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The Razzies 2015: Which bad movies will and should win

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Is it wrong to wish the Razzies tried just a little harder?

Let me explain. For 35 years now, the Golden Raspberry Awards have taken pride in “honoring” the worst of film at a cheap-ass ceremony held annually on Oscar Day Eve, just around the corner from “that other award show.” Many of the event’s biggest winners—Mommie DearestShowgirlsWild Wild WestBattlefield EarthI Know Who Killed Me—have passed into cult history as legendary bombs, the sort of fun-bad movies that schadenfreude-loving gawkers will watch voluntarily over and over again. (Yes, I’m raising my hand.) 

In recent years, though, the Razzies seem to have moved away from fun-bad fare, instead favoring overblown action spectacles, any and all Adam Sandler movies, and the sort of toxic dreck that even the most seasoned terrible movie lovers can’t get behind. For proof, take a look at this year’s most-cited films: Kirk Cameron’s Saving ChristmasTeenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesTransformers: Age of Extinction. Sure, Michael Bay and Kirk Cameron make bad movies—but are they transcendently bad? Are they bad enough to inspire pure, derisive joy? Years from now, will anyone be organizing midnight showings of them, complete with cosplaying audience members who have memorized both lines of dialogue and when to shout back at the screen?

The answer, I believe, is “no”—which is a shame, especially since 2014 boasted plenty of movies that all but called out for Razzie recognition. For example: Where’s TranscendenceMen, Women and ChildrenLabor Day? (Man, Jason Reitman did not have a good year.Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here? Matthew Weiner’s Are You Here? Akiva Goldsman’s Winter’s Tale, for God’s sake, which featured not only a time-traveling Colin Farrell raised by a demonic Russell Crowe, but also an attempted murder by head-butt, a flying horse, and Will Smith as The Devil?! 

So.

With that in mind, I bring you my annual predictions for who will and should win this year’s Golden Raspberry Awards. It’s not a particularly juicy bunch—though a few races are fruitful.

Worst Picture

Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas

Left Behind

The Legend of Hercules

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction

Should win: What an uninspiring bunch! It’s tough to single out any of these as the sort of delightfully horrible film the Razzies should be honoring—but Saving Christmas is both awful and ineptly made (the A.V. Club writes that the film “uses slow-motion and lingering near-still shots to summon all the breathless momentum of a Power Point presentation”), so it’s probably the most deserving candidate.

Will win: Transformers; the franchise already has two previous Worst Picture nominations and one previous win.

Worst Director

Michael Bay, Transformers 4: Age of Extinction

Darren Doane, Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas

Renny Harlin, The Legend of Hercules

Jonathan Liebesman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Seth Macfarlane, A Million Ways to Die in the West

Should win: Darren Doane, for the aforementioned reasons—though Macfarlane should also be docked for crimes against Mel Brooks.

Will win: It’s Michael Bay’s to lose. And you know the guy hates losing.

Worst Actor

Kirk Cameron, Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas

Nicolas Cage, Left Behind

Kellan Lutz, The Legend of Hercules

Seth Macfarlane, A Million Ways to Die in the West

Adam Sandler, Blended

Should win: Waaaaaiiit a minute—Nicolas Cage has five Razzie nominations but no wins? He’s the Julianne Moore of the Razzies! (Except that Cage actually has an Oscar, because the world is cruel and harsh.) Though this is far from Cage’s Cage-iest performance—EW called his performance “disappointingly subdued and only slightly more watchable than everyone else”—he’s still the most worthy winner, based admittedly on his post-Leaving Las Vegas body of work rather than this role specifically.

Will win: Cameron, for the season’s other weirdo Christian cautionary tale (and for daring to have his name in the title of that movie)—unless the Razzies are sorry for shutting out Adam Sandler last year, and want to rectify it by recognizing him here.

Worst Supporting Actor

Mel Gibson, Expendables 3

Kelsey Grammer, Expendables 3Legends of Oz, Think Like a Man Too, Transformers 4: Age of Extinction

Shaquille O’Neal, Blended

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Expendables 3

Kiefer Sutherland, Pompeii

Should win: Oy—has anyone checked on Kelsey Grammer? Is… is Kelsey doing okay?

Will win: Gibson will prove an irresistable target, especially for an organization as devoted to shooting fish in a barrel as the Golden Rasberry Award Foundation.

Worst Actress

Drew Barrymore, Blended

Cameron Diaz, The Other Woman and Sex Tape

Melissa McCarthy, Tammy

Charlize Theron, A Million Ways to Die in the West

Gaia Weiss, The Legend of Hercules

Should win: It pains me to say this, but perhaps Melissa McCarthy in Tammy—she’s so needlessly abrasive, in a way that’s even more puzzling knowing that the actress co-wrote that film’s script herself. Melissa McCarthy the Comedian deserves better than Melissa McCarthy the Screenwriter gave her here, but it’s telling that even she couldn’t make this movie (or character) work.

Will win: Cameron Diaz, though she certainly deserves the other award she’s up for more than this one.

Worst Supporting Actress

Cameron Diaz, Annie

Megan Fox, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Nicola Peltz, Transformers 4: Age of Extinction

Susan Sarandon, Tammy

Brigitte Ridenour (nee Cameron), Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas

Should win: Dear Lord, have you seen the Annie remake? (No? Keep it that way, seriously.) It is, by almost all accounts, godawful, not least because Diaz—a talented actress who’s been having an unfortunately rough time picking parts lately—is at her worst as a wannabe singer turned surly foster parent. You could probably argue that Diaz’s singing voice is bad because the character’s voice is supposed to be bad, but that’s pretty thin ice, buddy. (On another note entirely: What’s Susan Sarandon doing here? Tammy had its issues, but her salty grandma certainly wasn’t one of them.)

Will win: Barring a Saving Christmas sweep, the Razzies won’t be able to resist giving Fox her first acting award (after four previous losses). You just don’t get away with screwing up April O’Neil.

Worst Screenplay

Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas, written by Darren Doane and Cheston Hervey

Left Behind, screenplay by Paul LaLonde and John Patus, based on the novel by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

Sex Tape, screenplay by Kate Angelo and Jason Segel & Nicholas Stoller

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction, written by Ehren Kruger, based on Hasbro’s Transformers action figures

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, written by Evan Daugherty and Andre Nemec & Josh Applebaum, based on characters created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman

Should win: An ambitious failure is more interesting than a lazy failure, which takes Transformers, TMNT, and Sex Tape out of the running. And Left Behind. And Saving Christmas, kinda, though it does at least fancy itself a noble crusade of a movie—so hell, Darren Doane and Cheston Hervey (which both sound like fake names) can take it.

Will win: Transformers, which does boast a few howlers (“You have no soul!” “That is why I have no fear!”). Also, Mark Wahlberg’s character is named “Cade Yeager.”

Worst Remake, Sequel, or Rip-off

Annie

Atlas Shrugged #3: Who Is John Galt?

The Legend of Hercules

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction

Should win: Annie, mosly because it makes an even worse case for its own existence than TMNT or Transformers.

Will win: If Transformers takes Picture, TMNT will likely get its consolation prize here. Though Transformers could just as easily take both categories.

Worst Screen Combo

Any two robots, actors, or robotic actors, Transformers 4: Age of Extinction

Kirk Cameron and his ego, Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas

Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel, Sex Tape

Kellen Lutz and either his abs, his pecs, or his glutes, The Legend of Hercules

Seth Macfarlane and Charlize Theron, A Million Ways to Die in the West

Should win: A Million Ways to Die in the West, if only to punish Seth Macfarlane for dragging regal Charlize into this mess.

Will win: Look at the way that Kirk Cameron nom is written; a win for him here is practically predestined.

Redeemer Award

Ben Affleck: From Razzie “Winner” for Gigli to Oscar darling for Argo and Gone Girl

Jennifer Aniston: From four-time Razzie nominee to SAG award nominee for Cake

Mike Myers: From Razzie “Winner” for Love Guru to Docu Director of Supermensch

Keanu Reeves: From six-time Razzie nominee to the critically acclaimed John Wick

Kristen Stewart: From six-time Razzie “Winner” for Twilight to the art house hit Camp X-Ray

Should win: This is an all-new prize meant to acknowledge “those who’ve gone from being Razzie targets to doing far, far better things”—which is a nice sentiment, even if the rationale behind a few of these nominees is questionable. (Has Mike Myers really done enough to make anyone forget The Love Guru? Why cite Kristen Stewart and not mention her performance in Still Alice?) Still, it’s tough to argue that anybody deserves this award more than Affleck, whose Benaissance has been wonderful and awesome to behold. Also, none of the other nominees showed their weiners onscreen this year.

Will win: Affleck, of course. And there’s reason to hope that he’ll actually show up for the ceremony as well—after all, Affleck accepted his 2004 Razzie in person.

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