Well, summer's over. Boo-hoo, right? Get over it. We all had to go back to school sometime. Anyway, summer 2009 was no slouch when it came to entertaining us at the movies. So, without further ado, Detailed Criticisms presents The FITS Awards for 2009. Let's start with the Best... Awards.
Surprise: Terminator: Salvation. Let me be clear. Terminator: Salvation is far from the masterpiece that we know the series is capable of delivering. But, it is not nearly as bad as some other big budget action movies that came out this summer. In fact, in terms of sequels, this one is quite possibly the best, only being beat by Harry Potter. Sam Worthington does a surprisingly good job handling piss poor dialogue while simultaneously kicking tons of ass and getting me psyched to see him in Avatar in December. And Christian Bale does an adequate job as the human messiah, even if it is the exact same thing we saw from his last few movies.
Runner Up(s): Adam Sandler's Performance in Funny People
Sequel: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Before you start shouting at me, I'll make my rationale clear. Yes, Star Trek is technically the 11th film in the franchise, but, I am not going to associate that masterpiece with the general pile of crap that the space opera franchise usually serves us. So, no, it is not a sequel. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, on the other hand, is a sequel, and it is a good one. I thought the Harry Potter franchise has almost lost its way around movie 4, but this one brings the series back up on the glorious high plateau it was standing on during movie 3. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint have all done away with the childish acting tendencies that they inhabited in previous installments, and are now completely serious actors. Number 7 (parts 1 and 2) can't come soon enough!
Runner Up(s): Terminator: Salvation
Possible New Franchise: District 9. As I made apparent in my public tongue bathing of this sci-fi masterpiece, the world that director Niell Blomkamp has created, and its execution, is downright brilliant! I don't particularly want to see a new installment (District 10?), but I won't mind in the slightest if Blomkamp wants to revisit the story of the Prawns and Wikus van de Merwe.
Runner Up(s): The Hangover
Hero: Wikus van de Merwe (Sharlto Copley) in District 9. In District 9, Blomkamp gives us a hero who is complex and deep. You will love him one minute and hate him the next, while simultaneously believing absolutely everything that he is doing. When you sit down, you are holding on for the ride with Wikus as he goes through the most hellish few days of his life. He may be an asshole some of the time, but you are rooting for him the whole time, despite your initial misgivings. No other hero on screen this year can attest to that. Well done Copley. Not bad for your first acting gig.
Runner Up(s): James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine) in Star Trek
Villain: Col. Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) in Inglourious Basterds. I don't think a Nazi has ever been so likable on screen before. Waltz's Col. is going down as the best villain Quentin Tarantino has ever written, beating out Stuntman Mike and Bill. Every single line of his (That's a bingo!) is solid gold. Expect an Oscar nomination. It's practically guaranteed. Oh, also, if you ever sit down to have a strudel with him, listen to him, and wait for your damn cream!
Runner Up(s): Nero (Eric Bana) in Star Trek, Those Damn Machines in Terminator: Salvation
Performance: TIE: Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel in (500) Days of Summer. I've made it no secret that I am absolutely in love with Joseph Gordon Levitt. He can take any role and turn into something you want to watch (Cobra Commander anyone?). Fortunately, he had a good character and script to work with in this absolutely wonderful movie. It doesn't hurt that he is complemented by the singular best performance to ever come out of Zooey Deschanel. These are two for the books, and two of the decade's best. No, you are not reading the wrong. I said decade!
Runner Up(s): Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds, Zachary Quinto in Star Trek
Action: Star Trek. Ah, what a refreshing change of pace, an action movie that doesn't skimp on the characters and good dialogue while simultaneously exciting the hell out of us. JJ Abrams should at least get a pat on the back for taking this ridiculously boring and decrepit franchise and breathing new, invigorating life into it. There's already talk about if it'll get nominated for some serious Oscars, besides its guaranteed nominations for effects and editing and things of that nature. Hey, I'll petition for an Oscar nom for Zachary Quinto or Abrams. God knows, they deserve it.
Runner Up(s): District 9
Comedy (Romantic or otherwise): (500) Days of Summer: Words can not adequately express how much I love this movie. I honestly can't remember feeling this much adoration for a movie since the first time I saw The Godfather in 7th grade. Not only is the movie heartfelt and emotional, but it's also funny as hell. Just take the opening slides. "Author's Note: The following is work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Especially you Jenny Beckman. Bitch!" God, that's great!
