waterworld-poster

Film Facts:

Waterworld – Released in 1995, starring Kevin Costner and directed by Kevin Reynolds. (11 years before Al Gore’s famous An Inconvenient Truth.)

The Apocalypse Scenario:

Water covers the entire surface of the planet. Pollution and oil drilling caused the polar ice caps to melt and drown the earth in several hundred feet of water. Humanity survived by building small floating villages on bits of scavenged ships and other debris. Most of the characters travel on sailboats, trading food and trinkets of the old world to survive. There are myths of a fabled “dryland,” but no-one has even seen it. A villainous group called “the Smokers” kill and plunder in their endless search for oil (insert anti-capitalist cliches here). A few humans have mutated, developing webbed feet and gills to better survive in the ocean depths.

waterworld spyglass

The Year:

2500. While the movie gives no time reference, the production designer said “the date was 2500.” Enough time has passed since the apocalypse that no-one has ever stepped on dry land. Fishnets, fish-bones, and various maritime gear make up the costumes.

waterworld town

What They’ve Run Out Of:

“Nothing’s free in water world.”

Land.
Despite its infamous faults, Waterworld gives us a unique look at what would happen to civilization if there was no land. Fruit, paper, clean water, a handful of dirt; things we take for granted become priceless commodities in this aquatic wasteland. When someone dies, their body is “recycled” in a vat of muddy goo that eventually biodegrades into dirt. The film opens with Kevin Costner peeing into a cup, which he then pours into a filtering machine and takes another drink. (There’s a fitting metaphor for this film in there somewhere.)

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What this Film Adds to the Post-Apocalyptic Genre:

“Mad Max on water.”
From story, to visuals, to over-the-top insane villains, Waterworld seems to be a cut and paste job of the Mad Max filmsMel Gibson’s lone antihero “Mad Max” becomes Kevin Costner’s bland “The Mariner.” Crazy biker gangs tearing across the desert wasteland in search of gasoline are now jet-ski gangs racing across the ocean in search of gasoline.

Despite borrowing heavily from Mad Max, Waterworld has some unique features and (like it or not) is iconic in its own right. So much of our experience on planet earth is tied to life-giving dirt. Waterworld gives us a glimpse at what our planet would be like without it. The ending is iconic; a green and lush refuge is a welcome relief from the harsh blue and gray of the ocean landscape.

waterworld-trimaran-sailboat

Isaac’s Rating: “So bad its good.”

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1 out of 5 Zipped Lips.

There’s potential for a great action movie here (especially in its bloated $172 million budget) but the script and acting are painfully bad. Kevin Costner tries to play an unattached, self-serving antihero which results in bored and monotone acting. The villain (Dennis Hopper) is a mad, oil-drilling fanatic so cliched you’ll swear you recognize him from the environmentally themed cartoon, Captain Planet. Between a bland Kevin Costner, an annoying 9yr old girl, a cartoonish villain, and female lead Jeanne Triplehorn hysterically trying to compensate for them, Waterworld completely flops in the character department. The real star of this epic is the Mariner’s 60ft trimaran. The crew built an incredibly complex and unique ship and its a lot of fun to see Costner swinging around on it during the action scenes.

Waterworld is goofy, poorly acted, and hopelessly cliche, but it also boasts some fun, big budget action in a unique setting. I have a blast every time I watch it, and I hope you’ll also find it “so bad its good.”

Waterworld herp derp cast

What do you think, fans? – Don’t forget to check out the other films in our Post-Apocalyptic Roundup!

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Film Facts:

The Postman was released in 1997 and is based on the 1985 novel of the same name. Starring and directed by Kevin Costner.

Plot synopsis: In the year 2013, America’s soil has healed from an apocalyptic war but society has not. Reverting to the Wild West lifestyle, American towns are isolated and oppressed by General Bethlehem (Will Patton), a self imposed feudal lord and leader of the hyper-survivalist group called “the Holnists”. When a drifter (Kevin Costner) discovers a US Postman uniform and begins delivering mail under the ruse that the United States has rebuilt, he restores hope and inspires revolution.

