Saturday, February 23, 2019

"Holmes and Watson" wins a "Lazzie" award

Walp, it's awards weekend, and bad comedy is in full bloom. Whether it's the badly-read cue card jokes of Oscar presenters or the announcement of the Golden Raspberry awards by some ex-UCLA film students. And the latter, known as the "Razzies," for short have targeted our friends Sherlock Holmes and John H. Watson this year.

More specifically, the Razzies named the Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly comedy Holmes and Watson as their "Worst Picture of the Year," along with calling John C. Reilly "Worst Supporting Actor," director Etan Cohen "Worst Director," and giving the movie "Worst Remake, Rip-off, or Sequel."  The only reason Will Ferrell probably didn't get the win for "Worst Actor" was that he was up against Donald Trump, and Trump-hatred understandably trumps everything right now, even in parody awards.

Some Sherlockians will surely agree with the Razzies, but some Sherlockians don't go to the movies all that often, and don't really have a complete view of what movies appeared in theaters throughout all of 2018. To say that Holmes and Watson, a to-your-tastes comedy that only showed up in the last six days of 2018, was the worst movie of that entire year is plainly a symptom of either no long-term memory, strong anti-Ferrell bias, or both. 2018 had some really awful movies in it.

Looking at various top ten "worst" lists for the year, one sees some very different results. WatchMojo gave Sherlock Gnomes a dishonourable mention, but ignored Holmes and Watson. The Rolling Stone completely ignored both Sherlockian movies and only put one comedy on its list, The Happytime Murders, which made a lot of lists, and actually made this Sherlockian walk out of the theater for sheer boredom and the chance to spend the remaining minutes doing something more entertaining like shopping for groceries. Time ignored Holmes and Watson. CBS News placed Sherlock Gnomes at 29th worst movie of 2018 in a list of sixty-one bad movies that didn't include Holmes and Watson. And IMDB even made Sherlock Gnomes its 19th worst movie of 2018 in its list of ONE HUNDRED MOVIES, and ignored Holmes and Watson.

The Golden Raspberry people plainly jumped on an internet bandwagon at year end, as they attempted to come up with the most click-baitable nominations to get attention, rather than fully considering the year's full menu of bad films. If one were to hand out a "Lazzie" award for laziness in award-giving, they would surely be nominated.

All this does bring up a burning Sherlockian question, however, once one considers such 2018 classics of badness like Uncle Drew, Gotti, and A-X-L: Was Sherlock Gnomes quietly the actual worst Sherlock Holmes film of 2018, overcome by the volume of the Holmes and Watson lynch mobs? I certainly don't think I could have sat through it six times in a few weeks and had as joyous a time as I did with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. (And, just so I don't miss this point: Calling an American treasure like John C. Reilly "worst anything" is just sheer foolishness.)

Still, any year with two theatrically-released Sherlock Holmes movies in it is still a banner year for Sherlock Holmes fans, no matter what the final judgment on those films winds up being. And for that, I'll give 2018 Sherlockian cinema a big thumbs-up.

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