$125 Million. Crazy. Be sure

$125 Million. Crazy. Be sure you jump down a couple of posts and log in once you’ve seen the film. We’ll start openly discussing it in the next day or two.

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A little “other” film talk in the meantime: Thad watches the Oscars.

So I’ve grown increasingly less likely to sit through four hours of rich people giving each other trophies over the years. There are all kinds of reasons for that, including attention span issues that are amplified when it comes to shallow and profit-motivated awards that seldom actually recognize the most important contributions to the genre in question. So, when I ended up watching almost the whole show last night, I admittedly did so with a little baggage. Now, as if anyone is interested, a random assortment of my thoughts and observations:

– As self-inflated and irrelevant as an awards show like this is in the scheme of human events, Billy Crystal seems like he was born to do this. Everybody has something, and I guess this is his thing. City Slickers was pretty good too.

Hollywood Posers, Caught on Tape #1: The Curse of Bono — Michael Douglas wears shades throughout the show. Apparently the ’88 Best Actor nod, the millions of dollars, and the wife starlet fifteen years his junior aren’t enough. So, now that we’ve seen you wearing the shades indoors, we get it. You’re cool, Mike.

– I guess I hadn’t paid enough attention to the nominations to realize that Alec Baldwin and Tim Robbins were nominated in the same category. There was a lot of gabbing before the show that ABC was going to let politically-motivated tirades go without striking up the band, which was sure to mean more Michael Moore type hollering about the evil President. There was even talk that we might get some anti-Mel/anti-Passion ranting. Once I saw Baldwin and Robbins in the same category, I knew it had been misnamed. What we have here is Best Whining Political Commentary in a Supporting Role, not Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

– That said, I must give Tim props for using his platform to reach out to victims of abuse and violence rather than playing predictable political tunes.

– And did you see Baldwin’s face when they flashed to him during Robbins’ speech? Not only was his pal Tim not bashing Bush, but he clearly knew that his one shot at this thing had come and gone. His face couldn’t have more obviously said, “Yep, it’s back to Beetlejuice and She’s Having a Baby for me. I wonder if that Knots Landing reunion thing is ever going to come together?”

Hollywood Posers, Caught on Tape #43: The Curse of the Elves — Liv Tyler walks to and from the podium throughout the Original Song performances, announcing each song and set of performers. She emerges from backstage with naked eyes, then stops to put on fake glasses to read the prompter. When she finishes, she takes her fake glasses off and puts them on the podium. When she comes back to announce the next set of performers, she picks up her fake glasses and puts them on again. The whole bit would have played better if she hadn’t forgotten to put them on as she started to read the prompter on the second intro, then realized she was screwing up her posturing and stopped to put them on. I wonder if she could get those glasses around her elf ears on the set.

– Not only is Robin Williams a comic genius, but I’m not sure anyone exposes the PC hypocrisies of Hollywood any better than him. He can make fun of anyone and get away with it, and he proved it last night: The French. Animals. Animators. Southern folk. Kids. Janet Jackson. Spanish speakers. San Francisco newlyweds. Disney. Even Billy Crystal’s “what Robin is thinking” bit went that direction: Native Americans. Strom Thurmond. Blacks. Whites. And everyone laughed.

– One of you rock stars tell me what that contraption Sting was playing is called. It looked like the love child of a mandolin and a jack-in-the-box.

– It’s a good thing the people in the “people who died this year” montage are dead. The not-so-famous dead folks probably wouldn’t appreciate how little applause they get from all the convinced-they’re-more-famous living folks when their picture flashes up on the screen. If you aren’t Atticus Finch or Bob Hope, forget about it.

– In “who paged the 80’s?” news, Annie Lennox’s transition to manhood is almost complete.

– I think they should wire the floor of the stage and sent 30 volts of electricity through the feet of anyone saying, “Wow, I never expected this and I didn’t prepare a list of people to thank, so bear with me” or “movies are the common language that unite the souls of all men” or anything equally stupid. I think they should also bleep out the “uhs” in the acceptance speeches. At least then we’d feel like we were watching an episode of The Osbornes. For being the best actors in Hollywood, these people sure can’t handle speaking in front of a crowd.

– They should also shock the people who are bad team players and take up all the speaking time so that their co-winners don’t have a chance to say anything.

Hollywood Posers, Caught on Tape #119: The Curse of the WMDs — Now listen, despite some pretty wild-eyed personal agendas, I think Sean Penn is an exceptional actor. I mean that. He’s probably one of the best ever. That said, I can’t let this pass. When he accepts his Best Actor trophy he says, “If there’s one thing that actors know, other than there weren’t any WMDs, it’s that there is no such thing as best in acting, and that’s proven by these great actors that I was nominated with.” Believe it or not, the posing part wasn’t his political jab, which barely registered a heartbeat on his resume of activist antics. What’s silly is his casual dismissal of the inscription on his tropy. Seriously, does anyone buy that false humility? If “all the actors” know that there is “no such thing as best in acting,” what’s everyone all dressed up for? It’s not like the Humane Society and Amnesty International got together and decided to put on a big show to honor Hollywood’s finest. This is an awards show for Hollywood put on by Hollywood. It’s a worship service for actors and filmmakers run by actors and filmmakers. Besides, Sean seemed pretty jacked up when his boy Robbins won, and he was smiling plenty when his name was called (and Sean don’t smile unless he’s just been named Best Actor or he’s having dinner with cruel dictators). We get that you’re a rebel, and you are a great actor, but this is one act that we aren’t buying.

Finally, I have a bone to pick with all of you. I work both a verbal and visual reference to Fantasy Island into a post about the most controversial film ever made about the most controversial man to ever live, and I get absolutely no love from anyone?

….I don’t even know who you people are anymore.

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