As 2010 draws to a close, it’s time to look back over the year in film as we present the ultra-prestigious Sabotage Times Film Awards. Now, instead of basing these awards on boring things like how good each movie is or the standard of acting in it, we thought we'd create our own more interesting list of criteria.
And the nominations are…
SHITTEST WAY TO DIE
If nothing else, 2010 has been an absolutely fantastic year for the gruesome murder. Highlights for me have included Ryan Reynolds buried alive in Buried, the unfortunate mafia goon in Kick Ass who gets locked in a giant microwave until his head explodes and the intestinal abseiling scene in Machete. Probably the most harrowing screen death this year was Jessica Alba in The Killer Inside Mewho had her face literally punched off by Casey Affleck. However, the stand-out winner has to be The Human Centipede (a movie that will feature in pretty much every category in these awards). When the film first came out, I mused at length about which position in the centipede chain would be least best one to be in… None of them turn out to be exactly ideal, but it seems that right at the back is the worst spot. Not only do you get your kneecaps hacked off, teeth pulled out and mouth grafted onto an anus… you also get the least amount of vitamins.
Winner: The Human Centipede
BIGGEST HOLLYWOOD LETDOWN
It happens every year. A film comes along with massive amounts of hype, a cast and director to die for and everyone gets ridiculously excited about how we’re about to see the MOST AMAZING THING EVER. Then, inevitably, it turns out to be shit.
There was a time when I would get very much caught up in this and reacted to the massive washouts that were The Phantom Menace, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and The Matrix Revolutions with extreme levels of sorrow and dismay bordering on bereavement. Nowadays, I’m more or less resigned to the fact that nothing Hollywood does will ever be as good as I want it to be and merely greet each fresh disappointment with the weary sigh of a father whose teenage daughter is back on the heroin.
Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe teamed up for what was supposed to be the coolest historical epic since Gladiator. It turned out to be mainly tedious Merry Men-based smugness and Cate Blanchett wittering on about grain.
Alice in Wonderland
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp taking on Lewis Carroll’s surreal masterpiece should have made for an instant family classic. Instead we got a load of silly high-pitched voices and shit 3D.
Also a contender for the Best Casual Racism award.
The 1982 original was hailed as a cutting edge and futuristic tour-de-force for the digital age. The squeal (Daft Punk soundtrack not withstanding) felt about as technologically innovative as my Dad on the phone to the PC World helpline.
Winner: Alice in Wonderland
MENTALIST FILM OF THE YEAR
This is the big one! Film critics will often have a specialist interest in a particular genre or period of cinematic history. Some like the Silent Era, or the French New Wave; others are connoisseurs of The Western or the cinema of South East Asia. For me, it’s weird shit.
2010 has been an incredibly strong year for mentalism. First up was the return of wackjob genius Werner Herzog with a remake of Abel Ferrara’s The Bad Lieutenant. Mental highlights include a bizarre subplot about an alligator who loses his mate in a traffic accident, Nic Cage screaming “You cunts! I hate you!” at two elderly ladies in a nursing home and this bit:
Also up there was Splice, a darkly humourous tale of morality and genetic engineering. Adrian Brody and Sarah Polley play two hotshot scientists who splice human and animal DNA together to produce a strange new hybrid that possesses both terrifying superhuman strength and a childlike innocence… then Brody sticks his cock in it. Honourable mentions also go to Bong Joon-Ho’s Korean weirdathon Mother, Joaquin Phoenix essentially sabotaging his entire career in the name of mentalism for the pseudo-documentary I’m Still Here and, of course, The Human Centipede.
So an incredibly difficult decision this one, but in the end the jury gave it to a small independent film called Trash Humpers by Harmony Korine. Put simply, this is the most fucking mental thing I have ever seen. Shot on a rickety old VHS camcorder and lacking any discernable plot structure, it features Harmony and his friends wearing disturbing-looking old people masks doing an assortment of weird things. This includes smashing up old televisions, kicking a wheelchair about, attacking a child’s doll with a hammer, murder, and (as the title implies) dry humping piles of garbage. Oh yeah, and there’s also a bit where a guy performs fellatio on a tree, two nude men are forced to eat pancakes smothered in washing up liquid and a woman sings an oddly moving rendition of Silent Night to a trio of flabby hookers. We’re talking next level shit here..
Winner: Trash Humpers
BIGGEST LOAD OF MEN
In the world of action, 2010 was the year of the Big Gang of MEN. Each new release offered increasingly muscle-bound battalions of beefcakes who would strut around waggling their big phallic guns in the air, snorting lines of maximuscle protein shake and doing commando rolls. There are also rumours of Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in an off-camera sword fight using their partially erect penises..