The Apocalypse Scenario:

The Postman occurs 16 years after an unspecified war which used weapons of mass destruction (according to the book: nukes, EMPs, and bio-engineered plagues were all released on US soil). The land is lush and green once again but civilization hangs by a thread. Isolated towns are able to farm by hand but most supplies are confiscated by the hyper-survivalist militia. Americans cling to remnants of culture; we witness traveling actors performing Shakespeare and a folk version of “Come and get your Love.”

The Year:

2013. The apocalyptic war ended 16 years earlier (1997).

What They’ve Run Out Of:

Mailmen. (ha).
Okay, to be serious, it’s “Hope.”
Apparently EMPs have wiped out pretty much everything electric; so horses, carts, livestock, and hand-planted crops are all they’ve got. The setting is a remarkably interesting return to the Wild West in both technology and political structure. The Holnist militia that once helped them survive the wasteland has now become their greatest obstacle. So when a lone postman arrives talking about a “restored United States” and delivering long-lost mail from their loved ones, they have reason to hope for a better life once again. This tale is less about struggling to survive in adverse conditions and more about a fractured nation finding hope amidst the oppression of an evil ruler.

What this Film Adds to the Post-Apocalyptic Genre:

“You have a gift, Postman… You’ve given us all back what we’d forgotten. You made Mrs. March feel like she could see again. You made Ford feel like he was part of the world. You give out Hope like it was candy in your pocket.”

Despite its flaws, The Postman has one of the more interesting and unique premises in the genre. Its a return to the Wild West, where being a decent person can actually impact society. Most films in the post-apocalyptic genre focus on the hopelessness of survival (The Road), preserving a remnant of civilization (Book of Eli), or escaping to a ‘safe-haven’ outside the wasteland (Waterworld). But The Postman’s setting is unique; there’s no wasteland, no nuclear fallout, nothing to escape from… except the hyper-survivalist leader General Bethlehem. Reconstruction is possible, it just has to be wanted badly enough by decent human beings. The Postman becomes a symbol of what the United States once stood for and could be again: freedom from tyranny, protecting the innocent, and hope for the future. His code of honor is the Postman’s creed: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night…” It’s a bit silly that a post-apocalyptic Pony Express is foundational in restoring the United States, but The Postman reminds us of what an important thing hope is.

Isaac’s  Rating:

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3 Zipped Lips. – What is lacks in polish, it (almost) makes up for in heart.
Starring and directing in a 3-hour epic, this is basically Kevin Costner’s attempt at copying Braveheart. The result is a good-hearted but goofy fable. Costner’s final climax is predictable, with too many cheesy, contrived, slow-motion scenes screaming “I just want to be as epic as Braveheart!” (Considering how Waterworld is basically “Mad Max on water,” Kevin Costner must have a serious man-crush on Mel Gibson.)
Anyone who watches this must ask themselves questions about the nature and importance of hope, and its ability to inspire people to rally together. The ruffle in this story, however, is that the truth behind that hope is apparently of secondary consequence.

The book does a better job of showing how if it wasn’t for the Holnists, America would have returned to its unified state and the Postman’s fabrications gave isolated towns the hope they needed to do that. “It was not the electronics-destroying EMPs, the destruction of major cities, nor the release of various bio-engineered plagues that actually destroyed society: rather, it was the hyper-survivalists themselves, those who maintained stockpiles of weapons and ammunition and who preyed on humanitarian workers and other forces of order.”
I was initially put off by how slow and saccharine The Postman is. After doing some reading on the novel and giving it a second watch, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Its inspiring, hopeful, and features a wonderfully patriotic score by James Newton Howard. I recommend giving The Postman a chance because even though its goofy, it has the heart of an epic.

Don’t forget to check out our other movies in the Post-Apocalyptic Roundup!

