Awards! (2015)

For nominees and explanations, go here.

 

The Tommy Lee Jones Screentime Award (For amassing the most screentime of the year):

Ryan Reynolds (The Voices; Woman In Gold; Self/less; Mississippi Grind)

 

The Kevin Spacey Must Have the Best Agent Award (For appearing in the most top ten movies of the year):

Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight and Anomalisa)

 

The Marlon Wayans Award (for appearing in two or more of the worst movies of the same year.]:

Jeremy Irvine (Beyond The Reach and Stonewall)

 

The Freddie Prinze, Jr. Award (For the best acting in the worst movie of the year – male):

Thomas Jane (Vice)

 

The Dina Meyer Award (For the best acting in the worst movie of the year – female):

Anna Kendrick (The Last Five Years)

 

The Anna Paquin Best Child Actor Award:

Jacob Tremblay (Room)

 

The Nicolas Cage Uneven Performance Award [For the biggest gap in quality between two different performances in the same year (the good thing is always listed first)]:

Tom McCarthy (Spotlight and The Cobbler)

 

The Peter Sellers Multiple Role Award:

Tom Noonan (Anomalisa)

 

The Sean Connery Best Cameo Award:

Josh Peck (The Wedding Ringer)

 

The Casey Affleck Worst Cameo Award:

Carrie Brownstein (Carol)

 

The Alfred Hitchcock In Front of the Camera Award (For the least intrusive appearance by a movie’s own director(s)):

F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton)

 

The Quentin Tarantino In Front of the Camera Award [For most intrusive – not to mention annoying – appearance by a movie’s own director(s)]:

Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight)

 

The Drew Barrymore All Grown Up Award:

Liam Aiken (Ned Rifle)

 

The Martin Scorsese Best Use of a Song Award:

Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda for “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks (Minions)

 

The Andy Garcia Impossible Shot Award:

through the bathroom door (Self/less)

 

The John Woo Best Shootout Award:

Michael Mann (Blackhat)

 

The William Friedkin Best Car Chase Award:

George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)

 

The They Live Best Non-Martial Arts Fight Award:

Max (and Nux) vs. Furiosa (et al) (Mad Max: Fury Road)

 

The Die Hard 2 Icicle Award (for best use of an otherwise benevolent object as a weapon):

building(s) (Avengers: Age Of Ultron)

 

The Cast of Nazis from Raiders of the Lost Ark Award (For worst performance of (an) actor(s) in scenes with special effects):

Jason Clarke (Terminator Genisys)

 

The Talking Pig Award (For the two movies most alike released in the same year):

Montage Of Heck and Soaked In Bleach

 

The Mulholland Falls Award (For movie that failed most miserably at being as shocking as it hoped to be):

Goodnight Mommy

 

The Mulholland Falls Syndrome Award (For the biggest disappointment from the most promising ensemble cast):

Krampus

 

The Cecil B. DeMille Award (For best portrayal of oneself):

Miley Cyrus (The Night Before)

 

The Godfather Best Sequel Award:

Creed

 

The Jaws Worst Sequel Award:

Taken 3

 

The The Man Who Knew Too Much Best Remake Award:

Mad Max: Fury Road

 

The Breathless Worst Remake Award:

Point Break


The Kevin Costner Worst Accent Award:

Garrett Hedlund (Pan)

 

The Meryl Streep Award for Best Accent (Female):

Bel Powley (The Diary Of A Teenage Girl)

 

The Jon Voight Award for Best Accent (Male):

John Boyega (Star Wars: Episode VII ~ The Force Awakens)

 

The Jon Voight Best Impression Award:

Anthony Ingruber of Harrison Ford as William (The Age Of Adaline)

 

The Still Unnamed Worst Impression Award:

Melissa Rivers of Joan Rivers (Joy)

 

The Gary Oldman Chameleon Award (for the most unrecognizable performance by an otherwise recognizable personality):

Richard Jenkins (Bone Tomahawk)

 

The Hamlet Best Production Within A Production Award:

Mosasaurus show (Jurassic World)

 

The “I’m Not The Bad Guy” Award (for the line so bad, it just had to be repeated):

“Be a good man.” (Chi-raq)

 

The This Is 40 Award (for supporting cast member(s) most deserving of a sort-of sequel):

Kill Club (Dark Places)

 

The Rosemary’s Baby Creepiest Moment Award:

post rape snuggles (The Tribe)

 

The Citizen Kane Unseen Ending Award:

Slow West

 

The Passenger 57 Award (for the plot most thoroughly ruined by its trailer):

Southpaw

 

The Ten Best Movies – 2015

1. The Hateful Eight – “Show don’t tell” is a great suggestion most movies could stand to take more seriously. And I’m sure plenty of people would lump Quentin Tarantino in with all the people making those movies. But Quentin Tarantino movies, at least the last few, have found a middle ground. A new, elevated middle ground. One in which he can do both.

8

Epic and sprawling and yet pressure cooked within one location for so much of it, The Hateful Eight is an exercise in doing everything. Which wouldn’t mean much if it wasn’t all done so well. Michael Madsen’s delusional vanity, Samuel L. Jackson’s smug holstering of his weapon, Demián Bichir’s mumbling. Kurt Russell’s hurt feelings. The list of perfect acting moments is endless. I’d never understood the world’s fascination with Walton Goggins until The Hateful Eight. And of course nobody will ever get over Tim Roth in this. And that’s not even everyone!

The-Hateful-Eight

“Show and tell” ought to be the next vague rule bandied about in film schools and overpriced seminars. Unless you’re talking about narrating things yourself, Quentin Tarantino, then you should stop doing that.

 

 

2. Mad Max: Fury Road – I don’t like the beginning or the end, and Max talks way too much, but has been nothing, there is nothing and there will be nothing like the rest of it.

mad-max-fury-road-jumpingYou know this, you witnessed, and it was a lovely day. Probably days. Because nobody only saw this once.

furiosa-madmax

 

 

3. Steve Jobs – I heard somebody say, “It’s very good, but it’s not a movie.” Which isn’t a conversation I want to be a part of, but I do wonder if that means Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf isn’t a movie either. Or Twelve Angry Men. Or any of the millions of versions of Hamlet. And those are just examples based on other things that aren’t movies.

Steve-Jobs-Movie

Truly an odd caveat to give this whatever it is.

Steve Jobs

Because if it had been a play, and then now a movie, we might be talking about how it beat The Revenant for Best Picture. (And asking what was Spotlight? Was that that one about Batman on stage?) Instead it is already a largely forgotten original piece of work about a contemporary genius and all the terrible things that go along with that seen through three tiny portholes of space and time and really I don’t know what a movie is, I guess.

 

 

4. Creed – I heard the second trailer gave something major away and I successfully avoided it. Which was not small feat. And while I felt good about that, I never could have imagined what plot point I was missing. For while the plot point itself isn’t such a surprise, the fact that they’d put it in a trailer is (that’s not true, really, I don’t trust trailers at all and it’s weird we all just sit there like the one thing we don’t want to know isn’t going to get thrown at us at any moment.)

creed07576

And while one moment like that can’t make an otherwise dull movie great, it can elevate a perfectly executed genre sequel to heights we couldn’t reasonably have expected (which is silly, Rocky won Best Picture, and deserved to as much or more than most other Best Picture winners, so really we shouldn’t have been so shocked.)

