The last time we heard from Grantland’s Chief RazzieWatcher, Dan Kois, the announcement of the Razzies nominations — in which Adam Sandler garnered a record-breaking 11 nods — had caused him serious cardiac issues. He has still not recovered, and we can only imagine what further debilitating infarctions were visited upon our Guru after last night’s (insanely scheduled) announcement of the Razzies winners. Defying all conventional logic, and proudly besting a long history of cinematic shame, Adam Sandler’s Jack and Jill somehow, someway won every Razzie possible. The complete sweep! It’s never been done — and, dare I say, may never be done again. So complete was Jack and Jill’s domination that Sandler even managed to win twice in some categories. Just look at this roll call of perfect terribleness:
Hello, RazzieWatchers! Sorry this dispatch is late. It turns out they don’t have Wi-Fi in the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, which is where I was taken by ambulance on February 25 to undergo open-heart surgery. They haven’t released me yet, but I got a friend to smuggle me my BlackBerry and I’m typing this RazzieWatch in the dead of night, under the covers. Luckily the ESPN.com copy editors will fix my typos!
You guys, my editor Mark at ESPN.com has been so kind about this whole thing. They just hire nice people, the Walt Disney Company! I called him 11 or 14 times from the hospital that first day I was conscious, and he never answered his phone once — out of concern, he told me just now when I called him at home at 2 in the morning, for my health. “I just didn’t want you to worry about the Razzies, Dan,” he said. “We’ve got Amos taking care of it while you recuperate.”
Last night John Wilson of the the Golden Raspberry Foundation shook up awards season something fierce -- and in the process demonstrated why he’s the canniest awards-show producer in America! Just one day before the Razzie nominations were due to be announced, Wilson proclaimed that the Razzie Awards will be pushed back five weeks. Nominations will now be released on February 25, and the awards themselves will now take place on April Fools’ Day, April 1.
Holy Effing Ess!!! It is only four days until the 2012 Golden Raspberry nominations are released in Hollywood, California! Even as we write, Head RAZZberry John Wilson is collecting ballots (including our own!) and tallying votes for the world’s greatest and most important awards show. You know what that means: It’s time for our final predictions.
A lot has changed since we made our first forecast way back in July. Back then we had a bottom five of The Hangover Part II, Jack and Jill, Real Steel, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, and Zookeeper — but at that point, only two of those movies had even come out. How many of those stinkers made it into our final predictions? Read on and see!
With Golden Raspberry ballots out to voting members and the nominations less than a week away, stars’ Razzie hopes rest with one man: bearded impresario John Wilson, who started the Razzies 31 years ago and has been running them ever since. Wilson was gracious enough to take time out of his incredibly busy schedule to talk to RazzieWatch. After we finished hyperventilating, we did a darn good job interviewing our only personal lifelong hero!!!!!!
RazzieWatch Important Editorial Note! John Wilson has contacted RazzieWatch worried that casual readers might believe that RazzieWatch speaks with the authoritative voice of the Golden Raspberry organization! When we finished picking our jaws off the floor -- the Head RAZZberry emailed us!!! -- we of course agreed to his requests that we make it clear that RazzieWatch DOES NOT represent the Razzies administration -- we're just covering the awards, not giving them out!
Twenty-one years ago, the future Oscar-nominated director Sofia Coppola won the Golden Raspberry award for Worst Supporting Actress for her truly terrible performance in The Godfather Part III. That feat makes her one of a select few in Razzie history.
No, we don’t mean that she’s special because she’s been nominated for an Oscar and a Razzie — way too many people fall into that category to count. We mean that Coppola is one of the few actors to be nominated for a Razzie for doing a lousy job in a good movie. (Sure, Godfather III is no Godfather II, but it’s still a not-bad gangster film, nominated for seven Oscars.) The Razzies often ignore bad actors in good movies — voters, it seems, would much rather pile on to a stinker than recognize a performance, no matter how bad, in an otherwise good film.
That’s a wrap for 2011, folks! With December well underway we’ve got a good sense of pretty much every movie that’s going to be a player in this year’s Razzie ceremony. Now all that’s left is the bitter, cut-throat, no-holds-barred campaigning.
Of course, for Razzie fans, the campaigns -- waged by the big personalities we’ve come to know and love over the years, like Paramount CEO Brad Grey and director Joel Schumacher -- are part of the fun! After all, who can forget the year Lorenzo di Bonaventura called Happy Madison head Scott Sandler “Crappy Fatty-son”? Or the night that Summit Entertainment head (and former Israeli intelligence agent!) Arnon Milchan, dressed head-to-toe in black, crept into voters’ living rooms and urged them to support Twilight: New Moon?
