The Bradscribe Awards 2015: What Was Best: Maz, Max, Mish Or Machina?
“The academy may pride itself on its history, but the world around it is changing, and unless it begins to reflect these changes, I can see the Oscars ceasing to be of any relevance to a growing and vocal new generation of artists who see it as a relic of the old world” – David Harewood.
Hello and welcome to the Bradscribe Awards!
As we were blessed with a year brimming with various cinematic nuggets to choose from, it’s only fair to review it in our own lavish ceremony. And besides, many of you have been wondering – especially as this site has slagged off more than its fair share of crud these past twelve months – what actually managed to impress me during 2015!
One thing you can be certain about the Bradscribe Awards – activated to honour the criminally-overlooked field of science fiction: they are bright and visionary. And diverse. Nominees can be black, brown, blue or green. Or shiny and chrome.
Also, there’s lots of cake on offer…
Why Don’t The Oscars Celebrate SF?
“It is a genre that I think doesn’t get enough respect when you consider how many issues sci-fi brings up that we need to deal with” – Sigourney Weaver.
There seems to be an unwritten rule stipulating that science fiction – and fantasy, and horror, come to that – do not receive awards recognition in the main categories. Sure, the Academy recognises the technical achievements of this genre, but really, you can quite easily find some of the best scripts and acting in this continually innovative field.
In trying to sort this migraine out, trust longtime Bradscribe fave, Sigourney Weaver, to come to the rescue:
“The work being done in sci-fi is some of the most interesting, provocative work out there.”
Yet why should this genre tend to make little impact when Oscar season gets into full swing?
She has remarked how the Academy consists of “mostly people like me who are over a certain age” who tend to look for the “the more conventional movie.”
Uff, nuts to that.
Part of SF’s wonder is its ability to offer more unconventional thrills. Rather than get stuck in the same mundane, formulaic soup – which, let’s be honest, too many mainstream dramas do – the genre is experimental and challenging, vital components sought, surely, by the modern movie-goer.
Before launching into the main ceremony, here’s a little sketch to get you warmed up. Hey, it was either this, or a flashy-but-ultimately-pointless song-an’-dance extravaganza:
Without further ado, let’s get down to the essential categories:
Best SFX: Mad Max: Fury Road
Jurassic World just looked big; Star Wars: The Force Awakens looked impressive, but Namibia nabbed it.
Best Music Score: Mad Max: Fury Road
This would have been set aside for John Williams – continuing the fine tradition of classic scores for Star Wars – but on first viewing, the new score was barely discernible.
Best Original Screenplay: Ex Machina
Intellectually-stimulating sci-fi is what we crave at this site. Nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Oscar, how it did not win last night is my pet peeve of this year’s ceremony.
Congrats to Alex Garland, who made his directorial debut with this instant classic. Here, honestly, this Award was as predictable as that Titanic boy getting the Best Actor Oscar…
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Martian
Drew Goddard worked wonders with Andrew Weir’s novel.
Rising Star Of The Year
“It’s important that the conversation carries on… Everybody should be the change they want to see and go from there, but keep talking, keep doing” – John Boyega.
This Rogue Stormtrooper received most of the biggest laughs at the packed cinema this reviewer attended. While everybody is quite rightfully lauding Daisy Ridley as the new New Hope – an equally impressive entry to the SW galaxy, we should not overlook this young and promising boy from Peckham. The Oscars have, but Brad hasn’t…
Let’s assess candidates for the Woman Of The Year and Man Of The Year:
Woman Of The Year
Always keen to catch strong and memorable women’s roles, especially in SF. However, there seemed to be fewer notable women’s roles on offer this year. Emilia Clarke should have brought in an exceptional Sarah Connor, but had weak material with which to work; and Bryce Dallas Howard made a mark only by outrunning a T Rex. In high heels. Never gonna let that lie…
But who made it onto the final list?
Honestly, Sigourney should be here – for old times sake – but Chappie was so underwhelming; even she couldn’t make it bearable. Instead, we have plumped for:
5. Scarlet Witch
It was great to see Wanda Maximoff on the big screen at last, but so frustrating that she had so little to do, and had barely any “character” to develop sufficiently. Oh well, hope she gets more (worthy) screentime in the forthcoming Captain America: Civil War…
4. Maz Kanata
Maz is over one hundred years old, and she had – until those First Order loons swept in and trashed the place! – her own swell pad at which anyone in the galaxy can hang out; even got her own awesome statue outside it(!). She happens to possess Luke’s lightsaber, and also counts Chewie as her boyfriend. Way ta go, girl!
3. Imperator Furiosa
When Mad Max made his energising and explosive return to the big screen, little did anyone expect that Cherlize Theron would not only steal Immortan Joe’s War-Rig, but steal all the scenes in the year’s most explosive actionfest. Her presence was so seismic that the subtitle should have read: Furiosa Road.
2. Alicia Vikander
As Eva: the AI centre of attention in Ex Machina this Swedish actress made an immediate impact. And held her own against the big boys in The Man From UNCLE. Already looking forward to her next projects.
Congrats to Alicia for confounding the run of play by snatching the Best Supporting Actress gong; but really, she deserved the Best Actress Oscar. For a vastly more impressive picture…
This girl should go far. We hope.
1. Not surprisingly, the Real Greatest Woman of this – and, for that matter, every other – year just happens to be – unreservedly, wholeheartedly: Mrs. B, but seeing how we really should be talkin’ about movie stars (and me darlin’ still won’t reverse that online pics ban) let’s move swiftly on.