 

 

creed-movie-trailer

5. The Tribe – Even the best movies are lucky to have one scene powerful enough to resonate long after the credits roll. This one has (at least) three and all without the benefit of spoken dialogue.

tribe

But there is plenty of dialogue. You just have no hope of understanding any of it. And while that might lead to some simplifying of plot points, it also leads more forcefully to a permeating sense of dread, because how are you going to predict anyone’s behavior if you never know what they are saying to each other?

tribeaftertribe

6. The Revenant – What’s my problem with The Revenant, what’s it doing all the way down here with the Ukranian silent film and the superhero sequel you’ve convinced yourself you hated?

revenant

I think you are losing sight of the fact that it’s the 6th best movie of the year, but OK, there is a lot of Malick-ian imagery that seems useless. Maybe that’s your favorite part. You’re wrong, but that’s to be expected.

The-Revenant-Movie

We can all agree though that the action, when it happens, it unparalleled, whether it stems from the dizzying cinematography or the seamlessly realism of the effects. Probably both. Plus, the best grunt acting ever captured on whatever they record sound on now.

 

7. Avengers: Age Of Ultron – That party scene could have gone on forever and nobody ever fought anybody again and the world lived happily ever after and this would still be one of the best movies of the year. You might argue that it’s the rest of it that ought to keep it from being one.

But for all the weirdness (Thor bath) and digital noise fighting, these are all still full characters in an ever expanding universe and their management is impressive even when it isn’t always cinematic (it usually is though.)

Add to all of this one of the better villains in any movie, never mind superhero movie, and you get something that transcends all the production problems you read ahead of time and allowed to invade your perception of it.

 

8. Anomalisa – When I first saw this is was the second best movie of the year. The second time, it was the third. Now it has dropped to eighth place and I haven’t even watched it again. Soon it might be on the worst list.

anomalisa-02

But there will always be moments that feel as though they’ve been stolen from my mind. Charlie Kaufmann has a patent on doing that, and I assume it works the same on you as it does on me, although maybe I shouldn’t, considering how uninterested everyone seems to be in this.

Jennifer Jason Leigh gave us two insane and disparate performances this year and we aren’t saying enough about either, especially considering that there aren’t even supposed to be such roles for women. Never mind two for the same one.

ANOMALISA

Lesson: do not explain the word anomaly to someone named Lisa in your movie, it’s a recipe for commercial failure.

 

9. Minions – We look back at things like HR Puffnstuff or the early 90s NickToons and wonder how on Earth the world didn’t notice how crazy and weird it was. And that is how people will look back at the Minions in twenty and thirty and forty years. The Despicable Me movies are very good in no small part for being off kilter and slightly dangerous, especially in the hypersensitive regime of kids programming we are currently living under. Cutting the Minions loose from that formula could have easily forced them into an easily digestible construct, theoretically elevating them from crazy nonsense background noise to front and center characters we might recognize from everything else we’ve ever seen.

Bob

Instead, Illumination turned up the crazy nonsense while simultaneously making them front and center characters and the result has got to be the weirdest movie to ever make a billion dollars.

 

scarlet

10. Ballet 422 – Until this year, I’d never seen a Frederick Weisman documentary, but I imagined all of them whenever I’d hear about one coming out that I would inevitably miss in the two theaters it might play in and then never be able to find anywhere else. But watching this, I felt like I was finally seeing one. And it was everything I had always imagined. Unintrusive documentation of a process I knew nothing about and more importantly cared nothing about until I was presented with it in this seemingly but not t all staid and droll format.

ballet422

I would not watch Ballets 1-421, but I do wish they’d been made. Because it seems as though you could look forward to the next one coming out even without any previous or subsequent interest in ballet or dancing in general. And that’s all fine and good enough on its own to make this list, but then comes the ending to Ballet 422, which must be the best twist ending in documentary history. And yet it’s still treated as totally normal, so much so I had to go back and make sure I’d understood it correctly, not because the movie did anything wrong in presenting it, but because it didn’t make any practical sense and opened up a whole other world we weren’t watching the whole time, but easily could have been and would never have known the difference.

Ballet 422

 

11.-15.

 

45 Years – Best Actor and Actress talk ought to begin and end here.

 

In Jackson Heights – I don’t want more three hour meandering documentaries. I just want more of this one.

 

Blind – The more Charlie Kaufman movie of 2015 than the Charlie Kaufman movie of 2015.

 

Room – There are two sides to everything.

 

The Martian – Based on a future true story.

 

 

The Ten Worst Movies – 2015

0. Garm Wars: The Last Druid It’s pretty crazy to forget a worst movie of the year when the only thing you’re any good at is seeing them. But to forget the absolute worst is something else entirely.

Garm-Wars

I’d like to say that my mind was protecting me from the trauma or something cliche like that, but it’s not true. I just didn’t write it down, I guess, even though that’s sort of unbelievable considering how much more fun this would be to write down than any other movie title of 2015.

Garm Wars is obviously terrible, as such a title suggests. Without any intention of not being terrible. It doesn’t even make enough sense to talk about. It’s not like I don’t want to. But I don’t even really know what happened. And neither will you. Mostly though in your case, because you will never see it.

Reason to watch it anyway: Garms! I mean, probably. You sort of have to take their word for it.

 

1. Beyond The Reach See, the desert is very dangerous. Like, if you take somebody’s socks away from them, that’s pretty much a death sentence. But just in case, you should maybe sit in your car and watch.

Reach

This is not Ghost And The Darkness

It isn’t all that’s wrong, so totally completely wrong (but not in that fun way you might be thinking of) about Beyond The Reach. But it might be the easiest to translate. Michael Douglas sits in a car and watches the guy he wants to kill try and make it out of the desert alive. Michael Douglas has a gun. Like definitely. He’s used it already. It’s kind of why he’s in the desert, for hunting. With a rifle. Made for long range shootings. But, you know, that’s not how you kill someone and get away with it. You go out to the desert with them, frame them for a murder no one will believe they committed, take their socks and watch your brilliant plan play out from the comfort of an SUV.

 

What this plans lacks in viability however, it more than makes up for in uncinematicness. Because who doesn’t want to watch someone watch someone else run across a desert.

 

And when all that excitement is over, there’s a unbelievably stupid ending that doesn’t even bother to tell you what happens because what this movie needs is more nothing.

 

Reason to watch it anyway: Michael Douglas does a Wall-E impression. For no reason. And oh boy does it go on for a really long time.

