Monday, January 24, 2011

The Real Razzies

In honor of the Razzies Nominee announcement I've decided to post my own nominees for the worst movies of 2010. My problem with the Razzies is that they only nominate movies that the film snob and geek communities are supposed to hate, which leads to a decent movie like The Twilight Sage: Eclipse getting the most nominations or Jessica Alba getting nominated for a damn fine performance (in The Killer Inside Me, alongside three other roles). More importantly, they're afraid to go after the real film making disasters: when credible and legitimate talent makes garbage (Alice in Wonderland, I'm looking at you).

I should say that there are many 2010 movies that I have no doubt are truly awful that I have not seen.

Worst Picture
* Alice in Wonderland
* The Back-Up Plan
* The Bounty Hunter
* Case 39
* Knucklehead
* The Last Airbender
* Sex and the City 2
* Skyline
* Survival of the Dead
* Vampires Suck

Vampires Suck is the best movie yet from the "film-making" team of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. Regardless, it's still the worst movie of 2010. It seems surreal to me that there used to be funny spoof movies (like The Naked Gun or Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) because the Friedberg/Seltzer combo has so thoroughly destroyed the genre with masterpieces like Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans, Disaster Movie and, of course, Vampires Suck.

Special notice goes to Alice in Wonderland, Sex and the City 2 and The Last Airbender for all finishing in the year's top 30 films at the box office and, in the process, shaking my faith in the viability of the American dream.

Also a special notice goes to How to Make Love to a Woman, the teen comedy starring Ken Jeong (The Hangover), Krysten Ritter ("Breaking Bad") and Ian Somerholder ("Lost"), for being the worst straight-to-DVD release of 2010 and the second worst movie I saw all year.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Splice and You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger just miss the list because good work by the performers is enough to just slightly elevate piss poor material.

Worst Actor
* Brendan Fraser, Extraordinary Measures
* Garrett Hedlund, TRON: Legacy
* Robert Pattinson, Remember Me
* Noah Ringer, The Last Airbender
* Kenneth Welsh, Survival of the Dead

I don't actually think Robert Pattinson is all that bad an actor, but his Marlon Brando impersonation (why the character should be a Brando impersonation, I have no idea) in Remember Me is one of the most histrionic and awful performances I've ever seen - an easy win for the worst of 2010. I also wanted to make sure to point out the weak link in the otherwise watchable TRON: Legacy, Garrett Hedlund. I disliked his work enough that I now retroactively have a far lesser appreciation for Friday Night Lights.

Worst Actress
* Emma Bell, Frozen
* Katherine Heigl, Killers
* Jennifer Lopez, The Back-Up Plan
* Sarah Jessica Parker, Sex and the City 2
* Renée Zellwegger, Case 39

The "winner" here is Jennifer Lopez for leading up one of the worst romantic comedies I've ever seen. I find myself thinking Frozen could have been a really great movie if it had some better performances.

Worst Supporting Actor
* Nicolas Cage, Kick-Ass
* Josh Gad, Love and Other Drugs
* Jason Patric, The Losers
* Jackson Rathbone, The Last Airbender
* Shawn Roberts, Resident Evil: Afterlife

I genuinely liked Kick-Ass and Love and Other Drugs so it saddens me to include them here. I actually kind of like Nicolas Cage (when he's properly motivated he's quite a great actor ala Leaving Las Vegas), but I have no idea what the hell he was trying to do here. Shawn Roberts is one of the least intimidating 'bad ass' villains I've ever seen in a movie. But Josh Gad was special. His was, easily, the single worst performance I saw all year (in many years, in fact). His immature, broad and downright creepy 'comedic' performance did EVERYTHING in its power to derail Love and Other Drugs and to sabotage the top flight performances of the film's leads. I have no idea why Edward Zwick cast him and I truly hope to never see another Josh Gad performance.

