As this year’s Academy Awards ceremony fast approaches, all signs point to it being a more “heavier” ceremony, what with boycotts and the ongoing issues with diversity, so I thought I would try and lighten things up a bit.
(Serious Sidebar – for the record, my view is yes – the Academy membership needs to be shaken up, but the reason for the lack of nominations for people of colour should not be focused so much on #OscarsSoWhite, but rather more on #FilmsSoWhite. The Academy has proven many times that it does recognize and award performances by people of colour – but the problem is that there needs to be more of these diverse performances in general. Film studios need to be casting more of their films with a colour-blind eye in order for change to really happen. Okay, serious stuff over).
Anyway, as I was saying – I’m just here to have a little fun with the Oscars right now. And to do so, I decided to create some frivolous Academy Award categories of my own, as well as some special achievement awards for some very special films, indeed.
And now, the (not really an) Oscar goes to…
Best Performance by Supporting Characters in a Lead Role
The Minions in Minions
Best Performance by a Lead Character in a Supporting Role
Tom Hardy as Mad Max in Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Performance by Channing Tatum as a sexy beast (figuratively)
As the titular stripper in Magic Mike XXL
Best Performance by Channing Tatum as a sexy beast (literally)
As Caine, the alien/dog hybrid bounty hunter in Jupiter Ascending
Outstanding Mascot of the Year (animal)
Bears (The Revenant, Ted 2, Paddington)
Outstanding Mascot of the Year (non-animal)
Droids (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Outstanding Achievement in Title Punctuation (cumulative work)
The colon (:)
The saviour of number-prone sequel titles, the colon was used in the titles of no less than 14 films released in 2015 (only one of which, Kingsman: The Secret Service, was a non-sequel/non-franchise film)
Outstanding Achievement in Title Punctuation (individual)
The period (.)
There’s nothing like a snappy acronym, and the period pulled quintuple duty to draw attention to the one in The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
This and Jurassic World were the only sequels released in 2015 that eschewed both colons and numeric designations, but the edge goes to Hotel for craftily working into its title the fact that it’s the second Marigold Hotel movie
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
Both this and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation employed punctuation overkill with the combination of colon + dash, but only M:I – RN gets a pass, since the colon is part of its original tile. The Hunger Games however goes for the unnecessary overkill. Pro-tip: if you are including a numeric designation in your title, you don’t need to further separate it with any punctuation (even if there’s already a colon in play, which is amazingly something that Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 got right)
Best Film To Demonstrate Everything Wrong With Reboots, Superhero Films and Reboots of Superhero Films
Say what you will about the goofy Jessica Alba Fantastic Four films – at least they gave us an FF that was an actual superhero team using their super powers to do super-heroey things. In this desperate cash grab/film rights extender, we were supposedly getting a “grittier” version of the FF, but what we got was a sullen, sulky batch of millennials who spend almost the entire movie indoors (or in a dismal, dark otherworldy dimension) working on science stuff, bickering , walking down hallways and acting angsty. It was the film equivalent of someone shrugging their shoulders.
Best Anti-Tourism Film for a Title Location
San Andreas (“Come for the great weather, stay because the earth cracked open and swallowed you up)
Everest (“Come for the breath-taking views, stay because the altitude is also breath-taking, so now you’re dead.”)
Brooklyn (“Come to 1950s Brooklyn and see how charming, clean and pretty it is, stay because it’s 1950s Brooklyn and you’re stranded because smartphones, wi-fi, GPS and Uber haven’t been invented yet”)
Most Misleading Titles of the Year
Magic Mike XXL…the “XXL” was only in reference to the film’s running time
Trainwreck…was not a locomotive-based disaster flick
Ricki and the Flash…was not about a former talk show host who teams up with a superhero speedster
Least Creative Titles of the Year (aka “Titles that could also be MadLibs answers”)
And finally, a Special Award going to the year itself, 2015, for:
Outstanding Achievement in Box Office – Worst Wide Openings
A “wide opening” film is a film that debuts on at least 2,000 screens. 2015 saw the release of not one, not two, but FOUR wide opening films that did so bad that they all managed to land in the Top 20 on the list of films with the all-time worst opening-weekend box office grosses (the most of any year represented on the list).
Even more incredible is that three of the films, Jem and the Holograms ($1.37mil), Rock The Kasbah ($1.47mil) and We Are Your Friends ($1.76mil) charged in right to the top tier, nabbing the fourth, fifth and sixth slots. 2015’s other entry on the list, Victor Frankenstein, just barely sneaked in at number 19 ($2.46).
And so, by producing not only some of the biggest box-office blockbusters of all time like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 …but also some of the biggest flops of all time as well, 2015 showed that it truly was a diverse year for movies!