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The 2004 Summer Movie Awards

30 August 2004 by Gnoll No Comment

THE MCFTR SUMMER MOVIE AWARDS V 3.0
Just another unnecessary awards non-show
By Gnoll

It’s here! The wait is over! Sure, you don’t really know that you were waiting for it, but you were!

Long story short, this has become kind of an annual tradition for me here at MCFTR, and this year shall be no different. If you would like to see the previous years’ lists, then click here for 2002 and here for 2003.

Here, I will honor and exalt (and sometimes shit upon) those movies that were released in the months of June, July, and August: the real reason why movie studios exist. Sure, they might try and make you think that it’s all about those films that get limited released right at the end of the year, but we all know that it ain’t the Oscar that brings in the Benjamins.

So without further ado, here are the 2004 Summer Movie Awards!

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Best Premise:
DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY

There have been movies based on everything under the sun. And now, there’s a movie about the best playground sport ever. Even better, they made a funny movie about said subject, and tied it in with a whole G.I.Joe vs. Cobra motif that appeased borderline fanboys like myself.

Funniest film of the Summer:
ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY

As I’ve stated on many occasions, Will Ferrell is growing on me. Maybe like a mold, but it’s still happening. With good material, he’s a winner, and that holds true here. ANCHORMAN had me rolling in the aisles, and that says a lot about my cynical ass. Then again, I think Weird Al Yankovic is a comic genius, so maybe I’m more easily amused than my standoffish attitude might imply.

Best Title:
HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE

Kinda says it all right there, doesn’t it? A couple of names that stand out, a silly premise, and a hip bit of pop culture rolled up with a product placement, and you’ve got yourself a hell of a title. This means Danny Leiner is two for two as far as good titles go, because DUDE, WHERE’S MY CAR? is one of the best titles to come out in ages.

Best title based on an XFL running back’s nickname:
SHE HATE ME

At least I think this is a play on the caption that once appeared on Rod Smart’s jersey when he was still an employee of Vince McMahon, but I could be wrong and it could just be some cultural thing I’m not picking up on. I don’t figure Spike Lee to be too much of a football fan anyway.

Best title that sounds like a Lady Miss Kier lyric:
DE-LOVELY

Okay, so maybe it’s just the bastion of ridiculous forgotten pop culture that dwells within me coming out, but I couldn’t help but think of Miss Kier from Deee-Lite adding this line to her spiel of “How do you say deee-gorgeous? How do you say deee-groovy?…” from the World Clique CD. Yes, I know that it was Cole Porter’s idea first, but I wasn’t exactly raised in the 1920’s, you know.

Worst Use of Internal Rhyme in a Title:
THE DOOR IN THE FLOOR

Is this the title of a lost Dr. Seuss book or a thriller starring Vicki Vale and the Dude? Maybe author John Irving was channeling Theodor Geisel when he wrote the book the film was based on.

Worst Title:
ANACONDAS: THE HUNT FOR BLOOD ORCHID

Because simply “Anacondas” isn’t enough. Because making this sequel to a b-movie when you can’t get any of the original stars to appear wasn’t be enough. Getting a fake J.Lo and a fake Ice Cube wasn’t enough. You gotta give the thing a stupid title to boot. Why do sequels nowadays have to have some tacked-on subtitle anyway? Whatever happened to just numbering the goddamn things?

Most logical Will Smith role:
I, ROBOT

He battled aliens. And then he battled some more aliens. And then he battled giant robotic things. And then they made a sequel to that one movie where he battled aliens and he battled some more aliens. So it’s only natural that when you need someone to battle something in the realm of science fiction, you call upon the Fresh Prince.

Worst Attempt at recapturing the Success of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN:
KING ARTHUR

I had a free pass to see KING ARTHUR but was unable to attend due to some scheduling conflicts. I really didn’t care to see it because I thought it looked pretty bad. When I heard out that it wasn’t all that bad, but that it was really, really, really bad, I wished that I had gone. There ain’t nothing I enjoy more than a terrible movie; they’re so much easier to write about. But anyway, you could tell by the marketing for this film that Disney was pushing it hard to be this year’s PIRATES, from the swashbuckling action scenes to the snazzy one-liners to the namedropping of Jerry Bruckheimer to the showcasing of star Kiera Knightley. Too bad for them moviegoers caught on quick.

Why too much of anything is a bad thing:
FAHRENHEIT 9/11, UNCOVERED: THE WHOLE TRUTH ABOUT THE IRAQ WAR, OUTFOXED: RUPERT MURDOCH’S WAR ON JOURNALISM, FESTIVAL EXPRESS, METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER, RIDING GIANTS, TOM DOWD & THE LANGUAGE OF MUSIC,
and AMERICA’S HEART AND SOUL.

Oh, and OPEN WATER too, since it’s being sold as BLAIR WITCH meets JAWS.

Most Unnecessary TV Adaptation
THUNDERBIRDS

Thunderbirds are go…straight to hell! So they take one of the campiest shows of the sixties, one that only worked because of the fact that it starred a bunch of puppets, and make it a live action movie at the helm of Commander Riker? No wonder it bombed. Thankfully, the guys behind South Park are making the movie that they should have made here.

Most Unnecessary Remake:
THE STEPFORD WIVES

I never saw the original. Unfortunately, I did see this steaming pile of whale dung. It doesn’t matter that it’s a remake, it was just unnecessary to begin with. See my review if you care to read more about this monstrous pit of suck.

