Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"Alone Yet Not Alone" is Gone, No Oscar Allowed

Back when the Oscar nominations were first announced, I went on a mini-tirade on the inclusion of a song called "Alone Yet Not Alone", from the same titled movie, into the Best Song race. I complained about how the awful Christian ditty sneaked its way on to the ballot, thanks to the scuzzy insider practices perpetrated by one of its creators, Bruce Broughton. Late breaking news tonight has shown that justice was served harshly for this black eye.

In a rare act of punishment, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has removed the song from contention, due to the disgusting conduct of Broughton. No other song, sadly, will be taking its place.

Deadline has the full story here and Entertainment Weekly has some more notes here. Suffice to say, I'm overjoyed with the Academy's decision.

I can now be relieved that a second round of favors will not allow it to win come Oscar night. Now, if only that crummy U2 song was removed...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Trailer Review - Sly Cooper

Sly Cooper
Teaser Trailer
Watch It Here

Person of Interest: Sly Cooper (The Thief), Murray (The Muscle), and Bentley (The Brains). Carmelita Fox, who should have made a cameo, is MIA.

Scene Pop: The first time hearing Sly's new voice actor (poor Kevin Miller).

Briggs Breakdown: Sly displays many of his signature thief moves including the rail walk, the rail slide, the ninja spire jump, and the hook swing.

Effective?: Like the now infamous Frozen teaser, this is designed to be just a short film. It kinda falls apart at the very end because it's not made perfectly clear what caused the concluding police chase. For those who need help, it's because Sly went into the police station to steal their donuts. Hardy har har. Didn't Joel and the Bots killed that comedy joke forever after signing a contract?

Check it Out?: Yes. I'm a huge fan of the video game series, so the prospect of an animated film series makes me want to pull a Daniel Bryan. Apparently, this will be an adaptation of the first game's story, where Sly seeks to recover a family relic from a pack of thieves who left him an orphan. Judging from the animation and the character movement, TMNT came straight to my mind, which was an excellent pick because this is being directed by the same guy, Kevin Munroe. At first, the new character designs are a bit off-putting but they end up being a worthy change. This of course comes right after last year's surprise announcement of a Ratchet & Clank movie for 2015. Will Jak and Daxter be popping up in the future?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

2014 Sundance Film Festival Aftermath

Unlike my overview of the 2013 Cannes, this early retrospective of this year's Sundance Film Festival will not be focusing chiefly on the big award winners, because let's face it, the Sundance jury and audiences never truly pick out the best in the pack all the time (True Love and The Spitfire Grill, anyone?). Luckily, they both did single out the most buzzed about film as their top pick this time around.

But you see, when it comes to Sundance every year, it's not always the films in the competition who stand out solely, but the various selections all over Park City that had every fortunate film critic, cinephile or normal audience member talking about throughout the ten day run. Scrapping through all of the usually generic indie tripes of coming of age comedies and miserable message pieces, there were a pile of unique visions that provided much substance to festival viewers and could later be the best (or worst) films of the year, once released to the general public. That is, if they are blessed enough with a distributor before the tents started to crumble down.

The U.S. Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for Dramatic were both given to the film that opened the festival and seemingly dominated all discussion: Whiplash. The music thriller tells of an aspiring drummer (Miles Teller) who's selected to join his conservatory's school band and be placed under the cruel thumb of its verbally-abusive instructor (J.K. Simmons). Many who saw it said that this truly will be Teller's star-making performance and that Simmons returned to his Oz roots to shine as a dark father figure. However, the truly big winner is Sony Pictures Classics, who picked up the film rights for distribution.

