My Thoughts on the 2019 Razzie Award Nominees
Looking For Inspiration
Alright, recently I just finished my best and worst of 2018 movie lists; which surprisingly took a lot out of me and so I’ve been taking a little bit of a break from movie reviews and such for the last five days or so. Earlier today I got somewhat of an “itch” to write about something film related, but I wasn’t sure as to what to write about. I hadn’t watched any new releases and I wasn’t in the mood to make a retrospective review on an older film, I decided to leave it up to fate to inspire my next article. Then a few moments ago I got curious about what other people thought were the worst films released last year, which led me to googling end year worst lists and I saw that the Razzie Awards released their nominations for what they considered to be the worst that 2018 had to offer. That’s when lightning struck as I realized how much of a total joke that the Razzies are. Not only for this year, but for almost every year since its inception it has been a collection of movies that are only popular for people to not like at the time and claiming them as disasters when really most of the time they’re just forgettable or are occasionally even good films that the general audiences initially misread. This year I don’t believe they nominated any legitimately good movies for their Worst Picture Razzie, but with the exception of ONE movie, the rest of the nominations are simply mediocre. Not even bad enough to hate, just slightly inept. That’s a far cry from being total disasters worthy of a ‘worst picture’ nom. So I was inspired to write about my thoughts on the nominations for the 2018 Razzie Awards, whether they merit to be considered one of the worst of 2018 or if it is a lame tactic to appease the masses. Yes, I understand that film is like any other art form and it is all subjective, but to me this seems silly and I feel a need to call this out as a crock. Maybe I’m completely wrong in my point of view, but hey, let’s discuss!
So You Think That This is the Worst, Huh?
Gotti is far from being any sort of masterpiece, I will not deny that. Hell, every nomination here isn’t that good of a film, but I’m here to talk about if it’s really bad enough to warrant being nominated at all. I saw Gotti after there was a weird mix for the word of mouth about it; advertisements for the film claiming critics are being paid to negatively review the flick while critics and audiences alike are saying it’s the worst movie of the year, no competition for them. It was an odd little war going on in the social media world over Gotti and… I’m sorry, it’s not good, but it’s not that bad either. It’s simply forgettable and bland. There isn’t much going for Gotti in the way of story structure or style, it has its fair share of problems. But at least I could follow along with the story fine enough and I could tell that the filmmakers were trying; it is competently shot and there is ambition to it in its acting with John Travolta as John Gotti. Which Travolta was also nominated for worst actor, I’m sorry but no. That to me is asinine; at least John Travolta is charismatic, you can tell in every frame that he is trying very hard to bring John Gotti to life in this film. He is honestly the only reason to ever watch Gotti, on his performance alone I could say, “Hey, Travolta had fun in the role and brought some entertainment value to the project”. Which is more than I could ever say about anything I listed on my personal bottom ten from 2018. So is Gotti good? No, not really. But there are still aspects about it that deserve more credit than it is being given. For whatever reason, it is popular to pick on John Travolta today and I don’t quite understand why. Yeah, he’s certainly had his quirky moments, but he is a phenomenal actor that deserves more positive recognition than being nominated as ‘worst actor’ only because the movie surrounding his character kind of sucks. That nomination should go towards someone who isn’t trying, who doesn’t provide an on-screen presence or charisma to their performance or is just plain terrible. Not because it’s popular to hate. You want a real bad thriller based on true events with the lead actors being atrocious? Watch The 15:17 to Paris. Then maybe you’ll have a better perspective on the matter and see how drastically worse things can truly be. Gotti’s story was a little scattered and unfocused? Try watching 15:17 to Paris so you can see how the story about three guys stopping a terrorist attack can be turned into a vacation video of three jackasses screwing around in Europe for the majority of its runtime. That is ‘worst picture’ material to me, not the middle of the road Gotti.
