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.

Razzie Nominees 2012 & Star Wars 3D

This column was originally published in the Central Western Daily on Tuesday 28th February 2012.

The Academy Awards may have come and gone but this year’s most important film awards ceremony is still yet to come. The Golden Raspberry Foundation, honouring the worst in cinema, has changed their format for 2012. Instead of being awarded the night before the Oscars, the Razzie nominations have been announced this past weekend, with the winners (or losers, depending on how you look at it) to be unveiled on April Fools’ Day.

This year’s array of schlock has seen renown thespian Adam Sandler break the record for the most nominations ever. Between romantic comedy Just Go with It and alleged comedy Jack & Jill, Sandler has racked up a craptastic 11 nominations. Of course, receiving a nod for Worst Actor as Jack and Worst Actress as Jill, helped a great deal. He’s also a writer and producer of Worst Picture nominee Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star which has bypassed Australian cinemas and will plop onto video store shelves in early March. It follows the adventures of a young man who hopes to follow in the footsteps of his parents and become a porn star. It sounds like it possibly might be the Citizen Kane of our generation, if Orson Welles’ classic was about a young man who hopes to follow in the footsteps of his parents and become a porn star.

As one of two Razzie voters in Orange (that I know of), I’ve already sat through many of the nominated abominations. There are still a few that I will need to witness prior to sending my ballot papers to Artesia, California, so unfortunately, Jack & Jill, Abduction, Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star, Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 and The Hangover Part 2 are on my “must watch and try to stay awake” list.

 

Speaking of movie duds, I still haven’t witnessed the mess that is Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace in 3D. I remember how excited I was in the lead up to its original release in 1999. I had tickets to a screening at one minute past midnight on the day of its Australian release. The cinema was packed with fans. The Lucasfilm logo appeared and the crowd went wild. Then up came the title screen with the familiar John Williams fanfare to more screams and applause. The crawler text began.

Taxation? I’ve been waiting 16 years for the prequel to my all time favourite movie franchise and its origins lie in taxes and trade routes? The bubble burst. The hopes and dreams of millions of Star Wars fans faded away just like Yoda in Return of the Jedi. It was all downhill into the sarlacc pit from there. Besides the podrace and the double lightsaber duel, The Phantom Menace is truly awful.

No amount of expensive 3D conversion will salvage this movie. The only problem is that Lucasfilm producer Rick McCallum has announced that unless this initial 3D revision is a success, there won’t be any further 3D Star Wars releases, and I do want to see Episode IV in eye popping, headache inducing 3D! So, to do my part, this week I shall be purchasing a ticket to The Phantom Menace at the cinema and then going home to enjoy the original trilogy on blu-ray.

My Razzies Diary 2012

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This column was originally published in the Central Western Daily on Tuesday 17th January 2012.

The awards season kicked off with the Golden Globes yesterday, however, the most important ceremony is yet to come. Every year, on the night before the Oscars, the Golden Raspberry Awards are announced to celebrate the worst in cinema. As a member of the Golden Raspberry Foundation, I take my responsibilities berry seriously. At the moment, members are deciding the nominees for the final ballot. Having wisely avoided most of the past year’s dross, I needed to watch a dud a night this week to make an informed decision. This is my Razzie diary

Monday Tonight’s delight is Just Go with It starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. I really want to like Adam Sandler but I’m constantly disappointed by his work. In 1995 I took my university friends kicking and screaming to the cinema to see Billy Madison, but they ended up loving the film. I guess his comedy schtick was fresh then. It certainly isn’t now. My test for deciding whether a comedy I’ve just watched is a dud is to watch the gag real. If the bloopers make me laugh more than the movie itself, it’s rubbish. Just Go with It is certified rubbish. There’s no chemistry between the leads and I’m not entirely sure what Nicole Kidman is doing here in a supporting role. I guess we all have bills to pay.

Tuesday Season of the Witch should be billed as part three of Nicholas Cage’s alimony trilogy, along with The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Drive Angry. It’s like he has chosen a terrible hairstyle and decided to wear it for three films in a row…any three films. Remember how great he was in Leaving Las Vegas? It’s been downhill ever since. Ron Pearlman, playing an almost identical role to his one in Conan the Barbarian, is probably the best thing in this disaster. He plays a disillusioned Crusader knight, alongside Cage, who decides to take an accused witch to a monastery in order to stop the Black Plague. As you do.

Wednesday I can’t believe that Ivan Reitman directed both Ghostbusters and No Strings Attached.  This so-so romantic comedy stars Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. Kutcher isn’t nearly as terrible as his annoying character in New Year’s Eve (my pick for Worst Film). There’s a sense of smugness in all of his performances which I dislike. Oscar winners seem to choose lighter projects after their triumphs to prove their versatility. I prefer Natalie Portman in dramatic roles. As proven here and in the Star Wars prequel trilogy she should avoid comedies.

Thursday Arthur is a remake of the classic eighties comedy which originally featured Dudley Moore. In the title role this time is Russell Brand. I like Brand in supporting roles because I think a little of his comedy style goes a long way. I’m not entirely sure if he is acting or playing himself. No wonder Katy Perry left him. The best part of this film is Helen Mirren as Arthur’s nanny, Hobson. She has a gravitas that will overcome any crappy script, including this one. My girlfriend says she would happily watch this film again. I wouldn’t, but it certainly isn’t from the bottom of the barrel. Arthur passes my blooper test. The film itself is funnier than the gag reel.

Friday I can’t take anymore of this and go to the cinema to watch The Muppets instead.