Saturday, February 28, 2009

Whats to Come in 2009

Now that the 2008 Leaman Awards are in the books (and locked away in the Part-Time Vault) and the 2008 Oscars have finished, what exactly is there to look forward to until we get to the big summer blockbusters of 09'. Even though there doesn't seem to be much activity going on around here, there is quite a bit behind the scenes. Here is a quick peek at what I hope to have coming to the web sooner than later.

2009 All-Time Favorite Film List
- Want to know that my favorite films of all-time are? How does The Dark Knight rank against the likes of The Godfather, Airplane, and Casablanca? Then this list is perfect for you. Although it has been a staple for my close group of friends over the last couple years, I have yet to post anything about this here on the blog. Why? Because its traditional for me to update and review my All-Time list every year right after the Oscars are finished. This will be the first project that I am going to post here at the website and I am shooting for a posting of it in the next couple of weeks or so. It will be complete with commentary and will retain a section on the sidebar all to itself, so it can be viewed at all times.

Best Action Scenes of All-Time
- I first mentioned this project a while back, and outside of my recent Leaman Awards, its what I have been spending nearly all my free time on. Its no small undertaking to try come up with a fairly comprehensive list of the greatest action scenes, and it has taken me longer than I ever thought it would. I understand that I may not ever be able to say that its completely comprehensive. but I would like to get the initial lists avaliable. Expect to see this beginning to be posted over the summer. It will be done in stages based on the action scene types: General Action, Fight, Car Chase, Chase, and War. Its not always easy to categorize a scene but I have done the best that I can. I've just about exhausted myself in the fight category (I've been watching Martial Arts films, and Kung Fu films for the last six months), and I am just getting to gunplay action sequences (after Hardboiled kicked my butt, I'm looking forward to Woo's The Killer), and car chase sequences. Any non-obvious suggestions for gunplay scenes and car chase sequences?
Hopefully this will be a fairly exhaustive list that will probably spawn multiple lists that I also have been working on, such as individual lists for Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, John Woo, and a couple other individuals and directors. Any other suggestions for All-Time lists?

Leaman Awards Round-Up
- I also mentioned that I am attempting to go back in time and do Leaman Awards for years in which I had not done them. That project is on hold for the time being. It takes a lot of movie watching and computer work, and it just isn't in the cards for right now. I am hoping that after I finish the 2009 Leaman Awards next year and update my all-time list, I can release some version of Leaman Awards for the entire 2000s. But that won't be at least until the summer of 2010.

More Film Reviews
- Although the 2009 Film year is 1/6th in the bag already, there isn't a single 2009 film review posted. I hope to remedy that with the upcoming Watchmen. It will be my first review of the year and hopefully the first of several to come.

All of the this to say, keep checking in with the Part-Time Critic, there should be a lot in store in the year to come, and I hope you enjoy it. Be on the lookout for my Watchmen review and the soon to come All-Time film list. Comment with any suggestions.

2008 Leaman Awards: Top Ten List and Beyond

So I realized that I failed to post any listing of 2008's films outside of the 5 nominatd for Best Picture. So the following is the final mention of year end awards for 2008, enjoy the listing. (I mean where else will Traitor, Bolt and Encounters at the End of the World co-exist in a top ten?)

1. The Dark Knight
2. Rachel Getting Married
3. Doubt
4. Kung Fu Panda
5. Speed Racer
6. Traitor
7. The Counterfeiters
8. Role Models
9. Encounters at the End of the World
10. Bolt

11. In Bruges
12. The Bank Job
13. Gran Torino
14. Quantum of Solace
15. Jumper
16. Rambo
17. Man on Wire
18. Son of Rambow
19. The Spiderwick Chronicles
20. Funny Games

21. Valkyrie
22. The Wrestler
23. Street Kings
24. Frost/Nixon
25. Slumdog Millionaire
26. Defiance
27. Cloverfield
28. Journey to the Center of the Earth
29. Ghost Town
30. Burn After Reading

31. 21
32. Australia
33. Body of Lies
34. Flash Point
35. Mamma Mia!
36. Sex and the City - The Movie
37. Doomsday
38. You Don't Mess With the Zohan
39. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
40. Death Race

41. Tropic Thunder
42. Fall, The
43. Snow Angels
44. Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights - Hollywood to the Heartland
45. Saw V
46. Visitor, The
47. Changeling
48. Other Boleyn Girl, The
49. Forbidden Kingdom, The
50. Iron Man

51. Redbelt
52. Wall *E
53. Seven Pounds
54. Chronicles of Narnia, The: Prince Caspian
55. Wanted
56. Baby Mama
57. Bangkok Dangerous
58. House Bunny, The
59. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
60. Incredible Hulk, The
61. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
62. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
63. Eagle Eye
64. Fireproof
65. Cassandra's Dream
66. Synecdoche, New York
67. Milk
68. Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The
69. Hancock
70. Revolutionary Road
71. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
72. Semi-Pro
73. The Reader
74. Superhero Movie
75. American Teen

76. Ruins, The
77. Pineapple Express, The
78. Star Wars: The Clone Wars
79. High School Musical 3: Senior Year
80. Appaloosa
81. Mongol
82. Step Up 2: The Streets
83. Duchess, The
84. Get Smart
85. Bedtime Stories
86. Transporter 3
87. Mummy, The: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
88. What Happens in Vegas
89. W
90. Yes Man
91. Horton Hears a Who!
92. 27 Dresses
93. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
94. Be Kind Rewind
95. CJ7
96. Strangers, The
97. Step Brothers
98. Foot Fist Way, The
99. 10,000 BC
100. American Carol, An
101. Happening, The
102. In the Name of a King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
103. Charlie Bartlett
104. Love Guru, The

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2008 Leaman Awards: Major Award Nominations and Winners

Here is the final part to the 2008 Leaman Awards. Thanks for reading and Enjoy!

Best Supporting Actress
And the nominees are…

- Cate Blanchett The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- Viola Davis Doubt
- Rosario Dawson Seven Pounds
- Rosemarie Dewitt Rachel Getting Married
- Marisa Tomei The Wrestler

Wnner: Rosemarie Dewitt Rachel Getting Married
Runner-Up: Viola Davis Doubt

Comments: It would have been natural for Rosemarie Dewitt to play her character with a little more unbalance and moral self-righteousness. Her sister is such an selfish hog of attention, that its refreshing to see Dewitt bring a level of restraint and calm to her character. There are moments that Dewitt gives us a glimpse into the bubbling anger underneath her surface, but its in her gracious moments that her characters is truly defined.

