The 1st Annual Jammies – celebrating the best (and worst) of film in 2014

After talking about award shows incessantly for the last 20-odd years, it seems strange that the idea to create my own awards has never crossed my mind. So here we are with the 1st Annual Jammies – The Jam Report’s very own end-of-year awards, honouring the best, and worst, in cinema for 2014.

Now I know what you’re thinking, and no, this won’t just be another boring old Best Actor, Actress, Director type awards. I wanted to do something different, and maybe a little less stuffy, so I’ve created categories that aren’t what you’re going to see over and over again during the next two months of awards season. I’m also not limiting myself to a certain number of nominees for each category, so you will notice some have the usual five, and others have a couple of extra ones I just couldn’t eliminate.

So without further ado, let the 1st Annual Jammies commence!

Box-Office Shocker
This award is given to the box-office result that surprised the most in 2014, whether that be in a positive way or a negative way. And the nominees are:

Despite early low predictions, Maleficent takes $750m+ and ends the year as the third highest grossing film worldwide

Transformers: Age of Extinction makes over a billion dollars worldwide, thanks in large part to a staggering $300m+ box office return from China alone

In the battle of Marvel’s superheroes, the unknown entity Guardians of the Galaxy out-grosses the well-known Captain America: The Winter Soldier, ultimately ending the year as the second highest grossing film worldwide

The LEGO Movie makes over $450m at the box office, on a modest $60m budget (yes folks, $60m is now considered “modest”, especially given Big Hero 6 and How to Train Your Dragon 2 cost over $150m each)

Interstellar is the only original film in the ten highest grossing films of the year

Gone Girl scores a staggering $350m+ at the worldwide box office

And the winner is – all of them! They were all absolute shock results, and ultimately made a mockery of anyone who thought they knew how to predict box office results in 2014. There is usually a fairly exact science to these things, but the above examples once again prove that nobody knows anything when it comes to Hollywood.

Biggest Disappointment
This award is given to the film that held such great promise, but ultimately failed to deliver on that potential. These films could have all been dynamite winners, but due to various reasons, they all were ultimately disappointments. And the nominees are:

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Godzilla

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1

Jersey Boys

Lucy

Maleficent

And the winner is – Maleficent. Ah, Disney. What the hell did you do? You took one of the greatest villains in your vault, and turned her into one of the sappiest characters seen on film this year. I’m all for re-invention, but this went way too far. One of the most infamous traits of Maleficent is her ability to turn into a dragon…well, not this in this version! The trailers promised an all-out Angelina Jolie villain bitch-fest…and instead, we got a Disney villain who was confusingly sweet, caring, and bizarrely sentimental? No thanks. I fear for what they’ve done with 2015’s Cinderella. Perhaps the glass slipper won’t fit? Perhaps she’ll stay locked in her room? Perhaps she won’t even go to the ball at all. Who knows what to expect from the House of Mouse and their remakes.

Biggest Surprise
This award is given to the film that achieved the polar opposite of the above category, managing to please and delight without any real prior warning or buzz. There’s nothing better than being truly delighted by a film that you expected nothing much from or had extremely low expectations of. And the nominees are:

The Babadook

Boyhood

Edge of Tomorrow

Guardians of the Galaxy

The LEGO Movie

Nightcrawler

I could really call another tie with this category, because by very definition alone, they are the best surprises of the year. Alas, ties are not what awards shows are about, so the winner is – Guardians of the Galaxy. This film was Marvel’s first big risk, and yet, it’s quite possibly their crowning achievement. I don’t think anyone expected such a brilliantly entertaining piece of cinema that involved a talking raccoon and a walking tree that utters three words. Bravo, Marvel.

Best Performance
This award is probably the closest to a category typically seen throughout awards season, and is given to the most outstanding performance seen on film in 2014. And the nominees are:

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game

Essie Davis in The Babadook

Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler

J.K. Simmons in Whiplash

Patricia Arquette in Boyhood

Tilda Swinton in Snowpiercer

And the winner is – Jake Gyllenhall for his incredible career-best performance as Lou in Nightcrawler. All the above nominees gave truly phenomenal performances, and will be remembered for years to come, but there’s just something extra special about Gyllenhaal’s work. Lou is perhaps the most disturbing character of the year, and yet somehow Gyllenhaal fills him with so much charisma that you find yourself rooting for him to succeed. Manic, unhinged, determined, intimidating, brutal. An absolute master-class in acting. He’ll be the one I’m cheering for at the Oscar nominations announcement.

