Hi, Popcorn Poppers!
And every year I watch the Oscars. And yeah, they sometimes get the awards right, like the time that sound mixing guy won for the thing, but mostly, as we all know, the Oscars are fraudulent and sad -- sadder even than Sad Jaden Smith.
And so, for the second year in a row, I have decided to award my own Oscars for the past year in film. Yes, the categories are mostly super-random. Yes, this post is almost as long as The Wolf of Wall Street. Yes, I am absolutely infallible in everything I'm about to say. Let's go!
The Forrest Gump Award for Best Movie For AP US History Teachers to Show In Class When It's May and They Need to Kill Some Time:
12 Years a Slave.
A lot of people think this film could win the Oscar for Best Picture. Me? I know it's destined for much greater things, a.k.a. Mr. Ringer finally has another movie to show kids after the AP test besides Forrest Gump and Glory. 12 Years a Slave was the most APUSH movie that ever APUSHed. It's basically a DBQ but scarier.
The Alfred Molina as Tevye Award for Least Convincing Jew:
Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg, Kill Your Darlings.
Look, I'm a big believer in D-Rad's talent. I love him as a boy wizard. I love him as an adult muggle. I even love him as a guy with a horse penis (that's what "Equus" is about, right?).
But Daniel Radcliffe as nebbishy New York Jew Allen Ginsberg? D-Rad noshing on kugel at his nephew Eli's bris? D-Rad receiving a yarmulke with a soccer ball stitched on it for his Bar Mitzvah? D-Rad with CURLY HAIR? Meshugannah.
The Nurse Ratched Award for Best Villain in a Film:
3rd Place: JD Salinger, Salinger. This movie really made it seem like JD's about to come for all of your seventeen year-old daughters, steal them away to his New Hampshire cabin, and write hauntingly beautiful short stories about them. Yeesh.
2nd Place: That one evil nun, Philomena. Nope. Can't ever fall asleep again. Evil Nun with Big Glasses is inside all of my dreams.
1st Place: Barack Obama, The Netflix documentary Mitt. Obviously I love Barry O. in real life, but for the purposes of the movie Mitt? He's a great villain! He's so smooth and confident and presidential. and Mitt is basically this dorky dad who's just trying to make it in a world that's very unkind to dorky dads.
The Radio Shack Super Bowl Commercial Award for Movie That Needs to Get Over Itself and Just Admit It's Set in 1987 Award:
The Way Way Back.
The Way Way Back takes place in 2013. Allegedly. Allegedly. But anytime your movie features: 1.) a crappy water park as the main setting, 2.) a pivotal scene that takes place on a b-boy mat, and 3.) characters bonding over Pac-Man, you need to just get over yourself, throw some Oingo Boingo on the soundtrack, cast someone named Corey, and sprinkle in some anti-Soviet furor. You're a freaking 80's movie.
The Dude Who Wrote That Book Imagine Award for the Most Egregious Plagiarism:
3rd Place: Blue Jasmine.
Creepy, sad Woody Allen personal life stuff aside, the general public is aware that this movie is a total rip-off of "A Streetcar Named Desire," right? All of the critics called it an "homage," but you know when an homage is not an homage? When it's a rip-off.
2nd Place: Gravity.
Again, I found Gravity visually stunning and overall quite compelling, but it's pretty crazy when a big Oscar movie's climax revolves around the four words "fire extinguisher in space," and it's not even the first movie in the last five years to do that. Wall-E, people! Wall-E!
Also, George Clooney's casual, smug demeanor as he floated off into space to be dead forever was just him plagiarizing George Clooney in all other George Clooney movies.
1st Place: Pacific Rim.
(Whoa. Sorry about that outburst. Just had to speak truth to power for a sec.)
The Jude Law in 2004/Jake Gyllenhaal in 2005 Award for STOP BEING IN EVERY MOVIE:
TIE: Amy Adams and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Hey Amy (American Hustle, Her, Man of Steel, probably also The Nut Job) and Benedict (Star Trek, August: Osage County, The Fifth Estate, 12 Years a Slave, The Hobbit, probably also The Nut Job). STOP BEING IN EVERY MOVIE. Give poor Channing Tatum a chance. He can only be in 96% of all movies because of you guys.
The Expendables 2 Award for my favorite inexplicably popular genre, Old People Acting Like Young People!
3rd Place: Grudge Match. Old people boxing! Bonus AARP points for including all of the Old People Movie MVPs: DeNiro, Stallone, Arkin, and a bizarrely horny Kim Basinger.
2nd Place: Escape Plan. Old people escaping from futuristic prisons! Just want to say for the record that my girlfriend was really mad about me seeing this without her. I have no idea why. Please help me make it up to her. Please.
