Razzies Form Guide 2013

This column was originally published in the Central Western Daily on Tuesday 19th February 2013.

It’s the movie awards season again and my favourite ceremony will take place in Hollywood on February 23. Celebrating the worst in film, the Golden Raspberry Foundation (of which I am proud member and voter) will award the Razzies, gold spray painted plastic trophies worth $7.50 each, to cinematic clunkers and wooden performances that have horrified audiences over the past year. I’ve just submitted my voting form so here are my choices from the cream of the rancid crop.

My Worst Picture: Battleship I would only play a board game if there was nothing else to do. And that includes sleeping, pushing hot needles into my eyeballs and watching that Gangnam Style music video again. I feel very much the same way about movies that are based on video games and feature robots onscreen. By this I mean Brooklyn Decker and Taylor Kitsch attempting to “act” and Liam Neeson in permanent grizzled mode, not the Transformers-style robot baddies.

My Worst Actress: Kristen Stewart Ah, the many facial expressions of K Stew. There’s bored. And, well, that’s it. The fact that she was outacted by a bizarre CGI head stuck on a baby in the last instalment of the Twiglet saga and made Chris Hemsworth’s attempt at a Scottish accent seem competent in Snore White and the Huntsman, means that the gong should go to this dynamic, versatile actress.

My Worst Actor: Eddie Murphy Why does Eddie keep going back to the turgid family friendly well? Two words: contractual obligation. His latest disaster A Thousand Words mercifully bypassed Australian cinemas but can be found in a bargain bin near you. Murphy plays a slimy literary agent whose interactions with a spiritual guru result in the appearance of a magical tree. For each word he speaks, one leaf falls off the tree. When the final leaf falls, who cares? Cherish your family blah blah blah.

My Worst Supporting Actress: Brooklyn Decker   Former model Ms Decker followed up her nomination in the Worst Screen Couple category (alongside Adam Sandler) at last year’s Razzies for Just Go with It, with a dual nomination for her wooden efforts in Battleship and pregnancy comedy What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I couldn’t bring myself to see the latter movie. I suppose I knew what to expect: dross. I do, however, like What to Expect When You’re Expecting for its assistance with my word count.

My Worst Supporting Actor: Liam Neeson How do you follow up the laughable but action packed The Grey and the action packed but laughable Taken 2? Why not reprise your role as Zeus in the beardtastic Wrath of the Titans and play the humourless Admiral Shane in Battleship? I guess we all have to eat. Shakespearean actors Vanilla Ice and David Hasselhoff are also nominated in this category but nothing compares to a great thespian knowingly slumming it in terrible films.

And the rest…

My Worst Screen Couple: Robert Patterson and Kristen Stewart (Twiglet)

My Worst Director: Peter Berg (Battleship)

My Worst Screen Ensemble: The Entire Cast of Battleship

My Worst Screenplay: Battleship

There goes my sponsorship from Hasbro. The winning losers will be announced on Oscars eve.


Bored of Board Game Movies

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This column was originally published in the Central Western Daily on Tuesday 16th August 2011.

As Hollywood continues to cannibalise itself with remake after remake, it has turned to other areas of popular culture in the hope of finding inspiration and more importantly, a profitable franchise.

We’ve had a glut of comic book films lately. Marvel has churned out the rather enjoyable Thor and Captain America flicks this year, both chapters of a storyline leading up to the highly anticipated Avengers movie to be released next year. DC unleashed the rather ho-hum Green Lantern on cinemas this week, and they’ll soon be serving up the final film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy plus another reboot of the Superman franchise.

Video games have been the basis of many terrible and a few decent movies of late. From the absolute low point of Uwe Boll’s House of the Dead to the fun Resident Evil series, these films always fail to deliver an experience that comes close to playing the game but that doesn’t seem to stop Hollywood from trying. There is talk that video game classic Space Invaders has been licensed for a cinematic revision. In this particular case, I would be happy if they don’t try to capture the gaming experience. I’m pretty sure that a Space Invaders film has already been made. It was called Independence Day.

And then there were the toy films. The Transformers franchise has certainly been the high point in terms of box office clout. Unfortunately, the power of Grayskull couldn’t save Masters of the Universe from being unwatchable, and G.I. Joe was a great film to ignore when you’re reading a book. This year, Hugh Jackman will star with boxing robots in Real Steel, based on the Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots toy line.

Just when you thought that there were no other aspects of pop culture to rape and pillage for a quick movie buck, the trailer for Battleship was released recently. That’s right, a movie based on the Milton Bradley board game.

Starring Liam Neeson and R & B superstar Rihanna, the plot focuses on an international naval fleet preparing for training exercises when they come into contact with an alien force. The trailer features a scene revealing that the aliens have knocked out the battleships’ radar, thus forcing them to fire blindly at the enemy (of course).

I’m absolutely positive that this terrible idea for a movie will feature a captain standing on a naval vessel bridge watching the skirmish unfold on a screen and then shouting out, “You’ve sunk my battleship!”

There’s also talk of Bladerunner director Ridley Scott developing a film based on the Monopoly board game. This sounds like a contender for Worst Film of the Decade not starring Katherine Heigl™.  OK, it may make a decent theme for a scratchie or McDonalds promotion but it sounds like the death of narrative cinema to me. In the same way that I have never ever finished a game of Monopoly (has anyone?)  I doubt I will make it through this clunker if it ever gets made.

In Hollywood, it seems as though there is nothing new under the sun. To me, board games represent family holidays where we’ve been stuck in the caravan on a wet day. Unless it’s Hungry, Hungry Hippos in 3D, I have no interest in movies based on board games. Do not collect $200 and do not pass go.