Oscar Postscript

Well, as far as the show itself is concerned, my moderately upbeat assessment of it in last night’s live blog seems to have me in the minority. Certainly, my old fellow-in-film-blogging, Brian Doan, found plenty to dislike as did Roger Ebert in his Twitter feed, and even I’m likely to agree that either Martin or Baldwin alone might have been funnier than the two of them together. There were a number of very professionally done and actually funny tandem gags after their initial notably rough start — but, yeah, much of the material — from who else but Bruce Vilanch — wasn’t that much fresher than stuff from the Bob Hope era.

As for other complaints, I don’t disagree. On the other hand, from where I sit doofy production numbers are par for the course and part of the fun. Less fun are film montages that too often seem to miss the point of the genres of they are celebrating, but they are a tradition as well, except when Chuck Workman’s involved, anyhow.

Brian Doan and I definitely agree about the short shrift given to Governor’s Award winners Lauren Bacall, Roger Corman, and Gordon Willis and, having read a number of negative comments at various reportorial, geek, and cinephile blogs, I wonder if I went easy on any number of things including Mo’Nique’s somewhat defiant/entitled acceptance speech, which I reviewed more like a performance than for content. I certainly did go very easy on the evening’s one obvious moment of weirdness but I’d rather do that leap to a conclusion about something I really don’t know anything about.

ben-stiller-pic-ap-image-1-944374734

And there’s also the fact that I just like the Oscars. Every year when people complain about the show, I’m always scratching my head and I’m equally flummoxed by the outsized praise certain years get. I’m always entertained by these particular awards because, whether or not I agree with the awards or the nominations, the results will have a pretty crucial effect on any number of careers and that’s more than enough suspense for me.

However, with three locks in the acting nominations, there was less of that for me than usual. If it had been up to me, many awards would have been different. The fact of the matter is, though I intend to take a second look at both of them, neither “Avatar” nor “The Hurt Locker” really grabbed me in a strongly emotional way. Objectively, though, I’m pretty sure “The Hurt Locker” is the better, or at least the less-flawed and vastly more intelligent, film. I’m glad it won, if only because it’s probably the least fiscally successful film to win the Best Picture award but seems to earn praise from almost everyone who sees it. It’s an award for quality, not marketing and I appreciate that even if my own tastes run more towards “Inglourious Basterds” and, to a somewhat lesser degree, “Up in the Air.”

Anyhow, just in case anyone out there needs an update, below the jump are a complete list of awards and nominees that I promise you I did not simply cut and paste from someplace.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

You can follow us on Twitter @moviebuffs and on Facebook as well.

Related Posts

Your Premium Hollywood Oscar Live Blog

GetCarloAllegri_oscar460

Yes, my friends, the action starts right here, right now, right after the jump.

New comments will go above older remarks, so if you’re reading this later and want to start at the beginning, you’ll scroll down to the end. Got that? Good. Let’s hope for an interesting night and don’t forget to keep refreshing — the page and yourself with the commestibles of your choice.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Related Posts

Some real March (Hare) madness for “Alice” box office: $116.3 million estimated!

If anyone out there still remembers my pre-weekend box office post, I was slightly bemused by predictions that Tim Burton and Disney’s spin on the two short pre-surrealist Lewis Carroll novels we know sometimes refer to as “Alice in Wonderland” would make upwards of $75 million. I didn’t doubt it, but I did doubt that the infamously hard to adapt, and emotionally cool (in a good way) stories would have ongoing appeal with the public, even as rejiggered by screenwriter Linda Woolverton. I still wonder about that, but can only be impressed by an estimated $116.3 million weekend estimate being reported by this morning by Box Office Mojo and everyone else.

Just for comparison, “Avatar” debuted with a mere $77 million, though it’s likely the grosses that weekend were depressed somewhat by the huge snowstorm then barreling through the East coast. In any case, the film showed remarkable staying power because on the odd fact that people were actually moved by it as well as being wowed by the visuals.  Still, this is amazingly strong business. As pointed out on the first first of a new series of box office reports by Anne Thompson, the showing of “Alice” is also well north of $102.1 million earned by “Iron Man” on its spectacularly lucrative opening weekend a couple of years back. As for the “why” of it, I think Ms. Thompson put fairly succinctly:

[The massive opening weekend success of “Alice in Wonderland”] proves yet again why studio marketers keep chasing the perfect match: branded family title + proven visual master + global movie star=blockbuster.

I still have my doubts on this having the long-term appeal of an “Avatar,” but we’ll just have to see how it holds up. Also, the accuracy of the estimates could be a hair or two off, given that today is Oscar day and that could make for a much slower than usual Sunday evening. I can say one thing for sure, those hoping for a break from 3-D movies are going to have to hope for a lot longer now.

Moving on to the #2 slot, it’s a long, steep drop from over $106 million to $13.5 million, but “Brooklyn’s Finest” nevertheless proved to be a pleasant surprise for still-newbie studio Overture Films, which managed to beat the still fairly strong “Shutter Island.” People like movie cops.

Richard Gere and Ethan Hawke in

****

Just a moment for a quick programming note: In a couple of hours or so, I’ll be experimenting with this crazy new online thing all the kids are doing, and will be live-blogging the 82nd Annual Academy Awards.  Get out out the martinis and, with a little help from the miracle of DVR, we’ll have some bloggy fun. I’m actually thinking about breaking my usual “no cocktails until blogging/writing is finished rule” tonight, so the typos may really be flying!

  

Related Posts