The 36th Razzies: Our award predictions

Kevin James Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
Kevin James as Paul Blart in Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (FILE)

By Dakota Green // Contributing Writer

On Sunday night, Hollywood’s brightest stars will be getting together to celebrate the best of Hollywood at the 88th Academy Awards. However, there’s a dark side of Hollywood award ceremonies that looks at the worst of Hollywood’s offerings and “honors” them on Saturday. This dark side is known as the Golden Raspberry Awards.

The annual ceremony began in 1981 during a post-Academy Awards potluck party that ended with double feature of Can’t Stop the Music and Xanadau, both of which received poor critical reviews. Wilson gave out ballots at the party to the three dozen people present to decide the worst of film in 1980, which Can’t Stop the Music “won.” Since then, the ceremony has annually presented awards to the worst films of each year, though some past nominations have been questioned, such as Stanley Kubrick’s nomination for Worst Director for The Shining.

This year’s nominees include films that were quickly called the worst movies of the year and were widely disliked. The most nominations received by a film this year was six, nowhere near the record of 13 nominations set by Showgirls in 1995. However, the distinction of most nominations is held by four films this year, all of them Worst Picture nominees: Fifty Shades of Grey, Jupiter Ascending, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and Pixels. I’ve heard it said that while the Oscars are hard to predict nominees and easy to predict winners, the Razzies are easy to predict nominees and hard to pick winners, and I’d have to agree. Let’s take a look at this year’s nominees.


The Razzie Redeemer

An award first introduced at last year’s ceremony, this award to actually a positive one, in a way. It’s meant to honor a previous nominee or “winner” of a Razzie Award who has since rebounded and found success elsewhere in film. Last year, the award went to Ben Affleck, who went from winning Worst Actor for three films in the same year to “Oscar darling” for his work on Argo and Gone Girl. Let’s look at this year’s nominees:

  • Elizabeth Banks – from Razzie “winning” director of Movie 43 to directing the box-office hit Pitch Perfect 2
  • Night Shyamalan – from perennial Razzie nominee and “winner” to his hit film The Visit
  • Will Smith – following up Razzie “wins” for After Earth with award nominated performance in Concussion
  • Sylvester Stallone – from all-time Razzie champ to awards contender for Creed

Prediction: Sylvester Stallone

Rival: M. Night Shyamalan

Okay, let’s be honest: Stallone is practically the reason this award exists. Stallone has a record 33 nominations (including this award) and 10 wins for acting, directing and writing – three of which he won for playing the only role that ever earned him an Oscar nomination: Rocky Balboa. This year, Stallone has received strong Oscar buzz for his role as Rocky Balboa in Creed, even becoming the frontrunner to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. It’s entirely possible that Stallone will be the third person win a Razzie and an Oscar in the same year (after Alan Menken and Sandra Bullock). Shyamalan is the only other one I can see winning. It seems he has suddenly gotten better at filmmaking after a string of bad movies, but we’ll see how it holds up.

Worst Screen Combo

  • Adam Sandler and any pair of his shoes (The Cobbler)
  • All four “Fantastics” (Fantastic Four)
  • Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey)
  • Johnny Depp and his glued-on mustache (Mortdecai)
  • Kevin James and either his segway or his glued-on mustache (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2)

Prediction: Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson

Rival: All four “Fantastics”

First and foremost, if you think there’s too much “glued-on mustache” talk, you should’ve seen the pre-nominations list. It had even MORE glued-on mustache talk. My pick here is Dornan and Johnson. They’re both likable actors, just not in this. Besides, they have no chemistry and there’s nothing worth watching involving the two. The four “Fantastics” (Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell) are a good second, but Dornan and Johnson are Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner 2.0.

Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel

  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip
  • Fantastic Four
  • Hot Tub Time Machine
  • The Human Centipede 3 (Full Sequence)
  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

Prediction: Fantastic Four

Rival: The Human Centipede 3 (Full Sequence)

Let me just say that if Terminator: Genisys was nominated here, it would probably win hands down. That being said, Fantastic Four (or, as many have called it, Fant4stic) was meant to be the start of a new franchise for The Fantastic Four. FOX has since removed the planned sequel from the schedule entirely. What does that tell you? I will give the second pick to The Human Centipede 3 (Full Sequence) since I haven’t seen one person who ever wanted a sequel of any kind to The Human Centipede.

Worst Screenplay

  • Fantastic Four
  • Fifty Shades of Grey
  • Jupiter Ascending
  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
  • Pixels

Prediction: Pixels

Rival: Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey is a film based on a book that started off as Twilight fanfiction. You could have Aaron Sorkin, Joss Whedon, Mel Brooks, Brad Bird, John Hughes (if he were still alive) and The Sixth Sense-era Shyamalan write it and it would still not be a good screenplay. Pixels, however, is a great choice to win since they took the great idea of video game characters coming to destroy us and managed to make it suck. If you can make me not like Peter Dinklage in a role, you’ve clearly failed.

From left to right: Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Adam Sandler, Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage in “Pixels.” (FILE)


Worst Supporting Actress

  • Kaley Cuoco as Elenor (voice only) and Gretchen Palmer (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip and The Wedding Ringer)
  • Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily (Pan)
  • Michelle Monaghan as Lt. Col. Violet van Patten (Pixels)
  • Julianne Moore as Mother Malkin (Seventh Son)
  • Amanda Seyfried as Ruby and Mary (Love the Coopers and Pan)

Prediction: Rooney Mara

Rival: Michelle Monaghan

Will the Razzies go with the choice of a white woman as a Native American or a performance in one of the most hated films of the year? I’m going with Mara, but mainly because casting someone as a different ethnicity when there are actors and actresses of that ethnicity is not exactly a good thing. Just look at the whitewashing in The Last Airbender. Honestly, I would prefer Monaghan to win, especially since I hate seeing the race card getting played in these cases, and I felt that Monaghan’s performance is worse.

