A handful of awards to mark the midway point of the year in movies

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We're past the halfway point of 2019, so now is a good time to take stock of the movies that have hit screens and streaming services so far this year, before the rest of summer takes hold and we head into fall and beyond. 

At the box office, it's been a blockbuster bonanza, with Marvel capturing the Nos. 1 and 2 spots with "Avengers: Endgame" and "Captain Marvel," which have grossed a combined $3.9 billion worldwide. But there's much more to wade through at the movies than just colossal superhero fare. 

To mark the midway point of the year, I've decided to hand out some awards to films released so far in 2019. Some are recommendations, some are not, but every one of the awarded titles made an impression.  

The "I Can't Wait To See This Movie Again, And I'm Only Five Minutes Into it" Award for demanded repeat viewing: "The Last Black Man in San Francisco"

The "Let the Footage Speak for Itself" Award for documentary that doesn't need voiceover, interviews for any additional tools to tell its story: "Apollo 11"   

The "Kids Movie That is Actually For Kids, Not for Adults Who Want to be In on the Joke or Lulled into Some Faint Sense of Nostalgia" Award: "The Kid Who Would Be King"

The "Fall From Grace" Award for the sequel that didn't live up to its predecessor: "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" 

The "I'm Not Sure Matthew McConaughey is Even Acting in This" Award: Matthew McConaughey, "The Beach Bum"

The "I Am Sure Matthew McConaughey is Acting in This, But Maybe He Shouldn't Have" Award: Matthew McConaughey, "Serenity"

The "Sledgehammer" Award for lack of subtlety in getting your point across: Billy Corben, for hiring children to play A-Rod and a bunch of quack doctors in his hilarious Florida-set steroid documentary "Screwball" 

The "Did Courtney Love Sign Off On This?" Award for excellence in portraying volatile 1990s female rockers: Elisabeth Moss, "Her Smell" 

The "Stop Looking at the Camera, Man, You're Freaking Me Out!" Award: The World War I soldiers staring into what must have been the first camera they'd ever seen in "They Shall Not Grow Old" 

The "Maybe One Day It Will Be a Cult Hit, But for Now It's Just Kind of a Mess" Award: "Under the Silver Lake" 

The "I Can't Wait Until This Becomes a Stage Musical" Award for a film that is ready-made for Broadway: "Rocketman" 

The "Did He Just Fight Him With a Book, Because It Looks Like He Just Fought Him With a Book" Award for creativity in fight sequences: "John Wick 3: Parabellum" 

The "Laura Branigan Has Never Sounded So Vital" Award for excellence in use of 1982's "Gloria": "Gloria Bell" 

The "Very Particular Set of Skills" Award for bringing humor to a Liam Neeson action thriller: "Cold Pursuit" 

The "I Really Wasn't Expecting Machine Gun Kelly to Be the Best Thing About This Movie" Award: "The Dirt" 

The "We May Have Overestimated the Wokeness of the American Public" Award for a movie that should have done better at the box office: "Booksmart" 

The "I'd Rather Be Watching This With John Waters" Award for a movie so campy it can only be truly appreciated in the presence of John Waters: "Greta" 

The "Death Sucks, Here's a Movie About It" Award: "Diane" 

The "Wow, What Did I Just Watch" Award for movie that goes to unexpected places: "The Perfection"

The "What Did I Just Watch, Now I'm Afraid of the Sunlight" Award for movie that goes to unexpected places in broad daylight: "Midsommar"

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama

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