Today marks the fifth (yes fifth) year that I have put together this highly esteemed and barely anticipated final look back at the previous year in movies. I simply call these the K&M Random Movie Awards. Even the name drips with prestige and significance. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill awards drivel. They 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 this year’s ‘winners’…
Best Ensemble Cast – “Hail Caesar!”
The Coen brothers do a lot of things right in their films. One of them is assembling a cast. Just look at these names from “Hail Caesar!” – Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Ray Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson. And that’s not even including the young star Alden Ehrenreich. What a cast.
Worst Movie Title – “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back”
I mean come on. Just say it to yourself a couple of times? Every time I say it I compulsively add an 80’s movie trailer voice-over to it. It’s so corny I can’t help myself.
Best Animated Film- “Kubo and the Two Strings”
I was late coming to this movie but I’m so glad I did. What a visual and emotional delight. The animation is gorgeous and strikingly unique. The same could be said for the story which was a fresh escape from the normal stuff we get.
Funniest Scene – “Church-Hill” (“Love & Friendship”)
When Tom Bennett gives us a proper introduction to his character in “Love & Friendship” the result is comic gold. In this particular scene his lovable buffoon is hysterically awkward trying to explain his unannounced arrival to Churchill. I will leave it at that so you can enjoy the rest on your own.
Best Soundtrack “La La Land”
What can I say, I love the music of “La La Land”. It ranges from romantic to heartbreaking, aching to exhilarating. It’s a joyous mix of big orchestration and old-school jazz with some incredibly catchy riffs that I’m still humming today.
Best Fight Scene – “The Lobster”
Who says a fight scene has to be full of great choreography and visual effects? That certainly isn’t true for the brief and utterly absurd fight in “The Lobster”. A conversation about animals turns into a fight between John C. Reilly and Ben Whishaw. It’s just as hysterical as it sounds.
Best Shootout – “Anthropoid”
Out of all of the cinematic gunplay of 2016 nothing matched the climactic firefight at the end of “Athropoid”. Since it does come at the end I won’t spoil anything, but it is intense and incredibly well shot. It also plays heavily into the the story which makes it all the more enthralling.
Creepiest Movie Animal – Black Phillip (“The Witch”)
Of the many creepy things about “The Witch”, who can forget the film’s horned villain Black Phillip? This menacing billy goat terrorized a New England family in the 1630s. How can a goat be so chilling?
Biggest Surprise Movie – “The Jungle Book”
I had zero expectations for this film. None whatsoever. What an incredible surprise. Not only does the film look amazing, but its story was far more satisfying than I ever anticipated.
Best Child Performance – Sunny Pawal (“Lion”)
For the first half of “Lion” Sunny Pawal is the focus. It’s a difficult role but the expressive young boy is marvelous. In scene after scene he breaks our heart and all at the tender age of six.
Weirdest Casting – Morgan Freeman (“Ben-Hur”)
While “Ben-Hur” wasn’t quite as bad as some people said, it still made some odd choices. Perhaps the biggest was casting Morgan Freeman as a Nubian sheik. Here’s the thing, he never gets out of Morgan Freeman mode which makes it impossible to see him as anyone else.
Best Directorial Debut – Garth Davis (“Lion”)
Directing feature films can’t be easy which is why Garth Davis’ debut is so impressive. “Lion” is a wonderful that balances two timelines. Davis handles it brilliantly. On top of that his film has received six Oscar nominations. How’s that for a first movie?
Goofiest Scene – Geoffrey Rush vs Giant shadowy space demon (“Gods of Egypt”)
Doesn’t the above description say at all? I don’t really know how to put the absurdity into words. A shorn, flaming Geoffrey Rush duking it out in space with a big smoky mass of evil. Seriously, what else needs to be said?
Best Chase Sequence – “Assassin’s Creed”
It’s far from your traditional chase sequence, but the rooftop chase in “Assassin’s Creed” was nothing short of exhilarating. It’s fast-paced, intense and beautifully shot.
