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THE MCFTR SUMMER MOVIE AWARDS V 2.0
Just another unnecessary awards non-show
By Noel Wood

Well, once again, it's time to run down the best and worst of Hollywood's offerings during the all-so-crucial Summer months. Last year, we decided that the Oscars and other year-end awards were unfair in that they favored only the "serious" films that came out toward the end of the year (read: overrated studio junk), so the response was to set up a Summer awards article to give the spotlight to some of those movies, good or bad, that will likely get ignored come Oscar time. Rather than give a long lead in, Let's go ahead and get to the awards. If you want to go back and look at some more information, you can see last year's awards here.

The criteria for these awards was basically that a movie had to be released between May 1 and August 31 to qualify. Yes, I'm quite aware that August 31 is after I've written this, but it's not like I have to see a movie to give it an award.

Biggest Suprise
T3: RISE OF THE MACHINES
I know it's not the most popular opinion that I've ever had, but I enjoyed T3. Several people hit me up in email and on IM to voice their dissention with the fact that I thought it was a lot of fun, but that doesn't change the fact that I loved every second of this way-past-due sequel, and I'm not afraid to admit it. If you don't like it, Talk to the Hand.

Future Classic
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL

Another big suprise, but unlike with T3, I went in expecting to like this one. I just didn't imagine that it would wind up being one of the most fun experiences I've had in a movie theater in quite some time. Lots of exciting action sequences, likable characters, and beautiful scenery help put this on a par with stuff like the INDIANA JONES movies and THE PRINCESS BRIDE. I've yet to meet a soul who was disappointed in it.

Actor's Last Straw
DADDY DAY CARE
Eddie, Eddie, Eddie. Aside from his voice work in SHREK, Eddie Murphy's had one of the worst strings of flops in recent memory. Sure, there's an anomaly like BOWFINGER or THE NUTTY PROFESSOR every now and then, but with stuff like METRO, VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN, SHOWTIME, and I SPY under his belt, it's no wonder the guy hasn't been worth much since his hot streak from 1983-1988. DADDY DAY CARE was, as expected by anyone with a modicum of common sense, poorly received by critics and audiences. Oh well. At least there's a SHREK sequel in the works.

Best Adaptation of a Mainstream Comic
X2: X-MEN UNITED

This sequel to 1999's long-awaited but mixed-reviewed X-MEN promised to be twice what its predecessor was, and delivered. Director Brian Singer was given more say in this one than the last, and the result is one of the best comic adaptations yet to come down the pike. The characters are blossoming before our eyes, and the door is open for one or more sequels in the future.

Best Adaptation of a Semi-Obscure Comic
THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN

To comic fans, LXG is hardly obscure, but to the casual viewer, it's not universally known that this Sean Connery blockbuster is even based on a funny book. Another suprise for me, I went in not expecting much and walked out having had a great time in the theater. Not perfect by any means, but LXG did a lot of things right, and that's better than, oh, say, DAREDEVIL did.

Best Argument Against Seeing the Next Kevin Smith Film
GIGLI

If the reviews are any indication, Ben and Jen (Affleck and Lopez, in case you've been in a cave) have so little chemistry that there's little hope for their next project together, Kevin Smith's first foray outside of his "ViewAskewniverse", JERSEY GIRL.

Best Title
DUMB AND DUMBERER: WHEN HARRY MET LLOYD

I still haven't seen this prequel to the 1994 Farrelly Brothers' comedy, and going by most reviews, I didn't miss much. But at least it has a clever title going for it, playing off a clever mutilation of proper verbiage and incorporating it in with a parody of another film title. The promotional tagline "Young, Dumb, and full of Dumb" is also pretty clever.

Worst Title
GIGLI

As Rob Schneider imitating Jerry Seinfeld might say, "Who are the ad wizards that came up with this one?" I can't even figure out exactly how GIGLI is supposed to be pronounced, so I like to refer to it as "Jiggly". I can understand the idea of naming a movie after a character's name, but as Chad pointed out eons ago, only if the name is something that sounds good.

Most Provocative Title
GRIND / THE ITALIAN JOB / DOWN WITH LOVE
(tie)
I don't think this award requires much explanation, but Lord knows that the Beavis in me got a chuckle out of these titles whenever I saw ads for the films. Just coming in under the wire was HOLES, which would have easily beaten all three had it come out a month later.

Most Fitting Title
WRONG TURN

Considering I saw this abhorrent piece of poodoo at a drive-in, the title pretty much summed up how I felt about the driver's choice to pull in to the corresponding theater.

Title Most Sounding like an Advice Column
ALEX & EMMA

Yeah, some of these categories are pretty lame, but you can't tell me that you didn't hear this title and immediately think "Dear Alex and Emma, I've been struggling with an abusive husband for five years now". Or something like that. Or maybe I'm just retarded and nobody else got that correlation.

Movie Most Likely to Spawn Creepy Borderline Pedophile Fan sites
THE LIZZIE McGUIRE MOVIE

I don't care how you want to justify your admiration of their "talents". If you're a male, aged 20-40, and you have a website devoted to the criminally underaged Amanda Bynes, Emma Watson, or LIZZIE's Hilary Duff, you're a sick fucker. Same goes for all you creepy dudes with your Olsen Twins countdowns. Stay the hell away from me.