Best Supporting Actor
And the nominees are…

- Michael Angarano Snow Angels
- Aaron Eckhart The Dark Knight
- Bill Irwin Rachel Getting Married
- Heath Ledger The Dark Knight
- Gary Oldman The Dark Knight

Winner: Heath Ledger The Dark Knight
Runner-Up: Gary Oldman The Dark Knight

Comments: What can be said? Ledger's Joker is spectacular. He is more than a villain, more than a nemesis for Batman to fight, Ledger embodies a Joker that in the end comes to represent chaos itself, yet remaining completely human. Ledger transcends his character to create something of an archetype, a symbol of evil. This role will be remembered for a long time to come. It’s simply iconic.

Best Actress
And the nominees are…

- Kate Beckinsale Snow Angels
- Anne Hathaway Rachel Getting Married
- Meryl Streep Doubt
- Naomi Watts Funny Games
- Kate Winslet Revolutionary Road

Winner: Meryl Streep Doubt
Runner-Up: Kate Winslet Revolutionary Road

Comments: There are those who might charge me with favoritism and claim that I’m biased; well that may be true, but Streep wins this award here not because of my bias, but because I believe she honestly outshone her peers. To watch Streep’s performance as Sister Aloysius is to watch a master class of acting and characterization.This is one of Streep’s finest performances.

Best Actor
And the nominees are…

- Clint Eastwood Gran Torino
- Leonardo DiCaprio Revolutionary Road
- Phillip Seymour Hoffman Doubt
- Frank Langella Frost/Nixon
- Mickey Rourke The Wrestler

Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio Revolutionary Road
Runner-Up: Philip Seymour Hoffman Doubt

Comments: As much as I enjoyed Hoffman’s performance opposite Meryl Streep (one of his finest) in Doubt, the best male lead performance of 2008 belongs to DiCaprio. His performance runs the gamut of emotions and winds up being the true anchor of the film. Yes, there are scenes of grand drama, but there is quite a bit of great subtle acting going on as well. Cograts to DiCaprio for his first Leaman Award.

Best Ensemble Acting
And the nominees are...

- The Dark Knight
(Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman)

- Doubt
(Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Viola Davis)

- Frost/Nixon
(Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Sam Rockwell, Kevin Bacon, Matthew Macfayden, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, Toby Jones)

- In Bruges
(Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clemency Poesy)

- Rachel Getting Married
(Ann Hathaway, Rosemarie Dewitt, Mather Zickel, Bill Irwin, Debra Winger, Jerome Le Page, Anisa George, Anna Deavere Smith)

Winner: The Dark Knight
Runner-Up: Doubt

Comments: There may have been other comic-book superhero films with just as credible casts, but never has a superhero film ever given its cast such meaty roles to play. The cast doesn’t waste the opportunity. Ledger’s Joker, Eckhart’s Harvey Dent, Bale’s Batman, and most surprisingly Oldman’s Gordon are all award worthy performances. Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Maggie Gyllenhaal all have great moments and give memorable performances. The Dark Knight’s ensemble doesn’t just give us great performances, they give us great characters.

Best Director
And the nominees are…

- Jonathan Demme Rachel Getting Married
- Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight
- Stefan Ruzowitsky The Counterfeiters
- John Patrick Shanley Doubt
- The Wachowski Brothers Speed Racer

Winners: Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight
Runner-Up: The Wachowski Brothers Speed Racer

Comments: The mastermind behind the most ambitious undertaking of the year. Rescuing the Batman franchise from purgatory, Nolan’s unique and focused vision single-handedly brought The Dark Knight to the pinnacle of superheroes. Not content to fashion a modest follow-up to his moderately successful Batman Begins, Nolan has brought us what many have called The Godfather II of our generation.

Best Picture

And the Nominees are…

- The Dark Knight
- Doubt
- Kung Fu Panda
- Rachel Getting Married
- Speed Racer

Winner: The Dark Knight
Runner-Up: Rachel Getting Married

Comments: (Excepted from my original review of The Dark Knight)
“It has been some time since I've walked out of a theater with a mix of depression, hope, exhaustion, admiration, and trepidation. Let me get this out of the way now, in my estimation, The Dark Knight is the best Super-Hero film of all-time. The experience of watching the film is something similar to allowing your emotions to run a marathon. Its a breathtaking and brutal affair, and I can't wait to do it again.
What The Dark Knight has accomplished is remarkable. Not only has The Dark Knight surpassed its genre mates, it has obliterated them. There are all the hallmarks of the superhero comic book genre here, but what Nolan provides us with, elevates the film into an epic crime saga between Greek Gods, where everything has implications not only for our characters but for humanity as well. The ideas of a costumed crusader and a villain with a flair for theatricality is squeezed for everything its worth. From these ideas spring a deep pool of themes ranging from what a hero really is, hope vs. despair, anarchy vs. civilization, and the basic goodness of humanity Its as if the entire genre has come of age in one film. One of the movie's tag lines is "Welcome to a World Without Limits", and it seems Nolan has taken that to heart.”

2008: A Year in Review
"Still Worth It"

It would be easy to try and paint 2008 as a bad year for film and then use this space to wax eloquently about all the major disappointments that 2008 brought. While it is true that disappointments were to be had in 2008 (something that I will get into a bit later), the film year still had plenty of solid films, lovely surprises, iconic moments, and at least one genuine cultural masterpiece. While some years may prove more bountiful than the next, I find that even in a comparatively “down” year like 2008, it’s still worth it.
My Top Ten of 2008 is an odd list, because I would never have predicted that nine of the titles would find themselves there. Most of my favorites of the year were films that I neither expected to like nor really sought out, and that translated into a very odd year for me. By the halfway point this year I had seen The Dark Knight, Kung Fu Panda, Speed Racer, and The Counterfeiters; and I was already feeling disappointed about the year. Then came Oscar season and it was a real letdown for me as well. Films like Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Synecdoche New York, The Reader, Slumdog Millionaire, Frost/Nixon, Milk, and others were all either average, or simply busts for me. In their place I found small gems like Traitor which came out of nowhere to become my favorite contemporary “War on Terror” film. A chance viewing of Role Models at a dollar theatre opened my eyes to the most underrated comedy of the year. Probably the biggest surprise of the Oscar season was the little talked about Rachel Getting Married. Here is a film that exudes honesty and reality, and eschews the typical dramatics that typify Hollywood dramas. These welcome surprises are always an enjoyable aspect of my film watching.
Running through many of the year’s best films was the common theme of “how do you respond when facing a desperate and seemingly hopeless decision”; Batman faced the hopeless chaos of the Joker, Rachel’s sister extended grace and love to an undeserving sister, a self-righteous nun searches for certainty in a doubtful world, a young racer wonders whether to continue racing despite knowing the fix is in. It’s a powerful and potent theme, and the strength and wisdom that each character displayed made for some truly great moments in cinema.
As I stated above, 2008 is a disappointing year in cinema for me. In fact, I would say this is the worst overall year for me since 2001. However, its years like this that help me to re-consider why I spend all this time watching films and studying them as well. Upon reflection, even in these low point years, it’s all worth it.