The Happytime Murders
My biggest problem with The Happytime Murders is that it simply wasn’t all that funny. Not violently unfunny like other releases from 2018, but it is a pretty standard modern comedy with nothing really separating it all that much from the rest of the bunch with the exception of its unique world of living puppets and people cohabitat. It has its modern pop culture references, juvenile raunchy scenes and a terrible amount of pointless adlibbing. However, it did have enough moments that provided a few chuckles. There were some absurd scenes that were over-the-top enough with its kills and sex to make me laugh. The story does have good ideas with this crime noire mystery plot taking place within a world where sentient puppets and humans coexist together. The lead puppet character of Phil Phillips is likable and fits well inside of this universe. The cinematography/lighting left something to be desired, as well as the rest of the human cast in their acting. Not that they’re necessarily acting badly, but they are certainly acting like they are in a comedy and not taking their world all that seriously, which takes away from the humor quite a bit. But overall, the movie is fine though. That’s it. It’s just fine. It’s a lesser version of Meet the Feebles, because at the end of the day it pulls its punches and plays things mostly safe with the exception of a few standout moments. But that to me isn’t enough to call this one of the worst out of 2018, or even all that bad of a film in general. Was it a little bit of a disappointment? Certainly. I don’t think that earns the nomination though. Especially when it has so many decent things that I can say about it and the fact that there was so much hard work put into the puppetry and creating this world that feels alive with all of these puppet characters, you can tell that there is ambition. It sadly didn’t pay off as well as we hoped is all. You want a terrible modern comedy from last year also starring Melissa McCarthy that really deserves the ‘worst picture’ nom and didn’t get it? Life of the Party. Life of the Party has no scope or ambition, there is no effort put into its story or its characters. It is two hours of pointless and horrendously awkward adlibbing that results in zero focus in its story, terrible editing because the story is so lost from the improvised dialog, and all the actors come off as unlikable because they’re so awkward as they babble through every sentence about nothing. That is the comedy that deserves the nomination. Not The Happytime Murders. The Happytime Murders tries and is somewhat original in a way, Life of the Party was a lazy excuse to rip off Back to School without providing any of the laughs.
My Review of THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS
- 'The Happytime Murders' (2018) Movie Review
In a world where puppets are sentient beings that coexist with humans, one puppet private detective gets mixed into a string of murders. In order to find the killer, he must team up with his ex-partner. They come across quirky characters and a whole
Holmes & Watson
Deserves to be nominated… yeah, I’m not fighting this one and I’m not going on yet another diatribe about f*cking Holmes & Watson, I’m done with it. It is a terrible movie. I’ve said all I needed to say on the matter and I am leaving it in the past. You want to hear more on what I had to say about Holmes & Watson? Check out my review down below. Otherwise, no. I’m not talking about it anymore. It hurt me and I’m over it.
My Review of HOLMES & WATSON
- 'Holmes & Watson' (2018) Movie Review
This is the part where I usually include a plot synopsis of the film. Too bad there is no plot. This is Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly dressed up as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson while they perform endless sophomoric adlibbing, scream violently at
So the funny thing is that I just recently checked out Robin Hood the other day in order to catch up on flicks that I missed out of 2018 and, honestly, I didn’t hate it. I didn’t like it either. But to me, it was oddly enough a rip off of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, which actually made me laugh a bit. Robin Hood, himself, is pretty much Bruce Wayne/Batman. Little John is like Alfred if Alfred was also Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid. There’s a love interest that’s extremely similar to the Rachel Dawes character from the two Nolan films mentioned. The Sheriff of Nottingham is like if Rutger Hauer’s character from Batman Begins had a more significant role. There’s even a Harvey Dent/Two-Face character in the form of Will Scarlet getting half of his face burnt. I don’t know why, but it made me chuckle how much it takes from the Nolan-Batman films. For the most part though, aside from that tidbit, it’s generic. And that’s not nearly enough to throw it up as being one of the worst. ‘Oh no, that movie is barely serviceable as entertainment. Boo?’ I mean really, there is nothing I could even get angry about. It was a paint by numbers action flick, yeah the camera work was pretty lame as it was attempting to replicate Zach Snyder’s style, but I couldn’t even get mad at that. At least I could easily tell what was going on in the action sequences, unlike other releases from last year. I mean, I still have no clue what happened in the Frank Grillo-Bruce Willis vehicle, Reprisal. Now that’s a real mess of an action film.
