Monday, February 23, 2009

The Oscars ... "Perfectly awful!"

I have to say, I watched every moment of last nights Oscars, throughly enjoying myself, totally enthralled with the evenings' program.

On yeah, all of that, in the spirit of Leonard Pinth Garnel.

"Stunningly bad!", I could hear him dripping.

You would think, with 80 of these things under their belt, they would have the system down by the 81st.

But, noooooooooo ... 

They have to reinvent themselves - every year.

And not, necessarily, to the better.

"Gotta Dance!"

It worked for Gene Kelly, in "Singing in the Rain", but that was what, 57-years ago?

Hopefully, the "Exquisitely awful!", song-and-dance numbers last evening will, once-and-forever, end the torture of watching the industry make fools of themselves, year-after-year.

Robert Bianco, from USA TODAY, who, otherwise, liked the program, seems to agree;

Unfortunately, the improvements often seem to come more in spite of host Hugh Jackman than because of him. Jackman is an appealing performer, but despite his Broadway background, he is more an actor who can sing than an actual singer. That's a problem for a broadcast that twice stopped dead for the kind of production numbers that were corny when the June Taylor Dancers were doing them.
Memo to the Academy: You are the Academy of Motion Pictures - Show Clips!

If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium

Great, and heartwarming, considering the lack-of-stars, relatively low-budget, and whatever production hassles they had to endure, that Slumdog Millionaire cleaned up.

However, if I were the movies' caterer, I would be mighty pissed off, for it seems they were the only ones associated with the movie that were not present in the Kodak Theatre last evening.

And the nation's xenophobes must have been in gut-wrenching agongy watching the program, between the Austrialian host, Penelope Cruz, and the Slumdog parade to the winners circle.

I wonder how many shoes Lou Dobbs threw at this television screen ... He must have spent the better part of the night, to the chagrin of his family, berating the motion picture business, just marking off the time before it will all be part of "Communist China", or that they will have to subtitle the broadcast, in English.

Jerry Lewis

God Bless'em.

I thought they were going to have to lay down some dolly tracks in order to bring that segment to us.

Couldn't the producers given him a break, and conduct the honoring in the special booth section he was sitting, rather than have him careen around the stage, obviously the worse for whatever recent health issues that have befallen him. 

No doubt some in the audience might have had fear, the way he was swinging the Oscar around, a few times, like he was warming up for the hammer toss.

It's likely the Academy will get a nod for pulling the French out of their economic slump

Honoring Lewis will be setting off the employment of thousands, all working on new awards to give to their beloved cinematic hero.

The Wicker Man Effect

Who was the genius that came up with having the gaggle of past winners, come out, verbally describe the actors role, being sure to include some nod-and-a-wink "personal" touch?

It had the feel of "The Wicker Man", or "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", how they circled behind the winner, almost as if to pounce on them, tackle them, and begin devouring them like a pack of wolves.

Memo to the Academy: You are the Academy of Motion Pictures! ... 

It's a visual medium! ... If you were the Academy of Gabbing Heads, fine, but you're not, so show the fucking clips.

And when you do show the clips, you don't edit them with the entire history of motion picture film, a montage of your 81 years! ... The night is to celebrate, honor and award, a set number of people and pictures - from 2008 - and not to play "Where's Waldo" as to this years nominees ... 

Bring Out Your Dead

This is the standard, der rigeur segment of the show, the honor roll of those in the industry who have passed away.

And, it always plays out, that the more recent death, the younger the star (or the gigantically more famous) always get the big applause, as if the other dead were mere tag-alongs.

So, here was one of their heralded improvements - let's have a song sung during the Scroll of the Dead.

Well, for me, I started to cringe, and shout "No, No, you're not going to do that, are you?"

Seeing Queen Latifah come out, thinking how she can really belt it, my fear was - now think back to the above, of having the Gang of 5 talk about the nominees - that she was going to sing the names of the dead, to some snazzy, jazzy reworked rendition of, say, "La Mer", or "I've Got You Under My Skin".

They weren't that far off the mark, with "I'll Be Seeing You", which Wikipedia describes as;
The lyrics take a jaunty commonplace of casual farewell ..."
You don't, typically, associate "jaunty" and "casual" with death.

Maybe, that "the song became notably associated with Liberace, as the theme to his television show of the 1950s", it was another political statement to the Prop. 8 crowd.

Oh yeah, having the dead ping-ponging among multiple monitors was not a cool thing.

The Missed Kodak Moment

All kudos to Sean Pean, but the Academy voters missed the money shot, by not voting Mickey Rourke as the winner.

It doesn't come around too often, that story of a movie resembles, almost perfectly, the life of the lead actor, but they had that to consider, with Rourke's turn in 'The Wrestler'.

Yeah, but that does come every year, a "We Wuz Robbed" story.

Just like the "Unrelentingly bad!" song-and-dance numbers.

Which, undoubtedly, will be aplenty in the 82nd Oscar show.

Bonus Oscar Riffs

'Slumdog' wins big at Oscars ...Film takes eight trophies at Academy Awards

A ‘Slumdog’ Kind of Night at the Oscar Ceremony

Oscars backstage: Kate Winslet hugs, Sean Penn on Mickey Rourke, more!

Looking at Mickey Rourke and the Oscars

Joy in the Castro as Penn wins Oscar for 'Milk'

No comments: