The Second Annual Aravan Awards, 2011 Edition
Posted by Alan Edwards
Last year, I gave out awards in random categories for the following reason:
…Coming up with a top ten list has to be the easiest writing job in the world. Jot down ten things, come up with superficial reasons for their inclusion, and then explain how blatantly wrong you are as just “a way to get people talking about it.” It’s the ultimate mail-it-in, who-gives-a-shit approach to writing.
So I am TOTALLY in!
This year will be no different! As with last year, the Aravan Awards are a group of awards in arbitrary categories for arbitrary reasons. Oh, and since I am both lazy and have a horrible memory for time, I won’t restrict myself to things that came out this year, just things that I think I remember seeing this year. Or am at least pretty sure I remember experiencing in 2011. Seriously, time is a big-ass blur to me quite often. Maybe it’s the drinking. Anyway, it’s time to haul out the cheap plastic statuettes and give credit where credit is due.
The 2011 Aravan Award for Best Movie I Watched in 2011
Last year this award went to Pulp Fiction, since I love that movie and just happened to watch it sometime in 2010 for the umpteenth time. This year, in a shocking development, the award will go to a movie that was actually released in 2011! That was an upset in itself, especially when you consider the fact that I saw a grand total of 3 movies in the theater this year. The nominees are:
- Real Steel. C’mon, man, Twin Cities! A robot with two heads! Two heads! How awesome is that?! Bonus points for making my friend’s head spin with rage and disgust.
- Captain America. You gotta love Cap. The Red Skull kicked ass. A great movie.
- Sucker Punch. This movie lived up to the title. I still carry concussion-like symptoms from it.
- Wow, this is hard. I can vaguely remember the last three or so months of 2011. Everything else is just a big sea of “some time ago.” Hmmmm.
- Twilight: Blood Saga of Moons or Something. Just kidding. I didn’t watch that piece of steaming shit.
- Thor. Only my favorite Marvel hero of all time, directed by one of my favorite directors of all time.
- Battle: Los Angeles. Guns and aliens and stuff.
AND THE WINNER IS…
I’ve written about this movie before. It’s visually stunning, over-the-top, emotionally wrenching, and made me think way more than any other movie I saw in 2011. Of course, when you look at the list of movies I watched in 2011, I’m not exactly looking for deep intellectual enlightenment from fucking filmmakers. But Sucker Punch has stayed with me for a very long time. I still find myself occasionally thinking about it and it makes me want to grab a 15-pound sledgehammer, find a pedophile, and use the former on the latter until just a pink stain remains. I freaking love this movie, not because I feel good when I watch it, but because it makes me feel a wide range of emotions. I like it, a lot. Can you tell?
The 2011 Aravan Award for Movie That Should Have Been the Best But Natalie Portman is a Shit Actress and Ruins Everything, Much Like Children
No real need for nominees here. Thor was declared the Best Movie Ever during the 2010 Aravan Awards, but I didn’t anticipate how much Natalie Portman was going to be in it. People say all the time what a fantastic actress she is. I tend to disagree. I think she sucks ass. She sucked the life out of Thor, she was fucking abominable in the shitty-ass Star Wars prequels that may or may not actually exist (I tend to prefer thinking of them as a bad dream poorly executed), and I’ve never seen her do ANYTHING in any movie that was remarkable. I like V for Vendetta, but it has nothing to do with her or her “acting” ability. No, I didn’t see Black Swan, because a fucking movie about crazy ballerinas has as much interest for me as, well, anything to do with ballet, which I don’t fucking understand and never will. Ballet and opera are the caviar and offal of theater: shit rich people convince themselves they like because they won’t be around poor people while they “enjoy” them. The Professional was great because of the titular character and Gary Oldman. So fuck you, Natalie Portman, for ruining what should have been my favorite movie of 2011. I hate you forever.
The 2011 Aravan Award for Most Overrated Actress of All Time Ever
I think you can guess who this is. Natalie edges out Angelina Jolie.
The 2011 Aravan Award for Best Video Game
The nominees are:
- Portal 2. Brilliantly done, witty, funny, challenging, great co-op mode, a real fun ride the whole way through.
- L.A. Noire. Cutting-edge facial rendering meets intriguing detective-based gameplay and… You know what? What’s the point. We all know what it is.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was the best video game of 2011, hands-down. It’s the best fantasy game ever made, it’s deep, it’s beautifully rendered, it’s got dragon battles that kick ass, you can pick flowers and catch butterflies in between sniping someone from 100 yards with an Ebony Bow with Soul Trap and watching their helpless little bodies fly while their soul flies over and charges a gem – yeah, it pretty much kicks ass. But you probably know this.
The 2011 Aravan Award for the Video Game Most Fun to Play
I have to give this to Saints Row: The Third. This game is such a blast to play. It’s fun, over-the-top, hilarious, ridiculous, and such a good time to play. Just the chance to play Insurance Fraud and throw yourself into traffic to rack up money is a blast, but you also get to jump into tanks and Apache helicopters and blow shit up. It’s like Grand Theft Auto without the tedious car races and forever-taking cutscenes and terrible save system. Highly recommended.
