Welcome to the third annual WTF Movie Awards, our annual celebration of the most baffling and bizarre moments in cinema. Our congratulations to this year's winners of the coveted Frank Trophy (pictured right):
Most Surprising Hit: The Lion King 3D
There were few surprises to be found among this year’s highest-grossing titles. Even Bridesmaids, widely regarded as 2011’s breakout hit, had a boatload of rhapsodic buzz that presaged its success. With audience enthusiasm for 3D lukewarm at best, who could have predicted that a 3D-refurbished Lion King would earn upwards of $94 million?
Most Inexplicable Flop: Happy Feet Two
So dominant has been animation’s hold over the box office in recent years that a $100 million-plus domestic tally for even the weakest of major-studio releases seemed a given. Not so for Happy Feet Two, which has yet to break the $60 million mark after over a month in theaters.
Best Unintentional Comedy: Abduction
The field in this category was perhaps the most competitive in years. With its formidable comic one-two punch of Leighton Meester and Minka Kelly, The Roommate emerged as the clear-cut favorite in the early going, fending off such early challengers as Red Riding Hood and Sucker Punch. Its victory seemed all but assured until September, when it was overtaken by the hilariously ill-conceived Taylor Lautner action vehicle, Abduction.
Best Inadvertent Horror Flick: New Year’s Eve
Over the course of 118 soul-sucking minutes, Garry Marshall and his celebrity minions cycle through one cringe-worthy moment after another in this relentless blitzkrieg of schmaltz.
The Ewan McGregor Award for Achievement in Male Full-Frontal Nudity: Michael Fassbender, Shame
Outside of Anthony Weiner, no public figure earned more press for his exposed naughty bits this year than Fassbender, whose “Fassboner,” as it has been affectionately christened, could propel him all the way to the Oscar stand. (Well, that and his haunting depiction of the soul-deadening effects of sex addiction. Details.) Fassbender stands a solid chance of being the first actor nominated for both an Academy Award and an AVN Award in the same year.
WTF Performer of the Year: Andy Serkis
As the super-smart ape Ceasar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Serkis not only put forth the first convincing case for CGI performance-capture filmmaking, he outshined his human co-star, James Franco, who appeared far less life-like in comparison.
WTF Movie of the Year: The Skin I Live In
In a year when reliable WTF directors David Cronenberg and Lars von Trier produced films disappointingly lacking in stomach-churning imagery, Pedro Almodovar stepped up with a work of pure, unmitigated deviance: gorgeous, grotesque, and meticulously discomfiting.
Tributes have poured in for late soul legend James Brown, who died on Christmas day. He was 73.
The singer, dubbed the 'Godfather of Soul,' passed away unexpectedly in the hospital in Atlanta after suffering pneumonia. He also had diabetes and prostate cancer which was in remission.
Charles Bobbit, a close pal of Brown, said that hours before his death he was still hoping to headline a scheduled New Year's Eve gig on Sunday at the B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in New York.
Brown's glittering career kicked off when he joined a gospel group after serving a jail term for attempting to steal a car. He scored his first hit on the rhythm and blues chart with “Please Please Please” in 1956 and went on to boast 94 hits on Billboard's mainstream Hot 100.
Last month Brown performed at London's Alexandra Palace to mark his induction into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame, 20 years after entering the U.S. equivalent.
As well as enjoying individual success, Brown influenced an array of other music stars including Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Michael Jackson, as well as a string of rappers who sampled his unique grooves.
Singer Little Richard says the soul star will be remembered as an innovator and inspiration.
He says, "Rap music, all that stuff came from James Brown."
Jagger adds, "He was a whirlwind of energy and precision and he was always very generous and supportive to me in the early days of the (Rolling) Stones.
"I have always been a huge admirer of him as a performer and a band leader. His passing is a huge loss to music."
Other stars leading tributes to Brown include civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, who hailed the singer as a social force as well as a musical genius.
He says, "They call him Godfather of Soul--if soul means feeling and passion and pathos and cultural sensitivity, he embodied soul."
Brown juggled his musical success with a turbulent personal life. He married four times and was plagued with charges of drug and alcohol abuse.
He will be buried on Saturday in his hometown of Augusta, Georgia, after a funeral in New York City, according to his management company.
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