Monday, January 24, 2011

THE RAZZIES... Bitter Hipsters Page Through Gossip Rags, Make Catty Comments, Call Themselves Critics

Are the terms, "R. Patz," "Brangelina," or "JWoww" part of your everyday vocabulary? Congratulations then on your annual awards show.

Every year, just before the announcement of the Oscar nominations, the Razzies beat them to the punch. These are of course the anti-Oscars. These are the awards that celebrate and/or roast the very worst cinema had to offer over the previous year. A cathartic blow to the filmgoers and cinema lovers who were duped into buying a ticket for cinema excess.

At least, that's what it should be.

But such is not the case. For most of it's long life, the Razzies has instead been the "tool cool for school" people, eating Bon-Bons, paging through their latest gossip mags and making catty comments. Ever see someone get drunk on daquiris and make superficial comments to reruns of SEX AND THE CITY? That's the Razzies' Board of Directors.

According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia - and really, why would they lie? - the Razzies are voted on by "650 journalists, cinema fans and professionals from the film industry." Instead, the Razzie noms often read like they were voted on by gossip columnists, ironic hipsters and put-upon assistants with an ax to grind. Their choices often read like blurbs found in People Weekly or the National Enquirer. You can practically hear the hissing.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge celebrator of bad movies. And the whole point of this site is celebrating the good and holding the mediocre to task. However, the Razzies often seem to never have much to do with actual filmmaking and have more to do with sniping at whatever is popular at the moment.

Such is the case with the latest Razzies. Some of their selections are impossible to argue with. LAST AIRBENDER, BOUNTY HUNTER, VAMPIRES SUCK? Oh yes, those were horrible movies no doubt about it. But the film that seems to be leading with the most nominations is THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE. Now, don't get worked up. I didn't think this was a great film. I also didn't think it was terrible. But really, the only critics that are considering it one of the absolute worst of the year are among genre sites, like the one I used to write for. Otherwise, there are plenty of TWILIGHT detractors out there. From people who are genuinely upset with the defanged vampires in Stephanie Myers' universe, to guys who think making near-homophobic comments about the series is an easy target, to the hipsters that sneer and pop culture. That last one is the Razzies audience, in case you haven't been paying attention.

ECLIPSE's reviews were not stellar. But currently sitting at 50 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a 58 on MetaCritic points to the very definition of mixed. It would be one thing if this was one or two people's opinion. But the Razzies are supposed to be a consensus of several hundred reputable people. Sorry, but no one else is saying that David Slade's direction was horrible. No one save for the Razzies, who nominated Slade (who also directed HARD CANDY and 30 DAYS OF NIGHT) as Worst Director, suggesting they don't understand or care what it is that a director does.

But enough of that. Even more suspect is their insistence on not judging films individually. No, the Razzies judge the complete career output by an actor or director over the course of a year. This in my opinion completely negates any ability to take this group seriously. It states flat out that all the films on the list are equal and all the finished product from an actor, actress or director is equal.

One of the actresses they love to pick on is Jessica Alba. True, few actresses manage to be this beautiful and pick such awful projects. But this means that she was also nominated for her role in THE KILLER INSIDE ME. Not too many people saw that film. But it did make a definite impact with those that did. It was on quite a few Ten Best lists from 2010. Those who did not like it often agreed that the film was well acted and perhaps even technically well made. Few would call it among the worst of the year. But there it is. That'll teach Alba for co-starring with Dane Cook three years ago.

Another punching bag for the Razzies is Sylvester Stallone. They even named him Worst Actor of the Century back in 2000. Because they could not let a year go by without getting a dig in, they nominated him for Worst Director for THE EXPENDABLES. Okay, you don't like him. But the worst? Honestly guys, it's getting old. Stallone has been nominated more than any other person in Razziedom. Before, it may have made sense to hold him accountable for the admittedly questionable films he had done in the past, but THE EXPENDABLES? Again, not one of the best remembered films of the year, but not one of the worst either. It just reeks of bitterness.

People can vote on the Razzies by signing up at their website, which makes them roughly as reputable as the Talk Backers on Aint It Cool News. And maybe that is the fate of the Talk Backers. Twenty years down the road, look for the 2031 Razzie nominations. Then find the nomination for some guy who was once in a George Lucas property. And know that they're not nominated for the merits of their work or lack thereof, but because Han totally shot first.

1 comment:

  1. Very much like the Golden Globes, the Razzies are a big fat joke. The worst part is, is that the absolute worst films of the year aren't recognized. Where is FURRY VENGEANCE? That's the worst film for me so far this year. The other films on this list are crowning achievements compared to that film. I was surprised that BURLESQUE wasn't leading the nominations, since they like to pick up pop stars. To me the nominations are mediocre films, not the worst films. The only "one star" movie on the list for me is BOUNTY HUNTERS. I gave VAMPIRES SUCK *1/2, ECLIPSE and SEX AND THE CITY 2 both ** stars, and I was one of the film people who liked THE LAST AIRBENDER as a cheesy homage to bad 80's fantasy films like THE EWOK ADVENTURE and RED SONJA (which probably wasn't the intent but that's how I took it). You're absolute right on this buddy. Maybe we should start a "real" Razzie awards and honor the REAL worst films of the year.