2006 Kaedrin Movie Awards: Best Action Sequences & Best Plot Twist/Surprise

The nominations for the 2006 Kaedrin Movie Awards were announced last week. This post marks the end of the formally nominated awards, but I'll post another wrapup post with some miscellaneous awards tomorrow, and my top 10 films of 2006 on Sunday.

Best Action Sequences: Casino Royale

The action sequences in Casino Royale were superb. There were some who didn't appreciate the initial footchase, which seemed to contain the fantastical elements of Wu Xia Pian films (most recently popularized by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, and House of Flying Daggers), but I loved it. The race to save the plane in the airport was pure Bond, a more traditional action sequence that was executed perfectly. There are a few other good sequences as well. The stiffest competition actually came from the other spy flick, MI III. A stunning opening sequence, as well as several other great set pieces propelled the film along nicely (though I don't think it quite reaches Bond levels). Apocalypto is notable because of its extended chase sequence, which was well done and impressive. The space shuttle sequence in Superman Returns was the best moment in that film. In the end, Bond was just better than the competition.

Best Plot Twist/Surprise: The Departed

The Departed is a remake of the Hong Kong flick Infernal Affairs, and even though I had seen that movie, all of the shocking moments in The Departed were still effective, even though I knew they were coming. This speaks to just how impeccably staged this film is, and it is one of the best films of the year. All of the other nominees were quite good as well, with special mention of X-Men III: for all the film's flaws, one can't say the writers didn't have guts. Unfortunately, X-Men was totally overshadowed by its offscreen shenanigans (i.e. Brett Ratner, Halle Berry, etc...)

This marks the end of the formal awards. Stay tuned for a wrapup post tomorrow (which may contain a few additional awards), as well as my top 10 movies of the year on Sunday.