No longer the freshest fruit of the bunch

 

With the nominations released for the 2018 show we see they really haven’t changed.

 

Today was the announcement of the nominations for the 36th Golden Raspberry Awards (listed at the bottom), colloquially referred to as “The Razzies”. Long a snarky adjunct in the awards season calendar, this is the type of anti-Hollywood content towards which I gravitate. If you are unfamiliar, while  most other trophy presentations honor greatness from motion pictures The Razzies recognize the worst parts of Hollywood each year. It is a sharp rebuke against the studio system.

 

At least it is supposed to be.

 

I used to eagerly await these cutting awards, aimed at taking down the cynically made titles and pompously extreme productions and performances. For a time I was even a voter in the process. However for more than a decade the organizers have shown this to be an enterprise intent on self-promotion and striking political points in Hollywood. Yes — odd as it is to say — the integrity of bad movie awards have in fact been corrupted by social activism.

 

The entire purpose of The Razzies was to bring down the over serious studios and performers, recognizing the worst of Hollywood on the same weekend as The Academy Awards. Instead we have seen this offering devolve into a series of lame jokes, organizers making statements by going after low-hanging fruit, and trying to curry attention by making sweeping political statement selections.

 

Last year, as a prime example, they chose as the Worst Film “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party”, a documentary by Dinesh D’Souza. While not suggesting it is the pinnacle of documentary filmmaking, declaring that title as the “worst” Hollywood offered up last year is well off the mark. In years past the organization “awarded” trophies to Sarah Palin, and in Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit: 911 George Bush, and Dick Cheney were granted “worst acting” wins — for being portrayed as themselves, in documentary footage.

 

These stunt awards — uniformly aimed at conservative politicians by no coincidence — were clearly set up to earn favor in the entertainment community, which is as misguided a goal as you can imagine. It means the organizers were hoping to curry approval from the very Hollywood set they were designed to skewer. In the process of wanting social acceptance they have lost the focus.

 

The other prime issue with the awards lately is the nomination lists seem less a committee vote by members and more about being designed for the greatest media impact. The press releases normally tout either the big name movies selected, or which titles or performers earned the most nominations. It appears that truly recognizing badness is secondary. The cheap jokes and obvious barbs take priority over recognizing badness.

 

Look at the fact that the list for Worst Picture this year is nearly identical to another category. The Worst Remake-Sequel list sports FOUR of the same five titles. It would easily be beneficial to broaden the targets with truly segregated categories. And don’t even get me started on the Worst Screen Combo category.

 

This ranking has long been a source of bad gags with certain nominations, and this year they exceeded things by making ALL the selections lame jokes. The unfunny pairing of performers with costumes or props is rampant. Then there is the duo of “Johnny Depp & his worn out drunk routine”. In other words, his performance? He is already up for Worst actor. This is yet another redundancy, and it prevents again the chance at including more options.

 

And thus it is, uncreative listings of a limited grouping. In all there are nine categories with five nominations each, yet they manage to honor no more than twelve films. In my own year-end listing of the worst movies I gathered twenty titles worthy of scorn, and that list was edited down from nearly three dozen titles. Despite the fun to be had, making statements seems more important than making merriment.

 

WORST PICTURE

Baywatch

The Emoji Movie

Fifty Shades Darker

The Mummy

Transformers: The Last Knight

 

WORST ACTRESS

Katherine Heigl (Unforgettable)

Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades Darker)

Jennifer Lawrence (mother!)  

Tyler Perry (Boo 2! A Madea Halloween)

Emma Watson (The Circle)

 

WORST ACTOR

Tom Cruise (The Mummy)

Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales)

Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades Darker)

Zac Efron (Baywatch)

Mark Wahlberg (Daddy’s Home 2 and Transformers: The Last Knight)

WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Javier Bardem (mother! and Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales)

Russell Crowe (The Mummy)

Josh Duhamel (Transformers: The Last Knight)

Mel Gibson (Daddy’s Home 2)

Anthony Hopkins (Collide and Transformers: The Last Knight)

 

WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Kim Basinger (Fifty Shades Darker)

Sofia Boutella (The Mummy)

Laura Haddock (Transformers: The Last Knight)  

Goldie Hawn (Snatched)  

Susan Sarandon (A Bad Moms Christmas)

 

WORST SCREEN COMBO  

“Any combination of two characters, two sex toys or two sexual positions” (Fifty Shades Darker)

“Any combination of two humans, two robots or two explosions” (Transformers: The Last Knight)

“Any two obnoxious emojis” (The Emoji Movie)

“Johnny Depp & his worn-out drunk routine” (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales)

“Tyler Perry & either the ratty old dress or worn-out wig” (Boo 2! A Madea Halloween)

 

WORST REMAKE, RIPOFF OR SEQUEL  

Baywatch

Boo 2! A Madea Halloween

Fifty Shades Darker

The Mummy

Transformers: The Last Knight

Mark Wahlberg (Daddy’s Home 2 and Transformers: The Last Knight)

 

 

WORST DIRECTOR

Darren Aronofsky (mother!)

Michael Bay (Transformers: The Last Knight)

James Foley (Fifty Shades Darker)

Alex Kurtzman (The Mummy)

Tony Leonidis (The Emoji Movie)

 

WORST SCREENPLAY    

Baywatch

The Emoji Movie

Fifty Shades Darker

The Mummy

Transformers: The Last Knight