Film Facts:

Starring Mel Gibson as ‘Mad’ Max Rockatansky in the first three films, and Tom Hardy in Fury Road. Directed by George Miller (although George Ogilvie took over directing much of Thunderdome).

All of the Mad Max films have received ‘cult classic’ status and the sequel The Road Warrior is truly the best, most iconic, and post-apocalyptic of original three. This article will focus mostly on Road Warrior and I covered Fury Road in a separate review.

The Apocalypse Scenario:

Global nuclear holocaust set in the Australian Outback. Cold War tensions and a global energy crisis paved the way for the dystopian and near-anarchistic setting seen in the original Mad Max, and the ensuing nuclear war creates the wasteland seen in Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome.

The first Mad Max features the Outback’s descent into chaos and anarchy as wild biker gangs take over the open road, torturing and murdering anyone they encounter. The Road Warrior, its sequel, depicts a world totally destroyed. The wasteland lacks any semblance of order or civilization and is at the mercy of insane marauders.

The Year:

Unknown. While Road Warrior and Thunderdome clearly follow a nuclear war, they are purposefully vague on the details and dates of these events. It’s safe to say that the ‘Mad Max Universe’ takes place in an alternate 1970’s and following.

What They’ve Run Out Of:

-Gas. Inspired by car-wrecks and violent reactions during the 1973 oil crisis, George Miller wrote the script “on the thesis that people would do almost anything to keep vehicles moving and the assumption that nations would not consider the huge costs of providing infrastructure for alternative energy until it was too late.”

The entire plot of The Road Warrior rides on the premise that gasoline is now a rare and precious commodity. (You run out of fuel, you’re dead.) Max cruises through the wasteland in his supercharged V-8 Pursuit Special, clashing with marauders and running on fumes. Later, he happens upon some semblance of civilization, a small oil refinery besieged by the marauders. Max offers to help them escape by driving a battering ram equipped fuel tanker, hauling the precious gasoline and fighting off the pursuers. The ensuing chase is one of the most iconic action sequences in film history (and regularly tops “Top 10 Car Chase” lists).
Food, water, and ammunition are also scarce. Firearms are rare, and most resort to using bows and crossbows. Max bluffs with an empty sawed-off shotgun and eats a can of dog food for supper.

What this Film Adds to the Post-Apocalyptic Genre:

Everything. You can’t talk ‘Post-Apocalyptic’ without covering Mad Max because it defined the film genre. Everything from the Western style ‘man with no name’ hero to the beat up roadsters tearing across the wasteland have become infamous tropes. Road Warrior’s ‘comic-book, post-apocalyptic/punk style’ popularized the genre and jetted Mel Gibson to superstar status.
Mad Max is all about crazy car chases with crazier badguys. These villains are flat out insane. Their punk Mohawks, leather studded costumes, ragtag vehicles, unrelenting pursuit and psychotic battle cries make unforgettable villains.
The car chase sequences are action packed, tightly edited, fast-paced (by 80’s standards) and full of tremendous crashes. These pre-CGI films all feature an amazing amount of stunt work that leaves the viewer wondering what safety laws, if any, there are in Australia.

Isaac’s Rating:

The Mad Max series, especially The Road Warrior, is foundational to the Post-Apocalyptic genre. With that said, these movies are far from perfect. Unpolished and slow paced (it was the 70’and 80’s, after all) can make the Mad Max films rather laborious if you’re unprepared for its style.

Mad Max (1979). 2 Zipped-Lips. A classic ‘cop gets revenge for the death of his family’ story featuring car chases across the Australian Outback. In my opinion: Doesn’t stand the test of time. It is slow paced with lots of driving filler, minimal budget, unpolished, and ultimately skippable. (The Road Warrior recaps the events of this film in its opening sequence).

