Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Random thoughts on the 09 Oscars

Stop—you’re killing me! Jesus, could you make the memorial sequence any more difficult to sit through? The way the camera was swerving back and forth in front of the clip screen, I had to keep walking back and forth in front of the TV set just to see the names. And sorry, but I wanted to see Cyd Charisse clips, I did not want to see Queen Latifah. When they do Latifah's memorial, I hope somebody has the decency to digitally insert the entire "Slaughter On Tenth Avenue" number in front of her clips with Steve Martin.

And speaking of bad video. Why was the goddamn Kung Fu Panda always rearing up at us whenever they showed a split-screen?

Nobody in Hollywood has seen The Reader. From the opening musical number's joke that unopened screening copies of this movie are lying around the living rooms of Southern California like technological dust bunnies, to Judd Apatow’s dead-on “this movie is so Serious it’s a fucking hoot when you’re stoned” take-down, I think we can safely say that the reason Kate Winslet won the Oscar is either (a) for her performance in Revolutionary Road or (b) to shut her up already.

40% Tonys, 60% Oscars. That’s what it felt like, anyway. Kudos to Hugh Jackman and the opening number, major props to Anne Hathaway for adding yet another credit to her Good Sport Résumé (and wow--singing chops! Who knew?), but what was up with that "Musicals is back" medley? It was like an hour-long number that got edited down to seven minutes, or some weird live approximation of a clipfest --with actual clips running in the back that were so far away you couldn't see them. Was this Baz Luhrmann's revenge for the tanking of Australia? Also: Beyoncé's thighs looked like a Daniel Craig could hide behind each of them. Is this woman digitally altered when she does her music videos or what?

Which reminds me. Daniel Craig can't read a teleprompter. Either that or he had dinner reservations five minutes after his presentation sequence was over.

"The Music Made Me Do It!" There is no truth to the rumor that the national homicide rate tripled when screaming knife-wielding viewers ran into the streets stabbing anything in sight as they sang the JC Penney music after the fifth commercial aired. It was after the 30th commercial.

What's with the wedding-train gowns? Is this some Depression-chic thing I missed? It made every actress wearing one look like they were auditioning for a Bridezilla rom-com.

Oh, shut up. I love Sean Penn the actor, but Sean Penn the dude totally turns me off. Listening to him espouse a cause by ordering people what to do makes me want to (a) hug poor Gus Van Sant because filming Milk must have been a fucking nightmare and (b) burn my membership card in the homo-loving commie underground. How could somebody so humorless in real life play somebody as enchanting as Harvey Milk? (Oh yeah; acting.)

The perfect analogy. The Oscar show is a 3-4 hour version of 52 weeks of movie openings. The opening half hour is like January -- it teases you with something fun and something serious (the first supporting acting award). The next two hours are like February through May, with awards nobody cares about and movies that suck. But now it's June, which means we're halfway home, and it's time to be desperately entertained by loud vulgar crap for the next 90 minutes, until we get to September and the stuff we're supposed to be impressed by -- the prestige releases (meaning all the rest of the major awards crammed into 20 minutes). This analogy means that you will always be able to turn off the TV at the 30-minute mark, stick a summer blockbuster in your DVD player, watch it in its entirety, and return to the live show in plenty of time to get sternly lectured by Sean Penn. It's the law.

WTF? "Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat" as the exit music?!? Covered by Beck?!?!? My brain just 'sploded!

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