I would dearly love to compose a “Best of” and “Worst of” 2015 movie list, except that I have seen only a fraction of the movies that came out this year. There are so many movies that fall under the following categories: a) Movies that I would have to be paid to sit through which amazingly enough, no one is offering to do. b) Movies that came and went so fast they didn’t even say goodbye. (“Rock the Kasbah” anyone?) and c) Movies that look awesome but which are still not yet around where I live, so to compile a list that truly represents what came out this year would be unfair.
So instead, I made this 2015 movie award list.
1. Best Random “Lord of the Rings” Reference: “Ted 2.” (“Do I have fuck-me eyes?” “No, you have Gollum eyes.”)
2. Same Role, Different Wig: Paul Giamatti who first tried to assume control of Brian Wilson’s (John Cusak’s) finances in “Love and Mercy,” and then did the same for N.W.A. in “Straight Outta Compton.”
3. Passive-aggressive Product Placement: Burger King in “Burnt.” (Big-deal chef played by Bradley Cooper compares the chain to “French peasant food.”)
Runner-up tie: Google Science Fair: the perfect cover for a group of teens dealing drugs in “Dope.” Or Amazon in “Dope.” (“OK, we’ll mention you in our movie but only in a convoluted metaphor justifying why a disadvantaged minority student should demonstrate his aptitude for the Ivy League by selling drugs that aren’t even his.”)
4. Best Tagline: “The Gift”: “The sins of the past are about to become your present.”
5. Best Performance by a Professional Athlete: LeBron James (playing himself) as Bill Hader’s guy pal in “Trainwreck.”
Runner-up: Tom Brady in “Ted 2.”
6. Best Use of an 80’s Pop Hit: “We Belong,” by Pat Benetar in “Pitch Perfect 2.”
Runner-up: Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl,’ in “Trainwreck.”
7. WTF Use of an 80’s Pop Hit That Later Turns Out to Make Sense: Tears for Fears’, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” in “Straight Outta Compton.”
8. Classical Piece You Will Never Hear Again the Same Way: Edward Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance,” (i.e. the Graduation March) in “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” Surely, Elgar never envisioned his work would be set to a film scene of heads exploding into fireworks.
9. Only in Hollywood Casting Choice: Adorable, not-in-the-least-hefty actress Mae Whitman as the “designated ugly fat friend,” of “The DUFF.”
10. Best Non-Human Performance: The dog in “The Gift.”
11. Best Non-Human Performance Carrying a Franchise: The orange cat who appeared as Buttercup in three of the four “Hunger Games” movies, including the final one, in which he goes paw-to-paw with Jennifer Lawrence expressing her grief by hurling half a china cabinet at him.
12. Franchise That Should Have Been Left to Rest In Peace: “Vacation.” The sound you heard when it opened was everyone who’d grown up enjoying the Chevy Chase franchise wailing and gnashing their teeth. Plus John Hughes spinning in his grave.
13. Most Depressing Depiction of the Future: “Tomorrowland,” in which, kids, only optimist geniuses need apply.
Runner-up “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.”
14. Most Awkward Sex Scene: Amy Schumer tries to seduce Ezra Miller in “Trainwreck” not knowing he’s underage and lives with his mother.
15. Most Awkward Non-Sex Bed Scene: Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro in “The Intern.”
16. Most Awkward Dinner Table Scene: Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger in “Black Mass.”
17. Most Awkward First Date: Elizabeth Banks and John Cusack in “Love and Mercy.”
18. Most Ironic Character Profession (Possibly Ever): Jason Bateman playing a man who works in the home security field in “The Gift.”
19. Most Dramatic Meltdown Under the Influence: Colin Firth takes out a church of rednecks in “Kingsman: The Secret Service.”
20. Most Dramatic Meltdown Sober: Bradley Cooper as an irate chef in “Burnt.”
Runner-up: Mark Ruffalo in “Spotlight.”
21. Most Convincing Present/Past Character: Helen Mirren and Tatiana Maslany in “Woman in Gold.”
22. Least Convincing Present/Past Character: Ben Kingsley and Ryan Reynolds in “Self/Less.”
24. Best Argument for Checking Props Beforehand: “Pitch Perfect 2.”
25. Best Argument for Reading the Directions to Your Rental Car: “Vacation.”
26. Best Argument for Insisting Your Hosts Show You Photos Prior to Arrival: “The Visit.”
27. Best Argument for Reading All That Stuff Your Wife Gives You Before Hiking: “A Walk in the Woods.”
28. Best Dressed Spy Character: Colin Firth and crew in “Kingsman: The Secret Service.”
29. Worst Dressed Spy Character But Still One With the Best Comebacks: Melissa McCarthy in “Spy.”
30. Best Summing Up of the Movie Plot By a Character Keeping a Straight Face: “Steve Jobs,” in which Michael Fassbender notes that it’s like everyone who knows him (Jobs)goes to a bar and gets drunk before a product launch then comes back and spouts off. A wink-wink, nudge-nudge moment?
And the 2016 So Far Most Flimsy Excuse for a Sequel goes to “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” which, from the plot point given away in the trailer, is pretty lame. Although the movie itself may be good.