2008 Everything Is Nice Film Awards
Film Of The Year: WALL-E
I don’t have enough superlatives, the praise that has to be lavished on Pixar is almost unseemly. Everything you could possibly want: beautiful, funny, romantic, uplifting, heartbreaking. It is also noticable that despite being an animated film the direction, cinematography and acting are better than that of most films I saw this year.
Runners up: No Country For Old Men, The Dark Knight, In Bruges and Dead Man’s Shoes
SF Film Of Year: WALL-E
Obviously WALL-E takes the honours here as well. Every other SF film I watched this year was shit, except, to my considerable surprise, the over-the-top mutant thrills of Planet Terror.
Runner up: Planet Terror
Pixar Film Of The Year: WALL-E
Er, see above.
Runners up: Ratatouille and Cars
Pleasant Surprise Of The Year: Apocalypto
This was a great year for being nicely confounded by films I wasn’t expecting much from. I borrowed this from my brother-in-law on the grounds that Mel Gibson is a batshit insane bigot and I didn’t want to put any money in his pocket. The reviews had intrigued me though. It turned out to be an incredibly violent action movie, filmed in a dead language and using the grammar of science fiction to tell an amazingly alien story. A unique and extraordinary achievement.
Runners up: Tell No One, Bridge To Terabithia, Planet Terror and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Disappointment Of The Year: Be Kind Rewind
The flipside of being pleasantly surprised was that several of the films I had been looking forward to ended up being disappointments. Chief amongst these was Be Kind Rewind which never lived up to the promise of its premise or the considerable talent of all those involved. In keeping with its central premise it has a half rehearsed almost panto feel which means despite the brief bursts of brilliance it is mostly a sloppy failure.
Runners up: Sweeney Todd, Bender’s Big Score, Deathproof and Doomsday
Diminishing Returns Award For Worst Film Of The Year: AVP2
A film so pointless I can’t even be bothered to give it its full name. Extraordinarily AVP wasn’t the nadir of this franchise because this film manages to strip away the last vestige of menace and cool from bothsets of creatures. Notable only for the following exchange:
Macho guy: “What are you guys, stoned?”
Macho guy: “Grab some rifles.”
Runners up: The Chronicles Of Riddick and The Scorpion King
Turn Up For The Books Award For Not Entirely Shit Franchise Film Of The Year: Blade Trinity
How can you not love a film that features the phrase “cock juggling thundercunt”.
Runner up: Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skulls
WTF!? Award: Southland Tales
A stunning act of megalomania on the part of Richard Kelly. Southland Tales is the last three acts of a sprawling six act story composed of such an immense load of cobblers that it defies all description. My incredulous review is up at Strange Horizons (this review also examines the rampant what-the-fuckery of the deeply disappointing Doomsday.)
Runners up: Tropic Thunder (in a good way) and Doomsday
Superhero Film Of The Year: Iron Man
You heard. I saved this till last because I knew it would be controversial. The Dark Knight is clearly a better film but it is more a psychological crime drama than a superhero movie. Iron Man is unabashedly a silly costume story but pulls it off – complete with perfectly executed origin story – better than any other one so far. Another show-stealing turn from Robert Downey Jr.
Runner up: The Dark Knight (obviously)