Originally published on February 26, 2012.
This year’s Academy Awards are upon us, but amid all the razzle-dazzle of awards season is one event that’s less that auspicious: The Golden Raspberry Award. Originally started in 1981, the Razzies celebrates the worst films of the year. Typically, Hollywood ignores this ignominious honor, though Sandra Bullock did show up to accept her award in 2010 for All About Steve (the same year she won the Oscar for Best Actress in The Blind Side). So what does The Golden Raspberry Award Foundation think is the dredges of 2011 cinema? The following are the nominees and the “winners” according to FilmVerse. Congratulations go to Adam Sandler for having more nominations than there are categories.
UPDATE: The Razzie “winners” were announced at the ceremony in Santa Monica on April 1, 2012. Congratulations go to Adam Sandler and his film Jack and Jill, which set a new record as the first film in 32 years to “win” every category.
(Full disclosure: I have not seen any of the nominated films, so I am going off of what I know of the films from reviews, news stories, and marketing.)
Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star
Jack and Jill
New Year’s Eve
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1
No other film trailer in my life has angered and disgusted me more than the one for Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star. From what I can tell, there is absolutely no redeeming value for this “film.” The negative should be melted down for the soles of shoes.
At one point, it seemed that Adam Sandler was going to make dramas (Punch Drunk Love, Reign Over Me) and somewhat decent comedies (Spanglish, Funny People), but Jack and Jill shows that he’s still stuck in stupid character mode. Someone needs to tell him that dressing up as a woman is not funny unless you have a good story to go with it (see Tootsie and Some Like It Hot).
New Year’s Eve is Garry Marshall’s somewhat of a follow up to his own Valentine’s Day. I suppose it must appeal to some people who miss the days of The Love Boat.
M-O-O-N, that spells moronic Michael Bay ‘sploidy-thon.
It seems that the Twilight films have respected their source material and pleases its fans. That has to count for something.
FilmVerse Winner:Bucky Larson
Actual Razzie Winner:Jack and Jill
Russell Brand, Arthur
Nicolas Cage, Drive Angry / Season of the Witch / Trespass
Taylor Lautner, Abduction/The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1
Adam Sandler, Jack and Jill / Just Go With It
Nick Swardson, Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star
To be fair, Russell Brand was a good choice to play the lovable drunk in Arthur, however misguided it was to remake the Dudley Moore film. Brand is essentially just doing the same thing he does in all his performances by just being himself. This is neither good nor bad, it just is.
Nic Cage has become a cartoon version of himself. Due to his tax problems, he has taken every role he possibly can regardless of quality of the film–though it can be argued that he doesn’t even attempt at quality any more as is displayed by the three films he’s nominated for. His exceedingly over-the-top performances are growing tiresome, but somehow there is still an audience for it. Apparently someone is being entertained.
While wooden performances are par for course with the Twilight flicks, Taylor Lautner had a chance to show that he’s not a mere pretty boy mannequin, but his starring role in Abduction did nothing to disprove that perception. You could argue that he’s young and still has a lot to learn about acting, except for the fact that he’s been acting since he was nine.
Has Adam Sandler gotten any worse since his Billy Madison/Happy Gilmore days? Perhaps it’s just that as he gets older and continues to do annoying characters with goofy voices that his routine is just becoming sad, like most aging comedians who never update their act. Since he is nominated for both Worst Actor and Worst Actress for Jack and Jill, is it fair to criticize his performance as the male character? And was he truly terrible in Just Go With It? Did anyone see Just Go With It?
Who ever told Nick Swardson that he was funny? Apparently Adam Sandler considers him a friend and keeps casting Swardson in his movies and even produced Bucky Larson. Swardson also has (had?) a Comedy Central show that showcases his awfulness. His first lead role appears to be so offensively bad that people swarmed away from the theaters in droves. Hopefully this will prevent any follow-up starring roles for him. In comparison, Sandler is a comedic genius.
