Mark Wahlberg's blockbuster Transformers: Age Of Extinction has been named among the "worst" films of the year after scoring seven nominations for the 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards. The fourth installment of Michael Bay's action franchise claimed the most nods ahead of the annual prizegiving, which celebrates the worst Hollywood films and performances.
Despite being named the highest-grossing film of 2014 with $1.1 billion earnings at the global box office, the latest Transformers movie is up for Worst Sequel, Worst Screenplay, Worst Screen Combo, Worst Director for Bay, Worst Supporting Actress for Nicola Peltz, and Worst Supporting Actor for Kelsey Grammer.
Transformers is also up for Worst Picture, going up against Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas, Left Behind, The Legend of Hercules and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Saving Christmas and The Legend of Hercules trail Transformers with six nominations each. Cameron and Hercules star Kellan Lutz will face off in the Worst Actor category, along with Nicolas Cage (Left Behind), Seth MacFarlane (A Million Ways to Die in the West), and Razzie regular Adam Sandler (Blended).
Hercules' Gaia Weiss is up for the "dis-honour" of Worst Actress, against Drew Barrymore (Blended), Cameron Diaz (The Other Woman and Sex Tape), Melissa McCarthy (Tammy) and Charlize Theron (A Million Ways to Die in the West).
In addition, a new category has been added this year (14) - the Redeemer Award will be given to a superstar who has been awarded a Razzie in the past, but has since rebounded with critical success.
Among the inaugural group of nominees are Ben Affleck (Gone Girl), Jennifer Aniston (Cake), Mike Myers (Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon), Keanu Reeves (John Wick), and Kristen Stewart (Camp X-Ray).
The 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards will be handed out on 21 February (15), the night before the Academy Awards.
A Million Ways To Die In The West, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, Sex Tape and The Interview will 'fight' for the title of 2014's worst film at the Golden Raspberry Awards in February (15), according to a leaked list of potential nominees. With almost two weeks to go before the official Razzie nominations are announced, awards website GoldDerby.com has obtained the shortlists for Worst Film, Worst Remake, Worst Screenplay, Worst Screen Combo, Worst Director and Worst Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress.
Unsurprisingly, Transformers: Age of Extinction comes out on top with nine considerations including Worst Film, Worst Director (Michael Bay), Worst Sequel, Worst Screenplay and Worst Supporting Actor and Actress (Kelsey Grammer, Nicola Peltz and Sophie Miles).
It is closely followed by Seth MacFarlane's critically-mauled A Million Ways to Die in the West with eight nods, including Worst Film, Worst Director (MacFarlane) and Worst Actress (Charlize Theron). Saving Christmas, Sex Tape, Legend of Hercules and Haunted House 2 land six nominations, according to the leaked list, while Pompeii, The Expendables 3 and Johnny Depp's Transcendence bottom out with five apiece.
Cameron Diaz is among the potential nominees in the Worst Actress category with two films, Sex Tape and The Other Woman, and she's also up for Worst Supporting Actress for her role in Annie, while Glee star Lea Michele's voice in Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return earns her a Razzie consideration for Worst Actress.
Seth Rogen's controversial new comedy picks up four early nods, including Worst Film and Worst Actor (Rogen and James Franco), and movie veteran Jane Fonda could land a Razzie for her role as a lesbian matriarch in This is Where I Leave You, while Kelsey Grammer, Mel Gibson and Arnold Schwarzenegger are all under consideration for a Worst Supporting Actor nomination for The Expendables 3.
The Golden Raspberry Awards nominations will be unveiled on 14 January (15).
Shailene Woodley has topped movie website IMDB.com's end-of-year Top 10 Stars poll. The Divergent star, who ranked 64th on last year's (13) countdown, leads a list full of women for the first time in the site's history.
The 23-year-old actress topples Jennifer Lawrence, who led the list a year ago (14), while The Wolf of Wall Street's Margot Robbie comes in at three.
Her co-star Leonardo DiCaprio is the poll's highest-ranked male, coming in at number 11.
