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Black Keys, Johnny Depp Liven Up MTV Movie Awards

'Hunger Games' leads winners

Johnny Depp and Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys perform during the MTV Movie Awards in Universal City, California.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
June 4, 2012 8:55 AM ET

It was the old franchises versus the new, with the recently wrapped Harry Potter and soon-to-be-finished Twilight sagas going head to head with a new kid on the block, The Hunger Games, at this year's MTV Movie Awards. If the battle of the heavyweights was a boxing match, it would've been dubbed a split decision, with all three taking major awards.

The final Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, won Best Hero and Best Cast, the latter picked up by Emma Watson, who may have been the biggest fan favorite in all of the Gibson Ampitheatre based on the screams she got every time she took the stage. The Hunger Games walked away with four awards, including Best Female Performance for recent Rolling Stone cover star Jennifer Lawrence and Best Male Performance for Josh Hutcherson. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 saved face with the prestigious Best Movie award, presented by Jodie Foster, and Best Kiss once again.

While Watson may have been the crowd favorite of the movie stars (Hutcherson and Twilight's Kristen Stewart drew some Bieber-like screaming as well), the clear musical winners were the Black Keys, who had some serious star power help from Generation Award winner Johnny Depp, who rocked some guitar during "Gold on the Ceiling" and "Lonely Boy." It was by far the most rock & roll moment of the night, with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry praising Depp for his "gutsiness as an artist" and calling him "a rock star," which he certainly looked like on this night.

Music was a bigger part of this year's show. In addition to the Keys/Depp collaboration, Fun. and Janelle Monae opened the show with "We Are Young" and Wiz Khalifa brought his hit single, "Work Hard, Play Hard." And music finally got its own Movie Award (a la the Oscars' Best Song), with LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" taking the nod for its appearance in 21 Jump Street.

But the Movie Awards remain an unusual hybrid – part movies, part music and part Comic-Con, as evidenced by the triumvirate of Christian Bale, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Gary Oldman on hand to present footage from The Dark Knight Rises. An emotional Bale, who got choked up at clips of the late Heath Ledger, helped introduce director Christopher Nolan, who received a standing ovation before he presented some previously unseen footage from the film, drawing oohs and ahhs. 

That Nolan and his accomplished trio of actors were on hand at all is testament to the power of MTV Movie Awards. It may not always be pretty (and there were some WTF moments mixed into the show last night), but the show's reach is undeniable. The show always has its share of memorable moments as well, topped last night by the Keys and Depp. 

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