- The Part-Time Critic: Kyle Leaman

Films with Nominations

- 12 Nominations: The Dark Knight

- 8 Nominations: Rachel Getting Married, Speed Racer

- 7 Nominations: Doubt

- 4 Nominations: Kung Fu Panda

- 3 Nominations: Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Slumdog Millionaire

- 2 Nominations: The Counterfeiters, Defiance, The Fall, Frost/Nixon, Funny Games, In Bruges, Jumper, Revolutionary Road, Seven Pounds, Snow Angels, Synecdoche Ne York, Traitor, Wall *E, The Wrestler

- 1 Nominations: Bolt, Changeling, The Duchess, Gran Torino, Horton Hears a Who!, Iron Man, The Other Boleyn Girl, Quantum of Solace, Role Models, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Star Wars: Clone Wars

Films with Runner-Ups

- 4 Runner-Ups: Doubt

- 2 Runner-Ups: The Dark Knight, Rachel Getting Married

- 1 Runner-Up: Bolt, The Duchess, The Fall, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, In Bruges, Revolutionary Road, Slumdog Millionaire, Speed Racer, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Speed Racer, Wall *E

Films with Multiple Wins

- 8 Wins: The Dark Knight

- 2 Wins: Rachel Getting Married, Speed Racer

- 1 Win: Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Doubt, The Fall, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Kung Fu Panda, Rachel Getting Married, Revolutionary Road

Bertram Pincus: Did anything usual happen during my operation? Surgeon: You... uh... died for seven minutes. Bertram Pincus: I died! For seven minutes! Surgeon: We brought you right back. People die all the time. Bertram Pincus: Yeah, but it's usually just once at…

The End.

2008 Leaman Awards: Minor Award Nominees and Winners (Web Edition)

Here are all the nominees and winners for all of my minor awards. Enjoy!

Best Makeup

- The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- The Dark Knight
- Hellboy II: The Golden Army
- Synecdoche, New York

Winner: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Runner-Up: Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Comments: A strong slate of contenders for the makeup crowd this year, but the giant leap forward that The Curious Case of Benjamin Button represents in the field of makeup cannot go unnoticed. The real achievement here is not that the makeup stands out as an achievement, but in its ability to make the viewer completely believe in the transformation that Benjamin undertakes throughout the film, without becoming a distraction

Best Costume Design

- The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
- The Duchess
- The Fall
- Hellboy II: The Golden Army
- The Other Boleyn Girl

Winner: The Fall
Runner-Up: The Duchess

Comments: Every year there are a number of great costumed films and they mostly fall into the “historical” or “fantasy” category. As you can see from my nominees, this year is no different. It’s tiring to see most fantasy films year after year present practically the same armor and outfits, so it’s refreshing to stumble upon the “fantasy” outfits found in Tarsem’s The Fall. From mind blowing dresses to some truly authentic and unique armor, The Fall is the most unique, creative, and simply the best costuming of 2008.

Best Sound

- The Dark Knight
- Defiance
- Jumper
- Quantum of Solace
- Wall *E

Winner: The Dark Knight
Runner-Up: Wall *E

Comments: For nearly the entire year Wall *E was slotted to take the top prize and only lost it after a late viewing of The Dark Knight. The sound design by Ben Burt on Wall *E is award worthy and it really is an integral piece of why Wall *E is as loved as it is. However, the sound design and the sound mixing on The Dark Knight are second to none. While watching The Dark Knight, I felt completely engrossed in the entire sound environment. If I had to pick a favorite sound “moment”, then I would point to the entire sequence where the Joker and his gang attempt to capture Harvey Dent from his armored car.

Best Original Score

- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- The Dark Knight
- Seven Pounds
- Slumdog Millionaire
- Speed Racer

Winner: The Dark Knight
Runner-Up: Slumdog Millionaire

Comments: I remember hearing a lot of praise for the score for Batman Begins, and I must confess that I didn’t really understand it in 2005. Then came along The Dark Knight. This is hands down, my favorite score of 2008. The score perfectly captures the two genres of the film, giving us a pulse pounding thriller score for the crime aspects, while allowing us to soar with the superhero aspects. On top of that, the introduction of the theme for the Joker is the single greatest musical triumph of the year. Like no other musical cue, it single handedly conveys the chaos and anarchy that follows the Joker like a boat and its wake.

Best Visual Effects

- The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
- Iron Man
- Jumper
- Speed Racer
- The Spiderwick Chronicles

Winner: Speed Racer
Runner-Up: The Spiderwick Chronicles

Comments: While I wouldn’t say that Speed Racer introduces any genuinely new ideas into the field, it wins the award for the ways in which it so seamlessly uses everything at its disposal to create an entirely CGI’ed world that feels tactile and real, while still allowing the camera to move as freely as it wants. Re-watch the second half of the Casa Cristo Race in the mountains and just examine how in some sequences the camera freely zooms and floats from car to car to helicopter and back, without ever cutting away to an edit or taking us out of their created world. It’s the visual effects work of the year.

Best Art Direction

- Changeling
- The Fall
- Hellboy II: The Golden Army
- Speed Racer
- Synecdoche, New York

Winner: Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Runner-Up: The Fall

Comments: Usually a fun category for me, but I think the art direction category was a little weak this year. In the end, Guillermo Del Toro’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army won for its sheer inventiveness and creativity. Del Toro really does have a great mind for interesting creatures and outlandish designs, and he allows it to run wild in this film. It’s clear that Del Toro cherished the art direction stages of making Hellboy II. I just wish a little more time would have gone into the writing stages as well.

