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Alties 2005

Our Fifth Annual Celebration of the Good, the Bad, and the Only In Hollywood

Best Gay Cowboy: The Rock, Be Cool.

Posted 3/1/2006

Promise: Not a peep about those sheepherders falling in love. You have already heard and will hear plenty of hot air about that in the coming days. After the 78th annual Academy Awards this Sunday, middle-aged, heterosexual men will claim to explain to you what it means now that that movie has become so critically laureled—because, you know, the Oscars exert just that sort of cultural force. The musical came back after Chicago. Mel Gibson said his peace about martyrdom after Braveheart. Affluent white people really came to terms with their troubled lives following Ordinary People.

So disregard any sweeping big-picture grand ideas of what this batch of Oscar nominees really means, man, as if the foibles and trends of the beautiful people filling the Kodak Theatre actually affect your daily lives. You already know what you like and on what you’re willing to spend money. We were simply happy to see some longtime favorites—Philip Seymour Hoffman, Terrence Howard, David Strathairn, Felicity Huffman—get recognized for roles into which they could really sink their talents’ teeth. Below, our crew of eager voyeurs—Gary Dowell, Lee Gardner, Violet Glaze, Cole Haddon, Jess Harvell, Bret McCabe, Jason Torres, and Wendy Ward—remember what made sitting in the dark in 2005 really worth it. And the Altie goes to . . .

Best Comedy: The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Dowell: “A desperately horny Catherine Keener cries out, ‘Do you want me to dress like Thor? I’ll dress like Thor!’ and becomes the No. 1 masturbatory fantasy of comic-book nerds everywhere.”

Best Sci-Fi/Horror/Fantasy: Land of the Dead. Gardner: “Yes, it’s kind of cliché, but it’s smart and pissed off and, unlike Batman Begins, also funny.”

Best Kids Movie: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Ward: “So weird, so fantasy, so Michael Jacksony.”

Best Performance by Someone Who’s Not Taken Seriously as an Actor: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mysterious Skin.

Best Performance by Someone Who’s Not Taken Seriously as an Actress: Herbie, the Love Bug, Herbie: Fully Loaded.

Best Actor Forced to Do Crap in a Hollywood Movie: Clive Owen, Derailed. Ward: “He must be a sweetheart to try and help Jennifer Aniston get a movie career going, but if The Good Girl couldn’t do it, he can’t save her.”

Best Graceful Aging On-Screen: Joan Allen, The Upside of Anger and Yes. McCabe: “One, she somehow gets better looking the older she gets. Two, in both instances she plays women about her age dealing with full-on adult problems and finds time to make with the dirty boogie. Win-win.”

Best Ungraceful Aging On-Screen: Steve Martin, Shopgirl. Grey: “Looking like a white-wigged, albino sarcophagus plumped up with Botox and still irresistible to Clare Danes. As if.”

Best What-He-Always-Does: Vince Vaughn as a slimy, wisecracking prick in Mr. and Mrs. Smith. And Wedding Crashers. And Be Cool

Best Minor Character Who Needs His or Her Own Movie: Tim Roth’s mysterious perambulating attorney, Dark Water.

Best Ensemble: Serenity. Grey: “A telepathic, kung fu-crazy, Meg Tilly-esque supergirl (Summer Glau); mysterious yet piquantly hunky Shepherd Book (Barney Miller’s Ron Glass); a suave neo-con assassin (Dirty Pretty Things’ Chiwetel Ejiofor); an ass-kicking Amazonian African-American lieutenant (Gina Torres); and, as a cranky spaceship captain, Nathan Fillion, easily out-Han Soloing Harrison Ford.”

Best Guilty Pleasure: Counting down the age-of-consent clock on the leads in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Best Performance by an Artificial Life Form: Kong, King Kong. Torres: “I believed he loved her.”

Best Death: Mickey Rourke, Sin City. Dowell: “Sentenced to the electric chair, psycho killer Marv (Rourke) takes a gajillion volts and blithely replies, ‘Is that all you got, ya pansies?’”

Best Male Hair: Steve Carrell’s “man-o-lantern” chest pelt, The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

Best Female Hair in a Supporting Role: Keira Knightley’s 1988 skaterboi ’do, Domino. Glaze: “How can you be a hired assassin if your hair is in your eyes?”

Best Fight Scene: Oldboy’s single-take, 10-minute throw-down between a claw hammer-wielding hero and two dozen goons.

Best IM Idea: Me and You and Everyone We Know: “Say ‘You poop into my butt hole and I poop into your butt hole . . . back and forth . . . forever.’”

