Inspired by Geek Soul Brother’s splendid Mulder awards, and because Gold Globes and Naked Fellows are so last century, I take no small delight in presenting the inaugural Fluffrick 2011 Minnie Awards – the virtual awards ceremony which celebrates great nerdy things and the sleepy terriers who tolerate them (as long as they’re not too loud).
The Filmic Pup Who Know's What's Up - Minnie
Without further ado, the Minnie for Best Science Fiction Film of 2011 goes to…
Any film which gets me out of the house and headed towards a multiplex cinema nowadays is deserving of some kind of award. Any film which has me thinking about its implications long after leaving the cinema is clearly doing something right. Any film that has you scouring IMDB and the trades to see what all concerned are doing next is one that’s more than worth a view if you haven’t seen it already.
Runners up in this category were:
Coping with the twin demands of launching a franchise and establishing more continuity for this summer’s “Avengers” extravaganza, Kenneth Branagh had more than enough on his plate with “Thor”. That he delivered an entertaining movie which delivered laughs, action and some quite excellent performances (Idris Elba – represent!) indicates that Branagh is a film maker to call if you want your widescreen spectacle balanced with character comedy.
Yes, the latest Paul Anderson movie is the polar opposite of the movie at number one. It’s dumb, noisy and historically so bizarre as to constitute some kind of public call for better teaching of the subject in our schools. All those issues aside, this latest adaptation of “The Three Musketeers” was quasi-Steampunk mentalism of the highest order. Worth it just for Orlando Bloom channelling Adam Ant and confirming that sneering villainy is something that he’s really rather suited for.
Every great (or middling) film must be counterbalanced by one which isn’t so enduring. A film which saddens and irritates in equal measure. To wit, the next award is the Most Disappointing Movie of 2011.
As the second movie was a shrill, misogynistic, racist and overwhelmingly brain-dead effort, this third sequel didn’t have a lot to live up to. Being in focus and not giving you a migraine might have been considered a major result, but this film managed to make massive destruction, rocking-socking robots and jaw-loosening spectacle somehow unforgivably dull: If a skyscraper falls in Chicago, and you’re busy checking your smartphone because the stuff on-screen is so overblown that you don’t care if anybody lives or dies, does anyone hear it?
Perhaps we were spoiled in 2010 by Christopher Nolan’s “Inception”, which balanced the demands of action cinema and arthouse style and showed us that mainstream summer movies can be pump up the adrenaline and intellect alike? Perhaps the impressive 3D tech could have been used for a purpose other than ogling Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s admittedly compelling posterior? Perhaps we realised, at long last, that Shia LaBeouf really isn’t much of a star and why were we watching him again?
For whatever reason, the third “Transformers” movie arrived in the summer, did the predicted, gang-busting business worldwide and barely troubled the memory for longer than it took to say “Was Alan Tudyk really in this film?” Some more questions. Why did they end up in Chicago? Who was double-crossing whom? Did Huntington-Whiteley really outwit a robot by appealing to its mechanoid vanity? Is it possible to make a movie which mostly erases itself from your memory almost immediately after viewing it? Because I believe that this franchise may well have pulled it off.
Ah, DC’s much-vaunted “Green Lantern”. With a galaxy-spanning police force composed of imaginative alien creatures, gigantic cosmic phenomena/villains and decades of comics continuity to draw from, how did this film’s creative talents decide that what we really wanted to see was a piss-taking Ryan Reynolds leering at anodyne anon-o-blonde Blake Lively and a resolutely Earth-bound story. Such a missed opportunity. There’s talk of a sequel, but unless it’s a ground-up reinvention, does anybody really want to see it other than DC Entertainment’s accountants?
“Season of the Witch” wasn’t scary enough for horror fans, wasted Ron Perlman and Robert Sheehan in nothing roles and was so tired, predictable and half-hearted that I expected it to peter out rather than actually finish. I know that we’ve come to expect comparatively little of Nicolas Cage in films these days, but “Season of the Witch” so completely drops the ball and wimps out in its final act (Hey! All the stupid, evil creatures are actually real and it’s not just man’s inhumanity and irrationality which is causing all the horrible stuff to happen to people!) that it becomes an ordeal to watch.
For shame, Dominic Sena, for shame!
A final Minnie category for now?
Most Disappointing Movie Development of 2011.
Whether you want it or not, whether it works or not, and ensuring that you have to see a movie in the format because there’s never a 2D screening when you want to see it. The good uses are few and far between and the bad ones are seemingly stinking up a multiplex near you every weekend.
It’s here to stay, because there’s a lot of money invested in it, but it’s not my first choice for entertainment and I doubt that it’s many of yours either.