Winner: The Expendables
As recently pointed out on this website, ‘Cunt is the new Fuck’ and 2010 has been a vintage year for cinematic C-bombs. There was Nic Cage’s aforementioned nursing home outburst in Bad Lieutenant, a scene in The Runaways where Kristen Stewart from Twilight is referred to a ‘dog cunt’ and, most controversially, the bit in Kick Ass where the word is said by an 11-year girl. That alone was enough to provoke a Daily Mail fuckstorm of epic proportions, which is always lovely to see (as a general rule, anything that the pisses off Daily Mail is usually entirely justified and excellent). However, just pipping that scene to the post was the sustained and almost operatic swearing in the marvellous 44 Inch Chest where Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Ian McShane and Stephen Dillane essentially use the words ‘cunt’ and ‘fuck’ in the same way that Jackson Pollock used paint. This scene is my personal favourite - I particularly like the use of the phrase “cunting spunker” at 2.41..
Winner: 44 Inch Chest
THE MATT HARVEY AWARD FOR COOLEST MOTHERFUCKER
Kieran Culkin in Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Chloe Moretz in Kick Ass
Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right
Rob Corddry in Hot Tub Time Machine
P-Diddy in Get him to the Greek
Winner: Chloe Moretz
SHITTEST BRITISH COMEDY
One of the biggest stories of the year has been the Coalition Government’s decision to abolish the UK Film Council. This was an organisation that, on an annual budget of just £15 million, funded British films that have grossed over £700 million worldwide (that’s some good economics you’ve done there Osborne, you fucking penis..) However, the one possible upside of this move is that at least there may be a reduction in the number of crap British comedies, of which I’ve had to sit through several this year:
Winner: (by a long fucking shot) The Infidel
MOST HEAVY-HANDED RELIGIOUS ALLEGORY
Just the one nomination here (it also happens to be my least favourite film of the year) The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The film sees Edmund, Lucy and their obnoxious cousin Eustace embarking on an epic voyage across the oceans of Narnia. Along the way they do battle with various sea monsters and dragons which C.S Lewis apparently intended to be read as metaphors for Sin. These include (by my count anyway) Pride, Ambition, Desiring your neighbour’s ox, Condoms, Women Priests, Islam, Russell Brand, Wikileaks, Barack Obama and wanking.
My lack of enjoyment of the film could well have something to do with the fact that I saw it at 10am on a Sunday morning in a packed Odeon full of excitable children, while sporting one of the worst hangovers anyone has ever experienced in the history of jägerbombs. For some reason, sitting in a hot dark room, covered in various ‘stains’ and flanked by two 11-year-old children I’d never met was really really uncomfortable. I basically felt like some kind of horrific vomity paedophile.
Winner: Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Loser: My dignity
SILLIEST LINE OF DIALOGUE
“Shit! I have to shit!” Katsuro (the Japanese hostage) in The Human Centipede
“Shut-up! Or I pull your teeth one by one you kamikaze shithole!” The evil Dr Heiter in The Human Centipede
“Heavy set, older, red heads and even black chicks can have me if they can pay the bill” Vincent Gallo (Not actually from a film, but rather a quote from the ‘Personal Services’ section of his website where the star of Tetro and Essential Killing offers women the opportunity to buy a night of passion with him for just 50 grand. It’s literally my favourite thing on the internet!)
The winner, however, has to be come from M.Night Shyamalan’s unfortunate fantasy The Last Airbender. This was a deeply serious film about a mythical race of people with the ability to ‘bend’ the four elements; air, fire, water and earth. Unfortunately, in America the word ‘bender’ doesn’t quite have the same hilarious connotations it does over here, so Shyamalan couldn’t have known how much merriment he would be provoking in UK cinema goers with lines like; “I could tell at once that you were a bender” or my personal favourite, “There are some really powerful benders in the Northern Water Zone”.
Winner: The Last Airbender
OK FINE. AND THE BEST ACTUAL FILM…
Toy Story 3
The Social Network
Although an honourable mention has to go to Chris Morris’s suicide bomber comedy Four Lions (a ‘bomb-com’ as someone called it), for me the two best films of 2010 have to be Inception and The Social Network. And of the two, although Inception was the more imaginative, action-packed and visually breathtaking movie, I’m going to have to go for David Fincher’s Facebook film as my favourite of the year. This is partially down to Aaron Sorkin’s frenetic and hugely enjoy dialogue which managed make the world of HTML Programming and Intellectual Property lawsuits both accessible and exhilarating – just as he did with New Hampshire Primaries and the Congressional Filibuster in The West Wing.
Mainly though, I loved this film for the character of Zuckerberg, brought brilliantly to life by Jesse Eisenberg. It’s pretty rare that you get such an ambiguous central character who is genuinely dislikeable yet, at the same time, oddly sympathetic. For the same reason, I think the Wikileaks movie – when they eventually get round to making it – has the potential to be really great. Julian Assange, despite doing something that is (arguably) highly commendable, is clearly a massive galloping berk so should make for a fascinating character on screen.
Winner: The Social Network
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