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The Golden Raspberry Awards: 2016

razzies-2016

The Golden Raspberries started off as an informal joke.  Something for a publicist and his friends to do after the Oscars had ended.  Over time, it has become and enduring and irreverent tradition.  In theory, The Razzies poke fun at the worst movies of the year.  But like any awards ceremony, the Razzies frequently make the wrong call.  We’re going back and looking at the history of the Golden Raspberry Awards one year at a time.

The thirty-seventh annual Razzies nominated the movies of 2016.   Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Finding Dory were the top movies of the year.  La La Land was announced as Best Picture at the Academy Awards in error.  The prize actually went to Moonlight.  Casey Affleck and Emma Stone took home the top acting honors.  At the Razzies, voters were still recovering from an exhausting presidential election and a joyless super hero slugfest.

gibson-and-garfield

The Razzie Redeemer Award

Winner: Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge

I’m not one for making predictions, but with regards to this year’s Golden Raspberry Awards, I was confident enough to prognosticate twice.  One, I figured post-election Hillary’s America was sure to rack up some nominations and probably a win or two.  And two, I thought the Razzies would skip a year on the Redeemer Award.  Well, I was half right.My thinking was that there really hadn’t been a massive comeback story like those of past winners Ban Affleck and Sylvester Stallone.  Those two actors were previous Razzie targets who had fought their way back to be Oscar nominees.  Affleck, the inaugural winner of the Redeemer Award and a Razzie winner this year in a different category, actually took home an Oscar for Argo despite not being nominate for Best Director that year.  Stallone, who has gotten more attention from Razzie voters than he has from the Academy, lost his Oscar bid but managed to take home a Golden Globe.

Unlike previous honorees, Mel Gibson doesn’t have a long history with the Razzies.  His only nomination came in 2014 in the supporting actor category for playing the villain in The Expendables 3.  That was an early comeback effort that came up short and the Razzies decided to tweak Gibson as a result.  He lost to costar Kelsey Grammer who committed the cardinal sin of appearing in an Expendables movie and a Transformers sequel in the same year.

You probably already know this, but once upon a time, Gibson was Hollywood royalty.  Younger readers may not remember this, but there was a time when Gibson was beloved.  He was up there with Tom Hanks as a national treasure.  The Lethal Weapon franchise formed the springboard of Gibson’s career and its success allowed him the opportunity to dabble in directing.  In 1995, Gibson starred in and directed the Oscar-winning historical epic, Braveheart.

What most people didn’t know was that behind the good looks and winning smile, there was a guy with a lot of serious issues.  Gibson has admitted to being a manic-depressive with a decades-long drinking problem.  In 1984, he was banned from driving in Ontario after a drunk driving accident.  But that incident was largely swept under the rug.  Back then, a famous movie star like Gibson could make a mistake like that in Canada and it wouldn’t come back to haunt him.

In 2006, Gibson was arrested for drunk driving in Los Angeles.  Under the influence, Gibson let loose with some racial slurs that made headlines.  That incident alone didn’t sink Gibson’s career but a lot of people stopped returning his phone calls.  On a personal level, his marriage of over 30 years came to an end.  Despite the controversy, Gibson continued working sporadically.  But in 2010, audio recordings leaked of Gibson berating his then-girlfriend,  Russian pianist Oksana Grigorieva.  Gibson’s personal demons were laid bare for all to see.

It turns out the guy everyone assumed was a well-meaning rogue and merry prankster had a serious dark side.  Making matters worse, the actor didn’t feel the need to make amends with the public.  Gibson never really offered up much of an apology for his actions beyond making the case that no one should be judged based on their lowest point.  Over the years, he kept testing the waters to see if the time was right to step back into the spotlight.

Apparently 2016 was the year in which Gibson was allowed to return from exile to direct the WWII drama, Hacksaw Ridge.  While not a runaway hit, Hacksaw Ridge got mostly positive reviews and performed respectfully at the box office.  It was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture and Gibson’s first Best Director nomination since he won for Braveheart.

Next: Worst Screenplay and Worst Director

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Posted on March 3, 2017, in Awards, Movies, Razzies and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. jeffthewildman

    Dinesh D’Souza is basically at this point the Conservative Michael Moore. Albeit without the humor that Moore offers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dinesh D’Souza wants to be the conservative Michael Moore. He’s the closest thing the right has to a Michael Moore. But say what you will about Michael Moore (he leaves himself open to a lot of criticism), he is a talented filmmaker. Dinesh D’Souza is a hack (and a felon).

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  2. Yet again I have managed to get through the year without seeing a single one of these nominated movies or performances. Seems to me I’m doing something right in the movies department.

