Tag Archives: seth rogen

Immediate Thoughts on Razzie Nominations: Sellouts and Omissions

Thanks a lot, Razzie voters. :(

Thanks a lot, Razzie voters. ūüė¶

by Legendary Lew

The 35th annual Golden Raspberry Award nominations have been announced with the expected emphasis on works touched by perennial Razzie fav, Michael Bay.

TyPi, Mountain Drew and I will talk more about those films and persons nominated, but I want to quickly present some quick thoughts on the noms.

Where the hell is The Interview?! Completely shut out? Really?! Razzie voters: is this a “patriotic” move on your part? Did you protect our national security?

Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas would have been completely forgotten, instead of getting 6 nominations, if voters did not fall for the nonsense Kirk Cameron dished up to get further self promotion. Well played, Kirk, well played.

Johnny Depp overlooked for Transcendence. A shocker, really.

Worst Supporting Actor category is the weakest I’ve seen and, once again, an example of how the voters don’t know what they’re doing. Shaquille O’Neal is not a supporting actor. He makes a cameo twice. There’s a difference. O’Neal’s appearance is not integral to the film. A more logical choice would have been Terry Crews, in an incredibly racist pseudo-narrator/commentator on Sandler/Barrymore’s pointless romance. ¬†Other more logical nominees are Neil Patrick Harris, A Million Ways to Die in the West; Rob Corddry, Sex Tape; Danny Glover, Rage; Giovanni Ribisi, A Million Ways to Die in the West.

Charlize Theron may win, undeservedly, worst actress for A Million Ways to Die in the West, when the film should have been about her. Megan Fox should have been nominated in this category, as she’s actually who Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles follows for the plot to unfold. She is incredibly unconvincing as a journalist, which means she’ll be on the payroll of Fox News momentarily. For me, it’s a toss up between her and Cameron Diaz for Sex Tape.

On the subject of least convincing roles, Lizzy Caplan certainly fit that bill as a CIA agent for her role in The Interview. She should have been nominated for worst supporting actress.

Jonathan Liebesman directed some good scenes in TMNT, which I think is way over-represented in the Razzie noms. (yes, that movie surprised me). ¬†There’s no way that Frank Coraci (Blended), Jake Kasdan (Sex Tape) or Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen (The Interview) should have been left out–especially the latter. The Interview feels like two different films pasted together with Elmer’s School Glue.

If A Million Ways to Die is not a worst pic nominee because it looks better than it deserves, then TMNT should not be there either. ¬†Forget giving Kirk Cameron an extra 15 minutes of fame, also. ¬†Voters, you were able to sit through Blended, Sex Tape, A Haunted House 2 and Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return better than the movies you nominated.

Transcendence and The Interview both definitely deserved screenplay noms.

This year, The Razzies introduced the Razzie Redeemer Award, which I believe is a clumsy way of trying to get stars to appear at a decades-old institution award ceremony. ¬†A better way of honoring these types of movies and performances is to recognize those with the best potential of cult movie greatness. If I were nominating, the movie with the best cult potential would be Left Behind, an unintentional laugh-riot that stands apart from other films like Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, which to me is literally unwatchable. Honor those actors who you would watch regardless of how good or bad a movie is. My first two nominees for that category would be Nicolas Cage and Sigourney Weaver.

We’ll return online soon with the next episode of Mediatrocities to discuss these nominees!

 

 

 

Dear Sony Pictures: Stop Threatening Journalists. You Brought the Sony Hacks Debacle On Yourself.

Make believe it didn't happen

Make believe it didn’t happen

by Legendary Lew

Dear Sony Pictures:

I realize you’re not having the best of holiday seasons. That’s totally understandable. This time of year is very rough on a lot of people.

You’re traveling a rocky road right now with the recently released details of embarrassing emails splashed all over social media. I admit laughing heartily while reading that Angelina Jolie was blamed for the loss of a Steve Jobs biopic from David Fincher and that Seth Rogen and James Franco were paid thousands of dollars to drive themselves to the set of their new movie The Interview.

I understand the new threats being leaked by The Guardians of Peace warning

Make believe this didn't happen

Make believe this didn’t happen

people not to watch The Interview are serious. The movie was pulled from release and now there are even reports claiming the hacks might have been an inside job. As the saying goes, it sucks to be you.

Perhaps these enduring stresses are why your PR department is in shambles. You’re demanding journalists destroy any files they’ve received under threats of lawsuits, thereby assuring The Streisand Effect. Aaron Sorkin, Seth Rogen and James Franco are going to bat for you, calling those who shared your leaked emails traitors and criminals. Maureen Dowd is openly lying to cover you. Howard Stern is erroneously comparing these leaks to those released of nude actresses, apparently because he believes an individual’s private nude photo is the equivalent to corporate business correspondence.

As a film lover, I would like to stage a sort of intervention for you, because apparently many entertainment writers seem not to be coming forward to say what you need to hear:

You helped bring this on yourself.

Do I like what “The Guardians of Peace” did? No. Am I a supporter of North Korea’s dictatorship? Of course not.

Do I think you are a creativity-averse, internet-hating, reckless, possibly felonious corporation that doesn’t care about your own cyber security or the privacy of your employees?¬†

Hell, yes.

