The Siskoid Awards 2017 - Technical Achievement Ceremony

The Siskoid Awards model themselves on the Oscars, but without the politics, voting, or production values. Still, we do hold a Technical Achievement Ceremony hosted by a famous star, and not-real trophies do get handed out for things like rig-based facial performance-capture systems, or in this case, whatever I wanted to underscore, but didn't fit in the main event.

Your hostess this year is Jodie Whittaker who we were ever so lucky to get JUST before she takes the reigns of Doctor Who. She's about to get too famous for this little blog, I'm afraid, so quite the coup, you'll agree. I mean, as far as imaginary coups go. Take it away, Doctor!

Most polarizing movie of 2017 - A strong year for movies people either loved or hated, and presumably for Russian hackers to exploit so there would be fighting in the streets. There was the old critics/mainstream audiences divide of mother!, and 50% of card-carrying geeks failed to embrace Kong: Skull Island, but the prize really has to go with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which is either one of the best SW films ever made, or the proverbial dump on all y'all's childhoods. I'm in the first camp, obviously, because I'm not a Star Wars fan proper. To the texts I've already written about Episode VIII, I'll add this tidbit from the Lonely Hearts Podcast's Marty, specifically on the apparently unneeded side-adventure to the casino planet. Marty says it's only the first real time in the whole franchise we see what the Rebels/Resistance are fighting for. The rest of it is Jedi vs. Sith and Rebels vs. Empire, which might as well be a hockey game. The Last Jedi shows us WHY the Star Wars are worth fighting. More food for thought.

Franchise Blank Check Award - While I had fun creating a Canadian Kingsman side-story this year, and liked Guy Ritchie's King Arthur a lot more than most, if there's a franchise I'd actually give an unlimited run of films, it's the LEGO movies. In the main awards show, I gave LEGO Batman top prize, but I even liked the LEGO Ninjago movie despite having zero interest in the Ninjago world (in Dimensions, it's the world that doesn't speak to me). So yeah, if LEGO has a deal with a franchise, I want to see that theatrically-released feature. Lord of the Rings, Marvel Super-Heroes, Doctor Who... oh my, yes, Doctor Who!

Best Video Game of 2017 - Not much of a gamer, and especially not a fan of "party games" like Mario Party and such. When the group breaks one of those out, I'll usually sit out and go to bed early. BUT, I really had a lot of fun with Overcooked on the Nintendo Switch (out on other platforms in 2016)! At once ridiculous and challenging, as you struggle to prep, cook and send out meals in your badly conceived restaurant (like the one that's on two speeding trucks continually separating), working with another player to gain access to different parts of the kitchen. It's the required teamwork that really makes it fun for me, having to communicate with another player and get into a common groove.

Best Video Game Movie of 2017 (maybe ever) - Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was so fun, I agreed to see it again with friends. And no, it's not based on a video game license, but essentially proves my point from last April, that the only good video game movies are the ones that use video game tropes, but aren't attached to any single property. Unless Rampage wants to prove me wrong in 2018..?

And we've come to that somber moment in an awards ceremony where we have to take stock of who we've lost in the past year. So a moment of silence for the people who made us fans and geeks that took their final bows in 2017 (not a complete list, pay your respects in the comments section): Miguel Ferrer, John Hurt, Mary Tyler Moore, John Watkiss, Dan Spiegle, Richard Hatch, Bill Paxton, Don Rickles, Bernie Wrightson, Tim Pigott-Smith, Clifton James, Michael Parks, Powers Boothe, Glenne Headly, Adam West, Stephen Furst, Michael Bond, Pierre Henry, Nelsan Ellis, Martin Landau, Flo Steinberg, George Romero, Deborah Watling, Sam Shepard, Jeanne Moreau, Brian Aldiss, Jerry Lewis, Tobe Hooper, Jay Thomas, Richard Anderson, Jerry Pournelle, Len Wein, Harry Dean Stanton, Hugh Hefner, Monty Hall, Tom Petty, Gord Downie, Federico Luppi, Fats Domino, Robert Guillaume, David Cassidy, Rance Howard, Jim Nabors, Johnny Hallyday, Heather Menzies, and Rose Marie. Thanks for the memories and your contributions to pop culture.

You will not be missed category: Charles Manson and IMDB Comments.

The Domhnall Gleeson Award - Handed out to the actor or actress that is suddenly in EVERYTHING. This year, got to give it to Lily James (Baby Driver, Darkest Hour, and already showing up in trailers like Mamma Mia 2's). She has that Kate Winsley/Keira Knightley casting that's going to get her a lot of roles in the coming years. Watch for her to pop up everywhere.

Best Movie Supervillain of 2017 - Michael Keaton as the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming, hands down. He finally gives us a Marvel Cinematic villain with some complexity other than Loki. And even Loki has been played for laughs for the past couple of appearances. Ego might come closest in this year's crop, and LEGO Joker too, I suppose, but I can't remember who the bad guy was in Logan, and it's certainly not Ares, Hela, Van Pelt, or Steppenwolf. Split was a little silly, as were the baddies in Kingsman 2. The rest are supporting players. No, even reviewing a surprisingly large number of options, it still comes down to the Vulture.

Favorite Doctor Who-Related Moment of 2017 - No, not Doctor Who MOMENT (though there are plenty to choose from, as with most years), but Who-RELATED moment. And for me, that's stumbling across a TARDIS by the side of the road in Cape Breton. Like, what?! We made an adventure of it, as seen here.

And that, as they say, is that. My thanks to Ms. Whittaker for fake-pre-taping the gala. May 2018 be something other than we expect it to be. The Siskoid Awards will hopefully return in a year's time.


Anonymous said...

"Favorite Doctor Who-Related Moment of 2017"

For me, it was in "Twice Upon a Time", when First Doctor is wondering what keeps evil from winning every time, and Bill suggests that what keeps the balance is "just some bloke". That's not the most clever thing Moffat has ever written, or the most poetic, or the most heart-wrenching. But I say it's the BEST thing he's ever written, because it reminds us of something that informs the entire series: each of us can be "just some bloke".

Green Luthor said...

2017 also saw us lose the massively-talented June Foray, at the too-young age of 99 (not even two months shy of 100). Primarily a voice actor, she started working in radio in the late 1930s, with her last credit being from 2014! Amongst her many, many roles: Rocket J. Squirrel and Natasha Fatale, Jokey Smurf, Granny and Witch Hazel in Looney Tunes, Ma Beagle and Magica De Spell in DuckTales, Talky Tina in the Twilight Zone, Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Aunt May in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends... she did a LOT of voice acting. Just about everyone has probably heard her voice several times over, even if they don't realize it.

Siskoid said...

Thanks for the remembrance.

Anonymous said...

I'll mention Sue Grafton too, who died just before the year's end. But maybe you're not a fan of the "Alphabet books"; I'm reading the final one now.

Other than that, the thing that strikes me most is that Swamp Thing creators Wein and Wrightson both died this year.

Mike W.


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