Page 2 columnist
Time for one more non-sports column before we delve into hoops, baseball and hockey for the rest of the spring. As you can probably tell, I watch a ton of movies and consider myself to be a bonafide Hollywood junkie.Since I catch most of the relevant movies during a given year, and since enough of my friends are movie junkies who catch anything I may have missed, I always find time to celebrate the worst that Hollywood has to offer every year. Hey, someone has to do it.
On to the "Billy Awards," my third annual Anti-Oscars, devoted to everything that was released during the year 2001. Today I'll hand out the preliminary awards (kind of like appetizers), and on Wednesday, I'll give out the major awards in part 2:The "Jennifer Lopez in 'Out of Sight' Award (biggest casting stretch)
Winner: Michelle Pfeiffer as a crusading lawyer in "I Am Sam." Not quite on par with J-Lo playing a U.S. Marshall in "Out of Sight," or even Nicole Kidman playing a neurosurgeon in "Days of Thunder," but still ... pretty ridiculous. Just for the record, my favorite casting stretch of all-time was Rebecca DeMornay as Don Johnson's defense attorney in Guilty As Sin. Ladies and gentleman of the jury, I'd like to explain to you why I'm wearing a thong underneath this mini-skirt ...
The Sandra Bullock in '28 Days' Award (best performance by an actor or actress trapped in a bad movie)
Winner: Kirsten Dunst for "crazy/beautiful." She was like Pedro Martinez winning 25 games on a 70-win team in this one -- all her pitches were working and it just didn't matter.
Winner: John Cusack for "America's Sweethearts." He wins this category every year. Did he buy Michael Landon's hair on eBay or something? The "Happiness" Award (most disorienting sex scene)
Winners: Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton for "Monster's Ball." One of those over-the-top, ultra-vulnerable sex scenes that makes everyone in the theater feel wildly uncomfortable, to the point where the entire place becomes dead-silent and everyone is afraid to breathe. This movie also captured The Accused Award for "Worst Movie To Take Someone To On A First Date." The "Skulls" Award (funniest DVD commentary)
Winner: "Summer Catch." Can you believe they actually forced the director and writer to lay down a DVD commentary for this? In this scene, you can really see the tension building between Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jessica Biel ... it's a tribute to both actors ...The Breckin Meyer Award (actor or actress who must have incriminating photos of somebody very important in Hollywood)
Winner: Julia Stiles. I just don't get it. Really. I don't understand. Please explain. Honorable mention here for Josh Hartnett, who peaked as an actor in "Halloween H20." Now he's the biggest thing since sliced bread. Somebody needs to throw these two in a movie together and have it gross $200 million, just to completely flabbergast me. The Vince Vaughn Award (most inexplicable loss of talent and/or charisma)
Winner: Matt Damon for "Ocean's Eleven." He better get back to that whole "Mike McD, Will Hunting" genre of gritty/urban/cool characters before he goes Matt McConaghey on us. Honorable mention to Vaughn himself for his wretched rehashing of Double Down Trent in "Made" -- 90 minutes of my life that I'm never getting back. (Look at the body of work from Jon Favreau and Vaughn over the past six years. "Swingers" is becoming harder and harder to explain, isn't it? This has surpassed Brady Anderson hitting 50 homers in a season on the "How The Heck Did That Happen" Scale ... now it's approaching Willie Burton and Todd Day scoring 50-plus points in sanctioned NBA games during the same season. Just dumbfounding.)
The Jenny McCarthy Award (longest, most interminable 15 minutes of fame)
Winner: Tom Green. He takes over from David Arquette, who was the Denzel Washington of this category until his character from "Scream" was savaged by the Wayans brothers in "Scary Movie." When the Wayans Brothers are ripping you, you know it's time to go. As for Green ... well, it's going to be over soon. Right? Please tell me I'm right.
Winner: Katie Holmes for "The Gift." People in my theater gasped audibly when it happened. WHOA! Katie! Good golly! That was the "Adam Vinatieri kicking a 45-yarder in a snowstorm to send a playoff game into overtime" Hollywood moment of 2001. Frankly, I'm still in shock. The Antonio Banderas/Regina King Award (actor or actress who gets typecast the most
Winner: Tom Sizemore, who has somehow appeared in every war movie from the past 35 years. I think he even had a cameo in "Bridge Over the River Kwai." The Jimmy Caan Award (actor or actress with the most obvious new facelift)
Winner: Michael Douglas in "Don't Say A Word." He's aging in dog years. Was "Fatal Attraction" really 14 years ago? Speaking of "Fatal Attraction," was anyone else waiting for the Oscars telecast to come back from a commercial to find Glenn Close boiling a rabbit? You made that joke during the show, right? Doesn't everyone make that joke? It's the universal Glenn Close joke. I'm babbling.The "Gymkata" Award (most dreadful sports movie
Winner: "Out Cold." A skiing comedy. I actually never saw this one, but Lee Majors was second from the top in the credits. That's enough evidence for me. The Parker Posey in "Scream 3" Award (most notable sellout by a respected Indie actor or actress)
Winner: William H. Macy ... from "Boogie Nights" to "Jurassic Park 3" in four years. Jeez. I would have thrown in a deleted DVD scene in "Jurassic" where Macy walks in on a dinosaur having sex with his wife, then kills them both before shooting himself. But that's just me. The Ice-T Award (worst crossover appearance by a rapper in a mainstream movie)
Winner: Sean "P Diddy" Combs for "Made." Word up, P Diddy. Keep it real.
The William Zabka Award (best performance in an unwatchable movie)
Winner: Brittany Murphy from "Don't Say A Word," which spawned the most haunting promotional campaign in recent history. I'll never tel-llllll ... Just when you thought it was over, the DVD was released and the same ads re-emerged. I'm still having nightmares.
Winner: Danny DeVito. Why is he still considered a major star and director? Has this ever been answered? Can you name your favorite Danny DeVito movie of the past 15 years? Don't you crack up at those ads for his new movie ("Death to Smoochy") where the narrator says, "From the demented mind of Danny DeVito ..."? Puh-leeeze. He's the Billy Packer of Hollywood -- somehow he's on top, and yet nobody knows anyone who likes him. The "Father's Day" Award (Robin Williams movie that most makes you want to impale a pen into your forehead)
Winner: "KPax." And Robin Williams didn't even appear in this one -- it actually starred Kevin Spacey. How did Williams get screwed out of an annoying movie about an annoying guy who claims that he's an alien from outer space? Why not go the whole nine yards, hire Williams and make this the most annoying movie of all-time?
The Gretchen Mol in "Rounders" Award (worst performance by an actor or actress in an enjoyable movie)
Winner: Christine Taylor for "Zoolander" ... a classic case of somebody getting a plum role because they were married to the lead actor/writer/director/executive producer of a successful comedy. OK, maybe that doesn't happen too often. But what was Ben Stiller thinking? You don't cast your own wife in the token "Hot chick in a comedy who doesn't do anything but look hot" role, especially when she's not even that hot. Can't they digitally erase Taylor's scenes and put Heather Graham in there?
Winner: Costner in "3000 Miles to Graceland." I want to purchase a DVD Bonus Pack that includes all the movies in which Costner mangled accents -- "JFK" (New Orleans), "Graceland" (Southern), "Robin Hood" (English) and "Thirteen Days" (Boston). If only Woody Allen would cast Costner as a Jewish attorney from New York in his next movie ... then we'd have the whole gamut. COMING WEDNESDAY: Part 2, the major awards. Bill Simmons writes three columns a week for Page 2.