1st Place: Last Vegas. Old people gambling and hooking up with strippers! When I saw this, everybody in the theater had a huge grin on their face the whole time. Granted, for everyone else it was because their faces were just frozen that way from monthly injections. But me? I just liked watching Kevin Kline make Viagra jokes.
The Kevin Costner in Thirteen Days Award for Worst Accent:
Honorable Mentions: Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips ("I'm foine! I'm with yoo! I'm foine! I'm with yoo!") and Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle (YEAH. I went there.)
But the winner is obviously... Jodie Foster's "Future Accent", Elysium.
Listen to this crap! What is it?!? It sounds like British meets French meets Siri meets Teddy Ruxpin. If this is what future rich people are like, then I don't want to go to Elysium. No sir. I just want to stay on Earth with all of the drug dealers and Robo-Matt Damon.
The theories from that Shining documentary Room 237, ranked in order of how believable I found them:
4. The Shining is a metaphor for the Theseus & the Minotaur myth. (NO WAY.)
3. The Shining is a metaphor for the Holocaust. (NO WAY.)
2. The Shining is a metaphor for the Native American genocide. (NO WAY.)
1. The Shining is Stanley Kubrick's veiled admission that he felt guilty about helping to fake the 1969 moon landing. (OHMYGOD THIS IS DEFINITELY TRUE BECAUSE DANNY WEARS AN ASTRONAUT SWEATER IN THE MOVIE AND ALSO THE RUG SWITCHES PATTERNS OR SOMETHING.) (Seriously, this theory was actually pretty compelling! How else do you explain that one part with the kinky bear?!?*)
*There is actually no way to properly explain the kinky bear.
The Con Air Award for Best Action Movie from 1997:
THREE-WAY TIE! White House Down, 2 Guns, & Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
1990s action movie elements in White House Down: dudes threatening the White House, James Woods as a villain, the direction of Roland Emmerich, a seeming total lack of CGI, and a car doing donuts for comedic effect.
1990s action movie elements in 2 Guns: Denzel, Marky Mark, Edward James Olmos as an evil drug dealer, car chase that ends with two guys punching each other through car windows at the same time, BILL PAXTON, a seeming total lack of CGI, and lots of dollar bills flying everywhere.
1990s action movie elements in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit: Tom Clancy storyline, Kevin Costner, a seeming total lack of CGI, and lots of intense, "I need to find these papers quickly before someone catches me!" sequences.
The Sixth Sense Award for Best Twist Ending:
Wait... Disney True Love now also incorporates sister love?! Mind blown.
The All Other M. Night Shyamalan Movies Award for Crappiest Twist Ending:
Now You See Me.
Wait... the secret genius mastermind who outsmarted Jesse Eisenberg, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman combined was... MARK RUFFALO??? No. No. No. No. Mind insulted. Mind very much insulted.
The Drew Carey as Geppetto Award for Vainest Vanity Project:
3rd Place: Her. Don't get me wrong, I loved Her, but it is so obviously just Spike Jonze's revenge fantasy where he leaves Sofia Coppola for his new, hot, perfect, subservient lover, Siri.
2nd Place: jOBS. Yo Ashton, you did not become Steve Jobs. Growing a beard is not the same thing as acting. Losing a bunch of weight for no reason? That's acting. Being super-dickish to everyone on set because you're still "in character"? That's acting. Taking five minutes out of your cushy life to be ugly in order to win and Oscar? That's acting. Growing a beard? Not acting.
1st Place: Much Ado About Nothing. Joss Whedon made this movie in like a week, cast all his best buds, and set the thing at his house. In fairness, I used to do the same thing... WHEN I WAS ELEVEN. Did you also use iMovie, Joss? Did you also use cool cross-fade effects? Did you also make the whole thing black & white in order to look neat and Instagrammy? Yes. Yes you did all those things.
The "Rosie Perez Leaving Woody Harrelson at the End of White Men Can't Jump Because He Chose Basketball Over Her" Award for Movie with the Most Depressing Ending Takeaway:
3rd Place: Fruitvale Station. "If you're a good dad, you WILL die."
2nd Place: Saving Mr. Banks. "The only way to save your dumb book and come to terms with your alcoholic dad is to let Walt Disney buy the rights to your manuscript and turn it into a soulless corporate entity and a bunch of toys."
1st Place: Monsters University. "It's okay to cheat on tests and get expelled from college because... you know... things'll just work out!" (I'm not the only one who found this movie incredibly depressing, am I?)
The Pick the One Movie I Have Actually Seen Out of These Three Movies Category:
The movies are...