Welcome to December, RazzieWatchers! We’re in the home stretch. We have to say, this is the most exciting Razzie season in years — every time we think a movie’s a shoo-in, something elsecomes along that’s even worse! Last week saw the bloody, violent birth of Razzie heavyweight Breaking Dawn, Part 1 — seemingly a lock with a 26% Tomatometer, but possibly hampered by a sort-of rave by mysterious New York Times soothsayer Manohla Dargis.
Well, Razzie lovers, things just got interesting, didn’t they?
All year, we’ve been disappointed by the movies we thought might be Razzie contenders. Transformers: Dark of the Moon? Coulda been worse. Rise of the Planet of the Apes? Frustratingly good. J. Edgar? Despised by some, not all. It’s enough to make veteran Razzie gurus like ourselves throw their hands to the sky and cry, “Why? Why must we suffer so? For God’s sake, can’t someone in Hollywood make a shitty movie that everyone hates?”
We’ve all seen it happen in awards show after awards show. Some grizzled veteran or much-nominated actress finally wins an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony, after years of disappointment — for work that’s maybe just a leeeeeetle bit subpar. It’s why Kate Winslet won an Oscar for The Reader, not Eternal Sunshine. It’s why Mary Louise Wilson won a Tony for Grey Gardens, not Cabaret. It’s why Susan Lucci won an Emmy for the 29th season of All My Children, not the previous 28.
This Friday, Universal will release a movie that bears all the hallmarks of a Razzie contender. It’s a sequel to a movie that no one particularly liked the first time around. Its trailer features multiple crotch shots, wan jokes, and scenes of characters being hit in the face. It even has its fair share of respected thespians (Gillian Anderson, Dominic West, Rosamund Pike) debasing themselves for, presumably, of a paycheck. Its Tomatometer currently stands at 37%.
Sounds perfect, right? Sadly, though, we can personally guarantee that this film will not be nominated for Worst Picture. Why? Because the movie is Johnny English Reborn, it’s from a foreign country (Britain), and Razzie voters still haven’t gotten over their bias against “snooty” foreign films.
You know, awards seasons are difficult. Sometimes a movie comes down the pike that seems, for one reason or another, like Razzie bait. Maybe its premise is so stupid that one can only assume the movie was made as part of an elaborate Producers-type scheme. Maybe it’s a remake of a fondly remembered film from our youths. Maybe it was so beset with post-production problems that it seemed snakebit — and Razzie-bit — long before it ever saw a theater.
The point is, it’s the kind of movie that clearly exists for one reason: to win Razzies. Maybe it’ll be a hit; maybe it’ll lose some money. But everyone involved is mostly onboard for purposes of prestige. Directors know that winning a Razzie ups their rate instantly on the straight-to-video market. Actors and actresses have been dreaming of the day their names would join the roster of stars honored by the Golden Raspberries.
But you know what? It doesn’t always work out. Sometimes that movie you barely phoned it in for — the movie your agent promised you was a Razzie contender — turns out to be (gasp!) pretty good. Audiences aren’t repulsed as you hoped they would be. The reviews range from mediocre to mildly enthusiastic. What have you got on your hands? A Razzie disappointment.
Here’s a look at five 2011 movies whose Razzie hopes have been knocked out faster than a robot boxer facing Hugh Jackman (or whatever).
You know, Grantland’s RazzieWatch is just one of a vibrant community of Razzie experts, from Razzie Corner to the MCN Gurus o’ Garbage. Even the august New York Times is in the game these days, with the new “Crapetbagger” blog. After all, the only thing more fun than watching the Razzies is talking about the Razzies!
But sometimes those other outlets write something so godforsaken stupid that we have to set them straight. Over on the L.A. Times’ Berry Derby, so-called “Razzie Genius” Ralph Williamsburger makes the following claim:
This weekend, one movie divided America like no other. Though Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn’s film Drive finished a solid No. 3 at the box office, it seems audiences weren’t as enamored of this inaction thriller as critics (or the Cannes jury, which awarded Refn their Best Director prize). While Drive’s Tomatometer stands at 91 percent, its Cinemascore audience-approval rating is a dismal C-. (By way of comparison, even I Don’t Know How She Does It got a Cinemascore of B-.)
But which score matters more to the Razzies? Could Drive take audience disappointment on a fast ride to Razzie glory? Let’s take a closer look.
When did we first realize that Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star might be something special? We admit it, we came to the movie late. It doesn’t even appear in our first Worst Picture predictions, made back in July. But, like every Razzie expert out there, we found ourselves hearing more and more whispers about it as the summer progressed. Last month we ran into one of our best studio sources — let’s call him “Jeffrey Katzenberg” — at a party in the Valley, and he sidled up to us and whispered, “I got two words for you: Bucky. Larson.”