Worst Supporting Actor

  • Chevy Chase as Hot Tub Repair Man and Clark Griswald (Hot Tub Time Machine 2 and Vacation)
  • Josh Gad as Ludlow Lamonsoff and Doug Harris (Pixels and The Wedding Ringer)
  • Kevin James as President William Cooper (Pixels)
  • Jason Lee as David “Dave” Seville (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip)
  • Eddie Redmayne as Balem Abrasax (Jupiter Ascending)

Prediction: Kevin James

Rival: Josh Gad

Kevin James plays a president that can’t read. Do I even need to say anymore? I’m sorry, that is foreboding enough for the pick to win. Josh Gad is the second here for his perverted nerd who is in love with a video game character.

Worst Actress

  • Katherine Heigl as Mona Champagne (Home Sweet Hell)
  • Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele (Fifty Shades of Grey)
  • Mila Kunis as Jupiter Jones (Jupiter Ascending)
  • Jennifer Lopez as Claire Peterson (The Boy Next Door)
  • Gwyneth Paltrow as Joanna Mortdecai (Mortdecai)

Prediction: Dakota Johnson

Rival: Mila Kunis

The question here is which terribly-written female lead is weaker and more pathetically performed. Mila Kunis plays the title character of Jupiter Ascending, but is constantly being rescued by Channing Tatum, which seems like a dream come true for Channing Tatum fans, but makes for a badly written female lead. Dakota Johnson plays Anastasia Steele, a woman who gets involved with a millionaire who just wants her as a sex object. Not exactly an interesting character. A running joke with the Oscars is that some actresses win an Oscar for a film in which they are nude in some form, but I don’t think that’s going to help Dakota Johnson here. Aside from that, she is basically just Bella Swann remastered, and many of us remember how much we hated the original Bella Swann. And you know it’s bad when she comes out with less dignity in this movie than in The Social Network, where she was in the film for about five minutes and is in just a sweater and her underwear most of the scene. Not a good sign.

Worst Actor

  • Johnny Depp as Charlie Mortdecai (Mortdecai)
  • Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey (Fifty Shades of Grey)
  • Kevin James as Paul Blart (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2)
  • Adam Sandler as Max Simkin and Sam Brenner (The Cobbler and Pixels)
  • Channing Tatum as Caine Wise (Jupiter Ascending)

Prediction: Adam Sandler

Rival: Kevin James

All good choices, but I’m tired of Sandler’s bad and unfunny films. He has shown his ability to be funny and to be a good actor but frequently fails to accomplish that.  So, Sandler is the top pick, though I would say that either Dornan or James is the second choice.

The Cobbler
Adam Sandler in “The Cobbler.” (MTSU Sidelines / FILE)


Worst Director

  • Andy Fickman (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2)
  • Tom Six (The Human Centipede 3 (Full Squence))
  • Sam Taylor-Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey)
  • Josh Trank (Fantastic Four)
  • The Wachowskis (Jupiter Ascending)

Prediction: Josh Trank

Rival: Sam Taylor-Johnson

Once again, it’s between Fifty Shades and Fant4stic for this “Worst” award. And honestly, I feel bad for Taylor-Johnson. The movie sucks, no question about that, but like I said with the Worst Screenplay award, it’s a film based on a book based on Twilight fanfiction. There’s no way this movie could’ve been good. It’s not an excuse, but I don’t think she deserves it. Now, Trank, on the other hand, disowned his own film. He knows it’s bad. But how do we know what scenes and parts were in this “version” he had a year ago that would’ve gotten positive reviews.

Worst Picture

  • Fantastic Four
  • Fifty Shades of Grey
  • Jupiter Ascending
  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
  • Pixels

Prediction: Fifty Shades of Grey

Rival: Fantastic Four

Hard to say for sure which one, but it’s safe to say that the top 2 are Fifty Shades of Grey and Fant4stic. While Jupiter Ascending was a bad movie, it was trying something somewhat original and it’s not hated that much. Pixels is also a bad movie, but pales in comparison to the top two. As for Paul Blart 2, did anyone actually see it? Was it worthy enough of the honor of Worst Picture? Not that I’ve heard. To pick one of the two, I’m going with Fifty Shades of Grey since that is the film that seems to get the most hatred and made the most at the box-office, though Fant4stic would also make sense. I also wouldn’t rule out the idea of a tie for Worst Picture; it has happened before.

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1 Comment

  1. Jacob
    February 27, 2016

    Jupiter Ascending deserves to sweep. If Eddie Redmayne’s loses, it will be equally infamous / embarrassing as Stanley Kubrick’s Worst Director nomination for his legendary horror masterpiece The Shining.

    But while Jupiter should win everything, I believe either 50 Shades or Fant4stic WILL win. Having seen Fant4stic, I assure you it was nowhere near as painful as “I love dogs, I’ve always loved dogs.” How you fail that epically, let alone somehow manage to make The Matrix Revolutions no longer the low point of your career, I’ll never know. Wachowskis, I loved the 1st Matrix, Cloud Atlas, and I even enjoyed Speed Racer. But now, I pity you and your apparent lack of even the most basic storytelling skills. ;(