Saturday 29 January 2011

Notes on the Razzies

The nominations for this year's Golden Raspberry Awards - celebrating the very worst in American filmmaking - were announced this week. They are, with notes, as follows:

Worst Picture
The Bounty Hunter
The Last Airbender

Sex and the City 2
Vampires Suck

Proof that the studio system can still churn out rubbish to match the best of them - yet I'd have been tempted to leave Eclipse alone (it's, you know, for kids), and even as a SATC-sceptic, I had more amused and appalled fun during Part 2 than I did sweating and shaking my way through the franchise's first big-screen outing. Which means it's surely between professional knuckle-dragger Gerard Butler bundling Jennifer Aniston into his car boot - ah, whoever said romance was dead? - and Dev Patel committing post-Slumdog career hari kari in M. Night Shyamalan's stereoscopic turkey, a film so crap that, within twenty minutes, you've forgotten to snigger at all that "bender"-friendly dialogue.

What will [and did] win? The Last Airbender
What should win?
The Bounty Hunter

Worst Actor
Jack Black, Gulliver's Travels
Gerard Butler, The Bounty Hunter
Ashton Kutcher, Killers and Valentine's Day
Taylor Lautner, Eclipse and Valentine's Day
Robert Pattinson, Eclipse and Remember Me

There can be only one winner. [Edit: I was wrong.]

Who will win? Gerard Butler
Who should win? Gerard Butler
Who did win? Kutcher

Worst Actress
Jennifer Aniston, The Bounty Hunter and The Switch
Miley Cyrus, The Last Song
The Four "Gal Pals", Sex and the City 2
Megan Fox, Jonah Hex
Kristen Stewart, Eclipse

A much closer field, not least as the combined ensemble ghastliness of the SATC crowd could, collectively, rival Cyrus's toothy dullness and Fox's terminal woodenness. A word in favour of a couple of the nominees: if there's anything wrong with Stewart's performances in the Twilight movies, it's because she's limited by the character of Bella Swan, not through any failings of her own dramatic range; and, though I loathe The Bounty Hunter and everything it stands for, I don't think Aniston's anywhere near as godawful in that and The Switch as other actresses might have been - she's just there, which is exactly the problem with her big-screen career thus far.

Who will win? The Four "Gal Pals"
Who should [and did] win? For services against femalekind, the Four "Gal Pals" prove hard to beat.

Worst Supporting Actor
Billy Ray Cyrus, The Spy Next Door
George Lopez, Marmaduke, The Spy Next Door and Valentine's Day
Dev Patel, The Last Airbender
Jackson Rathbone, The Last Airbender and Eclipse
Rob Schneider, Grown Ups

To rule out a couple of these contenders: I've yet to witness Schneider's contribution to the much-reviled Grown Ups, although it can't, surely, be any worse than his comedy Chinaman in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry; while Lopez's 2010 work merely represents a triple-threat of burly mediocrity. With the inclusion of Miley's dad down to reverse nepotism - although he did record "Achy Breaky Heart", the idea that Billy Ray Cyrus might comprise part of America's intelligence forces was The Spy Next Door's one good joke - and my inability to pick Jackson Rathbone out of a line-up, there's surely only one winner, amply delivering on all the promise his participation in TV's Skins suggested.

Who will win? Dev Patel
Who should win? Dev Patel
Who did win? Jackson Rathbone. Whoever he is

Worst Supporting Actress
Jessica Alba, The Killer Inside Me, Machete, Meet the Parents: Little Fockers and Valentine's Day
Cher, Burlesque
Liza Minnelli, Sex and the City 2
Nicola Peltz, The Last Airbender
Barbra Streisand, Meet the Parents: Little Fockers

I'll confess this one's got me totally stumped - I'm at a disadvantage when it comes to Streisand (haven't seen), Peltz (haven't a clue) or Cher (whom I gather has her fans); I thought Minnelli's inclusion was one of the highlights of SATC2 (which probably tells you all you need to know about that film), and even the reliably useless Alba was only variably ineffective this year - cleverly deployed in Machete, taking chances in The Killer Inside Me, and anonymous among the all-star pile-up that was Valentine's Day.