The most anticipated film of the entire festival, nearly able to take away all of the focus from the competition, was Richard Linklater's Boyhood, his mysterious project that was shockingly revealed late last year. Why all of the hubbub? Because the movie has one of the most astonishing gimmicks ever to be successfully accomplished: Linklater, along with his cast and crew, worked on it in spurts over twelve years, in order to accurately show a kid growing into a man and his family aging in "real-time". According to reports, the movie is more focused on those childhood moments not typically presented in tales, eschewing dramatics and pre-manufactured nostalgia for the milieu and the uneven flow of one boy's life. It's going to make some more stops at other film festivals (including the upcoming Berlin) before we may be able to glance at the second-coming of The Tree of Life.

Now to talk about the third most talked about feature and the gigantic elephant in the room: Frank, a.k.a. the rock music movie where Michael Fassbender wears a papier-mâché head the entire time. From many accounts, the comedy is too bleak to be funny and too monotonous with its story structure to be compelling. So, does that mean it's a sequel to Inside Llewyn Davis?

Early Oscar, Spirit, and other award buzz has already started generated for many films, most notably The Skeleton Twins, a dramedy where former SNL co-workers Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader play two suicidal siblings. Critics have said that the two are excellent (Hader getting more hype though) and work well as believable family members. Some have even stuped to calling it the successor to You Can Count on Me. Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions acquired it and are sure to put their marketing into it until March 2015. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, an oddity where Rinko Kikuchi obsesses over Fargo and heads to the town to find the money Steve Buscemi buried in the film, is said to be peculiar and engaging in its mood and music. God Help the Girl, the debut feature of indie pop band Belle & Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch, drew much applause, at least as a first entry into film. Several indie comedies proved that women can hold down the fort: Joe Swanberg's Happy Christmas had raves for Anna Kendrick and Melanie Lynskey, while Laggies and Obvious Child had material for Keira Knightley, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Jenny Slate; the latter two were both picked up by A24. Laggies also has been said to feature another great performance by Sam Rockwell.

Horror came out in full force, with some delectable offerings. The Babadook, an Australian gothic tale of a boogeyman and the most disturbing pop-up book ever assembled, has hyperbolically been proclaimed to be extra scary. People said the same thing about The Conjuring last year and I came away from that mostly stable. Still, I'll give it a view at night. What We Do in the Shadows is said to be a riotous mockumentary of vampires living in New Zealand. Marjane Satrapi, most well-known for her graphic novel Persepolis, let loose The Voices, a horror-comedy where Ryan Reynolds is instructed to be a serial killer by his talking cat. It also stars Anna Kendrick, who also appears in a supporting role in Life After Beth, a Dane DeHaan-Audrey Plaza romp that reworks the Frankenstein formula. Cooties puts a zombie spin on the turmoil of elementary school, with Elijah Wood and Alison Pill as teachers, while Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead tries to repeat the cult success of the original Nazi zombie flick.

There were some more genre fare at the festival that didn't relay strictly on spooks. The Raid 2 has been said to feature a severe uptick in the violence and carnage, as the story moves away from a tower takedown to Infernal Affairs. Blue Ruin was a simply brutal thriller involving a man looking for blood vengeance. Cold in July at first seems to be a retread of A History of Violence but was praised for turning into a pulpy, twisty neo-noir in the vein of John Dahl. Adam Wingard moves away from his usual horror exploits to make The Guest, a cold action flick where Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens plays a dead soldier's friend who's ready to follow up on a promise he made. The Double had Jesse Eisenberg pull double duty as two dead ringers with different social skills in the office environment. This is the second time actor/comedian Richard Ayoade sat in the director's seat, the first being the indie favorite Submarine. Young Ones is a mixture of The Road and The Road Warrior, as a farmer tries to defend his land from those seeking to steal his water supply. To end with a weird note, R100 is a gonzo action-sex film about a generic bureaucrat who fights off dominatrixes in public.

