The Razzies 2010: celebrating the worst in cinema

This column was originally published in the Central Western Daily on Tuesday 11th January 2011.

It’s that time of the year again. The awards season is soon upon us, and for members of the Golden Raspberry Foundation such as myself, it’s time to review all of those terrible movies from the past twelve months and ensure that they get their well deserved nomination in the 31st Annual Razzie Awards.

It may not be as exclusive as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with its ninety members voting for the Golden Globes, or the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with their fancy Oscars, but the Golden Raspberry Foundation is still rather difficult to join. You need a Paypal account and a whole thirty five American dollars to become a member. As I’m not eligible to vote for the Logies (you need to be a fourteen year old girl for that), participating in the Razzies is my only way to flex some democratic muscle in the world of showbiz.

Right now, the awards are in the nomination stage so let’s have a look at who gets my vote to be listed on that final ballot paper. I’ll preface my choices by saying that I didn’t deliberately seek out terrible films to waste away my precious time watching but that sometimes I succumb to the marketing ploys of the Hollywood machine and spend my hard earned dollars on garbage thinking “it can’t be that bad.” Unfortunately, it usually is.

A special new category this year is Worst Eye-Gouging Mis-Use of 3D. The obvious choice would be the very realistic ceiling collapse scene at the cinema in Bathurst but I’ll give my nods to the awful rendered into 3D post production disasters that were The Last Airbender and Clash of the Titans. I didn’t get a chance to see Cats and Dogs 2: The Revenge of Kitty Galore but I’ll nominate that one too. Talk about the sequel that no-one demanded. Just like no-one wants to see Rain Man 2: Qantas Does Crash.

It’s a shame that I can’t nominate Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never 3D in advance. I’m sorry, but if I wanted to see a movie about a cheeky singing and dancing fictional cartoon character, I’d see Yogi Bear 3D. Speaking of which, the voice talents of Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake are not enough to save this flick from my nomination either.

My entire allocation of nominations for the Worst Actress category could be filled with the cast of Sex and the City 2 but that would be too easy. Case 39 stars Renee Zellwegger and was released in Australia two years ago. However, this horror thriller about a demon child (another perfect descriptor of the Bieber fever movie) was so bad it was held back from US release until now. Want to do a perfect Renee Zellwegger impression each and every time? Just imagine a hamster staring at the sun and you’ll never go wrong. Katherine Heigl, who can’t seem to turn down any romantic comedy, and the vacuous Megan Fox will also get my nominations for Killers and Jonah Hex, respectively.

Throw in the bland and expressionless Kristen Stewart (on and off-screen) from Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Miley (Smiley Virus) Cyrus for The Last Song and that’s my set.

Sam Worthington’s Aussie Perseus in Clash of the Titans is certainly worthy of a nomination in the Worst Actor category. Prince of Persia: The Sand of Time saw Jake Gyllenhaal able to reverse time. Unfortunately washboard abs don’t substitute for acting. I think everyone in the audience wished for the power to turn back the clock after watching this 3D turkey. Gerald Butler also can’t say no to a romantic comedy, good or bad, but mostly bad. His dodgy turn in The Bounty Hunter makes his subtle performance in 300 (this is Sparta!!) seem positively Shakespearean.

The Last Airbender is my sole nomination for Worst Picture. It represents everything that is wrong with Hollywood, Bad 3D and M. Night Shyamalan. Famous for his Hitchcockian twists, the twist at the end of this live action cartoon adaption was that there were no refunds.

The official nominations for the 31st Annual Razzie Awards will be announced on Monday 24 January with the official presentation ceremony usually held the night before the Oscars. It’s still not too late to participate in the nomination and voting process. Join now and make a difference (perhaps).

And the winner is…Lindsay Lohan

This column was originally published in the Central Western Daily on Tuesday 19th January 2010.

In the world of cinema, the beginning of the year also marks the start of the awards season. By the time you read this, the Golden Globes, presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), will have been announced. Hosted this year by British funnyman Ricky Gervais, the Globes are widely considered a strong indicator for the results of the Oscars, which will follow on the 7th of March.

What most movie fans don’t realise is that the HFPA is a particularly small organisation, comprising of approximately 95 members. Journalists from publications outside of the USA who cover the motion picture industry are eligible to join, however, generally only one new member a year is admitted, as a strange rule allows any existing member the right to veto the application of a potential new member.

The Oscars, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), represent a body of over 6000 members. Membership is by invitation only, with eligibility earned via a nomination in the Oscars or submission by an existing member. All AMPAS members have made a significant contribution to the filmmaking industry and are largely from the USA but can be from anywhere in the world. This year’s Oscars ceremony, the 82nd, will be co-hosted by Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. They replace Hugh Jackman, who received generally poor reviews for his camp song and dance man act.

Whilst the average movie fan has little opportunity to influence the major film awards, there is one ceremony in Hollywood that is open to voters throughout the world. The Razzies, held at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Hollywood on the night before the Oscars, recognise the worst in filmmaking each year.

The Razzies and the Golden Raspberry Foundation were established by US copyrighter and publicist, John Wilson, in 1981. The first ever Golden Raspberry awards were held in Wilson’s living room alcove with 36 people voting the Village People disaster Can’t Stop The Music the worst picture of the year. The event was picked up by the press and the Razzies soon grew to become the major annual alternative awards ceremony.

In 2005, Halle Berry famously appeared in person to accept her worst actress award for Catwoman. Holding her 2001 Oscar for best actress in Monster’s Ball in one hand and her Razzie in the other, Berry proved herself a good sport with a hilarious self-deprecating speech that mimicked her emotion laden Oscars acceptance a few years earlier. A box office and critical bomb, Catwoman would also go on to win worst picture, worst screenplay and worst director.

The Golden Raspberry Award itself, costs US$4.79 each to make, and consists of a golf ball sized raspberry atop a Super 8 film reel, spray painted gold.

Last year’s Razzies were dominated by Eddie Murphy and Lindsay Lohan. The latter’s dual performance in I Know Who Killed Me won worst actress and worst screen couple, with the film also winning worst director, worst screenplay, worst remake or rip-off and worst film. Eddie Murphy’s multiple roles in Norbit earned him worst actor, worst supporting actor and worst supporting actress.

Submissions for the official Razzie nomination ballot in all categories are due very soon, with the finalists to be announced on the 1st of February. Membership is open to all, costs US$25 and is available on the Razzies website.

As a member of the Golden Raspberry Foundation, my nominations are already in and I predict that the 2009 (dis)honours are likely to be bestowed upon Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and G.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 13:03  Leave a Comment  
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