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    • You must be. I, on the other hand, have seen a few of these and have yet to see any of the major Oscar nominees. #LivingWrong

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      • jeffthewildman

        As of last Sunday I’d seen 7 of the BP Nominees. I’ve seen 2 of the Razzie ones (For the record, they are Independence Day Resurgence and Batman V Superman). Batman V Superman, for all its problems, is at least memorable. The Independence Day sequel I’ve forgotten most of. If there were plans to make an Independence Day trilogy, they are likely on the scrap heap now.

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        • There were at one point plans for a trilogy. The plan to film back-to-back sequels probably fell through the minute Will Smith passed on the offer. I don’t think anyone’s going to suggest another movie after IDR’s performance.

          Zoolander 2 and Dirty Grandpa are on cable pretty frequently and I considered watching them as research for this article. But I resisted. I have seen BVS and Suicide Squad. I feel like the clips I have seen of the other nominees were plenty.

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        • jeffthewildman

          Suicide Squad. That one was clearly thrown together too quickly with no real thought. I’d been looking forward to it because the premise was intriguing and I like director David Ayers work. But this one was a letdown. If the studio had allowed Ayer to do what he set out to do, the resulting movie might have been better. Then again, in some ways Ayer isn’t at his best when he tries to go for the mainstream as both this and Sabotage prove.

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        • It’s a tricky proposition to introduce an entire team and set them of on an adventure in one movie. The first X-Men movie dealt with this problem too (albeit far more elegantly). To try to throw a script together in six weeks in order to make a release date is just madness. It’s no wonder the movie is a mess.

          I’ll give it this much though, it’s kind of a fun mess. If I had to sit through Suicide Squad or Batman v Superman again, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick Suicide Squad.

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  3. I do not think the Razzie’s did a lot for their reputation. Their winners seem to be politically motivated more then fun. D’Souza’s movies are terrible, but these kind of cut rate political documentaries are a dime a dozen and are red meat for whatever base they are playing to and are ignored by the general public. Plus, no one really likes or misses Hillary Clinton, so why are they standing up for her? The whole things smacks of petty partisanship. A real movie misfire like Batman v. Superman would have been a better pick.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Razzies have a pretty long tradition of wearing their liberal politics on their sleeve. That doesn’t necessarily make it right, but like I said in the article I was expecting at least some Razzie attention. Aside from the fact that this is just par for the course for the Razzies, there are two other factors here: 1. Trump won and 2. Hillary’s America was the top grossing documentary of the year. So it wasn’t quite “dime a dozen” documentary.

      Does this reflect poorly on the Razzies? It almost certainly alienates people. I’m pretty confident the Razzie people aren’t concerned about that and that people who like D’Souza’s movies probably don’t care all that much about the Razzies.

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    • I do think The Razzies having that film as their “Winner” is laying it on too thick, but this is what they do. Like Lebeau, I was expecting it due to them nominating and announcing winners George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, and Brittany Spears (oops, they did it again) for “Fahrenheit 9/11”. I figured they’d really pounce on the Hillary deal the same way.

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      • From all I hear, Hillary’s America deserves it for not only being a propaganda piece made by a complete lunatic, but downright incompetent filmmaking. As The Cinema Snob – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f60FORZyOo8#t=71m – himself says: “To describe how bad a movie is, there are some things here you shouldn’t use for a documentary. Like, the acting is bad. The script is bad. The settings are bad”. Just check this clip, which from 8 minutes on shows a KKK rider jumping out of a movie screen in the White House!

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  4. Blockbuster Buster: Gods of Egypt (2016)

    This film is truly a curse from the gods.

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  5. As usual, I enjoyed the write up more than what The Razzies did with their thing of theirs (I give The Razzies a strawberry), especially the paragraph on Mel Gibson’s dark side always being there (for the record, I was never upset at “Mad Mel”, and I think if he made a public apology it would’ve rang hollow. So I see it as one really bad point of view and decision, then one pretty good decision in not to back off. I also believe that there are a lot of people out there with warped viewpoints, but at least with Gibson, he’s either playing a role or directing, so I’m not subjected to those viewpoints on a daily basis. Plus, he’s entertained me in the past, which doesn’t let him off the hook, as I’m aware and acknowledge what’s gone down, file it away, and go from there).

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  6. Nostalgia Critic: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)

    Angry Video Game Nerd, Black Nerd, and the Nostalgia Critic look at the Turtle movie that was supposed to please every Turtle fan!

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  7. That isn’t even Becky Turner, that is Mikaela Krantz who plays younger Hillary (she has a lot more screentime than Turner even). Maybe the Razzies meant to nominate the later because Turner is not even in the movie for longer than 2 minutes and she can only be seen from behind (and never speaks). This is a huge mistake by the Razzies.

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  8. And btw, they could totally nominate Paul Verhoeven (Worst Director Winner) for Elle, and Salma Hayek (two time Worst Supporting Actress Nominee) for Tale of Tales for the Razzie’s redeemers award.

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