Dallas Buyers Club.
And Free Birds.
And the movie I actually saw... ? Free Birds.
No regrets. None whatsoever.
The Hunger Games Award for Outstanding Achievement in Being a Film that was Literally Exactly the Same as the First Hunger Games:
An hour-long fashion show at the beginning, some vaguely explained political unrest, Woody Harrelson sending some cool presents to Katniss via Amazon Prime, Katniss being whisked away from the arena at the last second in a "shocking" turn of events, Peeta sucking... can someone please tell me how this was even remotely different from the first movie?
The Kevin Ware's Leg Injury Award for Disturbing Movie Image That I Won't Ever Be Able to Get out of My Head, No Matter How Hard I Try:
3rd Place: All of the zombies making a big zombie pyramid with their bodies, World War Z. (Okay, fine. This was actually pretty tight.)
2nd Place: Satan's craggy wiener, This is the End.
1st Place: the butt straw, The Wolf of Wall Street. (This movie actually had a lot of worthy contenders for this award, but yeah... the butt straw. The butt straw.)
All right. Enough shenanigans. Enough butt straws. Let's close this post off with some real categories, going in order from least important category (screenwriting -- duh. Everyone knows that screenwriters aren't a real thing. Directors and actors make up all the words in a movie -- come on.) to most important category.
Almost went with Philomena here, because Her does suffer from that slightly weak, "All of the OSes became friends with Alan Watts and left the world forever!" ending, but at the end of the day, Her has to win best screenplay on the strength of foul-mouthed video game alien alone.
Best Foreign Film -- TIE!
The Broken Circle Breakdown (Super-Depressing Movie Subdivision).
Gloria (Movie about a Delightful Middle-Aged Woman Getting a New Lease on Both Sex and Life Subdivision).
That Eagles documentary that they won't stop playing on Showtime.
I really loved 20 Feet From Stardom, Mitt, Room 237, Tim's Vermeer, and even this one movie about this Filipino guy who sounds exactly like Steve Perry joining Journey. But unfortunately, that wasn't even the best rockumentary about a washed-up classic rock group.
That honor would go to The History of the Eagles, which is on Showtime all the time and which I really can't stop watching. I don't know if it's the hair, the harmonies, the hotel-room runing... okay, fine. It's the hotel-room runing.
Best Supporting Actor:
Daniel Bruhl, Rush.
His Austrian accent and steely demeanor were great, but really, he wins this award for his burny-face acting. Burny-face acting is the pinnacle of all acting. I would pay ten thousand dollars to see Daniel Day-Lewis burny-face act.
Best Supporting Actress:
Kim Basinger, Grudge Match.
Okay, okay. So this was the worst acting performance of the year. It was maybe even the worst acting performance since, I don't know, some person in Stepmom. But I derived maximum possible enjoyment from Kim Basinger in Grudge Match, okay?! Her love triangle with DeNiro and Stallone is something I will cherish forever. Let me have this. This is my Super Bowl.
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street.
Honestly? The best performance of his career. Okay, well, actually honestly? The third-best performance of his career after Titanic and his Growing Pains arc. But still really good! And butt straw!
Dame Judi Dench, Philomena.
Almost went with Cate Blanchett here, or maybe Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha, but come on. It's Dame Judi. Dame Judi is the reason acting even exists. Dame Judi was the one who first taught Meryl Streep how to cheat out. Dame Judi was the one who showed Marlon Brando what a stage slap was. Dame Judi is to acting as I am to writing blog posts about Dame Judi. Dame Judi is the GOAT.
Justin Lin, Fast & Furious 6.
Get that weak shit out of here, Scorsese. Did you direct a scene in which Vin Diesel jumped out of a car that was careening off of a freeway, leapt over a gap between two overpasses, caught Michelle Rodriguez who was hurtling to her death out of a different car, and then landed on to another car, landing on his back with Michelle Rodriguez on top of him and probably paralyzing himself from the Vin Diesel's neck muscles down? No, you didn't direct that. So get that weak shit out of here.
And now, finally, Best Picture...
My personal nominees for Best Picture: Top Gun IMAX re-release, Jurassic Park IMAX re-release, The Wizard of Oz IMAX re-release, that time I watched Space Jam by myself, History of the Eagles, Fast & Furious 6, Rush, Frances Ha, Frozen, The Wolf of Wall Street, Her, Philomena, & The Lego Movie.
And the Teddy goes to...
The Wolf of Wall Street.
I know! I'm pretty surprised at myself too! Yes, this movie was gratuitously long. And gratuitously sexish and druggy. And gratuitously immoral. And yet...