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.

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.

The Year in Film: 2011’s Worst Movies

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This column was originally published in the Central Western Daily on Tuesday 6th December 2011.

With 2011 almost done and dusted, it’s time once again to review the cinematic good, the bad and the ugly of the past eleven months and 6 days. Admittedly, I didn’t frequent the cinema or video shop as much as in previous years but that didn’t help me to avoid these clunkers. Over the next few weeks, let’s start from the bottom and work our way to the top. Here are my worst films of 2011.

There were two fighting robots movies released this year and the one you should have missed was Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Directed with the subtlety of a Jeremy Clarkson rant by Michael Bay, this sequel was more than a two hour toy commercial, it was also a sales pitch for paracetamol. Robots clashed, people ran, things exploded, people ran some more and all in eye smashing, headache inducing 3D.

Shea LaBeef and Fergie’s husband returned for a payday, alongside franchise newcomers McDreamy, the guy from Being John Malkovich and Oscar winner Frances McDormand. Megan “so hot in 2004” Fox was canned from the production for apparently saying negative things about the director. I guess I’m out of contention for Transformers 4 now too.

After several stalled attempts, The Green Hornet finally arrived in January. Written by funny man Seth Rogan and directed by the imaginative Michael Gondry, The Green Hornet was strangely neither funny nor imaginative. Also starring as the titular super hero, aka Britt Reid, Rogan was obviously overstretched as he forgot to make his character likeable. Oscar winner Christoph Waltz lazily reprised his villainous character from Inglorious Basterds and I have no idea what Cameron Diaz was doing in this film.

The Green Hornet was also presented in pointless 3D. You know your 3D is terrible when the end credit sequence looks better than the rest of the movie.

Director Zack Snyder of 300 fame is another hack who doesn’t like to let story get in the way of the action. His effort for this year, Sucker Punch, is virtually unwatchable. Featuring Aussie actresses Emily Browning and Abbie Cornish, alongside High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens, the film follows an institutionalised girl who escapes into an imaginary alternate world where she joins her fellow inmates as a team of kick ass fighters.

This misogynistic and violent tale is hard to watch and will make you want to escape into an imaginary alternate world where, well, you know the rest.

Finally, from the director of the original Twilight came Red Riding Hood. Would you like your movie with extra cheese? Starring doe eyed Amanda Seyfried as the doe eyed Valerie, this very silly film is set in a village menaced by werewolves. Torn between two suitors, Valerie seeks to unravel the source of the lycan menace alongside werewolf hunter Solomon, overplayed by Gary Oldman.

Did I mention that this film is sensual and romantic? That’s how I prefer my fairy tales. Director Catherine Hardwicke proves that lightning can’t strike twice with this retread of her previous sensual and romantic adaption of Twilight.

Published in: on December 20, 2011 at 09:20  Leave a Comment  
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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).

http://www.razzies.com/