 

 

2. Charlie, Trevor And A Girl Savannah The newest movie theater in Hollywood is a converted playhouse with one screen. It feels a little like a small school auditorium that isn’t usually used to show movies, but got a donation specifically for that purpose and so had to do what it could. It shows three or four movies a day, once each, and they are almost always things you have never heard of existing and will never hear of again. But I was parked nearby, where parking is not plentiful nor easy, and the movie was starting soon and this theater takes MoviePass. So I went.

charlie-trevor-and-a-girl-savannah

I don’t say these things to explain away seeing a terrible movie that, had I known anything about it beforehand, I would have known was terrible and should have therefore avoided. Of course not. You see that is not something I do. I might even do the opposite. I mention it because I only went to that theater once in 2015 and I feel as though maybe if I’d gone more often this entire list would be full of all the movies I saw there and maybe Charlie, Trevor And A Girl Savannah wouldn’t even be as bad as all of those.

 

But having seen Charlie, Trevor And A Girl Savannah, I feel safe in saying that would never be the case.

 

Reason to watch it anyway: The director, who also plays Charlie, who is definitely the third lead, the supporting actor, despite the placement of his character’s name in the title, is Larry Beale from Even Stevens. And Larry Beale from Even Stevens was a pretty great Disney Channel villain, as such things go. This does not translate into anything being better about this movie though. Still, seeing Larry again was a nice surprise. Moreso even than seeing Eric Roberts and Emily Meade, two people who have been great in terrible things before, but I guess you can’t expect people to keep doing that all the time.

 

 

3. Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus I probably need to tell you, I really like Spike Lee.

 

His other 2015 production, Chi-raq, which came out just months after Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus, is not a good movie, but there are some great things in it. And if nothing else, I can always find those great things in his movies.

sweetblood

But they never showed up in Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus. There’s all the regular bad though. Terrible acting, weird plot set ups, repetition of ideas that were never subtle… Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus has so many of them all. And maybe worst of all it looks dreary and stagnant, which has never happened in a Spike Lee movie.

 

Plus, it is a vampire movie! Sort of. I mean, it can’t even commit to that.

 

Reason to watch it anyway: There isn’t much. Maybe you like Martha’s Vineyard but it has always seemed too white for you?

 

 

4. Everly The definition of insanity is performing the same action over and over and expecting different results. So what then does it mean to watch the same action over and over and expect different results?

Everly4

Everly has one idea: to shoot a whole action movie in one hotel room. And it does that. At the expense of trying every last nerve you have keeping the title character in that room. It will defy every bit of logic you have. Which makes it sound like it is trying a lot of different things, but no. Mostly it is just people coming over to kill her and being thwarted by the same things. Either someone off screen shooting them in the back or Everly dispatching them effectively by accident. Because see, Everly doesn’t know how to use a gun, she just picks them up briefly and they go off and kill everyone and then she drops it with squeak. Because she’s a girl you see, and girls can‘t use guns! Unless they are ironic super killers because then that’s totally surprising, because girls can’t use guns, silly!

 

Reason to watch it anyway: Girls use guns! That’s crazy! Where else can you see such a thing!

 

 

5. Faith Of Our Fathers Christian movies have an obvious problem. They only exist to get their message across, that’s where the money comes to make them and to promote them. It’s odd, seeing as how most of the money paid to see them is from people who do not need this message told to them. They must just appreciate it simply being said. But of course, more often than not, that message is the only thing the movie is concerned with accomplishing.

That Faith Of Our Fathers is one of these movies (there were plenty of them this year, and more to come) is not a surprise. And it isn’t enough to make it one of the worst movies of the year. But since the plot involves two guys on a car trip (one a believer, one not, obviously) as well as their fathers’ letters to each other which treads all of the same exact ground, it becomes all that the movie is. There isn’t any room for anything else. Sure, the non-believer guy gets them into some trouble and acts all crazy-like because how could he not without Jesus, and the believer guy has to stand up to his nagging soon-to-be wife even though she’s pretty much always in the right to be complaining about him disappearing right before their wedding. But these things are barely there, even for a movie that isn’t interested in such superfluous luxuries as character and plot to begin with.

 

Reason to watch it anyway: Stephen Baldwin is their fathers’ commanding officer who is somehow still alive and way younger than anyone who was in Vietnam could be. It feels weird even saying this, but he’s kind of good in it.

 

 

6. This Is Happening Another road trip movie!

 

This is one is a brother and sister having terribly expository discussions while they look for their grandmother who has run off. And you’ll never guess who plays the unruly grandmother… oh, you got it already? Weird.

It definitely fancies itself a comedy, but there aren’t really any jokes in This Is Happening, just quirky things characters do for no discernable reason except for there to be a movie. Which is debatable.

 

Reason to watch it anyway: Mickey Sumner is OK as the sister. Better than everyone else anyway. Unless you’re into Cloris Leachman doing the same things she’s been doing for twenty years, only doing it in a much less nuanced way.

 

 

7. Agent 47 This one was pretty much guaranteed a spot here from the interrogation scene the trailer is built around alone. Why is Agent 47 facing away from the observation glass? Why did that smug cop who looks like a math teacher even bring the rifle in there? And why is it pointed at the suspect? And why is it loaded? These are the sorts of questions you can ask yourself forever after Agent 47. After just the trailer!

But then there was another trailer that spoiled the only thing that could be considered in any way interesting about Agent 47, though that is using the term very loosely.

 

Reason to watch it anyway: You are a Hitman saga completist and what are you going to do? Spend thousands on therapy to cure yourself of that or just assume there won’t be anymore after this because how could there be oh my God it made money somehow? Sorry, you may be in trouble.

 

 

8. Beauty And The Bestie It’s not a terribly impressive record, but this will probably wind up being the highest grossing movie in Phillipenes history. Its star, Vice Ganda, has done this four times before, all in the last five years, so it wouldn’t even be a surprise. Unless, you know, you saw any of them.

We complain a lot about the stupidity of America, especially its comedy. How its dumbed down and playing to the lowest common denominator and all that. But there has never been anything quite like this made on American soil. And maybe not just because of how low the comedy is.

 

Because it isn’t necessarily devoid of ideas. Nor is it predicated on a terribly flawed one, the way a lot of bad movie can be. Said star Vice Ganda even seems like he can act. At least as much as such a movie might demand of him to.

 

But that is how poorly made Beauty And The Bestie is. There is sped up action that isn’t even action. There are weird meta jokes that seem to be exclusively for the crew. Action scenes that are worse than watching two six year olds pretend to shoot at each other. And there are extended sequences where squeaky sound effects keep happening for no apparent reason. Like it can go on for minutes. And of course, at the center of it all is the main character, a transgender salon employee, who no one can resist calling ugly at any opportunity.

 

It’s not even that it is offensive, though I suppose it certainly could be. But that isn’t really the problem. It’s just an ingrained ineptitude that envelopes everything. It’s the most poorly made movie on this list, which really only speaks to how bad everything else is about anything preceding it.

 

Reason to watch it anyway: It’s a very odd portrayal of a transgender character. At first, it seems as though no one will even mention it, that it might just be a dream movie that exists fifty years before it possibly could. A comedy with a protagonist who is transgender, but that isn’t the point of the movie, that’s just who the character is. And in the end, it might even try to return to that ideal. But in between, watch out.

 

 

 

9. The Last Five Years I didn’t remember that this was what it was called, but I saw this play in Minneapolis a few years ago and hated it then too. It’s a cloying attempt to infuse a modern mumblecore type story with musical tropes both sincere and ironic. But the songs are mumblecored too, they never approach any sort of grandiose staging the way the musicals it is trying to emulate/foil and it has no aspirations to do so.

