The First Annual Teddies! Presenting my Arbitrary Awards for Achievement in Film.

Michael Caine, seen here holding a lesser prize.

Michael Caine, seen here holding a lesser prize.

Hi, Cinephiles!

I love seeing as many movies as I can every year in theaters. I love writing preposterously long blog posts. And, against my better judgement, I love awards shows.

So with the Golden Globes gone by and the Oscars yet to come, it is only natural that I, a person who is just as ill-informed and fickle-minded as any of the voters for those awards, have decided to create an awards show of my own.

And so...I now present to you the Teddy Awards, honoring the very best moments in this past year of film that specifically catered to me and my strange whims.

Lights, camera, MOVIE MAGIC!

Rice, Rice, Baby.

Rice, Rice, Baby.

The "Ursula's Crazy Sister!" Award for Best Line of Exposition: Jiro Dreams of Sushi. 

"He knows everything about rice."

This is the line that is spoken in order to introduce you to a man who knows everything about rice.

The Balto Award for Movie that Somehow Made Wolves Seem Boring:The Grey.

I expected The Grey to be about Liam Neeson killing tons of wolves. Instead, it was more like sub-par Gary Paulsen fan-fiction.

Come on -- seriously?! If I wanted to watch a movie about animals not dying, I'd watch Babe. La la laaaa!

The "Bottle of Juice that Turns Baby Hercules Into a Mortal" Award for Dumbest Thing that was Necessary for the Entire Plot of the Movie to Work:

3rd Place: Those cyber dogs from The Hunger Games. What were they, drawn on iPads? Were they Kid Pix dogs? How did they actually hurt people?! Someone please explain.


Look at that thing! It could orbit Earth!

Look at that thing! It could orbit Earth!

1st Place:Argo. What was with those goofy Iranian airport workers who fastpassed the American hostages through customs simply because they loved Hollywood so much? If I'd been in their shoes, I would have noticed the size of Ben Affleck's movie star head and immediately detained him.

The Field of Dreams Award for Father-Son Moment that Made me Cry: the last ten minutes of Men in Black III. 

No, I was not expecting to cry at Men in Black III. Yes, it was embarrassing. Yes, it was still less embarrassing than the time my dad cried at Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. 

The Terms of Endearment Award for Mother-Daughter Moment that Made me Cry: the end of Brave. 

Overall, Brave was pretty uneven, especially for a Pixar movie, but holy crap -- that part at the end -- where the mom's humanoid bear eyes tragically turn into real bear eyes...oh my Lord. I haven't cared so much about bears, since...well...

Continuing the family theme...

The Best Movie to See With Your Dad Award: The Expendables 2. 

I think my and my dad's testosterone levels were at approximately "YAHHHHH!" when we saw this movie. When Bruce Willis and Ah-nold joined Sly Stallone for the final shootout verus Jean-Claude van Damme, my pops and I might as well have been late '90s Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. We were that jacked on MAN JUICE.

This is actually just a picture of me and my mom on the way to the movie.

This is actually just a picture of me and my mom on the way to the movie.

The Best Movie to See With Your Mom Award: The Guilt Trip. 

I know this movie got panned by the critics,  but that's only because none of the reviewers saw the film with their moms. If A.O. Scott had gone to The Guilt Trip with his Jewish mom, then, well, he'd be a much happier man today.

(Although, I have to admit, one unfortunate piece of fallout from going to this movie with my mom is that she's now convinced I'm some big Streisand "fan." I want to tell her the truth, and I want to do it before she makes me cuddle with her and watch Yentl, but...I just don't know if I can bring myself do it. Ah, guilt.)

And while we're at it, let's do a couple more family awards.

The Movie that my Little Sister Saw Three Times Award: Rock of Ages. 

Seriously! And the CD was the number one item on her Christmas list!

And seriously! They actually made a Rock of Ages CD!

This is my 5th favorite Tom Hanks.

This is my 5th favorite Tom Hanks.

The Movie that my Mom Saw Three Times Award: Cloud Atlas.



The Tom Hanks Award for Best Tom Hanks: Evil Racist Dentist Tom Hanks (in a narrow victory over Murderous Bestselling Author Tom Hanks and Futuristic Speech Impediment Tom Hanks).

The Most Delightfully Random Musical Interlude Award: 

3rd Place: Jonah Hill, 21 Jump Street, "I've Gotta Crow."

2nd Place: The cathedral accordion scene from the engrossing/insane French movie Holy Motors.

1st Place: That scene at the end of Zero Dark Thirty where they kill Osama bin Laden and the entire cast breaks out into an impromptu rendition of "Walking on Sunshine."

(Hey, a guy can dream.)

The Best Documentary to Watch on Netflix Instant Right this Very Second Award: 

3rd Place: Jiro Dreams of Sushi.This movie is basically, "How to become the world's greatest sushi chef and also arguably a terrible father." It's captivating.

2nd Place: Indie Game.  When it comes to tortured artists, starving poets and unproduced screenwriters have nothing on independent video game designers. And yes, I also cried at the end of this movie. In fairness, it's because characters I'd grown to care about were suddenly showered with fame and riches. That's an okay reason to cry.

You could be watching this in two minutes…

You could be watching this in two minutes…

1st Place: Make Believe. Technically this movie came out in 2010 and not 2012, but that's okay because I didn't see it until this year and also because no one else has seen it yet. It's the best. INTERNATIONAL TEEN MAGICIANS BATTLE IT OUT IN VEGAS. IT'S WORLD WAR II EXCEPT WITH TEENS AND MAGIC AND VEGAS.

