Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Second-Annual Irrelevants

It's that time of year again. Spring is here, love is in the air, and the Oscars have come and gone. It's time once again to hand out Codemorse's annual Irrelevants (as in, "These awards are..."). All the picks come from movie's that I've actually seen, and may induce shaking rage in my fellow film buffs.

To take a peek at last year's awards, click HERE. Feel free to offer your opinions and your thinly-veiled death threats in the comments section.

Best Film I Saw Last Year – Serenity

I am a whore for this movie. Or, in Serenity’s asian-cowboy patois, a “Companion” for this movie.

Serenity is the film the Star Wars prequels should have been. Captain Malcolm Reynolds is the kind of verbose, funny, badass cowboy I’ve spent my life wanting to be. Mercenary Jayne Cobb is the kind of thick-headed, cold-blooded, merciless sonofabitch I fear I really am.

Every character in the film reminds me of someone I know, or of a part of myself, except funnier, and braver.

Was Serenity the “best” film of the year in terms of artistic achievement? Probably not. In a year that included both “Munich” and “A History Of Violence,” it’s tough to make that claim. But Serenity is everything I adore about the movies, all rolled up and lit for smoking. Serenity is the most entertaining, most exciting film I saw last year - and a film that few others saw at all. That’s a damn shame. Go. Now. Rent the Firefly box set. Then Serenity.

Yes, right now.


Worst Film I Saw Last Year – The Dukes of Hazzard

How can the director/co-writer of one of the new century’s funniest films (Super Troopers – a movie that ages like fine wine-in-a-box) go on to make the cinematic equivalent of a black hole?

And who’s bright idea was it to cast both Sean William Scott and Johnny Knoxville….and then instruct them not to be funny, at all costs?

The Dukes of Hazzard is everything wrong with Hollywood, in a handy, shit-caked nutshell. Those of you claiming that you only saw the film to check out Jessica Simpson in those daisy dukes ought to mosey on down to the newsstand and pick up a Playboy, where you’ll see better looking women exposing more of themselves for less of your hard-earned cash.

Everyone involved in this enterprise should be ashamed of themselves.

Best Performance, Female – Maria Bello, A History of Violence

Reese Witherspoon was terrific in Walk the Line. She deserved that Oscar, and the only reason I’m not awarding her the Irrelevant for her work is because Bello’s performance in Violence went (to my knowledge) entirely overlooked by the awards people this year.

Damn fine work. Emotionally exhausting, un-showy, and aided by absolutely no beauty-defying makeup.

And she looks great in a cheerleader’s outfit.

Best Performance, Male – Eric Bana, Munich

Whatever you think of Spielberg’s politics, Munich is a haunting, compelling, ultimately moving film and a large part of that credit goes to Eric Bana’s portrayal of Avner.

Whether he’s sitting down to break bread with his fellow assassins at film’s beginning, or being abandoned by his handler at film’s end, Bana shows why he should be taken seriously as an actor, and why Philip Seymour Hoffman’s award for Capote was a joke.

Single Greatest Moment In A Film This Year – The Alliance and Serenity face off

Have I mentioned that I’m fond of Serenity? In a film chock-a-block with goodness, one stands above the others as the sort of sit-up-in-your-seat-and-get-excited moments that we go to the movies to find; The Indiana-Jones-is-about-to-get-run-over-by-a-damn-big-boulder moment. The Darth-Vader-is-his-WHAT?! moment. The standing-in-the-rain-as-a-free-man Shawshank moment.

Watching Captain Reynold’s ship break from the clouds, heading straight toward a massive fleet of Alliance battleships in a game of sky-chicken, is like a shot of adrenaline chased with a sixer of Red Bull.

Best Performance Only A Geek Could Appreciate – Chris Evans, Fantastic Four

I think we can all agree that the Fantastic Four was not a great film.

It was, however, a great showcase for what’s arguably the best/most-faithful adaptation of a comic book character to the big screen yet. Better than Bale’s Batman. Better than Maguire’s Spider-Man. Better than Shaquille O’Neill’s Steel.

Chris Evans’ Johnny Storm was a revelation in a slightly-above-average film, perfectly capturing the cocky, balls-out hilarity of the Human Torch. When’s the last time you saw someone this excited to have super-powers? Evans leaps off the screen in FF, and his performance is (no pun intended) incendiary. If you’re a geek. Like me.

Best Song – Hard Out Here For A Pimp

For the first (and, I’m happily willing to wager, the last) time, the Academy and I agreed on Best Song this year. Watching Terrrence Howard and his ‘ho construct this song during Hustle and Flow was riveting.

You don’t have to like or care about hip-hop to connect with Howard’s character in the film, or to find yourself nodding along to the pulse of the beat. Three 6 Mafia were the best thing about this year’s Oscars, and their song was the best of the year, hands-down.

The Films I’m Most Looking Forward To:

The Fountain, Southland Tales, Special, The Lady In The Water, Slither, X3, Superman.


At 9:52 AM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

Agreed, agreed, agreed. But no love for Kong? WTF?

Oh and we all know that you love Serenity because of your man crush on Ron Glass.

At 10:20 AM, Blogger codemorse said...

Ron Glass is yummy.

No love for Kong, my friend. Despite the obvious love of Jackson for the material, and the sometimes-breathtaking effects work, I found the film bloated, disjointed, intermittently aggravating, and generally underwhelming.

That's not to say that seeing Kong on ice didn't yank my wizened heart-strings. And the effects are stunning in places.

But Kong was an enormous disappointment to me.

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

Agreed, but the silence on your end was deafening.

At 12:19 PM, Blogger Charlie Brigden said...

"Han Solo is the kind of verbose, funny, badass cowboy I’ve spent my life wanting to be."

Fixed that for you.

At 12:26 PM, Blogger Charlie Brigden said...

"It was, however, a great showcase for what’s arguably the best/most-faithful adaptation of a comic book character to the big screen yet."

I loved FF more than most, but honestly, more than Chris Reeve's Kal-El?

At 2:45 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

Thanks for correcting that, Charlie. Damn keyboard keeps running away from me.

And arguably, as interpretation, they go toe to toe. Reeve wins out because I'm a sap and I grew up with the film and all the rest of that jazz, but Evans really IS Johnny Storm for me.

That's impressive, and worth a shout-out.

At 2:46 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

Plus, y'know, hyperbole.


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