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981). 4.5 Zipped-Lips. Clearly the superior film of the series. Gritty, relentless, iconic, but clearly dated by today’s standards. Max is a fantastic protagonist, sustaining realistic and permanent injury (he continues to walk with a limp and a leg brace after being shot in the first film). Road Warrior is a must-see for anyone interested in the Post-Apocalyptic genre.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985). 3 Zipped-Lips. This PG-13 sequel should have been called “Max Max and the Lost Boys from Peter Pan.” The gritty action was swapped out for a cheesier approach where badguys are subdued with frying pans and vats of pig poo. This humorous, slapstick action works wonderfully in movies like Hook but feels childishly out of place in Mad Max. The Thunderdome match against Master Blaster is a highlight (“Two men enter! One man leaves!”) but everything is downhill after that. Some fans argue that the film’s lighter tone was meant to reflect Max’s return to humanity, but in the end, its just disappointing.

There you have it, fans! The Mad Max series. Don’t forget to comment below!

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poster From The Walking Dead to Mad Max: Fury Road, the post-apocalypse is hot. Fluctuating between action, adventure, drama, and science fiction, its one of the most captivating genres out there. The post-apocalypse presents a new frontier, a landscape for ethical questions, warnings for the present, and a place to explore what makes humanity, well, human. (I will explore these ideas in future posts.) Stuck somewhere between fatalism and optimism, the genre is one caught in a very human tension. Are we a necessary part of this world, or a parasite that leads to its destruction? Is humanity truly “The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals!” as Hamlet wonders? Or merely “this quintessence of dust”? My belief is that the endless wastelands serve as a foil, highlighting the courage it takes to be a virtuous person in a ghastly world. We’re excited to take you on a tour through the good, bad, and ugly of the post-apocalyptic genre. And whatever you do, please, don’t forget to shut up and watch the movie. P.S. A special thanks to Dalton from Sickle and Efrit for making our poster. – Check out his stuff!

Films:

Retcon stands for “retroactive continuity.” It’s a comic book industry term, but it’s used in all kinds of serial fiction these days. Something is retconned when an author goes back and alters the backstory or past events of an ongoing storyline to fit the needs of the current plotline. Perhaps the most famous retcon was carried out by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: the character Sherlock Holmes was just too popular to actually die in that waterfall. Now, to be honest, what I’m doing is technically a revision and not a retcon, but come on, the word retcon is too cool not to use. So what am I retconning? My list of the top 25 films of the last decade, the first article that I posted on this blog. And why am I retconning it? Well, even though the decade was over when I wrote it, there were still lots of great films that I hadn’t seen yet, and not only that, but the order that I would now put the original 25 films in has changed over time as well. If you haven’t read my original list go check it out. That said, I’m not going to rewrite the entire list. I would probably rearrange a lot of the films on it, but I’m only altering the top seven spots, so at least read those entries.

So here goes, my brand new, retconned, top films of the last decade:

1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2000, 2001, 2003)

Why is it still in spot number one? Because I’m treating the trilogy as a single entry. Like I originally said, the sequential release of the Lord of the Rings films was the greatest cinematic event of its decade. And treating the three films as a single entry allows me two extra spots to highlight other films; devoting three spots, each to a Lord of Rings film, doesn’t seem fair. And you just know all three would be on this list. I will say this though, if I were to split the trilogy into three separate entries, I don’t think they’d be in the order you’d expect. I actually liked The Return of the King the least and The Fellowship of the Ring the most. And if we’re talking about the extended editions, well then The Two Towers is my favorite.

2. The Dark Knight (2008)

Why did this film move from spot number seven to spot number two? Because most films, when you really start analyzing them or you begin comparing them to other films, you find flaws that you maybe hadn’t noticed before and subsequently you rate the film a little lower, and yet a few films, a rare few, when you do this, you instead realize just how good they really are. I saw The Dark Knight twice while it was in theaters and I was blown away by it. But when I was writing my original list, it was still getting plenty of hype and, even though I loved it, I didn’t want to accidentally jump on a bandwagon, so I put it at number seven. And yet, years later, after the hype has died down, I find myself comparing other films to it, almost as if it were a benchmark. I’ll think, “Wow, that movie was good. But was it as good as The Dark Knight?” No film is perfect, but I feel it’s unhelpful to never give any film a five star rating, something has to be at the top of the chart, something has to set the standard, and in my mind The Dark Knight is such a film.

3. Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

Why was this film added to this list at spot number three? Because I recently saw it and it’s now one of my favorite films. In fact, this film is the main reason I’m doing this retcon. After I’d seen it, the person who recommended it to me asked where it would fall on my old list of the best films of the last decade. That got me thinking about how else that list might have changed since I originally wrote it. By why is this film so high on the list, at spot number three? Because some films are inspiring, some films have something philosophically meaningful to say, some films are darkly hilarious, some films have amazing performances by every single cast member. But this film, it has all of those, and it combines them perfectly. I won’t say anything else, I wouldn’t want to spoil any of the surprises this film has to offer, so you’ll just have to check it out for yourself.

4. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Why did this film move from spot number two to spot number four? I don’t like this film any less, it’s still certainly one of my favorite films over all. It’s only moved down two spots to make room for a new favorite and for a film I’ve grown to appreciate even more. That said, it’s similar to Stranger Than Fiction, so why did I rate Stranger Than Fiction one spot higher? It’s not necessarily because I like Stranger Than Fiction more, it’s because Stranger Than Fiction is a more accessible film than Little Miss Sunshine. There are certain elements of Little Miss Sunshine that can be off putting to some people, in fact I know certain people who outright hate it, and Little Miss Sunshine’s message, which is actually quite meaningful, can get lost in that. The profundity and the humor of Stranger Than Fiction is an easier experience to share.

5. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007)

Why was this film added to the list at spot number five? I saw this film well before writing the original list and it was already a favorite of mine. I actually debated adding it but in the end decided not to because it’s actually a documentary. But like I said, this is a retcon, and so I’m changing the rules. It’s one of my favorite films and it’s certainly my favorite documentary, it wouldn’t be right to exclude it on some arbitrary pretext of “no documentaries allowed”. Besides, in an eerie and hilarious way, it actually follows the tropes of a typical movie, it’s got the classic underdog hero fighting against the powerful villain aided by his snivelling minions, there’s even the elderly, manipulated authority figure. And all of  this is in the context of playing the old Donkey Kong arcade game. It’s painfully hilarious, and yet, surprisingly, it actually has an inspiring message within it. The moral of the film is that the best revenge is going on and living a good life and simply being the better person.

6. Hot Fuzz (2007)

Why did this film move from spot number three to spot number six? I also don’t like this film any less, I still think it’s the funniest film of its decade. It’s certainly funnier than the three films before it, but those three films, in addition to being funny, have something meaningful to say, whereas Hot Fuzz is just pure hilarity. Not that there’s anything wrong with “pure hilarity”, that’s exactly why it’s the sixth best film of the decade.

7. Moon (2009)

Why was this film added to the list at spot number seven? In the original list I included a number of “sleeper hits” but Moon gets the award for being the most under appreciated, most un-hyped, and most unrecognized film of the decade. I rented Moon after the decade was over; I’d heard of it but it had a limited release in theaters. After watching it once, I watched it two more times. Baring Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker, of course, there’s a strong argument for Sam Rockwell’s portrayal of the lonely astronaut in Moon as the best performance of the decade. Moon is a hard film to categorize. Above all else, it’s psychological. But is it a psychological drama? Yes…but not a normal one at all. Is it psychological horror? In a way, but not overtly. Is it a psychological thriller? No…and yes. Is it psychological sci-fi? I suppose so, but the emphasis is not on the sci-fi. Not everyone will like Moon, some may think it’s slow moving and too contemplative, but even so, it’s an outstanding film that didn’t get the chance to shine that it deserved. You probably haven’t even heard of it, so do yourself a favor and check it out.

