It’s Time: The 2017 Sorta Annual Aravan Awards!
I know, I know. I do like two blog posts in 10 months, then I do 2 in two days. Some people binge drink; some people binge blog. And some people do both, like me!
Anyway, it’s still February, the All-Time Aravan Award Winner for Shittiest Month 1600 years in a row (seriously, it’s so shitty that we cap it at 28 days unless we need to make the calendar still work, then we grudgingly add a 29th every four years and resent the fuck out of extending it), so technically I can get away with a 2017 awards presentation. And if you disagree, the terrible Academy Awards won’t be held until fucking March, so take it up with them if you think I’m too late. So you know what that means.
IT’S TIME FOR THE MOTHERFUCKING 2017 ARAVAN AWARDS, BABY!
Before you get too excited, let me pause and explain what the Aravan Awards are. From the archives:
…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!
So sit back, relax, and cheer for your favorite candidates as I google the World’s Shittiest Trophy and use the first image that comes up as the award for this year:
And now, here it is – YOUR 2017 ARAVAN AWARD WINNERS!
The 2017 Aravan Award Winner for Best Movie That I Saw Last Year
Unlike last year, this choice was a hard one. I saw a lot of fucking movies last year, and I became very picky about which ones I saw, as my wife can attest (just ask her how my face looked when she suggested seeing The Greatest Showman together).
So, I typed a whole thing about how awesome Get Out was, how tense, visceral, and fun a horror movie it was while also being very socially conscious in the best Romero fashion, and how excited I am to see what Jordan Peele does from here, my excitement for his reboot of Twilight Zone, all this stuff. The movie is truly great, full of great visuals and characters. I’ve never been more menaced by a young woman eating cereal in my life. Everything I wrote was true.
Except for the part about it being the best movie I saw.
Because, dumb ole me got so swept up in the rightful acclaim being heaped on it and made me forget that it wasn’t even the second best movie I saw this year. That honor goes to the stylish, fun, kick-ass movie that was called Atomic Blonde. Read more here about my wife’s thoughts about it, which says it better than I ever could.
But the best? There can only be one.
John Wick 2
It’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, period. I’ve never laughed harder when watching people get shot in the head or fall down stairs. Every beat, every scene, every subtitle – it’s like the creators reached deep into my soul and tore out all of the things I love and aspire to and splashed them on a screen so I could bathe my big dumb face in the light of its complete sublime awesomeness. Get Out was great, but it didn’t inspire my Halloween costume or change my wardrobe:
Only John Wick could do that.
Of course, psychoanalyzing the above statement and figuring out what that says about me is probably not the most light-hearted adventure, so let’s move on.
The 2017 Aravan Award Winner for Worst Movie I Saw Last Year
Easy one. The Disappointments Room.
This movie was so fucking bad. It makes The Raven look coherent and thoughtful. It was so fucking bad that I forgot I saw it and I had to ask my wife if I saw anything I hated or bitched extensively about. She’s probably now worried about my cognitive processes, because I fucking hated this movie. The plot can be summarized thusly:
A couple moves into a house after their infant daughter dies. It is a big old scary house. The wife (Kate Beckinsale) sees scary visions and nightmares. She finds a hidden room in her attic. Like a sensible person, she decides to investigate it alone without telling anyone and of course gets trapped in it. She sees more terrible visions of a girl being tormented by her father and a dog. She escapes and researches the house and finds the Terrible Secret. She smokes and flirts with a guy helping to fix up the house. A ghost shows up and murders the guy. She breaks down and reveals to us that she accidentally rolled over onto her infant daughter while sleeping and smothered her. The family moves back to Brooklyn.
The 2017 Aravan Award Winner for Worst Movie That Came Out in 2017 That I Watched
Like I said, I didn’t see many dogs that actually were released in 2017, so I’ll list the ones that disappointed me the most. I do want to note that these are all movies that I consider to be good, so bear that in mind.