The top 10 ladies are:
1. Shailene Woodley
2. Jennifer Lawrence
3. Margot Robbie
4. Emilia Clarke
5. Scarlett Johansson
6. Nicola Peltz
7. Chloe Grace Moretz
8. Rosamund Pike
9= Emma Stone & Eva Green.
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Producers behind Transformers: Age Of Extinction are facing a new dispute from a Chinese tourism group over product placement.
The latest instalment in Michael Bay's action movie franchise, which stars Mark Wahlberg, includes scenes shot at the picturesque Wulong Scenic Area in southwest China, but bosses at the Wulong Karst Tourism Group are upset the area's logo is not shown in the blockbuster, leading to confusion about where filming had taken place.
Li Chu, a marketing manager for the area, tells China Daily the group is currently in discussions with executives at Paramount Pictures and Beijing-based firm 1905 Internet Technology about the complaint.
He tells the newspaper, "If we fail to compromise on a proposal that could remedy our loss we will resort to legal procedures."
The movie broke box office records in Hong Kong when it opened in June (14) by becoming the first film to earn $1 million (£714,286) in 24 hours, and it has topped the box office in North America for two consecutive weeks.
Now that the halfway mark has hit between the dawn of a hopeful 2014 and the inevitable exasperated gasp of relief that another year of harrowing grief is finally over, we're inclined to look back on the past six months of cinematic glory. First, we set our sights to the best performances of the year, both leading and supporting. Next, we turn to movie scenes and moments — the funny, shocking, moving, and just plain weird instances that stuck with us long after we stepped out of the theater. Here's a quick list of some of the most memorable movie scenes and moments we've seen so far in 2014.
The evolution sequence in NoahDarren Aronofsky's account of the great flood jumped levels in progressive thinking when it included a scene that comfortably meshed creationist beliefs with the science of evolution. The sequence, which followed an aquatic amoeba as it grew into a fish, then a lizard, then a series of mammals, until ultimately becoming the impetus for mankind, is not just intellectually rich, but visually dazzling.
Gustave's prison break in The Grand Budapest HotelEvery chapter in Wes Anderson's latest film is terrific fun, but Ralph Fiennes on the run from the law (and the vicious Adrien Brody) is about as merry as it gets... even with the haunting undercurrent in an approaching World War.
The opening sequence in BorgmanThe mysterious Danish picture Borgman institutes an excitement, a levity, and a curious nature all at once with its terrific opening sequence, wherein the title character is drawn from his home underground for unexplained reasons and forced to flee the wrath of angry villagers, and help to liberate his friends from the same.
The "Spaceship, spaceship, spaceship!" gag in The Lego MovieServing primarily as a punchline to a long gestating joke, Charlie Day's Lego character's manic exclamation of his favorite word is the biggest laugh in a very funny movie.
Scarlett Johannson abducting a man with neurofibromatosis in Under the SkinJonathan Glazer's bizarre film is nothing if not evasive, but peaks in its enigmatic nature when the nameless hero/villain Scarlett Johansson, herself of mysterious origins, abducts and seems to warm to a man afflicted with a facial deformity. Cue the process of undress and cannibalistic black liquid floors...
Warner Bros. Entertainment
Ken Watanabe's big moment in Godzilla"Let them fight."
The end credits of 22 Jump StreetChris Miller and Phil Lord embrace their love of genre parody in the post-narrative moments of 22 Jump Street, in which they send their starring duo through a long line of false sequels (entailing their attendance at med school, military school, traffic school... there are a good dozen of these, all of 'em funny).
The statutory rape endorsement in Transformers: Age of ExtinctionLet's get this straight: we're simply in awe of this scene due to how god damn bizarre it is, not at all on board with its message (or even its artistic merits in a movie about robot wars). We can't help but think about Mark Wahlberg challenging the validity of 20-year-old Jack Reynor's romantic relationship with 17-year-old Nicola Peltz, only to see Reynor pull a laminated document from his pocket that exempts him from all legal ramifications of dating a minor. Weird as all hell.
