Monday, February 23, 2009

My eleventh annual Oscars review

It was Bollywood’s big night. The Oscars! I got to watch them in Hawaii where they were tape delayed three hours. What a break! I went on line, saw who won, and made huge bets with guests around the pool at the Kapalua Ritz-Carlton. I made a fortune on Sean Penn alone!

The night was summed up perfectly by one of the idiot Red Carpet show hosts when he said, “This is what the Oscars is all about. All ages, all ethnicities, coming together to look their best.

KTLA morning news anchor, Jessica Holmes asked Kevin Kline: "At the Oscars, when you come, do people ask you dumb questions as you hop along?" Tawny Little, you may have finally met your match.

On to the show:

Hugh Jackman was sensational. Kudos to the producers for turning to an actual movie star to host instead of seeing who’s available from Comedy Central. Jackman was the best host since Billy Crystal and maybe even Johnny Carson (sorry, Ellen). More amazing than his enormous talent and charm was how he seemed so damn comfortable up there? How does he do that?

Those chandeliers over the audience were designed to give the Kodak Theater a more intimate nightclub feel. It makes me wonder how many high school productions of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA ended tragically when chandeliers crashed down on the first seven rows?

Actors of course, were in the front section, right up close. Other winners had to vault a little fence to get to the stage.

Hollywood loves SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE ...now. It’s the Best Picture of 2009. Of course a year ago that same Hollywood was ready to send it direct-to-video.

Kate Winslet finally won after six tries. THE TITANIC was not her fault!

Since when do they give out the Best Director award before Best Actor and Actress?

I’m sorry Robert Downey Jr. lost for Best Supporting Actor for his work in TROPIC THUNDER. He’d have more Oscars as an African-American than Will Smith.

How’d you like to be an animated movie going up against WALL-E? I bet the KUNG FU PANDA producers were seated in the balcony behind Kate Winslet’s dad.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman came as Sam Kinison.

For the acting categories it was nice to see former winners (especially my neighbor Eva Marie Saint, way to represent the hood) but did the nominees really need that additional overblown stroking? Every performance was “courageous”, “genius”, “inspiring”. Come on. Marisa Tomei looked good naked.

My favorite was Cuba Gooding Jr. saying, “Let’s talk about risks.” This is a guy who won an Oscar then went straight into SNOW DOGS and BOAT TRIP.

Michael Douglas is really starting to look like his old man. Now HE’S Spartacus.

As usual in Hollywood it’s all about marketing. THE READER: come for the sex, stay for the Holocaust.

Former Oscar winner and worst-Oscar-host-ever, Whoopi Goldberg was saying on THE VIEW a few weeks ago that each Oscar is numbered. Only a very few have ever won one in the “two hundred years of motion pictures”. I forget, when Lincoln was shot was he at a play or Clint Eastwood’s first film?

Sarah Jessica Parker is morphing into Carole King.

Many believe WALL-E should be the actual Best Picture of the Year. It showed just as much garbage as SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE and although the sex wasn’t as good as THE READER, I’d still rather watch robots make love than Nazis.

Wow! Sophia Loren can still get into her prom dress.

Congrats to Simon Beaufoy for winning Best Adapted Screenplay for SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. And all the SLUMDOG winners but I’m partial to the writer.

How did HAPPY-GO-LUCKY, a movie that was improvised even get nominated for Best Original Screenplay? And how could WALL-E, the most innovative script in years, not win?

Who designed Miley Cyrus’ gown? Her dad? Talk about the cake that got left out in the rain…

Did you notice that Tina Fey got a much bigger reception than Steve Martin? And when Jennifer Aniston was presenting they cut to Angelina Jolie at least three times? Meow.

Quick: Which of these Best Song nominees won? “Jai Ho” or “O Saya”? Dump this stupid category already. It’s become as relevant as Best Silent Picture.

Ben Stiller doing Joaquin Phoenix was very funny… for thirty seconds. After that, co-presenter Natalie Portman deserved combat pay.

I guess Judd Apatow now only makes movies for his personal friends to enjoy. That’s what YouTube is for, Judd, not the Oscars.

Without a doubt, the highlight of the evening was Queen Latifa singing “I’ll be Seeing You” over the “In Memoriam” tribute. It was beautiful and touching. I bet, like me, you watch and try to guess who’s going to be last? Paul Newman was perfect. One question though: where was Heath Ledger?

And the lowlight: Bill Maher. He’s the embarrassing cousin that’s never invited to any family function but shows up anyway.

Why do they have to tell us every year what Costume Designers do? Who thinks that Keira Knightley wore her own street clothes in THE DUCHESS?

Dustin Lance Black gave a lovely heartfelt acceptance speech on Gay rights. And it saved the show because Hollywood obviously couldn’t decide on what their “cause” would be this year. The need to go green? Oppressed diamond mine workers in Africa? What?? There was not even agreement on the color of ribbons this award season, that’s how bad it got.

Sean Penn’s plea for equal Gay rights was also appreciated although the message might have had more impact if he hadn’t started his speech with calling the audience “You commie homo-loving sons of guns”. And when Sean was thanking everyone in the world, he could have included his wife.

Seeing Tilda Swinton’s outfit all I could think of was “I can show you to your table now.”

Glad SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE beat BENJAMIN BUTTON for Best Editing. As my daughter, Annie says, “No movie over three hours should even be eligible to win Best Editing.”