The thing about the production I saw in Minneapolis though, is the guy wasn’t quite as terrible an actor. The character was still too much of an asshole stand in for the writer for anyone to really come off as anything less than insipid, but at least the guy I saw could do that. The actor in this has no hope. What’s weirder still is he didn’t seem to be so much of a great singer that you could see someone trading off acting ability for it. And to make this even worse, maybe as worse as it could possibly be, he has to do all of it opposite Anna Kendrick, which besides obviously being great at both acting and singing, makes the character he is barely playing seem like an impossibly larger asshole. If you could find it in yourself to care about any of that, that is, which will probably be difficult.

 

Reason to watch it anyway: Anna Kendrick is a reason to watch anything and she sings a lot in this. She alone should be enough to make it not one of the worst movies of the year, really. THAT’S HOW BAD THIS GUY IS!!!

 

 

10. The Gallows It’s deflating enough at this point when anything turns out to be a found footage movie. But The Gallows is not content in simply deflating your hopes, even if you didn’t have any to begin with. It wants to stomp those hopes down into the ground, in tiny pieces that will never rise again. Because The Gallows has put its framing device into the hands of the most annoying character 2015 has to offer. He will never stop talking and it will never not be annoying. They might as well have played a loop of feedback.

THE GALLOWS

Not that the people actually on screen are so much better. It may be obvious what their characters are supposed to be but it isn’t always easy to make out because nobody seems to know how to act any of these obvious things.

 

And none of this touches on the story. It’s not complicated, of course, nor would you want it to be, so that isn’t a failing on its own. And never mind that the title refers to an actual gallows built on a high school stage because of course when twenty years ago somebody died on a gallows putting on this same weird play, the school would ever even consider putting it on again. That’s not it either. It’s that the daughter of the guy who died in that original production wants revenge by playing the lead in the same play and killing some people who have randomly showed up the night before to ruin the theater and cancel it. Which means her original plan was just to be in the same play and someone would die again? I guess maybe it’s more complicated than I thought.

 

Reason to watch it anyway: Kathie Lee Gifford’s daughter is in it? Actually, she isn’t the worst thing about The Gallows. She might even be the best thing about The Gallows. So maybe that shouldn’t be a question mark? Nope, it definitely should.

 

11.-15.

Stonewall I bet you had no idea the Stonewall riots were caused by a lover’s spat.

 

The Loft This movie really believes it’s got one heck of a twist in store for you. Which it does, in that it tricked you into you watching it.

 

Beyond The Mask A Christian superhero movie set during the Revolutionary War. And that’s making it sound like it makes any sense.

 

(The Ridiculous 6) – This is where The Ridiculous 6 would go if it had been released in a theater, which it wasn’t, so rejoice. It may not seem like it now,  but this was a victory for all mankind.

 

Vice Thomas Jane does his very best to get Bruce Willis to look up from the tablet with all his lines on it. (It doesn’t work.)

 

Point Break Congratulations on getting the world to not notice a major Christmas Day release. Because we should really all be talking about this for most of 2016.

The Most Surprising(ly Good) Movies – 2015

1. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials The first Maze Runner movie played so much like a parody of Young Adult novel movie-izations that even my compulsion to leave no cinematic stone unturned (no matter how heavy) could easily have slackened enough to let this sequel pass by. I didn’t even (yet) see the second installment of such a series that got on this list last year (Divergent.)

Scorch-Trials

Unless a long hallway counts, this Maze Runner has no mazes. It has no made up names for dumb things that don’t exist. It really has very little to do with anything that happened in the first one, as if it knew how bad it was and would sooner have you forget it ever happened.

 

The expendable group of diversity that serves the main Maze Runner’s cause is difficult to take sometimes, as if this was making fun of racist action movies of yore. But like those action movies, it doesn’t rest enough to let you stew on it very long. A prison break and a zombie movie get intertwined with a conspiracy gauntlet and a regular old revolution and it never lets up.

 

 

2. Everest The IMAX documentary on the same expedition bored me to death when it wasn’t actively making me angry that someone thought I should feel sorry for a bunch of dummies who died doing the thing they had to sign multiple documents about dying in order to do. So it was mostly begrudging obligation to see everything (and the presence of Emily Watson) that got me to this early enough to see it in IMAX all it’s own (except it wasn’t really IMAX, just AMC’s facsimile thereof.)

everest5

And so even knowing a lot about the ending and nothing else being terribly unpredictable to begin with, there didn’t seem to be much room for this to not be annoying. But then, that left a lot of room for it to be better than expected. What I was not prepared for was the spectacle of it. In IMAX 3D at least, this movie puts you on the mountain in a way even an IMAX science center special whose only reason for existence is to do just that could not accomplish.

 

Perhaps most shocking though, was never being annoyed that these people were even doing this. And maybe caring about whether they gave up or didn’t, even whether they got down alive or didn’t.

 

 

3. Paddington – Nobody wanted this. A fan of Paddington Bear was probably furious it was happening and a kid with no idea what a Paddington was wasn’t going to be impressed by a soft spoken bear in a peacoat. And those of us with no allegiance or age-appropriateness would be put off by the nonsense of an animated animal surfing down some stairs on a clawtooth tub. There are Alvin And The Chipmunks movies for that sort of thing.

paddington

But Paddington isn’t nearly as soft as the material might suggest, nor is it as dumb and pandering as most kids movies are at this point. Paddington makes a real impact on everyone around him and is in actual danger at times, which shouldn’t have to be praised, but does.

 

Above and beyond anybody’s expectation, there is cinematography and production design being employed here that would make a casual observer wonder if maybe Wes Anderson had sold out to the studios. With an amazing cast, not the least of which is Ben Whishaw’s brilliant voicing of Paddington, this movie may be more sophisticated than the kids movie it was advertised as, but that seems like a terrible reason to keep it away from yours.

 

 

4. The Age Of Adaline Blake Lively is worse than she’s ever been, robotically moving through time being nice to everyone. Even the guy who will not leave her alone no matter how politely clear she is that he should. Throw in a flowery narrator and really there’s not a whole lot more this movie could do to be bad.

 

And yet, here we are.

the-age-of-adaline

It’s a fantastical Benjamin Button type premise with more pseudo-science explanation than anyone ever would have asked for. It’s convenient and coincidental and the ending is kind of gross if you give it any kind of independent thought.

 

And yet, here we are.

 

I can only go on about what isn’t good about Age Of Adaline, and yet I will always end up back at that refrain. It defies explanation.

 

Oh, but Harrison Ford should be nominated for Best Supporting Actor for it. Like absolutely, no kidding.

 

And yet, here we are.

 

 

5. Max I am definitely not a sucker for dog movies, but maybe now that there is one, I might be a sucker for movies about kids who don’t want a dog, but have one forced upon them.

Max

However, I definitely am a sucker for any movie with two independent villains, especially when neither is treated like a joke. Which might be the most surprisingly good thing about Max. That despite being a movie about a kid and a dog, the danger is always real, whether it is that dog or a gun or just falling off of something, it is always presented with appropriate deference.

