PG Cooper: Surprise Awards (2010)

Posted: January 13, 2011 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PGCMAs

These awards are dedicated to the things I didn’t see coming this year, and the things I just don’t understand.

Biggest Surprise

This is for the films you go to thinking its not gonna be very good, and then you end up really enjoying them.

The Fighter – I liked the cast involved, but I never had overly high expectations. I was shocked when the positive reviews started flooding in. At that point I realized I may have underestimated the film. And sure enough, when I saw it, it was really good. Among the top-tier of films I’ve seen all year in fact.

Kick Ass – Watching the trailers for Kick Ass, it looked like it was gonna be a goofy super-hero spoof similar to something like Mystery Men. Little did I know the film would end up being violent, brutal, but also with heart. The film makes a good statement about people who sit by and do nothing while the world goes to hell around them. On top of that, I actually got really attached to the characters emotionally, something I really didn’t expect.

The Last Exorcism – I thought this movie was gonna suck. Another terrible horror film trying to capitalize on the success of having a variation of exorcist in the title. But it was actually a pretty cool horror film. I can’t see it’s completely original, as it does borrow from other films, but it was an engaging story with a charismatic lead at the center of it all. It does have a clumsy ending, but I won’t let that ruin the journey to that end.

Let Me In – You may find it hypocritical that I also gave this a Best Trailer nomination. If I liked the trailer, I be default would be looking forward to it, right? Well, no. Well yeah, I liked the trailer, at the end of the day, we had an American remake of a highly acclaimed foreign film, and a horror film no less. I was really worried it be a soulless cash grab. But Let Me In turned out to be a fantastic horror film with a really interesting relationship at the center of it.

Predators – I love the original film, but it’s legacy has been insulted by all the terrible sequels (I’m looking at you AVP). Predators looked like just another attempt to take enough of the original, but it turned out to be a pretty fun ride, and a great homage to the original. This film gave me the feeling I wanted from The Expendables. A very fun action movie that put a huge smile on my face. Awesome.

And The Winner Is…





The Last Exorcism

The Last Exorcism is not the best film of the nominees, but it is the biggest surprise. While I had reservations about the other four films, I was looking forward to them to some degree. But I thought The Last Exorcism was gonna be absolute garbage. So for me to have enjoyed it so much really surprised me. It’s a flawed film, especially at the end, but over all, I thought it was a well made film and one of the scariest horror films of the year.

Most Under-Rated Film

These are the films that while I enjoyed, got mediocre to terrible reviews. This is dedicated to the films that don’t get the recognition they deserve.

The Book of Eli – I can’t say this is an example of fine film making, but I thought The Book of Eli was a pretty fun action movie. It had some awesome action scenes, Denzel Washington was badass, and Gary Oldman played a very entertaining villain. Yeah, the “twist” is really ridiculous, and Mila Kunis wasn’t great, but overall, a really fun film.

Edge of Darkness – While Mel Gibson’s performance was one of the highlights of the film, it’s his reputation that I think was the main reason this film was for the most part dismissed by critics. It’s far from a perfect film, but I had a good time with it. The action scenes were brutal and really well done, plus Mel Gibson had an intense performance.

Green Zone – There are two reasons I think Green Zone was so poorly received. One, it was compared to 2009’s Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker. This isn’t fair seeing as they’re two completely different films. One being a drama, and the other being a more straight up action film. Two, people accused Green Zone of being bias. I’ve defended this second thing since I first saw the film. Of course Green Zone is bias, it follows a character with a bias point of view. Besides, the film isn’t suppose to be taken as a study on the war, it’s an action movie. And a damn good one at that.

Predators – Forget The Expendables, Predators is a much better throwback to 80’s action films. Fun characters, great suspense, fast pace, and just a lot of fun. Yes, I enjoy thought-provoking films with deep characters who I become emotionally invested with, but I also like a fun action flick that puts a smile on my face.

Shutter Island – Like Edge of Darkness, this film benefits and suffers from the same thing. In this case, it’s director Martin Scorsese. Scorsese does a great job with the material, but because it’s Martin Scorsese, I believe people were far more critical of it. I also don’t think it helps that this was his first film following his Oscar-winning The Departed. Is this in the class of Scorsese classics like Taxi Driver or Goodfellas? Of course not, but it’s still a damn good film.

And The Winner Is…





Shutter Island

Shutter Island was the first 2010 film I saw. I loved it then, and I still love it now. While all these films were very underrated, this was the one that baffled me the most. I find it an intriguing journey with some impressive performances and of course, Scorsese’s mastery behind the camera. Like I said, this isn’t in the same league as Scorsese’s best films, but with that said, it is one of the best films of 2010.

  1. rofl says:

    Shutter Island ftw.

  2. rofl says:

    Shutter Island ftw. Glad you liked/picked it.

  3. bloto says:

    I didnt think that mila kunis was note worthy bad in the book of eli. she wasnt a great character at any stretch but she did a solid job for an annoying tag along person.

    • pgcooper1939 says:

      Oh yeah, I certainly didn’t hate her, but I was just kinda like meh, whatever toward her. But the last time you see her, like the last shot, was really silly.

      • bloto says:

        as the scene stands it was silly. mabye with better development of her character to that point (like a rocky training scene lol) would have made it un-silly.

  4. ianthecool says:

    Neat category. For me, A-Team was definitely the biggest surprise. I actually had a lot of fun with that movie. Predators actually surprised me quite a bit too.

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