Awards season is officially underway in Hollywood, where ceremonies like the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes honor the best of the best in film. However, it's also time for the "Razzies," a tongue-in-cheek "awards" competition that highlights just the opposite — the worst of the worst. "Top" nominees this year include "Grown Ups 2" and "After Earth."
While I (thankfully!) didn't end up seeing most of the films nominated this year, in the spirit of the Razzies, here are some good-natured rants on films I've watched over the years that I would like to give a Razzie to. ;) I'd also love to hear about some of the films that make your personal "least favorite" list!
Worst Sci-Fi Movie: "The Last Airbender" (2010)
I had the misfortune of watching this movie at a drive-in theater the summer it was released. It was sandwiched between "Despicable Me" and "Toy Story 3," and if I wanted to see the new "Toy Story" movie, I had to sit through "The Last Airbender" in its entirety. Thankfully, "Toy Story 3" was really good, which made my suffering ultimately feel worthwhile.
"The Last Airbender" has a cringe-inducing score on "Rotten Tomatoes" (about 6 percent), and it frustrated fans of the original cartoon it was based on. The concept is intriguing: a world populated by cultures that each control a different element — Water, Earth, Fire or Air. However, despite the relatively brief runtime for a sci-fi or fantasy film (1 hr. 43 min.), the film seems to drag on and on. The acting is painfully stiff, and the movie further damaged the already troubled reputation of M. Night Shyamalan.
Worst Superhero Movie: "Batman & Robin" (1997)
I ALMOST feel bad for picking on this one, because I seem to always reference it when I'm looking for an example of a bad movie to use on my blog. However, it's hard not to reference it, since it is widely regarded as one of the worst superhero movies and was even named the worst film of all time by readers of Empire magazine.
The first Batman movie I saw was Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins," and unfortunately, my second Batman experience was this one. I started to get a bad feeling during the opening sequence, but I didn't realize just how bad the movie was going to be until Batman and Robin clicked their heels together and ice skates popped out. And it just went downhill from there. The film takes itself just seriously enough that it can't cross over into the delightfully campy category of "so bad it's good" films (here's looking at you, "Sharknado"!). It's still a mystery how an actor with the standing of George Clooney ended up starring in this one.
Worst Musical: "High School Musical" (2006)
I commented once to a friend in college that I had never seen "High School Musical," and he told me to avoid it and preserve my innocence. Unfortunately, I didn't listen, and I watched it anyway.
For me, the film felt too much like a made-for-TV movie (even though it IS a made-for-TV movie), and while the story is about breaking stereotypes, it kinda felt like it was still reinforcing them. It's been a while since I've seen the movie, but I'm pretty sure I remember several times where it was a little too obvious the actors were lip-syncing to a separately recorded vocal track. However, it was at least better than the other movie I watched the same day — "Alvin and the Chipmunks" (which I'd like to nominate for "worst family movie"). I know, I know, what was I thinking? ;)
Worst Drama: "Twilight" saga (2008-2012)
I kinda feel bad for picking on this one too, because it's another one that gets called out frequently. However, I'm admittedly still a bit bitter about the fact I had to pay to see the final "Twilight" movie two times in theaters (don't ask). ;)
The franchise is unique in that it has spawned detractors who are as equally passionate as its advocates. While I have nothing against those who are fans of the series, the movies frustrated me because I think the concept really did have potential, but the execution fell a bit flat. The performances from the three lead actors aren't particularly compelling and didn't make me buy into the whole love triangle. The film takes itself a bit too seriously, and the dialogue isn't witty or memorable. The bright side is, some of the supporting actors from the series have shown promise and have gone on to more successful Hollywood careers.