Best Cinematography

- The Dark Knight
- Defiance
- Rachel Getting Married
- Slumdog Millionaire
- Speed Racer

Winner: The Dark Knight
Runner-Up: Rachel Getting Married

Comments: Unlike The Dark Knight’s win for “Best Sound” which came at the last moment, I thought that The Dark Knight had cinematography in the bag the moment that I walked out of the theatre. The other nominees are all worthy of winning, but The Dark Knight, like Batman atop Gotham, sits heads and shoulders above its competition. Wally Pfister continues his quest to find even more shades and nuances in the color black, while giving us some of the most memorable and iconic images that will last throughout film history.

Best Film Editing

- The Dark Knight
- Kung Fu Panda
- Slumdog Millionaire
- Speed Racer
- Traitor

Winner: Speed Racer
Runner-Up: The Dark Knight

Comments: If I allowed ties in my categories, then this would be the closest I came to it in my entire awards. Dark Knight’s roller coaster editing is an enormous achievement, but I felt that the genuinely original editing style of Speed Racer was more integral to that films success. There is an unprecedented synergy between Speed Racer’s cinematography, visual effects, and film editing, and it really is a marvel to watch. Eschewing traditional editing, Speed Racer is truly unique this year in how it brings together the story it tells and the pace, cutting, and rhythms in how it tells it.

Best Animated Feature

- Bolt
- Horton Hears a Who!
- Kung Fu Panda
- Star Wars: Clone Wars
- Wall *E

Winner: Kung Fu Panda
Runner-Up: Bolt

Comments: Not only is Kung Fu Panda the most surprising film of the year for me, its also my favorite animated film of the year. This is a film that hits every note it’s supposed to, and really delivers the goods. Jack Black is perfectly cast as the panda and gets some great laughs throughout the film. It’s not exactly an epic and sweeping story, but its very light, good-natured, and most importantly, its consistent with its reality and characters. The action is expertly crafted and animated, and really beats most of the great action scenes I have seen this year. Altogether, Kung Fu Panda was one of the best experiences I had all year.

Best Adapted Screenplay

- The Counterfeiters
- The Dark Knight
- Doubt
- Funny Games
- Speed Racer

Winner: The Dark Knight
Runner-Up: Doubt

Comments: Aside from all the great achievements of The Dark Knight, “Best Adapted Screenplay” may be its greatest. When you strip away the music, the sound, the action, and the visual presentation, The Dark Knight would still have the power to captivate and entertain. The true strengths of the film lie in its ability to satisfy on so many levels. The Dark Knight succeeds as a great superhero film, while also succeeding as a film of competing ideas and themes. The fact that this movie would be able to work well on stage as a spoken play, speaks volumes for the genius that went into The Dark Knight’s screenplay.

Best Original Screenplay

- In Bruges
- Kung Fu Panda
- Rachel Getting Married
- Role Models
- Traitor

Winner: Rachel Getting Married
Runner-Up: In Bruges

Comments: Thanks to wonderful cinematography, direction, and performances, it would be easy to think the Rachel Getting Married was created impromptu and on the fly. That the situations and dialogue in the film feel so natural and immediate also belongs to the wonderful screenplay by Jenny Lumet. Rachel Getting Married struck me as one of the most honest and genuine films I have ever watched. Stripped of typical cinematic flare, these characters and their struggles felt much like friends I know and feelings I have dealt with myself. For its brutal honesty and striking sincerity, Rachel Getting Married gets my vote for the best Original Screenplay of the year.

**Exhausted Yet? Yeah...Me too. Stay tuned for the last post containing all the major award nominees and winners and a year in review commentary, capping off and ending the year 2008 for me. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

2008 Leaman Awards: Top 25 Quotes (Web Edition)

Its a long post, but I thought I would reproduce it at least for completeness sake. Besides, there are truly some gems tucked in there, and its a pretty fun read. Massive thanks goes out to for the help with most (not all) of the quotes. Any great ones that didnt make my list? Enjoy!

Good Quotes, But Not Quite Top 25

Step Brothers
Dale Doback: [after hearing Brennan sing] You have the voice of an angel. I mean, it's like Fergie meets Jesus.

Speed Racer
Trixie: Oh my god, was that a ninja? Pops Racer: More like a "non"-ja. Terrible what passes for a ninja these days.

Tropic Thunder
Kevin Sandusky: There's no way we make it over that ridge before sundown.
Kirk Lazarus: All right fellas, we're gonna make camp, rest up. Y'all might be in for a treat. You know back before the war broke out I was a saucier in San Antone. I bet I could collar up some of them greens, yeah, some crawfish out the paddy, yo'! Ha! I'm makin' some crabapples for dessert now, yo! Hell yeah, ha!
Alpa Chino: [mocking Kirk] Hell yeah! Ha! That's how we all talk? We all talk like dis, "suh"? Yes suh, ha! Yeah mmm-hmm get some crawfish, and some ribs, ha! Ye-aah. You're Australian! Be Australian! Excuse me, Kangaroo Jack! [hops away like a kangaroo]
Kirk Lazarus: [confused] I get excited about my foods, man.

25. Funny Games
Anna: Why don't you just kill us?
Peter: [smiling] You shouldn't forget the importance of entertainment.

24. Role Models
Gayle Sweeny: Why don't you lay out two lines of your selfishness, which is your blow, draw the shades, take the phone off the hook, grab a straw, and snort!

23. In Bruges
Ken: Your girlfriend's very pretty.
Jimmy: She's ain't my girlfriend. She's a prostitute I just picked up.
Ken: I was not aware that there were any prostitutes in Bruges.
Jimmy: You just have to look in the right places... brothels are good.

22. The Pineapple Express
Red: Why don't you follow his lead and just chill out, man?
Dale Denton: I'm chill. I'm chill as a cucumber, man.
Red: You don't seem chill.
Dale Denton: I'm more chill than you.
Red: You're more chill than me?
Dale Denton: Yeah.
Red: Look what I'm wearing. Kimono, dog. What're you wearing?
Dale Denton: A suit.
Red: Yeah, exactly.