“Wait a minute!” you might be saying, “what happened to Unbreakable, Signs, and V for Vendetta? Those used to be in spots four, five, and six.” Well you’re very observant, and those films are officially eight, nine, and ten now, and everything else, beginning with Gladiator (which was eight), moves down three spots. And the three on the end, Equilibrium, Sunshine, and X2…well, let’s just say it’s a top 28 Films of the Decade now…

“You seriously haven’t seen Memento yet? It’s been like 12 years, pal.”

And who knows, if I finally get around to seeing Memento, Inglourious Basterds, or No Country for Old Men, I might just have to retcon this list again…

Are the Oscars a little too high-brow for you? Do you find yourself scratching your head when the People’s Choice Awards gives “Best Superhero of the Year” to Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern? And what about the bad movies? Y’know, the stomach-churningly awful films you’d really like to avoid?

We heard you calling, and we’re answering with the 2011 Shut Up and Watch The Movie Awards. (AKA: “The Zippies”.) We’ve picked the best, the worst, the delightful, the disappointing, and displayed them in all their glory for you. So please, enjoy!

Best Picture of 2011:

Winner: Super-8

J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg make an incredible team. Super 8 hits the ball out of the park in cinematography, special effects, musical score, nostalgia, and impressive performances by its young cast. If you haven’t seen Super 8 yet, definitely check it out.

Runners up for Best Picture:

Nate: The Help

Chris: Captain America

Luke: The Artist

Isaac: The Help

Worst Picture of 2011:

Winner: Bad Teacher

Nate is actually the only one who saw this, but we took his word for it.

Runners Up:

Nate: Jack & Jill, Just Go With It

Chris: Season of the Witch

Luke: Immortals

Isaac: No Strings Attached

Biggest Pleasant Surprise:

Winner: Rango

Rango’s trailer didn’t look like much, but a creative storyline and impressive cast made it something truly unique.

Runners Up:

Nate: X-Men: First Class

Chris: Unknown (2011)

Luke: The Artist

Isaac: Thor

Biggest Disappointment:

Winner: Sucker Punch

How the director of 300 could screw up this badly is mind-boggling. Almost as mind-boggling as the plot he tried to sell us with robots and miniskirts. (Review here)

Runners Up:

Nate: Paul

Chris: Green Lantern

Luke: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Isaac: Limitless

Best Movie No One Saw:

Winner: Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

This Canadian-American Horror/Comedy film takes the “college kids in the woods” genre and turns it upside down. The result is a side-splittingly funny tale about the perils of judging a book by its cover.

Runners Up:

Nate: Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Chris: Trigun Badlands Rumble

Luke: The Beaver

Isaac: The Beaver

Most Overrated:

Winner: Limitless

Its ironic that a film about a mind-boosting drug has one of the dumbest endings I’ve ever seen.

Runners Up:

Nate: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Twilight: Breaking Dawn

Chris: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Luke: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Isaac: Transformers3

Most Underrated:

Winner: Super 8

For boasting superior directing, cinematography, special effects, and acting (especially with a child-dominated cast!) Super 8 didn’t get much media attention, nor did it stand out in the Box-Office. We’re kinda confused about that.

Runners Up:

Nate: Cowboys & Aliens

Chris: Thor

Luke: The Adventures of Tintin

Isaac: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Best Family Film:

Winner: Courageous

Courageous really was a splendid film and deserves a place here. Its incredibly enjoyable, funny, and emotionally resonant. (I know we’re pulling a “Jesus-Juke” here, get over it.) 

Runners Up:

Nate: Rango

Chris: Kung Fu Panda 2

Luke: The Muppets

Isaac: We Bought a Zoo

Best Original Score:

Winner: X-Men: First Class

Fun, gripping, and dynamic, the new X-Men theme doesn’t just support the film, it hops in the drivers seat and hits the gas. (Listen here.)

