Here's an award everyone is finally able to agree on: The worst film of 1999? "Wild Wild West."
It may have made more than $100 million, but last summer's critically reviled comedy-western has also taken home both the Golden Raspberry and Stinker awards, given by two different organizations to dishonor the worst that Hollywood has to offer."Wild Wild West" also took home Razzies for Worst On-Screen Couple (Kevin Kline and Will Smith), Worst Director (Barry Sonnenfeld) and Worst Screenplay. The Stinkers also gave the film awards for Most Painfully Unfunny Comedy, Worst Resurrection of a TV Show and Worst Screenplay for a Movie Grossing More than $100 million (Using Hollywood Math).
Other, more successful films also received awards from the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation and the Hastings Bad Cinema Society, the groups responsible for the competition. But they were -- for this year, at least -- agreeable awards.
The long-awaited "Star Wars" prequel "The Phantom Menace" received a Razzie for Worst Supporting Actor, for Jar-Jar Binks, the character voiced by Ahmed Best. Jar-Jar also netted Stinkers for Worst Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Worst Screen Debut and Most Botched Comic Relief (Ideas That Can't Have Looked Good, Even on Paper). Co-star Jake Lloyd won the Stinker for the uncoveted Worst Performance by a Child in a Featured Role.
And the independent hit, "The Blair Witch Project" -- the most profitable film in U.S. cinema history -- won a Razzie for Worst Actress (Heather Donahue) and picked up the Stinker for Biggest Disappointment (The Film That Didn't Live up to its Hype).
According to Mike Lancaster, co-founder of the Hastings society, 1999 was a prime one for bad movies, which led to some heated contests in the award categories.
"It was one of the closest races we've ever had," he said. "It was neck and neck between 'Wild Wild West,' 'Baby Geniuses,' and 'The Blair Witch Project' during the entire voting period. Up until we announced the winners . . . we had no idea which film would prevail. It was that close."
Other awards went to:
Denise Richards, for her performance in "The World Is Not Enough" (Worst Supporting Actress from both organizations).
Melanie Griffith, "Crazy in Alabama" (Worst Actress, the Stinkers).
Adam Sandler, "Big Daddy" (Worst Actor, the Razzies).
Robin Williams, "Jakob the Liar" (Worst Actor, the Stinkers).
Razzie nominations and "winners" were determined by ballots mailed to more than 465 members of the Golden Raspberry Awards Foundation -- made up of film fans, journalists and professionals in 34 U.S. states and eight foreign countries.
Stinkers ballots were available on a Web site, and the final nominees were determined by a group of film critics and movie buffs. Winners were determined by the public's vote.
"We are the People's Choice of bad movies," said Hastings society co-founder Ray Wright. "It's not a bunch of snooty or jaded movie critics deciding everything; it's the people who had to shell out $8.50 to see what turned out to be a bad movie. It really is the ultimate moviegoers revenge."
"I wasn't surprised," said Lancaster, who started the group with Wright, a movie theater usher friend, in 1978.
"I think we are a celebrity publicist's worst nightmare," Wright added.
Full lists of Stinkers and Golden Raspberry winners are available at the respective Web sites www.thestinkers.com and www.razzies.com.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: " Oh, yeah. We don't want to admit how much we're all like Rob, but I think most people have been where he's been and done what he's done. He's a pretty interesting character because for as much as a lazy slacker he is, he also has a capacity to be really honest, so that kind of makes him very redeemable." -- Actor John Cusack, describing the self-involved but lovable character he plays in the new comedy "High Fidelity."
Deseret News movie critic Jeff Vice can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]