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|Written by (Cult)ure Staff|
|Wednesday, 28 December 2011 00:00|
Everyone and their brother gives out end of the year awards, but no one does it like we do. Unless everyone else is giving out awards for most tears shed behind novelty 3D glasses, which we doubt. Until then, find our cinema awards below, then check out our equally highly specific TV awards.
Best Remake of a Movie Who's Original You've Never Heard Of
When people review the better Jason Statham movies, they generally praise him for having either the physicality of Bruce Lee or the quippy charm of Bruce Willis. What they fail to realize is that Statham is the best of both Bruces and then some. In The Mechanic, his hired hitter is a Renaissance man who leaves the scene of the crime to return to his tastefully appointed house in the bayou, listen to Schubert, and buy his best gal a puppy. The remake also does its best to smooth out the rough edges of its main character's protégé, Steve (Ben Foster), who's 1972 equivalent was deemed suitable for the job when he showed no interest whatsoever in his girlfriend's suicide as it occurred right in front of him. While all the action is solid, the movie succeeds in small ways, too, like the un-fussed-over New Orleans setting or the slow build (and dissolve) of the central relationship, but mostly in the chemistry and acting chops of its leads, particularly a scene in which Steve is sent ahead to get in with a target. Instead of having Steve putting on a character, Foster peels back a layer to hint at who Steve might have turned out to be under different circumstances. It's not exactly what you'd expect from a remake of one of the least remembered entries in Charles Bronson's revenge and death oeuvre.
Worst Excuse for Leering at Pretty Young Things, "Feminism" Division
So peep this: there's this girl (Emily Browning) and her life goes to the shitter pretty fast, so she makes up a little fantasy world to live in. But the fantasy world she makes up isn't that much better than her real life, so she makes up another fantasy world. This one's a très cool alternate WWI steam punk zombie extravaganza, and all the abused girls get to run around kicking ass in the name of God and country (or something). But despite the fact that, again, this is a fantasy world of her own making, one that she is using to escape sexual abuse, they are all dressed up in Japanese schoolgirl outfits and leather bustieres and randomly infantalized with pink bunny decals on their helicopters. Why? Because whatever Zach Snyder may have had in mind as a feminist message got lost in a hazy miasma of hot ladies, burlesque, and sex. There's the Michael Haneke version of giving the audience what it wants, and then there's this.
Proof That Kristen Wiig is Still Funny Despite Her Hype and Overexposure on SNL
While I do not dispute that Kristen Wiig has earned her position as SNL royalty and is pretty much the main attraction for SNL, I fear that her charm and talent will run out due to overuse. Nevertheless, this year's lady-style comedy blockbuster Bridesmaids proved that Kristen Wiig is truly hilarious. While this movie was not the best or funniest movie I have seen, there were some funny moments that mostly revolved around the comedy stylings of Ms. Wiig (although Melissa McCarthy makes her comedy prowess known as well). The scene where Kristen's character is trying to get the attention of her cop love interest by repeatedly driving past and breaking different laws actually made me laugh out loud a few times and reminded me of her talent.
Best Delivery of the Most Ridiculous Line of the Year
Only Redeemable Part of a Movie that Otherwise Sucked Balls
This movie was so awful and populated with hateful characters that in no way acted in a manner resembling human behaviour. And those were the ostensible heroes, to say nothing of the titular bosses! The only likeable person in the whole terrible mess was Charlie Day, whose guileless good-guy character was the only one worth rooting for. His cocaine-fueled sing-along to the Ting Tings' "That's not my name" was the only moment in the movie that made me actually laugh.
Most Tears Shed Behind Novelty 3-D Glasses
Good lord, did I cry through the second half of this movie. I am not a crier, like at all, but this story hacks away at all of my defences and leaves me a sad, sobbing mess. The final part of the film franchise more than did the book justice, and each and every heartbreaking scene is shown. Harry being protected by every parent he has ever known (or not known) as he walks to his own death? Tears. George saying "You're ok, Freddie?" before the battle begins? Tears. "You wonderful boy, you brave, brave man"? Tears. Voldemort trying to hug Draco and laughing like a "human"? Raucous laughter. That scene where Harry says goodbye to Hermione and Ron before walking to the forest (even though this is specifically not in the book because Harry admits he wouldn't be able to leave!)? So many tears.
Most Out of Nowhere, Suddenly Ubiquitous Star
Jessica Chastain was in a whopping 11 (11!) movies in 2011 from critical darlings (The Tree of Life) to best-selling novel adaptations (The Help) to slightly ill-conceived remakes of Israeli action-thrillers (The Debt). Sure, some of these were movies that had been sitting on the shelf and were released in the wake of her success, but, if you went to a theatre at any point this year, it's a good bet you had the option of seeing her in something. She easily beat out the much hyped Year of the Gosling (he only released a puny three movies in 2011) and was in mainly good prestige films to boot. And yet prior to this year she was mainly seen in single episodes of unpopular TV shows (Journeyman, Close to Home) and a couple of seasons of Law and Order: Trial by Jury. I don't know how Chastain got all the casting agents of Hollywood to simultaneously drink the Kool-Aid, but I'm glad she did, given that she is never less than fabulous in everything.
Movie That I am Scared to See, Even Though it Stars Allison Janney, Because I Really Loved the Book
The reviews of the film adaptation of The Help have been largely favourable, highlighting both compelling performances from the movie's leads and faithfulness to Kathryn Stockett's story. Also, Allison Janney is in it and that is usually worth the price of admission right there. Why haven't I lined up for it then? I am just so afraid it will ruin a book that I really, really loved. I am a sucker for the American south and for African American ladies in general, and this book has all of that in spades. I probably will see the movie eventually, but, man, am I scared.Best Use of an Olsen Sibling in a Movie, Cult Member Runaway Category
Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
While her older sisters' (Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen) acting past could have haunted Elizabeth Olsen, this young star proved that she can hold her own and then some in Martha Marcy May Marlene. She plays a young girl who recently escaped from an abusive cult that she joined in search of the family she never had. Her intense performance was spot-on throughout the movie, and I was truly shocked at her acting abilities, especially during the more unsettling scenes. Not only that, but she is amazingly pretty despite the fact she basically doesn't wear makeup or a bra throughout the movie.
Moment in a Movie So Crazy that You Briefly Thought You Were Hallucinating
It made me so excited I smacked my best friend in the face in the theatre. Having read the book I wondered how they would translate such a bananas moment to the screen with any semblance of realism. The clear and correct answer: they didn't even try. The movie just went balls-out crazypants, as it should.
Runner up: about 5 minutes earlier in the same movie, the vampire teeth c-section.
Tags: 3d glasses cannot hide our tears, ben foster is your new movie boyfriend, breaking dawn, cinema, cultys, faith, jessica chastain is your new movie girlfriend, smack your best friend right in the face, the help, the lovely allison janney, we are getting all of the rocks lines from fast five printed on tees