Razzie Awards for 2018

It’s always nice when reality pats you on the back and says, “You got this one right.” Sometimes that doesn’t happen as often as we’d like. Reality seems to enjoy confounding us. For me that seems especially true when it comes to taste in entertainment.

So I was delighted and gratified to see The Happytime Murders, Holmes & Watson, and Robin Hood, all nominated for Worst Picture for this year’s Annual Razzie Awards. They share the honor with Gotti and Winchester. (See the full list at razzies.com.)

It’s so nice to know I’m not alone in boggling that someone actually made these movies!

Now, it’s true I haven’t seen any of the nominated movies, and I would resist the suggestion that I should. There are some movies you can just tell you won’t like.

I look at it this way: The trailer is highly engineered and designed to give viewers the best possible buzz off the movie. The primary point, after all, is getting people to watch the movie.

Trailers do have the purpose of providing a plot thumbnail sketch, because viewers have made it clear they want to know what they’re getting into. People who hate spoilers of any kind have been avoiding trailers for a long time.

I also wonder if trailers don’t act a bit as filters. Obviously they do; what I’m wondering is how intentional it is. Do they hope to snag everyone, or just people they think will like the movie?

Do they fear if they suck in people who naturally won’t end up liking it the bad word of mouth will be damaging? I can see it, and it might explain why some trailers can be so off-putting.

Or maybe it’s the movie itself that’s off-putting, and there’s nothing that can be done to save it.

§

For my money, the elevator pitch alone sounds utterly dreadful.

“Will Ferrell plays Sherlock Holmes with John C. Reilly as Watson, and it’s a total goofball romp!”

That describes a movie I’d never want to see. I’m not sure you could pay me to see it. (Well, it depends,… how much?)

It’s not, as one reviewer suggested, the trashing of the beloved Sherlock Holmes character. That’s been done, and nothing’s untouchable, anyway.

No, it’s Will Ferrell playing an Idiot Clown in the role of one of the world’s smartest men. He’s nothing at all like Holmes, so what’s the point of it?

If it were clever, if it added something, if it found a new spin, then it might be worthy and welcome. But from all accounts, it’s just idiot noise signifying nothing.

It seems like just an excuse to be an asshole.

Apparently people walked out. Hope they demanded (and got) their money back!

§

The pitch for The Happytime Murders seems like it might have potential…

“Melissa McCarthy is a cop, her ex-partner is a puppet, and puppets are second-class citizens, they solve a crime together, but everything’s dark and nasty, not like the Muppets at all. And Jim Henson’s son directs it.”

The accounts here suggest that what was delivered is lots of vulgar, nasty, dark tropes, but nothing else. Just a bunch of button-pushing icons strung on a string, a failing common to movies these days.

Again, it’s not trashing a beloved character or dragging them into the gutter. I don’t even like the Muppets (I don’t dislike them, either; I just don’t care).

It’s that it’s empty and stupid. It’s that no real thought went into it.

It’s that it’s clearly not a labor of love; it’s a “Hey, I bet they’ll buy this!”

One mark of a really good story is that it burned in someone’s heart and cried out to be told.

§

The latest remake of Robin Hood also sounded dreadful to me.

The idea is a superhero Robin with rapid-fire arrow shooting (essentially a Medieval rip-off of one of those arrow-shooting comicbook heroes, Green Arrow and whatnot).

Decent cast, but a silly, stupid story filled with absurd anachronisms.

You can almost hear the calculation: One part super arrow-shooter, one part throne games, action, thrills, arrows, they’ll love it!

And I wonder. Is it possible the well is dry on variations of Robin Hood and his Merry Band?

§

How about variations on Sherlock Holmes and Watson? What more is there ever to say about them?

I do love the British series with Benedict Cumberbatch. I think that’s an outstanding take on the character. I’ve also really enjoyed the CBS Elementary with Jonny Lee Miller. Lucy Liu as Joan Watson is a nice touch!

I can’t say the Robert Downey Jr. versions did anything for me, but maybe someone will come along with a new idea.

I suppose it’s possible.

§

Who will win the Razzie for Worst Picture?

I’m guessing Holmes & Watson. People walked out! Apparently even people with a really high tolerance for stupid movies.

When I read the news about the Razzie nominations, I laughed (out loud).

I also experienced that emotion,… whatchacallit,… starts with an “S”,…

Not Sad,…

Not Sorry,…

Not Sympathetic,…

Ah!

Schadenfreude!

Yes, that’s it.

It went with the laugh.

“Ha! Ha! I was right! Told you so!”

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

7 responses to “Razzie Awards for 2018

  • Wyrd Smythe

    Is it just me, or, in the photo of the award, does the camera angle on the Golden Raspberry make the leaves look like a cowboy hat?

  • mwlange

    I agree that Holmes and Watson will win, based on the negative reviews I heard of it. The Muppet one looked like an over-the-top piece designed to break the genre of Muppet movies. It’s kind of like a child star doing edgy roles to avoid being typecast forever in family-friendly roles.

    As for the Robin Hood movie, I would love to see Hollywood just stop making them. It’s part of the industry’s penchant for repackaging something rather than gamble on something new.

  • SelfAwarePatterns

    I really had a hard time watching the trailer for Holmes and Watson. It was unbelievably awful. I’ve never even heard of the others and will now make absolutely no effort to know more about them. 🙂

    “I also wonder if trailers don’t act a bit as filters.”
    I think intelligent marketing does do that, for exactly the reason you noted. So much of this comes down to word of mouth. On the other hand, if the marketers know that they have a turd on their hands, they may make it as attractive as they can to get the best opening weekend possible, knowing that it will inevitably plummet afterward. Of course, sometimes the markets are the ones who are incompetent.

    The leaves definitely look like a cowboy hat.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      I really thought it was. Just a jaunty Hollywood cowboy hat. It was when I was doing the image for the post I realized it’s the raspberry leaves. 🙂

      Yeah, that trailer made it very clear it wasn’t a movie I’d see without a fight. Or a lot of money.

      You’re lucky you managed to avoid all the buzz about The Happyland Murders. It some ways it’s trying for the same angst that worked so poorly in Netflix’s recent Bright, another widely acknowledged turkey. Puppets versus Orcs, but same thing. The human is even a cop in both cases.

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        I did see the trailer for Bright, or at least the first few seconds of it. I didn’t even want to see how well the concept might have been done. I just hated it on sight. (I did have to look it up just now to remember it though.)

      • Wyrd Smythe

        That was pretty much my identical reaction. (I had to look it up to make sure it was, in fact, called Bright. 🙂 ) The reviews I saw… were not kind.

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