21. Baby Mama
Kate Holbrook: Did you just stick your gum under my coffee table?
Angie Ostrowiski: I don't know.
Kate Holbrook: What do you mean you don't know? You think you're at an Arbys right now? Angie Ostrowiski: You know what? I WISH I was at an Arbys cuz theres better food and cooler people there!
Kate Holbrook: [Kate looks under coffee table and gasps then looks at Angie] Did you stick all this gum under here?
Angie Ostrowiski: I DON'T KNOW! Maybe you stuck some of it under there!
Kate Holbrook: Yeah, actually you might be right cuz sometimes when I work a really long day I like to come home and chew a huge wad of bubbilicious gum and stick it under my reclaimed barnwood coffee table!
Angie Ostrowiski: I don't know your life!

20. Journey to the Center of the Earth
Sean: [running from a dinosaur] Haven't you ever seen a dinosaur before?
Trevor: Not with skin on it!

19. Baby Mama
Barry: Congratulations, Kate. I want to reward you with five minutes of uninterrupted eye contact.

18. Doubt
Mrs. Miller: Sister, I don't know if you and me on the same side. I'll be standing with my son and those who are good with my son. It'd be nice to see you there.

17. Valkyrie
Henning von Tresckow: God promised Abraham that he would not destroy Sodom if he could find ten righteous men... I have a feeling that for Germany it may come down to one.

16. Kung Fu Panda
Tigress: It is said that the Dragon Warrior can go for months without eating, surviving on the dew of a single ginko leaf and the energy of the universe.
Po: Then I guess my body doesn't know I'm the Dragon Warrior yet. It's gonna take a lot more than dew, and, uh, universe juice.

15. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Surfing Instructor: If you get bitten by a shark, you're not just gonna give up surfing, are you? Peter Bretter: Yeah, probably.

14. Rambo
Burnett: Let me explain our situation - our church is part of a Pan-Asian ministry, located in Colorado. We are all volunteers, who around this time of year bring in medical supplies, medical attention, prayer books, and support to the Karen tribes people. People say you know the river better than anyone.
John J. Rambo: They ain't lying.
Burnett: So what I'm asking is that we compensate you for a few hours of your time that will help change people's lives.
John J. Rambo: Are you bringing any weapons?
Burnett: Of course not.
John J. Rambo: You're not changing anything.

13. The Dark Knight
The Joker: You and your kind, all you care about is money. This city deserves a better class of criminal. And I'm gonna give it to them!

12. In Bruges
Ken: Coming up?
Ray: What's up there?
Ken: The view.
Ray: The view of what? The view of down here? I can see that down here.
Ken: Ray, you are about the worst tourist in the whole world.
Ray: Ken, I grew up in Dublin. I love Dublin. If I grew up on a farm, and was retarded, Bruges might impress me but I didn't, so it doesn't.

11. The Dark Knight
Alfred Pennyworth: A long time ago, I was in Burma, my friends and I were working for the local government. They were trying to buy the loyalty of tribal leaders by bribing them with precious stones. But their caravans were being raided in a forest north of Rangoon by a bandit. So we went looking for the stones. But in six months, we never found anyone who traded with him. One day I saw a child playing with a ruby the size of a tangerine. The bandit had been throwing them away.
Bruce Wayne: Then why steal them?
Alfred Pennyworth: Because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.
(Later in the Film)
Bruce Wayne: The bandit in Burma, did you catch him?
Alfred Pennyworth: Yes.
Bruce Wayne: How?
Alfred Pennyworth: We burned the forest down.

10. Semi-Pro
Jackie Moon: Everybody panic! Oh my God, there's a bear loose in the coliseum! There will be no refunds! Your refund will be escaping this deathtrap with your life! If you have a small child, use it as a shield! They love the tender meat! Cover your sodas! Dewie loves sugar!

9. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Indiana Jones: Brutal couple of years, huh, Charlie? First Dad, then Marcus.
Dean Charles Stanforth: We seem to have reached the age where life stops giving us things and starts taking them away.

8. Role Models
Gayle Sweeny: You know what I used to have for breakfast? Cocaine. Know what I had for lunch? Cocaine.
Wheeler: What did you have for dinner?
Danny: Was it cocaine?

7. Doubt
Father Brendan Flynn: You have no right to act on your own! You have taken vows, obedience being one! You answer to us! You have no right to step outside the church!
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: I will step outside the church if that's what needs to be done, till the door should shut behind me! I will do what needs to be done, though I'm damned to Hell! You should understand that, or you will mistake me.

6. The Dark Knight
The Joker: We really should stop this fighting, otherwise we’ll miss the fireworks.
Batman: There won’t be any fireworks.
The Joker: And here we go…[Joker waits for an explosion that doesn’t happen]
Batman: What were you trying to prove? That deep down everyone’s as ugly as you? Your alone.
The Joker: Can’t rely on anyone these days. You gotta do everything yourself. Don’t we? That’s okay. I came prepared. It’s a funny world we live in. Speaking of which, you know how I got these scars?
Batman: No, but I know how you got these. [Joker is hit with a projectile and thrown off the building]
The Joker: [after Batman "saves" him from falling] Oh, you. You just couldn't let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You truly are incorruptible, aren't you? You won't kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness and I won't kill you because you're just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.
Batman: You'll be in a padded cell forever.
The Joker: Maybe we can share one. They'll be doubling up, the rate this city's inhabitants are losing their minds.
Batman: This city just shown you that it's full of people ready to believe in good.
The Joker: Until their spirit breaks completely. Until they get a good look at the real Harvey Dent, and all the heroic things he's done. You didn't think I'd risk losing the battle over Gotham's soul in a fistfight with you? No. You need an ace in the hole. Mine's Harvey.
Batman: What did you do?
The Joker: I took Gotham's white knight and I brought him down our level. It wasn't hard. You see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push! [the Joker laughs non-stop as Batman walks away and the cops come to arrest him]

5. Tropic Thunder
Kirk Lazarus: Everybody knows you never go full retard.
Tugg Speedman: What do you mean?
Kirk Lazarus: Check it out. Dustin Hoffman, 'Rain Man,' look retarded, act retarded, not retarded. Counted toothpicks, cheated cards. Autistic, sho'. Not retarded. You know Tom Hanks, 'Forrest Gump.' Slow, yes. Retarded, maybe. Braces on his legs. But he charmed the pants off Nixon and won a ping-pong competition. That ain't retarded. Peter Sellers, "Being There." Infantile, yes. Retarded, no. You went full retard, man. Never go full retard. You don't buy that? Ask Sean Penn, 2001, "I Am Sam." Remember? Went full retard, went home empty handed...