 

It is a movie about a dog in the end though, so while it does some things that make you question its voracity, it’s never preternatural the way that often can be. The boy and dog relationship has a progression even, one that doesn’t feel forced or even inevitable. Which is something even movies without dogs have trouble doing.

 

 

6.-10.

 

Danny Collins I even had some warning for this one, but it was not nearly enough. Bobby Cannavale does Al Pacino while Al Pacino does somebody else for once.

 

San Andreas Almost every day I think about the scene where The Rock gets the boat over the tsunami while all the other ones fall down behind him. I don’t know why. It’s not even the best thing in this relentless ride.

 

Self/less Not nearly as visually arresting as you’d hope a Tarsem Singh action movie would be, but even sleepwalking to a paycheck, he can be better than most. Plus he doesn’t care enough about the story to mess it up with his esoteric inclinations.

 

The Gift If not for one of the most aggravating endings in memory, this might have been one of the best movies of the year.

 

Sisters It was pretty cynical and stupid of me to let the trailer for this turn me against it, but come on, you saw it, it looked really bad.

The Most Disappointing Movies – 2015

1. Tomorrowland If you are wondering how I could possibly had any hopes for this, you most likely didn’t somehow dodge all the trailers and entire scenes it bombarded the world with leading up to its release. But I did. All I had was that first teaser with the magic pin and George Clooney challenging me to a fight at the end.

tomorrowtub

It was a great teaser trailer that told us basically nothing, but coupled with the title and what that already means, sold a mystery adventure that stood out amongst all the sequels, reboots and otherwise branded titles around it even while being one of those branded titles itself. In just two minutes, it also sold me on the idea that this new person, star Britt Robertson, was as good as the other similarly aged female superstars we have right now and should probably be playing Jennifer Lawrence’s sister in something by summer 2016.

 

But none of this came to pass. Tomorrowland is a purposely confusing mess of questions without answers (writer Damon Lindelof’s specialty) that are continually shouted at us by the lead character who just cannot fathom that what is going on is really happening no matter how many times it happens.

rc

The best part is an extended flashback that stars none of the people in that teaser trailer. It’s the only part that feels like the Brad Bird movie we might have imagined if all the information we’d been given was that Brad Bird was making a movie called Tomorrowland. Which at one point, was all we had. Well, that plus some hope for the future.

 

 

2. Jurassic World While I didn’t completely avoid the marketing onslaught of this one, it never filled me with certain dread that way it seemed to many others. I certainly didn’t consider it would be so inconsistent. In such surprising ways even. Almost no actor, no matter how experienced, can keep who their character is straight. And neither can the movie as a whole, really.

jurassic-world

It wants so badly to get to the punchline it has in mind, it will bend everything else around that joke to its will, no matter how incredibly stupid it makes that everything. If it thinks you will find a spacey teenage ride worker funny, it will give that to you even if everything else its told you about the park says they would never hire someone like that (never mind where they’d hire him from, on a jungle island in Costa Rica.) If it thinks a lazy, slovenly dinosaur guard will be funny, it will forget how it just told you how important and seriously it takes the safety of the park. Because of what happened before, you see…

If you’re sitting there thinking that it wasn’t any more or less dumb that any other Jurassic Park movie then there’s nothing I can do for you. Except tell you that you sound as dumb as Jurassic World. Which you’ll probably take as a compliment.

 

 

3. Me And Earl And The Dying Girl A standing ovation at Sundance!

me-and-earl-and-the-dying-girl

You hear that sometimes about movies. I mean, I do anyway. And it sounds promising. Even the second or third time you hear it. But I guess everyone is so tired and annoyed at being in Park City for those two weeks that they are ready to applaud most anything. It’s the only explanation as to why something this blatantly disingenuous could be revered.

 

That, or people who make movies love movies about people who make movies. Even annoying self-centered kids who make purposely and inexcusably terrible ones.

 

 

4. Trainwreck I don’t care about any gender politics that may be wrapped up in Trainwreck’s existence. The exciting thing about it, besides the trailer (which looked pretty good, if not exactly hilarious), was that movies might be moving in the direction FX’s Louie was pushing productions based around the existing persona of an ascending comedian. Never mind that Judd Apatow was going to be the one doing it, which quality concerns aside (because at this point, you just don’t know how that one will go), meant that it was going to be something that couldn’t just disappear after a week in a Landmark theater only to crop up a few years later as some sort of lost gem now streaming on whatever we’ll be using then.

trainwreck

Trainwreck was going to be a giant comedy, an appeal to everyone star-making vehicle that would serve as a perfect counterpoint to a summer full of a wide array of more traditional blockbuster fare. Trainwreck wasn’t just going to be funny, it was going to be so different doing so that it was going to change so much of the bad parts of the giant comedies we’ve gotten used to lately. And with resistance forces finally forcing Adam Sandler into semi-exile, there was even a spot to be filled. Maybe by something that felt as different as Billy Madison did twenty years ago.

 

Failure on the being funny portion of that equation alone wouldn’t be so surprising. And it’s not as though it was ever going to mishandle that part of it so terribly that I’d have to make another unfortunate Adam Sandler comparison, but it failed so badly at being any kind of different that it had to try and self-reference it’s way out of being so the same as anything else. Which is a death knell nobody can ever seem to hear in time enough to avoid it.

 

 

5. He Named Me Malala This is kind of an unbelievable failure because even if the most boring person you know told you the story of the person it is about, you’d go from disgusted to enthralled to watching this movie because you figured any rendering of it was going to be the greatest thing you’d ever seen.

malala

But unfortunately, this documentary was made by the same person who was following Lance Armstrong around with a camera when the steroid story broke and managed to make an unwatchably boring movie about it.

 

 

 

6.-10.

Straight Outta Compton When your VH1 Behind The Music feels more balanced and true a telling of a band’s story, you could be disappointed by any band’s story.

 

Sicario This score should win six Oscars because it somehow convinced everyone that military trained and equipped Americans are ever in danger from some Mexicans with six shooters in a Toyota.

 

Pawn Sacrifice Tobey Maguire is seriously great in this and I guess that made for enough material to put together a great trailer that made me forget to question what a dumb title it had.

 

Secret In Their Eyes A clearly telegraphed twist is never good for a movie, but it isn’t impossible to push through. This one though, ruins the whole mystery being put forth and everything falls down around it.

 

In The Heart Of The Sea When the release date was March, it seemed like hey, what a pleasant surprise for an early spring release. When it got moved to December it was like, oh, this movie might be so good they wanted to wait for awards season and risk going up against Star Wars at the box office. Neither one was true. Just like this story, probably.

 

 

Top Five Wasted Efforts – 2015

Antonio Pinto and Kaylin Frank (MacFarland, USA)MacFarland, USA isn’t nearly as bad as you probably think it is, but even if it was something that belonged in the Disney sports movie Hall of Fame, the work done compiling the soundtrack would deserve recognition it was never going to get.