Really? Winchester? I forgot that this movie even existed. Does anyone even remember Winchester? Yes, it was a waste of protentional with its premise taking place inside the chaotic floorplan of the Winchester mansion. It had a terrific setting selected that they did nothing with… but they literally did nothing with it. Not even anything bad enough to be truly a bad film. It’s just a hollow story with an average modern horror execution. Lame jump scares and not much passed that. Yeah, not exactly a glowing recommendation, but how about a nomination that ignites a bit more energy than ‘meh’? Somehow Winchester also helped Helen Mirren earn a nomination as ‘worst actress’ as well… I mean, I guess? Yeah, it’s relatively obvious that’s she’s not trying all that hard. But it’s frikkin’ Winchester. Would you try? Would you give a crap? It actually was one of the few entertaining things about that snooze fest, Helen Mirren not giving a sh*t and just collecting a paycheck. You know what’s a 2018 horror movie that sparks way more anger? Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare. Now that’s a movie I can sadly remember and only wish I could forget about. Winchester is something I’m already forgetting all over again.
These Are Bad Actors Because of… Reasons?
I can’t speak for everyone on the nominated list for worst actor, actress, supporting, etc. because I didn’t see everything that came out of 2018. So for Amber Heard or Amanda Seyfried, I can’t speak for their performances in their respective films. But I did see Jennifer Garner in Peppermint and really, Razzies? What the hell?! Don’t get me wrong, Peppermint is a terrible movie. One of the worst action films that I saw all year. But Garner at least gave a real performance in that soulless mess. She acted her ass off in that hunk of junk, yet you nominate the one decent thing about that pile of crap? Idiots! Same goes for Jamie Foxx in Robin Hood as Little John. Not a very good movie, but Foxx is charismatic and engaging in the film. He gives a well rounded performance with a good amount of goofiness to spice things up in an otherwise lifeless action flick. These are actors doing their best with subpar material, it is not the actor’s fault for the writing and direction of these films being so misguided yet they somehow manage to squeeze what little life they could out of their roles to provide some sort of entertainment. But they are still awarded with the titles of ‘worst actress/supporting actor’. Real nice.
Bruce Willis is another example that I don’t believe deserves a nomination here as ‘worst actor’. At least not in his role from the Death Wish remake, which is what the Razzies attributes the nomination to for Willis. Again, this is an actor actually giving his best with material that doesn’t have the legs to support it. It’s not Willis’s fault that Eli Roth’s Death Wish wasn’t all that good. If it’s anyone’s fault, it’s Eli Roth’s. He’s never been much of a decent writer or director, so no sh*t the movie isn’t going to be very good. Done blame Willis though… although, there was another action film that I had mentioned earlier with Bruce Willis’s name attached to it. That being Reprisal… now that was a bad Bruce Willis performance where you can see clearly in his eyes that he does not care and would rather be anywhere else in the world than on the set of Reprisal. That I could understand the nomination. Even though I don’t blame Willis one bit for obviously not giving his all in that piece of crap. But in Death Wish? He was one of the few good things that kept me invested in the remake. Don’t punish him for his efforts. At least he was alive in Death Wish. Can’t say that in Reprisal.
Melissa McCarthy is a difficult one to defend against her nominations for ‘worst actress’ for both The Happytime Murders and Life of the Party, so I won’t. Since her performance was almost 100% her own fault in both projects. Even though I don’t believe her performance in The Happytime Murders was necessarily bad, it is still the fact that her constant obnoxious adlibbing in Happytime Murders and Life of the Party that I believe is what warranted the Razzie nomination. I personally would have left her role in Happytime Murders out of the nomination notes, but because of her bad improv work in Life of the Party I do understand as to why she may deserve the Razzie nom.
I Can’t Believe You’re Going to Make Me Do This…
If there’s one thing I can say right now that pisses me off about the Razzie Award nominations most is the fact that they are going to make me defend Donald Trump. How f*cking dare you make me defend Donald Sh*tHead Trump?! Seriously? I should never have to defend this horrible man, but you’re making me do it and that pisses me off! You monsters…
Okay… here it goes. Donald J. Trump does not deserve a Razzie nomination for ‘worst actor’. There is no reason why he was nominated other than the fact that he’s Donald Trump and he is the President of the United States of America. That’s it. It’s like when Trump was nominated as ‘worst supporting actor’ for his brief cameo in Ghosts Can’t Do It, again, only nominated because he’s Donald D*ckHead Trump. He’s a popular man to hate. I hate him, but he still doesn’t deserve a nomination for ‘worst actor’ for a couple of reasons.
