The 2012 Shadow Awards: Part 1/2- Movies

Welcome to the 2nd annual Shadow Awards!

This is where I rate the best of the best and the worst of the worst on various topics, mostly about movies of course. Once again, I can only rate what I have seen… so you won’t see Lincoln show up anywhere but you very well might see Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

The only movies mentioned that are not out of DVD yet are The Hobbit and Dredd. There are some Hobbit spoilers and they are in RED so you can avoid them if you want.

And here… we… go!

Best Movie, Best Comic Book Movie, Best Action Scenes- Marvel’s The Avengers

– Was there any question? The only real challenger was the Hobbit but that suffered from being the introduction into a new trilogy.

The Avengers was the best and most perfect comic book movie out right now. It fully embraced a comic book and wasn’t embarrassed to be who it was. The movie was funny as well, exciting as hell, had some of the best action sequences out there, and was “deeper” than people get it credit for.

Action wise, it provides us with amazing scene after amazing scene. Iron Man vs Thor. Thor vs Hulk. Cap vs Loki. Hulk vs Loki. The Avengers vs The Chitauri. Awesomesauce everywhere.

Most of all… it proved two things: 1) Marvel’s shared universe concept can work. And 2) comic book movies don’t have to be dark and serious to make a trillion dollars and be good even in the eyes of the critics.

Well done Marvel… well done.

Click here for my review of Marvel’s The Avengers.

Best Prequel- The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey

– I guess this counts as a prequel lol. Anyway, it was a fantastic return trip to Middle Earth. It had all of the strengths of the previous trilogy, just packaged in a more light-hearted tone. Seeing dwarves finally fight is pretty awesome, as is the return of an ass kicking Gandolf. Really, there isn’t anymore that can be said… it was just epic and I can’t wait for the next two.

Click here for my review of The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey.

Best Sequel- The Expendables 2

– The Expendables assembled a huge cast of action stars… and then decided to try to make the movie deeper than they should have instead of just being fun.

The Expendables 2 assembled an even larger cast of action stars and then fixed that issue. There was no pretense of a deeper plot… this was a pure shoot’em up, blow’em up, fun revenge story. It was everything the first movie should have been. Plus, any movie featuring Stallone, Arnold, Chuck, Willis ect blowing shit up is right up my ally.

Click here for my review of The Expendables 2.

Best Original Movie, Bloodiest Movie- The Raid: Redemption

– The movie I didn’t now even existed until I saw it randomly on a site. Although it had a limited release in the US, the reputation of the movie as being a bad ass martial arts flick preceded it. And they were right. This movie was an epic martial arts display of brutal bad assery.

The fights were extremely brutal and bloody. Some of the “kills” would be nauseating for the uninitiated. But this movie is a must see for any action junky, unless you can’t handle sub-titles.

Click here for my review of The Raid: Redemption.

Biggest Surprise- Dredd

– The first Judge Dredd wasn’t the best movie in the world (and some find it to be terrible). This new Dredd was made on a tiny budget and a lot of people didn’t have much faith in the movie. And it did terrible in the theaters. Not many people saw it.

And it was there loss because this movie was awesome. Dredd kicked ass and took names and had a scowl throughout the process. This movie was the Dredd people were wanting. Unfortunately, there is no chance of a sequel because of how bad it did. You fucking idiots! Buy the DVD NOW!

Click here for my review of Dredd.

Most Surprising Scene- Hulk Smashing Loki in Marvel’s The Avengers

This was one of the most unexpected things I have seen in the movie. When I first saw it my mind was blown. Of all the Hulk -vs- Loki scenarios going through my head… the last one I would expect was Hulk just picking up Loki mid sentence and straight up bashing him into the ground over and over. And then to drop a “Puny God” afterwards… classic.

Best Fight Scene- Mad Dog -vs- The Brother in The Raid: Redemption

Holy crap. This fight was brutal, long, violent, and just all around impressive. Also featured one of the most brutal deaths I have seen in a long time. Screw words… Youtube has the fight…

Only reason this doesn’t win, “Best Boss Fight” is the fact Mad Dog was just the #2… not the final boss.

Best Villain- Azog in The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey

– This may seem like an odd choice. Especially when I could have chosen Bane or Loki or Mama or Adam or The Lizard. Especially considering Azog had a very small role in The Hobbit. But what set Azog apart from the others is one thing:

He didn’t lose.