As for the festival misfires and other weird movies that premiered: Wish I Was Here, surprise surprise, was just another melancholic drivel from Zach Braff. Those who were stupid enough to back his Kickstarter were up in arms when Focus Features paid $2.75 million for the film, none of which will be going back to the "investors". Camp X-Ray was a pretty forgettable piece about a female prison guard working at Guantanamo Bay but Kristen Stewart was called out for her miscasting. God's Pocket, the feature film debut for actor/television director John Slattery, unexpectedly got blasted by many critics. That didn't stop IFC Films from picking the crime feature up. Dear White People has been said to be a throwback to the early angry racial movies of Spike Lee, but was too much of a mess to take seriously. Gregg Araki crashed, burned, and then frozen solid with White Bird in a Blizzard, though Shailene Woodley has been said to be the sole redeeming element. Actor/comedian David Cross soured his latest film Hits, so much so that it apparently gets unbearable to laugh at anything. Ping Pong Summer and Little Accidents were both the types of Sundance tripes I mocked in my second paragraph. Then, there's Wetlands, a strange little ditty from Germany involving a teenager who sees herself as "a living pussy hygiene experiment."

The documentary field was extremely strong this year, both in and out of competition. Many entries hinged on bigger-than-life people, such as Life Itself, an adaptation of the memoir penned by prominent film critic Roger Ebert. The film, which puts an objective view of the most loved film critic of all time, comes courtesy of Steve James, the director of Hoop Dreams and one of many who will forever be thankfully to Ebert for jump-starting their careers. One of the most surprisingly good receptions was for Mitt, an account of the life and experiences of Mitt Romney and his family through his attempts to win the seat of U.S. President. Netflix certainly was one of its fans, as the company picked it up and have already included into its streaming services. To Be Takei takes a wide glance at George Takei, from his depressing origins inside an Japanese-American interment camp, to his star-making role on a certain cult sci-fi show, to his current position as an Asian-American and gay activist. Finding Fela, directed by the documentary machine that is Alex Gibney, is said to be an interesting overview of the controversial Nigerian musician and activist (most have already known of him through the Broadway musical Fela!) but many have said it's a hard sit-through, particularly when the darker and disgusting aspects of the man are discussed.

Of course, there were also docs that explored interesting American stories and social cases. The Case Against 8 follows the trials and tribulations surrounding California's Prop 8 and walked away with acclaim and an award for Directing. Another top recent story also made waves, that being the fall of Penn State University and its football program in Happy Valley. Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart seemingly pulls a Paradise Lost look at one of the juiciest tabloid news-stories of the 90's, so juicy that it helped spawn the cult classic To Die For. CNN and Lionsgate acquired one of the first films of the festival, Dinosaur 13, which explores the controversial discovery of a dinosaur in North Dakota and the fight over the land that nested it. Speaking of fossils and North Dakota, one of the most enduring documentaries was The Overnighters, which shows how a town becomes divided when a wave of poor people looking for work invade a small town after fracking is made legal and the Christian pastor who gives them rest at his church, much to the chagrin of his fellow locals. Web Junkie and Love Child both focus on the growing concern of online gaming addiction in China and South Korea respectively. If you don't fancy anything hard-hitting, there's always baseball, namely No No: A Documentary, a biopic of pitcher Dock Ellis that features a score crafted by Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys, and the richly titled The Battered Bastards of Baseball, a rip-rolling look at a Portland minor league team run by Kurt Russell's dad. The latter film proved so popular that talks of an feature-film adaptation are being devised by Justin Lin.

Finally, there was a major surprise film set to makes its premiere at Sundance but it proved to be as anti-climatic as a calendar. That's because everyone's first guess was correct; Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 was it. Just like Harry Potter and sure to come true once Mockingjay is released, critics have all said it feels incomplete to judge right now. However, the curious thing about it is that it often plays like a comedy, which is pretty shocking once you remember that this is from the mind of Lars von Trier.