Worst Sequel – “Independence Day: Resurgence”
Twenty years since the first film and this is all they can come up with? “Resurgence” is such a bland and lifeless sequel not to mention full of some of the year’s worst performances. I feel for whoever green-lit this mess of a movie.
Best Performance in a Horrible Movie – Margot Robbie (“Suicide Squad”)
“Suicide Squad” wasn’t good in any regard except one – Margot Robbie. Her version of Harley Quinn was the one true highlight. She gives it 110% and ends up capturing what makes that character such fun. Too bad no one else involved could do the same.
Best Ending – “Arrival”
I was already sold on “Arrival” before it reached its finale, but those final 10 minutes cemented it as a truly great film and my favorite of 2016. It’s not only cerebral, it also packs an unexpected emotional punch.
Best Movie No One Saw – “The Innocents”
I pains me how few people have seen “The Innocents”. Whether its moviegoers or film critics, hardly anyone talked about it by the year’s end. What a shame. “The Innocents” is such a powerful story told with great vision.
Best Villain – The Shark (“The Shallows”)
Forget the routine super-villains, terrorists, or psychopaths. The shark in the surprising thriller “The Shallows” was a terror. This giant predatory menace made Blake Lively beach visit an absolute nightmare.
Best Horror Movie – “Train to Busan”
Zombies on a train. Sounds silly, right? Actually “Train to Busan” is fantastic. This South Korean horror film is a master class in pacing and tension-building. I couldn’t turn away.
Most Eye-Opening Performance – Kate Beckinsale (“Love & Friendship”)
I’ve always liked Kate Beckinsale but never considered her among the top actresses in the business. That was until “Love & Friendship”. Beckinsale shows acting chops that rivaled any performance from 2016.
Best Voice Acting – Idris Elba (“The Jungle Book”)
I could listen to Idris Elba read a telephone book. He has that type of hypnotic voice. In “The Jungle Book” he gives us one of the year’s best villains. Elba is so entrancing that it doesn’t matter he is a scar-faced tiger. You completely buy it.
Most Overly Praised Film – “Zootopia”
Messages are good. Bludgeoning your audience to death with them is not. “Zootopia” starts off good, but the second half becomes a heavy-handed drumming at the expense of its story. Yet it still has a huge following and will probably win the Animated Feature Oscar.
Most Unfairly Maligned Film – “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice”
Before it even hit theaters “BvS” became a fashionable punching bag for many. It has let up a little, but it’s still showered with overblown criticisms and now Razzies in every category. Good grief.
Best Non-La La Land Dance Sequence – “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”
Happy Birthday Ricky Baker! There are several things in “Wilderpeople” that come completely out of the blue. One is the forest dance scene where Ricky busts some serious moves. Sam Neil’s expression makes it even better.
Worst Comedy – “The Do-Over”
Adam Sandler. Do I have to say anything else. I probably could but I would rather not.
Best Superhero Film – “Captain America: Civil War”
The Captain America movies have been some of the very best from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That continued with “Civil War”, a film that could just as easily be called “Avengers 2.5”.
Best Movie Mustache – Colin Farrell (“The Lobster”)
I could come up with all sorts of oddball categories for “The Lobster” – Best Use of a Toaster, Best Cameo by a Peacock, and so on. Instead I’ll stick with Best Mustache, an award that Colin Farrell wins with ease (depending on how you define “best”).
Best Visual Effects – “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”
Okay, a couple of CGI characters may have been a bit a little jarring, but aside from that “Rogue One” looks absolutely stunning. From the space battles to the new worlds, it’s hard not to be wow’d by the incredible effects.
Best Western – “In a Valley of Violence”
Ethan Hawke verses John Travolta in the wild west? That’s an automatically selling point. Actual the film is a lean, fresh take on the western genre from writer/director Ti West.
Biggest Letdown – “Jason Bourne”
“Jason Bourne” isn’t a bad movie. It’s just incredibly flat and utterly forgettable. Not at all what I expected from the returning Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass. Maybe I need to give it another chance. The first viewing left no impression.