Stephen M. Silverman
January 30, 2006 10:00 AM

War of the Worlds starTom Cruise had better run for cover. And this time he might think of taking Jessica Simpson with him.

The Razzies have returned to Hollywood – with the Golden Raspberry Foundation’s Monday morning announcement of Tinseltown’s worst embarrassments from last year.

Cruise is up for three Razzies – as worst actor for War of the Worlds and for two of the five slots in the new category of “tiresome tabloid targets” (thanks to his exploits with fiance Katie Holmes and his anti-psychiatry rant on the Today show). Simpson is in the running for worst actress of 2005 (for Dukes of Hazzard).

As for Cruise, “He had been a very private person up until this past year,” says Razzies founder John Wilson, as quoted by the Associated Press. “It certainly was a bizarre turn in terms of how he handles his personal life and the access that he gave the media to himself. The endless posing on the red carpet and just smooching like they were on the couch at home.”

Meanwhile, leading the Razzie’s list, with eight nominations, is Son of the Mask. Besides worst picture of the year, the uninspired sequel to Jim Carrey’s 1994 runaway hit is up for worst actor (Jamie Kennedy) and supporting actor (both Alan Cumming and Bob Hoskins).

In addition to Dukes of Hazzard, the worst-picture contenders are Rob Schneider’s sequel Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Jenny McCarthy’s raunchy romance Dirty Love and the horror remake House of Wax.

Besides Cruise and Kennedy, worst-actor nominees are Will Ferrell (for Bewitched and Kicking & Screaming), The Rock (for Doom) and Schneider (for Deuce Bigalow).

McCarthy earned three nominations for Dirty Love – for worst actress, screenplay and screen couple (she and “anyone dumb enough to befriend or date her”). She will be competing as worst actress with Jessica Alba (for Fantastic Four and Into the Blue) Hilary Duff (for Cheaper by the Dozen 2 and The Perfect Man), Jennifer Lopez for (Monster-in-Law) and Tara Reid (for Alone in the Dark).

Jessica Simpson in The Dukes of Hazzard

Paris Hilton received two nominations: worst supporting actress for House of Wax and most tiresome tabloid target. Holmes also was nominated for worst supporting actress for Batman Begins, along with Carmen Electra (for Dirty Love) and both Simpson sisters – Jessica for The Dukes of Hazzard and Ashlee for Undiscovered.

Per usual, the Razzie nominations come one the day before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announces its nominees. The ceremony naming the Razzie “winners” is also held one day ahead of the Oscars – in this case the 26th annual Razzie fest will be March 4.

Last year, in a rare display of good sportsmanship at the Razzies, Halle Berry surprised everybody by showing up at the ceremony and claiming her prize for worst actress, for Catwoman. She effusively (if mockingly) thanked her agent for putting her in what she called “such a piece of s—,” and a good time was had by all.

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