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2013 Year in Film: 25 Random Awards for the Year that Was

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | December 30, 2013 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | December 30, 2013 |

The Award for the Least Amount of Screen Time for a Title Character: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

The Franchise Resurrection Award: Iron Man 3, for bouncing back after the dismal Iron Man 2 with new director, Shane Black.

The Backlash Of the Year Award: The Man of Steel, which was initially received modestly, but quickly crumbled under the weight of a million think pieces, mostly about how Henry Cavill’s Superman didn’t square with the character’s historical mythology.

The Annual Underwhelming Pixar Sequel Award: Monsters University, which kept alive a trend of disappointing Pixar sequels since its purchase by Disney.

The Most Unfairly Maligned Movie By People Who Didn’t See It Award: The Croods, which was actually pretty great, received nice scores from critics, and was well liked by many kids (and their parents), and had the rare distinction of being an original property, but that got dismissed because of schlocky marketing and a bias against non-Pixar animated fare.

The ‘That Could’ve Been A Lot Worse’ Award: World War Z, which despite reshoots, an easy-to-mock ad campaign, and negative buzz, was actually pretty OK for a movie for which we had low expectations.

The Squandering of Melissa McCarthy Award: Identity Thief, which was terrible, and only made slightly less so by McCarthy. She deserves to be in better movies.

The Better But Not Quite Deserving of Melissa McCarthy Award: The Heat, which was intermittently funny thanks almost entirely to McCarthy, who made her co-star, Sandra Bullock, damn near an afterthought.

The F**k It, If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em Award: Fast and Furious 6. Either the franchise has steadily gotten better, or critics and other audience members have finally pulled the stick out of their asses and let the stupidity wash over them.

The More Fun, and More Dumb than Fast and Furious Award: Pacific Rim, which was basically two kids with $200 million playing with robots in the bathtub, only the dialogue was worse.

The ‘That Wasn’t As Scary As I Thought It’d Be’ Award: The Conjuring, which was a fine horror movie, but hardly deserving of the highest grossing horror movie of the year.

The Terrible Movie That Got A Lot of Talented Actors Paid Award: The Lone Ranger and Grown Ups 2 (tie). Both were awful movies, but between them, Chris Rock, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph, Salma Hayek, Steve Buscemi, William Fichtner, Ruth Wilson, James Badge Dale, W. Earl Brown, and Stephen Root saw bigger paychecks than they typically receive for five or 10 movies or their roles, combined.

The Mildly Amusing But Completely Forgettable Superhero Movie Award: The Wolverine and Thor: The Dark World. Both were fine enough movies, but between them, the only thing anyone remembers is Tom Hiddleston.

The Promotion Was Better Than the Movie Award: Anchorman 2, which featured Ron Burgundy in local newscast, on ESPN, singing with Christopher Cross, and 70 Dodge Durango commercials, which boosted sales of the automobile by 59 percent. (The Jennifer Lawrence talk show tour comes in a close second, losing out only because the two movies she was promoting — American Hustle and Catching Fire — were actually very good).

The Great Movie That Was Immediately Dismissed Because of Its Subject Material Award: Ron Howard’s Rush, which featured great performances, an unbelievable inspired-by-a-true-story screenplay, and Chris Hemsworth, yet was forgotten the weekend after it was released because it was about race cars.

The Stop Trying to Make Twilight Happen Again Award: Mortal Instruments, Beautiful Creatures and The Host. Three movies based on popular YA novels (one of which was written by Stephene Meyers), and three huge box-office disappointments.

The Most Discussed 2013 Release Watched on NetflixBlackfish, the documentary that explores the dangers to both humans and the orcas of keeping them in captivity, and the increasing popularity of the movie on Netflix must be putting the fear of God into SeaWorld.

The 2013 Release Most Likely To Gain the Acclaim It Deserves on DVDPrisoners, the Hugh Jackman/Jake Gyllenhaal movie that was too dark for theaters, but will likely deliver a lot of gut punches on DVD in the year to come.

The Movie That Never Quite Turned the Corner From So Bad to So-Bad-It’s-GoodHansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

The Most Disappointing Sequel of the YearKick Ass 2.

The Most Unnecessary Remake of the YearCarrie

The 80s Really Are Dead Award: Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who couldn’t do it alone (Stallone’s Bullet to the Head made only $9 million, while Arnie’s The Last Stand made only $12 million) or together, when their co-headlining The Escape Plan only managed $24 million.

The Quiet Fading of a Career Award — The once reliable Jason Statham, who could generate around $30 to $40 million in box office twice a year just by doing the same thing over and over finally wore out his welcome with Parker ($17 million), Redemption ($36,000) and Homefront ($20 million).

The James Franco Award for the Most Bizarrely Diverse Movie Choices — James Franco, for The Wizard of Oz in Oz the Great and Powerful, for playing a white, grill-wearing gangsta in Spring Breakers, for playing himself in This is the End, for playing a white trash shitkicker in Homefront, for writing, directing, and starring in Sal, for playing Hugh Hefner in Lovelace and for playing Darl Bundren in As I Lay Dying, while still having enough time to show up on The Mindy Project and get roasted on Comedy Central.

Cameo of the Year — (tie) Ed Harris as the voice in mission control in Gravity and Bruce Campbell, delivering his trademark “Groovy” in the tag for the Evil Dead remake.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.