McFARLAND, USA..L to R: Johnny Sameniego (Hector Duran), Victor Puentes (Sergio Avelar), Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), and Damacio Diaz (Jamie Michael Aguero)...Ph: Film Frame..?Disney 2015

It is nearly impossible to distinguish what is score and what is a pre-existing song dropped into the scene, which isn’t on it’s own something to report, but is a confusing experience when you are watching the movie. The seamless blending is something we maybe ought to take for granted but I don’t know when the last time was that happened even one time in a movie never mind kept happening throughout.

But even taken separately, MacFarland, USA’s score and soundtrack operate as surgical enhancements of the otherwise blandly effective manipulations of the drama the visual accompaniment is adequately providing. Which is perhaps the biggest compliment the music of a movie can get, that maybe it is the thing being accompanied, and not the other way around.

 

 

Dakota Johnson (50 Shades Of Grey) – The Dina Meyer Award is for the best acting (by a female) in the worst movies of the year. So it would seem this sort of effort would not go unrecognized. But Dakota Johnson is so good as otherwise cardboard cut out Anastasia Steele that she makes 50 Shades Of Grey not one of the worst movies of the year. Her performance alone elevates this obligatory afterthought production into the top of the bottom third of movies from 2015. That’s confusing geography, but you don’t make a list of the worst 100 movies of a single year. If you did, this might be at number 100 or so, sure, but that’s something to shrug off pretty easily. Especially when the source material would suggest much worse.

50 Shades 1

Of course, the effort wouldn’t seem wasted on a giant production with so much anticipation and the threat of sequels looming. But I don’t think anyone ever considered that there might be something worth watching throughout all of it. Dakota Johnson has made sure that there is. And while more than anyone that will probably ever be on this list, she is getting recognition for it, and that might negate much of the waste, it still could not have been the plan, to be the unignorable best thing in a stupid movie based off a thoroughly publicly throttled book. It certainly never occurred to anyone else involved in making it. Except maybe the person who thought of casting Dakota Johnson.

 

 

The Cast of Love The Coopers (Love The Coopers) – When Arthur Hiller was President of the Director’s Guild of America, it seems as though all his movies were populated by the biggest and best actors that had to have been pressured by the position into appearing. Director Jessie Nelson does not appear to have any of that sort of influence (although her husband did direct Career Opportunities) but the cast she has assembled seems similarly under the gun. Unlike those Arthur Hiller movies however, every one of them is delivering as though someone important is watching. As though anyone is watching.

lovethecoopers

Love The Coopers is a weird movie with a weird title and while that has worked out quite well for movies of Christmas past, it does not appear to be the destiny of this one.

 

 

Robbie Amell (The DUFF) – Like 50 Shades Of Grey, The DUFF isn’t quite as bad enough to qualify any of its performers for awards that might require such badness. But The DUFF makes it close. Allison Janney also stops by briefly to be awesome as usual and titular DUFF Mae Whitman is obviously not the worst lead of a teen movie there’s ever been. Which makes Robbie Amell’s standing out all the more noteworthy.

robbie-amell-in-the-duff

But standing out is not the only requisite here. It’s hard to say a performance by a relative unknown in a major release, no matter the final quality, to be a wasted effort. But regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the lead in a teen romantic comedy, the object of that lead’s affection is pretty much always a thankless forgettable position to be put in. Never mind that in this case, Amell had the unenviable job of explaining meaning behind the movie’s awful title. Through it all though, if you are able to get through all the rest of The DUFF, Amell will treat you to a thoroughly comedic and charismatic performance that will make you think you’re seeing Tom Cruise in 1982 somehow transported through time and making the same sort of mark he did then.

 

V. Srinivas Mohan (I) – First, you need to watch the trailer for this movie.

Now that you’ve done that, if you even bothered to come back here rather than track down the whole movie immediately, you know I must be talking about the visual effects supervisor. 1267937I hope you didn’t track down the whole movie though, because it never gets better than the crescendoing nonsense you just saw. But the effects are a marvel, maybe even moreso because they never mean anything. That said supervisor V. Srinivas Mohan and the director were ever able to get anywhere in a discussion about what the effects should accomplish without any notable context is astonishing enough. That the result made one the best trailers of 2015 is something else entirely. Something that might have forced you to find the one theater in your state showing this movie, and then because you didn’t know any better, asking to see it in the wrong language, as if that would make any difference. For a totally made up example.

 

 

Nominations! (2015)

Winners are in bold. To skip the nominees and explanations and go straight to the winners, go here.

(As usual, not all awards are represented here as many do not warrant multiple nominees.)

 

The Freddie Prinze, Jr. Award (For the best acting in the worst movie of the year – male):

– Stephen Baldwin (Faith Of Our Fathers)

Thomas Jane (Vice)

– J.K. Simmons (Terminator Genisys)

 

Thomas Jane is poised to own this award for decades right now. The movies he is choosing to do and the energy he puts into them makes it seem like he knows this award exists and has resolved to never let anyone else win it as long as it does.

 

The Dina Meyer Award (For the best acting in the worst movie of the year – female):

– Anaïs Demoustier (Une Nouvelle Amie)

Anna Kendrick (The Last Five Years)

– Mickey Sumner (This Is Happening)

 

It’s a sad win. Thing is, she probably doesn’t even realize how bad a movie she was in.

 

The Anna Paquin Best Child Actor Award:

-Abraham Attah (Beasts Of No Nation)

– Raffey Cassidy (Tomorrowland)

– Sterling Jarrin (No Escape)

– Elias Schwarz (Goodnight Mommy)

– Günes Sensoy (Mustang)

Jacob Tremblay (Room)

 

The nomination list gets longer and longer for this all the time. Is it suddenly a lot easier to direct children? Anyway, Room kid’s definitely messed up from doing this movie. So much more than Beasts Of No Nation kid, which is weird.

 

The Nicolas Cage Uneven Performance Award [For the biggest gap in quality between two different performances in the same year (the good thing is always listed first)]:

– Johnny Depp (Black Mass and Mortdecai)

– David Gordon Green (Manglehorn and Our Brand Is Crisis)

– Hugh Jackman (Chappie and Pan)

– Spike Lee (Chi-raq and Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus)

Tom McCarthy (Spotlight and The Cobbler)

– Elisabeth Moss (Queen Of Earth and Truth)

– Robert Redford (Truth and A Walk In The Woods)

 

This is tough because I want to give this to actors as often as possible. Hugh Jackman was the front runner there mostly because he is strangely great in Chappie. It makes you think, “Oh, he’s a great villain” and then Pan came along. But the idea that the potential Best Picture would be directed by someone who started off the same year with a vaguely offensive and overtly creepy Adam Sandler movie.

 

The Peter Sellers Multiple Role Award:

– Joe Cole (Secret In Their Eyes)

– Steve Coogan (Minions)

– Tom Hardy (Legend)

Tom Noonan (Anomalisa)

– Ryan Reynolds (Self/less)

– Ryan Reynolds (The Voices)

 

Tom Hardy had this wrapped up. Then Tom Noonan does that cab driver. He could have just done that and Donna and deserved this, but obviously he could not stop there.

