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Pass the marshmallows

Best and worst summer movies deserve their own awards -- the S'mOscars

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The kids are back in school, the popcorn poppers are cooling off and the theatres they operate in are back on fall hours. So that's a wrap on this year's summer cinema season, that First of May-to-Labour Day epoch when movie budgets are big and theatre soft drinks are bigger.

The domestic box office was up to over $4.6 billion, a new record, according to Box Office Mojo. The international audience, which Hollywood has been pandering to of late (Pacific Rim), is flat.

Iron Man 3 made the most money ($408 million), Despicable Me 2 made over $350 million and Man of Steel, not a sequel, took in $290 M.

The Academy Awards are handed out in the dead of winter and typically honour only those films that are still fresh on everybody's mind -- prestige pictures and the fall and winter "awards season" movies. Summer movies deserve their own Oscars -- S'mOscars, we call them. Sort of like S'mores, without the marshmallows.

And here they are.


Best picture -- Fruitvale Station, one of just a handful of summer dramas, this one could make the real Oscars best picture short list.

Best actress -- Cate Blanchett, so broad, so theatrical, so frail and Blanche DuBois-like in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine. Another "real" Oscar favourite.

Best actor -- Forest Whitaker reminded us that the greatest weapon of the civil rights movement might have been dignity in The Butler.

Best supporting actor -- Steve Carell, playing bad in The Way, Way Back.

Best supporting actress -- Shailene Woodley, who turns the high school-drinking dramedy The Spectacular Now serious the moment she shows up.

Best movie you missed (or haven't had a chance to see yet) -- See above. Spectacular about covers it.

Worst movie you all saw -- Man of Steel. Yeah, I went there.

Best make-work project for his pals -- Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing.

Worst make-work project for his pals -- Adam Sandler's Grown Ups 2.

Most riotous performance in a bad movie -- Jeff Bridges in R.I.P.D., edging Johnny Depp in Tonto: The Motion Picture.

Coming-of-age comedy you hope your kids won't emulate -- The To Do List.

Comedy you hope they will -- The Way, Way Back.

Best libation -- Beer, so vital to saving humanity in The World's End, such a grand social lubricant for romance in Drinking Buddies and a sea-monster repellent in Grabbers.

Best horror picture -- The Purge. "You're on your own" politics debunked by science fiction.

Sequels nobody asked for -- RED 2, Smurfs 2, Kick-Ass 2, Percy Jackson 2.

One drink over the line -- The Hangover Part III.

Worst timing -- White House Down, too soon after Olympus Has Fallen, and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, good enough for April but a disaster in August.

Best popcorn pic -- World War Z with its ant-piles of zombies scrambling over walls.

Most violent -- You're Next.

Best car -- The Jensen Interceptor wheeled by Michelle Rodriguez through Fast & Furious 6.

Best farewell tour -- The Shaun of the Dead team takes one last bow together with The World's End.

Worst product placement -- Google in The Internship. Some say the passable Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn comedy was stillborn thanks to its celebration of the hydra-headed tech company.

The Greatest Gatsby -- Leo, who made this one work and made it a hit.

Worst picture -- Disney's Planes, the nadir of a weak summer for children's animation.

Biggest bomb -- R.I.P.D. lost even more money than The Lone Ranger. Which is saying something.

-- McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 31, 2013 G3

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