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A Berry for Berry
February 27, 2005 9:38 AM   Subscribe

The 25th annual Razzies were held this weekend, honoring the worst films of 2004. Without a doubt, the highlight of the event was the nomination (and subsequent winning) of Halle Berry for her abysmal participation in Catwoman. Why? Berry actually attended the ceremony to recieve her award, saying among other things "I want to thank Warner Brothers for casting me in this piece of shit."
posted by XQUZYPHYR (52 comments total)

 
That was really cool of Berry to show up. Plus very funny.
posted by billsaysthis at 9:41 AM on February 27, 2005


Instead of giving her another award for being in Catwoman, they should just take her Oscar away. After she's paid her dues to society, she can have it back.

I think the first person to actually accept a Razzie was Paul Verhoeven for making Showgirls. The studio was thinking about marketing it as a midnight movie at the time.
posted by Arch Stanton at 9:42 AM on February 27, 2005


Well she's certainly gone right up in my estimations.
posted by nthdegx at 10:07 AM on February 27, 2005


Something tells me she and Warner Bros. will not be making a film together ever again.
posted by AlexReynolds at 10:10 AM on February 27, 2005


That's delightful, it really is. I love to see a celebrity who still has enough soul left to laugh at herself when she knows it's appropriate.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:12 AM on February 27, 2005


Berry can't wait to more shitty work.
posted by ColdChef at 10:15 AM on February 27, 2005


If she has to give back her Oscar, so does Cuba Gooding, Jr.
posted by ColdChef at 10:16 AM on February 27, 2005


then what about Marisa Tomei?
posted by amberglow at 10:19 AM on February 27, 2005


I love how somehow it's WB's fault not her greed.
posted by TetrisKid at 10:19 AM on February 27, 2005


That is some weak shit, all those Fahrenheit 911 awards. I think the Razzies should be about crappy filmmaking, not crappy engineering of reality.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:19 AM on February 27, 2005


If there were any soldiers, we wouldn't have any wars.

I think it's great that she showed up and acknowledged her poor career choice, but Halle has to accept some reponsibility for actually accepting the role.

It would be harder for bad producers to make and market bad movies if good actors were not so eager for the multimillion dollar paycheques.
posted by KS at 10:22 AM on February 27, 2005


Grrr, I DID preview.

If there weren't any soldiers...
posted by KS at 10:23 AM on February 27, 2005


Is she under contract with them? Did they have a deal? I'm thinking maybe they helped distribute/fund/finish Monster's Ball or something in return for Catwoman, or something like that.
posted by amberglow at 10:26 AM on February 27, 2005


Besides Verhoeven, Tom Green also showed up when he was nominated. She joins an illustrious group.
posted by bobo123 at 10:26 AM on February 27, 2005


"I want to thank Warner Brothers for casting me in this piece of shit," she said as she dragged her agent on stage and warned him "next time read the script first."

You mean you sign off a few months of your life and you don't bother to read about what you're going to be doing?
posted by Mach5 at 10:41 AM on February 27, 2005


It's an astute piece of PR on Berry's part -- right now the world's press is reporting that she can take a joke, she can admit she made a mistake, she's human like the rest of us -- but it does take serious cojones to turn up at an event like that in the first place.
posted by Hogshead at 10:43 AM on February 27, 2005


amberglow, I understand all kinds of bad movies get made because people are under contract, and people make deals for one movie to get a different one made.

However, even if Halle did such a deal with the devil, it's not exactly on the order of Coppola agreeing to take on The Godfather so that he can get The Conversation made.
posted by KS at 10:51 AM on February 27, 2005


"Halle Berry is addicted to crack -- the crack of the whip she used in 'Catwoman,' that is."

For God's sake don't follow ColdChef's link.
posted by nthdegx at 10:54 AM on February 27, 2005


Bill Cosby also showed up to accept his awards for Leonard Part 6.
posted by Clay201 at 11:04 AM on February 27, 2005


You mean you sign off a few months of your life and you don't bother to read about what you're going to be doing?

Exactly my thinking. Of course, it's a probably a lot of fun to make a superhero movie, especially if you are pocketing a ton of cash. It makes total sense to sign away a few months of your life to be swung around on pulleys, crack whips and cash cheques if you don't really care about your audience.

It beats working at the post office.

No amount of public browbeating of her agent will make her a an artist with integrity.
posted by KS at 11:05 AM on February 27, 2005


Is she under contract with them? Did they have a deal? I'm thinking maybe they helped distribute/fund/finish Monster's Ball or something in return for Catwoman, or something like that.