FilmVerse Winner: Nick Swardson
Actual Razzie Winner: Adam Sandler
Martin Lawrence (as “Momma”), Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son
Sarah Palin (as Herself), The Undefeated
Sarah Jessica Parker, I Don’t Know How She Does It / New Year’s Eve
Adam Sandler (as “Jill”), Jack and Jill
Kristen Stewart, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1
Martin Lawrence is the first of two male actors nominated in this category for his third go-round as Big Momma. The film should be subtitled Washed-Up Movie Star Is Getting Desperate. This film and his performance may be bad, but he’s still playing a man dressed as a woman. That doesn’t cut it.
Sarah Palin is not technically an actress, no matter how unrealistic she may seem.
It’s amazing that Sarah Jessica Parker has had the staying power that she has. Perhaps her role in Sex and the City is the cause for it, but usually when actors see their show end, they have a hard time finding other work–in particular actresses of a certain age, and in particular women who are, let’s say, less than beauty queens. Why she keeps getting roles in rom-coms is a mystery. Is she terrible in them? Who knows.
Adam Sandler’s “Jack” was the straight man, but his “Jill” was the comedy part of the “duo.” The incessant trailers shown on TV prior to the premiere of this film made me want to punch the screen.
Unlike one of her Twilight compatriots, Kristen Stewart has proven that she’s good, but can anyone be good in this series? In order to win a Razzie, an actor can’t be content with being held down by terrible material, but needs to overcompensate with a horribleness all to his or her own. I can’t say that Stewart’s bland gazing has done this.
FilmVerse Winner: Adam Sandler
Actual Razzie Winner: Adam Sandler
Worst Supporting Actor
Patrick Dempsey, Transformers: Dark of the Moon
James Franco, Your Highness
Ken Jeong, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son / The Hangover Part 2 / Transformers: Dark of the Moon / Zookeeper
Al Pacino, Jack and Jill
Nick Swardson, Jack and Jill / Just Go With It
I give Patrick Dempsey credit for tolerating Michael Bay. He should get an award for not being exploded.
James Franco is a versatile actor capable of drama and comedy. He’s no stranger to the vulgar type of comedies like Your Highness, and truthfully, who would say no to appearing in a film with Natalie Portman in a thong? It’s easy to pick on him after being nominated for an Oscar for 127 Hours and then throwing all that Academy glory down the drain with his hosting duties last year.
Ken Jeong made a mini-sensation with his naked-man-in-the-trunk routine in The Hangover. Now he’s milking it for all he can with appearances in every possible bad movie. Apparently, he’s trying to associate his name with awfulness.
Can you blame Al Pacino for trying to shake up his image by appearing in a wacky comedy? After all, Robert De Niro has done pretty well for himself in comedies. Based on the reviews, Pacino was the best thing in Jack and Jill (which isn’t saying much). However, he needs to re-discover what made him such a great actor when he was younger.
Why oh why is Nick Swardson getting this much work?
FilmVerse Winner: Ken Jeong
Actual Razzie Winner: Al Pacino
Worst Supporting Actress
Katie Holmes, Jack and Jill
Brandon T. Jackson (as “Charmaine”), Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son
Nicole Kidman, Just Go With It
David Spade (as “Monica”), Jack and Jill
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Transformers: Dark of the Moon
One criteria for the Razzies is for a great actor to make a terrible movie (see Sandra Bullock). Katie Holmes has never been a great actress, but she’s been decent in a lot of things. Was she terrible in Jack and Jill? Eh, probably not. She should question why she was in a terrible film, however.
I was going to say to not knock Brandon T. Jackson, since the kid has to get a break somehow–until I saw that he has 29 listings on IMDb. Granted, most of the roles were bit parts, but he did play Grover in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief prior to his role in Big Mommas. Sorry, Brandon, the gloves are off.
A case can be made that Nicole Kidman is a great actress, so for her to be in this bland, unfunny remake of Cactus Flower is what Roger Ebert calls a “surplus character” qualifies for a Razzie.