4. Kung Fu Panda
Tai Lung: The Wuxi finger hold!
Po: Oh, you know this hold?
Tai Lung: You're bluffing. You're bluffing! Shifu didn't teach you that.
Po: Nope. I figured it out. Skadoosh!

3. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Marion Ravenwood: I'm sure I wasn't the only one to go on with my life. There must have been plenty of women for you over the years.
Indiana Jones: There were a few. But they all had the same problem.
Marion Ravenwood: Yeah, what's that?
Indiana Jones: They weren't you, honey.

2. The Dark Knight
[last lines]
Lt. James Gordon: People will lose hope
Batman: They won’t. They must never know what he did.
Lt. James Gordon: Five dead, two of them cops. You can’t sweep that over
Batman: But the Joker cannot win. Gotham needs its true hero.
Lt. James Gordon: No
Batman: You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. I can do those things, because I’m not a hero, not like Dent. I killed those people. That’s what I can be. Lt. James Gordon: No, no, you can’t. Your not!
Batman: I’m whatever Gotham needs me to be. Call it in.
Lt. James Gordon: (At Dent’s funeral) A hero, not the hero we deserved but the hero we needed. Nothing less than a Knight…shining.
Lt. James Gordon: (to Batman) They'll hunt you.
Batman: You'll hunt me. You'll condemn me. Set the dogs on me. Because that's what needs to happen. Because sometimes, truth isn’t good enough. Sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.
Lt. James Gordon’s Son: Batman! Batman. Why is he running dad?
Lt. James Gordon: Because we have to chase him.
Lt. James Gordon’s Son:He didn’t do anything wrong.
Lt. James Gordon: Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight.

1. The Dark Knight
Batman: You wanted me. Here I am.
The Joker: I wanted to see what you’d do, and you didn’t disappoint. You let five people die. Then…you let Dent take your place. Even to a guy like me, that’s cold.
Batman: Where’s Dent?
The Joker: Those mob fools want you gone so they can get back to the way things were. But I know the truth: there's no going back. You've changed things... forever.
Batman: Then why do you want to kill me?
The Joker: [laughs] I don't want to kill you! What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off mob dealers? No, no, NO! No. You... you... complete me.
Batman: You're garbage who kills for money.
The Joker: Don't talk like one of them. You're not! Even if you'd like to be. To them, you're just a freak, like me! They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these... these civilized people, they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve. Batman: Where is Dent?
The Joker: You have all these rules and you think they'll save you.
Lt. James Gordon: [Batman slams the Joker against a wall] He's in control.
Batman: I have one rule.
he Joker
: Then that's the rule you'll have to break to know the truth.
Batman: Which is?
The Joker: The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules. And tonight you're gonna break your one rule.
Batman: I'm considering it.
The Joker: No, there's only minutes left, so you're gonna have to play my little game if you want to save one of them. You know for a while there, I thought you really were Dent, the way you threw yourself after her. [Batman slams the Joker against a table] Look at you go. Does Harvey know about you and his little bunny? [Batman slams the Joker into glass, busting it a little]
Batman: Where are they!?
The Joker: Killing is making a choice.
Batman: Where are they!?
The Joker: Choose between one life or the other. Your friend, the district attorney, or his brushing bride to be. [Batman begins to punch the Joker as the Joker begins to laugh] You have nothing…nothing to threaten me with, nothing to do with all your strength. Don’t worry, I’m gonna tell you where they are, both of them. And that’s the point. You’ll have to choose.

2008 Leaman Awards: Superlatives (Web Edition)

Most Disappointing Film of the Year
“Given to the film that falls the farthest below its expectations”
Winner: Synecdoche, New York
Runner-Up: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Comments: Writer/Director Charlie Kaufman is one of the best screenwriters working in Hollywood today, and his previous two films (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind & Adaptation) are two films that I own and watch on a consistent basis. However, the usual depth and wit present in a Kaufman film has worked against me in Synecdoche, because I just don’t understand the film. What makes it the most frustrating and disappointing for me is that I can’t tell if there is a whole world of depth to the film that is beyond me, or if I really do fully get the film, and that’s all there is to it.

Most Surprising Film of the Year
“Given to the film that soared the highest above its expectations”
Winner: Kung Fu Panda
Runner-Up: Rachel Getting Married

Comments: Outside of Pixar studios, Dreamworks is the only studio to put out quality animated films on a somewhat consistent basis; but that still didn’t keep me from having low expectations for Kung Fu Panda (in fact I didn’t even plan on seeing it). So it was to my surprise that Kung Fu Panda turned out to be a splendidly fun animated film. Kung Fu Panda features some lovely animation, a simply told story, and a real passion for the kung fu genre. It has all the lightness and charm of The Emperor’s New Groove combined with the kinetically choreographed action of The Incredibles, a true surprise.

(I chose this poster because it looks like Wall *E is saying, "Why pick on little ol' me")
Most Overrated Film of the Year
“Given to the Film that is consistently cheered when it should be jeered”
Winner: Wall *E
Runner-Up: Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Comments: How on earth do I put one of the year’s most critically acclaimed films as overrated? Certainly Wall *E is a decent story as well as a true triumph of art direction and sound design; but as anything deeper than a cute robot love story, I think it ultimately fails (and I realize how much it really is "I", as most of the world disagrees). I felt that while Wall *E’s basic storyline was entertaining, its underlying themes (anti-corporation, anti-consumer, and that humans are inherently lazy) and accusations against human nature not only rang untrue, but miss the truth about humanity all-together. Much like Slumdog Millionaire, I felt Wall *E is a competent and compelling story, just not one to think about too much.

Most Underrated Film of the Year
“Given to the film that is consistently jeered when it should be cheered”
Winner: Speed Racer
Runner-Up: Traitor

Comments: Lampooned by both the critics and the populace alike, Speed Racer was one of the biggest flops of the year. Several critics called it headache inducing and simply labeled it just another special effects laden film of the OCD age. To say that is to really miss the originality and creativity of the film and the genius that the Wachowski brothers brought to Speed Racer. On display here is a comprehensive new perspective on putting a film together; the writing, the editing, the cinematography, and most of all the direction perfectly cohere to compose a truly unique cinematic film. Aside from the creativity and the uniqueness of the film, it really is an enjoyable movie, with a great message about the importance of family. I hope the world gives this film a second chance, for its one of the standout films of 2008.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

2008 Movie Year: Reviews and Awards

Below you will find links to all the material I wrote for 2008 including, grades, reviews, and awards. This post is mostly so I could catalogue easily all the content I've written. This way I can clear the sidebar of all 2008 grades and reviews, while still giving you a place to find them all. Enjoy!

