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?!
When Michael Jordan retired the first time, you could have chalked it up, at least in part, to greatness fatigue. When you're so much better than anyone else, what's the point? Now applying the theory to the world of entertainment, and subbing out "Michael Jordan" for "Nicolas Cage" and "the game of basketball" for "the making of batshit crazy movies," and we can maybe understand Nic's new China-set project.
Lindsay Lohan Banned From Chateau Marmont: What did it take to get the infamous party girl finally blacklisted from her favorite haunt, a place famous for putting up with partying? A ridiculous unpaid bill for $46,350 from a "47-day stay in June and July (she racked up $686 on cigarettes alone!)" during the filming of Liz & Dick. Lohan claims that she "thought her movie's producers were paying." Of course she did.
I read an interview with Woody Allen recently in which he talked about how he releases his movies during the summer because he thinks big tentpole movies are moronic and smart people need something else to see. Whatever you think about that, it's true that a lot of comic-book movies are targeted at younger kids, and maybe you want something rated a hard R. Something like Woody Allen might make if he'd come up in Gen X. I recommend Wanderlust, David Wain's commune comedy that functions as something of a companion piece to his Wet Hot American Summer and a spiritual successor to Caddyshack and Stripes.
According to TMZ, Nicolas Cage just dropped off $6,257,005 with the federal government, putting him almost halfway home to clearing the $13 million in debt he accrued in back taxes from 2002 to 2007. Which means that maybe he can, one day soon, stop making horrible, awful, just terrible decisions as to the projects he stars in?
You should maybe go see Wrath of the Titans, the sequel to Clash of the Titans, this weekend. Why?, you ask? It looks really dumb, you say? It’s not even clear that any Krakens will be released, you astutely point out? Listen: I have it on good authority that it is, at least, better than the awful first movie. None other than its star, heroically candid Australian-Na’vi Sam Worthington, said so!
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.
Shia LaBeouf has joined an untitled indie project from new production house Lava Bear Films. Wait, ready for this? The movie revolves around a troubled girl who encounters a 20-foot-tall next-door neighbor, played by LaBeouf. Just that plot description has already entertained us more than Transformers, Transformers 2, and large swaths of Transformers 3. Grade: B+ [Showblitz]
Holy crap! The Arrested Development movie, which has been rumored for so long that it accidentally became a joke, is actually happening. OK, well, maybe. After the project was mentioned at a cast reunion at the New Yorker Festival this weekend, Jason Bateman followed it up by tweeting, "We will do 10 episodes and the movie. Probably shoot them all together next summer for a release in early '13." Fans of other beloved cult TV shows that have had movie versions discussed — without what seemed like a realistic chance of having that movie made — you now have new hope! Grade: A+ [HR]
Kurt Russell will replace Kevin Costner in Quentin Tarantino'sDjango Unchained, as the evil slave trainer Ace. Russell actually hasn't been seen in a movie since his last flick with Tarantino, Death Proof. Has he just been sitting at home, bouncing a tennis ball, staring at the phone, willing Quentin to call? Grade: A [HR: Part 1, Part 2]
When measured against his usual insanity, the trailer for Nicolas Cage’s Trespass, which dropped earlier this week, disappointed just a smidge. Thankfully, then, here comes Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, going totally H.A.M. and filled with flaming skulls, flipping cars, and waving chains. There’s also a bit where a dude goes flying backwards in slow motion off a cliff while unloading his gun. But all of that is, remarkably, preamble. At the end of this thing, Nicolas Cage pees fire, and that’s all anyone, rightly, is going to want to talk about. All taken together: could this actually be great?
At first the trailer for Trespass, Nicolas Cage’s latest, seems like a step down on the insanity scale for the man who has somehow managed to churn out Drive Angry, Season of the Witch, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Kick-Ass, Knowing, and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans in just the last two years. Directed by Joel Schumacher, it’s your standard home-invasion thriller: Cage, his wife (played, reasonably, by Nicole Kidman), and their daughter are taken hostage inside their own mansion, with ski-masked bandits threatening violence and demanding money in a quippy fashion. In the trailer, everything gets super hectic super-fast — office chair through a window for no discernible reason! — and deep dark secrets and possibly very-obvious-anyway twists are revealed. And, sure, it’s violent and sweaty and gross, but that extra bit of inspiration — that uniquely Cageian madness — seems to be missing. Until you read up on the back story and learns that Cage decided, just weeks before production, that he no longer wanted to play the husband — he wanted to play the head kidnapper. The producers scrambled, reaching out to Liev Schreiber to replace Cage in his original role, and then Cage suddenly quit the movie altogether. Then, days later, he changed his mind again, returning peacefully to both the movie and to the role of the husband. Of course he did. Now, does that make your Trespass trailer viewing experience any more enjoyable?
In keeping with Hollywood's plan to cast her in pretty much everything (of which we completely approve!), Emma Stone is negotiating to join Ruben Fleischer's Tales From the Gangster Squad as a "a sharp-tongued siren" in a love triangle" with police officer Ryan Gosling and mobster Sean Penn, who is 50. Grade: B- [Variety]
Comic-Con, San Diego’s annual orgy of geek revelations and Hollywood hype, came to an end over the weekend and the general consensus seemed to be that of a 14-year-old Farscape obsessive after his first messageboard posting: meh. Many of the big guns either chose to sit out this year’s fete entirely or coast on the good-will of enthiastic nerdom by dangling posters or concept art as if they were the One Ring. Such reticence was probably a good call. Recent box-office returns have demonstrating the capriciousness of the Comic-Con audience — as the disconnect between the rapturous response in the room and subsequent commercial failures of one-time Hall H attractions Kick-Ass and Green Lantern proves.
In predicting who might be nominated for Worst Actor, first you have to ask: What does the Golden Raspberry look for in its leading men? It’s a question that drives Razzie gurus crazy. Sometimes the winners of the Worst Actor award are megastars like Eddie Murphy, John Travolta, and Adam Sandler. Sometimes the winners barely qualify as actors at all: the Jonas Brothers, George W. Bush, Roberto Benigni.
Occasionally, an actor will dominate an era, as Kevin Costner did the 1990s, a decade in which he was nominated six times (and won three Razzies). But sometimes an actor will leap from obscurity with a performance for the ages, as Tom Green did when he won the Razzie for Freddy Got Fingered in 2001. (He’s still the only Worst Actor winner to accept his award in person at the ceremony.)