The “joke” in Jack and Jill is that Adam Sandler is actually playing a woman, rather than playing a man pretending to be a woman. Okay, we get it. We also get that Sandler loves throwing his buddies into every film he makes (where’s Rob Schneider in the cast list?). But seriously, David Spade also as a woman? Ugh.
I feel sorry for Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and not just because her name sounds like a stereotypical stuck up British caricature. She had to replace Megan Fox in the third Transformers film after Fox criticized Michael Bay. She rightly said that it didn’t take acting to be in one of his films; she just had to look hot in short shorts bending over motorcycles in slow motion. I’m sure Ms. H-W does this well. That’s all that’s required, and I’m sure she does it well. Also, given that this is her first “acting” role, we can’t expect too much from her.
FilmVerse Winner: David Spade
Actual Razzie Winner: David Spade
Worst Screen Ensemble
The ads for Bucky Larson are the most offensive I have ever seen. Every second and every performance shown is bile-inducing. I have never hated a movie more based on a few minutes of previews than I have with this one. If no one associated with this “film” ever works again, justice still would not be served for inflicting this vomit pile on the world.
Most Adam Sandler movies feature him doing something goofy and his SNL buddies getting a paycheck for hanging out with him on the set. Jack and Jill doesn’t seem to be any different, but all the horrid things about the movie lie squarely on Sandler’s shoulders (with David Spade for good measure because he had the gall to also appear as a female character).
Director Garry Marshall’s New Year’s Eve is a sort-of sequel to his Valentine’s Day. Both are multi-storied rom-coms featuring a plethora of movie stars. These films are like the big screen version of The Love Boat. Can you blame the cast for the mess? After all, they’re probably sincere about their performances, even if the material is tripe.
Things go ‘sploidy in Transformers while the cast reacts to the green screens around them. The actors are not great, but do they really matter in this film? If they were completely removed from the movie, would it affect it in any way?
What’s interesting about the Twilight films is that the directors keep changing–Catherine Hardwicke, David Slade (not to be confused with the cross-dressing David Spade), Chris Weitz, and Bill Condon have all been critically acclaimed at one point or another in their directing careers. Yet, the acting has been consistently blah in each entry. It can’t be attributed to the directors and a couple of the lead actors have been decent to good in other films, so it must be the material that’s to blame. Yet the Twi-hards seem to think gazing blankly at each other is perfectly okay.
FilmVerse Winner: Buck Larson: Born to be a Star
Actual Razzie Winner: Jack and Jill
Michael Bay, Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Tom Brady, Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star
Bill Condon, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1
Dennis Dugan, Jack and Jill / Just Go With It
Garry Marshall, New Year’s Eve
I was so angry with Michael Bay when he made the first Transformers movie. I thought he would be perfect for a flick about giant robots fighting each other. After all, how could he possibly screw that up? Yet he did. And then he made the second movie, which was even worse. Is it possible he improved at all with the third? Could he have learned his lesson and given us coherent action scenes with a solid story using characters with realistic human motivations and plausible science fiction situations? Well, he made it in 3D…
Bucky Larson is Tom Brady’s third movie after The Hot Chick and The Comebacks (whatever that is). Why is this man being paid to direct movies?
Bill Condon went from Oscar-nominated Dreamgirls to Breaking Dawn. Can we blame him for jumping onto a blockbuster series? Can we expect him to do anything decent with this material?
Dennis Dugan must really have some dirt on Adam Sandler. Why else does he continue to direct Sandler’s awful comedies? He has the dishonor of having two of them out this past year, though unfortunately he has nothing listing as in development on IMDb. I guess even ineptitude needs a break now and then.
How was it that the creator of classic sitcoms like The Odd Couple, Happy Days, and Laverne and Shirley has made a career out of doing mediocre chick flicks? And somehow Garry Marshall continues to direct his movies like he’s doing TV sitcoms. Someone needs to dig out a copy of his The Flamingo Kid and show it to him to remind him how real movies should be.
FilmVerse Winner: tie between Tom Brady and Dennis Dugan
Actual Razzie Winner: Dennis Dugan
Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off, or Sequel
The story of a self-absorbed, childish millionaire whose fortune is threatened should resonate in today’s anti-1% climate, but insteadArthur comes off as unnecessary and shallow.