2008 Leaman Awards:
- Top Ten List and Beyond
- Major Awards and Commentary
- Technical & Minor Awards
- Supplementary Awards
- Top 25 Quotes

Film Grades and Reviews
10,000 BC (C-)
21 (B-)
27 Dresses (C-)
American Teen (C)
An American Carol (D+)
Appaloosa (C)
Australia (B-)
Baby Mama (C+)
Bangkok Dangerous (C+)
Bank Job, The (B)
Be Kind Rewind (C-)
Bedtime Stories (C-)
Body of Lies (B-)
Bolt (B+)
Burn After Reading (B-)
Cassandra's Dream (C+)
Changeling (C+)
Charlie Bartlett (D+)
Chronicles of Narnia, The: Prince Caspian (C+)
CJ7 (C-)
Cloverfield (B)
Counterfeiters, The (B+)
Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The (C+)
Dark Knight, The (A)
Death Race (B-)
Defiance (B)
Doomsday (B-)
Doubt (A-)
Duchess, The (C-)
Eagle Eye (C+)
Encounters at the End of the World (B+)
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (C+)
Fall, The (B-)
Fireproof (C+)
Flash Point (B)
Foot Fist Way, The (C-)
Forbidden Kingdom, The (C+)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (C-)
Frost/Nixon (B-)
Frozen River (B+)
Funny Games (B)
Get Smart (C-)
Ghost Town (B-)
Gran Torino (B)
Hancock (C+)
Happening, The (D+)
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
High School Musical 3: Senior Year (C)
Horton Hears a Who (C-)
House Bunny, The (C+)
In Bruges (B)
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (D+)
Incredible Hulk, The (C+)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (C+)
Iron Man (C+)
Journey to the Center of the Earth (B)
Jumper (B)
Kung Fu Panda (A-)
Love Guru, The (D+)
Mamma Mia! (B-)
Man on Wire (B)
Milk (C+)
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (B-)
Mongol (C)
Mummy, The: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (C-)
Other Boleyn Girl, The (C+)
Pineapple Express, The (C)
Quantum of Solace (B)
Rachel Getting Married (A-)
Rambo (B)
Reader, The (C)
Redbelt (C+)
Revolutionary Road (C+)
Role Models (B+)
Ruins, The (C)
Saw V (B-)
Semi-Pro (C)
Seven Pounds (C+)
Sex and the City - The Movie (B-)
Slumdog Millionaire (B)
Snow Angels (B-)
Son of Rambow (B)
Speed Racer (B+)
Spiderwick Chronicles (B)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (C)
Step Brothers (C-)
Step Up 2: The Streets (C)
Strangers, The (C-)
Street Kings (B)
Superhero Movie (C)
Synecdoche, New York (C+)
Traitor (B+)
Transporter 3 (C)
Tropic Thunder (B-)
Valkyrie (B)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (C+)
Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show (B-)
Visitor, The (B-)
W (C-)
Wall *E (C+)
Wanted (C+)
What Happens in Vegas (C-)
Wrestler, The (B)
Yes Man (C-)
You Don't Mess With the Zohan (B-)

1500th Film -
1500th Film Viewed All-Time. Here is the Review

2008 Leaman Awards: Supplementary (Web Edition)

In order to cap off the film year that was 2008, I decided to post a stripped down version of my 2008 awards. For quite a while I wondered how I should go about posting my film awards and since the actual printed and bound version is over 30 pgs. long (front and back, and avaliable in the Leaman Awards Archives), I felt it was just too difficult to reprint them all here, graphics and all. So, for those who have been following along with me, I am posting a stripped down version, in order to make it avaliable online. What follows are my "SUPPLEMENTARY AWARDS", and my favorite aspect of the entire awards experience.

2008 Supplementary Awards

-Top Ten Tag Lines-
10. “They’re about to get more than they plea-bargained for” –Role Models
9. “Take a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget” –Mamma Mia!
8. “Make believe. Not war” –Son of Rambow
7. “He sees dead people…and they annoy him” –Ghost Town
6. “Welcome to a world without rules” –The Dark Knight
5. “This summer, our only hope is something incredible” –The Incredible Hulk
4. “Why so serious?” –The Dark Knight
3. “Some will fall. Some will fly” –Snow Angels
2. “1974. 1350 Feet Up. The artistic crime of the century” –Man on Wire
1. “The true story of a heist gone wrong…in all the right ways” –The Bank Job

-Bottom Five Tag Lines-
5. “Life isn’t measured in minutes, but in moments” –The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
4. “To find her son, she did what no one else dared” -Changeling
3. “It’s not where your from, it’s where your at” –Step Up 2: The Streets
2. “Same planet. Different world” –Journey to the Center of the Earth
1. “Big science has expelled smart new ideas from the classroom…What they forgot is that every generation has its rebel” –Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

-Top Fifteen Dramatic Scenes-
15. “Frank finds something in the bathroom closet and confronts April about it” –Revolutionary Road
14. “The child is shot off-screen” –Funny Games
13. “Suicide Attempt” –In Bruges
12. “Philippe makes his walk across the towers” –Man on Wire
11. “Sister Aloysius discusses her suspicion about Father O’Flynn with the mother of the child” –Doubt
10. “Ben Thomas fulfills his plans and blesses his strangers” –Seven Pounds
9. “Lee Carter gets to see the finished film” –Son of Rambow
8. “A lone penguin walks off to the mountains to certain death” –Encounters at the End of the World
7. “Dishwasher Showdown Ends with an Unexpected Plate” –Rachel Getting Married
6. “Final Moments with Batman and the Joker” –The Dark Knight
5. “The Final Stretch into the checkered at the Grand Prix” –Speed Racer
- It’s a good action sequence in its own right, but the complete synergy of the action, editing, color bursts, and dialogue is outstanding.

4. “Surprised by an Old Friend at the Salon” –Rachel Getting Married
- For whatever reason, this sequence had the greatest emotional impact on me. The way in which the Old Friend stares directly in the camera was just moving and unnerving.

