It’s Oscar season once again, folks, and boy, oh boy, is there ever a lot of deserving nominations for the categories. 12 Years a Slave was a potent tale about, um, slavery, American Hustle…. Had a…Good cast, Nebraska had brilliant shots of…Nebraska, I guess, and The Wolf of Wall Street was one hell of a monster movie.
As you probably guessed, I haven’t actually seen any of the nominees for best picture. Every year, I make a promise to myself that I’m going to watch all or most of the Oscar-nominated movies, and each year, I stay home and watch a nineties superhero cartoon on Netflix.
In my defense, I think the majority of the Oscar-watching population doesn’t actually watch any of the movies. That’s okay, because there’s so much else going on. You can (Hopefully) laugh at the host, you can see all your favourite actors and actresses wear beautiful clothes and pretend they don’t loathe each other, and you may have the chance to see somebody richer and more successful than you embarrass themselves on live TV! It’s a win for everybody, really.
However, for whatever reason, this year, I feel like watching all the best picture nominees, if only because I hate being out of the know if something is supposed to be really good. So, this year, I’ve decided to watch all of the Oscar movies (That is, the Best Picture Nominees) and, after watching, each one, I’ll post a short review on this blog.
There’s more, however.
See, I’m not content with only doing the nominees for the best in film-making. I’m also insanely curious to see what the WORST in film was like this year. Therefor, in addition to the Oscars, I will also be following the little known awards show known as the Golden Raspberries (Also known as the “Razzies”).
To give you an idea of what these short reviews will look like, here is a short review on a movie I watched last night that also happens to be a nominee for ten Razzie awards:
Grown Ups 2
Directed by: Dennis Dugan (Of course)
Produced by: Adam Sandler, Jack Giarraputo
Written by: Adam Sandler, Tim Herlihy, Fred Wolf
Genre: Gross-out Comedy
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade (Yuck), Nick Swardson (Ick) Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph, Alexander Ludwig, Taylor Lautner
Golden Raspberry Nominations: Worst Picture, Worst Director (Dennis Dugan), Worst Actor (Adam Sandler) Worst Supporting Actor (Taylor Lautner) Worst Supporting Actor (Nick Swardson) Worst Supporting Actress (Salma Hayek) Worst Screenplay (Adam Sandler, Tim Herlihy, Fred Wolf) Worst Screen Combo (The entire cast) Worst Prequel, Rip-off or Sequel
Plot: A sequel to 2010’s Grown Ups, Grown Ups 2 tells the continuing story of Lenny Feder, his wife (Salma Hayek) and kids, his best friends, Eric (Kevin James), Kurt (Chris Rock) and Marcus (David Spade) and their respective families, who have all moved back to their Connecticut hometown where they all grew up. I have no idea if I have any readers from Connecticut, but if so, I must ask: How often do deer break into your homes and urinate on you? Because that happens in the first two minutes of this movie.
Actually, “plot” is a bit of a misnomer. There is way too much shit going on in this movie, and none of it is the least bit interesting or funny. Adam Sandler movies have never been much for sophisticated plot crafting, but there was still at least some semblance of heart in movies like Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison and Click. I like to think of him as the poor man’s Will Ferrell. They’re two SNL alumni who make comedic movies with tons of heart under the somewhat lowbrow humour. Unfortunately, while Will Farrell is still hilarious, coming off critical and financial successes with Anchorman 2 and The Campaign, Sandler has not been even remotely near the top of his game for a few years now. Jack and Jill, That’s My Boy and now this.
But, I digress. Anyways, long story short, they decide to throw a party, hi-jinks and questionable cameos ensue.
Acting: Oh, Jesus, where do I even start?
I know that movies like this aren’t made to be Oscar-worthy, but seriously? These performances were God-awful, even by Happy Madison standards There are actually some damn talented people involved in this movie, but none of them even tried to do the best they could with what they got (Though, admittedly, there wasn’t exactly much to work with in the first place). Obviously, I wasn’t expecting too much from people like Nick Swardson, David Spade, Taylor Lautner, Kevin James or Shaquille O’Neal (Seriously), but I was at least expecting people like Adam Sandler, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock and Steve Buscemi to show a goddamn pulse, at least!
Worst of all are the portrayals of the women. They’re all depicted as shallow, overly nurturing and/or hormonal. Actually, they’re maybe not quite as offensive as this kid…
…But it’s still bad.
Oddly enough, the best performance was by Stone Cold Steve Austin. This is, however, nowhere close to being a credit to the incredible acting range of Mr. Austin.
Which Razzie nominations does it deserve?:
- Worst Screenplay: Absolutely. There was nothing funny about this movie, and it fails even when trying to be serious.
- Worst Director: Yes. Dennis Dugan may be the furthest possible thing from Martin Scorsese.
- Worst Sequel: Yup.
- Worst Screen Combo: Absolutely. There wasn’t a single good performance in this movie.
- Worst Supporting Actress (Salma Hayek): Yes. She may be one of the best actresses to come out of Latin America ever, but she sure as hell didn’t show it here.
- Worst Supporting Actors (Taylor Lautner and Nick Swardson): Again, yes. Taylor Lautner sucked, and Nick Swardson has never once made me laugh. Ever. For all I know, he may be a nice person (Although if he’s anything like his characters, I doubt it), but honestly, at this point, I just hate the guy. (I would have also nominated David Spade, though)
- Worst Actor (Adam Sandler): He definitely deserved the nomination, but I don’t know if I’d consider him as bad as Lautner, Swardson, Spade or O’Neal.
- Worst Picture: Oh yeah, this was a disaster, through and through.
Overall Score: 2/10