Alternative Oscars 2008


At the end of this month the Oscars will take place in Los Angeles, with worthy films getting awards. But what about the categories the Academy have ignored, including ones to shame cinematic wrongdoers? After all, they have an award for best make-up. Time Out rights that wrong.

Funniest Film Of The Year
Superbad. The Oscars don’t have this category, which is a huge oversight. But then they did gave Marisa Tomei an award, which was very funny, so who knows what they’re really thinking? Superbad made us laugh more than anything else, but it was also warm, true and didn’t have a lame patronizing message. This may be down to the fact that it was written by a pair of 14-yearold boys (a young Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg), which just makes it all the more endearing and worthy.

The Arnold Schwarzenegger Award For Best Line After Killing Someone
Bruce Willis in Die Hard 4.0. Bruce (aka John McClane) has just driven a car at high speed, then jumped out at the last second allowing the car to go up a vertical ramp and take out the helicopter full of bad guys that was hovering above them. ‘You just killed a helicopter with a car!’ says the kid, and a dead pan Willis replies, ‘I was out of bullets.’ Oh, you’re still the man.

The Award For Re-establishing Faith In The Threequel
The Bourne Ultimatum. Seriously, when was the last threequel before this that didn’t really suck? Yes, the ending was a bit of a cop out, but it was solid, believable action for 95 per cent of the time.

And A Dead Arm For Quashing Any Faith Built Up By The Bourne Ultimatum In The Threequel Award
Saw III. Epitomised the rise of torture porn and the mindless violence that seemed to make up nearly every horror in 2007.

Worst Sequence In Any Film, Perhaps Ever, But Certainly During 2007
Peter Parker ‘turning bad’ in Spider- Man 3. Walk with a strut, get an emo haircut, give suggestive looks to women, and dance like a drunken uncle at a wedding. The cringe factor has rarely been so high, and while Sandman, Venom, Hobgoblin et al couldn’t kill Spidey, this scene came very close. Director Sam Raimi, hang your head.

The Jon Voight Award For Worst Use Of A Once-Promising Career
Jon himself made a good run for this award with his appearance in the appalling Bratz, but it goes to Cuba Gooding Jr in Daddy Day Camp. He’s got an Oscar for best supporting actor back home on his mantelpiece, but after having been an accomplice to the film crime that was Norbit, he went on to complete his ‘anus horribilis’ with two hours of poo, bum and fart gags in one of the worst films of the last decade. For shame… His rehabilitation started later in the year with American Gangster, but it will take a long time to forget Daddy Day Camp.

Most Ludicrous And Despicable Lie In A Film Poster
Revolver. The Guy Ritchie ‘thriller’ (without thrills) was critically panned and rightly so. But the poster said ‘Brilliant! Guy Ritchie back to his best!’ and credited The Sun newspaper. In actual fact, it was from a section of the Sun Online website that was created by a PR agency on behalf of the film’s distributors. The lesson is: never trust quotes on film posters.

Biggest Overuse Of CGI
It was a tough category this year, but 300 was the clear winner. The film was like watching someone play a hack-and-slash computer game where the developers had a Speedo fetish and decided the leader of the Greek Spartans should have a Scottish accent.

The I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Better Award For Most Disappointing Film
Spider-Man 3. The most expensive film ever made, but should have paid just that little bit more to get a decent screenwriter instead of letting director Sam Raimi and his brother make a mess of it.

Best Film Made For Under US$10m
Sicko. Michael Moore investigates the American health care system, focusing on its for-profit health insurance and pharmaceutical industry. Sure, the grandstanding at Gitmo and in Cuba was a little   contrived, but when he stuck to the basic facts it was truly shocking.

Most Contrived Plot Device
Halle Berry and Bruce Willis in Perfect Stranger. Four endings were filmed – we dread to think how bad the rejected three were – and the ‘twist’ was more like a middle finger to the audience who’d sat through 90 minutes of nonsense so far.

Most Contrived And Overdone Product Placement
All the Autobots in Transformers being General Motors vehicles. Really, if you’re a gang of robots travelling though space in search of the power source for the entire galaxy, are you really going to do so in the form of a horrible Hummer H2? And the part where an Xbox and an iPod became robots just sealed it. Product placement is going to be even bigger in 2008, but this was a worrying portent of things to come.

The Andie MacDowell ‘Is It Raining,I Hadn’t Noticed’ Award For The Worst Dialogue In A Film.
Nicolas Cage in Ghost Rider. Yes, he looked the part and it started alright, but as it went on lines were delivered to camera with all the poise of a hostage reading out the terrorists demands. Given how poor the script was we’ll eventually forgive him, but Nic, read the script before you sign on next time.

Best Idea That Just Didn’t Work
Grindhouse. Great idea and the fake trailers were brilliant fun, but it was too long, which meant it was split into two separate films, killing much of the experience. And then most people just didn’t get the idea of a fake grindhouse b-movie and we even heard that people were walking out of cinemas in Dubai and complaining to staff because they thought the (intentionally weathered) film stock was too poor and a reel was missing from the film. Duh…

For Time Out, February 2008

For original PDF click here – Alternative Oscars

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