As seen by the wide range of interesting fare, this year's Sundance ended up being a major success, though it wasn't as earth-shattering as the last couple, both in critical merit and big paychecks being handed out. Of course, there's some films I haven't mentioned fully here that you might be more interested to look into, such as the acclaimed Listen Up Philip and Blind, John McDonaugh's follow-up feature Calvary, Anton Corbijn's latest A Most Wanted Man, Mark Cahill's latest I Origins, the Nick Cave doc 20,000 Days on Earth, the comedy concert film Nick Offerman: American Ham, the generic-sounding gay indie Love is Strange, Steve Coogan and Michael Winterbottom's comedy sequel The Trip to Italy, and David Wain's second spin of rom-com tropes They Came Together.

But it's not nice to walk away without mentioning the Slamdance Film Festival, which had some standouts of its own, namely Kidnapped for Christ, a distressing documentary about a cruel Christian gay conversion camp in the Dominic Republic, and Elliot, which looks to be the karate version of American Movie.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Poster Review - January 2014

As Sundance starts to slow down, some of its selected films have publicly released their poster art, along with some (un)fortunate ones from Hollywood:

Zach Braff snatched $3 million out of his fans' wallets to cover his production costs, and this is the poster that was paid to be made. Oh how kooky, that little kid is carrying a drill! And a purple wig? What zaniness. This tells me nothing, nothing about this stupid project.

Oh my god, what happened to Elizabeth Banks' face?! Unless you are blind, it's pretty clear that she was photoshopped on to the bench, as evident by the unnatural body positioning and her near tendon-tearing legs. Also, how is this supposed to be a shameful appearance of the character?

This IMAX exclusive poster would be striking if not for the fact that it appears to be from the viewpoint of a Terminator. Nice job spoiling the re-use of the Prime Directives.

Designed by Rivers Cuomo.

Displayed to all viewers at the end of Catching Fire, this teaser for Part 1 (ugh) of Mockingjay is a cool rallying cry for injustice.

The tagline may nicely match up with the image but that doesn't excuse this putrid creation. Also, considering the downward spiral of the two horror franchises, that producer of Paranormal Activity and Insidious credit has to go.

Well, this is a pleasant turnaround for Focus Features. Simple, effective, and pretty brave to pull off.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Initial Reaction to Oscar Nominations

Was Nebraska that damn good? Really? It plus Philomena getting included in several major categories certainly show that the old folk in the Academy love movies about old folk.

For the most part, I'm fine with those in the acting departments. But wow, were there a lot of significant snubs: Tom Hanks, Idris Elba, Oscar Isaac, Robert Redford, Michael B. Jordan, Julia Delpy, Emma Thompson, Greta Gerwig, Daniel Bruhl, James Gandolfini, James Franco, and Jeremy Renner.

The Butler was thankfully snubbed (bye bye, Oprah!) but how the hell did August: Osage County get in, especially in the acting categories? Granted, I still haven't seen it but the fact that Streep has yet another nomination severely pisses me off. She pulls off a occasional very good performance but then follows that up with some awful ones, i.e. going from Julie & Julia to Mamma Mia!. Maybe when I see the movie, I may shut my yapper but I'll still feel guilty that the better contenders for the award were off the ballot.

All the love for Her but not for Spike Jonze or Scarlett Johannson. Stupid Payne, Russell and Roberts.

Need further proof that Pixar has fallen apart and Disney has risen from the ashes? Look at Best Animated Feature. The return of the Monsters Inc. crew lost out to a bear-mouse duo. I'm also glad that Miyazaki got in.

Can't really say much about Best Foreign Language Film. I heard they are all good in various degrees but The Great Beauty is sure to win, chiefly because of its high critical consensus.

I was okay with Best Documentary until I remember that the most high-profile doc Blackfish was nowhere in sight. Others have complained about the absence of Stories We Tell, though many were divided on Sarah Polley's exploration of her family and home videos. The documentary genre was amazing last year so it's hard for me to really complain about the five that got through.

Not happy with 12 Years a Slave being snubbed for Cinematography and Score. Stupid John Williams.