Worst Supporting Actress
* Cate Blanchett, Robin Hood
* Katie Cassidy, A Nightmare on Elm Street
* Brittany Daniel, Skyline
* Nicola Peltz, The Last Airbender
* Ninette Tayib, The Assassin Next Door [Kirot]

Cate Blanchett is a great actress, which might be why her performance in Robin Hood was so embarrassing. Cast as some sort of tough guy version of Maid Marion (with a full set of armor naturally), her character is reduced to rolling around drowning in a beach's surf during the film's climax... because the armor is too heavy for her to stand up in.

A few other minor awards:
Worst Special Effects in a Major Release: Daybreakers
Worst On-Screen Couple: Robin Hood
Worst Editing in a Major Release: The Expendables
Worst Use of Condescending to the Audience: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Worst Garbage Masquerading as an Art Film: Valhalla Rising
Worst Use of a Great Cast: Eat Pray Love
Worst Release Pattern that Sabotaged the Release of a Legitimately Good Movie: The Way Back
Worst Use of 3D: Clash of the Titans
Worst Use of 9/11 as a Manipulative Plot Device: Remember Me
Worst Incentive to Travel in Germany: The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

Monday, January 3, 2011

And the Nominees Should Be...

Best Picture
* 127 Hours
* Carlos
* Inception
* The King's Speech
* Let Me In
* Shutter Island
* The Social Network
* The Town
* Toy Story 3
* True Grit
Next Ten: Black Swan, Exit Through the Gift Shop, The Ghost Writer, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Monsters, Restrepo, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The Secret in Their Eyes, The Way Back, Winter's Bone

Best Director
* Ben Affleck, The Town
* Danny Boyle, 127 Hours
* Gareth Edwards, Monsters
* Martin Scorsese, Shutter Island
* Edgar Wright, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Next Five: Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Olivier Assayas (Carlos), David Fincher (The Social Network), Christopher Nolan (Inception), Matt Reeves (Let Me In)

Best Actor
* Leonardo DiCaprio, Shutter Island
* Colin Firth, The King's Speech
* James Franco, 127 Hours
* Andrew Garfield, Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974
* Edgar Ramirez, Carlos
Next Five: Jeff Bridges (True Grit), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), Colin Farrell (Ondine), Mel Gibson (Edge of Darkness), Joaquin Phoenix (I'm Still Here)

Best Actress
* Patricia Clarkson, Cairo Time
* Anne Hathaway, Love and Other Drugs
* Chloe Moretz, Let Me In
* Emma Stone, Easy A
* Rachel Weisz, Agora
Next Five: Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone), Rachel McAdams (Morning Glory), Radha Mitchell (The Crazies), Natalie Portman (Black Swan), Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)

Best Supporting Actor
* Joe Anderson, The Crazies
* Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
* Jeremy Renner, The Town
* Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
* Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech
Next Five: Christian Bale (The Fighter), Andrew Garfield (Never Let Me Go), Jon Hamm (The Town), Barry Pepper (True Grit), Justin Timberlake (The Social Network)

Best Supporting Actress
* Amy Adams, The Fighter
* Mila Kunis, Black Swan
* Soledad Villamil, The Secret in Their Eyes
* Mia Wasikowska, The Kids Are All Right
* Olivia Williams, The Ghost Writer
Next Five: Jessica Alba (The Killer Inside Me), Alicja Bachleda (Ondine), Rosamund Pike (Barney's Version), Michelle Williams (Shutter Island), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World)

Best Original Screenplay
* Michael Arndt, Toy Story 3
* Olivier Assayas and Dan Franck, Carlos
* Gareth Edwards, Monsters
* Andre Heinz, Mark Heyman and John J. McLaughlin, Black Swan
* David Seidler, The King's Speech

Best Adapted Screenplay
* Ben Affleck, Peter Craig and Aaron Stockard, The Town
* Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
* Simon Beaufoy and Danny Boyle, 127 Hours
* Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, True Grit
* Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network

Best Foreign Language Film (My nominees are based on 2010 U.S. release dates which is not how the real system works)
* Carlos [France]
* The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [Män som hatar kvinnor, Sweden]
* A Prophet [Un Prophète, France]
* The Secret in Their Eyes [El secreto de sus ojos, Argentina]
* Shinjuku Incident [San suk si gin, Hong Kong]

