Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Ariel Awards

Before I start tonight's post, I just wanted to let everyone know that Mom was released from the hospital this afternoon and should be fine, as long she eats when she's supposed to. A nutritionist is scheduled to give her a weekly meal plan and you can make sure I'll be hounding her. Thanks again to everyone to expressed their concerns and sent their good wishes both here and on Facebook. You guys are the best!

Anyway - on with tonight's post.

With the Academy Awards just two weeks away, I thought it was time Uncle P started his own movie awards. While no one is likely to pick them up in person, and that statue of Ariel (the "tricksey spirit" from The Tempest, NOT the Disney cartoon mermaid) is far too big to carry in real-life, its still fun to pretend. And isn't that what the movies are all about, anyway?

So without further ado (or rather with Much Ado About Nothing), here are the winners of The First Annual Caliban's Revenge Ariel Awards:

Best Digital Performance

The Nominees:

Billy Crudup in Watchmen
Zoe Saldana in Avatar
Jason Cope in District 9
Jim Carrey in A Christmas Carol

And the Ariel goes to:

Jason Cope in District 9. While he also played a human character, Cope stood in for almost every "Prawn" in the movie, helping to make ugly, insectoid aliens sympathetic creatures who we came to came more about than most of the humans in the picture.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Horror Movie

The Nominees:

Jordan Ladd in Grace
Alison Lohman in Drag Me to Hell
Lorna Raver in Drag Me to Hell
Isabelle Fuhrman in Orphan
Amanda Seyfried in Jennifer's Body

And the Ariel goes to:

Jordan Ladd in Grace. As the obsessive mother who wills her dead baby back to life, only to discover little Grace has become a vampire, Ladd gives the kind of performance most actresses would kill for. Intense and completely believable, Ladd's Madelaine is a woman trying to hold on to her sanity amidst insane circumstances.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Horror Movie

The Nominees:

Adam Brody in Jennifer's Body
Justin Long in Drag Me to Hell
Woody Harrelson in Zombieland
James Marsden in The Box
Micah Sloat in Paranormal Activity

And the Ariel goes to:

Justin Long in Drag Me to Hell. Long started his film career in the underrated Jeepers Creepers, but is probably best known at the Mac in Apple's Mac vs. PC commercials. He was also the nerdy computer geek in Live Free or Die Hard. But just take a look at his face in the last shot of Drag Me... and you'll know just how good an actor he can be.

Best Horror Movie

The Nominees:

Drag Me to Hell
Trick 'r Treat

And the Ariel goes to:

Trick 'r Treat. This was a close call, and Drag Me to Hell almost won, but Trick 'r Treat was just so much more fun... Officially released in 2008, Michael Dougherty's Halloween anthology didn't see wide distribution until this year's DVD release. Funny, smart, original and actually scary, Trick 'r Treat is the kind of movie I hope to write, someday.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Sci-Fi Movie

The Nominees:

Zachary Quinto in Star Trek
Karl Urban in Star Trek
Sharlto Copely in District 9
Sam Rockwell in Moon
Jackie Earle Haley in Watchmen

And the Ariel goes to:

It's a tie! Jackie Earle Haley in Watchmen and Sharlto Copely in District 9. Former child star Haley is brilliant as the dysfunctional superhero Rorschach in Zack Snyder's adaptation of the supposedly "unfilmable" graphic novel, while Copely makes a stunning acting debut as the dorky cubicle nerd who suddenly finds himself the victim of circumstances beyond his control in Neill Blomkamp's brilliant feature debut. Two performances worth seeing again.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Sci-Fi Movie

The Nominees:

Zoe Saldana in Star Trek
Sigourney Weaver in Avatar
Rose Byrne in Knowing
Patricia Clarkson in Phoebe in Wonderland
Carla Cugino in Watchmen

And the Ariel goes to:

Zoe Saldana in Star Trek. As Communications Officer Nyota Uhoru, Saldana is both smart and sexy, imbuing the role with a sassyness Nichelle Nichols never could have imagined.

Best Sci-Fi Movie

The Nominees:

District 9
Star Trek

And the Ariel goes to:

Moon. Duncan Jones' debut film harkens back to the great Sci-Fi of the early 70's, proving that Science Fiction doesn't have to be about explosions, lasers and robots to be both stunning and effective. Sam Rockwell's briliant performance combined with Nathan Parker's smart screenplay make for a powerful, quiet film about what it means to be human in an age when humanity has come to mean less than it should.

Best Director of a Horror, Fantasy and/or Sci-Fi Movie

The Nominees:

J.J. Abrams for Star Trek
Sam Raimi for Drag Me to Hell
Michael Dougherty for Trick 'r Treat
Neill Blomkamp for District 9
Duncan Jones for Moon

And the Ariel goes to:

J.J. Abrams for Star Trek. Making a new version (or "reboot") of a classic is never an easy task, but Abrams film manages to be both original and faithful to its source material - something both fans and critics were ready to rip apart, but were unable to do so. The second most fun I had at the movies this year, Star Trek is undoubtedly the start of a franchise which I look forward to seeing more of.

Finally, the Moon Calf Award - The Worst Horror, Sci-Fi and/or Fantasy Movie of the Year:

The Nominees:

The Unborn
Paranormal Activity
The Final Destination
Terminator: Salvation
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Tooth Fairy
Aliens in the Attic
X-Men Origins - Wolverine

And the Moon Calf goes to:

Paranormal Activity. What a close call -- there were so many bad genre films to choose from this year. But the overrated and over-hyped Paranormal Activity was by far the worst of the bunch. Stupid, derivative, unscary and downright boring, Paranormal Activity is possibly one of the worst horror movies ever made. An amazingly successful viral campaign made this film millions, but real horror fans found it to be silly and excessive, without any truly scary moments.

I'm looking forward to what 2010 will bring us, though from what I've seen so far this year, I am doubtful things will get better.

More, anon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad your mom has recovered and is home. When you have diabetes high sugar levels can cause a lot of damage but are not immediately life threatening. However, low sugar levels can kill you. Remember Shelby getting her hair cut? Shelby drink your juice.

Great post and choice of award.