Today marks the fourth year that I have put together this esteemed look back at the past year in movies. I simply call these The K&M Random Movie Awards. Even the name drips with prestige and importance. Now these awards aren’t for the regular routine stuff. These are completely random categories yanked out of the air and presented to you. Now, without further delay, the red carpet ceremony is over. Lets get to the awards…
Worst Sequel – “Terminator: Genisys”
And it started off really good. I thought this could really be a fun and nostalgic Terminator film. Unfortunately is spirals out of control. The new characters are flat. The story is ludicrous. The major plot twists are revealed in the trailers. At least the action was good.
Best Dinner Table Scene – “Sicario”
‘Best’ may not be the best way of putting it. If you’ve seen “Sicario” you know what I mean. I’m not going to spoil anything but Benicio Del Toro has a dinner table scene that will lodge in the back of your mind and stay there. It’s tense, mesmerizing, and unforgettable.
Worst Ending – “The Boy Next Door”
It kinda makes sense that the worst ending would come from one of 2015’s worst movies. “The Boy Next Door” ends with one of the stupidest finales I’ve seen in a while. A certain character goes all Michael Myers on us and the gaping plot holes the ending leaves behind is baffling.
Best Ensemble – “Spotlight”
Several 2015 movies put together stellar ensemble casts. But no ensemble worked together better than in Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight”. Keaton, Ruffalo, McAdams, Tucci, Schreiber, James, and Slattery all put aside personal big moments and concentrate on making the story the true focal point. It’s superb work.
Best Documentary – “The Look of Silence”
While I did really like “Amy” and “Meru”, neither came close to “The Look of Silence”. Joshua Offenheimer’s powerful companion piece to “The Act of Killing” is more personal but just as piercing. It’s impossible to watch this documentary and not be effected.
Biggest Movie Surprise – “Creed”
I had absolutely no expectations for this thing at all. But Ryan Coogler showed that he is one of the best young filmmakers in the business. Add in a solid lead performance by Michael B. Jordan and Sly Stallone’s best work since the first Rocky film. What a surprise.
Best Cinematography – “The Revenant”
Again, lots of great options but what could possibly beat the spectacular work of Emmanuel Lubezki in “The Revenant”. The film gives us scene after scene of gorgeous visuals. Some simply captures the land’s natural beauty. Other times it’s the intensity of the action. And then there are the numerous scenes that left me saying “How did they do that?”
Biggest Movie Disappointment – “Spectre”
Sigh. This should have been good. It should have been REALLY good. Instead “Spectre” makes a number of significant mistakes that keep it from being anywhere near as entertaining as its predecessor. “Spectre” isn’t a terrible movie, but it’s nowhere near as brilliant as I thought it would be.
Funniest Comedy – “What We Do In the Shadows”
I’m a bit hard to please when it comes to comedy. I admit that. But after only a few minutes “What We Do in the Shadows” had me belly laughing and I knew it was something special. The absurdity is funny in itself, but despite that the humor is smart and perfectly presenting. I love it.
Most Shocking/Disturbing Scene – “Bone Tomahawk”
Yep….that scene. You know the one. If you have seen “Bone Tomahawk” you know exactly the scene I’m speaking of. Men will have an especially hard time sitting through it. In fact, I’m starting to squirm as I type this. Let’s move on to the next category please.
Most Thrilling Scene – “Sicario”
Fairly early in the “Sicario” a team crosses the United States/ Mexico border into Juárez to secretly extradite a prisoner back across the border. The sheer intensity built up through Villenueve’s direction and Deakins’ cinematography was unmatched in 2015.
Most Unfairly Maligned Film – “In the Heart of the Sea”
While it is far from a perfect film Ron Howard’s “In the Heart of the Sea” is far from the horrible slog that many portray it as. In fact, it’s actually quite good. As is often the case, the problem may have come from the advertising. It was portrayed as something different than what it actually was. That still doesn’t mean it’s a bad film.
Most Overly Praised Film – “The Hateful Eight“
Yes, I know I know. I’m wrong. I’m off my rocker. Still, I can’t help it. “The Hateful Eight” is a shining example of the obsession Quentin Tarantino has with his own style and formula. It also shows his propensity to overwrite nearly every line of dialogue. All of these things drag this film down and wastes a perfectly good concept.
Dullest Action Film – “The Gunman”
Armed with a chiseled physique, an assortment of weapons, and a constant sourpuss scowl, Sean Penn turned into an action star in “The Gunman”. Just not a very good one. While the action is kind of satisfying nothing else works in this boring forgettable mess.
Worst Villain – Balam (Eddie Redmayne) “Jupiter Ascending”
Ahem…pardon me as I regain my composure. You see, every time I think of Eddie Redmayne’s character and performance in “Jupiter Ascending” I start to crack up. He seems completely lost, talks like a 5 pack-a-day smoker, and doesn’t have an ounce of menacing presence. Now excuse me, I’m starting to laugh again.
Worst Movie of the Year – “Mortdecai”
I had a post dedicated to this a few weeks ago, but it’s worth mentioning (or warning people). “Mortdecai” is a horrible movie. Stupid and unfunny despite its slightly promising premise. Depp keeps shoveling out stinkers. When will his career start to suffer?
Best Movie Trailer – “The Revenant”
From the moment I first saw the trailer for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “The Revenant” I was hooked. It gives a perfectly measured look at the film’s story, tone, intense cinematography, and haunting score. It builds and builds right up until a moment of silence featuring the title shot. Perfectly done!
