Sunday, April 8, 2012

Raspberry Ripple

Here's another one by Imogen. He's a pretty good writer. Check it out.

On Sunday 1st April the 2012 Golden Raspberry Awards (or Razzies) took place, recognising the very worst achievements in mainstream cinema during the previous year. In an unprecedented turn of events, Adam Sandler’s latest cinematic train wreck Jack & Jill swept the board, winning all ten categories. Sandler set Razzie history by his film not only being nominated in every single category, but by receiving more nominations than there even were categories, 12 in all.

Grand Climax

Sandler himself was dishonoured by awards for Worst Actor, Worst Actress, Worst Screen Couple, Worst Screenplay, Worst Screen Ensemble and, as producer, Worst Film. Taking into account Jack & Jill’s tally, plus his contributions to other acknowledged movies – specifically, the atrocious rom-com Just Go With It and dire porn comedy Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star – his total personal Razzie nomination tally swells to 14. Why do people keep letting this man make films?

Al Pacino, who judging by his last decade’s output really needs a new agent, won Worst Supporting Actor, for playing himself. Worst Supporting Actress went to David Spade who, like Sandler, was eligible for the nomination due to playing a female character in drag. Worst Director went to Dennis Dugan, who had a dual nomination for Jack & Jill and Just Go With It. He has also previously helmed a number of Sandler’s equally lacklustre vehicles. As well as Worst Film, Jack & Jill also won Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel, being deemed either a rip-off or a remake of Ed Wood’s seminal Glen or Glenda.

Multiple nominations were also granted to shapeshifting robot ground-and-pound Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which received eight of them, as did Breaking Dawn (Part 1), the latest instalment of the ridicule-baiting Twilight Saga.

Back Story

Founded in 1981 by publicist John JB Wilson, the Golden Raspberry Awards have become an irreverent counterpoint to the self-congratulatory smugness of the Academy Awards.

Although the awards were traditionally held on the night before the Oscars (“when the press from all over the world are here and they are looking for something to do”) the date was altered to take place on 1st April. Appropriate, as the day is, to quote Mark Twain “the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.”

The winners are determined by the members of the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation, which usually numbers 600-700 strong. Anyone is eligible to join the foundation and can do so from its website. It’s not the kind of sign-up that comes with offers for things like pills promising biological miracles or so expensive that you need an instant payday loan, but simply an annual membership that grants you a vote in nominating, shortlisting and shaming the very worst of film. As well as the US, people from all over the world sign up to cast votes for the ceremony, bringing people together with their passion for deriding bad cinema.

Set Dressing

Despite being modelled directly on the Academy Awards, the ceremony is deliberately cheap, with Wilson reasoning “Why would you mount a glamorous ceremony about films like Basic Instinct 2 and The Wicker Man?”

In keeping with the tacky aesthetic, the awards themselves are shamelessly cheap affairs, consisting of a raspberry the size of a golf ball atop a Super 8 film reel, all of which is spray painted gold.

Plot Twists

A few celebrities have attended the ceremony to collect their awards in person, most notably Halle Berry for Worst Actress in 2004’s superhero misfire Catwoman, who also made a speech parodying her tearful Oscar acceptance for Monster’s Ball three years earlier. Another memorable acceptance was that of J David Shapiro accepting the Worst Picture of the Decade Award for the beyond atrocious Battlefield Earth. Shapiro wrote an article for the New York Times about his experience adapting the novel into a screenplay, which makes for interesting reading, even if you have no opinions one way or the other about Scientology.

Next Instalment

Sandler’s feat of filmmaking incompetence is certainly going to take some beating, and if anyone else wants to create something equally as universally reviled as the cross dressing comedy devoid of recognisable humour, they’re going to have their work cut out for them. It would likely take a film of contemptuous and unsubtle ridicule to inflate the ire of cinemagoers to the required level of critical mass. What are the Wayans brothers up to these days?

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