It’s hard to believe 2011 is already half gone! It seems like just yesterday that the cold of winter had descended upon us as we celebrated The Last Airbender and its five Razzie wins. But now we’ve finished off our Fourth of July hot dogs and legally purchased fireworks, and just as all the finest Oscar blogs are rolling out their early-bird 2011 predictions, so too is it time for RazzieWatch to step out on a limb and make some bold guesses. Which films will achieve Razzie glory come January 23?
In the coming weeks we’ll predict the acting awards and other categories. But today we'll start with the big kahuna: Worst Picture!
The Bottom Five
If you have to put money down now, choose these.
The Hangover Part II
Bad: A much-hated, much-derided sequel, symptomatic of the creative bankruptcy of Hollywood in that it copies a movie whose strength was its ingenuity and surprise.
Worse: Audiences didn’t seem to mind; it made $250 million, a small drop from the original.
Jack & Jill (November 11)
Bad: Discussed below, this Adam Sandler comedy became an instant contender upon last week's release of its new trailer.
Worse: Could two Sandler turkeys in one year (Just Go With It) split the vote?
Real Steel (October 7)
Bad: For serious, this is a movie about boxing robots starring Hugh Jackman (not playing a robot).
Worse: The trailer plays it straight, meaning that it will probably be laughable — but maybe, just maybe, it’s good (or so bad it’s good).
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part I (November 18)
Bad: A Razzie-beloved franchise plus vampiric deflowering = the closest you can come to a sure thing in this crazy business.
Worse: There’s no downside here. If it’s not nominated, I’ll eat my pillow.
Bad: A 14% Tomatometer rating and some of the most scathing reviews of the season affirm this Kevin James dud’s place among the front-runners.
Worse: Can a July release maintain Razzie momentum? Probably — it’s super-terrible.
Any one of these movies could break through if the front-runners falter.
Atlas Shrugged, Part I
Minuscule in size but gargantuan in stupidity.
Cowboys & Aliens (July 29)
A good cast but a premise that just screams Razzie.
Not universally hated, but universally not-liked, for sure. Would be in the list above if not for Jack & Jill.
Puss in Boots (November 4)
Shrek’s second-most-hated character gets his own vehicle. At least it’s not Donkey: The Movie, I guess.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Sinking thanks to Coulda Been Worse reviews.
The Wild Cards
Could Razzberry-colored lightning strike?
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked (December 16)
Surely this will be terrible, right? If you don’t agree, read that question in a high-pitched voice.
Don’t underestimate the power of disappointed Pixar worshippers! It’s incredible that this even has a chance.
Just Go With It
The other Adam Sandler movie this year likely saw its Razzie hopes disappear with Jack and Jill’s new trailer.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Likely forgotten amid the summer blitz, but an autumn DVD release might remind Razzie voters just how awful this was.
New This "Weak"
It’s a dead week for Razzie fans, with the only wide releases the highly anticipated Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and Disney’s sure-to-be-charming Winnie the Pooh. Both might be a bit anticlimactic for franchise aficionados, but neither is likely to be a real dud.
On the "Bore"-izon
On the other hand, bad-movie news this week was dominated by the new trailer for Jack and Jill (see above), in which Adam Sandler plays both a Sandlery guy and his Sandlery twin sister. I can’t really express how delightfully off-putting this trailer is: Adam Sandler playing a super-rich L.A. jerk! Lady Sandler on a jet ski! Lady Sandler getting punched! Katie Holmes looking just sooooo miserable! AL GODDAMN PACINO PROPOSITIONING LADY SANDLER BY WRITING HIS PHONE NUMBER IN KETCHUP ON A FOOT-LONG HOT DOG! (Sadly, the number does not work; I just tried it.)
I’m not the first person to say that this trailer straight-up looks like one of those terrible movies that Sandler’s Funny People character made, but that doesn’t make it any less true. He might as well be a talking baby! It’s a genius concept for a movie, and not just because it will make 10 gazillion dollars; Sandler has an opportunity to collect noms for Worst Actor, Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple — a sweep of the sort that hasn’t been seen since Eddie Murphy's Norbit.
Imagine! Just a week ago, Jack and Jill was completely off our radar. Now with the year half done, I’d go so far as to declare it the movie to beat. It’s that kind of surprise that makes Razzie season so darned Razzieriffic.
Until next week, RazzieWatchers!
Dan Kois is a veteran Razzie guru and the only person (other than Head RAZZberry John Wilson) to attend all 31 Razzie ceremonies.