 

The Sean Connery Best Cameo Award:

– Jane Adams (Digging For Fire)

– Anthony Bourdain (The Big Short)

– Steve Carell (Minions)

– John Cena (Daddy’s Home)

– Dave Chappelle (Chi-raq)

– Rick Fox (Dope)

– Terry Gilliam (Jupiter Ascending)

– Melissa Leo (The Big Short)

Josh Peck (The Wedding Ringer)

– Peter Sohn (The Good Dinosaur)

 

Ten nominees is the limit guys. I mean, come on. Josh Peck’s best man speech is a perfect short film inside a movie that is at least a little funnier than you probably think.

 

The Casey Affleck Worst Cameo Award:

– Marv Albert (Trainwreck)

– Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Star Wars: Episode VII ~ The Force Awakens)

Carrie Brownstein (Carol)

– Scott Cohen (James White)

– Kathryn Hahn (Tomorrowland)

– Hugh Jackman (Me And Earl And The Dying Girl)

– Julia Stiles (Hits)

 

Kathryn Hahn was much much worse in Tomorrowland, but that’s not what this award is supposed to be. It’s meant to be the most useless and/or distracting one. And Carol does it double barrel style by putting Carrie Brownstein in the opening credits and then saving her until the last few minutes to show up and barely do anything.

 

The Alfred Hitchcock In Front of the Camera Award (For the least intrusive appearance by a movie’s own director(s)):

– Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect 2)

– Pierre Coffin (Minions)

F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton)

– Carey Scott (Faith Of Our Fathers)

– Peter Sohn (The Good Dinosaur)

– Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World)

 

Colin Trevorrow would be the most Hitchcockian cameo, but F. Gary Gray briefly plays a real person in a movie he made about real people which included a person writing a movie he directed 20 years ago. And you might not have noticed.

 

The Quentin Tarantino In Front of the Camera Award [For most intrusive – not to mention annoying – appearance by a movie’s own director(s)]:

– John Frances Daley (Vacation)

– Ty Hodges (Charlie, Trevor and A Girl Savannah)

– Michael Moore (Where To Invade Next)

– Jafar Panahi (Taxi)

Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight)

 

In an otherwise nearly perfect movie, the director chooses to narrate things that don’t need narrating in his distinct voice and cadence as if you accidentally pressed the audio button and now you’re playing the commentary track.

 

The Drew Barrymore All Grown Up Award:

Liam Aiken (Ned Rifle)

– Isabelle Fuhrman (All The Wilderness)

– Sarah Hagan (Sun Choke)

– Bobb’e J. Thompson (Me And Earl And The Dying Girl)

 

Sarah Hagan is too old for this, but somehow has been playing high school kids for 15 years. Liam Aiken was a pretty terrific kid actor who didn’t do very much and disappeared until coming back for this terrible thing. Which is exactly what I’m looking for.

 

The Martin Scorsese Best Use of a Song Award:

– Elizabeth Banks for “Flashlight” by The Barden Bellas (Pitch Perfect 2)

Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda for “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks (Minions)

– David Cross for “Brave” by the artist Sara Bareilles

– Jonathan Demme for “My Love Will Never Let You Down” by Ricki & The Flash (Ricki & The Flash)

– Ridley Scott for “Starman” by David Bowie (The Martian)

– Quentin Tarantino for “Silent Night” by Demian Bichir (The Hateful Eight)

– Matthew Vaughn for “Baby Give It Up” by KC & The Sunshine Band (Kingsman The Secret Service)

– Matthew Vaughn for “Freebird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd (Kingsman The Secret Service)

 

This was very close. I think Matthew Vaughn’s double nomination hurt him with vote splits. And that’s without “Money For Nothing” even making the list. Those opening chords of “You Really Got Me” might be a cheat that could make any scene greater, but then why isn’t everyone using it?

 

The Andy Garcia Impossible Shot Award:

– into the bug zapper (Ant-Man)

– rocks at the transformer (Mustang)

through the bathroom door (Self/less)

– remote Snapple knock down (Truth)

 

Two of these are accidents, one probably an on set accident that stayed in the movie. The transformer one is so crazy in an otherwise realistic movie (unless Turkey’s infrastructure is that faulty) so this is sort of a default win. But it was still pretty good.

 

The John Woo Best Shootout Award:

– Yann Demange (’71)

– John Erick Dowdle (No Escape)

Michael Mann (Blackhat)

– John Maclean (Slow West)

– Naji Abu Nowar (Theeb)

– S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk)

 

None of these are stellar. Blackhat‘s shootout is an oasis.

 

The William Friedkin Best Car Chase Award:

– Jaume Collet-Serra (Run All Night)

– Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation)

George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)

– Guy Ritchie (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.)

– Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda (Minions)

– Tarsem Singh (Self/less)

 

The whole movie is a car chase, so of course.

Run All Night is second place for the curious.

 

The They Live Best Non-Martial Arts Fight Award:

– Hulk vs. Iron Man (Avengers: Age Of Ultron)

– Donnie “Hollywood” Johnson vs. Leo “The Lion” Sporino (Creed)

– An Sang-Gu vs. Kim Seok-Woo (and henchmen) [내부자들 (Inside Men)]

– Reg vs. Ron (Legend)

Max (and Nux) vs. Furiosa (et al) (Mad Max: Fury Road)

– Glass vs. bear (The Revenant)

– Glass vs. Fitzgerald (The Revenant)

– Jimmy vs. Frank (Run All Night)

 

Great year for this.

 

The Die Hard 2 Icicle Award (for best use of an otherwise benevolent object as a weapon):

building(s) (Avengers: Age Of Ultron)

– elevators (Avengers: Age Of Ultron)

– table (Blackhat)

– icicle (Krampus)

– lamp (No Escape)

– nightstand (The Tribe)

 

Shouldn’t be a surprise. But for clarification’s sake, Krampus is only here because it literally uses an icicle. It’s a pity nomination.

 

The Cast of Nazis from Raiders of the Lost Ark Award (For worst performance of (an) actor(s) in scenes with special effects):

– Andrew Cheney (Beyond The Mask)

Jason Clarke (Terminator Genisys)

– Tim McGraw (Tomorrowland)

– Adam Sandler (Pixels)

 

Adam Sandler is the worst of these, but he’s just sleeping through all of Pixels, not just the special effects parts. Tim McGraw is just as bad as Jason Clarke at looking at things that aren’t there, but Jason Clarke is a special effect at times and can’t do that right.

 

The Talking Pig Award (For the two movies most alike released in the same year):

Kingsman and Tomorrowland

– Madame Bovary and Gemma Bovary

– Seventh Son and The Last Witch Hunter

Montage Of Heck and Soaked In Bleach

 

These are always weird coincidences, but with how long it takes to make and release any documentary, this coincidence is among the weirdest.

 

The Mulholland Falls Award (For movie that failed most miserably at being as shocking as it hoped to be):

Goodnight Mommy

– Krampus

– Me And Earl And The Dying Girl

Trainwreck

 

So dumb. And so boring getting there.

 

The Mulholland Falls Syndrome Award (For the biggest disappointment from the most promising ensemble cast):

Fantastic Four

Krampus

The Lazarus Effect

Trainwreck

 

Even the kid from Chef!