1) He’s not actually acting in either Death of a Nation or Fahrenheit 11/9, it is all completely stock footage from news reels and interviews, etc. He is not actually acting in either one of those films, it is simply footage taken of him from his life and edited into the documentary. That’s it.
2) He’s barely focused on in either film. Seriously, combining both those movies together with everything that has to do with Donald Trump specifically, you may have thirty minutes of runtime. Maybe forty-five, max.
Now if Trump had actually been hired on in order to appear in these two documentaries as a character, that would be one thing, but I don’t think he even knows that these films exist. And the fact that Dinesh D’Souza was overlooked for a ‘worst actor’ nomination for the movie Death of a Nation only because Trump is an easier target is aggravating to me since Dinesh is the sole reason why that whole movie is terrible and he is the actual star of it, as well as writer and director. Although I will say that I did find it fairly humorous when I found out that Death of a Nation was nominated in the ‘Worst Remake, Rippoff or Sequel’ Razzies section as a remake of his last film, Hillary’s America, since that is a pretty accurate depiction of Death of a Nation.
The Razzies Are Pandering Pettiness
Of course there are more nominations that I highly disagree with. John C. Reilly listed as a ‘worst supporting actor’ I think is a little much since he was at least playing a character as Watson, as opposed to Will Ferrell in his role of Holmes… Ferrell deserves the ‘worst actor’ nomination for his screaming alone. But Johnny Depp nominated as ‘worst actor’ for Sherlock Gnomes is just silly. The absolute only reason that Depp is nominated at all is because people don’t like him as a person anymore since his recent scandals. But that’s like saying the technician that fixed your computer is a bad technician because afterwards he went home to beat his wife. That’s not him being a bad technician, that’s just… well, that’s just spousal abuse and assault, my friends. At least Johnny Depp attempted to portray a Sherlock Holmes interpretation, unlike Will Ferrell who acted like Will Ferrell in a hat. Sherlock Gnomes was a bad movie, but it wasn’t because of Depp’s voice acting. Also, nominating Ludacris as the voice of a dog in Show Dogs for ‘worst supporting actor’ is like nominating a kernel of corn in a turd. What’s the point? The corn didn’t do anything wrong, it was just sucked into the toilet bowl like the rest of the crap… I really have odd little analogies, don’t I?
Worst Directors Are Where Now?
The Razzie noms for worst screenplay and director are also not much better, I’m happy that Death of a Nation was at least nominated for ‘worst screenplay’ since I do believe it does deserve the title, but the fact that Dinesh D’Souza wasn’t nominated as ‘worst director’ is almost appalling to me. Particularly because the rest of the nominations are mostly people that don’t deserve that title.
Brian Henson as the director of The Happytime Murders did prove himself to be capable and competent behind the camera, even though the film didn’t succeed as well as it should have. But the project clearly held spirit and energy from the director’s chair. Far above being ‘worst director’ in my eyes.
The Spierig Brothers
The Spierig Brothers were nominated for their latest horror entry, Winchester. A mainly forgettable movie, but still at least has some merits to it. The film is well made, the story does have a three act structure, and the actors are given a decent enough direction to do their jobs. Even though it does fall flat in its screenwriting, it isn’t bad enough to earn the Razzie nomination. And the Spierig Brothers certainly did what they could as directors.
James Foley for Fifty Shades Freed… Let’s be perfectly honest here, there isn’t a damn thing anyone can do about the Fifty Shades source material unless there is a director/writer out there willing to ignore the original author and tear out all of the unnecessary crap that floods those books. So basically it needed a Stanley Kubrick. If Stanley Kubrick were alive today and given these three books to make into three films, he would have scrapped everything except for a few pages from the source and would have made a masterpiece instead. Without that mentality, there’s no way that any director is going to make much out of the Fifty Shades trilogy. So I honestly can’t say that I blame the director for what is essentially a terrible film, what can one do when the script is taken from Twilight fan-fiction in book form? Screenplay-wise, I understand the nomination. No doubt about it. But the director is practically an innocent bystander in this mess. Don’t pin it on him.
So Who Does Deserve To Be Called the ‘Worst Director’?
