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Chad Concelmo avatar 12:57 PM on 12.30.2008  (server time)
The 1st Annual Amazees! (Movies)

Welcome, everyone, to the first annual Amazees!

What are the Amazees!, you ask? Well, I love awards shows, making lists, and talking about things I love, so I decided to combine them all and celebrate the stuff that made me happy this past year. Oh, I also like using the word “amazing.” And, thus, the Amazees! were born!

Check out this sophisticated artist rendering of what an Amazee! looks like:

Fancy, huh? You know you want one.

Some people may not know this, but I love movies almost as much as I enjoy playing videogames. Of course my tawdry love affair with videogames will never quite be matched, but, I have to say, there is something about seeing a great movie that really tickles my fancy.

Because of this obsession with movies and videogames I decided to present the Amazees! in two parts: today will focus on my favorite movies of 2008 and tomorrow will be dedicated to my favorite videogames of the year.

Keep in mind that these awards only involve movies and videogames that I have seen or played. If something incredible is missing it is probably because I just haven’t experienced it yet. Don’t yell at me!

So, without further adieu, I present to you the first annual Amazees!:


*girls taking off their tops*

*applause for girls taking off their tops*


The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Wait, the tears streaming out of my face at the end of this movie have something to say:

“The music ... so good ... so moving ...”

There you go. Tears don’t lie.

Runner-up: WALL-E


Although the entire movie is technically impressive, the sound effects in particular in Cloverfield are exceptional.

Runner-up: The Dark Knight

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Honestly, I just decided to add this category at the last minute just so I could talk about how freakin’ amazing the makeup in Benjamin Button is. Wow.

Runner-up: The Wrestler

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The cinematography in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is absolutely gorgeous. And, yes, be prepared to read the name “Benjamin Button” a lot throughout the rest of these awards.

Runner-up: Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire

It is very rare for me to notice how well a film is edited, but after seeing Slumdog Millionaire I remember mentioning to a friend how amazing the editing was. The remarkable style and frenetic pace of the movie are born almost entirely from the incredible editing.

Runner-up: American Teen

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Um, they digitally inserted Brad Pitt’s face on another actor for almost half the movie. And it looks amazing. Yeah, this award could not have gone to any other film.

Runner-up: Cloverfield

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

How many times have you ever said a movie is better than its source material? For me, only a small handful. And one of those movies is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Runner-up: Frost/Nixon


WALL-E is the definition of a perfectly structured movie. From the opening, wordless portion on Earth to the surprisingly deep commentary on the human race’s obsession with consumerism that closes the movie, WALL-E impresses and never ceases to blow me away with its endless creativity.

Runner-up: Slumdog Millionaire

Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)

As Queenie, the incredibly kind adoptive mother of Brad Pitt’s Benjamin, Taraji P. Henson is marvelous. No other actress this year (supporting or lead) embodied a role better. Every scene she was in filled my heart with such joy -- if I wasn’t laughing out loud I had a giant smile on my face.

Runner-up: Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married)

Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)

I know, giving Heath Ledger this award is so obvious. But, man, all these months later I am still thinking about his performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. My favorite scene has to be the part when Ledger’s character walks out of the hospital dressed as the nurse. That little hop he does off the curb sealed the deal for me.

Runner-up: Ayush Mahesh Khedekar (Slumdog Millionaire)

Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married)

The rehearsal dinner scene alone in Rachel Getting Married wins this category for Anne Hathaway. No other movie this year made me feel more uncomfortable than Rachel Getting Married, and it’s all thanks to Anne Hathaway’s tragic performance. And I mean that as the highest compliment.

Runner-up: Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)

Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)

Gosh, this was a tough category. Between Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon), Sean Penn (Milk), Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino) and Brad Pitt (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) I truly didn’t know who to pick!

In the end, though, Mickey Rourke gave the most affecting, physically demanding performance I have seen all year. Um, he took a staple gun to the chest. MULTIPLE TIMES!

Honorable Mention: Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon)

Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)

While David Fincher’s direction in Benjamin Button is flawless, I have to give the slight upper hand to Danny Boyle for his remarkable work on Slumdog Millionaire. Not only is Slumdog one of the best films of the year, it is also one of the most stylish and well constructed movies of all time. The direction truly is perfection.

Runner-up: David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

When I first saw Benjamin Button more than a month ago I was obsessed with it. Instead of proclaiming it the best movie of 2008, though, I decided to let the experience sink in a little and see it again when it opened on Christmas Day. I did. And it is still my favorite movie of the year.

As much as I adore Slumdog Millionaire and WALL-E, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button affected me on a level no movie has in years. The first time I saw it I continued to cry for at least ten minutes straight after the closing credits rolled. That’s one powerful piece of art! David Fincher’s masterpiece is like a modern day fairy tale, displaying some of the most technical wonder -- from the jaw-dropping visual effects to the stunning camera work -- I have ever seen on the big screen.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a movie I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life.

Honorable Mentions: Slumdog Millionaire, WALL-E


And, if you are curious, here is a list of my Top Ten Movies of 2008:

Top Ten Movies of 2008
1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
2. Slumdog Millionaire
4. The Wrestler
5. Milk
6. Gran Torino
7. The Dark Knight
8. Frost/Nixon
9. Rachel Getting Married
10. Cloverfield

Congratulations, The Curious Case of Benjamin! You are the big winner, taking home seven Amazees! Nice job!

Check back tomorrow for the Amazees! for best videogames of the year!

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