5 Films So Bad They Might Win a Prize
Every year, the film industry gathers to honor the best movies at prestigious awards shows like the Oscars and the Golden Globe Awards. These awards are often the highest achievement of an actor’s or a director’s career. The awards also serve an important marketing function, since films that garner accolades gain positive exposure and usually receive a boost in box office receipts. However, not all awards ceremonies honor the film industry’s successes.
The annual Golden Raspberry Awards honor the year’s worst films with a Golden Raspberry Award, or “Razzie.” As noted by the BBC, copywriter and publicist John Wilson started the annual celebration in 1980 as an impromptu spoof of the venerable Oscars for the entertainment of his friends. However, since then, the Razzies have evolved into the best-known anti-Oscar event, and it is usually covered by major media outlets.
Like the Oscars, the Razzies feature award categories for actors, actresses, directors, and the pictures themselves. Previous Worst Picture Razzie winners include 2009’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, directed by Michael Bay and 2012’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2, directed by Bill Condon. Although actors and directors do not typically attend the Razzies or pick up their awards, Halle Berry famously made an appearance at the ceremony in 2005 to pick up the Worst Actress Razzie for her performance in 2004’s Catwoman.
Here are the five Razzie Award nominees for Worst Picture of 2013.
1. After Earth
This Will Smith vehicle is a definite frontrunner for this year’s Worst Picture Razzie. This science fiction bomb was directed by M. Night Shyamalan, who has already won four previous Razzies for his work on films such as Lady in the Water and The Last Airbender. The film received mostly negative reviews from the critics and its $60.5 million domestic box office take was considered a flop for a film featuring a star of Will Smith’s caliber. Although Smith cast his real-life son, Jaden Smith, to play his son in the film, the realism apparently didn’t transfer to the big screen. One critic wrote that the younger Smith’s performance lacked “any acting talent of any sort.”
Jaden Smith’s performance also garnered a Razzie nomination for Worst Actor, while Will Smith’s performance got a nod for Worst Supporting Actor. The film currently has an 11 percent Tomatometer rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which means that the overwhelming majority of critics have given the film a negative review.
2. Grown Ups 2
Like the original 2010 film Grown Ups, Grown Ups 2 stars perennial Razzie winner Adam Sandler. In 2011, Sandler famously managed to snag both the Worst Actor and Worst Actress awards for his performance in Jack and Jill, while the film itself holds the record for the most Razzie awards after winning in every category that year.
Despite featuring fellow comedians such as Chris Rock, Kevin James, and David Spade, Grown Ups 2 failed to make the critics smile. Variety called it “Among the slackest, laziest, least movie-like movies released by a major studio in the last decade.” Grown Ups 2 currently has a dismal 7 percent Tomatometer rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the film review site noted that it was a movie “for filmgoers passionate about deer urine humor.”
3. The Lone Ranger
The Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) Pictures film version of the iconic radio show of the same name stars Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the masked vigilante known as the Lone Ranger. Before it even debuted in the summer of 2013, The Lone Ranger was already in trouble due to budget concerns. According to Variety, the film racked up $250 million in production costs and $150 million in international marketing and distribution costs. Meanwhile, the shoot was plagued with inclement weather, a chicken pox outbreak, and a crew member’s death.
Despite its considerable cost and the star power of Johnny Depp, the film received mostly negative reviews from the critics and only generated $89.3 million in domestic box office receipts. The New York Post called The Lone Ranger a “bloated, misshapen mess, a stillborn franchise loaded with metaphors for its feeble attempts to amuse, excite, and entertain.” The Lone Ranger currently has a Razzie-worthy 31 percent Tomatometer rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
4. A Madea Christmas
Tyler Perry’s latest cross-dressing comedy film is the seventh entry in the writer/director/producer’s Madea franchise. Like the previous Madea films, A Madea Christmas stars Tyler Perry as the elderly and tough title character. Besides garnering a Razzie nomination for Worst Picture, the latest Madea film also earned Perry nominations for Worst Actress, Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay. In what appears to be a Razzie first, Perry and his Madea wig and dress costume were both nominated in the Worst Screen Combo category along with costar Daniel “Larry the Cable Guy” Whitney. Larry the Cable Guy also received a nod for Worst Supporting Actor for his role in the film.
The film was panned by most critics and currently has a 19 percent Tomatometer rating from the critics on Rotten Tomatoes. On the other hand, Tyler Perry films have a loyal fan base and the Rotten Tomatoes audience approval rating for the film currently stands at a respectable 73 percent. However, as noted by Rotten Tomatoes, the film “ranks among Perry’s least entertaining or substantive works.”
5. Movie 43
Movie 43 might be the least surprising nominee for a Worst Picture Razzie. Although the film is a tribute to older comedy skit movies like Kentucky Fried Movie and Amazon Women on the Moon, it failed to amuse the critics as much as those classic comedies. Movie 43 features some major Hollywood stars, including Halle Berry, Richard Gere, Hugh Jackman, and Naomi Watts. Despite its star-packed ensemble cast and the presence of two veteran comedy producers, the film was almost universally panned by the critics.
The Star called Movie 43 “the worst film ever,” while the Chicago Sun-Times labeled it “the ‘Citizen Kane’ of awful.” According to its approval ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, both critics and viewers gave Movie 43 overwhelmingly negative reviews. Movie 43 currently has an unbelievably low 4 percent Tomatometer rating from the critics on Rotten Tomatoes, while the audience approval rating stands at 25 percent.
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