Best Voice-Over Performance
This award was created because it was truly a stellar year for voice-over work, so this will be given to the actor who managed to create a brilliant performance with nothing but their voice. And the nominees are:

Bradley Cooper in Guardians of the Galaxy

Cate Blanchett in How to Train Your Dragon 2

Scarlett Johansson in Her

Scott Adsit in Big Hero 6

Vin Diesel in Guardians of the Galaxy

And the winner is – Scarlett Johansson for her immaculate voice-over work as Samantha in Her. I can’t be the only one that fell completely in love with Samantha, through nothing but the sound of her voice. Johansson delivers so much heart and warmth to a character that does not even exist, something you just don’t see on the screen very often. A story about a man and a computer voice should not make you feel anything, and yet, this is the greatest love story of the year. Johansson is sublime, and deserves this award for achieving a fully developed character, without any physical attributes or facial expressions.

Worst Performance
This award is given to the performance that elicited the worst kind of emotions a film-goer can experience. These actors are all usually quite impressive (two Oscar winners, one Oscar nominee and an Emmy/Tony Award winner), but they all took a bad misstep this year with these woeful performances. And the nominees are:

Bryan Cranston in Godzilla

Jamie Foxx in The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1

Mark Wahlberg in Transformers: Age of Extinction

The entire cast of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

And the winner is Bryan Cranston, for his shout-filled performance in the atrocious Godzilla reboot. I love me some Heisenberg, and his performance in Breaking Bad is truly one of the greatest ever seen on the small screen, but good lord he is so, so bad in an already bad film. Every line is delivered with such over-exaggeration that it quickly becomes the most farcical performance of the year. Thankfully we were spared too much pain when he was squashed about 15 minutes into the film. Oh, sorry. *SPOILER ALERT*. Maybe stick to television or theatre for now, Mr White.

Break-Out Performance
This award is given to the performance that blew audiences away and introduced us to a star that we were either shamefully ignoring or had never had a chance to notice before. And the nominees are:

Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy and The LEGO Movie

Essie Davis in The Babadook

Miles Teller in Whiplash

Riz Ahmed in Nightcrawler

Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl

And the winner is – Miles Teller for his superb performance in the brilliant Whiplash. If the category wasn’t already so crowded this year, Teller would be a shoe-in for a Best Actor Oscar nomination. Sadly it’s likely his time will have to come later. That still doesn’t take anything away from his astonishingly good turn as Andrew, the music student subjected to Fletcher’s (J.K. Simmons, in electrifying form) unrelenting torment. While Teller isn’t exactly a fresh face, he has never had a chance to truly shine like this, and the future is incredibly bright for this formidable talent. Expect bigger and better things to come.

Best Moment
This award is given to that one special stand-out moment from a film that lives with you long after you’ve left the cinema. And the nominees are:

Baymax runs on low battery in Big Hero 6

Benny the Space Guy finally gets to build his spaceship in The LEGO Movie

Barbara kindly instructs her mother to eat the fish in August: Osage County

The big “reveal” in Gone Girl, and no, I’m not talking about Ben Affleck’s penis. Get your mind out of the gutter

Maleficent places her infamous curse in Maleficent (literally the only good moment in the entire film)

Andrew bleeds for his art in Whiplash

Hazel reacts to that phone call in The Fault in Our Stars

Koba + machine guns + a horse in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The entire street-chase finale sequence in Nightcrawler

Jenko reveals his name is Jeff in 22 Jump Street

And the winner is – Koba’s machine gun attack atop a horse in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. It’s the scene you never knew you needed to see. A talking ape, riding a horse, firing two machine guns at the same time. Boom. I wanted to stand up and applaud. The best moment of cinema this year.