Best Use of Disco Music – “The Martian”
In one of the more serious categories of the awards, we look at 2015’s best use of disco music in the movies. Obviously there were a ton of candidates but “The Martian” gets the nod. While the movie does overuse the gag, it still offers up some pretty good laughs.
Most Fashion Conscience Film – “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”
No one is opposed to looking good, right? That especially goes for the characters in Guy Ritchie’s “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” Henry Cavill’s dapper suits, Armie Hammer’s stylish turtlenecks, and Alicia Vikander’s chic dresses and snazzy sunglasses. Of course they deserve an award.
Best Western – “Slow West”
In many ways 2015 was the year of the subversive western. My favorite of the bunch was John Maclean’s “Slow West”, an almost Coen brothers-esque tale featuring a small but strong cast and a truly great ending. More people need to see this one.
Biggest Slimeball Character – Michael Shannon (“99 Homes”)
Michael Shannon is a fabulous actor and the guy can play just about anything. In “99 Homes” he plays a crooked real estate operator who makes his money tossing debt-stricken people out of their homes. He is a thoroughly wretched individual and Shannon will have you hating him from his first scene until the end.
Best Action Film – “Mad Max: Fury Road”
How can you turn on “Mad Max: Fury Road” and not be hypnotized by its rolling carnival or vehicular carnage? George Miller pulls no punches in delivering one of the most eye-popping and energetic action romps of the last 10 years. You literally can’t take your eyes off of it.
Best Directorial Debut – Joel Edgerton (“The Gift”)
There were several really good directorial debuts in 2015. For me the most impressive one came from Joel Edgerton. He wrote, directed, and co-starred in “The Gift” which was a twisty and immersive thriller. Edgerton’s pacing is superb and his slow buildup throughout the film kept me on my toes. Can’t wait to see what he does next.
Worst Movie Title – “Get Hard”
Okay, do I really need to go into much detail here? Is it really necessary for me to explain why “Get Hard” wins this category? Didn’t think so.
Best Chase Sequence – “Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation”
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a Mission: Impossible movie has a good chase scene. Actually this installment has a GREAT one. It starts as a car chase through the tight streets of Casablanca before turning into a wickedly thrilling high-speed motorcycle chase. It’s an incredibly shot adrenaline rush.
Best Couple – “Brooklyn”
One of the more pleasing elements of “Brooklyn” is the sweet romance at its center. Saoirse Ronan and Emory Cohen have such a charming chemistry that bubbles every time they are on the screen together. It isn’t corny or shallow. It simply works because of the great chemistry between the two.
Dumbest Plot Point – “Jurassic World”
You’ll always find some pretty dumb moments that stick with you through a full movie year. By far the dumbest of 2015 came in “Jurassic World” in the form of (wait for it…..) a sinister plot to train and weaponize velociraptors for military use. Yep, I don’t think I need to say anymore.
Breakout Performance (Male) – Abraham Attah and Jacob Tremblay
Call this a cheat but both of these young men deserve attention. It was a great year for child actors and at the top of the list is Abraham Attah (“Beasts of No Nation”) and Jacob Tremblay (“Room”). To see this type of authenticity from such young performers is mind-boggling.
Breakout Performance (Female) – Daisy Ridley
I was expecting a lot out of the new Star Wars film and I got a lot out of it. But one of the greatest discoveries was Daisy Ridley. It’s not only that she gave us a really great and fresh character, but she is also a very good young actress who instantly catches your attention.
Best Stagecoach Scene – “The Salvation”
You may think “The Hateful Eight” has this one in the bag but nope. “The Salvation” opens with an unnerving stagecoach scene that puts the whole story into motion. It’s a disturbing and immediate gut punch that instantly draws you into this revenge tale.
Stupidest Adam Sandler Movie – “The Ridiculous 6”
What’s the deal with this category you may ask? Well Sandler put out three crappy movies this year. Yes..THREE! You may think one would happen to be good. Nope. All were stinkers but “The Ridiculous 6” may be the worst of the bunch. And since he bludgeons our senses with his stupidity, he deserves a fitting award for doing so.
Most Exciting Theater Experience – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
Opening night. People everywhere. Long lines. Enthusiastic fans. Star Wars shirts. The blue screen text. William’s blasting horns. Star Wars was back. And I mean real, true Star Wars. What an awesome experience it was to see Star Wars back on the big screen and to feel like a child again.
Best Fight Sequence – “Furious 7” (Statham vs. Diesel)
What do we expect from a Fast and Furious movie? Fast cars, big explosions, and of course a big league fight or two. Jason Statham took on Vin Diesel in this year’s installment and it didn’t disappoint. Their showdown on the top of a parking garage featured all of the punches, kicks, and slams you would expect. And it really delivers the fun.
Most surprising Performance – Paul Dano (“Love & Mercy”)
Paul Dano can be a very frustrating actor. He doesn’t know how to temper a performance and he requires very specific roles to be good. Something clicked in “Love & Mercy”. Dano shows a side I haven’t seen before. It’s exciting and it leads me to believe he is truly learning his craft. It is a fantastic performance.
Best Ending – “Phoenix”
Great endings aren’t required to feature big fights or huge explosions. Sometimes a quiet moment can carry twice the power. Such is the case in “Phoenix”. No spoilers here but the ending is such an perfect stroke that will leave you absolutely speechless.
That’s it for this year. Hope you enjoyed it. Let’s do it again next year.