' ' Cinema Romantico: Random Cinematic Awards

Friday, January 04, 2008

Random Cinematic Awards

This past year was a miraculous one for cinema and what's even more miraculous that I'm very nearly up to speed with everything I need to see before releasing my annual Top 5 lists. Living in Des Moines (and even in Phoenix, that bastion of culture) it usually took me until February for everything to reach my respective city before declaring my "official" Top 5's. Chalk up another point for Chi-town! But before we delve into all that I first have to hand out a few of my other, more non-traditional awards. Without further adieu....

Best Guilty Pleasure Cinematic Moment: The opening to "Music & Lyrics" which is a spot-on fake 80's music video for the spot-on fake 80's song "Pop! Goes My Heart", performed by Hugh Grant's fake 80's band Pop! I must have watched this at least two-dozen times when I rented the DVD. And, if you want, you can watch it right here.

Best Action Scene: The opening sequence of "The Bourne Ultimatum" which, by the way, contains only a single gunshot and nothing blowing up. (Somewhere Michael Bay is scratching his head, confused. "Nothing blowing up? I don't understand....")

Best Use of Music in a Movie: There are four songs from "Once" that I want to name but I will limit myself to just one and go with "When Your Mind's Made Up", played during the triumphant recording studio scene.

Best First-Time Director: Sarah Polley & Ben Affleck are our co-winners for their directorial debuts, respectively, "Away From Her" and "Gone Baby Gone". (PLEASE direct more movies, you two!)

Worst Movie Villain of the Year: Topher Grace, "Spiderman 3". I like you, Topher. I do. But this just didn't work, man.

Most Erotic Cinematic Moment of the Year: Sienna Miller smoking a cigarette and pouring a glass of scotch AT THE SAME TIME in "Interview". (Gratuitous link! Her with coffee, a cigarette AND cowboy boots. Oh, Sienna, how you wreck my heart.)

Best Individual Line of the Year: "Doctors are sadists who like to play God and see lesser people scream." - Allison Janney, "Juno"

Most Underrated Movie of the Year: "Margot at the Wedding".

Worst Movie of the Year: "Pirates of the Caribbean 3: Dead Man's Chest".

Best Movie For 30 Minutes Before Plummeting South: "The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford".

Best Movie Rental Experience: "A Fond Kiss".

Best Movie Rental Experience Part 2: "Zodiac". (I realize as I type this I never wrote a review upon seeing this film but I need to rectify that at some point. This was excellent work in a film released very early in 2007.)

Worst Movie Rental Experience: "The Good German".

Best Performance of the Year That Won't Even Be Mentioned at Oscar Nomination Time: Leslie Mann, "Knocked Up". (I'd like to ask the Academy - for the third time in my blogging adventures - to consider her for a nomination.)

Best Movie Review Line of the Year: "'Larger than life' doesn't begin to do justice to (Daniel) Day Lewis' performance in 'There Will Be Blood'. As in 'Gangs of New York', Lewis plays a man so forceful and towering that he could probably wrestle a full-grown grizzly bear onscreen and have audiences worried primarily about the bear's safety." - Nathan Rabin, The AV Club (A shout-out to my friend Brad - the wretched genius - for bringing this quote to my attention.)


Wretched Genius said...

Best Guilty Pleasure Cinematic Moment:
1. The sound effect (you know the one) when the first robot transforms in "Transformers."
2. When Optimus Prime jams a blade through a Decepticon's head.

Best Action Scene:
Ditto on "The Bourne Ultimatum."

Best Use of Music in a Movie:
"Hurdy Gurdy Man" in "Zodiac."

Best First-Time Director:
Affleck alone. Polley let the script do all the work, which is fine for the movie, but is unrepresentative of her directing talent.

Worst Villain of the Year:
Wes Bently in "Ghost Rider." In fairness, he made a much better better villain later in the year with "P2."

Most Erotic Cinematic Moment of the Year:
Eva Mendes on the couch in "We Own the Night."

Best Individual Line of the Year
(regarding the coin in a coin toss) "It's been traveling twenty-two years to get here, and now it's here, and you have to call it."
-Javier Bardem, "No Country For Old Men"

Most Underrated Movie of the Year:
"Mr. Brooks." Sure, it's contrived and gave Dane Cook another "acting" job, but every scene with Kevin Costner and William Hurt was well worth the time wasted in between.

Worst Movie of the Year:
Every comic book film that was released this year.

Best Rental Experience:
"Blood Car." Intentionally bad movie that is actually really funny.

Worst Rental Experience:
"Pirates of the Carribean 3"

Best Performance of the Year That Won't Even be Mentioned at Oscar Nomination Time:
Steve Zahn, "Rescue Dawn"

Best Movie Review of the Year:
"I literally could have stripped off all my clothes and somersaulted down the aisle screeching the lyrics to 'Umbrella' while watching 'Southland Tales,' secure in the knowledge that my actions would constitute merely the second craziest thing happening in the theater at any given moment."
-Nathan Rabin, "Southland Tales"

Anonymous said...

Polley trusted her story, which is rare beyond rare with the first-time filmmaker. She never felt a need to show off. She knew the script COULD do the work and so she didn't get in its way. To me, her restraint was refreshing.

Anonymous said...

...said the screenwriter.

Wretched Genius said...

Exactly: she let the script do the work. Yes, restraint is a refreshing thing sometimes, but it doesn't mean she's a good director. She just set the camera down and filmed. I'm not saying she isn't a good director, I'm saying that until she demonstrates a thorough grasp of movement and pacing, I'm not willing to give a final verdict.

Anonymous said...

Very well. But if her next movie is filled with 522 jump cuts, 834 changes in film stock, and a moving camera moving for no other purpose than that it's moving and moving so fast you feel like you need to hurl, don't come crying to me.