Runner Up(s): The Hangover
Overall: (500) Days of Summer: Put it to you this way. I left (500) Days of Summer, and all I could think about was going to see (500) Days of Summer again. Seriously. You may think I'm crazy (I am), or that I just have a man crush on Joseph Gordon-Levitt (I do), but the movie is just that good!
Runner Up(s): District 9
And now, onto the other side of the spectrum. The Worst... awards. These are always fun.
Surprise: Transformers 2 Sucks. I'll admit it again. I'm a fan of the first Transformers movie. I thought it was a well made, funny, supremely exciting piece of summer action. Being that this is a Michael Bay movie, this is grand praise coming from me, indeed. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that Bay went back to his usual tricks for his sequel. Pretty much everything that was good about Transformers 1 is nowhere to be seen in Transformers 2. And, he still has to answer for those robot twins. What was he thinking?
Runner Up(s): Just How Bad G.I. Joe Really Is
Sequel: X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The X-Men franchise was never very good, but it can't be denied that X2 was a fairly decent addition to the comic book-to-movie ranks. Ever since then, the franchise has been sliding down a slippery slope, but it has hit an all time low with Wolverine. I don't understand why they needed to make this movie. Pretty much all the last three dealt with was Wolverine's origin. Anyway, the acting is terrible; the special effects are awful; and the action is boring. Do not see!
Runner Up(s): Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Possible New Franchise: G.I. Joe. Words cannot express how much I loathe this movie. If you read my review, you would have noticed I said how the movie was a lot of fun. But, if you read my follow up article, you would've noticed I said that this fun does not hold up on the second viewing. In that viewing, you will see the film for what it really is, a piece of shit with awful acting (except for Joseph Gordon-Levitt), atrocious direction and the worst special effects seen in a big budget Hollywood actioner ever since Venom in Spider-Man 3. But, since it made tons of money, we're gonna get another one, and I'll have to see it for you people. FML
Runner Up(s): X-Men Origins: (insert mutant name here)
Hero: Duke in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Usually, the hero of an action movie is supposed to have charisma, charm, and be able to kick ass. Channing Tatum's Duke can only kick ass. This is only exemplified by his partner, played by Marlon Wayans, who has all three of these things. Tatum plays Duke like the thickest jarhead on the face of the planet. Needless to say, I was rooting for Cobra in the end.
Runner Up(s): Sam in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Villain: The Fallen in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Not only does this new evil Transformer look like the most impractically built robot ever, but his evil plan is even less clear then that of his lieutenant, Megatron. So, he wants to blow up the sun to do, what exactly? This is going to destroy the earth? Great. Why should I care? Good villains are supposed to evil, but have something to them that sort of masks that villainy, like charm or motivation. Subtlety goes a long way. The Fallen throws subtlety out the window in favor of a more direct approach, i.e. gravelly voice, evil looking appearance, and an ominous throne. Kill me now!
Runner Up(s): Col. William Stryker (Danny Huston) in X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Performance: Meghan Fox in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I believe that Meghan can be good, but as long as she keeps taking roles like this, we will never see that talent. She knows this too, which is why she totally phones in her second outing as the hottest teenager ever! It's very sad.
Runner Up(s): Christopher Eccleston in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Lynn Collins in X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Action: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. As I'm sure you've guessed by now, G.I. Joe is a terrible movie. Every action scene looks like it was put together in a college computer lab; every actor on screen is clearly looking forward to the day when they can move on the better things, and so are you watching them. Do not subject yourself to this movie, ever!
Runner Up(s): X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Comedy: Nothing. Same deal as last year. I only saw good comedies, and I don't feel like insulting them with undeserved criticism. So... yeah.
Runner Up(s): Seriously?
Overall: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. See above.
Runner Up(s): X-Men Origins: Wolverine
There you have it! 2009's FITS Awards have been handed out. It was a good season, even if we didn't have the massive influx of quality that we got last year. Oh well. Anyway, with that out of the way, Oscar season can begin. Stay tuned for more coverage.
Oh, in case you were wondering, FITS stands for Fun in the Sun!