Every year, right in the middle of that grotesquely smug, garrulously sycophantic tradition known as movie award season, come the Razzies, gleefully pointing their finger right at the bottom of the Hollywood barrel to soothe the blackest hearts among us. But the Razzies aren't just here to make bitter people feel better — at this point, with 33 years in the game, they're a tradition-bound counterbalance that, through both their diligently chosen nominees and snubs, offer their own particular honorifics. In other words: The Razzie Nominations for 2013 were announced last night (and are posted below) — who's looking good?!
Expectations were fairly low for A Thousand Words, the high-concept Eddie Murphy comedy shelved a few years back and finally released this weekend. And those expectations were ... yeah, they were right on. The movie delivered a historically ignominious performance, both bombing at the box office — a measly $6.3 million, barely enough to cover the average Hollywood production’s Smartwater and Edible Arrangements budget — and meeting the full wrath of the critical community. As of right now, A Thousand Words is sporting a remarkable zero percent Rotten Tomatoes score. That means 39 professional appreciators of film were paid to attempt to appreciate this movie, and all 39 of them definitively failed to do so. As the Guardian points out, “other no-marks include the Adam Sandler-scripted sex comedy Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star, the ham-fisted Pinocchio film by Roberto Benigni, and the disastrous adaptation of the Nicci French novel Killing Me Softly with Joseph Fiennes. A Thousand Words is unique, however, in having a significant amount of critics agree on the poor quality of a vehicle for a high-profile Hollywood star.” The silver lining, thankfully, is obvious. With that kind of the-exact-opposite-of-overwhelming-immediate-critical-acclaim going for it, A Thousand Words is destined to forever live on, much like Bucky Larson before it, in Razzie lore.
Each week, marketers release new movie posters, many for films whose releases are still months away. But for those who know where to look, one-sheets can reveal studios' hopes and insecurities about their products. In this space, we will attempt to decode the hidden meanings of the week's new posters.
A Thousand Words
What the art says: Eddie Murphy is a 50-year-old porcelain doll (look at that skin!) and he’s going to get kidnapped. Either that or he’s an Occupy Wall Street protestor. Those are the only reasons someone has tape on his mouth, right? Turns out no. It also happens when a car salesman talks too much and is left with 1,000 words to say before he dies, as is the case in this movie. A prediction of what at least four of those words will be: “I’ll take the v-neck.” What the text says: There’s no one involved with this movie worth caring about other than Murphy. Sorry, Clark Duke. It’s not just the onscreen talent either. The writer’s latest credit is Jack and Jill and the director is responsible for 81 episodes of One Tree Hill. Not exactly brag-worthy. Tagline: “This March, Make Every Word Count.” Not sure if “This March” is a part of the tagline. We’re going with no. That leaves us with “Make Every Word Count,” which gets points for being totally accurate then loses points for be totally boring. In the end, 0 points.
Any buzz over Eddie Murphy’s return to grown-up comedy in Tower Heist has now been buried deep under the towering heap of Brett Ratner’s foul-mouthed, shrimp-greased screw-ups. But Heist was supposed to be just Step One in Murphy’s return to our good graces: if everything went according to plan, his comeback would have been cemented by a vintage, hilarious performance at the Oscars. Of course, that dream is now dead: Ratner’s out, and Murphy has (voluntarily) followed him to the door. Whether Murphy would have actually been able to pull off the Oscars is unclear, although it certainly would have been nice to see him try. As his lengthy Rolling Stone interview (which finally went up online yesterday) makes clear, dude can still be off-the-cuff funny. (One enjoyable sample, which came in response to the statement “People used to think you shouldn't be cremated so you can rise out of the grave when Jesus returns ...”: “That doesn't make sense, because you don't know what you look like in that box! You're looking pretty bad … You have to tell Jesus what your name is. ‘It's me, Lord, Eddie!’ And Lord is like, ‘Who the fuck is this?’”)