Runners Up:

Nate: Super 8

Chris: Thor

Luke: Sherlock Holmes2

Isaac: Sherlock Holmes2

“Our Favorite”

Looking for straight up enjoyability? – We’ve each picked our favorite movies of the year:

Our picks:

Nate: Super 8

Luke: Super 8

Chris: Captain America

Isaac: Captain America

There you have it folks! What do you think? Was there something we missed? – Let us know in the comments!
Don’t forget to check out last year’s SUAWTM Awards, the 2010 Zippies.
And as always, please, Shut up and Enjoy the Movie!

The 2010 SUAWTM Awards

June 13, 2011

Now that the annual Oscar frenzy has abated, we would like to present the 2010 Shut Up and Watch The Movie Awards.  (AKA: the 2010 SUAWTM Awards, or the Zippies.)

Best Picture:

Winner: Inception

Inception was a unanimous decision between the four of us. There was no discussion or deliberation whatsoever. But with all the buzz surrounding Christopher Nolan’s epic, it shouldn’t be any surprise to you that Inception tops our list.

Runners up for Best Picture:

Nate:  True Grit, and The Town

Chris:  Toy Story 3

Luke:  Get Low

Isaac:  How to Train Your Dragon, 127 Hours

Worst Picture:

Winner: The Last Airbender

M. Night Shymalan managed to take a beloved anime series and turn it into an infamously awful feature film. With hordes of disappointed moviegoers and a crushing 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, The Last Airbender truly belongs at the bottom of the heap.

Runners Up:

Nate:  Step Up 3D

Chris:  Legion

Luke:  Clash of the Titans

Isaac:  Clash of the Titans

Biggest Pleasant Surprise:

Winner: The Social Network

Who would’ve thought a movie about some college geeks creating Facebook could be so fascinating?

Runners Up:

Nate: How To Train Your Dragon

Chris:  The Secret of Kells

Luke:  The Book of Eli

Isaac: The Karate Kid, and Kick-Ass

Biggest Disappointment:

Winner: Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

We liked Eustace, but we hated the “ambiguous green mist of evil”. Really? That’s your plot device?

Runners Up:

Nate:  Iron Man 2, and Alice In Wonderland

Chris:  Superman/Batman: Apocalypse

Luke:  Alice in Wonderland

Isaac: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Best Movie No One Saw:

Winner: Get Low

The only thing more surprising than the outstanding quality of this film, was it’s extremely limited release. Bill Murray is as hilariously dead pan as always and Robert Duvall gives a powerful and moving performance.

Runners Up:

Nate:  How To Train Your Dragon

Chris:  Batman: Under the Red Hood

Luke:  The Secret of Kells

Isaac:  Batman: Under the Red Hood

Most Overrated:

Winner: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows part 1

This wasn’t a bad movie, but it was far from the cinematic second-coming of Christ it was hyped up to be.

Runners Up:

Nate:  Iron Man 2

Chris:  Iron Man 2

Luke:  Alice in Wonderland

Isaac:  Black Swan

Most Underrated:

Winner: The Book of Eli

What looked like ‘Mad Max 4’ turned out to be a surprisingly unique and engaging film.

Runners Up:

Nate:  The Town

Chris:  The Secret of Kells

Luke:  Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Isaac:  Easy A

Best use of 3D:

Winner: How To Train Your Dragon

3D is a scam to get people into the theater while raising ticket prices. How To Train Your Dragon is the exception to that rule.

Runners Up:

Nate:  How To Train Your Dragon

Chris:  Toy Story 3

Luke:  (Luke is morally opposed to 3D)

Isaac:  Resident Evil: Afterlife

Best Family Film:

Winner: Toy Story 3

We’ve got to hand it to Pixar, Toy Story 3 is every bit as good (if not better) than the original.

Runners Up:

Nate:  How To Train Your Dragon

Chris:  The Karate Kid

Luke:  The Secret of Kells

Isaac:  How To Train Your Dragon

Best Original Score:

Winner: Inception

BBBWWWAAAAAAAAMMMM…..  Need I say more?

Runners Up:

Nate:  How To Train Your Dragon

Chris: The Secret of Kells

Luke:  Book of Eli

Isaac: How to Train Your Dragon