And the Losers Are...
On January 31st, all of moviedom was abuzz when the Academy Award nominations were announced in the wee hours of the morning. But for more cynical film buffs, the real treat came the day before, when the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation released their nominees for the Razzies, giving notice to the worst flicks 2005 had to offer. While others are debating whether Philip Seymour Hoffman or Joaquin Phoenix will win the little golden guy for Best Actor, allow me to take you, dear readers, through what one organization has deemed the bottom of the barrel for last year's movies.
Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
The Dukes of Hazzard
House of Wax
Son of the Mask
Although this is probably the strongest category of nominees, I didn't think The Dukes of Hazzard or House of Wax were awful enough to be shuffled in among the year's worst. In my book, The Fog should have made the list instead. But out of this bunch, I have a hunch Rob Schneider's wholly unnecessary follow-up to Deuce Bigalow is going away with top dishonors. Still, if I had my way, Son of the Mask would get the di-stink-tion it truly deserves.
Tom Cruise, War of the Worlds
Will Ferrell, Bewitched and Kicking & Screaming
Jamie Kennedy, Son of the Mask
The Rock, Doom
Rob Schneider, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
Okay, here's where the nominations start to get a little unfair. Knowing the GRAF's knack for not letting go of a grudge (as exemplified with Sofia Coppola's inexplicable nomination for her teeny, tiny part in The Phantom Menace in '99), it's not surprising they made a high-profile jump on the Tom Cruise-bashing bandwagon by nominating him for Worst Actor. Regardless of what I think about Cruise as a person, he's a pretty decent actor, and his performance in War of the Worlds was far from terrible. There were many worse screen turns last year (Ashton Kutcher, anyone?). Other than that, the Worst Actor line-up is pretty accurate. I personally thought Ferrell was a riot in Kicking & Screaming, but he definitely deserves the nod for the dreadfully unfunny Bewitched, as does Kennedy for a performance devoid of any energy or humor whatsoever. As for who'll win, I predict Cruise will walk away with it (based on dumb politics), although I hope the GRAF doesn't overlook Schneider and the eternally-lame Deuce Bigalow sequel.
Jessica Alba, Fantastic Four
Hilary Duff, Cheaper by the Dozen 2 and The Perfect Man
Jennifer Lopez, Monster-in-Law
Jenny McCarthy, Dirty Love
Tara Reid, Alone in the Dark
No surprises here. These days, Lopez is like the Judi Dench of the Razzies, guaranteed a nomination for just about anything she turns up in. Reid undoubtedly deserves her nomination for playing an anthropologist (allow me to pause for a moment of laughter......okay, I'm done), as do Duff for her shallow, half-hearted turns and McCarthy for flat-out embarrassing herself. My bet's on Reid to win this one.
WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Hayden Christensen, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Alan Cumming, Son of the Mask
Bob Hoskins, Son of the Mask
Eugene Levy, Cheaper by the Dozen 2 and The Man
Burt Reynolds, The Dukes of Hazzard and The Longest Yard
Along with Worst Picture, this is one of the strongest categories in this year's Razzies competition. It's about time someone called Christensen on his whiny, faux-angsty performance as Anakin Skywalker, more akin to a bratty teenager with an attitude than a Jedi knight being slowly drawn to the Dark Side (although I thought his turn in Sith was a bit more tolerable than his work in Attack of the Clones). The other four nominees should share collective shame for appearing in their respective vehicles, all of which undermined their talents and had them sleepwalking through their roles (a word to the makers of Dukes of Hazzard: Boss Hogg is supposed to be fat!). I'd personally go with Christensen on this one, but because of Eugene Levy's double whammy of annoying characters, I'm betting he will walk away the winner here.
WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Carmen Electra, Dirty Love
Paris Hilton, House of Wax
Katie Holmes, Batman Begins
Ashlee Simpson, Undiscovered
Jessica Simpson, The Dukes of Hazzard
If Jessica Simpson doesn't win this category, I'll lose any faith I have left in the Razzie Awards. Most of the other nominees are there as a result of the same logic that landed Cruise his nomination (although Electra's "white girl goes gangsta" turn in Dirty Love was absolutely unbearable), but I can write them off as filler meant to make Simpson's inevitable victory a little less obvious.
John Asher, Dirty Love
Uwe Boll, Alone in the Dark
Jay Chandrasekhar, The Dukes of Hazzard
Nora Ephron, Bewitched
Lawrence Guterman, Son of the Mask
"Dr." Uwe Boll, the infamous target of many an Internet message board rant, makes his first Razzie appearance for Alone in the Dark, just one of the numerous video game-to-movie adaptations he has completely botched. But Boll has some competition, in the form of Ephron for screwing up Bewitched big-time and Gutterman for making a complete and utter mess out of Son of the Mask. As much as I'd like to see Boll get the dishonor he deserves, I have a hunch that Guterman will take this one.
For more information and more of this year's Razzie nominations, visit the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation's official website at http://www.razzies.com.
Who will join Freddy Got Fingered, Showgirls, and Catwoman as one of the worst movies ever made? Find out on March 4 -- the day before that other ceremony rewards the good movies. ;-)