The getaway scene in Night MovesNear unprecedented tension hits when Jesse Eisenberg and his two fellow eco-terrorists attempt to flee the scene after programming a time bomb to detonate an ecologically destructive dam. The trio sits on the midnight river, hoping to avoid both the eyes of passersby and the wrath of a deadly explosive. It's edge-of-your-seat kind of stuff.
Liam Neeson grabbing a gun in mid-air while the airplane aboard which he is a passenger hurdles into oblivion as a team of hijackers attempts to take the whole thing hostage in Non-StopRight?
20th Century Fox Film
The Quicksilver scene in X-Men: Days of Future PastEvan Peters spends very little time onscreen in the latest X-Men picture, but his talents are milked for all their value when he is charged with dashing around a slow-motion Pentagon kitchen to the soothing tunes of Jim Croce.
The grade school scene in SnowpiercerThe most disturbing, macabre, and wickedly fun scene in a movie that has no shortage of any of those three qualities, a very pregnant Allison Pill's grade school seminar in the back half of Snowpiercer stands out as the film's most enjoyable achievement. Pill sells the hell out of lunacy in this sequence.
Paul Rudd walks into a bar in They Came Together Our favorite joke in They Came Together, narrowly beating out Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler's mutual love of fiction books, is Rudd's sullen conversation with a highly redundant barkeep who, let's just say, calls 'em like he sees 'em. Over and over and over.
Nicolas Cage asking a neighborhood kid if he's still MMA fighting in Joe I have no idea why I love this so much, but one brief exchange in the sleepy, somber movie Joe has Cage chatting with a young neighbor in a bodega, asking about how his martial arts practice has been going. It's incredibly peculiar and charming, though I don't expect any of that to carry through here.
The Zola computer reveal in Captain America: The Winter Soldier Although we weren't crazy about the second Captain America movie, we have to tip a hat to the reveal that Toby Jones' Nazi scientist has been living on for the last 70 years in the form of a bulky yet surpemely efficient supercomputer. The sort of weird stuff that we love to see in the crevices of Marvel flicks.
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
We can't say exactly how much we were "supposed to" be laughing at Transformers: Age of Extinction, but we managed a few chuckles just the same. Michael Bay's latest blockbuster has no shortage of ridiculous moments, lines, scenes, and overarching themes. Here are the 10 most absurd elements in the film:
10) "MY FACE IS MY WARRANT."When asked to produce a warrant before trespassing on Yaeger property, Lost's Man in Black responds with the above proclamation... which is just a little less menacing than it is ridiculous.
9) THE KIDNAPPING OF TESSA YAEGERNicola Peltz's character serves no distinct purpose other than to be yelled about. Her overprotective dad (Mark Wahlberg) yells about her dating her thick-headed boyfriend (Jack Reynor), who yells right back. Then, the two of them get to yell about her being kidnapped by a robot spaceship. But here's the kicker: she isn't really meant to be kidnapped. She just happens to be inside a car that is a little too close to Optimus Prime when they kidnap him. Her attempts to bust open the car windshield (a suggestion that is, of course, yelled to her by her dad) are half-hearted and futile. But the kicker of the kicker: the futuristic, space-traveling robot monsters use a rope net to do the kidnapping.
8) OPTIMUS PRIME'S CLOSING MONOLOGUELittered with idioms like, "There are questions we were never meant to know the answers to, but who we are and where we came from is not one of them," and "When you look to the stars, pretend that one of them is the soul I've spent this movie trying to prove to everyone I probably have, even though I'm a robot," Optimus' final speech to close out the film is as cheesy and vacant as something out of a teen soap with a religious slant.
7) "I WENT THROUGH THE SAME THING WITH BUMBLEBEE."Optimus Prime can empathize with Cade Yaeger's fatherhood headaches. Apparently he's been dealing with his own surrogate child's teenage rebellion and sexual exploration.
6) "ALGORITHMS! MATH!"Stanley Tucci, playing a brilliant scientist, yells this at one point. You've got to imagine that Michael Bay was using these words as script placeholders until he could wrangle a technologically adroit consultant to fill in the gaps... but then just forgot about it in the wake of designing his nineteenth explosion.
