascinating and the fraud at its heart is completely bonkers. Strong runners up in the the Fyre Festival documentaries, but there were two of them and they split the vote and besides, Theranos’ fraud is much more egregious than a poorly run music fest.
- Best Long Take/Tracking Shot: 1917. Duh. Due to release date weirdness, I’m not sure if One Cut of the Dead qualifies, but it would be a strong contender.
- Should Host the Oscars: Babu Frik from Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker. Look, he won’t be better than my dream host for last year’s Oscars (that would be Cheddar Goblin, who should host every year), but Babu Frik would work…
- Best Hero/Disembodied Body Part: I Lost My Body. This is an interesting animated French movie that I’m not sure adds up to much, but approximately half of the screen time portrays the quest of a disembodied hand making its way back to its body, and it’s something else, let me tell ya.
- Most Egregious Use of Bullet-Time Technology: T-34. Tank battles galore. Some of the effects aren’t perfect, but it’s a really fun action movie with great tank battles.
- The “Weiner” Award for Unparalleled Access to Documentary Subjects: American Factory. It’s perhaps not as distinguished as the award’s namesake, but the access the filmmakers managed in this Chinese run American Factory is admirable and enlightening.
- Best Drinking Game: Whatever it was they were playing at the wedding in The Farewell. I don’t know what the game was, but the visual comedy of it all was perfectly calibrated.
- Achievement in Sandwich Eating: Vince Vaughn in Dragged Across Concrete. Dude just plows through a breakfast sandwich after a long stakeout night. This is one of those scenes that immediately made me think “This needs to be an arbitrary award”, but since that was like 9 months ago, I totally forgot about it until now (I’m adding this after the fact), but it 100% warrants recognition.
Stay tuned, the top 10 comes next week (just in time for the Oscars, which I probably won’t be posting about because they pushed the broadcast up a few weeks)…
Update: Added the last category, which I can’t believe I forgot to add. I had the flu this weekend, so I wasn’t thinking straight…