Best Music Moment
This award is given to that special stand-out moment from a film that involves music in some way. Let’s be honest…Guardians could take this on its soundtrack alone. And the nominees are:

The city of Bricksburg discovers “Everything is Awesome” in The LEGO Movie

Baby Groot dances to The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” in Guardians of the Galaxy

Milo lip-synchs to Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” in The Skeleton Twins

Star Lord makes his cinematic entrance by grooving to Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love” in Guardians of the Galaxy

The unsettling and bizarre classroom sing-a-long in Snowpiercer

And the winner is – Baby Groot for his utterly delightful dancing that will forever bring a giant smile to my face. Short, sweet, but completely glorious and memorable. The fact that this tiny moment has created an entire pop-culture phenomenon shows how brilliant a moment it was.

Dream Team/Duo
This award is given to the duo or team that worked together in perfect harmony to create movie magic in 2014. And the nominees are:

The Guardians of the Galaxy in Guardians of the Galaxy

Jenko and Schmidt in 22 Jump Street

Jordan and Donnie in The Wolf of Wall Street

Lou and Rick in Nightcrawler

Maggie and Milo in The Skeleton Twins

And the winner is – Marvel’s rag-tag team of misfits, otherwise known as the Guardians of the Galaxy. Only the geniuses at Marvel could bring together a human, an alien, a tree, a raccoon, and whatever the hell Drax is, and make it work on so many levels. These five characters may begin the film as strangers, and even enemies, but they wind up as the greatest superhero team since The Avengers. I await their next adventure with baited breath.

Most Unnecessary Sequel, Remake, Reboot, or Re-imagining
This award is given to the sequel or remake that no one asked for, and was only a desperate attempt to grab some cash in the already overcrowded franchise marketplace. And the nominees are:

Annabelle

Annie

Horrible Bosses 2

Maleficent

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

The Purge: Anarchy

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Transformers: Age of Extinction

And the winner is – once again, all of them! Congratulations to the studio executives behind these films, for once again proving that the opportunity to make some dollars at the box-office generally outweighs the need to tell a good story. Who needs originality when you can just drag out the same shit that audiences have already seen before? I’m not against sequels and remakes. I’m against lazy sequels and remakes.

Most Anticipated Film of 2015
This award is given to the upcoming film that The Jam Report is counting down the days until, while at the same time praying that it doesn’t wind up taking next year’s Biggest Disappointment crown. And the nominees are:

Avengers: Age of Ultron

The Hateful Eight

Inside Out

Jurassic World

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

And the winner is – as much as I’m dying to see what Marvel, Tarantino, Pixar and those pesky dinosaurs do next, it has to be Star Wars: The Force Awakens. After the horrendously disappointing prequel trilogy, it’s time for the Star Wars franchise to rise again, and after his success with Star Trek, I have complete faith that J.J. Abrams is the man to make it happen. Sure, we’ve only seen 88 seconds of footage, but come on. It’s Star Wars, and this time, Disney are behind it. They won’t let him fuck it up. They need this franchise to succeed. Let the countdown begin.

Special Award of Excellence for the Criminally Underrated
This award is given to the performer who will shamefully be overlooked for nominations/wins during awards season this year, and so The Jam Report would like to give them something, since no one else will. And the nominees are:

Andy Serkis in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Carrie Coon in Gone Girl

Kristen Wiig in The Skeleton Twins

Rose Byrne in Bad Neighbours

Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow

And the winner is – Andy Serkis for another amazing motion-capture performance, this time in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The Academy, or pretty much all other awards body for that matter, fails to see the brilliance of motion-capture performances, and so once again, Serkis will be overlooked. It’s such a damn shame, because his performances are award-worthy, and just because a layer of CGI has been added shouldn’t change his ability to win awards. Once again, he proves he is the king of the field of work, and it will go down as the most underrated performance of the year.

Now there’s obviously one final award that is missing from the Jammies, and that is for the Best Film of 2014. But to reveal that now would spoil my annual top ten list post, so you shall have to wait for that to be revealed later this week. Who will make the top ten, and more importantly, who will come out on top this year? Find out soon.

Congratulations (and perhaps commiserations) to the winners of the 1st Annual Jammies. See you all next year. Good night!

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