Thursday, March 03, 2016

The (Late) 4th Bernel Zone Awards for Big Screen & Small Screen

Welcome to the 4th Bernel Zone Awards for Big Screen & Small Screen – this blog’s traditional, informal awards for the previous year’s film and TV.  This is kind of late since, in the past, I did this during February and before the Oscars.  Anyway, it has only been a few days after the 88th Academy Awards, so there’s still a lot of Oscars talk going around.  And for that, this Bernels is still somewhat timely…

Best Movie Hero: Mark Watney (The Martian)

In my review for the film, I compared Watney to Spider-Man (Peter Parker; need to point this out because various versions of Spider-Men are around at the present), one of my all-time favorite fictional characters ever.  Thus, it comes to no surprise why I get to love this character.   Watney maintains Spidey-like tenacity, courage, optimism, penchant for wisecracks, and level-headed cleverness even when facing an impossible obstacle.

Runners-up: Harry Hart a.k.a. Galahad (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Poe Dameron (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Scott Lang a.k.a. Ant-Man (Ant-Man)

Best TV Hero: The Flash (The Flash)

Here’s another character that I had compared to Spider-Man; I described the first impression of Barry Allen to me during the pilot as “Peter Parker-esque.”  He had lost most of that kind of charm during the series’ progression – especially the witty quips – but he is as lovable and interesting nonetheless.  The Flash is my most favorite TV show of 2015, and the characterization of its titular character is one of the main reasons why.  Wally West (“Timmverse”, comics) is still my most favorite Flash, but this Grant Gustin-portrayed version of Barry Allen is catching up fast.

Runners-up: The Twelfth Doctor (Dr. Who), Saitama (One-Punch Man), Matt Murdock a.k.a. Daredevil (Daredevil)

Best Movie Heroine: Rey (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

There were a couple of notable movie heroines in 2015, but I have to go with Rey.  It pleases me greatly that a female is serving as the “Luke Skywalker” character in these new Star Wars movies.  Daisy Ridley’s portrayal of the character seeps with charm, and her mysterious past adds a nice layer of intrigue on an already endearing characterization.  She might have some “Mary Sue” in her, but I still think she has a better character arc than Luke in A New Hope.

Runners-up: Imperator Furiosa (Mad Max: Fury Road), Ilsa Faust (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation), Hope van Dyne (Ant-Man), Athena (Tomorrowland)

Best TV Heroine: Jessica Jones (Jessica Jones)

It bugs me a little that this depiction of Jessica Jones can’t fly.  But aside from that, the live-action Jessica Jones is terrific, thanks to a combination of a well-written script that brilliantly fleshed out the character and Krysten Ritter’s impeccable performance in bringing the character to life.

Runners-up: Supergirl (Supergirl), The “Clone Club” (Orphan Black)

Best Movie Villain: Kylo Ren (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

Here’s the thing: if we compare Kylo Ren’s arc in The Force Awakens and Darth Vader’s arc in A New Hope (take note, exclusively on this movie alone), Kylo Ren is in fact a more compelling and refreshing villain (Darth Vader is, of course, an overall superior villain if we consider his overall depiction across the original trilogy and other media).  Kylo is not at all a full badass yet; he is confused, incompletely trained, struggling, and tends to throw tantrums, and thus, this vulnerability bring depth to the character, making him an interesting villain.  Plus, the character design is pretty kickass.

Best TV Villain: Kilgrave (Jessica Jones)

As what his stint in Doctor Who had proven, David Tennant is a very charismatic guy, which is why the Tenth Doctor is my favorite so far.  Likewise, David Tennant’s take on Kilgrave is pretty charismatic as well, albeit in a sinister sense.   Kilgrave is an undeniably despicable villain, and yet he oozes with charm and sophistication, that you couldn’t help being fascinated by him – as if his hypnotic powers are actually working on you through the screen.

Runners-up: Wilson Fisk a.k.a. the Kingpin (Daredevil), Harrison Wells a.k.a. Eobard Thawne a.k.a. Reverse Flash (The Flash), Zoom (The Flash), Damien Darhk (Arrow)

Best Movie Villainess: Gazelle (Kingsman: The Secret Service)

I thought this award was going to go to the much-hyped Captain Phantasm, but she actually had a surprisingly underwhelming outing in The Force Awakens.  Actually, 2015 movies had a poor amount of compelling villainess.  There are actually only two real contenders for this: Spy’s Rayna Boyanov and Kingsman’s Gazelle.  And I decided to go with the latter.  Gazelle is a mere henchman to the movie’s main villain, but I find her more interesting due to her calculating persona; lethal close combat skills; and, most importantly, her unique, weaponized prosthetic legs.

Runner-up: Rayna Boyanov (Spy)

Best TV Villainess: Dottie Underwood (Agent Carter)

To be honest, it was only during this year’s season two did I get to really like Dottie, the psychopathic Russian assassin in Agent Carter.  2015 TV’s crop of female villains failed to make a lasting impression on me.  So though I was only mildly interested with Dottie during the first season, I decided to give this award to her because of the lack of choices.

Best Movie Duo: Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin (Man from U.N.C.L.E.)