But in case you’re still wondering, you can find the Woman Of The Year here:
And now, on to the:
Man Of The Year
Always a personal fave comic character, it seemed inconceivable how the tiniest Avenger could transfer easily onto the big screen. Initially, Paul Rudd looked like a disastrous case of miscasting, but he helped make this little movie the surprise package of the year.
4. Andy Serkis
The actor most synonymous with motion capture – who lit up the Bradmonitor when he first crawled onscreen as Gollum – not only brought us our new villain of the Dark Side: Supreme Leader Snoke, but a traditional live action nasty called Ullysses Klaw in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Always a treat to watch, Serkis is the only reason to look forward to yet another Planet of the Apes sequel.
3. Kylo Ren
The villain of the long-awaited new Star Wars episode, had to make a rather special impact. Fotunately, Kylo Ren did just that. How many times has Brad replayed that scene of him staggering through the dark forest, then energising his lightsaber? Guess that correctly, dear reader, and YOU can have a slice of cake…
Best Supporting Actor Award for Adam Driver methinks?
“Look at me! Do I look like Iron Man?!”
Traditionally a formidable villain in the Avengers comic, a certain degree of trepidation led up to the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
No worries! They got the look just right. Voiced malevolently by the Amazing Spader-Man, he turned out to be supercool as well as superbad! And he was blessed with oodles of great lines!
In any other year, Ultron would have stolen this category, but there was one fella who managed to impress me even more, and that was:
1. Oscar Isaac
“There’s some stuff he’s got in his tool set which is properly rare. Fierce talent, that’s what you want – and that’s exactly what Oscar’s got. You don’t need to be a filmmaker to see it” – Alex Garland.
You may be thinking this was staged so that yours truly could chortle: “And the oscar goes to Oscar!”
Ha ha, no really, ever since spotting him steal scenes from the Crowe way back in Ridley Scott’s otherwise lacklustre Robin Hood, Isaac has been carving a very special niche in modern movies. He gave one of the best performances of the year in Ex Machina, but Poe Dameron was woefully underused.
We just can’t wait to see him steal the show as the eponymous archvillain in X-Men: Apocalypse!
Crud Of The Year
“It was stupid. It was trash… It was not a flop that quietly came and went without anyone noticing. It got the disrespect it deserved” – Joe Queenan.
Gotta take the rough with the smooth, so they say, but even so…
It’s hard to believe, but 2015 still manage to serve up some particularly underwhelming duds. Rather than rant eloquently about the ever-dwindling standard of movie-making, let’s get these turkeys out of the way, sharpish:
Chappie; Fant4stic Four; Jupiter Ascending; Pixels; Terminator: Genisys;
Even presented with the offer of sitting through this abysmal cack for free, you still couldn’t entice me. Honestly, you would think Game Of Thrones adequately paid Peter Dinklage’s rent, so why did he have to get involved in this tragedy?
Let’s cheer ourselves up with the:
Magic Moments Of The Year
Well, bless my frickin’ quarnex battery! Here are the most awesome scenes to have graced our local popcorn parlours this past year:
5. 2015 Arnie vs. 1984 Arnie in Terminator: Genisys
You can’t beat nostalgia. A stylish nod to the classic scene from the original Terminator movie. If only the rest of the movie was as cool as this. One to search for on Youtube only.
4. T Rex vs. Indominus Rex from Jurassic World
This fourth installment of the Dinoland franchise may not have wrangled its way onto my Best of The Year list, but the climactic scrap between these two giants evokes the spirit of the original Jurassic Park. An extra slice of cake for that Mosasaurus 😉 If anyone can get near it, that is…
3. Kylo Ren stops a laser blast in midair
So Snoke says Kylo needs to complete his training. If he can do that, his powers look pretty formidable to us!
2. That Ex Machina Dance
Just when you think you’re gonna bust some heavy-duty grey matter getting to grips with the premise of top class AI drama: Ex Machina, so Professor Isaac – really unexpectedly – teaches us how to cut up the dance floor – yeah! This was destined to be THE Magic Moment Of The Year, until we gawped at:
1. The Sandstorm from Mad Max: Fury Road
Let’s face it, all two hours of this exhilarating high-octane thrill-ride exudes movie magic of the highest calibre, but you can enjoy this classic scene right here:
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for!
Best Movie Of The Year
So, what provided the most outstanding viewing experience of the year?
- It was wonderful to be able to marvel at a new Star Wars movie, but although it was great to have new exciting characters and elements to savour, feelings that we were watching a retread of the 1977 original still filtered through.
- The Martian certainly provided our happiest visit to the cinema together this past year.
- Ex Machina is the solidly-written, well-crafted thought-provoking movie that the genre cries out for, but:
The frenetic energy, stunts, and sheer irresistible spectacle of Mad Max: Fury Road clinches it!
Last, but not least, is the:
Outstanding Contribution To Film
Douglas Slocombe was a British cinematographer of exceptional skill. Some of his film credits: Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), The Italian Job (1969) and the Indiana Jones trilogy, read like a list from the Bradscribe Hall of Fame.
He passed away last Monday aged 103. As a tribute, here is perhaps his most iconic work:
So, congrats to Max. Your cake is thoroughly well-deserved.
While compiling this Post, we were delighted to learn last night that Fury Road secured a mightily impressive hoard of six Oscars: Costume Design; Editing; Make-Up; Production Design; Sound Editing; and Sound Mixing.
But why stop there? Best Actress should have gone to Theron; moreover, Fury Road deserves Best Picture…
Officially the top cinematic sensation of 2015, show us your appreciation, Max:
Oh, what a year! What a lovely year!
And they discovered water on Mars. Which was nice.