3. “Final Confrontation between the Sister and the Father” –Doubt
- A master’s class of acting. Two heavyweights in a classic fight.

2. “Rachel Readies Kym for the Wedding” –Rachel Getting Married
- A genuinely touching moment of forgiveness and grace. A scene that dialogue, but speaks volumes.

1. “Batman interrogates the Joker leading to Rachel Dawes’ lasts moments, Harvey Dent’s downfall, and the Joker’s freedom” The Dark Knight
- My favorite sequence in the film. There is so much going on here, its riveting, its full of deep thoughts and competing ideas, a visual masterpiece, and an authentically moving piece of cinema.

- Top Twenty-Five Action Scenes -
30. Two Civilians Escape the Cops and End Up at the Docks -Eagle Eye
29. Paladins follow them to their lair: Jumping a Bus -Jumper
28. Getting Revenge: Taking Out the General and Mr. Green -Quantum of Solace
27. Bolt takes on Helicopters and Bikers in an Opening Extravaganza -Bolt
26. Skyscraper Showdown with Swat and the Joker -The Dark Knight
25. Chasing Cross On The Train -Wanted
24. Through the University by Motorbike -Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
23. On the Rope Bridge -Kung Fu Panda
22. Telmarines Attack the Narnian Stronghold -The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
21. Opening Car Chase Through the Italian Mountains -Quantum of Solace
20. Suprise Attacked by Mauraders When Examining a Site -Doomsday
19. Casa Cristo Race Part 1: In the Deserts -Speed Racer
18. Fighting Over a Detonator...While Jumping Through Countries -Jumper
17. Extracting the Prisoners leads to Rambo Using a Giant Gun -Rambo
16. Lu Yan and Jason take on Soldiers in a Restaurant -The Forbidden Kingdom
15. Death Race Stage 1: Last Place Finish -Death Race
14, Chase Through Brazil and Into the Bottling Factory -The Incredible Hulk
13. Assassin Fight: From Elevator to the Street -Flash Point
12. Sneak Attack on the Castle -The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
11. Dragon Warrior Showdown Finale -Kung Fu Panda

10. Across the Rooftops: Chasing Down M's Killer -Quantum of Solace
- A great visceral action sequence, but clearly Bourne derived

9. Ogre and Goblins Attack the House for the Book -The Spiderwick Chronicles
- It’s a full on battle mixing great camera work, excellent CGI, and some truly suspenseful moments. Who would of thought from a family film?

8. Racing the Marauders to the Walls -Doomsday
- Its an excellent extended car chase scene straight out of The Road Warrior

7. Breaking Out of Prison -Kung Fu Panda
- A detailed prison escape that truly defines the idea of epic.

6. Casa Cristo Race Part 2: In the Mountains -Speed Racer
- Its part car race, part gun fight, part actual fight, and it’s an overall great action sequence.

5. Jackie vs. Jet: Enough Said -The Forbidden Kingdom
- It’s not the instant classic that true fans desire, but it’s an great fight filled with several styles, good pacing and all of the staples we look for.

4. Transporting Harvey Dent and Capturing the Joker -The Dark Knight
- It may not be the outright grandest scene, but the buildup, the camera work, the sound design, and the pacing all work together for a bulldozer of a scene.

3. Battle Royale Finale -Role Models
- Witty, creative, and completely original.

2. Try and Eat...If You Can -Kung Fu Panda
- An absolute delight. All the best Kung Fu staples, translated perfectly into the context of the film.

1. Abandoned Home Fight -Flash Point
- One of the greatest martial arts sequences of all-time (I've seen my fair share of fight scenes as well). It’s a long and brutal fight scene that never relents. A fight for the ages. (WATCH and ENJOY!)

Special Recognition
- The following is a list of things in 2008 that barely missed a category or just deserved a category of there own. Some are good, some are bad, but they all deserved some recognition.

- Best Compilation of Work: Meryl Streep (Mamma Mia!, Doubt) and Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, Charlie Bartlett, Tropic Thunder). Both actors gave great performances in wildly different films.

- Eric Bana Award: (For the Best Performance in a Bad Film, as Bana gave in Troy) Brendan Fraser in Journey to the Center of the Earth and Kathryn Heigl in 27 Dresses. Both were able to take films that were otherwise pedestrian and give make them just a pleasure to watch.

- Hairspray Award: (For the best 1st Half of a Movie Ruined by a Terrible 2nd Half, like Hairspray) After a wonderful first half that takes place mostly in Brazil, The Incredible Hulk settles down into a mindless and boring Superhero film.

- Spider-Man 3 Award: (For the most awkward moment of the year, like Peter Parker becoming Emo and walking down the street) Drinking beer and singing songs together in Hellboy II: The Golden Army

- Gary Oldman Award: (For the most over the top performance of the year) Mr. Blue in The Incredible Hulk, and Boss in Wanted.

- Best Song: “The Wrestler” from The Wrestler

- Guilty Pleasure of the Year: Saw V

- Special Achievement in Visual Effects: The “jumping” effect for Jumper. Water God destroying an entire army on a bridge in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. All the different versions of the iron man suit in Iron Man.

- Creative Ideas That Made Me Happy: The batpod coming out of the damaged Batmobile in The Dark Knight. The Joker’s disappearing pencil trick in The Dark Knight. The idea of putting Michael Buffer as a bad guy in You Don’t Mess With the Zohan. The “Russian Roulette” scene in Semi-Pro.

- Best Comedic Bit Roles: Jane Lynch in Role Models and Steve Martin in Baby Mama.

- Best Documentary: Encounters at the End of the World beats out a close Man on Wire.

- Worst CGI of the Year: The blue screen work for the jungle car chase sequence in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

- Worst Make-up of the Year: Another Indiana Jones shout out here as Karen Allen is given some of the worst make-up I’ve seen for a leading lady.

- Worst Performances: Mos Def in Be Kind Rewind, Natalya Rudakova in Transporter 3 and Jack McBrayer in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

- Worst Performance in a Good Film: Mary Louise Parker in The Spiderwick Chronicles

- Terrible 3 Award: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is a triple winner: the worst third part of a trilogy, the worst re-cast (Maria Bello), and the worst movie to come out of a good trailer

Stay Tuned for the rest of The 2008 Leaman Awards!