And the awards for worst Oscar follow-ups go to …

What must this time of year be like for Cuba Gooding Jr.? No doubt he’s pleased to relive that glorious night in 1997 when he took home the Best Supporting Actor award for Jerry Maguire, providing one of the Oscars’ most memorable acceptance speeches in the process. But then there are always those jackasses (present company included) who have to bring up Chill Factor, Boat Trip and pretty much every movie he’s made since then  — Snow Dogs, Radio — that make him the walking embodiment of a lousy post-Oscar career. Instinct, Shadowboxer, Daddy Day Camp … OK, I’ll stop now.

Well, Cuba, I’ve never thought you were a bad actor. I remember Boyz N the Hood, and at the risk of damning you with faint praise, you were far and away the best part of Pearl Harbor. Also, you are not alone in taking some missteps following a brush with Oscar glory. Even some who went on to great careers after taking home the gold have had to grin and bear it while some of their projects are unleashed on audiences.

You could make a sizable list of not-so-memorable films that Oscar winners/nominees have been involved in immediately after their big moments. Check out ours below. Some of these were just blips on the radar, but others proved only the first step down a troubling path:

Eddie Murphy, Norbit (2007)

Murphy seemed a lock for a Best Supporting Actor win for his dramatic turn in Dreamgirls. It was the perfect kind of awards-season story — a longtime comic finally being rewarded for showing his dramatic chops. All the Academy’s goodwill was heading Murphy’s way, and the road was paved for redemption after a rotten streak of limp comedies and bland family films. Then, just as Oscar voting was getting into full swing, he dropped Norbit on an unsuspecting public. A horribly ugly cousin to The Nutty Professor, Norbit featured Murphy in several guises, including the titular nerd and his morbidly obese, morally grotesque wife Rasputia. Though it won some box-office coin (really, people?), Norbit is generally considered to have set progress in gender and racial relations back about 30 years. A few weeks later, Murphy lost the Oscar to Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine), and Dreamgirls went a pretty shabby 2 for 8. It should be noted that Norbit also starred Cuba Gooding Jr., and I like to imagine it was during this production that Murphy gave Gooding his blessing commanded him at gunpoint to take over his role in Daddy Day Camp.

Burt Reynolds, Big City Blues (1997)

After John Travolta finally found a comeback that stuck with Pulp Fiction, Burt Reynolds became the poster child of an actor squandering his second chance(s). The good ol’ boy has-been shocked everyone with his focused, moving portrayal of pornographer Jack Horner in director P.T. Anderson’s masterpiece Boogie Nights, then immediately resumed his check-cashing ways. His first stop was in this forgettable shoot ’em up about a … whatever. In the next couple of years, he also popped up in two direct-to-cable sequels, Universal Solder II: Brothers in Arms and Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business, both of which suffered the indignity of later being canceled out by the two Universal Soldier sequels that Jean-Claude Van Damme actually appeared in.

Anthony Hopkins, Freejack (1992)

Mere months after audiences saw this fine British thespian turning Hannibal Lecter into one of cinema’s greatest villains, they saw him teaming up with Mick Jagger to try to steal the body of a post-Brat Pack, pre-Mighty Ducks Emilio Estevez in this silly time-travel adventure. Sir Anthony was probably gritting his teeth, hoping Academy voters didn’t notice when the studio slipped this quick payday into theaters in mid January. It holds a lot of entertainment value now, though, for its depiction of “the future” a.k.a. 2009. Hey, where’s my laser gun?

Denzel Washington, Heart Condition (1990)

Maybe it’s appropriate that after making such a strong impression in his Oscar-winning role in Glory, Denzel Washington became literally invisible in his next effort — this lame, labored comedy about a dead lawyer who haunts the racist cop (Bob Hoskins) who received his heart in a transplant. They must overcome their antipathy toward each other to hunt down Denzel’s killers. Just to make sure you didn’t miss all the wacky comic possibilities inherent in organ transplants, the trailer promised that this duo would be the first to ever make a “cardiac” arrest. At least the Bonnie Raitt song on the soundtrack (called “Have a Heart,” of course) was decent.

Francis Ford Coppola, One From the Heart (1982)

No one can blame Coppola for wanting to go an entirely different direction after pulling off Apocalypse Now, one of the greatest war movies ever made. It had one of the craziest, most grueling productions in film history, and he was coming off an unprecedented string of highbrow successes that included the first two Godfather movies and The Conversation. The man was due a lighthearted palate cleanser. But this oddball, unaffecting musical romance starring Teri Garr and Frederic Forrest as hard-luck lovers in Vegas has to go down as one of cinema’s biggest misfires. It was a huge flop, virtually bankrupting Coppola’s cinematic oasis, Zoetrope Studios, and for many years was about as accessible as the Star Wars Holiday Special. It ain’t that bad, but it did signal the end of the great director’s golden age.

Michael Cimino, Heaven’s Gate (1980)

You can officially call director Michael Cimino a one-hit wonder at this point. He gained instant gravitas with his second film, the landmark Vietnam War drama The Deer Hunter, but decimated it almost entirely with his next project, the notorious fiasco Heaven’s Gate. The $44 million Western, which tells of the conflict between immigrant farmers and wealthy cattle barons in 1890s Wyoming, only earned a little more than $3 million at the box office, and clocked in at a sprawling 219 minutes. It was the perfect example of a bloated, epic Hollywood failure, one that wiped out the venerable United Artists studio. There was even a book and a movie made documenting what went wrong. What’s interesting is that the film’s critical reputation has improved somewhat over the years, but Cimino’s career has never recovered, having made only four features since then, the last being 1996’s little-seen The Sunchaser.

Sylvester Stallone, Paradise Alley (1978)

I always assumed this harmless but unbelievably bad wrestling picture was one of Stallone’s early efforts — probably made about the same time he was in that soft-core porn flick — and was unearthed only after the success of Rocky. Nope. Turns out Stallone became drunk with power after his big Oscar night, and used the free reign the studio bestowed up him to make this paean to stiff acting and marble-mouthed enunciation. It’s a 1940s-set story about three Italian brothers in New York trying to make a go of it in professional wrestling, one that Stallone wrote, directed and — ouch — sang the opening song for. At least he had the good sense to name his character Cosmo Carboni. Other great character names you’ll find: Stitch, Burp, Frankie the Cow, Bumbles and Munchie.