Sunday, February 8, 2009

2008 Leaman Awards: Supplementary (Web Edition)



In order to cap off the film year that was 2008, I decided to post a stripped down version of my 2008 awards. For quite a while I wondered how I should go about posting my film awards and since the actual printed and bound version is over 30 pgs. long (front and back, and avaliable in the Leaman Awards Archives), I felt it was just too difficult to reprint them all here, graphics and all. So, for those who have been following along with me, I am posting a stripped down version, in order to make it avaliable online. What follows are my "SUPPLEMENTARY AWARDS", and my favorite aspect of the entire awards experience.

2008 Supplementary Awards

-Top Ten Tag Lines-
10. “They’re about to get more than they plea-bargained for” –Role Models
9. “Take a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget” –Mamma Mia!
8. “Make believe. Not war” –Son of Rambow
7. “He sees dead people…and they annoy him” –Ghost Town
6. “Welcome to a world without rules” –The Dark Knight
5. “This summer, our only hope is something incredible” –The Incredible Hulk
4. “Why so serious?” –The Dark Knight
3. “Some will fall. Some will fly” –Snow Angels
2. “1974. 1350 Feet Up. The artistic crime of the century” –Man on Wire
1. “The true story of a heist gone wrong…in all the right ways” –The Bank Job

-Bottom Five Tag Lines-
5. “Life isn’t measured in minutes, but in moments” –The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
4. “To find her son, she did what no one else dared” -Changeling
3. “It’s not where your from, it’s where your at” –Step Up 2: The Streets
2. “Same planet. Different world” –Journey to the Center of the Earth
1. “Big science has expelled smart new ideas from the classroom…What they forgot is that every generation has its rebel” –Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed


-Top Fifteen Dramatic Scenes-
15. “Frank finds something in the bathroom closet and confronts April about it” –Revolutionary Road
14. “The child is shot off-screen” –Funny Games
13. “Suicide Attempt” –In Bruges
12. “Philippe makes his walk across the towers” –Man on Wire
11. “Sister Aloysius discusses her suspicion about Father O’Flynn with the mother of the child” –Doubt
10. “Ben Thomas fulfills his plans and blesses his strangers” –Seven Pounds
9. “Lee Carter gets to see the finished film” –Son of Rambow
8. “A lone penguin walks off to the mountains to certain death” –Encounters at the End of the World
7. “Dishwasher Showdown Ends with an Unexpected Plate” –Rachel Getting Married
6. “Final Moments with Batman and the Joker” –The Dark Knight
5. “The Final Stretch into the checkered at the Grand Prix” –Speed Racer
- It’s a good action sequence in its own right, but the complete synergy of the action, editing, color bursts, and dialogue is outstanding.

4. “Surprised by an Old Friend at the Salon” –Rachel Getting Married
- For whatever reason, this sequence had the greatest emotional impact on me. The way in which the Old Friend stares directly in the camera was just moving and unnerving.

3. “Final Confrontation between the Sister and the Father” –Doubt
- A master’s class of acting. Two heavyweights in a classic fight.

2. “Rachel Readies Kym for the Wedding” –Rachel Getting Married
- A genuinely touching moment of forgiveness and grace. A scene that dialogue, but speaks volumes.

1. “Batman interrogates the Joker leading to Rachel Dawes’ lasts moments, Harvey Dent’s downfall, and the Joker’s freedom” The Dark Knight
- My favorite sequence in the film. There is so much going on here, its riveting, its full of deep thoughts and competing ideas, a visual masterpiece, and an authentically moving piece of cinema.



- Top Twenty-Five Action Scenes -
Alternates
30. Two Civilians Escape the Cops and End Up at the Docks -Eagle Eye
29. Paladins follow them to their lair: Jumping a Bus -Jumper
28. Getting Revenge: Taking Out the General and Mr. Green -Quantum of Solace
27. Bolt takes on Helicopters and Bikers in an Opening Extravaganza -Bolt
26. Skyscraper Showdown with Swat and the Joker -The Dark Knight
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25. Chasing Cross On The Train -Wanted
24. Through the University by Motorbike -Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
23. On the Rope Bridge -Kung Fu Panda
22. Telmarines Attack the Narnian Stronghold -The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
21. Opening Car Chase Through the Italian Mountains -Quantum of Solace
20. Suprise Attacked by Mauraders When Examining a Site -Doomsday
19. Casa Cristo Race Part 1: In the Deserts -Speed Racer
18. Fighting Over a Detonator...While Jumping Through Countries -Jumper
17. Extracting the Prisoners leads to Rambo Using a Giant Gun -Rambo
16. Lu Yan and Jason take on Soldiers in a Restaurant -The Forbidden Kingdom
15. Death Race Stage 1: Last Place Finish -Death Race
14, Chase Through Brazil and Into the Bottling Factory -The Incredible Hulk
13. Assassin Fight: From Elevator to the Street -Flash Point
12. Sneak Attack on the Castle -The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
11. Dragon Warrior Showdown Finale -Kung Fu Panda