If Finn and Poe Dameron had spent more screen time together, they could have won this award.  They were great, but they didn’t have enough in them to topple CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB agent Illya Kuryakin, whose winning chemistry with each other serves as a big reason why The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was a delight to watch.

Best TV Duo: The Doctor and Clara Oswald (Doctor Who)

Clara Oswald’s final season as the Doctor’s companion provided a great character arc for her as well as the opportunity to explore her relationship with the Doctor much more deeply.

Best Movie Couple: Naruto and Hinata (The Last: Naruto the Movie)

It had already been established in the manga’s epilogue that Naruto and Hinata are going to get married.  So I found it nice that The Last was basically made to tell the story on how they finally got together.  Now if only the stories of how their friends became couples could be told as well...

Runners-up: Illya Kuryakin and Gabby Teller (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.), The Kid and Apple (Turbo Kid), Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne (Ant-Man), Evan and Louise (Spring)

Best TV Couple: Barry Allen and Patty Spivot (The Flash)

Most Adorable Movie Character: BB-8 (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

Duh.  Just look at it!

Most Adorable TV Character: Kara Zor-El a.k.a. Kara Danvers a.k.a. Supergirl (Supergirl)

And she grows more adorable in my eyes by the episode.

Breakout Actor I Want to See More Of: John Cena

As far as wrestling is concerned, I’m no John Cena fan.  But he was genuinely hilarious in Trainwreck that I now kind of want him to get more comedic roles in movies.

Most Cringe-Worthy Scene: No Escape’s near rape scene

No Escape was the most heart-stopping movie I’ve seen in 2015, for its realistic premise – an American family caught in a brutal coup in a Southeast Asian country – is way scarier than many horror movies.  The part wherein the wife is beaten and nearly raped while the husband helplessly watched made me very queasy – which is something gory, effects-driven movie violence can’t do to me.   I was so happy when James Bond showed up to put a stop to what would have been a horrifying occurrence.

Best (?) So-Bad-That-It’s-Good Movie: Pan

Pan is an objectively godawful mess of a movie.  But it was so bad that I found myself much entertained by how hilariously bad it is.

Worst Movie: Fant4stic

I originally taught of making a top 10 list for the worst 2015 movies I’ve watched, to be an antithesis for my list for best movies.  But during the process, I discovered that I only hated seven or eight movies.  And thus, I decided not to continue making such list.  Of course, I did see a couple of bad, disappointing, and mediocre movies in 2015, but I’ve felt I’ve derived some passable sense of enjoyment from them as movies,  and I’m not comfortable of putting them in a “worst” list if I hadn’t truly hated the fact that these movies were made.  One thing’s for sure, though, if I’ve had made a list for worst movies of 2015, Fant4stic would have been easily number one, and I would have pointed out that there’s a huge gap between it and the second place movie.

New TV Show That I Initially Didn’t Like but Eventually Warmed Up To: Supergirl

After watching the pilot, I wrote a “Pros and Cons” review of it.  My general conclusion was that I mostly didn’t like the show as far as the pilot was concerned, but I was willing to give it a chance.  However, as I watched it over time, I found that most of the “cons” were turning to “pros” one by one (I will discuss this more extensively in a review once the season is over).

Most Delightful Surprising TV Trivia Discovery: Cast of DC TV Shows Can Sing

It started when Barry Allen sang “Summer Nights” during an episode in the first season.  From that, I learned that actor Grant Gustin used to be in Glee (a show I didn’t watch for I thought it was overrated and boring).  Which led me to the awesome discovery that almost all of the cast of The Flash and Arrow can sing!  And when it came to my attention shortly after Supergirl’s pilot the fact that Melissa Benoist and Jeremy Jordan (especially him) are phenomenal singers, I concluded that in order to be cast in a DC TV show, one needs to know how to sing.  Seriously, a musical episode should be done by at least one of these shows already.

Worst Idea: Remaking Memento (?????!!!!!)

Seriously, this is a contender for most perplexing, needless, stupidest idea ever.  GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Best Anime Series: Parasyte -the maxim-

When I wrote my review for it, I mentioned that it’s the anime series to beat.  My exact words were “If the year ended today, Parasyte –the maxim– would be my choice for 'Best Anime Series of the Year'... Of course, there’s still half of the year to go, and it is still possible for another 2015 anime series to impress me more, but Parasyte is so good that it would take something really mindblowing to knock it off its pedestal.”  At year end, I still thought Parasyte –the maxim– was the best anime series I saw in 2015.  But it’s worth mentioning that One-Punch Man was a very close second; I even almost decided to go with that, but being already a complete story gave Parasyte a slight advantage over it.

Most Badass Stunt: Tom Cruise Hanging at the Side of a Plane Taking Off

When Mission: Impossible 5 was in production, the question on everyone’s mind was, “Can Tom Cruise can top his jaw-dropping, heart pumping stunt in Ghost Protocol, in which he hanged at the side of the tallest building in the planet?”  And the answer turned out to be “Yes.”

Best "Koreanovela": Kill Me, Heal Me

This category is here because I apparently became a K-Drama fan in 2015.  I equally liked Kill Me, Heal Me and Yong-Pal, but I think the former had the smarter writing.  So there.  

Best Smile: Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing (Jurassic World)
"Your boyfriend's a badass."

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