The 2011 Aravan Award for Worst Predictions
This award is all me. From predicting that he would never be on Twitter (over a thousand followers and nearly 2,500 tweets later… oops!) to saying the Redskins would go 8-8 (he’s such a raging optimist.), Alan Edwards clearly demonstrated a remarkable ability to have no fucking idea what he’s talking about. I’ll give the guy credit, though, for marking all of his predictions with the tag Bad Predictions. At least he’s honest, as well as handsome, charming, debonair, witty, precocious, and humble.
The 2011 Aravan Award for Best Book (Mainstream)
I have to give this one to Crack’d Pot Trail by Steven Erikson. Short but fantastic, it manages to discuss writing, art, critics, fans, and the vast interplay between them all while documenting the story of a group of disparate travellers hunting down two rogue necromancers. Simply a fantastic book.
The 2011 Aravan Award for Best Book (Independent)
I want to make a separate category for deserving indie authors who manage to write quality stories without charging me 25 bucks for the privilege of reading them. This year the award goes to Blood Skies by Steven Montano. A great, action-packed read with excellent characters and vampires that with tear out your heart in the literal sense instead of the mincy-prancy high-school romance way so popular nowadays. Plus, it was written by The Coolest Man in the World, so what can you say? It has to win.
The 2011 Aravan Award for Worst TV Show I Watch Every Time It’s On
This could have gone to Game of Thrones, but it got disqualified because I actually stopped watching it with 3 episodes to go and don’t care. But, really, who am I kidding? It has to be The Walking Dead. Anything that can make me write 2,000+ word blog posts with diagrams is worthy of an award. I seriously Love To Hate on that show.
The 2011 Aravan Award For Best Reality TV Show
This one is easy. Top Shot deserves awards on the strength of Colby’s teeth alone. The fact that it’s actually a really awesome show is just icing on the cake. Plus (SPOILER ALERT, IF YOU READ THIS AND DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHO WINS DO NOT READ THE WORDS THAT FOLLW THIS UPCOMING CLOSING PAREN, SERIOUSLY, FINAL WARNING), the aw-shucks amateur guy that won this year, Dustin, was just a freaking joy to watch.
The 2011 Aravan Award for Most Hilariously Profane Blogger
There can be only one Kendall Grey. Thank god, because if two of them existed the universe might explode in a vicious display of vitriol and womancock. And no, I have no idea what womancock is, but her special blend of raunch and humor and sarcasm and flat-out ball-busting makes for a killer blog.
The 2011 Aravan Award for Best New Musical Artist
This award goes to nobody. I didn’t hear a single new musical act in 2011 that was worth a shit. In fact, I’m not sure I heard a new song in 2011. I had to, right? I guess there’s always Rebecca Black. Why not?
The 2011 Aravan Award for Best Blog Series
Hats off to Jen Kirchner and her Vote Your Adventure series. I have no fucking idea how she manages to do that. I can barely figure out what to write when I’m controlling what happens, let alone leaving choices in the hands of mouth-breathers like me. Always a great blend of action and suspense with a nice dash of subtle humor. Plus, she killed us off when we TOTALLY deserved it. Goddamn night-vision goggles.
The 2011 Aravan Award for Best New Fashion Trend
Yoga pants, when worn by people who should be wearing yoga pants.
The 2011 Aravan Award for Worst New Fashion Trend
Yoga pants, when worn by people who should not be wearing yoga pants.
The 2011 Aravan Award for Thing I’m Most Looking Forward to in 2012
Mass Effect 3. I fucking love this video game series, and cannot wait to get my grubby little hands on it. Over-under on complete playthroughs sits at 5. I’m betting the over.
The 2011 Aravan Award for Thing I’m Least Looking Forward to in 2012
This is a special award, since I have to restrict it to things I’m actually planning on paying attention to. In most instances, it would be the presidential elections, but the election cycle never really ends and I plan on ignoring all the empty words until it comes time to vote. So instead, it’ll have to go to something that I know I will watch or otherwise participate in, and that can only be The Hobbit craptastic spectacular coming out next year. I’ve already gotten a horrible reaction to it, and that was from a 2-minute trailer. I may need to write a 200,000 word novel chronicling my disappointment at all bloated 220 minutes of the actual release. Peter Jackson and Natalie Portman need to team up and do a movie of something I hold near and dear to my heart, just so they can combine their powers of Suck and tear my soul from my body.
Ah, who am I kidding. I don’t have a soul.
The 2011 Aravan Award for the Best People in the World
This award goes to you guys, who somehow manage to make it through these blog posts. I seriously have no idea how you do it, but I appreciate the shit out of it. You have no idea.
Happy 2012 everyone. May it not suck for you.