And the Oscar Goes To…

red-red-carpetI am still very sick.  However, I feel like writing something new.  Therefore, I am going to do a post about the Oscars.  Why the Oscars?  Well, first of all, they were on last night.  Secondly, it’s a light topic that I don’t have to think about too hard.  Thirdly, I want to write about them, so I will.  In addition, I took a movie compatibilty quiz on Facebook today, and I have a few words to say about that, too.  So, sit back, relax, and enjoy your Monday Afternoon Oscars Quarterbacking.

Let me start by saying I speed-watch the Oscars.  Even if I did like movies and had actually seen any on the nominated lists (ok, wait, I did see one:  The Dark Knight), who in their right mind wants to watch over three hours of shlock and masturbatory activity?  Not me, I say.   Because I dislike movies in general, but I have a morbid fascination with awards shows (though, I have eliminated all but the Oscars.  Oh, Oscar, I just can’t quit you), I can’t not watch the Oscars–as much as it disgusts me.  So, speed-watching is the only way to go.  I can watch the sucker in an hour, which is juuuuust about my limit for the excrement that passes for Hollywood congratulatory entertainment these days. 

Follow some of my thoughts while watching the Oscars.  First of all, Hugh Jackman is no Jon Stewart.  His little opening was cringe-inducing, moreso because he was protesting the so-called recession-induced, pared-down Oscars by ‘making up’  a montage dancing/singing  Broadway-lite thing.  It was awful, and I love JAZZ HANDS! 

Plus, after reading how Peter Gabriel was miffed about having to cut his Oscar-nominated song to a few seconds, I am miffed along with him because the TWO performances by Hugh Jack were a total waste of time.  Oh, I don’t like Beyonce, so that was part of my disdain for the latter montage (I fast-forwarded through it), but it’s mostly because it was atrocious.

CB056255Anyway, the show has been sliding down the greasy slope to the abyss for awhile, but this year was the absolute nadir.  First of all, no Helen Mirren!  I wasn’t expecting Alan Rickman, but where is the great Dame?  Ok, so she wasn’t in anything this last year, but still!  Yes, I got to see Kate Winslet (and she was utterly adorable in her acceptance speech, at least the first two minutes which is all I heard), but that wasn’t nearly enough to personally satisfy me.

I was interested to see how Nate Silver, he of political and baseball stats fame, would fair with his Oscars picks.  Turns out, not so well.  He gives a pretty spirited defense of his model, and at least he gave me something to ponder as I watched the seemingly-neverending parade of one plastic star after the other.

None of the montages/tributes/etc. did a damn thing for me.  I love Queen Latifah, but her singing during the memoriam was, quite frankly, a bad idea.  The names were not as readable, and why wasn’t Heath Ledger on the list?  I found her incredibly distracting. 

Second, cut all the presenters except Tina Fey and Steve Martin.  They were a riot, but the rest?  Oh, wait.  I liked Jennifer Aniston and Jack Black, but that’s it.  As for the band of five past winners presenting the newest statue by first talking to each candidate ‘personally’, Worst. Stunt. Ever.  I had to fast-forward through most of it.

The other best acceptance speech was Sean Penn thanking the Academy, adding, “I know I make it hard to appreciate me sometimes.”  That was great.  Then, I fast-forwarded through the rest of his speech.  Do you see the trend? 

I have mixed feelings about Slumdog Millionaire which I won’t get into right now, but it was really nice to see an Indian guy and an Indian woman sing the Oscar-winning original song.  Then, it won for best director and best movie.  And, the night was, thankfully, over.

I can’t imagine watching that real-time.  I also feel slightly dirty for having sit through it at any speed.  For an industry nominally-based on creativity and imagination, the biggest award show of the year is a crashing failure.  I don’t think I’ll be watching it next year at all.  That’s an hour of my life I can’t get back.

As to the movie quiz, it just proved that I am not mainstream-compatible as I marked approximately three-fourths of the movies listed as movies I had no interest in seeing.  Of the ones I had actually seen, I only gave four stars (out of five) to two movies.  The quiz breaks down your responses into six (or so) different genres, one of which is blockbusters.  This is after the quiz, and it matches you with your friends.  I protest the categories because they were all blockbuster (i.e., Hollywood) movies in my mind.

In the end, I will stick to Netflix for my indie and foreign flick fix, thank you very much.  At least I don’t feel like such an outsider when I’m using Netflix.

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