Let’s take these issues one at a time:

1. Creativity aversion: You are not in the business of making movies. You are in the business of making products.

No one needs to be a North Korean spy to figure this out. All you need to do is to head on to the Columbia Pictures IMDB page listing your distributions. You can point to Captain Phillips and American Hustle with some pride, but we know it’s not your bread and butter, pre-marketed franchises are. Your own employees even know this and are pouring forth with a deluge of complaints about wasting money and time on shit like Adam Sandler movies. This corporate thinking leads to some really poor choices for creating¬†The Interview, the movie that has supposedly led to your heartburn. Here is the red band trailer NSFW:

You guys wanted to combine This is the End¬†with political satire, and yet your own CEO Michael Lynton had the laughable gaul to say “…the film was designed to entertain and not to make a political statement.” Really? Do you think we’re fools? Do you think we don’t remember this:

In case you need a touch-up on U.S. history, we invaded one of those countries Bush listed based on lies. Do you think a goofy, har-har, sex joke comedy approach with political assassinations and the CIA as themes is a good idea?

Let me put what I’m saying in a different and more direct way. Suppose a major film company in Russia (a superpower prone to invading countries) decided to produce and distribute internationally a giddy, frat-bro comedy about a couple of guys sent to Washington, DC ¬†to interview President Obama and before that trip, they are approached by KGB (known to torture people) asking them to assassinate him? And they threw in a scene like this near the end?:

Now I know you guys don’t think much of Obama, but don’t you think people here would be outraged?

Didn’t it occur to you during the production of the movie that simply changing the name of the North Korean dictator character to something other than his real name¬†could have saved you a shitload of headaches? Is there anyone there who could have spoken up saying that perhaps a dark, more straight-laced comedy is a better tone for this type of movie? We’re not stupid. I mean, for God’s sake, we still watch the greatest political satire ever made. That movie used the pseudonyms President Muffley and Premier Kissoff for leaders and it’s¬†in your catalog!

2. Reckless: Your own security employees warned you that your lax security was a disaster in the making and you ignored them.

You should have contacted Wally Amos, the originator of Famous Amos cookies, a long time ago when he recounted that the worst mistake he ever made that led to him losing his company was not listening to his employees.

Fusion has a fascinating post that Aaron Sorkin, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Howard Stern and other defenders had better read before they open their mouths and continue putting their feet in them. Some of your former security employees –among the scant 11 you hired among a 7000 person work force to handle all your cyber security–were not surprised with the hack, given the shockingly nonchalant attitude of Jason Spaltro, ¬†the then-Executive Director of Information Security for you during the aughts.

Spaltro practically advertised his company’s lack of security by letting everyone know that you had no alternative to safeguarding passwords beyond writing them on Post-It Notes and hiding them somewhere. One former employee stated that a stash of important passwords were all compiled on one file under the tag “My Passwords” (perhaps the lure created by someone setting up the inside job)? What happened to Spaltro after the infamous Anonymous hack of Sony Playstations exposing 77 million accounts? He stayed on the job and, in fact, he is your¬†current Senior Vice-President of Information Security due to get a salary increase plus bonus from $300K to $400K.

3. Internet-hating, possibly felonious: You and the MPAA are willing to break the internet and possibly bribe public officials to help do it.

Plenty of bandwidth will be spent on a 25-page list of your employees complaints and frustrations with you, including pending lawsuits based on your HR department’s acquiring very private medical records.

However, I want to concentrate on a matter brought up by Mike Masnick at TechDirt. He references Russell Brandom’s article “Project Goliath: Inside Hollywood’s Secret War Against Google” in The Verge. “Goliath” is your code word for Google.

It’s no secret you, the other studios and the MPAA despise Google. But now, leaks reveal plans that the MPAA is courting the bribery of attorney generals in several states to crack down on them. Hiring Steve Fabrizio, ¬†a powerful, highly-driven lawyer connected to the piracy-cracking law firm Jenner and Block, the MPAA with your help is trying to lure AGs into getting tough with Google, thereby making the next attempt at passing SOPA much easier:

May 8, 2014: Fabrizio to group. “We‚Äôve had success to date in motivating the AGs; however as they approach the CID phase, the AGs will need greater levels of legal support.” He outlines two options, ranging from $585,000 to $1.175 million, which includes legal support for AGs (through Jenner) and optional investigation and analysis of (“ammunition / evidence against”) Goliath. Both options include at least $85,000 for communication (e.g. “Respond to / rebut Goliath’s public advocacy, amplify negative Goliath news, [and] seed media stories based on investigation and AG actions.”).

I dunno, Sony. Sounds like bribery to me.

So, let’s recap: your employees are complaining and warning you that your cyber security is horrendous. You allowed the production of a movie calling for the assassination of an actual sitting leader of another country, a move that even your biggest of big bosses–who rarely, if ever, gets involved with your film productions–says was a bad idea (I’m wagering that his frowning upon The Interview is a larger factor in getting the movie pulled than any real threat of human harm from North Korea). And finally, your hacked emails expose you folks as spoiled, bitchy, backstabbing, inconsiderate whiners and hypocrites ready to bribe government officials into getting your way.

And you warn journalists to not do their jobs and obey, sorta like Maureen Dowd did, right?

Fuck you.

Sincerely,
Legendary Lew Ojeda