Is Bucky Larson a prequel, remake, rip-off, or sequel? It’s awful, terrible, horrible, eye-gougingly bad, but does it qualify for this category?
The Hangover Part 2 was The Hangover all over again, but with less wit and charm. Truthfully, I didn’t find the original that witty or charming, so what does that say about this film?
Jack and Jill–see Bucky Larson.
Is The Twilight Saga over yet?
FilmVerse Winner: The Hangover Part 2
Actual Razzie Winner: Jack and Jill (Remake/Rip-Off of Ed Woods’
Cross-Dressing Camp Classic Glen or Glenda)
Worst Screen Couple
Nicolas Cage & Anyone Sharing the Screen with Him in Any of His Three 2011 Movies
Shia LaBeouf and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Adam Sandler and either Jennifer Aniston or Brooklyn Decker, Just Go With It
Adam Sandler and either Katie Holmes, Al Pacino, or Adam Sandler, Jack and Jill
Kristen Stewart and either Robert Pattinson or Taylor Lautner, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1
Does anyone remember anyone who shares screen time with Nic Cage? Like a sun going nova, he blocks out any other stars in the sky.
Shia LaBeouf is possibly the most annoying actor of his generation. How can such a nerdy dweeb like him get not only Megan Fox as a girlfriend, but then Rosie Huntington-Whiteley?
I give Adam Sandler credit for trying to be a real human being in Just Go With It. Jennifer Aniston is just doing what Jennifer Aniston does, play the perky everygirl in a rom-com. Who is Brooklyn Decker?
I take the credit away from Adam Sandler for even considering Jack and Jill. When this ill-conceived idea popped into his head, he should have shunned it. When he pitched it to Dennis Dugan, the director should have suggested Happy Gilmore 2 instead. When the studio greenlit it, some executive should have been fired. Not only was this a smudge on Katie Holmes’ career, but Al Pacino was made to look like a fool. At least sight of Sandler in drag caused an upsurge in the stock of Pepto-Bismol.
Somehow the lover’s triangle of Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner in The Twilight Saga has endured for four-going-on-five films, no matter how insipid.
FilmVerse Winner: Jack and Jill
Actual Razzie Winner: Adam Sandler and either Katie Holmes, Al Pacino, or Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler, Allen Covert, and Nick Swardson, Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star
Steve Koren & Adam Sandler, Story by Ben Zook , Jack and Jill
Katherine Fugate, New Year’s Eve
Ehren Kruger, Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Melissa Rosenberg, from the Novel by Stephenie Meyer, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1
Every copy of the screenplay for Bucky Larson should be burned and the writers’ memories should be erased to prevent them from attempting a sequel.
The screenwriters of Jack and Jill should be forced to watch Bucky Larson. Repeatedly. Until they swear to never attempt something like this again.
The writer of New Year’s Eve dropped the ball. Yes, that’s the best I could come up with.
Ehren Kruger has proven to be a good screenwriter, but as Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman found out with the two previous Transformers movies, it doesn’t matter how good of a writer you are when you work with Michael Bay. He will draw the suckiness out of you no matter how much you resist.
Poor Melissa Rosenberg. She is the Steve Kloves of The Twilight Saga. But the Harry Potter screenwriter had two things going for him: good source material and actual talent.
FilmVerse Winner: Bucky Larson
Actual Razzie Winner:Jack and Jill
If you are interested in becoming a voting member and have a say in what Hollywood trash rises to the top of the heap, you can become a member of the Golden Raspberry Awards Foundation. Official winners will be announced April 1, 2012.
copyright © 2012 FilmVerse
- Epic Fail! Adam Sandler Breaks Record With 11 Razzie Nominations (eonline.com)
- Sandler sets Razzie record with 11 nominations for worst movies, acting – Washington Post (washingtonpost.com)
- Sandler sets Razzie record: 11 worst-movie noms (cbsnews.com)