As I recall from the interview that I read during the pre-movie hype runup (probably in EW), these kinds of superhero movies were all the rage a couple years ago (still are, of course, just with a few stinkers on the books now) and she needed to get a big old Hollywood Product movie under her belt, so to speak, to get herself into A-list position (see: Nicole Kidman doing both period pieces like The Hours and drivel like The Peacemaker). WB wanted to crank Catwoman out on a really short schedule (i.e. we need you NOW) and Berry was available and willing. So in she went and the rest is history. The only reason I can imagine she'd want to do a sequel would be to demonstrate that (given enough time and the right partners) it could be done well, better the second time around a la X-Men and Bourne Supremacy.

While I'm typing about moovies, Million Dollar Baby and Kinsey: undeserving of critical acclaim; Neverland, Paul Giamatti and Eternal Sunshine: totally deserving. Oh, and I finally saw Ed Wood (1994) recently, fantastic.
posted by intermod at 11:10 AM on February 27, 2005


I doubt there was a deal to with Berry over Monster's Ball to get her to be in Catwoman. Ball had a $4 million budget, or $10 million less than what she made for being in Catwoman. And Monster's Ball was released by Lions Gate. Also, at the time that Monster's Ball was made, Berry was pretty much on the B-list.
posted by Arch Stanton at 11:13 AM on February 27, 2005


On preview: talking about sequels to stinkers is nothing new. Travolta expressed interest in a Battlefield: Earth sequel a year after the first was released. It's just PR.
posted by Arch Stanton at 11:15 AM on February 27, 2005


Travolta was instrumental in Battlefield Earth getting made in the first place. (He's a scientologist.) No wonder he wants to do a sequel.
posted by salmacis at 11:29 AM on February 27, 2005


I'm sure that Berry didn't really read the script before agreeing to be in it. She was just casting about for roles that would pay her a lot. She probably does do movies that she cares about. Monster's Ball might have been one of them... but maybe not. Maybe it is all about the money for her.

I remember reading an Onion AV Club interview with Robin Williams at about the time Insomnia and One Hour Photo were coming out. For years and years, he had been starring in dreck like Patch Adams, The Bicentennial Man, and What Dreams May Come. The interviewer pointed out his past transgressions, and asked him, "What in the world were you thinking when you signed onto Toys?" Williams replied: "Nice paycheck." That's what it takes to fuel a Hollywood coke habit, I guess.

(I liked Toys).
posted by painquale at 11:52 AM on February 27, 2005


Catwoman sucked on the whole, Bery showing up to accept the Razzie for it is teh silver lining. Cute.
posted by dabitch at 12:10 PM on February 27, 2005


aargh, I can't stop spelling "the" as "teh". I swear I didn't mean to do that.
posted by dabitch at 12:11 PM on February 27, 2005


Could be worse. You could have been aiming for TEH and spelled it right by accident...
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:38 PM on February 27, 2005


Anyone who believes that the script the actors get corresponds verbatim to the final product that opens in the cinemas is ... well, they don't know how movies get made, let's put it charitably.

What happens is: the director and/or scriptwriter come up with a lot of scenes. The scenes get laid end-to-end in whatever sequence is most highly optimized for shooting, then they call in the actors. Meanwhile, the CGI folks are working on the other stuff (in a Hollywood product, anyway -- these days you need roughly 500 special effects to keep the audience's attention during a two hour superhero blockbuster). The completed product is then set to various focus groups and studio execs for fine tuning, and a load of it ends up on the cutting room floor.

(For a classic example, go watch "Apocalypse Now" a couple of times -- the original cinema edition, then a recent director's cut with an extra hour or so added back in. Ask yourself which version makes more sense as a movie. Alternatively, pick up a copy of Terry Gilliam's "Brazil" -- I believe the two-disk version comes with a complete copy of the studio's edited version. It was so bad that Gilliam basically went head-to-head with them over it, and won -- after about nine months, during which time the movie wasn't shown in the US. The execs in question had tried to turn it into a romantic comedy with a happy ending ...)
posted by cstross at 12:43 PM on February 27, 2005


"[I]t does take serious cojones to turn up at an event like that in the first place."

I'd be happy to but I ain't been invited. Let's suggest an applicable category, eh? I propose "Best Internet Non-Curmudgeon". If the Razzies won't take it we'll start our own awards show, or rather webcast.

So, do you "critics" think "Catwoman" is any worse than any of the "Batman", "Superman", "X-Men" or "Crow" movies? As for "artistic integrity", if Hollywood Stars held out for scripts that Derrida-reading Bobos judged worthy, most would cease being Hollywood Stars just from dearth of material. (Assuming they hired brilliantly literary agents; most Hollywood Stars don't seem bright enough to know dreck when they don't see it.) Don't think "film" as in "art film" (most of which are also shitty), think "movie". "Mass entertainment". Brain Twinkies for SUV drivers.