U2 better not win Best Song again!

When it comes to Sound Editing and Mixing, I heard a lot recently about the praise towards Lone Survivor. I also find it funny that Gravity got in.

I would mock The Lone Ranger for getting in for Visual Effects (did they see that train-to-train jump?) but I actually watched some special features that showed how much effort the special effects crew actually put into creating a wild west world.

Poor, poor Inside Llewyn Davis. Not even for Best Song.

Jackass now has one Oscar nomination under its long, seemingly expanding belt.

Sorry Labor Day, no one loved you. Have fun bombing in two weeks.

Overall, pretty much expected where the chips were going to go, but the snubs all around were really shocking this year.

**MAJOR POST-NOTE**: Everybody has been scrambling to find out about the most obscure nomination on the ballot: "Alone Yet Not Alone" from Alone Yet Not Alone for Best Song. It seems some disgusting backstage wheeling and dealing caused the evangelical Christian song to get in. After listening to it fully, I am just utterly appalled, both by it and Bruce Broughton's practices. You could have had Taylor Swift or Justin Timberlake or Coldplay or even Lana Del Rey performing on the Oscar stage; instead, you benefited a wolf in sheep's clothing

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Initial Reaction to the Razzie Nominations

Well, since I'm going to be praising and complaining about the Oscar nominations tomorrow, I might as well be fair and do the same for the Razzies:

The Lone Ranger really shouldn't have been been selected for anything except for Johnny Depp's performance. It's a lost masterpiece compared to the other nominated films, all of whom I have seen except for A Madea Christmas. The movie was certainly one of the biggest fiascoes of the year, but that doesn't mean that it should be given a rich thrashing in multiple categories; Gore Verbinski may have a problem with story pacing but his train finale was one of the most amazing sights to behold in a blockbuster last year.

I'm very glad that my pick for Worst Actor of the Year got rewarded, especially since many other critics try to be nice and soften their stances solely because he's still a kid.

The Worst Actress category this year really grinds my gears. Though her character becomes a walking dullard in the last third, Halle Berry really did a genuinely good job in The Call, plus she was game in her unfunny skit in Movie 43. The same could be said for Naomi Watts: She did well with the most challenging segment of Movie 43, alongside her co-star/husband Liev Schreiber. Watts is chiefly here for Diana; I still haven't seen it but most who had said that her sole problem was the fact that she doesn't look anything like the late Princess Di (the director and screenwriter have been getting most of the ire for the bad movie). I'm fine with Gomez and Perry but Lindsay Lohan? Really? The Canyons was a dog of a movie, extremely mean-spirited when it wasn't a sour bore. But Lohan did a fine job working with what she could from the dreadful material spun by Bret Easton Ellis. Also, she hardly did much in both Scary Movie 5 and InAPPropriate Comedy, except for the marketing campaigns, to warrant a Supporting nom.

Chris Brown was selected only because of bad boy notoriety; I loathe the guy thoroughly, but at least he could dance and act, unlike the shockingly bored style of actor Josh Peck. Larry the Cable Guy was actually considered by many to be the sole redeeming element of Madea and Taylor Lautner was picked because of the still residing Twilight hate (there are much worst YA films now, so get over it already and move on, Razzies!). At least Will Smith and my "boy" Nick Swardson were chosen.

Salma Hayek barely did anything!

How could InAPPropriate Comedy only receive one nomination? Not even one for director Vince Offer, just so you could goofily label him as the ShamWow guy? It was far, far, far, far worst than Movie 43.

No Bruce Willis? Liam Hemsworth? R.I.P.D.? Man of Steel? Vince Vaughn was a major punching bag, so why isn't he among the other celebrity-news-friendly picks?