5) THE ULTIMATE MESSAGE"Some things shouldn't be invented." So... Transformers is anti-science, then?
4) DRINK BUD LIGHT, EVERYBODY!Struggling to control a wayward spaceship, Wahlberg careens down into the middle of Chicago's rush hour, crashing onto a civilian vehicle and a Bud Light truck. The spill results in a flood of Bud Light bottles and cans, one of which Wahlberg cracks open on a vehicle door as a tacit threat to an angry resident of the Windy City.
3) MARK WAHLBERG'S NAME IS CADE YAEGERThat is a silly name.
2) DON'T MESS WITH TEXASWhen Mark Wahlberg meets his daughter's Irish boyfriend, he calls him "Lucky Charms" and jabs that he doesn't sound like he's from Texas. This coming from a guy who, just a few minutes earlier, exclaimed, "I think we fownd a Transfawmah!"
1) ISN'T IT ROMANTIC?In Transformers: Age of Extinction, Peltz plays 17-year-old high school senior Tessa Yaeger. Reynor plays her boyfriend, the 20-year-old Shane Dyson. Tessa's father Cade presumes such a partnership to be in conflict with statutory law, but is put in his place when Shane produces a laminated newspaper article detailing the Romeo and Juliet Laws, passed in Texas in 2011 (in real life), that allow for the maintenance of any romantic union that began when both parties were minors, even if one breaches the 18-year mark before the other. Got that? The dude carries around a copy of an article that proves he is legally cool to have sex with an underage woman. This is a several-minute-long scene in a Transformers movie devoted to excusing, or presenting a world in which excuses are readily available for, what would otherwise be deemed statutory rape. Weird as all hell.
Check out our review of the movie here!
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Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Ultimately, Transformers: Age of Extinction is not as excruciating as its predecessors. The first Transformers was bad, but not spirit-killing bad. Revenge of the Fallen kicked off that trend, delivering a soulless two-and-a-half hours of nihilistic gear crunching nihilism — a phenomenon that was reproduced, but in sub-lethal doses, in Dark of the Moon. Somehow, even with at least four extra tiers of mindless climax and a post-9/11 motif underway, Age of Extinction manages to be the least offensive of the lot. Maybe it's the absence of Shia LaBeouf, perhaps the colorful robo-voice cast, or even the thinly veiled breakdown of American conservatism that's principally responsible fueling interest. But make no mistake: this combination may well airlift Transformers: Age of Extinction to a surprising altitude of tolerability (especially when considering its egregious 167-minute runtime), but the movie is still pretty darn bad.
The movie bats around themes of progressivism (and, more prominently, anti-progressivism) with no particular margins in mind. Mark Wahlberg plays a lifelong Texan with a distinct proclivity for non-rhotic Rs and a teenage daughter (Nicola Peltz) who he keeps on a tight leash. When he comes face to face with her new boyfriend (Jack Reynor), a 20-year-old immigrant (perish the thought!) from Ireland (is that one of the bad ones?) in one of the film's most mind-boggling scenes representing the upsurge in liberal thinking that lays waste to American values like statutory law. Dopey Wahlberg, a perpetually blubbering Peltz, and the wickedly nondescript Reynor discover and join forces with a Transformer — Optimus Prime, to be precise — who is on a quest to do something. Something to do with humans or Decepticons or Dinobots. Whoever it is (they're all in there), he's trying to avoid them or save them or fight them. His friends come, too. Bumblebee, John Goodbot, and a samurai Transformer so undeniably racist that it stunned me that the voice actor behind the portrayal was Ken Watanabe, and not somebody whose only experience with Japanese culture came from World War II-era Looney Tunes shorts.
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
The incomprehensibility rages on as the "story" ropes in inventor Stanley Tucci — a Steve Jobs type — and Senator Kelsey Grammer — a Kelsey Grammer type. As the arguments for and against innovation are sprinkled through a minefield of nonsense, we struggle to understand the sincerity behind director Michael Bay's ultimate message. We also struggle to understand where or when or how any of what happening is happening in relationship to any other place, time, or characters in the movie. The geography of the action sequences (it might be wrong to pluralize this phrase — the second half of the film is more accurately one long action sequence separated by moments of Tucci nebbishing it up) and coherency of the set pieces are sub-afterthought. We see a lot of stuff, but we never watch anything really happen.
With a climax that lasts forever and an abject lack of denoument, the second half of the movie is notably more harrowing than the first. But thanks to the charms of its cast (Tucci has fun and Goodman is endearing... forget Wahlberg, Peltz, and Reynor, though) and a few comically bizarre moments (like a rainstorm of Bud Light bottles or Tucci screaming about math... well, not about math, but... eh, you'll see), Age of Extinction is ultimately... survivable. Not the highest praise you can give a movie, but possibly the highest praise you can give a Transformers movie.
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Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Every two or so years, when the sun is at its hottest and summer blockbuster season is reaching its peak, a long shadow is cast over the movie theaters of the world, bringing with it dread, despair, and a week-long migraine. It is time for another Transformers movie. The latest one, which arrives in theaters on Friday whether we like it or not, does away with the established story of Shia LaBeouf, his trusty car and the gorgeous girlfriend who isn’t given much to do, and instead places the fate of the world in the toned arms of Mark Wahlberg.
There aren’t many people who are expecting Transformers: Age of Extinction to be a great film. In fact, most fans and critics are expecting the film to be torn to shreds by the press, many of whom had the pleasure of doing the exact same thing to its predecessors. Though most of the world now regards Michael Bay as the architect of the downfall of modern cinema, it’s worth remembering that there was a time when he wasn’t the most reviled filmmaker in America. But if you follow the reviews for the first three Transformers films, you can almost pinpoint the exact point of no return.
Transformers It might be difficult to remember – three very long, very loud movies later – but the first installment in the Transformers series was actually relatively well-received. By that, of course, we mean that it received mixed reviews rather than outright scathing ones. Still, there were plenty of critics who were never a fan of the franchise, and made their disdain for Bay’s most famous works clear from the beginning.
Some were upset over what had become of such a beloved part of their childhood:
“Transformers is a terrible film. It’s not even bad in a campy, funny way that is enjoyable in the right mindset. It’s bad in a horrible way that makes you wish you’d spent your evening doing something other than ruining your childhood memories.” - Sean Gandert, Paste Magazine
Many found it difficult to follow the film, which was somehow simultaneously overly-complicated and full of holes:
“The story has something to do with Autobots and Decepticons battling to be the first to get to what amounts to a giant battery pack (a "cube of infinite power," someone calls it, I think) that's been held for decades by the U.S. military in — oh, never mind.” – Bob Mondello, NPR
Or, they just had trouble looking past one glaring fault:
“Even by Michael Bay standards, this movie is vapid.” – James Berardinelli, Reelview
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Because audiences failed to heed these early warnings, the first film made enough money to warrant a sequel, two years later. A sequel which took all of the worst parts of the first Transformers film, made them louder, more obnoxious and four times as long, pumped them full of steroids and then strung them out to create a full movie. A sequel which will one day be remembered if not for its quality, than for the exuberance that critics showed in tearing it to shreds.
First, they ripped apart the script:
“Describing the plot of Revenge of the Fallen pretty much equates to making “boom, crash, kablooey” noises, but I’ll attempt to distill all the boring, non-explodey elements into this bite-sized paragraph.” – Simon Miraudo, Quick Flix
“Much of this film was put together during the Writer's Strike, and I'm guessing Michael Bay never once worried about it.” – Drew McWeeney, HitFix
Then, they tackled the exhausting experience that was sitting through Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen:
“It’s like standing in the middle of a dust storm and opening your eyes to let the grit pour in.” – Josh Tyler, CinemaBlend
“Trying to take in this movie is akin to shaking up a snowglobe and paying attention to glitter shard No. 432,581: When two similarly-colored CG robots are simultaneously morphing and punching each other in the head, it’s impossible to figure out where one ends and the other begins, resulting in a visual cacophony that goes hand-in-hand with the bowels-rattling bassline and the shrieking, incoherent dialogue.” – Alsonso Duralde, MSNBC
Some put the blame squarely on Bay’s shoulders:
“Sweet Jesus! Does Michael Bay not know how to make a movie?” – Michael Edwards, What Culture
But nobody summed up the contempt that critics held for this movie quite like the legendary Roger Ebert, who was primarily concerned with helping moviegoers save their money:
“If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination.”
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Just when we thought that we were free, that there was no way for Bay to come back from the torrent of abuse that was levelled at him as a result of Transformers 2, along came Dark of the Moon, because this is Hollywood, and it doesn’t matter how terrible a film is as long as it makes boatloads of money. On the whole, though, critics seemed to like the third movie a lot better, and focused on the positives:
“With his third, and by all accounts final, try director Michael Bay has made what is probably his best Transformers film yet. Which means that it is merely mind-numbingly bad rather than eye-gougingly bad.” – Joshua Starnes, ComingSoon
“There is more of a plot this time. It is a plot that cannot be described in terms of structure, more in terms of duration. When it stops, it's over.” – Roger Ebert, RogerEbert.com
“It's better than 2009's horrendous Transformers 2, but almost anything is.” – Claudia Puig, USA Today
“At least McDreamy gets sucker punched. Simple pleasures.” – Kieth Uhlich, Time Out NY
But there were still some who couldn’t look past the marginal improvements that Bay and his team made in the third installment, and instead remained focused on all of its loud, headache-inducing faults:
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon, a work of ineffable soullessness and persistent moral idiocy, concludes with Chicago taking it in the shorts for 50-odd minutes, at the hands of the Decepticons in an alien takeover scored, partially, to an emo-ballad mourning the "cataclysm" of it all.” – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
“Transformers 3 is one of the stupidest movies I've seen since Transformers 2.” – Scott Weinberg, Twitch
And then there was one critic who managed to sum up the way that critics and moviegoers everywhere feel about Bay, his movies, and the Transformers franchise as a whole, in one pithy sentence. Never has something so scathing, so true, and so unbearably funny been said so succinctly.
“I am no expert in theology, but I'm pretty sure evil looks a lot like Transformers 3 – Will Leitch, Yahoo Movies
Well, on the bright side for Transformers: Age of Exctinction, it truly can only go up from here.
Mark Wahlberg and the other stars of the new Transformers movie have recorded a special video message to wish Chinese school students luck in their exams. The fourth movie in the sci-fi series, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, is partially shot in China and will receive its world premiere in Hong Kong ahead of its release on 27 June (14).
The film will hit cinemas just days after the country's schoolchildren take important college entrance exams, so Wahlberg and his young co-stars Nicola Peltz and Jack Raynor recorded a video message to wish them good luck.
In the clip, Wahlberg says, "Hey everyone, I'm Mark Wahlberg... The annual college entrance exam is coming, so I'd like to wish all of you students out there lots of luck, and don't forget to catch Transformers 4 - after the exam!"
Actors John Goodman and Ken Watanabe have signed up to voice Autobots in Michael Bay's upcoming movie Transformers: Age Of Extinction. The Monuments Men star Goodman will provide the voice of Hound, while Watanabe has joined the all-star cast as Drift.
They join Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime) and Frank Welker (Galvatron) among the voice stars of the new blockbuster, which is currently in post-production. Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer and Sophia Myles are among the human stars of the movie.
Announcing the latest casting news in a statement released on Thursday (08May14), director Bay says, "I am pleased to welcome two gifted and versatile actors, John Goodman and Ken Watanabe, to the world of Transformers. And to re-team with Peter and Frank, who have brought Transformers characters alive from the beginning. "I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best voice talent in the business, and together we will introduce several exciting new robots to fans of the franchise around the world."
Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth installment in the franchise, will be released in cinemas at the end of June (14).