Movie-viewing recommendations I have for the voting committee of The Golden Raspberry Awards if they really think The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 is the worst movie of the year: the tone deaf Joyful Noise; John Cuasck's awful thriller The Raven; the rom-com void of love, This Means War; heck, Pixar's Brave is near unwatchable. At least Breaking Dawn has camp.
As with tradition, The Golden Raspberry Awards aka The Razzies have taken to the stage on Oscar morning to announce their picks for the Worst movies, actors, and actresses of the year and once again, they've set Twilight in their shaming crosshairs. The final entry of the supernatural romance franchise — easily the pinnacle of the entire series — earned Twilight its first Worst Picture win, after years of nominations and wins in acting categories. Overall, the movie earned seven nominations, with Adam Sandler and Rihanna sneaking in to spice things up.
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Check out the full list of nominations and winners below. Then check out some of the above films and ask yourself (if you survive the experience): did The Razzies really get it right?
Worst PictureBattleshipThe Oogieloves in Big Balloon AdventureThat’s My BoyA Thousand WordsThe Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II
Worst DirectorSean Anders – That’s My BoyPeter Berg – BattleshipBill Condon – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II Tyler Perry – Good Deeds / Madea’s Witness ProtectionJohn Putch – Atlas Shrugged: Part II
Worst Actress Katherine Heigl – One for the Money Milla Jovovich – Resident Evil: Retribution Tyler Perry – Madea’s Witness Protection Kristen Stewart – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II / Snow White and the Huntsman Barbra Streisand – The Guilt Trip
Worst ActorNicolas Cage – Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance / Seeking JusticeEddie Murphy – A Thousand WordsRobert Pattinson – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part IITyler Perry – Alex Cross / Good DeedsAdam Sandler – That’s My Boy
Worst Supporting ActressJessica Biel – Playing For Keeps / Total RecallBrooklyn Decker – Battleship / What to Expect When You’re ExpectingAshley Greene – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part IIJennifer Lopez – What to Expect When You’re ExpectingRihanna – Battleship
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Worst Supporting Actor David Hasselhoff – Pirannha 3-DD Taylor Lautner – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part IILiam Neeson – Battleship / Wrath of the Titans Nick Swardson – That’s My Boy Vanilla Ice – That’s My Boy
Worst Screen Ensemble BattleshipThe Oogieloves in Big Balloon AdventureThat’s My BoyThe Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part IIMadea’s Witness Protection
Worst Screenplay Atlas Shrugged Part II Battleship That’s My Boy A Thousand Words The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II
Worst Remake, Rip-Off, or Sequel Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance Pirannha 3-DD Red Dawn The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II Madea’s Witness Protection
Worst Screen Couple Any two cast members from Jersey Shore in The Three Stooges Mackenzie Foy and Taylor Lautner in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II Tyler Perry and his drag in Madea’s Witness Protection Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg, Leighton Meester, or Susan Sarandon in That’s My Boy
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December 14, 2011 12:53pm EST
Let’s put the cards on the table: I have not read Steig Larsson’s best-selling “Millennium Trilogy” and therefore cannot comment on whether or not Columbia Pictures’ big-budget (American) adaptation of its first novel is a spot-on transfer of the shocking story or if Rooney Mara has lived up to the punk-goth-genius of an anti-heroine he created. This review is about director David Fincher’s craft and the dream cast he has assembled to make The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo one of the most brutal and engrossing films of 2011.
Right from lustrous sexy title sequence evoking torturous S&M imagery to the ultra-cool Karen O/Trent Reznor rendition of Led Zepplin’s “Immigrant Song” the Oscar-nominated filmmaker plunges his audience into a very specific experience. This is not to say that the story itself is notably inventive; Dragon Tattoo is more or less a standard serial killer thriller wherein a pair of investigators attempts to solve a decades-old murder that has ties to other gruesome mysteries and a wealthy Swedish family. It’s the sinister atmosphere and tone he cultivates using color music and lighting that makes this tale so unique and highly watchable in spite of the terrible events that occur throughout.
Perhaps most compelling though is its mixed bag of characters from different walks of life including Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) a recently disgraced financial journalist in need of an assignment Martin Vanger (Stellan Skarsgard) a yuppie-ish corporate tycoon charged with running the family business started by his uncle Henrik (Christopher Plummer) and Lisbeth Salander (Mara) the alpha-outsider and titular character of this eerie epic. All are emotionally scarred and the actors charged with portraying them go the darkest corners of their own souls to make them their own. Mara in particular must be praised for her ghoulish and extreme embodiment of Salander who suffers physical and emotional torment unlike anything we’ve seen in cinema this year. This more than her scene-stealing presence in Fincher’s The Social Network is no doubt her star-making turn; expect to see her name on a marquee soon. Though she and Craig at times struggle with the Swedish diction (the latter’s native British accent slips through more times than I can count) they more than make up for it with their physical personifications facial expressions etc. Yet it’s Skarsgard who is most impressive as the younger Vanger (he’s of Swedish descent) and delivers a stunning and chilling performance that will rival Mara’s in defining this film in years to come.
Still this is a Fincher film through and through and I cannot think of source material better suited for the maker of Se7en and Zodiac than this disturbing chronicle. Visually he’s given the opportunity to create damp decaying interiors familiar to fans of his work but contrasts them with beautifully filmed exteriors including some terrifying whiteout conditions that are sure to lower your body temperature. In terms of form he and editors Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall effectively lay out dual character arcs (that of Salander and Blomkvist) that run parallel but connect in uncanny ways until their eventual convergence resulting in a highly literary feel. Both Baxter and Wall won Oscars for cutting The Social Network and I’m afraid that their penchant for quick transitions between shots has a decreasing effect on the terror; for a film that so closely treads the line between horror-thriller I felt that letting certain shots play out a bit longer could’ve had more dreadful results.
Still in no way I am saying that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo doesn’t come with its share of nail-biting suspense. Fincher takes tense situations to the next level using unconventional camera angles and Reznor’s unnerving score making many sequences in the movie hard to watch. It’s a tiring but entertaining task; one that is a pleasure and pain to endure but the auteur’s masterful methods are quite magical even when being used to tell a story as menacing as this one.
There’s nothing else playing at the multiplex this season that’s quite like it and should you choose to view it you’ll carry its shocks with you for days after.