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Where Were the Razzies?

The Oscars have been trying to boost ratings since...well since I've been alive. They've played around with timeslots and ceremony structure. They've gotten younger hosts, more popular hosts, funnier hosts. They've expanded the nomination lists to capture more mainstream films in order to drum up interest amongst the common movie-goer. They've done a lot of things to increase the almighty Nielsen number, but here's something they haven't tried: broadcast the Razzie Awards on major television networks.

How did the Oscars fare this year? By any measure, it wasn't a resounding success. Aside from critiques of the 83rd's hosts (most notably unfavorable reviews for James Franco) this year's Oscars also drew the most unwanted superlative question mark: Was it the worst Oscars ever? Though I'm loathe to cite anything from Fox News, 58% of their browsers say yes, it was. Major entertainment outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter and Rolling Stone, shared their sentiment as well, or at least asked the question, which is just as bad in my opinion.

The problem is the Oscars are stuffy. Sometimes it feels like they're still trying to legitimize film as an art form, as if it isn't the most dominant 21st Century art form already. I know this is your biggest night Hollywood, but unfortunately the Oscars are no longer about you, they're about how many people the networks can get to sit in front of their TV to watch this clunky, change-resistant ceremony. The Oscars need to find the balance between being serious and being entertaining, and unfortunately the fresh air can't all come from the host(s) alone.

The Razzies are pretty much the antithesis to the Oscars: they're irreverent, unforgiving and sometimes downright mean...but not undeservedly so. Short for the Golden Raspberry Awards, the Razzies were founded by copywriter and smarmy badass John J.B. Wilson almost 30 years ago, when the "ceremony" started as a mere informal LA gathering at Wilson's own home. Since then the Razzies have gained much notoriety, so much so that even some actors and actresses have attended to collect their awards of shame (Sandra Bullock, Paul Verhoeven, Bill Cosby and Halle Berry immediately come to mind). They're held the Saturday before the Oscars... and their entertainment potential could be huge. Instead of lots of Razzie buzz leading up to Oscars weekend, however, I only saw brief info snippets on the web the following day, as if it the topic was an obligatory write-up rather than an actual piece of news.

Play the full Razzie broadcast an hour before the Oscars start on another major network or a half hour highlight of the awards on the same channel as the Oscars. Pare down the Oscar pre-show bullshit, get a caustic host, license some horrid move clips of the Razzie winners and hold Hollywood accountable for their garbage as well as their jewels. Maybe the juxtaposition of the two award shows would raise overall interest levels, maybe people would start to care more about the cream of the crop after seeing the hilariously awful, bottom-of-the-barrel slop. Maybe, just maybe, film award shows would gain some relevance once more. At the very least they may deter Shyamalan from making any more movies by making his 2010 Airbender failure that much more noticeable...and they'd overall be a hell of a lot more funny than Franco's timid demeanor.

In case you're interested, here's the full nomination list of the 31st Razzies:

 

Worst Picture

The Last Airbender (Paramount/Nickelodeon)
The Bounty Hunter (Columbia)
Sex and the City 2 (New Line/HBO/Village Roadshow)
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Summit Entertainment)
Vampires Suck (Regency/20th Century Fox)

Worst Actor

Ashton Kutcher in Killers and Valentine's Day as Spencer Aimes and Reed Bennett
Jack Black in Gulliver's Travels as Lemuel Gulliver
Gerard Butler in The Bounty Hunter as Milo Boyd
Taylor Lautner in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Valentine's Day as Jacob Black and Willy Harrinton
Robert Pattinson in Remember Me and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse as Tyler Hawkins and Edward Cullen

Worst Actress

The Four "Gal Pals" (Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis & Cynthia Nixon) in Sex and the City 2 as Carrie Bradshaw, Samantha Jones, Charlotte York Goldenblatt and Miranda Hobbes
Jennifer Aniston in The Bounty Hunter and The Switch as Nicole Hurley and Kassie Larson
Miley Cyrus in The Last Song as Veronica "Ronnie" Miller
Megan Fox in Jonah Hex as Lilah
Kristen Stewart in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse as Bella Swan