Best Gratuitous Nudity: Pubescent stunt patootie Alexis Dziena in Broken Flowers.

Best Western: Four Brothers.

Best On-Screen Freakiness: Mysterious Skin. Glaze: “A little kid comforts a retarded neighbor whose mouth he’d just burned with fireworks by masturbating him.”

Best Embarrassingly Unsuccessful Comeback: Jane Fonda, Monster in Law. Ward: “Why did Jane Fonda do this? Why? She’s so classy. Fuck JLo.”

The Gene Hackman Most Valuable Player Award for Being Absolutely Great in a Whole Bunch of Not-That-Great Movies: Tilda Swinton, Constantine, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Thumbsucker, Broken Flowers.

Best Documentary Unsuccessfully Twisted Into an Intelligent Design Argument: March of the Penguins.

The Paul Hewson Award for Excellence in Self-Aggrandizing, Pandering Wealthy White Guilt: Crash.

Most Sexually Oogey Achievement in Cinema: Split-screen scene showing Hilary Duff pretending to be a hot guy IMing her increasingly excited mom (Heather Locklear), The Perfect Man.

The Henry Jaglom Award for Excellence in Unfunny Narcissism: Albert Brooks, Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World.

Best Transgendered Performance: Johnny Depp, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Dowell: “It doesn’t take much to make Depp effeminate, but even less to make Felicity Huffman look like a man.”

Best Title That Already Sounds Like a Porn Film: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress.

Best 1970s Singer-Songwriter Beard: Jeff Daniels, The Squid and the Whale.

The Robert De Niro/Jake LaMotta Award: Christian Bale, for starving himself down to 120 pounds for The Machinist and then bulking up to be Batman in a matter of months.

Best Ringside Seat to a Tabloid Spectacle: Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Best Pregnant Chick Sex Scene: Munich.

Best Hammy Racist: Matt Dillon, Crash. Harvell: “No, wait, make that Sarah Silverman.”

Best Oscar-Nominated Song by an Act That Wrote “Slob on My Knob”: Three 6 Mafia’s “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” Hustle and Flow.

Best Utterly Repugnant Protagonist: Truman Capote, Capote.

Best Brodown: Wedding Crashers.

Best Product Placement: Chain-saw manufacturer Stihl, Saw II.

Worst Advertisement for Christianity: Constantine. Harvell: “Not to geek out or anything, but is it so wrong to want to see Satan’s victorious hellspawn munch on Keanu’s bowels for ruining one of the great comic-book characters?”

Best Cruel Nerd Bait-and-Switch: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Harvell: “An insufferable book turned into an insufferable movie, the only silver lining being the grimaces of pain from insufferable hard-core fans after waiting for it so damn long.”

Best Argument for the Existence of Clowns: Rize.

Man, That Was Ugly: Bewitched.

Best Gay Cowboy: The Rock, Be Cool.

Best Horror Movie Moment: The “It’s called head on a stick” knife to the back, Wolf Creek.

Best Homoerotic Moment in an Obsessively Homophobic Medium: The prison shower fight scene, Get Rich or Die Tryin’.

Best Gift for a 23-Year-Old Jewish Boy: Uma Thurman, Prime.

Worst Payoff: The interminable first 90 minutes of “story” that it takes for Doom to settle into first-person, kill-everything-that-moves mode.

Worst Episode of Numbers: Proof.

Best Lead Punch: The knee-to-the-noggin that Tony Jaa uses to put a rushing attacker out cold, Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior.

Best-Dressed FBI Agent: Sandra Bullock’s Gracie Hart, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. Ward: “Chanel, bitches.”

Best Film to Show Your Parents to Illustrate How They Fucked You Up: The Squid and the Whale. Ward: “And to think it took us so long to start drinking.”

Best Historical Accuracy: The almost constant smoking going on by everyone in Good Night, and Good Luck.

Best Dance Scenes: Roll Bounce. McCabe: “The only thing better than late-’70s teenage boy group dancing is late-’70s teenage boy group dancing on roller skates.”

Best Dance Face: Vince Vaughn, opening montage, Wedding Crashers. McCabe: “Vaughn looks, simultaneously, like he’s having a blast, like he’s about to injure himself, and like he’s thinking about the couple of terabytes of truly heinous German porn he has downloaded to his home computer.”

Best Shamelessly Superficial Attempt to Be Relevant: A Muslim army’s catapult-powered fire and brimstone shock-and-awing of Jerusalem, Kingdom of Heaven.

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