Thursday, February 19, 2009

Everything Matters - 2/19/09 - Academy Awards Edition - Part 1

Everything Matters – 2/19/09 – Academy Awards Edition

The Oscars. The little golden man. The stars, the history of the movies, Hollywood.
Hugh Jackman?????


Wolverine is hosting the Oscars?!

I want a comedian. I want snark and social commentary. I don’t want a giant
Australian actor made famous by playing a mutant with a skeleton made of
adamantium, the hardest substance known to man.

So the ratings haven’t been good lately. Who cares?
Give me Sarah Silverman. She would fucking kill.
Give me Stephen Colbert. He would fucking kill.
Give me Margaret Cho. She would fucking kill.
Give me Conan O’Brien. He would fucking kill.
But Hugh Jackman?! Did you folks not see Australia?!
Then again, it could be worse. Nicole Kidman could be the host.

Okay, there are 24 main categories and we’ll go backwards towards the top –
(and I’ll be posting in groups of four)

VISUAL EFFECTS – the 3 nominees are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,
The Dark Knight, and Iron Man. Now the CC of BB, my own far-too-cutesy shorthand for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, or as most people know it,
Forrest Gump ages backwards and instead of Tom Hanks he’s now Brad Pitt,
should win. The entire film is a visual effect. All films are, I know but this is the first movie that has a credit at the end that reads – Special thanks to the 300 Koreans with
Mac laptops who did all the time intensive CGI work (for pennies on the dollar, I might add) that meant that Brad Pitt was only on set for a total of 4 days. Remember the
Hologram of Will I. Am that CNN interviewed on Election Night? That was also
Brad Pitt. There is no Will I. Am. God, if only there were no Fergie.
The Dark Knight had some rather amazing visual effects, not the least of which is convincing us that Maggie Gyllenhaal is the sexiest woman in Gotham City. Has anyone on this planet ever whipped their head around and said, “Wow. That was Sally Field?!” No. And Maggie Gyllenhaal looks like Sally Field’s niece. Great actress but only in a mythical city would she be the sexiest anything. Think of Jesssica Alba in Sin City.
There is no Sin City but thank god, there is a Jessica Alba.
And the third nominee, iron Man also had some great visual effects. The best of which was making Terrence Howard disappear from the sequel.
And the winner – THE CC OF BB. Accepting the award is the lightstream from a laser pointer, otherwise known as Brad Pitt.

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM – the nominees are Auf der Strecke (On the Line),
Manon on the Asphalt, New Boy, The Pig, and Spielzeugland (Toyland).
These plot summaries are taken straight from
Auf der Strecke - A department store security guard is secretly in love with
a clerk in the store's bookshop. Okay. I’m so not there. Well, maybe if the
security guard is Wolverine and the bookshop clerk is Maggie Gyllenhall.
Manon on the Asphalt - A woman gains a new insight of life while she's
near death. Next.
New Boy - Captures the experience of being the new kid in school through
the eyes of Joseph, a nine year-old African boy. The school’s in Ireland, and
it’s from a story by Roddy Doyle, the guy who wrote The Commitments.
The Pig - A man facing surgery finds comfort in the painting of a pig hanging
in his hospital room. I want this to win just because this is the single greatest sentence in the English language I
have ever seen.
Spielzeugland - 1942: what happens when a German kid believes that his Jewish neighbors are going to Toyland? A story about lies and guilt. And now I want this to win because the summary of Spielzeugland IS NOW THE SINGLE GREATEST SENTENCE EVER WRITTEN IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE!
Also, as harsh as German can be on the ears, wouldn’t it have been great if the famous 1934 Laurel and Hardy movie had been called Babes in Spielzeugland?!
And the winner –New Boy, from Ireland, as the countries that once made up the British Empire start their relentless march to Slumdog dominance.

ANIMATED SHORT FILM – the nominees are La Maison en Petits Cubes,
Lavatory – Lovestory, Oktapodi, Presto, and This Way Up.
La Maison en Petits Cubes - The film features an old man living alone in a town that has become submerged. His answer to the slowly rising water is to keep building on to his original home--like placing cubes on top of cubes to keep out the water. When he loses his favorite pipe, he dons scuba gear to retrieve it. As he descends and sees the earlier levels of his home (now submerged) he relives in his mind his life and loves. It's all very sweet and sentimental. And it really helps to be hitting the bong with Michael Phelps if you want to enjoy this one.
Lavatory-Lovestory - focuses on a lonely, middle-aged woman who is in charge
of a public lavatory. In Russia. Doesn’t get much better than that. Why is this not a feature? Maybe she could age backwards and it ends with Marcel Duchamp stealing a urinal and she can’t do shit cause she’s a baby. I’d see that.
And here I thought it was about Senator Larry Craig of Idaho.
Oktapodi - Two Octopi fight for their lives with a stubborn restaurant cook in
a comical escape through the streets of a small Greek village. It’s The Great
Escape with octopi instead of Steve McQueen. Sixteen legs instead of just two, it’s light eight Steve McQueens. And just how fucking cool would that be?!
Presto - A stage magician's rabbit gets into a magical onstage brawl against his neglectful guardian with two magic hats. It’s like Chuck Jones meets the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Bugs Bunny kicks Mickey Mouse’s ass. I’d pay to see that. It’s going to be tough, though. Oktapodi? 8 Steve McQueens?
This Way Up - A.T Shank & Son have a bad day at the parlour when a falling boulder flattens their hearse. This sounds so much like a Wallace & Gromit idea. Which is a good thing. But c’mon, 8 Steve McQueens? Octopi???
And the winner is – Oktapodi. Yes, calamari for everyone!

MAKEUP – the nominees are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,
The Dark Knight, and Hellboy II: The Golden Army.
This category brings up an interesting question – just what is makeup?
In The CC of BB I’m looking at little computer generated Brad Pitts, like he
was kidnapped and the FBI crime lab and the CSI guys are giving us computer projections of what Brad Pitt might look like at various ages… but that ain’t
makeup! And Hellboy II? Those are costumes and special effects. Something tells me Hellboy doesn’t wear makeup. Kinda blows the whole Hellboy thing
if Hellboy wore eyeliner and night cream. But The Dark Knight… the late, lamented Heath Ledger as the Joker. That’s makeup! If kids and kid’s moms
can recreate that look for Halloween, that’s makeup. And if it makes you think
of a great young actor gone too soon, that’s Oscar winning makeup!
The winner – The Dark Knight.

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