The 2008 Summer Blockbuster Awards

It's our annual gong show, where we bestow prizes on the best and the worst that summer blockbuster season has to offer...

Sex and the City

The money has been counting. The reviews have been written. And the summer has drawn to a close. So which films have walked away with this year’s Den Of Geek Summer Blockbuster Awards? Glad you asked…

Best FilmTHE DARK KNIGHTNomineesIRON MANWALL-E

The juggernaut that ate up lots of box office cash also turned out to be the summer’s finest film. It’s not a perfect beast, and Iron Man very nearly pipped it to the post, but for sheer ambition, scale and downright majesty, there’s not been a film like it in years.

Last Year’s Winner: THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM

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*****

Best ActorROBERT DOWNEY JR (Iron Man, Tropic Thunder)

NomineesCHRISTIAN BALE (The Dark Knight)HARRISON FORD (Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull)EDWARD NORTON (The Incredible Hulk)RON PERLMAN (Hellboy II: The Golden Army)

Ford and Norton suffered due to the films around them, but both gave pivotal roles that at least kept morale up. Meanwhile, Christian Bale cemented his position as the definitive screen Batman. But this was the summer of Robert Downey Jr, from his explosive blockbuster lead in Iron Man, through to his sheer scene-stealing insanity in Tropic Thunder. Long may he reign…

Last Year’s Winner: BRUCE WILLIS (Die Hard 4.0)

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*****

Best ActressGILLIAN ANDERSON (X-Files: I Want To Believe)

NomineesGWYNETH PALTROW (Iron Man)MARIA BELLO (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor)ANGELINA JOLIE (Wanted)MERYL STREEP (er, Mamma Mia)

A desperately poor summer for Hollywood actresses, to the point where the roles were so poor, it’s tricky to pick a winner. That said, while X-Files wasn’t a great film, Gillian Anderson’s Scully was surely one of the main reasons to watch it.

Last Year’s Winner: IMELDA STAUNTON (Harry Potter 5)

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*****

Best DirectorCHRISTOPHER NOLAN (The Dark Knight)

NomineesGUILLERMO DEL TORO (Hellboy II: The Golden Army)JON FAVREAU (Iron Man)ANDREW STANTON (Wall-E)

Some strong candidates – and a tip of the hat particularly for Mr Del Toro, as the only director to our knowledge to put a Barry Manilow number in the midst of a comic book flick – but it’s Nolan’s gong. And, we suspect, it won’t be the last one he gets for his all-conquering Batman film. This will clearly be the most prestigious, though.

Last Year’s Winner: PAUL GREENGRASS (The Bourne Ultimatum)

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*****

Best Supporting Actor (tie)HEATH LEDGER (The Dark Knight)TOM CRUISE (Tropic Thunder)

NomineesTERRENCE HOWARD (Iron Man)GARY OLDMAN (The Dark Knight)JOHN LEGUIZAMO (The Happening)

Two roles that both lifted their respective films, Heath Ledger’s Joker was as unsettling a superhero movie villain as we’ve seen on the screen, while Cruise’s cameo even managed to eclipse the aforementioned Robert Downey Jr as the talking point of Tropic Thunder. No small feat…

Last Year’s Winner: DAVID STRAITHAIRN (The Bourne Ultimatum)

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*****

Best Supporting ActressMAGGIE GYLENHAAL (The Dark Knight)

Another desperately weak category. And while there’s some discussion over Gylenhaal’s story arc in the film, she proved to be some improvement over Katie Holmes…

Last Year’s Winner: DAME MAGGIE SMITH (Harry Potter 5)

 

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*****Best Special EffectsSPEED RACER

NomineesIRON MANHANCOCKWANTEDSpeed Racer is no classic, but there is an argument that it was unfairly maligned. And one thing’s for sure: the special effects were as bright and bubbly as anything seen on a screen all year.

 

*****Best Animated FilmWALL-E

NomineesKUNG FU PANDA(We can’t find it in our heart to write Space Chimps here too)

Wall-E was no perfect film, but it’s as ambitious as any other that came out this summer. And the first half hour or so was simply outstanding.

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*****

Worst FilmYOU DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN

NomineesTHE HAPPENINGTHE INCREDIBLE HULKMEET DAVE

The number of duffers was surprisingly low this year, as well several films disappointed, few could be regarded as outright stinkers. But – and take this from Adam Sandler films – Zohan was an unfunny mess, and the weakest outing from the man in some time.

Last Year’s Winner: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END

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*****

Worst ActorMARK WAHLBERG (The Happening)

NomineesBILLY CONNOLLY (The X-Files: I Want To Believe)EDDIE MURPHY (Meet Dave)VIN DIESEL (Babylon AD)

Mr Wahlberg’s acting career instigates plenty of debate at the best of times. But this absolutely wasn’t the best of times. As the actor who should have held everything together, this was a million miles away from the Wahlberg of The Departed, and his failure to perform left a fatal hole at the heart of the movie.Last Year’s Winner: KEVIN SMITH (Die Hard 4.0)

 

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*****

Worst ActressANY OF THE SEX AND THE CITY CAST

On principle.

Last Year’s Winner: JESSICA ALBA (Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer)

 

*****

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Worst DirectorM NIGHT SHYAMALAN (The Happening)

NomineesDENNIS DUGAN (You Don’t Mess With The Zohan)

There are one or two moments in The Happening, to be fair, which demonstrate just how strong a director M Night Shyamalan can be. But for the bulk of the film, it’s by some distance his weakest stint behind the camera. Appreciating the film has its admirers, not least here at Den Of Geek too, it’s still not well directed at all.

Last Year’s Winner: BRETT RATNER (Rush Hour 3)

 

*****Disappointment Of The YearINDIANA JONES & THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL

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NomineesTHE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVETHE INCREDIBLE HULKHANCOCK

The category that rewards films that weren’t necessarily bad, but just underwhelmed us against our hopes for them. Indy, while a solid action flick, and a fine night out at the movies, just didn’t feel like it should be part of such a prestigious franchise, and as such…Last Year’s Winner: THE SIMPSONS MOVIE

 

***** 

Read last year’s write up here, and begin the debate in the comments down below!

 

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