Best Nautical Themed Movie
FINDING NEMO

Thankfully, NEMO has been hugely successful, and deservedly so. This is probably the best film Pixar Studios has put out yet, and undoubtedly the best Disney animated film in a long time. There were a handful ofnautical movies this summer, including the fantastic PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, Dreamworks' SINBAD, a good portion of LXG, and Tobey Maguire's SEABISCUIT (okay, maybe not that last one so much), but NEMO definitley floats to the surface.

Most Schizophrenic Marketing Campaign
GIGLI / HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE
(tie)
What are these supposed to be? Action movies? Comedies? Gangster flicks? I couldn't tell, because one week the trailers made me think it was one, and the next week the other. I can tell you one thing that they both are: big overhyped bombs that critically and financially sunk to the bottom of the barrel.

Best Parable for Jim Carrey's Career
BRUCE ALMIGHTY

Actually, I stole this from Chad. Chad promised me a review of this movie two months ago but It still hasn't arrived, so I decided to steal one of his ideas in this article. According to the chad (because I never saw the movie) Carrey's Bruce is a fluff piece reporter who desires to be a more serious anchor. When he finally gets his wish, he winds up failing at it and winds up going back to fluff pieces, where he enjoys the most success. Replace "fluff pieces" with stupid comedies and "serious anchor" with respected actor and you've got Carrey's career in a nutshell. Sorry Chad, but I can't wait forever. Almighty then!

Best Movie Team-Up
FREDDY VS. JASON

Sure, this shoulda come out years ago, but I don't give a shit. This is the dream match of the millenium. This is bigger than Ali/Frazier, bigger than Holyfield/Tyson, hell, even bigger than Hogan/Andre! I pick Freddy in the 7th with a TKO.

Worst Movie Team-Up
RUGRATS GO WILD

Right, because the Rugrats weren't annoying enough as it was, so they had to go and team up with yet another Nickelodeon cartoon, the Wild Thornberries? The only saving grace is that, like all Nicktoons, the VHS release of this movie will be on an orange videocassette.

Most Unnecessary Sequel
2 FAST 2 FURIOUS
2 Stupid, 2 retarded, 2 lame, 2 repulsive, 2 idiotic, 2 brainless, 2 easy 2 make fun of. What the hell happened to John Singleton by the way? How many other directors can you name who peaked with their first film? Since BOYZ N THE HOOD, his films have been going downhill. Really, how do you follow up on ROSEWOOD with a shitty remake of SHAFT?

Most Unnecessary Remake
FREAKY FRIDAY

It wasn't bad enough that LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON, 18 AGAIN, and VICE VERSA, essentially all FREAKY FRIDAY remakes themselves, all came out within a year of one another in the late 80's. Disney had to go off and do their own shitty remake, this time starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Oh, and almost as offensive a remake is Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks in THE IN-LAWS.

Most Unnecessary TV Adaptation
S.W.A.T.

If I had my way, I'd institute a statute of limitations on TV shows being allowed to get big movie adaptations. I'm not sure exactly what the specific parameters of that statute would be at this moment, but I can guarantee you it would have precluded S.W.A.T. from ever being greenlighted. I don't give a shit if Sam Jackson and Colin Farrell are in this thing, it still looks like a big flaming bowl of suck.

Most Unnecessary Starfuck
FROM JUSTIN TO KELLY

In some hypothetical Hollywood studio last fall, an exec was overheard saying the following: "Let's milk those American Idol kids for all we can, mmkay? Lord knows their shelf life is about that of a head of lettuce, so we might as well squeeze everything we can out of them!" Nice sentiment and all, but for the love of God please don't make a movie with that fat guy who won the second one. Ever. Please?

Best Use of a Song Title
CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES

A semi-obscure Cure single about a girl with identity issues from about twenty years ago lends its title to a semi-obscure indie film about the dating habits of Asian-Americans. I can't gather how exactly the title even remotely ties in to the movie, but is sure does sound good.

Worst Use of a Song Title
UPTOWN GIRLS

An overexposed Billy Joel single about a working class guy pining for a classy gal from about twenty years ago lends its title to an overexposed studio movie about a spoiled girl who becomes a nanny. Okay, sure, they added an "S" for the movie, but we all know the Billy Joel song will probably be played ad nauseum in the movie.

______________________________________

So there you have it. I've done it. I've actually said I was going to do something a year ago and did it. For the first time, I've delivered on my own promise to do an annual event here on the site. This gives me hope. So expect yet another half-assed attempt at drawing a chuckle out of you next year 'round this time as well.

Until then, there's still a lot more uninformed movie opinions for me to make, so make sure to keep reading! Got a problem with any of it? click the Message Board link below and give me a piece of your mind!

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All Material Copyright 1998-2006 Movie Criticism for the Retarded.

For questions, comments, or the occasional stalking letter, send mail to Noel Wood. Please give proper credit when using any materials found within this site.


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