I think this movie is incredibly important, a major step forward for women filmmakers, and a positive argument for feminism. I also felt like, as just another superhero movie, it was too long, the end fight scene was all effects and no drama, and was an average movie. But, it’s light-years ahead of all of the garbage DC movies (including the insufferable Nolan Batman ones) and made a fuckton of money. So it doesn’t win this award.
Borderline blasphemy, I know. Thor has been my favorite Marvel superhero ever since I was wee one. It was funny. It was by far the best Thor movie to date. It had my #2 Best Marvel Movie Villain. It referenced my favorite run of comics of all time (Walt Simonson’s fucking exquisite run on Thor). It had Jeff Goldblum Jeff Goldbluming all over the place. How could it make this list?
Well, best Thor movie is a low fucking bar. A lighthearted romp that ends with the entire world of Asgard being destroyed along with nearly everyone in it (including my beloved Warriors Three) and still treats everything with a wink and little giggle that isn’t perhaps the best fucking tone. It treats everything like a joke and suffers for it. And, to be perfectly honest, I’m really fucking sick of Jeff Goldblum. But it still doesn’t win.
I love the book. In comparison to it (It), the movie isn’t scary. Ending part one of your horror series by showing the villain getting the piss beaten out of it by children doesn’t make it look like much of a challenge. I went in expecting too much, and was let down. However, it still doesn’t win the trophy.
No, the winner of this one is Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
I loved the first one (2014 Aravan Award Winner!). I love Kurt Russell. No, I mean it. I really fucking love Kurt Russell. But this movie ended up being largely forgettable. The songs weren’t even in the same realm as the first movie. I can barely remember the details of it, or why I’d want to.
To the Disappointments Room with you.
The 2017 Aravan Award Winner for the Worst Movie of 2017 I Didn’t See
Fuck you for the lowercase letter I need to constantly fix and for the fucking exclamation point in your title. This movie is what happens when a director sniffs too many of their own farts and makes a movie under the influence. It even made me start hating Jennifer Lawrence a little.
The Disaster Artist
A movie about a shitty movie is an even shittier movie.
But the award can really only go to:
The Last Jedi
A story that hinges on miscommunication, a lack of communication at all, and stupid decisions is the formula of every episode of Three’s Company. To use it as the basis of a Star Wars movie is fucking idiotic. Special exciting note! There may be a podcast about this coming out in a few weeks. Stay tuned!
This segues into….
The 2017 Aravan Award Winner for Most Butchered Carcass
Seriously, with unneeded and unwanted prequels, enough shitty toys and product tie-ins to strangle a fucking moose, and lackluster movies coming out at least once a year, the Star Wars brand is looking mighty skeletal nowadays.
The 2017 Aravan Award Winner for Person Most Looking Forward to Spring
The winner is ME. There was nice 70 degree weather for two days this week and I practically self-combusted with excitement. I’ve never been so excited to spend thousands of dollars as I am preparing to replace the pool pump and heater in a couple months. BRING IT ON BABY.
The 2017 Aravan Award Winner for Best Spotify Playlist of 2017
Speaking of the pool and summertime….
There are a lot of curated and crafted playlists on Spotify by the finest minds and biggest names in music. Careful attention is paid to the selection and order of play. Fuck all that. The winner once again is ME and my Pool playlist. Does it have a ton of Lana Del Rey? You better believe it. Are the songs mostly trite and sugary? They sure are. Is Steal My Sunshine on there to be enjoyed in a thoroughly unironic fashion? YOU BET YOUR SWEET ASS IT IS.
The 2017 Aravan Award Winner for Best Beer of 2017
Hell or High Watermelon by 21st Amendment Brewery
This summer seasonal brew only available from April through September. During that time last year, I probably drank a case of it every week by myself. That fact helpfully explains two things: my love of the playlist above, and my big fat gut.