I'm glad that many of my top worst picks are all over the place, but this continuing "publicity over quality" trend of the Razzies is a poisonous decision.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Trailer Review - Kite

1st Trailer
Watch It Here

Person of Interest: India Eisley as a 100% wooden version of the once popular titled anime character, Samuel L. Jackson as an exposition-spouting detective, Callan McAuliffe as bland love interest, and Skrillex's "Syndicate" as the only good thing present.

Scene Pop: There's too much suck in every scene to pick just one.

Briggs Breakdown: 7 parkour shots, 2 kicks straight to the face, high kick to the head, kick to the balls, prostitute throat slit, and Range Rover product placement.

Effective?: No, No, No. First off, this thing starts off with Jackson delivering the most unenthusiastic pitch for this film, while on break from the filming of an awful-sounding movie called "The Big Game". Then the trailer officially starts and oh dear lord, every shot is totally garbage, only to then be followed by a shot that is even worse. Take your pick: Eisley's acting, the acid green and yellow color correction, the terrible "green band" edits, the long hard look at a Range Rover, the kick that goes no near a guy's head, the freakin' parkour, etc.

Check it Out?: Unless you stepped out of a time machine from the 90's, or some otaku who still retains the belief of VHS being better for anime than DVDs, no one will be looking forward to this coming out.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Film List of 2013

These are all of the movies I have watched throughout last year and were qualified to be judged for my awards.

If I didn't watch a film at all or in its entirety, it is disqualified and ineligible. A few examples of films I wanted to see but couldn't before the mandated deadline were The Act of Killing, Frances Ha, Upstream Color, The Spectacular Now, and The Place Beyond the Pines.

12 Years a Slave
20 Feet from Stardom
After Earth
American Hustle
Battle of the Year
Beautiful Creatures
Berberian Sound Studio
The Big Wedding
Black Rock
The Bling Ring
Blue Is the Warmest Color
Broken City
Bullet to the Head
The Call
The Canyons
Captain Phillips
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Cockneys vs. Zombies
Computer Chess
The Conjuring
The Croods
Dark Skies
Dead Man Down
Despicable Me 2
Drug War
The East
Escape from Planet Earth
Escape from Tomorrow
Europa Report
Evil Dead
Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie
Fast & Furious 6
Frankenstein's Army
From Up on Poppy Hill
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Gangster Squad
Gimme the Loot
A Good Day to Die Hard
The Great Gatsby
Grown Ups 2
The Hangover: Part III
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
A Haunted House
The Heat
The Host
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
I Declare War
The Iceman
Identity Thief
In a World...
InAPPropriate Comedy
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Insidious: Chapter 2
The Internship
Iron Man 3
Jack the Giant Slayer
John Dies at the End
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain
Kick-Ass 2
The Last Exorcism: Part II
The Last Stand
The Lone Ranger
The Lords of Salem
Man of Steel
Monsters University
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Movie 43
Much Ado About Nothing
Now You See Me
Olympus Has Fallen
Only God Forgives
Oz: The Great and Powerful
Pacific Rim
Pain & Gain
Room 237
Safe Haven
The Sapphires
Saving Mr. Banks
Scary Movie 5
Shootout at Wadala
Side Effects
The Smurfs 2
Spring Breakers
Star Trek Into Darkness
Storage 24
Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor
This Is the End
Thor: The Dark World
To the Wonder
A Touch of Sin
Warm Bodies
Welcome to the Punch
We're the Millers
White House Down
Winnie Mandela
The Wolf of Wall Street
The Wolverine
World War Z
The World's End
Would You Rather

Overall Count: 128 Films

Joke Film Awards of 2013

Most Accurate Film Title: Planes (Runner Up: Lone Survivor)

Same Dress, Different Hairstyle: Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down

The Eric Roth Award for Worst Display of Self-Plagiarism: Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge! = The Great Gatsby)