There are by far in a way more worthy directors and screenplays out there that should have been nominated over these entries; such as The Trump Prophecy which holds no directorial merit to it and is incomprehensible in its writing while everyone on screen acts like robots in a cult. The 15:17 to Paris has zero structure and feels like Clint Eastwood was practically asleep at the wheel the whole movie shoot. Life of the Party has practically no story and the only direction that it seems to have received is for the actors to act like babbling buffoons instead of creating 3-dimensional characters. Dinesh D’Souza’s direction for Death of a Nation was to hate Democrats and call them Nazis without proof for two hours. These are the true types of film that have earned to be called some of the worst. These are awful products that are solely the responsibility of their directors and writers. These movies don’t try, don’t have any artistic value to them, don’t supply any efforts in their character or story, don’t use their acting abilities to their fullest capabilities, and at at the end of the day are only made to be a product rather than anything with substance. These are the ones that deserve the nomination for ‘worst picture/actor/screenplay/whatever’. I’m sorry, but if the worst film you saw in 2018 was Gotti then boo-freaking-hoo for you because I have no sympathy for the privileged that haven’t actually seen a bad movie in their life. Why don’t you come back to me after you watch a movie where the premise of the story is that a fireman with PTSD claims that a CGI white glowing ball told him that Donald Trump was destined to be the President while showing him a vision of his recliner chair on fire which then leads him to inspiring a woman to start supporting the Trump campaign like it was a cult and it is all supposedly based on a true story. A.k.a. The Trump Prophecy. You watch that and then you come back to me when you’re finished so you can tell me which is worse, Gotti or that.
The Razzies Are A Joke
It irritates me that the Razzies have wasted most of their efforts on pandering to the people that watch a few mediocre films so that means they should be highlighted as terrible works of art while the real atrocities usually breeze under the radar. The goal behind the nominations always seems to be whatever is popular to hate rather than what is objectively bad. If anyone remembers, Stanley Kubrick was nominated for the Razzie Award of ‘Worst Director’ back in 1981 for a little film called The Shining. That’s right, one of the most highly regarded directors of all time was nominated for ‘worst director’ for one of the most beloved horror films ever made. All because at the time critics and audiences didn’t quite know what to make of the film, now everyone regards The Shining as a classic in cinema. Over the many years of there have been countless nominations, as well as Golden Raspberry Award winners that have been wrongfully entitled as the ‘worst’ only to be later be critically reassessed as underappreciated gems; such as Friday the 13th, Xanadu, Windows, Mommie Dearest, Heaven’s Gate, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rock IV, Tough Guys Don’t Dance, Hudson Hawk, Last Action Hero, and The Blair Witch Project to name a few. These to me are prime examples of what the Razzie Awards have always been and what they will probably always be, a popularity contest. Nothing more. Yes, there are times when the nominations are spot on for the Razzie Awards, but for the most part it feels like the Razzies are designed around the idea of what films made the biggest stink with people for a day and they’ll go with that.
I’m Done B*tching, Sorry!
I know that this was a gigantic rant over something completely stupid and really has no baring on me, but it seems silly that when there are films like Death of a Nation out there that are purposefully harmful hate mongering yet we regard a relatively unfunny puppet flick more in the running for ‘Worst Picture’ it gets to me a little bit. I know that this won’t change a thing about the Razzie Awards or anyone’s opinion on what they consider to be good or bad in the medium that is film, but I just needed to vent so… yeah. Here I am. Venting. Venting over now. You can go back to your families.
However, if you liked this article then please do me a little favor and maybe share this with those families and friends on social media? Pretty please? And most certainly, if you have any opinions about any of the topics above then please comment down below and let us discuss! I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on the Razzie Awards nominations for this year. Do you believe that this year’s picks were well deserved or do you believe there were others that should have made the cut? Also, please tell me what you thought was the worst film that you saw in 2018 and why! With that said, have yourselves a terrific day and thank you for reading!
My Choices For The Worst of 2018
- Worst Films of 2018
My 10 LEAST favorite picks out of 200 films I saw that were released from 2018.
How did the Razzie Nominees fair for you this year?
Did the Razzie Award Nominations get things right for you or did they miss the mark?
© 2019 John Plocar