Sunday, February 27, 2005

Razzies and Oscars

I've always admired Paul Verhoeven as a filmmaker. His movies - Robocop, Starship Troopers, Total Recall, Hollow Man, and many more - have always had balls, a certain something that many Hollywood movies lack. He is never afraid to test the limits - and then say fuck it and drive over the limits in a big tank decorated with hardcore porn photos. He doesn't care about holding back, or worrying that something might offend someone, and his movies are all the better for it - people get horribly maimed, their balls blown off, or their whole bodies covered in toxic waste. Bullets don't just make you wince, they take huge chunks of meat out of you. If someone elbows you in the face, it's as likely to break your neck as your nose. His movies rock. They're tough motherfuckers, and you never know who is going to make it, or what is going to happen. I've always admired him for that. So in 1995 when he actually turned up at the Razzies - the Golden Raspberry Awards for the year's worst movies, presented the night before the Oscars - and accepted his awards for Showgirls (Worst Picture, Worst Director, and 5 more), I was even more impressed. He made a cheesy, bad movie, but fuck it, he's got a sense of humour, and was quite happy to send himself up. Nobody had ever actually turned up to the ceremony to accept their awards before he did. Hollywood doesn't seem to have much of a sense of humour about that sort of thing. A few years later, Tom Green turned up to accept his Razzies for Freddy Got Fingered - apparently he has always wanted to win one, and seemed to enjoy the whole experience immensely. A few people have accepted awards - Bill Cosby for one - but apart from Verhoeven and Green, none of the other "winners" has ever gone along to take their punishment.

Until this year, when Halle Berry made a surprise appearance to accept the Worst Actress award for Catwoman. And the guy who wrote it, John Rogers, turned up to take the Worst Screenplay award for the same movie. I always thought Halle was throwing away everything she'd gained to do Catwoman - she has an Oscar, for fuck's sake. Do comic book movies, sure - X-Men and X-Men 2 were great - but Catwoman just never escaped from the stench of dodginess that enveloped it from the start. It got panned, really badly panned, in print, on the web - everybody absolutely hated it. If everyone involved with the movie had just gone into hiding for a year or two, you could quite understand it. But fair play to her and Rogers, they went along, let everyone laugh at them for a while, and took it on the chin with extremely good humour. It takes a lot of bottle to do that, but it's also the best way to deal with it - take the piss out of yourself first, before anyone else can do it for you. Or, in this case, if you can't beat them, join them, and then they'll find someone else to make fun of. I'm very impressed with both of them. It's very rare these days that you find anyone in that position who is willing to let themselves be taken down a peg or two. Especially the night before the Oscars. For the record, if I ever win a Razzie, I will definitely go to the ceremony and accept it.

Now bring on the self-congratulatory, back-slapping wankery of Oscar night. I'll be taping it, not staying up to watch - if I wasn't able to fast forward through the songs, interpretive dance and other awfulness, I'd probably stab myself in the eyes and ears with frozen badgers (I keep two in the freezer for just such emergencies).

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