Who will win? Minnelli, if there's a SATC2 landslide
Who should [and did] win? Alba, for her commitment to cinematic rubbishness.

Worst Eye-Gouging Misuse Of 3D
Cats & Dogs 2: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
Clash of the Titans
The Last Airbender
Nutcracker 3D
Saw 3D

No Alice in Wonderland, still the flattest, most cluttered example of hasty, post-Avatar stereoscopic retrofitting? Curiouser and curiouser. Otherwise, some fine examples of Hollywood bandwagon-jumping - in a category all too badly needed.

What will [and did] win? The Last Airbender
What should win? Clash of the Titans, for having fewer dimensions than Ray Harryhausen's original stopmotion creations - and thus illustrating how regressive 3D filmmaking has become.

Worst Screen Couple/Worst Screen Ensemble
Aniston and Butler, The Bounty Hunter
Josh Brolin's face and Megan Fox's accent, Jonah Hex
The entire cast of The Last Airbender
The entire cast of Sex and the City 2
The entire cast of Eclipse

Several tricky generalisations here: giving it to Eclipse would mean punishing the excellent Billy Burke as Bella Swan's father; giving it to SATC2 would do the same for Chris Noth's suddenly heroic Mr. Big. Can you think of anyone who might similarly spare the ensemble of The Last Airbender from their tragic fate? Nope, me neither.

Who will win? The entire cast of The Last Airbender
Who should win? The entire cast of The Last Airbender
Who did win? The SATC ensemble

Worst Director
Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, Vampires Suck
Michael Patrick King, Sex and the City 2
M. Night Shyamalan, The Last Airbender
David Slade, Eclipse
Sylvester Stallone, The Expendables

Slade, in his defence, actually bulked up the action quotient of the Twilight movies; King was merely doing what was expected of him and his franchise, in putting two-and-a-half hours of handbags and "risque" dialogue up on screen; Stallone wasn't exactly on peak form with The Expendables, but he's a big, obvious, lumbering target. Friedberg and Seltzer have form in the field (they're the giggling morons who gave us Date Movie, Extreme Movie et al.), but surely no-one will stop Shyamalan claiming rightful recognition for his recent descent into absolute batshit career-annihilating craziness.

Who will win? Shyamalan
Who should [and did] win? Shyamalan

Worst Screenplay
The Last Airbender
Meet the Parents: Little Fockers
Sex and the City 2
Vampires Suck

Examples of how Hollywood movies can often get stuck on a single word, to their detriment. What The Last Airbender does with the term "bender", Sex and the City 2 did with "sex", the Twilight movies are doing with "yearning", and the Meet the Parents sequels have done with the name "Focker". The biggest missed opportunity here is Vampires Suck, given how solemnly sincere and thus open to parody the Twilight saga is - although you have to wonder why Shyamalan didn't type the word "bender" into Google before opening up a new Word document.

What will win? The Last Airbender
What should [and did] win? The Last Airbender

Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel
Clash of the Titans
The Last Airbender
Sex and the City 2
Vampires Suck

Practically the same line-up as the Worst Picture category, which would suggest that making one of these is the one cast-iron way of ending up with a bad movie on your hands. At this point, it's looking more and more likely that either Airbender or SATC2 will sweep the board, with token gongs for the remaining contenders - although, in terms of dumping all over what I hesitate to describe as the inspiration, Clash of the Titans' betrayal of the fondly remembered original is perhaps a little worse than the others' myriad misdemeanors.

What will win? The Last Airbender
What should win? Clash of the Titans
What did win? Sex and the City 2

This year's Razzies will be awarded on February 26th.

1 comment: