First off welcome to the Penguin Awards. This is Rookerville’s attempt to wrap up the year. The one guarantee about awards shows and end of the year lists is that, inevitably, no one can ever agree on them. Rather than attempting to assign a numerical rank to something so subjective in nature, our approach to quantifying what took place during the previous calendar year is more broad – our own preferences in each individual category, with no definitive #1. The subjects of our end of the year series are those that we are passionate about, but ultimately, the person who truly decides the “best of” 2013 is you, the reader. After all, perception is everything. Welcome to the 2013 Penguin Awards, our tribute to the things that grabbed our attention over the last twelve months.
Fictional Villain Of The Year
John Harrison/ Khan – ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’ (Pat Wong)
I am not a Trekkie. I did not think J.J. Abram’s reboot of the series, Star Trek (2009) lived up to the hype. The villain, Nero (Eric Bana), was very cheesy and too cartoonish. Star Trek: Into Darkness does not have that problem. Benedict Cumbertach is brilliant as the main antagonist, Commander John Harrison. It is later revealed that Harrison is actually a legendary Star Trek villain, Khan. Cumbertach’s portrayal of Khan is charismatic, brilliant, cunning, and captivating. His performance is so compelling during the film that you actually believe that Director Abram may have changed the story and made Khan a hero. Of course, Khan is one of the ultimate villains in the Star Trek mythos. In the movie, the younger Spock (Zachary Quinto) asks the elder Spock (Leonard Nimoy), who travelled back from the future in the first movie, whether he ever encountered a man named Khan during his travels. The elder Spock’s response is “As you know, I have made a vow never to give you information that could potentially alter your destiny. Your path is yours to walk, and yours alone. That being said, Khan Noonien Singh is the most dangerous adversary the Enterprise ever faced. He is brilliant, ruthless and he will not hesitate to kill every single one of you.” As a result, it is a testament to Cumbertach’s acting that he could make you believe Khan could be a hero even if it is only for a second. Even with a strong and entertaining cast in the movie, Cumbertach clearly steals the show and makes Star Trek: Into the Darkness the movie of the summer for me. In Khan’s own words, he should be the Fictional Villain of the Year “Because I am better.”
Whatever Was Clapping In The Conjuring (Matt Cargile)
I’m not usually the type to be too scared for anything. I’ll jump in and do challenge thrown my way. Alright admittedly I’m a little afraid of heights, so that does tend to come up, but in general I conquer it. But 2013 has brought one thing I have been unable to conquer. I have never seen a roller coaster I wouldn’t try, I’ve never seen food I wouldn’t try, but I have officially found a movie that I just can’t for the life of me watch. I know what you’re thinking, how can I nominate something I haven’t even seen. Well that’s just it. Whatever the hell is in that closet or in that basement making that stupid clapping noise, has actually prevented me from seeing a movie that I sincerely wanted to see. I first saw the trailer for this movie on a random rainy night, when I decided to go see a treat of a movie known as ‘The Purge’. ‘The Purge’ was far from being critically good, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was extremely entertaining. What made it even more entertaining was seeing the movie in a very audible and packed theater in Brooklyn. But even the most rambunctious crowd was brought to silence by the trailer for ‘The Conjuring’. I believe my exact reaction was “f*ck that movie.” In a time dominated by the anti hero and villains that we love, it’s kind of refreshing to come across an antagonist that has actually rendered me helpless. For that I nominate you; whatever was clapping in ‘The Conjuring’. But I do promise to see it in 2014.
Zod & Faora (Nichole Louise)
This is a hard one, mainly because villain characters have become so popular in recent film and TV. The first one that comes to mind is Loki. He has legions of followers on the interwebz. Second pick(s): Zod & Faora, but moreso Faora as she took viewers by surprise with her charming badassery.