This will be my third time crossing over into a new year while writing for Cinematical, and I've never once shelled out a top ten list. And every year, as January approaches, I always say to myself, "This will be the year I write a top ten list." Recently, it was more like, "You're the editor of the friggin' site -- you need to write a top ten list. It's, like, mandatory and punishable by death in some states." You'll notice that Cinematical has officially kicked off our year-end extravaganza; it began earlier this month with our Hot and Lame in 2007 lists, and now we'll end the year allowing several of our writers to give their top picks of 2007 (including a few posts on the worst films of the year as well). But when I looked at everything we were doing, I noticed one element was absent: Awesome Awards! So, instead of giving you another top ten list, here are my official awesome awards for 2007:

The Awesome Award for Best Action Scene Featuring Uncomfortable Male Nudity Goes to ...

The bath house scene in Eastern Promises -- David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises has wound up on a lot of year-end lists, and will most likely find a spot in the best picture category at the Oscars in 2008, but when you talk about the film there's one scene that immediately comes to mind: the bath house scene. Viggo Mortensen plays a guy with ties to the Russian mob, and when a couple of dudes are sent to off him at a bath house, we get one of the best action sequences in all of 2007 ... and Viggo is completely naked the entire time. It's extremely uncomfortable and wildly exhilarating to watch all at the same time.

The Awesome Award for Best Scene Featuring a Nerd Attempting to Woo the Girl Next Door Goes to ...

Sam Witwicky gives Mikaela Banes a "ride" in Transformers -- You won't see this film anywhere near a top ten best-of list this year, but Michael Bay's Transformers did include one genuine, well-written, cutesy moment early on in the film when Shia LaBeouf's character attempts to "pick up" Megan Fox on the side of the road in his new set of wheels and finds the yellow and black clunker has a mind of its own. While Fox is hardly the girl next door (more like the hottie on your next door neighbor's Playboy calendar), it was fun to watch LaBeouf reacting to this bizarre situation, while still trying to make sense of it and woo the girl of his dreams. In a film full of giant f**king robots, this was the most human scene ... if that makes any sense.


The Awesome Award for Best Performance from an Actress Who Will Probably Never Show Up in Another Boring Historical Epic Set Somewhere in Europe During the 16th Century Goes to ...

Ellen Page in Juno -- It's pretty safe to say Juno is officially the Little Miss Sunshine of 2007. It's quirky, cutesy, features odd, well-written characters and a hip indie soundtrack that makes you want to run over to iTunes, download, and pretend you're a pregnant teen living somewhere in the Midwest. And this film would be nothing without Ellen Page's awesome -- make that triple awesome -- performance in the lead role as Juno; a sarcastic, soul-searching teen who gets knocked up by the guy she kinda sorta thinks she loves. Here's hoping Page will always remain the underdog when it comes to awards time, because I'd rather watch her totally shine in a smaller film than suffer through another "important" performance from Cate Blanchett or Keira Knightley.

The Awesome Award for Best Performance from an Actor Who Provided Us with One of the Creepiest Villains of All Time Goes to ...

Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men -- Thanks to Javier Bardem, I will never participate in another coin toss ... ever again. His turn as Anton Chigurh in the Coen Bros.' No Country for Old Men is a performance that's bound to show up toward the top of an all-time greatest villains list for years to come. He had it all: The crazed, dazed look, the freakishly poetic dialogue and, most importantly, the originality. Yup, if someone ever walks up to me and insists he hold what appears to be the end of a helium tank up to my forehead, you bet your ass I'd be out of there in 2.2 seconds.

The Awesome Award for Best On-Screen Nudity from an Actress Who You Wouldn't Expect to Still Look That Hot Goes to ...

Marisa Tomei in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead -- Not only was this one of the best films of the year, but fans of Marisa Tomei were ecstatic to see the girl show up naked throughout the entire first half. We could've done without Philip Seymour Hoffman's naked donut spread out all over the screen, but man -- did Tomei look hot or what? You go girl!

The Awesome Award for Best Cameo Performance in 2007 Goes to ...

Tom Hanks in The Simpsons Movie -- Out of all the cameo performances in 2007, it was Tom Hanks appearing as himself in an advertisement for "the new Grand Canyon" during The Simpsons Movie that had me rolling. Greatest line: "Hello. I'm Tom Hanks. The US Government has lost its credibility, so it's borrowing some of mine."

The Awesome Award for Best Judd Apatow-related Film of 2007 Goes to ...

Knocked Up -- Out of the three films Judd Apatow took part in (Knocked Up, Superbad, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story), it was the one he wrote and directed that shined just a tad more than the others. Who woulda thought we'd get three great comedies about pregnancy this year, with Juno, Knocked Up and Waitress? All of them delivered more than a ton of laughs, yet all still maintained a healthy dose of heart. My favorite line from Knocked Up (only because it's so damn true): "Marriage is like a tense, unfunny version of Everybody Loves Raymond, only it doesn't last 22 minutes. It lasts forever."

The Awesome Award for the Cinematical Review That Was Better Than the Actual Film Goes to ...

James Rocchi's review of Good Luck Chuck -- Out of all the reviews we write throughout the year, James' take on Good Luck Chuck stood out because it was actually funnier than the damn film. Here's my favorite snippet: "As for Alba, she may be the dreamgirl for millions of teen boys -- or, rather, of pre-teen boys who sigh over their copies of Maxim and dream of one day being teens -- but on-screen she's deadly dull and exasperatingly stiff. Has Alba ever given a performance of any note? Or is she just a well-proportioned mammal where fate and the insane nature of modern fame have mysteriously plucked her from a life of car shows and county fair product demonstrations? Good Luck Chuck suggests the latter -- because, honestly, if you actually read the script for Good Luck Chuck and still wanted to be in it, it's fairly obvious you have no real sense of 'good' or 'bad' motivating your choices as a performer, just an understanding of the binary division between 'working' or 'not working.'"

The Awesome Award for Most Overly-Hyped Film of 2008 That Still Looks Pretty Damn Cool Goes to ...

The Dark Knight -- Now that the full-length trailer for Christopher Nolan's Batman sequel has debuted, there's a good chance the bulk of the viral marketing is over and done with. Thank God. But you have to admit Warner Bros. pulled out all the stops for a film that was already at the top of everyone's 2008 Must-See list by coming up with a marketing campaign that never ended. They had us surfing viral sites, looking for phone numbers to call, unlocking codes, taking pictures of Jokers -- you name it, they did it. Personally, I'd like a good two months off from The Dark Knight in order to restore my anticipation meter, but considering the hype, it looks like it's all going to pay off.

The Awesome Award for Erik's Favorite Film of 2007 Goes to ...

The Darjeeling Limited -- Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed a bunch of films this year, and in my opinion the best all-around flick is No Country for Old Men -- but my personal guilty pleasure, dark horse favorite was Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited. This flick grew on me over time, and it was the one I felt the most personally connected to. Perhaps it's because I have two brothers who are very different from myself, or perhaps it's because I'm a sucker for Anderson films -- either way this gem about three guys searching for spiritual growth on a train in India stood out amongst the pack and ultimately won me over.