 

The Cecil B. DeMille Award (For best portrayal of oneself):

Miley Cyrus (The Night Before)

– Chris Evert (Trainwreck)

– Margot Robbie (The Big Short)

 

I saw Entourage last night thinking someone in it would belong here, at least as a nominee. Because the two non-winners listed here should barely even qualify. I guess Mark Wahlberg should be on here, but I don’t want Entourage to get even that much right. Point is, Miley Cyrus was OK, but she had an easy road to this.

 

The Godfather Best Sequel Award:

Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Creed

– Mad Max: Fury Road

– The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Minions

Star Wars: Episode VII ~ The Force Awakens

 

Pretty great year for sequels.

 

The Jaws Worst Sequel Award:

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie ~ Sponge Out Of Water

Taken 3

– Terminator Genisys

 

You think this was an afterthought because of how terrible Taken 2 was. But you’re wrong. I’m not here to defend Taken 2, but at least someone was taken in it.

 

The Kevin Costner Worst Accent Award:

– Vladimir Alexis (Stonewall)

– Benedict Cumberbatch (Black Mass)

– Domhall Gleeson (Ex Machina)

– Chris Hemsworth (Blackhat)

Garrett Hedlund (Pan)

– Charlie Hunnam (Crimson Peak)

– Jeremy Irvine (Stonewall)

– Janet Lo (Pay The Ghost)

– Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers: Age Of Ultron)

– Gwyneth Paltrow (Mortdecai)

 

I don’t understand what Garrett Hedlund was trying to do. But less so how anyone heard what he was doing and said, yes, that’s what I want Captain Hook (or anyone) to sound like.

Benedict Cumberbatch is a very close second.

 

The Meryl Streep Award for Best Accent (Female):

Bel Powley (The Diary Of A Teenage Girl)

– Keira Knightley (Everest)

– Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)

 

I am in actual love with every accent Keira Knightley is rolling out this late in her career like she’s getting her Masters in them, but Bel Powley was one of those ones where you see her on a talk show weeks later and it doesn’t make any sense.

 

The Jon Voight Award for Best Accent (Male):

John Boyega (Star Wars: Episode VII ~ The Force Awakens)

– Pierce Brosnan (No Escape)

– Henry Cavill (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.)

– Tobey Maguire (Pawn Sacrifice)

– Jesse Plemmons (Black Mass)

– Tim Roth (The Hateful Eight)

 

Most of my Force Awakens experience was trying to get over how this guy could sound like anything other than Moses, never mind deliver perfect American in a universe that definitely does not require it.

 

The Jon Voight Best Impression Award:

– Govinda Angulo of John Travolta as Vincent Vega (The Wolfpack)

– Jagadisa Angulo of Tim Roth as Mr. Orange (The Wolfpack)

– Kurt Cobain of Chris Cornell (Montage Of Heck)

Anthony Ingruber of Harrison Ford as William (The Age Of Adaline)

– Amy Poehler of Phyllis Smith as Sadness (Inside Out)

– Jared Riley of Kevin James as Cooper (Pixels)

– Marc Rose of Tupac Shakur (Straight Outta Compton)

 

I know you were stunned by Tupac actually being in Straight Outta Compton but you probably did not see Age Of Adaline.

 

The Still Unnamed Worst Impression Award:

– Michael Douglas of Elissa Knight as EVE in WALL-E (Beyond The Reach)

– Garrett Hedlund of Hans Conried and/or Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook (Pan)

– Thomas Mann of Klaus Kinski (Me And Earl And The Dying Girl)

Melissa Rivers of Joan Rivers (Joy)

– Jason Segel of David Foster Wallace (The End Of The Tour)

– Sofia Vergara of Reese Witherspoon as Cooper (Hot Pursuit)

 

Like I said, I don’t know what Garrett Hedlund was trying to do, so it is difficult to place intent on him. Melissa Rivers not being able to do her own mother when she’s been doing it all her life is bizarre.

 

The Gary Oldman Chameleon Award (for the most unrecognizable performance by an otherwise recognizable personality):

– Dean Cameron (Straight Outta Compton)

– Sean Patrick Flannery (Broken Horses)

Richard Jenkins (Bone Tomahawk)

– Tom McCarthy (Pixels)

– Sienna Miller (Unfinished Business)

– Kylie Minogue (San Andreas)

– Paul Reiser (Concussion)

 

I still don’t know who Paul Reiser was in Concussion, but he couldn’t have had nearly as big a part as Richard Jenkins did in Bone Tomahawk. And yet you’ll recognize him quicker in Spotlight, in which he only appears on the phone.

 

The Hamlet Best Production Within A Production Award:

My Man Godfrey (Anomalisa)

– 24/7: Conlan vs. Wheeler (Creed)

– PTI (Creed)

– Meet Your Meat Episode #50 (Funny Bunny)

Choozy Doozy (Hot Tub Time Machine 2)

Mosasaurus show (Jurassic World)

The Voice (Pitch Perfect 2)

 

The one thing Jurassic World did well, never mind better than any other Jurassic Park movie, was show a place you’d definitely go to, despite the knowledge that you would definitely die there.

 

The “I’m Not The Bad Guy” Award (for the line so bad, it just had to be repeated):

– “Wall-E” (Beyond The Reach)

“Be a good man.” (Chi-raq)

– “To bed” (Macbeth)

– “Isn’t that beautiful?” (Point Break)

– “Old, but not obsolete.” (Terminator Genisys)

 

At least 7 times this is said. In a row.

 

The This Is 40 Award (for supporting cast member(s) most deserving of a sort-of sequel):

– Tommy Tucker (Carol)

– Cyclops (Chi-raq)

Kill Club (Dark Places)

– Dom (Dope)

– Chris (Get Hard)

– Mad Teddy (Legend)

– The Nelsons (Minions)

– Ford (Spy)

 

I want movies of most of these characters and might even get a few of them, but Kill Club seems like something that should exist even without prior inclusion in another movie. Which is good since no one knows Dark Places exists.

 

The Rosemary’s Baby Creepiest Moment Award:

– Dr. Whitey Bulger (Black Mass)

– Max dates his mother (The Cobbler)

– Jade bangs on the door (Ex Machina)

– “Would you forgive me if I died?” (Heaven Knows What)

– chicken holes (In Jackson Heights)

– SpongeBob’s brain (The SpongeBob Movie ~ Sponge Out Of Water)

post rape snuggles (The Tribe)

– a truck backing up (The Tribe)

 

Just typing that phrase alone is creepy enough.

 

The Citizen Kane Unseen Ending Award:

Ballet 422

– Heaven Knows What

Slow West

– Tokyo Fianceé

The Tribe

 

Most of these are a stretch. Ballet 422‘s you could easily not even notice (but it is a great one, even if twist might not be the right word.) Slow West‘s is kind of stunning.

 

The Passenger 57 Award (for the plot most thoroughly ruined by its trailer):

Ant-Man

– Creed

– Our Brand Is Crisis

Southpaw

– The Walk

 

It wouldn’t have been very good anyway, but this trailer gave the movie no hope at all.