Worst Supporting Actor

Jackson Rathbone in The Last Airbender and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse as Sokka and Jasper Hale
Billy Ray Cyrus in The Spy Next Door as Colton James
George Lopez in MarmadukeThe Spy Next Door and Valentine's Day as Carlos, Glaze and Alphonso Rodriguez
Dev Patel in The Last Airbender as Prince Zuko
Rob Schneider in Grown Ups as Rob Hilliard

Worst Supporting Actress

Jessica Alba in The Killer Inside MeLittle FockersMachete and Valentine's Day as Joyce Lakeland, Andi Garcia, Santana Rivera and Morley Clarkson
Cher in Burlesque as Tess
Liza Minnelli in Sex and the City 2 as Wedding Minister and Herself
Nicola Peltz in The Last Airbender as Katara
Barbra Streisand in Little Fockers as Roz Focker

Worst Screen Couple / Screen Ensemble

The Entire Cast of Sex and the City 2
Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler in The Bounty Hunter
Josh Brolin's face and Megan Fox's accent in Jonah Hex
The Entire Cast of The Last Airbender
The Entire Cast of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel

Sex and the City 2
Clash of the Titans
The Last Airbender
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Vampires Suck

Worst Director

M. Night Shyamalan for The Last Airbender
Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer for Vampires Suck
Michael Patrick King for Sex and the City 2
David Slade for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Sylvester Stallone for The Expendables

Worst Screenplay

The Last Airbender (written by M. Night Shyamalan, based on the TV series created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko)
Little Fockers (written by John Hamburg and Larry Stuckey, based on characters created by Greg Glienna and Mary Ruth Clarke)
Sex and the City 2 (written by Michael Patrick King, based on the TV series created by Darren Star)
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg, based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer)
Vampires Suck (written by Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer)

Worst Eye-Gouging Misuse of 3-D (*New for 2010*)

The Last Airbender
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
Clash of the Titans
The Nutcracker in 3D
Saw 3D

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Total Comments: 3
David
David    Mar 21 2011 11:32am
I'm not convinced the Razzies would = good television. For one, the recipients almost never show up (with rare, high-profile exceptions, such as Sandra Bullock and her wagon of All About Steve DVDs, and I'm sure she only did so because she knew was going to win an Oscar shortly thereafter). A roast is only funny if the roasted is present and has to grit his/her teeth.

Plus, a lot of these nominations strike me as B.S. It's my understanding Liza Minnelli has a super-brief cameo in the Sex and the City sequel, so her inclusion in Worst Supporting Actress seems to be more of a personal jab than any real reflection of her presence in the film itself.

And the new Twilight shouldn't have been nominated for Worst Film. It wasn't even very badly reviewed. Films with far worse reviews (see: The Tourist) were spared. Of course, Twilight is an easy target for these (mostly male, I presume) jokesters.

If the Oscars want to be more youth-accessible and 'fresh,' I still feel the absolute best approach is to reach out to comedians who resonate with today's youth to either host or do extended skits. Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Seth Rogen, Tina Fey, Simon Pegg & Nick Frost, Demetri Martin, etc. Franco + Hathaway were bad because not only did they have no discernible chemistry, but they also still seemed stodgy (though Franco apologists will surely insist his hosting represented a meta-deconstruction of the Oscars...or something). They may have had young faces, but their hosting was a weird, bland new version of the same old sh-t.
David
David    Mar 21 2011 11:34am
I also honestly wonder if the studios WOULD license clips to such a broadcast, especially if it's paired with their big, stylish night, the Oscars. Couldn't they band together and discourage a televised Razzies by refusing to offer any clips?
Patrick Ferrara
Patrick Ferrara    Mar 23 2011 10:45pm
If no winners showed up at the ceremony to collect their awards, I would want a 30-45 minute show, maybe with mock red carpet coverage? Easily done in a humorous fashion a la Tosh.0 or The Soup green-screen production style. Getting the footage authorized may be difficult, but to a degree the razzies may not even have to; plenty of shows air film footage in a derogatory light and they don't run into any legal issues.

I agree with you Gunslinger on host choice as well as some bullshite going on with this nomination list, but there's BS in every nom list so why should this be any different?