Palm Dog Award: Barklee, John Dies at the End

Best Duel with an Animal: Ravi vs. Tiger, Himmatwala

Most Pitied Animal: The Killer Whales of SeaWorld, Blackfish

Most Hated Animal: Mollusks, Turbo, Epic, Monsters University

Best Use of a Three Hour Running Time: The Wolf of Wall Street

Worst Use of a Three Hour Running Time: Blue Is the Warmest Color

Most Suspenseful Sequence Involving Anti-Communism Beliefs: Dahai's rampage in A Touch of Sin

Most Suspenseful Sequences Involving a 90 Minute Window: Gravity

Most "Suspenseful" Sequence Involving a Wedding Cake: Elias Koteas threatening Jennifer Hudson in Winnie Mandela

Best Reason to Fast-Forward to the End: The "William Tell" finale in The Lone Ranger

Most Incestuous Film: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (Runner Ups: Oldboy, From Up on Poppy Hill, Saving Mr. Banks)

Actor with the Biggest Open Schedule of the Year: Rob Corddry

The Ryan Reynolds Award for The Biggest Failure to Jump to Stardom: Ryan Reynolds (Runner Up: Nicholas Hoult)

Worst Use of Girl Cosplay: Kristen Bell as Supergirl in Movie 43

Worst Use of Whitewashing: Johnny Depp as Tonto in The Lone Ranger

Worst Use of ADR: Scary Movie 5

Best Product Placement: Pepsi in World War Z

Worst Product Placement: Everything in Man of Steel (Runner Up: Planet B-Boy in Battle of the Year)

Best Use of a Socialite: Paris Hilton and her mansion in The Bling Ring

Worst Use of a Socialite: Kim Kardashian in Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor

Best Use of a Backstreet Boys Song: This Is the End

Oddest Use of an All-4-One Song: Despicable Me 2

Oddest Use of the Chicken Dance Song: Himmatwala

Most Boob-tastic Poster: Machete Kills' Sofia Vergara Character Poster

Most Butt-tastic Poster: Machete Kills' Alexa Vega Character Poster

Most Unintentionally Raunchy Poster: The Great Gatsby

Best Raunchy Tagline: "Their American Dream is bigger than yours", Pain & Gain

Worst Raunchy Tagline: "She's going from straight A's, to getting her first F", The To Do List

Best of the Rest of 2013

BEST BREAKTHROUGH: Adèle Exarchopoulos

Honorable Mentions: Lupita Nyong'o, Margot Robbie, James Badge Dale, Joey King, Chris Chalk, Tashiana Washington

BEST ENSEMBLE: The Cast of 12 Years a Slave

Honorable Mentions: Much Ado About Nothing, Pain & Gain, The World's End, Pacific Rim, Now You See Me

BEST DIRECTOR: Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave

Honorable Mentions: Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Michael Bay (Pain & Gain), Sofia Coppola (The Bling Ring), Jia Zhangke (A Touch of Sin), Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street), Rodney Ascher (Room 237), Lake Bell (In a World...)

BEST SCREENPLAY: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, Pain & Gain

Honorable Mentions: Jennifer Lee (Frozen), Terence Winter (The Wolf of Wall Street), John Ridley (12 Years a Slave), Don Coscarelli (John Dies at the End)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Sean Bobbitt, 12 Years a Slave

Honorable Mentions: Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity), Benoît Debie (Spring Breakers), Christopher Blauvelt & Harris Savides (The Bling Ring), Roger Deakins (Prisoners), Lucas Lee Graham (Escape from Tomorrow), Jay Hunter (Much Ado About Nothing), Nicholas D. Knowland (Berberian Sound Studio), Ben Seresin (Pain & Gain)

BEST EDITING: Rodney Ascher, Room 237

Honorable Mentions: Joe Walker (12 Years a Slave), Douglas Crise & Adam Robinson (Spring Breakers), Joel Negron & Thomas A. Muldoon (Pain & Gain)

BEST SCORE: Hans Zimmer, 12 Years a Slave

Honorable Mentions: Cliff Martinez & Skrillex (Spring Breakers), M83 (Oblivion), William Huston & Jonathan Snipes (Room 237), Rick Smith (Trance)