Yes, it is only the first part of a trilogy so you wouldn’t expect him to lose. But look at it this way: every appearance of Azog made him look like a baddass. The flashbacks had him slaughtering Thorin’s grandfather, scaring his father, killing numerous dwarves, and scaring the shit out of all of them His single purpose… destroy the blood line of Thorin’s people and he did a damn good job of it. After he had his arm chopped off, he was assumed to be dead. Nope. He just attached a hook to his arm and started hunting Thorin again. Even the Goblin King had respect for the white, monstrous orc.

And when he caught up with Thorin’s company? He had them all trapped and ready to be killed. When Thorin decided to be a bad ass and challenge him… he kicked Thorin’s ass. The only thing stopping him for finishing the job was some Deus Ex Machina eagles. 

For one movie anyway… Azog reigned supreme. To be honest, Bane had this on lock down until the last 10 minutes of TDKR.

Best Boss Fight- Barney Ross -vs- Vilain in The Expendables 2

– Van Damme -vs- Stallone. Hand to Hand for all the marbles.

Best Single Scene- Bane -vs- Batman #1 in The Dark Knight Rises

– There were a ton of nominees for this one– the numerous scenes in Avengers, Lincoln punching Adam in the chest, Riddles in the Dark, ect– but this one takes the cake.

The scene was perfect all around. Bane dismantling the Bat. His monologues were awesome throughout. The look on Kyle’s face. And of course… the actual breaking of the Bat just like the comic books.

It was a brutal scene and something you thought you would never see as Batman is the fucking Batman. The lack of music also made the scene that much better. And it established Bane as one of the most threatening comic book villains ever… until they completely deconstructed him at the very end lol.

Best Actor/Actress- Andrew Garfield
as Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man

– Garfield literally turned into Peter Parker. Instead of a whiney bitch like Toby’s version, we actually got the real Peter Parker. Smart, awkward, outcast, and kind of a smart ass. This casting concerned a lot of people but he ended up nailing the role.

Best Scenery- Snow White and the Huntsman

– The Hobbit could have easily gone here and maybe it should have. But, most of that scenery has been seen before in the LotR trilogy and frankly… it was expected to look awesome.

Snow White on the other hand caught me off guard. The scenery was visually stunning and impressive. Frankly, it was just a really really pretty movie all around with some top notch CGI.

Click here for my review of Snow White and the Huntsman

Biggest Bad Ass- Abraham Lincoln from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

– This was a close, three way battle between Hulk and Judge Dredd, but I think Lincoln takes the take this year.

There are 5 main reasons. 1) He slaughtered vampires as a human. 2) He did it with a freaking ax. 3) He dominated politics. 4) He freed slaves. 5) He punched the final vampire in the freaking heart.

Worst Movie, Most Disappointing Movie- Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

– Granted, I haven’t seen Twilight (yet) but my god did this movie suck. Never in my life have I been so close to turning off a comic book movie.

Not only were all the good parts in the trailer, but like I mentioned in my review… this was Crank staring Nicolas Cage on fire. To call this movie “Ghost Rider” is a travesty. It fucking sucked.

Stupid plot, stupidly done action scenes, no respect for the source material, horrible acting… what a waste of a really cool anti-hero. These fuckers have ruined Ghost Rider. Sucks too because initially, it looked like there were finally getting the dark tone needed for Ghost Rider. Nope… just a shitty movie instead

Click here for my review of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Worst Villain- Lucifer in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

– That is all he could muster? Really? Fuck this movie.


Most Disappointing Scene- The Entire End of The Dark Knight Rises

– This is almost a cop out because it isn’t a single scene, but the ending of TDKR almost completely ruined the movie. I mean… what the fuck?

It starts off well. The Bane -vs- Batman #2 was a pretty good scrap. And then it begins with Talia stabbing Bruce and the “big reveal.” What a crock of shit. The big reveal completely ruined the character of Bain, who at this point was coming across as one of the most awesome villains ever. Instead… nothing but a henchman. It made previous scenes in the movie make absolutely no sense (sex scene anyone?). They then followed this up with Catwoman shooting Bane (da fuck!??), Batman “I don’t kill!” killing some henchman with missiles, and then the worst death scene in history with Talia just croaking in the truck like it was a high school drama class. Worst. Acting. Ever.

And then continue on with the “did he or did he not, was the ending a dream” bullshit and the utter ridiculousness of Bruce Wayne, most likely one of the most famous people IN THE FUCKING WORLD disappearing conveniently at the same time as Batman (AGAIN!) and no one connecting the dots? Or how about Bruce, who had years of ninja training, giving everything to Robin… who is a cop… Robin will be dead in a week.

Such a great movie up until the twist. Disappointing.

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