My votes for the MTV Movie Awards

Golden Popcorn, MTV Movie Awards
A “golden popcorn” statuette awarded at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards. (Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia).

This year’s MTV Movie Awards were last night, and, as is to be expected of an awards show where teenagers vote for the winners with their smartphones – teenagers who watch MTV, no less – I disagree with many of their choices. Yes, yes, I know, I know, the Oscars, these ain’t. Still, God put me on this Earth to fight for the cinematic arts, and, if he didn’t, then I don’t know what I’m doing (in all seriousness, though, I hate when people say stuff like that; God has more important things to care about than my movie blog).

Here are mine and MTV’s picks for the winners from the past year in the film industry.


Best Musical Moment

Jennifer Lawrence – Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Chris Pratt – James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Seth Rogen and Zac Efron – Nicholas Stoller’s Neighbors

Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig – Craig Johnson’s The Skeleton Twins

Miles Teller – Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash


MTV’s selection: Jennifer Lawrence

My selection: Chris Pratt


I love me some Jennifer Lawrence, and I’m a staunch advocate for Mockingjay as the most underrated installment in the Hunger Games screen adaptions (it’s certainly a hell of a lot better than the book). As for the other candidates in this category, I was Kristen Wiig’s Target Lady for Halloween 2k14, so she has the fact that she’s Kristen Wiig going for her, and Whiplash is the only Academy Award for Best Picture nominee that’s something I’d actually enjoy. Notwithstanding, the nostalgic soundtrack in Guardians of the Galaxy elevates the film to transcendent proportions, from a Marvel flick about superheroes you’ve never heard of before to the most fun comic book movie to come out in the self-serious, post-Christopher Nolan era.


Best On-Screen Transformation

Elizabeth Banks – Mockingjay

Steve Carell – Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher

Ellar Coltraine – Richard Linklater’s Boyhood

Eddie Redmayne – James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything

Zoe Saldana – Guardians of the Galaxy


MTV’s selection: Elizabeth Banks

My selection: None of the above – Jake Gyllenhaal, Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler


Again, I’m a fan of The Hunger Games and Guardians of the Galaxy, but none of these competitors compare to the reconstruction of Jake Gyllenhaal’s persona in Nightcrawler. Gyllenhaal goes from a Hollywood heartthrob to a Los Angeles sociopath seamlessly in this role. Nightcrawler was snubbed at the Oscars, too – apparently, a good performance is measured by how different you appear from what you normally look like, as opposed to completely nailing something outside of your type; “makeover” as opposed to “reinvention.”


Best Villain

Meryl Streep – Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods

Jillian Bell – Phil Lloyd and Christopher Miller’s 22 Jump Street

Peter Dinklage – Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past

Rosamund Pike – David Fincher’s Gone Girl

J.K. Simmons – Whiplash


MTV’s selection: Meryl Streep

My selection: Rosamund Pike


…Really? Just because Meryl Streep did something in the past year, doesn’t mean it’s automatically the best; she’s always a cut above most of her contemporaries, but, when compared to the rest of her filmography, Into the Woods should not be what she’s remembered for. Rosamund Pike, however, an actress I never even heard of before Gone Girl, coolly (get it?) and calculatedly pulls the strings from behind the scenes of Ben Affleck’s literal “Punch and Judy” puppet show, before abruptly pulling the rug out from underneath all of us and leaving us to stare up into her deep-set eyes in shock and terror, never quite blinking her into focus.


WTF Moment

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne – Neighbors

Rosario Dawson and Anders Holm – Chris Rock’s Top Five

Jonah Hill – 22 Jump Street

Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day – Sean Anders’s Horrible Bosses 2

Miles Teller – Whiplash


MTV’s selection: Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne

My selection: A tie – Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler, or Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl


Rosamund Pike’s performance in Gone Girl is full of “WTF moments,” establishing a “girl” so unapologetically “gone” – gone in the head – that you’ve just got to laugh at all the horrible things she does, as if to cope with how disturbing her actions are. Jake Gyllenhaal’s turn in Nightcrawler is also full of “WTF moments,” but, writing this, I have a particular one in mind. In a scream of rage, a bug-eyed Gyllenhaal shatters his mirror, as though to “mirror” his own fractured psyche, and unsettles you more in that moment than he does throughout his more evil indulgences in the rest of the film.


Best Fight

Dylan O’Brien versus Will Poulter – Wes Ball’s The Maze Runner

Chris Evans versus Sebastian Stan – Anthony and Joe Russo’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Jonah Hill versus Jillian Bell – 22 Jump Street

Edward Norton versus Michael Keaton – Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Seth Rogen versus Zac Efron – Neighbors


MTV’s selection: Dylan O’Brien versus Will Poulter

My selection: And yet another tie – Richard Cabral and Juan Vasquez versus the witches, Christopher B. Landon’s Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones; and Joel McHale versus Sean Harris, Scott Derrickson’s Deliver Us from Evil


These fight scenes are what rescue these otherwise dismal horror movies and turn them into comedies for the ages. Watching a couple of gang bangers shotgun a homicidal cult of witches in the chest in Paranormal Activity just… warms my heart. And the host of The Soup in a knife fight with a demon-possessed criminal in Deliver Us from Evil is well worth the price of admission.


Best Shirtless Performance

Not even going to waste our time with this one.


Best Hero

Dylan O’Brien – The Maze Runner

Shailene Woodley – Robert Schwentke’s The Divergent Series: Insurgent

Jennifer Lawrence – Mockingjay

Martin Freeman – Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Chris Pratt – Guardians of the Galaxy


MTV’s selection: Dylan O’Brien

My selection: Anyone but Dylan O’Brien


In a year when a Hunger Games film, a Divergent film, and a Maze Runner film were all released at the same time, the whole “young people in a postapocalyptic dystopia” trend has officially overstayed its welcome. Mockingjay is obviously the best of the best, and at least Insurgent emulates the best of the best in The Hunger Games, so The Maze Runner, what’s left over of the leftovers, is an absurd choice for “Best Of” anything. MTV will give a show to pregnant sixteen-year-olds, and they’ll give the golden popcorn to The Maze Runner.


