"12-12-12," Wednesday night's action-packed Hurricane Sandy relief telethon, offered, for better or worse, more than a few moments worthy of your attention. Let's first remember that, yes, this was all for a good cause, and hopefully enough money was raised so that no hurricane shall ever again dare bring its meteorological phenomena to the New York/New Jersey area. And now, to the highlights! …
Last night SpikeTV aired Eddie Murphy: One Night Only, a star-studded tribute to Eddie. And even if it wasn't SpikeTV, where every programming decision seems vaguely nefarious and inexplicable, it felt like kind of a strange time to do it. At any other point after, say, Dreamgirls, it would have made sense: Sure, Eddie's mostly fallen off, but let's celebrate all the awesome stuff he did back when he was on top. But then we got last year's false-start adult-comedy comeback, encompassed by the lukewarmly received Tower Heist and the canceled plans to host the Oscars. So now it's like we can't help but think about how, at some point in the last decade, Eddie either lost his nerve or decided he didn't really feel like trying anymore. It was an odd thing to see comedian after comedian come up and praise Eddie with what you could tell was genuine devotion, respect, and, sometimes, straight slobbering fandom, and to think, "but what about Norbit? Isn't anyone gonna give this guy shit for making Norbit?"
As an excuse to get a lot of funny people together and to watch a lot of prime Eddie footage, though? It was pretty good.
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.”
One of the running gimmicks of last night's Oscars was talking-head interviews with a bunch of actors getting really earnest about the magic of the movies and stuff. It bordered on the self-serious (Steve Carell: “What makes a person laugh? What makes a person cry? What makes a person feel anything?”), but for the most part was a nice way for actors to geek out over other actors: Reese Witherspoon sang the praises of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell in Overboard, Gabourey Sidibe got real about Daniel Day-Lewis as “a freaking alcoholic with one foot." And then there was Adam Sandler. When it came time for him to speak, he did not say, “I like making movies because I get to hang out with my friends, make a lot of money, and make dick jokes.” He said this: “I’m eventually trying to, one day, tell the truth. I don’t know if I’m ever going to get there, but I’m slowly letting pieces of myself out there and then maybe by the time I’m 85, I’ll look back and say, ‘All right, that about sums it up.’”
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.
Rembert Browne: Will Ferrell is in a great place right now. This is the fourth wave of his career and perhaps the Era of Ferrell I'm most excited about. He has already had his rise to fame (SNL), his string of classics (Old School, Zoolander, Anchorman), and his Sandler phase (Kicking & Screaming, Semi-Pro). The key is that he successfully made it through the Sandler "I am just going to keep making movies because I can and I don't care if fewer and fewer people laugh because I got bills, son" period, remembered how to be really funny again, and is now getting weird and experimental. That's what Casa De Mi Padre, an absurd movie completely in subtitles, screams out to the public. "Get weird with your old pal, Will." I don't know what I'm getting myself into with this movie, but I genuinely can't wait.
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!!!!!!
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?
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?”
Riding a tsunami of critical disapproval into theaters this weekend is Jack and Jill, in which Adam Sandler stars as twin siblings of both sexes. Predictably, Sandler's performances have gone unheralded by critics. Al Pacino, though — who plays an exaggerated version of himself who falls in love with Jill while being wooed by ad executive Jack to star in a Dunkin' Donuts commercial — has really distinguished himself. In fact, these are probably Pacino's best reviews in a decade. Below, a sampling of the acclaim.
Worst Actress is traditionally the most difficult Razzie category to predict, because the performances are the most widely varied. Will nominations go to Oscar nominees slumming it (as when Diane Keaton was nominated for 2007’s Because I Said So)? Or will it go to the forgettable female “lead” in an action movie (as in Megan Fox’s nominations the past two years, for Jonah Hex and Transformers 2)? Or will a single nomination go to a whole group of ladies (the casts of Sex and the City 2, The Women, and Bratz: The Movie) in a manner that doesn’t at all suggest that the Razzies find all women and movies about women interchangeable and icky?
While George C. Scott might beg to differ, the trailer for Jack and Jill, Adam Sandler’s latest high-concept excuse for him to hang out with his buddies farce has confirmed what we’ve long suspected: Comic cross-dressing is back, baby! Sure, none of the other contenders appear to reach the awesomeful heights (or lows) of Sandler’s Linda Richman: The Movie, but they certainly suggest a transv— er, trend.
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!