The Goblin Awards 2014

In our annual antidote to awards season, we present the Goblin Awards – the most prestigious movie event in a completely arbitrary period of time.

Artist Tim Burton with his friends David Cameron, Samantha Cameron and Michael Gove.

Artist Tim Burton with his friends David Cameron and Michael Gove.

1. The Watching Paint Dry Award for Watching Paint Dry

In 2014, there were not one, but two movies about watching paint dry – Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner starred a grumpy walrus as J.M.W. Turner, and Tim Burton’s Big Eyes was a big pile of crap. And the Goblin goes to… Big Eyes, a film so dull it made Mr Turner look like The Avengers. Congratulations Tim Burton, your taste in art really is as bad as your taste in Prime Ministers. DM

2. The Terminator 3 Award for Worst Sequel

A Dame for whom to Kill, surely.

A Dame for whom to Kill, surely.

This year it’s a two-horse race between Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and The Raid 2One thing these sequels have in common, aside from both being pale imitations of their predecessors, is that they revelled in gratuitous violence but pathetically shied away from showing a penis. God forbid they should show a penis. But in terms of sheer drop in quality from the original, the Goblin goes to The Raid 2, for following up the best action film of recent memory with the kind of unpleasant, bloody mess usually reserved for night club toilets. DM

3. The Man in a Thing Award

This year’s Man in a Thing Award boils down to Tom Hardy in a car versus Liam Neeson on a plane – Locke versus Non-Stop. Liam Neeson nominated for an award? What is this, the ’90s? When you compare Tom Hardy in a car talking about concrete to Liam Neeson on a plane beating up innocent passengers, it sounds like an easy win for Non-Stop. It’s testament to Tom Hardy’s performance then, that the Goblin goes to Locke. For making concrete exciting. DM

4. The Jake Lloyd Award for Worst Scene Involving Children

And the nominations are… that bit in Fruitvale Station when the little girl hears fireworks and says “I can hear guns daddy”, and that one in Jimmy’s Hall with the tiny Father Ted rejects dancing around Jimmy going “will ye open the hall again for us Jimmy? Will ye?” And the Goblin goes to Jimmy’s Hall, because Fruitvale Station is extremely pertinent, politically speaking. DM

5. The You’re So Vain Award

John Turturro.

John Turturro.

If there’s one thing we learnt from David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, it’s that Hollywood people are vain to the point of self-immolation. So there are two nominees for this year’s vanity award. The first is John Turturro for Fading Gigolo, written by John Turturro, directed by John Turturro and starring John Turturro as a man so sexy that loads of sexy women want to pay to have sex with him, even though he looks like Lembit Öpik.

The second nominee is fat Godzilla, from this year’s disappointing Godzilla reboot – he’d clearly gained a few tonnes, but in his vanity he got so mad at himself that he tried to destroy America. Or whatever the fuck happened in that godawful Godzilla movie. But the Goblin goes to John Turturro, because the man needs some luck after breaking up with the Cheeky Girls. DM

 6. The Dettol Award for Sterile Science Fiction

In some sci fi films the grand ideas on display outweigh the emotional impact, and nowhere was this more true than in Transcendence, Edge of Tomorrow and Lucy. Edge of Tomorrow had all the emotional resonance you’d expect from a film about a man who, if he dies, just wakes up and starts the day again. Transcendence had all the emotional resonance you’d expect for a film about someone who’s part man, part computer. But Lucy, a film about a woman who gains access to 100% of her brain, directed by the experienced Luc Besson, should have known better. In spite of having access to her whole brain, this still seemed to exclude the bits that deal with emotion. And while Edge of Tomorrow and Transcendence made up for it in other areas, with Lucy we were left with an empty and lifeless 90 minutes of poorly-wrought sci fi mumbo jumbo. AC

7. Actors who Should Have Known Better Award

“I’ll punch him so hard his heart will start beating”

With the size of the cast of The Expendables 3, and the fact they managed to bag some serious names like Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson, this should have been a shoe-in, but this year also brought us Grudge Match, where Rocky Balboa’s granddad fought Jake Lamotta’s twitching corpse. Stallone versus De Niro was a match made in cinema marketing heaven, but seeing the elderly actors dust off their boxing gloves was more excruciating than exciting. While this film might not have earned either of its stars an Oscar, it’s enough to win them a Golden Goblin for not having the good judgement to turn it down. AC

8. Totally Forgettable Film of the Year

Every year brings its fair share of disposable movie fare. Whether it’s the wholly unmemorable The Drop, the barely recollectable A Walk Among the Tombstones or the solidly uninspiring The Two Faces of January, this year provided us with a raft of films we’d forgotten we saw until we started writing this. But this year’s runaway winner, the most forgettable film of 2014 is…..well, I can’t remember. AC

9. The Award for Best Film About a Struggling Artist

“I hope no-one works out it’s me in this”

If there’s one thing the struggling writers of Hollywood like it’s making films about other struggling artists. Biopics aside, we had the offbeat originality of Birdman, the dark brilliance of Maps to the Stars and Frank, a film about a pretentious singer with a big paper maché head that was, well, pretentious and big-headed. Scoring big for sheer ingenuity, and the brilliant casting of real-life former superhero Michael Keaton, the award goes to Birdman. Fly, little starling. Fly fly. AC

10. The Ewan McGregor Award for Incompetence

This year’s award for a totally disastrous cinematic performance is a close-run contest. It could go to whoever edited The Grandmaster down to the point it doesn’t make any sense, whoever greenlit a Sin City sequel or whoever thought the two paragraph story of Noah’s ark would make a good film. But the winner is everyone involved in The Guest, whether it’s the bad actors who look a bit like better actors, the non-sensical plot, the terrible music or the ham-fisted direction, it really is a tour de force of cinematic incompetence. AC

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