The Oscars: The Morning After

February 28, 2005

The Academy was betting on an edgier, demographically-widened ceremony thanks to last night’s host, Chris Rock. But did they deliver? In one word: No.

Aside from a few feather-ruffling comments and jocular pop culture references, Chris Rock was no more memorable than Whoopie or Billy. The only quasi-controversial comment made by Rock was a slight jab at Jude Law, who was (much later) humorlessly defended by Sean “doesn’t understand the concept of a joke” Penn. Rock kept a steady pace and the Awards were pulled back to a respectable three hours and ten minutes. However, the tactics used to achieve this newfound brevity were, well, questionable.

In their attempt to shorten the show, producers employed two somewhat inelegant techniques in getting the trophies to the honorees. The “have the presenters come to the nominees” delivery was especially awkward. As the potential recipients sat in velvety comfort, the presenter stood to their side, back to the audience, and introduced the category. With a microphone placed in the aisle, the winners needed only to take a few steps, make their speech and then make the short trip back their seat. In a similar move, nominees were presented in what can only be described as a “talent line-up.” The Oscar hopefuls were brought on stage and presented as they stood, that’s right, stood atop their respective works. These more efficient methods of distribution are commendable, but openly diminished the importance of categories not given the traditional Oscar treatment. Way to put the little people in their place, Academy.

If any category needs be brought down a notch it’s Best Song. Too much time was spent introducing and performing the various ditties; a well-produced medley could have shortened the running time considerably.

Winners in the six major categories must have made the majority of informed viewers feel like Oscar oracles; the list was a veritable who’s who of predictability. Martin Scorsese was, once again, deprived of the golden boy and the Best Actress award was given to the artist who most altered her appearance, Hilary Swank. “Body of Work” awards were given to Cate Blanchett and Morgan Freeman, and Golden Globe winner Jamie Foxx was rewarded for his portrayal of the late Ray Charles. Least surprising of all, Clint Eastwood won for Best Director and his film, Million Dollar Baby, won Best Picture. Let’s not forget that a good part of the Academy was born before “talkies” and Mr. Eastwood was the oldest director nominated. Coincidence? I think not.

The ceremony was unremarkable, the Best Song presentation was time-consuming, and the winners were as exciting as seniors’ bingo. Oh well, there’s always next year.

Click here for a list of all the winners (and losers).

Yawn

February 25, 2005

Current media sentiment suggests that Sunday night’s Oscar telecast will be nothing short of a snooze-fest. Well, we thought we’d share some of our ideas on how one can battle the instantaneous onset of narcolepsy caused by the broadcast of America’s most exclusive mutual admiration society.

1. Mock the actors. They get awards for saying words and looking pretty (or frighteningly ugly). We do that everyday. Where’s our Oscar?

2. Drink… heavily. Have a shot of tequila every time one of the presenters misreads the teleprompter, an acceptance speech is cut short, or Chris Rock insults a white person. Is Jose Cuervo available in a ten-gallon drum?

3. Make up your own acceptance speech. If a nominee you don’t particularly care for receives an award, pretend to accept it on his or her behalf and invent an amusing excuse as to why they didn’t bother to show up. (e.g. I would like to accept this award on behalf of Ms. Swank. She couldn’t be here tonight as she is currently undergoing a series of time-sensitive hormone injections she feels are vital to the portrayal of an actress willing to do anything for Academy recognition.)

4. Watch scrambled porn. Flip back and forth between the live telecast and your favorite quasi-viewable X-rated channel. Go ahead, make the Oscars sexy.

Media Absurdum assumes no responsibility for the loss of relationships and/or employment.

British movie mag Empire is not afraid to call into question the Academy’s past picks for Best Picture. In criticism of Mel Gibson’s “talent,” the magazine named the director’s 1995 film, Braveheart, the worst Best Picture Oscar winner of all time. Empire backed the choice by stating that the dialogue in the film “has all the thudding subtlety of a parody.” Further opening our hearts to British cinema sensibilities, overrated director/former child actor Ron Howard’s 2002 film A Beautiful Mind came in second place for its “willfully dishonest screenplay.”

BRITISH FILM MAGAZINE NAMES WORST PICTURES IN OSCAR HISTORY – ShowBIZ Data

Michael Hiltzik, writer for the Los Angeles Times, is upset with the news media over their apparent acceptance of the claim that 70’s porn film and recent documentary subject, Deep Throat, is the most profitable movie ever released. He maintains that in order for the film to have earned its purported $600 million gross, every American alive in 1972 would have had to have seen the film twice. Unfortunately, Mr. Hiltzik failed to take into account the financial impact of the all-American pervert. With the futile hope of quelling an insatiable appetite for sexual deviance, the American pervert has the uncanny ability of viewing a single triple-X feature up to an estimated one thousand times. Never underestimate the power of porn.

DEEP THROAT: THE MOST PROFITABLE MOVIE EVER? – ShowBIZ Data

Dilettante: A Definition

February 24, 2005

Now a self-proclaimed authority on the dramatic arts, the editors at GQ have named the ten best actors of “our generation.” No explanation is offered as to which generation they are addressing, but their readership is made up of males between the ages of 18 and 49. We’re not declaring ourselves professional genealogists, but we’re pretty sure that’s more than one generation.

GQ picks best of new generation of actors – AP

The bereaved family of Hunter S. Thompson may fulfill the author’s wish of having his ashes shot from a cannon. Colorado fireworks company owner Marc Williams is hoping to give the late writer the sendoff he deserves: a 600 foot canopy of light and color.

“If you were going to light up a flash-bomb worthy of Hunter S. Thompson, you’d want to make it an earth-shaker,” Williams said.

Thompson’s wife and son are weighing their options.

Thompson’s Ashes May Be Shot From Cannon – AP

Obscurity Becomes Him

February 23, 2005

Fresh from the “Why is this news?” wire: Christian Slater is splitting from his wife of five years, Ryan Haddon Slater. The marriage is survived by son, Jaden, 5, and daughter, Eliana, 3. His nuptials now nullified, Mr. Slater has just enough time between rehab and a direct-to-video action/thriller to star in the Broadway production of The Glass Menagerie.

Christian Slater Splits from Wife
– E! Online