Best Female Performance

Shailene Woodley – Josh Boone’s The Fault in Our Stars

Scarlett Johansson – Luc Besson’s Lucy

Jennifer Lawrence – Mockingjay

Emma Stone – Birdman

Reese Witherspoon – Jean-Marc Vallée’s Wild


MTV’s selection: Shailene Woodley

My selection: Rene Russo, Nightcrawler


The director’s wife, sixty-one-year-old bombshell Rene Russo proves all the ageists wrong. However, in Nightcrawler, her makeup ages her to a grotesque amount, reminiscent of the resplendent Gloria Swanson’s transformation into the crazed Norma Desmond in Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard (1950). Russo’s soulless character is no less dark than Jake Gyllenhaal, acting almost like she’s turned on by his sociopathy.


Best Scared-As-S**t Performance

Jennifer Lopez – Rob Cohen’s The Boy Next Door

Zach Gilford – James DeMonaco’s The Purge: Anarchy

Dylan O’Brien – The Maze Runner

Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl

Annabelle Wallis – John R. Leonetti’s Annabelle


MTV’s pick: Jennifer Lopez

My pick: Jennifer Lopez


Now, this, I can’t argue with. If this were anything else, Rosamund Pike would have my vote, but she doesn’t deliver a “scared-as-s**t” performance in Gone Girl – her character doesn’t feel fear; she doesn’t feel. I’ve never gotten all the hate surrounding The Boy Next Door – it’s no Fatal Attraction, but it’s far and away superior to Obsessed (Beyoncé and Ali Larter’s catfight and all), and it’s refreshing to see a stalker movie where the guy is the crazy one, instead of the gal; the Fatal Attraction formula has become borderline cliché at this point.


Best Comedic Performance

Channing Tatum – 22 Jump Street

Rose Byrne – Neighbors

Kevin Hart – Jeremy Garelick’s The Wedding Ringer

Chris Pratt – Guardians of the Galaxy

Chris Rock – Top Five


MTV’s selection: Channing Tatum

My selection: Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone’s Tammy


Tammy is an admittedly rocky filmmaking debut for husband-wife screenwriting team McCarthy and Falcone. Notwithstanding, McCarthy gives it her all in this part, as she does in every part. The scene that Falcone and McCarthy share together at the beginning is hysterical, a diamond in a (sometimes) rough film.


Best On-Screen Duo

Zac Efron and Dave Franco – Neighbors

Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel – Guardians of the Galaxy

James Franco and Seth Rogen – Rogen and Even Goldberg’s The Interview

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill – 22 Jump Street

Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort – The Fault in Our Stars


MTV’s selection: Zefron and Dave Franco

My selection: Thank God it isn’t The Interview


Notice how there’s only one female on this list, and her “duo” is a sexual one? Hmm… Anyhow, I don’t feel very strongly about anything for this category, except for The Interview, and not in a good way. People only pretended to like that movie because it was the “patriotic” thing to do, i.e., showing off to the world how arrogant American exceptionalism is, since we’re allowed to make comedies where killing off a world leader is the punchline, but nobody else is allowed to do the same about our leader; I’m not defending the North Korean regime – it’s just not something to make light of.


Best Kiss

Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley – The Fault in Our Stars

Rose Byrne and Halston Sage – Neighbors

James Franco and Seth Rogen – The Interview

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone – Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans – Captain America: The Winter Soldier


MTV’s selection: Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley

My selection: Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Guzman, The Boy Next Door


What makes The Boy Next Door work – and where Steve Shill’s Obsessed (2009) fails – is the fact that Lopez and Guzman consummate their relationship. There’s a lot more at stake for Lopez, who’s as guilty as Guzman is psychotic, and who must pay the price for her sins. Oh, yeah, and Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Guzman are hot, too.


Best Male Performance

Bradley Cooper – Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper

Chris Pratt – Guardians of the Galaxy

Ansel Elgort – The Fault in Our Stars

Miles Teller – Whiplash

Channing Tatum – Foxcatcher


MTV’s selection: Bradley Cooper

My selection: Bradley Cooper


Out of all the rom com leading men who’ve decided to be “real” actors – Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck – Bradley Cooper is the one I support the most. David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook (2012) is one of my all-time favorites, and American Hustle (2013) isn’t half-bad, either. To paraphrase Monique’s Oscar acceptance speech, “It’s about the performance, not the politics,” and Cooper’s portrayal of Chris Kyle is perfect, even though Chris Kyle led an imperfect life.


Movie of the Year

The Fault in Our Stars

American Sniper


Guardians of the Galaxy

Gone Girl



Ava DuVernay’s Selma


MTV’s selection: The Fault in Our Stars

My selection: Gone Girl


Don’t even get me started on people who act like The Fault in Our Stars is the saddest movie ever made – these are people who’ve clearly never seen James L. Brooks’s Terms of Endearment (1983). Gone Girl is the most exciting movie to come out last year, and the most exciting psychological thriller to come out in many years. It’s a hilariously twisted and brilliantly realized meditation on the unconditional love behind a “perfect” marriage, and its violations of genre conventions – the first half coming across like a Lifetime movie, the second half something you never even saw coming – leave you feeling violated, as violated as its cast of characters, a feat that few works of art could ever hope to achieve.


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Hunter Goddard

I am a journalism graduate from Colorado State University as well as a film studies minor. Lady Gaga inspires me in everything I do.

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