2015 Year in Review: Part Five

Best Nicolas Cage Moment

“Without creativity, without life, then you are truly unable to go straight up the devil’s ass, look him right in the face, smile, and survive.” This should go on Cage’s tombstone.

“When that big red snatch is coming right at your face like a freight train, it’s pretty hard to paint, I’ll tell you what.”

Cage rapes a woman in a confessional in Zandalee, and he also delivers the wonderful line “This duck is succulent,” a line followed by Tomei’s laughter. But the freak-out at the end of the movie where he kung-fu fights paintings, whimpers, and eventually pours black paint all over himself almost rivals his wackiness from any of his movies.

The intro of Zandalee, an 80’s rock god head twirl, is also pretty intense.

Oh, and he makes a second peach reference, this time offering to share one with Judge Reinhold, a man with no ass.


Cage putting on his leather jacket in Rage because at that moment, you know it’s on.

The “acting shitstorm” you get to experience when Peter Stormare, playing an Irish guy, and Nic Cage are acting together in Rage.

There’s no winner in this category. We’re all winners when Nic Cage is on the screen.

Best Auxiliary Character

They stand out in very small roles. I loved Richard Cordery as the uncle in About Time. Electric Larry, mysterious party animal dude, is so cool in Get Crazy. Dance of Reality has a bunch of amputees. William Hickey is a shane-movies fave anyway, and he appears in The Telephone Book with a perpetual erection. Vincent “Excuse Me If I Smell Like Piss” Schiavelli is one of the few good things about Death to Smoochy. Edward Morrow is three characters in Wizards of the Lost Kingdom, but the one eligible for this award is Gulfax (I think), a character we Bad Movie Clubbers referred to as “tampon man,” “mutated lambchop,” and “giant gurgling white Chewbacca.” Another shane-movies favorite John Lurie gets to be Disciple James in Last Temptation, and he even gets to talk about fishing. Scott Spiegel’s solid as Marty Coleslaw in Robot Ninja, Gary Crain plays a Gomer Pyle type character who ends up being the devil in disguise in C Me Dance, and Alan Tudyk is very funny in the kind-of funny Premature, especially with the “Why were there only one set of footprints in the sand?” line. Coen brother movies are always filled with great minor characters and Herb, the Baron, and Wheezy Joe (RIP) from Intolerable Cruelty are all great.

I’m giving this to Adam Pearson though. He was the deformed man in Under the Skin.

The Wiseau

This award is for the best-worst example of a person who thinks he or she can do it all--write, direct, act, and sometimes even make music.

John De Hart would be deserving of this award in any other year as the writer/director/star/composer for Road to Revenge. He’s bad in otherworldly ways at all four of those, and his work would rival any previous winner of this award.

Brett Kelly did it all (poorly) in Thunderstorm: The Return of Thor.

Both Brad F. Grinter and especially Steve Hawkes co-wrote/directed Blood Freak and gave themselves screen time, and either of them would be worthy of The Wiseau.

But there’s no way anybody’s competing with the triple shot of Breen. It’s hard to imagine that there will ever be another Tommy Wiseau, but Neil Breen comes awfully close with I Am Here….Now, Double Down, and Fateful Findings.

Worst Actor

Don’t confuse this with the upcoming Torgo, an award given for bad acting that entertained me. This is more for performers who irritated me.

James Franco, for example, was just unpleasant in The Interview. Bill Murray, with that accent and all the post-stroke scenes, was terrible in St. Vincent. Ashton Kutcher? Do I need to say more? (Although that scene with the granola bar is pretty special.)

Actually, I’m not sure why I have this award. Nevermind. Move on.

The Torgo (Most Entertaining Bad Acting--Male)

Nicolas Cage in Rage, a money grab where he’s called upon to play a real person far too often and unfortunately shows that all his emotions are kind of the same and that he might be getting a little too old for this action star thing.

Peter Stormare in the same movie, wheel-chaired with an Irish accent that he can in no way be proud of.

Cage again in Zandalee, probably a top-five Cage-y performance. Of course, Judge Reinhold, a man without an ass, out-doofuses Cage in that movie and can’t make anything his character does seem natural.

Rudy Ray Moore in Petey Wheatstraw, a guy with only one gear. 

James Mitchum again for that work he did in Hollywood Cop. John De Hart once again for the brilliancy in Road to Revenge. Jody Haucke, the bad guy in Thunderstorm. Colton Osborne, who plays Tony in the Birdemic sequel. George Kennedy, a professional who should have known better, for his work in The Uninvited. Steve Hawkes in Blood Freak. Richard Kiel, huge and grunting in The Humanoid. They’re all just so good-bad at what they do!

Battlefield Earth almost feels like a race for the Torgo at times. Travolta and Whitaker ham it up, and then Michael MacRae steps in as Zete and almost steals the show. They’re hilariously awful.

And then there’s Jon Voight in Karate Dog. Dick hair, an accent that makes him sound like a Warner Brothers cartoon character, CGI kung-fu. His villainous performance in Karate Dog is one for the ages.

But this is the Year of Breen, and that trifecta of movies is filled with enough magically bad moments to earn the guy some sort of lifetime Torgo if those existed. Not only is Breen the Torgo winner for the year; he’s also one of my new favorite people in general.

The Livingstone (Most Entertaining Bad Acting--Female)

Last year, I decided that the women deserved their own category and made this one up. The nominees:

Peggy Neal, a woman who both overacts and overreacts in The Terror Beneath the Sea
Veronica Hamel, the witch in The Last Leprechaun
Maria Markovic, an antagonist with a headband in Robot Ninja
The woman who plays the over-the-top villainess in Jurassic Shark (I can’t find her name but she’s not winning anyway)
Gabrielle Mackenzie, another over-the-top villainess named Hel in Thunderstorm

And our winner--Shirley L. Jones as Helen Black, the puppet’s unfortunate victim in Black Devil Doll from Hell

Best Actor

Willem Dafoe, Jesus in Last Temptation
Jake Gyllenhaal, wonderfully-nuanced dual performances in Enemy
Michael Parks, Tusk
shane-movies favorite Matti Pellanpaa, La Vie de Boheme
Jake Gyllenhaal again, Louis Bloom in Nightcrawler
Albert Finney, poetically drunk in Under the Volcano
Eddie Redmayne, Theory of Everything
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Miles Teller, Whiplash
Don Knotts, Pleasantville
Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice (I think he’s possibly the best actor in the biz right now.)
Bill Nighy, the dad in About Time
Al Pacino, Donnie Brasco
Daniel Day-Lewis, Gangs of New York
John Hurt, Only Lovers Left Alive
Toby Jones, Berberian Sound Studio
Buddy Hackett, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
Harry Dean Stanton, Paris, Texas
Both Paul Dano and John Cusack, a pair of Brian Wilsons in Love and Mercy
Samuel L. Jackson, The Hateful Eight

The winner, however, might be a bit of a surprise. On the strength of the “Daddy’s got to go to work” scene alone, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson wins the best actor award for his work in Furious 7.

Best Actress

Rachel McAdams, Mary in About Time

Pamela Flores, a brave role with urinating and operatic singing (of all her lines) in Dance of Reality
Eva Green, Sin City 2
Annette Bening, American Beauty
Julianne Moore, About Alice (but only if that was real urine)
Whitney Moore, Birdemic
Tura Satana, Astro-Zombies
Sarah Snook, Predestination
Melanie Lynskey, Heavenly Creatures
Nastassja Kinski, Paris, Texas
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

The winner: Scarlett Johansson, perfection in Under the Skin. She might win this award every year.

Best Documentary

Life Itself, a touching tribute to Roger Ebert wins. But I also liked The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, Trinity and Beyond, No No: A Dockumentary, The Maestro: King of the Cowboy Poets, and Animal Passions.

Best Silent Movie

Happiness, a 1935 Russian movie, narrowly beats The Hands of Orlac and Harold Lloyd’s Dr. Jack. None of them were great. Why did I only watch three silent movies this year? Is that really right?