BEST SONG: "Let It Go" by Idina Menzel, Frozen

Honorable Mentions: "Oblivion" by M83 feat. Susanne Sundfør (Oblivion), "Together" by The xx (The Great Gatsby), "Lean on Me" by Darlene Love feat. Lisa Fischer, Jo Lawry, & Judith Hill (20 Feet from Stardom), "Roll Jordan Roll" by Topsy Chapman feat. Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons (The Host), "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" by Kristen Bell, Agatha Lee Monn, & Katie Lopez (Frozen), "Young and Beautiful" by Lana Del Rey (The Great Gatsby), "Sigh No More" by Joss Whedon feat. Maurissa Tancharoen & Jed Whedon (Much Ado About Nothing), "Future Starts Slow" by The Kills (Black Rock), "Love Is Blindness" by Jack White (The Great Gatsby), "Thank God It's Friday" by Sachin - Jigar feat. Sunidhi Chauhan (Himmatwala), "You're My Dream" by Proud (Only God Forgives), "Silhouettes" by Of Monsters and Men (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), "Happy" by Pharrell Williams (Despicable Me 2)

BEST PREEXISTING SONG: "Everytime" by Britney Spears, Spring Breakers

Honorable Mentions: "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" by The Backstreet Boys (This Is the End), "This Corrosion" by The Sisters of Mercy (The World's End), "Sukiyaki" by Kyu Sakamoto (From Up on Poppy Hill), "Step Back in Time" by Kylie Minogue (The World's End), "Help Me Rhonda" by The Beach Boys (Mud)

BEST OPENING CREDITS: Berberian Sound Studio

Honorable Mentions: Mama


Honorable Mentions: Room 237, Thor: The Dark World


Honorable Mentions: Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World

BEST POSTER ART: You're Next ("House Layout")

Honorable Mentions: Escape from Tomorrow, Side Effects ("Prescription"), Carrie ("Closeup"), Nebraska, Trance, Bad Milo ("Skateboarding"), Only God Forgives ("Neon Sign"), V/H/S 2, The Wolverine ("Ink Brush"), You're Next ("Doorway"), White Reindeer, World War Z ("Zombie Ladder"), Oldboy, Fill the Void


Honorable Mentions: The Wolf of Wall Street, The Secret World of Walter Mitty (1st Trailer)


Honorable Mentions: Now You See Me, Welcome to the Punch, Olympus Has Fallen


Honorable Mentions: The Croods


Honorable Mentions: Much Ado About Nothing, In a World..., This Is the End, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain


Honorable Mentions: 20 Feet from Stardom, Blackfish

BEST HORROR FILM: Berberian Sound Studio

Honorable Mentions: The Conjuring, John Dies at the End, Mama


Honorable Mentions: The World's End, Pacific Rim, Europa Report



Films that I feel will grow on me, beyond my initial expectations and opinions and become the great films that they sought to be.

Berberian Sound Studio
The Conjuring
Gimme the Loot
The Heat
This Is the End
A Touch of Sin
Welcome to the Punch


Actors and Actresses that gave great performances in terrible films and/or in roles with little material and screentime.

Jon Bernthal (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Rose Byrne (The Internship)
Kyle Chandler (The Wolf of Wall Street, Broken City)
Jeffrey Combs (Would You Rather)
Rob Corddry (Warm Bodies, In a World..., Pain & Gain, Escape from Planet Earth)
William Fichtner (Elysium, The Lone Ranger)
Laurence Fishburne (Man of Steel)
James Gandolfini (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone)
Diane Kruger (The Host)
Alexandra Maria Lara (Rush)
Rob Reiner (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Zoe Saldana (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Antje Traue (Man of Steel)
Olivia Wilde (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Rush)
Alfre Woodard (12 Years a Slave)