The Ronald Reagan and a Chimpanzee Award for Worst Chemistry: Kristen Stewart and her director, Snow White and the Huntsman.

I don't care what happened between them offscreen -- I just didn't see it on screen! To an old pro like me, that's all that matters

The Cheeseburger Kiss from Good Will Hunting Award for Outstanding Achievement in Disgusting: 

3rd Place: All of the gratuitious vomit scenes in Pitch Perfect. 

2nd Place: The "baby machine" scene from Prometheus (gets extra points because it drove my mom out of the theater!).

1st Place: TIE! Anne Hathaway's gross mucus-y face (Les Mis) and Hugh Jackman singing a sad song while swimming around in a river of poo (also Les Mis). 

Oh, so you got your teeth back? How nice for you…

Oh, so you got your teeth back? How nice for you…

The "Wait? Was all of Inception a Dream or Not?!" Award for Biggest Unanswered Question at the End of a Movie:

At the end of Les Mis, when we see the Heaven version of Anne Hathaway singing the final song, since she still has short hair from her lady of the night days...well then, shouldn't Angel Anne Hathaway also be toothless?

The "Show Me the Monaaaayyyy!" Award for Worst Scene in an Otherwise Good Movie:

2nd Place: The thirty minute-long "I know a lot of random football scores! Hey! Let's win Robert De Niro a lot of money by having a big football bet! Hey! Let's combine it with the dance contest! Hey! Let's have a parlaaaay!" scene from Silver Linings Playbook.

1st Place: When Quentin Tarantino hit the 2 hour, 20 minute mark of Django Unchained, did he think to himself, "Hey, what this movie really twenty minutes of me...and my horrendous Australian accent!"

He did think that, didn't he? That's exactly what he thought.

The Award for Best Movie About an American Legend Directed by an Academy Award-Winning Director and Starring a Method Actor Completely Devoted to His Craft:

Oscar front-runner Channing Tatum.

Oscar front-runner Channing Tatum.

Magic Mike...

What? Was I supposed to pick a different movie?

The Talking Award for Movie That Featured the Most Talking and Talking Talking Talking:

TIE - Lincoln and This is Forty.

These movies had a lot of talking.

Best Song in a Motion Picture:

3rd Place: The Hobbit.

All of the dwarves gathering around the table and singing the Jewish prayer for wine. "Baruch Attah Adonai..."

2nd Place: All of the songs from Searching for Sugar Man. 

Every single one of the Bob-Dylan-but-kinda-more-poetic songs from this remarkable, Oscar-nominated documentary deserves to be listened to millions upon millions of times, and not just in South Africa. "Crucify Your Mind." "Establishment Blues.""I Wonder." They are all bona fide masterpieces. And yet none of them can hold a candle to...

1st Place: "12 Days of Christmas Remix," ABC Family's The Mistle-Tones. 

Sorry, everyone else. Greatness is greatness.

All right, enough lighthearted fun. I think it's time to get to the big boy awards.

Best Screenplay:

TIE - Seven Psychopaths and A Cabin in the Woods.

So I like genre bending! So what?

Best Director:

Scott Speer, Step Up: Revolution.

So my favorite genre of movie is "community of dancers has to save a beloved institution of theirs from being destroyed through the power of dance"! So what?! SO THE FUNK WHAT?!

“Tell ya what, kid…you do a good job on this take? I’ll let you keep your hand chicken!”

“Tell ya what, kid…you do a good job on this take? I’ll let you keep your hand chicken!”

Best Actress:

Six year-old Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild.

I don't care that she wasn't "acting acting." I don't care that instead of internalizing her motivations and coming up with a backstory for herself or whatever, the director probably got her performance out of her by being like, "Hey, I'll let you have pudding if you're good." I don't care, I don't care, I don't care.

All I know is that she made me cry like five times throughout the movie. And if I've established anything in this blog post, it's that...I cry easily. All right. Moving on!



Best Actor:

The CGI tiger that played Richard Parker, Life of Pi.

If we're basing our votes off of, "Entity that didn't really know what it was doing and that also made Teddy Steinkellner cry a lot," then the vote here clearly has to go to the animated tiger from Life of Pi. Thanks for playing, Daniel Day-Lewis. Next time, maybe HAVE STRIPES AND PAWS, OKAY?

...You know what? I wouldn't put it past him.

All right, here we are! Let's finish this lengthy, bloated, self-congratulatory awards show.

Best Picture:

My nominees:Moonrise Kingdom, End of WatchThe Titanic 3-D Re-Release (Yes, I consider this eligible, again according to the requirement of, "Did I cry?"), Seven Psychopaths, Cloud Atlas (shut up, shut up, stop laughing at me, shut up), Wreck-It Ralph, Argo, Skyfall, Silver Linings Playbook, Searching for Sugar Man, Holy Motors, Life of Pi. 

All right, you got me, I just picked the movie with thousands of meerkats.

All right, you got me, I just picked the movie with thousands of meerkats.

And the Teddy goes to...

Life ofPi!!!!!

I'm as shocked as you are, but I loved, loved, loooved this movie. I saw it twice in theaters in three days, which I don't think I've done since, like, Osmosis Jones. 

Hollywood, just remember this formula when you're making movies to cater to me next year -- I like beauty. I like wild animals. I like crying. I like crying. I like crying.