Anyway. Halle Berry scares me, all that gleeful whip-cracking.
posted by davy at 12:51 PM on February 27, 2005


do you "critics" think "Catwoman" is any worse than any of the "Batman", "Superman", "X-Men" or "Crow" movies?

I haven't seen Catwoman, but ALL of the movies (well, the first few Batman and Superman movies, anyway) you listed were better than 90 percent of all mass entertainment action movies. My guess is that Catwoman is one of those bad action movies. I don't think that critics of Catwoman are holdin it to an incorrect standard and saying it's a bad art film; it's presumably a bad mass entertainment action movie. Even the mainstream reviewers who are very careful to judge movies on their own merits and the "mainstream public" have universally panned Catwoman.
posted by painquale at 12:58 PM on February 27, 2005


I've never seen Halle Berry act well.

She refused to be in the third X-Men movie because she got so little dialogue in the second one...

Which was because she was horrible in the first one.

Of course, not all of it was her fault. She didn't write gems like this:

"You know what happens to a toad when it's hit by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else!"
posted by Target Practice at 1:00 PM on February 27, 2005


"What in the world were you thinking when you signed onto Toys?" Williams replied: "Nice paycheck."

I recall reading an interview with Michael Caine, in which he was asked about his appearance in Jaws: The Revenge. "I've never seen the movie," he said (and I'm quoting from memory here), "but I understand it's quite dreadful. I have, however, seen the house that it bought for me, and I can tell you that it's marvelous."
posted by Man-Thing at 1:03 PM on February 27, 2005


The Razzies is bullshit.

Uwe Boll has never once been nominated for one.

Can someone explain this to me?
posted by bandersnatch at 1:05 PM on February 27, 2005


I think the Razzies only apply to movies that were actually seen by more than twenty people, bandersnatch.

I presume no more than that were stupid enough to see Alone In The Dark.
posted by Target Practice at 1:12 PM on February 27, 2005


"You know what happens to a toad when it's hit by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else!"

Weel, you can thank David Hayter for those gems. If they had stuck to Joss Whedon's draft, something else altogether would have come out the other end. Possibly. Until someone's agent or Avi Arad got involved.

The only lines of Whedon's script to survive multiple drafts:

CYCLOPS (to WOLVERINE)
Prove it!

WOLVERINE
You're a dick.


Also, this, from the same page - ""Angela Bassett turned down the role of Storm, while Aaron Eckhart and Viggo Mortensen were both considered for the role of Wolverine".
Now I know who to blame...
posted by vhsiv at 1:25 PM on February 27, 2005


(hey, i like Toys--beautifully done movie)
posted by amberglow at 1:26 PM on February 27, 2005


The link, above. Sorry!
posted by vhsiv at 1:26 PM on February 27, 2005


amberglow, I understand all kinds of bad movies get made because people are under contract, and people make deals for one movie to get a different one made.

Yep, that's increasingly common in an era when actors run production firms or even direct their own stuff. You do the high-budget, high-return studio crap and then use the money to keep an indie film in budget. (Or put it into other projects entirely, such as Ewan McGregor's round-the-world motorbike ride.)

It's a relatively new phenomenon for actors to say so explicitly (after the contractual promotion period is over) that a particular film was, indeed, a piece of shit. Although Tony Hopkins is on record as saying he alternates between 'worthy' stuff and money-spinners, and Michael Caine is definitely another example.

Anyone who believes that the script the actors get corresponds verbatim to the final product that opens in the cinemas is ... well, they don't know how movies get made, let's put it charitably.

I'm surprised that the rise of directors' commentaries and other extras on DVD releases, combined with sites that discuss post-production and test screenings, hasn't been more educative in that regard. Six weeks' filming or so, with the order of scenes dictated by the availability of locations, crew, equipment, rather than the script. And knowing that ought to make you more respectful of film actors, given that oftentimes they'll be asked to hit the right emotions in late scenes on the first couple of days of shooting.

No amount of public browbeating of her agent will make her a an artist with integrity.

LOL. This is the film industry we're talking about here.
posted by riviera at 1:42 PM on February 27, 2005


We'll probably never know for sure, but I bet Ms. Berry and her agent were both laughing their butts off over this whole thing. Any movie actor could tell you that work is work, and being in Catwoman (which I haven't seen either and don't really plan to unless it's on Sci-Fi network or something) is probably a better career move than not being in it. As I said to myself when I saw Dennis Quaid in Jaws: 3-D, hey, at least it makes the car payments for somebody.
posted by alumshubby at 1:55 PM on February 27, 2005


"Uwe Boll has never once been nominated for one.

Can someone explain this to me?"


The end result has to recognizably be a movie, which, to date, none of Boll's efforts have achieved.

Re: Berry taking the blame -- I tend to think that actually showing up for the Razzies is tantamount to accepting that fact that one has humped the bunk. I think she just wanted to make sure to share the love.

There's also the possibility that during the filming everything seemed to be going well, and it wasn't until the thing was pieced together in the editing room that everyone realized what a massive lump of crap they had on their hands. It wouldn't be the first time that happened.
posted by jscalzi at 2:17 PM on February 27, 2005


On preview: talking about sequels to stinkers is nothing new. Travolta expressed interest in a Battlefield: Earth sequel a year after the first was released. It's just PR.

Some sequels are better then the original. Tomb Raider sucked, the sequel rocked!
posted by berek at 2:40 PM on February 27, 2005


vhsiv, I hate to break this to you, but -- Joss wrote the "toad struck by lightning" line, too:
Everybody remembers that as the worst line ever written, but the thing about that is, it was supposed to be delivered as completely offhand. [Adopts casual, bored tone.] "You know what happens when a toad gets hit by lightning?" Then, after he gets electrocuted, "Ahhh, pretty much the same thing that happens to anything else." But Halle Berry said it like she was Desdemona. [Strident, ringing voice.] "The same thing that happens to everything eeelse!" That's the thing that makes you go crazy. At least "You're a dick" got delivered right. The worst thing about these things is that, when the actors say it wrong, it makes the writer look stupid.
-- From The Onion's interview with Whedon, September 5, 2001
posted by webmutant at 2:46 PM on February 27, 2005


See, if it had been said like that...

well, it probably still would have been bad, but nowhere near as bad as it being all dramatic.

Not to mention that I could never figure out what Berry's accent is supposed to be, and it's actually different in the cut scenes. IMDb says it was supposed to be "African, like in the comic", but that's not particularly helpful.
posted by Target Practice at 3:29 PM on February 27, 2005


Weel, you can thank David Hayter for those gems.

david hayter? do you mean to tell me that THE solid snake wrote that crap?

snake...SNAKE!!!
posted by joedan at 3:33 PM on February 27, 2005


I think that as a director, Uwe Boll is seriously underrated. The man is a genius, pretending to be a fool. You are all his stooges.
posted by graventy at 3:35 PM on February 27, 2005


vhsiv, I hate to break this to you, but -- Joss wrote the "toad struck by lightning" line, too...

Well, that's the OTHER thing my writer friend told me about - crappy actresses ruining his lines. But then again, I thought it was the Director's job to have a functioning knowledge of the script, and know the difference between the 'gag' lines and the 'serious' ones. Oh well.

And Joss is not my writer friend, though I did meet his brother once...

So much for collaborative processes. I now know why Joss wanted to be the next director to screw-up one of his scripts.

Thanks for the Onion article, tho'...
posted by vhsiv at 4:07 PM on February 27, 2005


Cosby didn't turn up to the awards, but he did pay for someone to fly out and present it to him, which was pretty cool of him. Good on him, Verhoeven, Green and now Berry.

Hollywood types willing to laugh at themselves: more of them please...
posted by ralphyk at 4:29 PM on February 27, 2005


Not to mention that I could never figure out what Berry's accent is supposed to be, and it's actually different in the cut scenes. IMDb says it was supposed to be "African, like in the comic", but that's not particularly helpful.
Target Practice

I don't know if you ever saw the X-Men cartoon that ran on Fox in the mid-90s, but the accent Storm had in that is pretty much spot-on in terms of what you would imagine her speaking like in the comics.
posted by Sangermaine at 6:00 PM on February 27, 2005


Which one? There were two different voice actors in the cartoon.
posted by Target Practice at 6:49 PM on February 27, 2005


John Wilson, founder of the Razzies, answered questions in an online chat today. He seems to have some kind of disorder involving the caps lock key.

He points out that even though several people have attended in the past to receive their awards, Halle Berry is the first Oscar-winner to do so.
posted by casu marzu at 1:34 PM on February 28, 2005


Late to the thread, but: Natalie Wood, then a three-time Oscar nominee, personally accepted her 1966 "Worst Actress" award from the Harvard Lampoon. Harvard found her performance in Inside Daisy Clover to be so detestable that they actually renamed the prize the Natalie Wood Worst Actress Award that year (I believe it was later upgraded to the Jane Fonda Worst Actress Award.)

I've seen the footage of Ms. Wood graciously accepting the honor, surrounded by baffled officials who aren't certain whether she knows she's being insulted. The whole episode just underscored her ease and charm, unlike this more recent variation with Ms. Berry, which seems to highlight the latter woman's venality and blame-shifting.
posted by cirocco at 11:13 PM on March 2, 2005


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