Best Comic Adaptation:
SPIDER-MAN 2

Not that there was much competition, mind you, other than ALIEN VS. PREDATOR. And as much as that film was a guilty pleasure for me, it’s no SPIDER-MAN 2. Despite the changes in the character’s origin story and the whole organic web-shooter thing, this is the best adaptation of a comic franchise to make it to celluloid.

Worst Comic Adaptation:
CATWOMAN

One word: Why? Why did someone think it would be a good idea to make this film? Why did they feel it necessary to take a secondary character from another comic property, completely reboot the story to create an altogether new character, put the character into the most ridiculous costume that Joel Shumacher didn’t think of first, and then make it into a feature film? Why? I didn’t actually see this, mind you, but I didn’t have to to know that it would suck worse than its competition in this category.

Best Sequel:
SPIDER-MAN 2

Spidey takes this by default. If I had had (I hate it when you use the word “had” twice in a row, regardless of how correct it might be in this case) a best overall film for the Summer, this would take the cake; but since I don’t it’ll have to settle to win these other awards.

Worst Sequel:
SUPERBABIES: BABY GENIUSES 2

This isn’t even out yet, but everyone with a brain knows it will suck.

Most Unlikely Sequel:
BEFORE SUNSET

I vaguely remember hearing something about this on Harry Knowles’ slobbering fanboy site a year or two ago, but I was still pretty shocked when I saw the preview for it. Just seems kind of odd that they would make a sequel to a tiny little indie romantic comedy from a decade ago like BEFORE SUNRISE. But I enjoyed the first one, and after SCHOOL OF ROCK it looks like Linklater is back, so it’s on my “to see” list (and I really have one of those. I’m not shitting you. It’s in my wallet on the back of a trivia answer form with movies I’ve seen crossed off of it.)

Best Argument to Revoke Comedy Licenses:
WHITE CHICKS

Really, do I need to say anything else? The lesser Wayans Brothers have never really done much of note, and biggest brother Keenan hasn’t directed a good movie since I’M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA. This movie just had me scratching my head as to who would actually pay money to go see it. Apparently a few people did, though, which is all the proof I need that the Wayans need their license to attempt comedy taken away from them.

Proof that Hollywood no longer comprehends the concept of ‘relevance’:
GARFIELD

Man, I used to really dig Garfield. When I was nine. For those who wish to do the math, that was two decades ago. That was about the time that this fat orange lasagna-lovin’ kitty was at his peak of popularity, unlike today, where those faded window-clinging stuffed toys from the last milennium are about the last indicator that Garfield was ever a mainstream comic strip. But apparently, that’s all some movie execs needed to greenlight this sucker, because we got it in the year 2004. Bill Murray has to slum it here providing the voice for the fat cat, but I guess that’s just the whole circle of life thing. You see, Lorenzo Music, who voiced Garfield back in the days where he was relevant, passed away in 2001. Mr. Music also voiced the character of Peter Venkman on “The Real Ghostbusters”, an animated series based on the film GHOSTBUSTERS, where Bill Murray played Peter Venkman. Circle of life…

Best film for Pedophile stakeouts:
SLEEPOVER

Am I the only one that’s really creeped out by the trend of pedophile acceptance in this country? Now that the people who have waited for ages for the “legalization” of prepubescent starlets like Amanda Bynes, the Olsen Twins, and Lindsey Lohan no longer have to wait, there’s a new batch of jailbait just waiting to get ogled over by potential pederasts. Fortunately for those people, they shoved them all into one movie and gave it a somewhat provocative title just for kicks. Yeah, like the studio wasn’t hoping to draw in some of that demographic when they marketed this one.

Best film for Drug Bust stakeouts:
HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE

As I mentioned in my not-quite-a-review of this film, I shared a theater with a whole bunch of potheads when I saw it. Just imagine how the cops would fare if they searched everyone in the theater on opening night. Do this across the nation, and they’d probably be able to pay off the national debt. Hell, maybe that’s our nation’s soultion: government-approved stoner movies!

Magical Disappearing movie of the Summer:
THE TERMINAL

The latest Spielberg/Hanks outing came out during a period where I was monumentally busy, buying a house and moving while working two jobs. I really wanted to see it, but it just wasn’t happening until I settled down some. And by the time I got my footing and had a chance to see it, it was gone from every major theater in the city. Seriously. Within like four weeks. I don’t know if this was a universal phenomenon, but it sure threw me for a loop. Guess I gotta wait for DVD.

Best Trailer:
TEAM AMERICA

Trey Parker and Matt Stone have made a movie that’s probably going to piss off everyone imaginable, and they’ve made a trailer that boldly says to. No, this movie doesn’t come out until after the cutoff date, but the trailer did. So there.

Worst Trailer:
CELLULAR

Thsi one also comes out after the cutoff for summer movies, but I’ve seen this ridiculous trailer for a movie based on a ridiculous and impossible premise so many times that I’m almost ready to boycott the entire cellular phone industry for allowing their product to be so blatantly hawked in such a way. Man, this looks stupid.

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So that’s it. For the third year, I’ve made sure that the movies that will be ignored when the Academy comes a-looking get their fair nod, even if it is just some silly little smart-assed remark. If only I had some sort of tangible trophy I could send out to these filmmakers, just so they could say “what the fuck is Movie Criticism for the Retarded” and throw it out in the trash.

So enjoy your cooler months, and I’ll see you next Summer. Well, I won’t see you. But you know what I mean.

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