Best Documentary Feature
* Exit Through the Gift Shop
* Oceans
* The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town
* Restrepo
* Waking Sleeping Beauty

Best Animated Film
* How to Train Your Dragon
* Tangled
* Toy Story 3

Best Editing
* Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
* Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall, The Social Network
* Jon Harris, 127 Hours
* Thelma Schoonmaker, Shutter Island
* Lee Smith, Inception

Best Cinematography
* Russell Boyd, The Way Back
* Enrique Chediak and Anthony Dod Mantle, 127 Hours
* Roger Deakins, True Grit
* Bob Richardson, Shutter Island
* Eduardo Serra, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Best Art Direction
* Black Swan
* Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
* Shutter Island
* True Grit
* The Wolfman

Best Visual Effects
* Inception
* Iron Man 2
* Monsters
* Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
* TRON: Legacy

Best Original Score
* Daft Punk, TRON: Legacy
* Alexandre Desplat, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
* Randy Newman, Toy Story 3
* Rachel Portman, Never Let Me Go
* A.R. Rahman, 127 Hours

Best Song
* Eclipse: All Yours, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
* I See the Light, Tangled
* If I Rise, 127 Hours
* Kick-Ass, Kick-Ass
* We Belong Together, Toy Story 3

Best Sound Mixing
* 127 Hours
* The Crazies
* Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
* Shutter Island
* TRON: Legacy

Best Sound Editing
* 127 Hours
* How to Train Your Dragon
* Inception
* Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
* TRON: Legacy

Best Costume Design
* Black Swan
* Robin Hood
* True Grit
* The Way Back
* The Wolfman

Best Makeup
* Barney's Version
* Black Swan
* The Wolfman

Nomination Count
127 Hours: 10
Shutter Island: 7
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: 6
Black Swan: 5
Toy Story 3: 5
True Grit: 5
Carlos: 4
Inception: 4
The King's Speech: 4
The Social Network: 4
The Town: 4
TRON: Legacy: 4
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1: 3
Let Me In: 3
Monsters: 3
The Wolfman: 3
The Crazies: 2
How to Train Your Dragon: 2
The Kids Are All Right: 2
The Secret in Their Eyes: 2
Tangled: 2
The Way Back: 2
Agora: 1
Barney's Version: 1
Cairo Time: 1
Easy A: 1
Exit Through the Gift Shop: 1
The Fighter: 1
The Ghost Writer: 1
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: 1
Kick-Ass: 1
Love and Other Drugs: 1
Never Let Me Go: 1
Oceans: 1
The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town: 1
A Prophet: 1
Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974: 1
Restrepo: 1
Robin Hood: 1
Shinjuku Incident: 1
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: 1
Waking Sleeping Beauty: 1

Bonus Categories (Not actual Academy Award Categories)

Best Ensemble
* Inception (Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine, Pete Postlethwaite)
* Shutter Island (Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Max von Sydow, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, Jackie Earle Haley, Elias Koteas)
* The Social Network (Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Rooney Mara)
* The Town (Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall, Blake Lively, Chris Cooper, Pete Postlethwaite)
* True Grit (Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Barry Pepper)

Best Scene
* 127 Hours - James Franco cuts off his arm and the aftermath
* Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 - Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson share a dance in a quiet moment
* Inception - Joseph Gordon-Levitt's rotating gravity fight scene
* Shutter Island - Leonardo DiCaprio remembers Michelle Williams by the lake
* Toy Story 3 - The toys hold hands in the incinerator

Breakthrough Filmmaker
* Banksy, Exit Through the Gift Shop
* Juan José Campanella, The Secret in Their Eyes
* Gareth Edwards, Monsters
* Debra Granik, Winter's Bone
* Lee Unkrich, Toy Story 3

Breakthrough Performer
* Andrew Garfield, Never Let Me Go, Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974, Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1980, Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1983 and The Social Network
* Aaron Johnson, The Greatest, Kick-Ass and Nowhere Boy
* Chloe Moretz, Kick-Ass and Let Me In
* Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
* Mia Wasikowska, Alice in Wonderland and The Kids Are All Right