Best Opening Credits Sequence

Seconds, by Saul Bass, the best ever at opening credit sequences

Best Animated Movie

Shaun the Sheep was the most joyful animated experience, and Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Big Hero 6, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, The Boxtrolls, and the gorgeous hand-painted “Old Man and the Sea” short (which would win if it wasn’t a short) are all recommended for fans of animation. But this year, we had a Pixar movie, and Inside Out takes the prize. Actually, there were two Pixar movies, but I haven’t seen the dinosaur one yet and can’t imagine it’s going to be better than Inside Out.

Best Short

Ahh, here’s where that “Old Man and the Sea” (which you need to find on the internet and watch) can win. I also liked the depressing time-travel short 12:01 a lot.

Best Television Show That Was New to Me

Nathan for You

Wait a second! Tommy Wiseau released episodes of a television show? Nevermind, The Neighbors has to win this award.

Movie That Took the Longest Time to Complete

Tiny Furniture--something like 3 years, and it wasn’t really worth it.

Worst Movie

These were the most painful movie-watching experiences of the year for me:

The Interview, a waste of my time
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
American Sniper
Terminator Salvation
Goodbye to Language
The Last Mimzy
Moron Movies
Battlefield Earth
Mission: Impossible 2
Project Almanac
San Andreas
Christmas with the Kranks

But the winner, a movie I still feel a little bad for subjecting two people to? Trash Humpers. Way to go, Harmony Korine.

The Manos (Best-Worst Movie)

This gets tougher every year since I seem to intentionally watch more good-bad movies every year. These all entertained me this year:

It’s hard to believe that none of the following are good-bad enough to even be considered for this prestigious award: Malibu Express, The Terror Beneath the Sea, Can’t Stop the Music or Showgirls or The Dragon Lives Again or Plan 9 from Outer Space (all ineligible because they’re repeats), Robot Ninja, Beach Girls and the Monster, The Day Time Ended, C Me Dance, Thunderstorm: The Return of Thor, Jurassic Shark, Fatal Deviation, Halloween Puppy, Elves, Not Just Another Christmas Movie, The Humanoid, Wizards of the Lost Kingdom, Left Behind, The Uninvited, Raiders of the Lost Kingdom, and the Star Wars Holiday Special

Hollywood Cop
Road to Revenge
I Am Here….Now
The Killing of Satan
Black Devil Doll from Hell
The Creeping Terror
Double Down
Birdemic 2
Karate Dog
Fateful Findings
Blood Freak

Man! What a great year of good-bad movie magic! Honestly, both Road to Revenge, Gunda, and Black Devil Doll from Hell deserve the Manos. But as I said earlier, this is Neil Breen’s year, and any of his three movies would be worthy Manos Award winners. I’ll go with I Am Here….Now, however, because it was the first one I saw and has the four-dot ellipses.

Best Movie of the Year

As always, this is limited to movies I hadn’t previously seen. So Gangs of New York, American Beauty, Donnie Brasco, Harold and Maude, Eyes Wide Shut, Back to the Future, Playtime, and Northfork are ineligible.

The following were movies I liked or loved but fell just short of being nominated:

Short Term 12
Under the Volcano
The Wizard of Speed and Time
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
Arizona Dream
Noises Off
Wild Tales
Berberian Sound Studio
Dillinger Is Dead
Heavenly Creatures
La Main du Diable
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Love and Mercy
The Spook Who Sat by the Door
Snow on tha Bluff
Upstream Color
Mr. Nobody
Uncle Boonmee
Sweet Sweetback’s Badass Song
Man Push Cart
Furious 7
Inherent Vice
Paris, Texas
The Red Shoes
The Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road
Inside Out (best animated feature winner)

The nominees:

Under the Skin
Dance of Reality
La Vie de Boheme
The Music Room
About Time
The Conformist
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

The winner? Under the Skin, also the first movie I watched in 2015. It’s the movie that I was the least able to forget long after I watched it and then watched parts of it over again.

Thank you very much for being one of my three-and-a-half readers this year. I really appreciate it.

No comments: