- - Monday, January 24, 2011

Razzies to Razzies

“The Golden Raspberry awards, Oscar’s cackling ugly sister, ought to be a bitchy corrective to awards season hyperbole, to take Hollywood down a peg or two, and identify the bizarrely overrated as well as the obviously catastrophic. By these standards, the nominations this year are a sorry lot. … [I]t’s as if the shortlists have been compiled by a robot totting up the ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, not a jury of discerning and sentient humans with an ability to, you know, be entertaining. What else are the Razzies for?

“Nominating both ‘Twilight: Eclipse’ and ‘Vampires Suck’ is a waste of at least one Worst Picture slot. … Jennifer Aniston is actually on redeemingly snappy form in ‘The Bounty Hunter,’ whatever you think of the film or Gerard Butler.

“And the supporting actress category, as well as dopily chucking in Jessica Alba’s career-best performance in ‘The Killer Inside Me,’ has declared a clonkingly malicious open season on bashing gay icons. I suspect they think it’s hilarious automatically to nominate Barbra Streisand. Liza Minnelli is in ‘Sex and the City 2’ for all of two minutes, playing herself, and being perfect, if embarrassing, at doing so. Cher is actively great in ‘Burlesque.’ Do any of them bother to watch the films? I get ever more dubious each year.”

Tim Robey, writing on “My choice for worst films of the year,” on Jan. 24 at the Daily Telegraph

More color pills

“Although the diminishing returns of ‘The Matrix’ trilogy would seem to have sated any desire to see the Wachowskis elaborate on that world further, star Keanu Reeves recently told a London audience that he’s met with the duo about adding another two films to the franchise.

“Supposedly there is a completed ‘two-script treatment’ that would bring Neo back to expand the story, and perhaps more relevantly, that would do so in 3-D, which the Wachowskis even sought counsel on from James Cameron. According to the eyewitness report, Reeves promises the films will ‘truly revolutionize the action genre like the first movie.’ Well, as long as you’re managing expectations.”

Sean O’Neal, writing on “Keanu Reeves hints at two more Matrix movies,” on Jan. 24 at the AV Club

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“Morgan Spurlock, the director ‘Super Size Me’ and ‘Where in the World Is Osama bin Laden?,’ returned to Sundance to premiere his third documentary. It’s called ‘The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,’ and in it, rather shamelessly, Spurlock races around the country in pursuit of corporate sponsorship. He does so under the guise of exposing both the evils of product placement in movies, television, public transportation, and everywhere else and the omnipresence and insidious omniscience of advertising. …

“It may be the case that Spurlock is uninterested in — or incapable of — rising to the intellectual challenge he presents for himself. Instead, he uses the film to turn himself into a human billboard. He doesn’t appear to find corporate sponsorship for nonfiction filmmaking a problem. In a sense, it isn’t. Without big business’ backing, many of the movies we see and festivals we attend wouldn’t happen or would happen differently.

“Spurlock tries to complicate things by getting Hollywood directors like Peter Berg and Brett Ratner to come clean about product placements in their movies. They say nothing surprising. Corporations, for instance, don’t care about art. And: Sellouts? We’re all sellouts!”

Wesley Morris, writing on “Sundance ‘11 Day 3: Selling out,” on Jan. 22 at the Boston Globe blog Movie Nation