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Whenever I am trapped at a bad movie, one that makes me want to retch up my pancreas, I have the solace of knowing that sooner or later it will come to the attention of the Razzie Awards. I refer to them as a valuable public service because, well, they are. Started in 1980 by John Wilson, a film business insider, it annually takes Hollywood to task for purveying trash when, with the budgets at its collective disposal, it could have produced a gem instead of something that stinks to the high heavens. And it gives we in the viewing public a chance to point our collective fingers and laugh at the hubris, short-sightedness, and just plain bad taste.
This year, the awards, always held the day before the Oscars(tm), take aim at THE LONE RANGER, AFTER EARTH, MOVIE 42, and the entirely uncalled for sequel GROWN-UPS 2. Wilson and I had what was, for me at least, a cathartic chat about what went wrong with each of them before I asked him to talk about what he considered to be a hopeful trend. He had an answer for that, having been heartened by the fact that most of the films being honored by that >other< awards show are smaller films made by people who are obviously passionate about them rather than being passionate about a bottom line.
And then there was and is Sylvester Stallone. The man dominated the early history of the Razzies, and after several years’ absence, has made his triumphant (?) return to the list of Razzie nominees for not one, not two, but rather for THREE films: BULLET TO THE HEAD, ESCAPE PLAN, and GRUDGE MATCH. Welcome back, Sly.
The wonderful thing about the Razzies is that they are egalitarian. If you have a credit card, and $40, you, too, can be a voting member and have the chance to attend the annual awards ceremony, a full-scale and formal production including singing, dancing, and the occasional surprise guest start (Sandra Bullock showed to accept for ALL ABOUT STEVE, as did Halle Berry for CATWOMAN). If you visit the web site (razzies.com), you can see the clips of their acceptance speeches, and sign up for a membership. You can also enter to win your $10 back for having spent same to see a bad film, and you gotta love an organization that gives back like that. You can also help support Wilson’s efforts to broadcast next year’s awards, the only ones handed out strictly on (lack of) merit, by going here.
Click the link to listen to the interview (24:27)– Head Berry John Wilson — 2014 Razzie Awards.