Well well well, if it isn't that time again. That oh so special occasion when the world over is blessed with gifts and glad tidings. I am of course talking about my Movie Awards! So strap yourselves into your proverbial, and/or literal chairs, and have my dumb brain vomit forced upon you like the unwanted present it is.
The Almost Had it Award! - Beautiful Boy
With nowhere near as much competition as last year, I must semi-reluctantly give it to Beautiful Boy. It was a great film that effectively snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
The reason for my reluctance is that (while this is still definitely worth a watch) much like last year, it made the mistake of not snipping the last few minutes off. We go through the character arcs of the whole movie, and then almost like an emotional recap, we’re shown an almost identical set of arcs condensed into the last 10-20 minutes. It was raw and powerful and so well acted but paced in such a weird way, possibly to illustrate the messy, permanent nature of the struggle of addiction.
The Tom Holland In Venice Award! - Spider-Man: Far From Home
Highlighting the emerging trend of Tom Holland characters going to Venice, Italy, you’re probably sat there, scratching your head (and perhaps various other body parts) thinking “...isn’t that just Spider-Man: Far From Home?”.
While I am certainly not above contriving a reason to talk about a particular film (that is afterall, the point of all this), there are actually two contenders for this prestigious honour: the aforementioned Spider-Man and late entry Spies in Disguise. The winner is still Spider-Man: Far From Home, it uses the setting more effectively, far longer and in real life; but in terms of movie quality, I can’t separate them. They’re both very good and I just thought it was a fun coincidence.
The Biggest Eye Award! - Alita: Battle Angel
This one needs no introduction, just look at the size of those eyes. They're HUGE!
The Everyone Else is Wrong Award! - Hellboy
It's not often I go against the grain in my reviews, I'm just boring like that, I suppose. But there are times when the people of the world almost unanimously agree on something that I just can't abide by. So for that reason, the very first Everyone Else is Wrong Award! goes to Hellboy.
As discussed on Super Ink Arts Podcast #6 - Guilty Pleasures, I felt this reboot was incredibly hard done by, and received unbridled hate simply for not being a sequel to the Guillermo del Toro movies. I'll admit that it's unbelievably cheap looking and kind of poorly made, but in the right frame of mind, it makes for a fun and charming romp.
The Take It Or Leave It Award! - Gemini Man
A small acknowledgement to the most brazenly bland offering of the calendar year, before it seeps back into the most forgotten recesses of pop culture, never to be seen or heard from again.
Despite all the effort that went into making this film some kind of spectacle (the 120fps screenings, the cloning gimmick), I feel this is the only rough spot in an otherwise perfect year for Will Smith.
The 5 Worst Movies of the year!
5. John Wick 3: Parabellum
Watching this film is like playing a video game, complete with bland NPCs and unskippable cutscenes. 6/10
Definitely lacking the "fun for the whole family" aspect of a Disney film, or the better DreamWorks stuff. This film really works for me on paper: Good cast, quirky characters and creatures, atypical setting and strikingly vibrant animation; but in practice it just fell down and felt stale. The former is likely down to the half-hearted performances and the latter is because I've seen Missing Link, which is the better of these two Sasquach/Yeti movies. 5/10
3. Playing with Fire
Dodgy directing and poor performances from most of the cast, mixed with a script that could use some work. That being said, there were some good ideas and certain scenes that, in isolation, felt like they belonged in a better film. 4/10
2. Stan and Ollie
Stupid and uninspiring. Not funny. 3/10
1. The Kitchen
I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the majority of the cast signed up for this film because it's a comic book movie, which would be a shame. I enjoy that this medium I love has the kind of credibility to attract actors of this calibre and clout, but it irks me to no end when a film takes that credibility and pisses in everyone's faces. The Kitchen is not just a bad movie, but it represents the very thing that could kill this genre: excruciating blandness.
There are a few good ideas (that I'm willing to bet came from the source material) but does nothing with them. It's not a serious, character-driven crime drama, it's not a wacky, stylised mobster movie, it's not a unique or interesting social commentary on patriarchal misogyny; instead it's the most own-brand, heavy handed beginnings of all those themes, and others, multched into deeply uninteresting brown paste. It does nothing and goes nowhere. All the talent in front of the camera is severely stunted by the stiff dialogue and shoddy direction.
I will credit it as being inspirational. As someone who occasionally has a go at writing things that aren't reviews, it's always a little comforting to know that a large team of industry professionals with millions of dollars can make something this bad. Eases my crippling perfectionism, even if just for a moment. 2/10
The 5 Best Movies of the year!
Honourable Mention - Ready or Not
Ready or Not was a very close competitor to Knives Out, it's such a fun and eccentric horror, filled with plenty of comedic elements, so I thought it deserved a mention. I've always wanted a horror in which the protagonists react the way I feel I would react: excessive swearing. 8/10
A brilliant and engaging mystery with an all-star cast of colourful characters. 9/10
4. Avengers: Endgame
The perfect conclusion to 11 years & 22 movies. Brought more than one tear to my eye. Beginnings a lil slow. 9/10
3. Good boys
More than continues the trend of Seth Rogen being involved with great work. So funny, so true to life. Probably never more than five minutes without laughter. 9/10
So funny, and in an organic way too. Best Rom-Com of the year. 9/10
1. Toy Story 4
I feel I said everything I wanted to say in my review here, but I'll try to summarise it.
It's the best one! I cried three times. Buzz regresses to an earlier point in his arc in order to even be in this movie but that's ok. 10/10
Over the course of the year, watching all these films, I made brief notes on all of them. In most cases, not enough to justify a full review, but there is enough there that I thought it was worth sharing, so to read those notes, click the link here.
The Bit at the End
Well, that was this year's Movie Awards, nowhere near as controversial as Ricky Gervais at theGolden Globes, but hopefully a good read all the same. Now it's time for me to scuttle off, back to the cinema for the next 60 or so films. If you find yourself wanting more of my ramblings, listen to the official Super Ink Arts Podcast on Castbox, it's probably the best thing I'm responsible for (largely due to my cast of co-hosts).
Written by Kyle J.