10. Across the Rooftops: Chasing Down M's Killer -Quantum of Solace
- A great visceral action sequence, but clearly Bourne derived

9. Ogre and Goblins Attack the House for the Book -The Spiderwick Chronicles
- It’s a full on battle mixing great camera work, excellent CGI, and some truly suspenseful moments. Who would of thought from a family film?

8. Racing the Marauders to the Walls -Doomsday
- Its an excellent extended car chase scene straight out of The Road Warrior

7. Breaking Out of Prison -Kung Fu Panda
- A detailed prison escape that truly defines the idea of epic.

6. Casa Cristo Race Part 2: In the Mountains -Speed Racer
- Its part car race, part gun fight, part actual fight, and it’s an overall great action sequence.

5. Jackie vs. Jet: Enough Said -The Forbidden Kingdom
- It’s not the instant classic that true fans desire, but it’s an great fight filled with several styles, good pacing and all of the staples we look for.

4. Transporting Harvey Dent and Capturing the Joker -The Dark Knight
- It may not be the outright grandest scene, but the buildup, the camera work, the sound design, and the pacing all work together for a bulldozer of a scene.

3. Battle Royale Finale -Role Models
- Witty, creative, and completely original.

2. Try and Eat...If You Can -Kung Fu Panda
- An absolute delight. All the best Kung Fu staples, translated perfectly into the context of the film.

1. Abandoned Home Fight -Flash Point
- One of the greatest martial arts sequences of all-time (I've seen my fair share of fight scenes as well). It’s a long and brutal fight scene that never relents. A fight for the ages. (WATCH and ENJOY!)




Special Recognition
- The following is a list of things in 2008 that barely missed a category or just deserved a category of there own. Some are good, some are bad, but they all deserved some recognition.

- Best Compilation of Work: Meryl Streep (Mamma Mia!, Doubt) and Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, Charlie Bartlett, Tropic Thunder). Both actors gave great performances in wildly different films.

- Eric Bana Award: (For the Best Performance in a Bad Film, as Bana gave in Troy) Brendan Fraser in Journey to the Center of the Earth and Kathryn Heigl in 27 Dresses. Both were able to take films that were otherwise pedestrian and give make them just a pleasure to watch.

- Hairspray Award: (For the best 1st Half of a Movie Ruined by a Terrible 2nd Half, like Hairspray) After a wonderful first half that takes place mostly in Brazil, The Incredible Hulk settles down into a mindless and boring Superhero film.

- Spider-Man 3 Award: (For the most awkward moment of the year, like Peter Parker becoming Emo and walking down the street) Drinking beer and singing songs together in Hellboy II: The Golden Army

- Gary Oldman Award: (For the most over the top performance of the year) Mr. Blue in The Incredible Hulk, and Boss in Wanted.

- Best Song: “The Wrestler” from The Wrestler

- Guilty Pleasure of the Year: Saw V

- Special Achievement in Visual Effects: The “jumping” effect for Jumper. Water God destroying an entire army on a bridge in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. All the different versions of the iron man suit in Iron Man.

- Creative Ideas That Made Me Happy: The batpod coming out of the damaged Batmobile in The Dark Knight. The Joker’s disappearing pencil trick in The Dark Knight. The idea of putting Michael Buffer as a bad guy in You Don’t Mess With the Zohan. The “Russian Roulette” scene in Semi-Pro.

- Best Comedic Bit Roles: Jane Lynch in Role Models and Steve Martin in Baby Mama.

- Best Documentary: Encounters at the End of the World beats out a close Man on Wire.

- Worst CGI of the Year: The blue screen work for the jungle car chase sequence in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

- Worst Make-up of the Year: Another Indiana Jones shout out here as Karen Allen is given some of the worst make-up I’ve seen for a leading lady.

- Worst Performances: Mos Def in Be Kind Rewind, Natalya Rudakova in Transporter 3 and Jack McBrayer in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

- Worst Performance in a Good Film: Mary Louise Parker in The Spiderwick Chronicles

- Terrible 3 Award: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is a triple winner: the worst third part of a trilogy, the worst re-cast (Maria Bello), and the worst movie to come out of a good trailer


Stay Tuned for the rest of The 2008 Leaman Awards!

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