Monday, December 22, 2014

George Awards: That’s It, One Swing

This post contains bad, foul, filthy and unacceptable language - the words that “will curve your spine, grow hair on your hands and maybe, even bring us, God help us, peace without honor.”

This is not a post for children.  Kids, take a hike.
This is also not a post for those adults who are offended by this type of language.  Do yourself a favor, and go read some of my cute stuff before moral outrage can kick in.
End of Warning.

After a pointless pause of a week, we now return to the top half of the list of George Awards for the use of “the finger” in a motion picture.

Hey, even I need to sleep sometimes.

As a reminder to how important this gesture is, I cite the amazing sense of peace and relief flipping the bird to an uncooperative computer, a non-complying DVR, or a completed telemarketing phone call can generate, even though the recipient is incapable of registering the gesture.

Speed Racer (2008) is a hypnotic film fueled by pure, adrenaline soaked awesome.  A fair amount of the awesome comes from Paulie Litt’s explosively over the top performance as Spridel.  He spends much of the movie in a complete, sugar rush induced panic.  However, the 5th place George goes to his moment of clarity and focus distilled into his single fingered farewell as he’s forced into an elevator with Chim Chim (Kenzie or Willie) and Speed (Emil Hirsch).  It is the truest way to create a picture worth well over a thousand words that sums up the Racer family’s (and audience’s) opinion of the corrupt, false faced, and ultimately evil corporate executive E.P. Arnold Royalton (Roger Allam).

Some individuals may be surprised by the sheer number of entries on this list coming from critically panned movies that I find awesome.  Those individuals have clearly not been paying attention to any movie write up I’ve done in my entire life. The number 4 spot is from yet another one of these “McGinley Classics:”  2007’s Ghost Rider.
It’s not just run of the mill awesome, but computer generated, Nicholas Cage inspired, fire sheathed skeletal awesome as the titular hero lets the band of well meaning, but ineffective law enforcement officers know what he thinks of their plans to hinder his quest for vengeance after leaping off a bridge and rising from beneath the river, before driving off atop the water of said river.

Further continuing the personal awesome movie moments trend:
The original Cannonball Run (1981) introduced then eleven year old me to half a dozen awesome and iconic cinema elements:

Dom Deluise’s fearlessness in comedy
Fight scenes with Jackie Chan and a Biker Gang
A Lamborghini car chase
Roger Moore’s sense of self parody
Adrianne Barbeau

However, it is the 1984 sequel, featuring the final film appearance of the Rat Pack, which garners the 3rd place George Award. None of Frank’s boys were involved in the winning double bird moment. That honor goes to an orangutan and a feisty old lady.   The fact that this movie didn’t win is an indication of the excessively higher levels of awesomeness contained in the top two.

The penultimate place is yet another win for George Award favorite Rowdy Roddy Piper in John Carpenter's1988 mix of a cerebral thriller about subliminal control, and professional wrestling: They Live.

Piper’s nameless character uses the finger in his dying moments to let the aliens and their coconspirators know what they can go do with themselves before he (literally) blows their cover.

And so we’ve come to First Place Finger George Award.  The winner is almost exclusively just the finger.  Held aloft by the disembodied hand of the man it’s flipping off,
The prize goes to the Greatest Film in the History of Cinema – 1987’s Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn.

Once more, thank you all for playing.  Don’t forget to come back, as I’m sure there will be more damn George Awards sometime in the future.

No comments: