The "worst movies of the year" ceremony should be just as influential as the Oscars
Ever since 1981, the Golden Raspberries - or The Razzies - have taken place to celebrate the worst that Hollywood has to offer.
On the day before the Oscars, the members of the Razzie jury come together to decide on the annual worst parts of the cinema year, and this year the winners were a list of the usual suspects, and were even more predictable than the Oscar winners themselves:
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
CO-WINNER: Fantastic Four
CO-WINNER: Fifty Shades of Grey
Johnny Depp, Mortdecai
Kevin James, Paul Blart Mall Cop 2
Adam Sandler, The Cobbler and Pixels
Channing Tatum, Jupiter Ascending
WINNER: Jamie Dornan, Fifty Shades of Grey
Katherine Heigl, Home Sweet Hell
Mila Kunis, Jupiter Ascending
Jennifer Lopez, The Boy Next Door
Gwyneth Paltrow, Mortdecai
WINNER: Dakota Johnson, Fifty Shades of Grey
WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Chevy Chase, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 and Vacation
Josh Gad, Pixels and The Wedding Ringer
Kevin James, Pixels
Jason Lee, Alvin & The Chipmunks: Road Chip
WINNER: Eddie Redmayne, Jupiter Ascending
WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Rooney Mara, Pan
Michelle Monaghan, Pixels
Julianne Moore, Seventh Son
Amanda Seyfried, Love the Coopers and Pan
WINNER: Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Alvin & The Chipmunks: Road Chip and The Wedding Ringer
Alvin & The Chipmunks: Road Chip
Hot Tub Time Machine 2
Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence)
Paul Blart Mall Cop 2
WINNER: Fantastic Four
WORST SCREEN COMBO
All Four “Fantastics,” Fantastic Four
Johnny Depp and His Glued-On Moustache, Mortdecai
Kevin James and EITHER His Segue OR His Glued-On Moustache, Paul Blart Mall Cop 2
Adam Sandler and Any Pair of Shoes, The Cobbler
WINNER: Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, Fifty Shades of Grey
Andy Fickman, Paul Blart Mall Cop 2
Tom Six, Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence)
Sam Taylor-Johnson, Fifty Shades of Grey
Andy and Lana Wachowski, Jupiter Ascending
WINNER: Josh Trank, Fantastic Four
Fantastic Four (screenplay by Simon Kinberg, Jeremy Slater and Josh Trank, Based on the Marvel comic book by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby)
Jupiter Ascending (written by Andy and Lana Wachowski)
Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 (screenplay by Kevin James & Nick Bakay)
Pixels (screenplay by Tim Herlihy and Timothy Dowling, Story by Herlihy, Based on a Work by Patrick Jean)
WINNER: Fifty Shades of Grey (screenplay by Kelly Marcel, Based on the Novel by E.L. James)
RAZZIE REDEEMER AWARD
Elizabeth Banks (RAZZIE “Winner” for MOVIE 47, Multiple Hit Movies This Year)
M. Night Shyamalan (Perennial RAZZIE nominee & “winner,” director of The Visit)
Will Smith (For following up After Earth with Concussion)
WINNER: Sylvester Stallone (All-Time RAZZIE Champ, award contender for Creed)
Pretty much exactly what you might have expected, as one of the year's biggest flops and one of the year's more critical derided movies sweep up the majority of the awards.
However, while the Oscars can sometimes feel like a giant circle back-pat love-in extravaganza, the Razzies are actually in a position for Hollywood to learn from it's own mistakes... a position that it is painfully under-utilizing by turning itself into something of a laughing stock.
One of the biggest issues with the awards is that the members of the jury don't actually have to have seen the movies they're nominating or giving the awards to, which simply means they can rely on the word of mouth, the poor box office or the low Rotten Tomatoes score to feel they've done enough research to bestow the trophies.
While it's easy to poke fun at the Razzies - and perhaps even those on the jury would say it's all in good fun and not to be taken too seriously - there is something to be learned from the worst cinematic offences of the year. Yes, obviously, Fifty Shades Of Grey was terrible, and yes, the reboot of Fantastic Four was quite weak, but they were both far from the worst movies of the year.
The Tim Roth-starring FIFA biography United Passions sits with 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, while the Pierce Brosnan-Salma Hayek romantic drama Some Kind Of Beautiful has 4%. Compared to Fantastic Four's 9% or Fifty Shade Of Grey's unbelievable 25%, there is a discrepancy there. And that discrepancy is popularity: United Passions and Some Kind Of Beautiful may well have been worse, but nobody went to see them, hardly anyone has heard of them, and the Razzies instead have taken aim at the easier, bigger targets.
It could be argued that the Oscars are guilty of a similar fault - giving Best Picture to Spotlight (96%) instead of 45 Years (97%), Brooklyn (97%) or Inside Out (98%) - but critic's reviews aren't everything, and Rotten Tomatoes scores aren't always fair representation of actual public opinion.
Focusing on the Razzies though, there should be repercussions to the winners in the same way that there are rewards for the Oscars. Win an Academy Award? Then its on to bigger and better things in your career (Usually. Sorry, Halle Berry). Win a Razzie? Laugh it off, prepare the sequel - Fifty Shades Darker is in production and will be out next February, Adam Sandler and Kevin James both have movies coming out in 2016, the world keeps on turning.
The Razzies should be seen as the ultimate wake-up call, not a cute finger-wagging. Sandra Bullock actually showed up in 2009 to collect her Worst Actress award for All About Steve, the same year she won the Oscar for Best Actress for The Blind Side. With her, she brought DVDs of All About Steve for everyone in the audience, saying "If you watch it, and I mean really watch it, and decide it's not the worst performance of the year, then I'll come back next year and give back the Razzie... and we can all go for drinks afterwards." Bullock knew full well she'd gotten the award solely because she actually agreed to show up to collect it, but she also learned her lesson since then: Gravity, The Heat, Minions... all huge hits, all great performances from Bullock.
If she can learn a lesson from her low point, then The Razzies should learn just how influential that could, and should, be.