The 2017 Aravan Award Winner for Best TV Show (2017 Season)
The remarkably great, trippy, dramatic, and otherworldly Legion. This show is so fucking good. Aubrey Plaza is terrifying. Dan Stevens is sublime as the titular character. But no one is better than Jemaine Clement as his recurring character as telepath Oliver Bird. If you enjoy anything at all, watch this fucking show. It’s so good that you forget it’s a Fox production about Marvel mutants. It’s so good it almost won this award.
Actually, though, Andrea Savage’s I’m Sorry wins. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be married to my delightful, beautiful, and hilarious wife – and you should, because she is a national fucking treasure – then you need to watch this show. It’s terrifyingly accurate.
The 2017 Aravan Award Winner for Best Display of How Far We Haven’t Advanced in 45 Years
All in the Family. I saw some channel called GetTV was showing reruns of this show and on a lark I DVRed it. My wife had never seen Archie Bunker in action, and I remembered how much it dealt with real issues. She reluctantly agreed to see one episode and loved it. After less than a season, we’ve watched episodes grappling with racism (obviously), rape and how women’s voices are silenced, the culture of violence, cancer screening, female sexuality, and more. The very same issues we are debating now were being debated 45 years ago. We haven’t gotten as far as we think.
The 2017 Aravan Award Winner for Biggest High-to-Low Downfall
The true and obvious winner is going from the smart, articulate, charismatic Barry O to the sniveling corrupt shill Cadet Bone Spurs, but that is too heartbreaking to think about and I’m trying to keep politics out of this because it is truly and completely awful. Instead, we’ll focus on me as is right.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Holy shit, was I excited for this game. I had some trepidation after the final look of the characters was revealed, but I had faith and hope. And holy fucking shit did EA stomp both of those things right out of me. I got a dull, listless game that wasn’t as bad as it was advertised but came nowhere close to the greatness of the original Mass Effect trilogy. The game was so mediocre that the backlash got the IP shelved for the foreseeable future. No DLC, no quarians, repetitive and uninspired gameplay. I’m not over this. EA can eat every dick that has ever dangled on this blue planet.
The 2017 Aravan Award Winner for Best Video Game of the Year
I’m always behind on games. The 2015 Game of the Year is a clear winner of this category. Great writing, fantastic characters, excellent quests – this game makes it harder for every other fantasy franchise to make a game, because this will be hard to top. The card game within the game was so good it’s my #2 choice in this category.
The 2017 Aravan Award Winner for Worst Social Media Platform
Facebook. Vaguebooking, insane political memes that make “friends” realize that they hate every single part of the person they liked, trolling, constant terrible blog posts shoved in people’s faces – oops, that’s me – and the constant posting of bogus bullshit articles that are opinions posing as news or noteworthy, Facebook is so fucking shitty that I started using Twitter. FUCKING TWITTER.
The 2017 Aravan Award Winner for Best Prediction of 2017
Once more, it’s ME. From the 2016 Kinda Annual Aravan Awards:
There’s been a lot of Memery (copyright pending) spilled over how terrible 2016 has been and how it’s the Worst Year in Human History and all that shit (seriously, tell that to someone who went through World War I or II or the Great Depression or the Black Death or the Children’s Crusade or anything else. I love David Bowie and all, but come the fuck on). 2016 hasn’t been a great year, topped off (pimple-on-the-bottomed off?) by the election of a supremely incompetent know-nothing blowhard who threatens to set the world back a few decades as a best case scenario and make true the worst post-apocalyptic fiction as a worst-case scenario. I’m going to try leave politics out of this list, but I’m making no promises. I will say, however, that everyone who thinks 2016 was fucking terrible need to just wait to see the shitshow 2017 is going to be.
Christ. 2017 was awful. It deserves this shitty awards post. Look, 2018, you started off as a dumpster fire, so I expect you to wipe the vomit off your lap, put on some clean underwear, and get back on the job. Enough is enough.
Not that I’m hopeful about it.