Sunday, February 7, 2016

"Redeemed" By the Razzies

The Golden Raspberry Awards (or, Razzies, for short) were created in 1980 as a counterpart to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Instead of honoring the best in film, founder John J.B. Wilson created the awards show to recognize (or, more appropriately, dishonor) the worst in film. Past recipients and “winners” have included actors Kevin Costner, Tom Green, Sylvester Stallone, Nicolas Cage, Adam Sandler, Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, and director Michael Bay. 

On one hand, this ceremony is, perhaps, commendable for pointing out the low quality of filmmaking choices and directions in peoples’ careers, not to mention the scraping of the bottom of the barrel. Then again, this seems to only add insult to injury in said peoples’ careers. 

Last year, though, a new “award” was created for past recipients who have made a comeback of sorts in the film industry. Ergo, the “Redeemer Award”. The winner was Ben Affleck, recognized for going “from Razzie winner for Gigli to Oscar Darling for Argo and Gone Girl”. This year’s nominees in this category include Elizabeth Banks, M. Night Shyamalan, Will Smith, and Sylvester Stallone. 

Elizabeth Banks
M. Night Shyamalan
Will Smith
Sylvester Stallone
Banks (known for playing Effie Trinkett in the Hunger Games franchise) was recognized a few years ago for co-directing the "Worst Picture"-awarded Movie 43. She went on to direct last summer's a cappella comedy Pitch Perfect 2, which was a hit at the box-office. Shyamalan, who first came on the scene with The Sixth Sense but also made a series of financial failures like The Last Airbender and After Earth, directed last fall's horror hit The Visit. Will Smith, the Fresh Prince t.v. icon and Fourth-of-July box-office champ who also starred in After Earth, received critical acclaim for his performance in the NFL drama Concussion. And finally, "all-time Razzie champ" Sylvester Stallone (also an icon of action films, not to mention machismo) is getting well-deserved recognition, including a Golden Globe win and Oscar nomination, for his supporting role in Creed

Again, it's ironic that a ceremony known for recognizing the worst in film makes room for congratulating individuals who have shown that they can make better film choices. Perhaps they should focus more on the latter and make an awards show out of that. 

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