BENJAMIN BUTTON did win “Best Make-Up”. They made Brad Pitt look younger. The real trick is to do that with Goldie Hawn.

Congratulations to Penelope Cruz. Even with subtitles she won. Expect to see Will Smith in the next seven Woody Allen movies until he gets his.

Mickey Rourke came dressed in no tie and cautionary tales. I’m guessing at 3:00 he realized he didn’t have anything to wear so he just beat the crap out of Tom Wolfe and took his suit. It brings new meaning to “who are you wearing?”

I guess we’ll never hear Mickey’s outrageous expletive-filled acceptance speech now that he lost. But Penn deserved the award. He really became another character. Mickey Rourke played Mickey Rourke without shampoo.

Freida Pinto of SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE was the most gorgeous woman in the room. And yet, when they kept cutting to shots of the cast they showed everyone but her. I don’t care that Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail finds Jack Black amusing. Show me Freida!!

Major crisis averted!!! Dani Janssen did not cancel her exclusive Oscar party. She wanted to when pal Clint Eastwood received no nominations (that’ll show ‘em!) but was convinced by close friends that this country, in its fragile state, couldn’t weather that much disappointment. By the way, you are not invited and never will be.

Whoever designed Jessica Biel’s gown also dreamed up Aretha Franklin’s hat at the Inauguration.

The Jerry Lewis tribute had the potential for trainwreck written all over it. He could have done one of his celebrated gay jokes, or wondered why THE READER was so honored while his Holocaust film about a circus clown imprisoned in a death camp, THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED was deemed unreleasable. But instead he gave a brief, sincere, and thoroughly classy speech.

Nicole Kidman is starting to look like Joel Grey.

Not a lot of surprises this year. Heath Ledger – who knew? But thanks to Hugh Jackman and a more streamlined presentation (no salutes to “Great Ice Skating Movies of the Past” or other vintage genres) this year’s Oscarcast was the best in recent memory. And with that big production number in the middle with Jackman and Beyonce, it qualifies for the best Tony Awards show in ages too.

Aloha.

Thanks to my daughter, Annie and her writing partner, Brock for their heads-up on the Red Carpet shows.

89 comments:

Tallulah Morehead said...

Heath Ledger died a year ago January. He was in last year's dead folks montage.

I understand OUR AMERICAN COUSIN went straight to video 150 years ago. So did Whoopi think this was the 181st Oscars?

Listening to her again, I thought Queen Latifah hit a couple woobly or sour notes, and had particular trouble with her high notes, but since "I'll Be Seeing You" was BY FAR the best song anyone sang all night, it had to stand out.

I completely disagree about Bill Mahar, although that may well have to do with my being in complete agreement with what he had to say, and my already-burning outrage that his film wasn't even nominated. It's already grossed more than all the documentary nominees combined. A documentary people actually saw? We can't have that. Atheism is America's greatest remaining taboo.

Goldie Hawn looked like Catherine O'Hara in the last reel of FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION, all collegen-bloated and grotesque. And didn't she used to have eyebrows?

Mickey Roarke IS Mickey Roarke without shampoo. Hugh Jackman saying "You look great" to Mickey was the height of irony.

My own grouchier Oscar comments are to be found over at HuffPo under the title "Oscar Wild." 3 and a half hours of waiting for Huge Jackman to undress and he never does left me a tad grumpy.

Cheers.

WV: nostyles, which nicely describes of lot of the fashions tonight. Who decreed Beige was this year's in color?

Will Teullive said...

I wish the people who have nothing to do with the movie industry would stay home. Do we really need to see Heidi Klum and Seal walking the red carpet? Bill Maher is another example.

I wanted Angelina Jolie to win just so Nadya Suleman can start her acting lessons

Did you notice that Tina Fey got a much bigger reception than Steve Martin? That makes sense since she’s more talented. Did you read the reviews of Pink Panther 2

Since he’s not funny Ben Stiller needs to stick with his marketable skill….playing the nerd.

They gave Heath Ledger the Oscar to save ten minutes on the acceptance speech he didn’t give.

Although we didn’t see it in the movie Mickey Rourke got screwed by Milk

WV: nomor... The sports headline in The Boston Globe when the Red Sox traded Garciaparra to the Cubs in 2004

Tallulah Morehead said...

"Will Teullive said...
I wish the people who have nothing to do with the movie industry would stay home. Do we really need to see Heidi Klum and Seal walking the red carpet? Bill Maher is another example."

Bill Mahar has acted in movies, and made and starred in the highest-grossing documentary of 2008. He belonged right where he was, and his film SHOULD have been nominated.

Just because Steve Martin's current film is a gigantic bomb, as indeed several of his recent films have been, doesn't make him less talented than Tina (and I worship Tina.) Steve has had a long career as a superb comic, comedian, writer, novelist, playwright and straight-forward actor. That PINK PANTHER 2 stinks to high heaven doesn't erase his talent nor his towering career.

You really think Heath Ledger's speech would have been longer than the THREE speeches from his family? We were lucky they didn't prop up the baby to say "Dada like movie."

But I'm with you on not needing Heidi Kum or Seal.

Cheers

rob! said...

I liked the change of having five previous winners do the nominations, i thought it was a nice touch.

But! When it came time for Best Actor, how could they NOT have Anthony Hopkins do the intro for Frank Langella? One Nixon to another?!?

Mike McCann said...

>>Sarah Jessica Parker is morphing into Carole King.

Gotta disagree. Let me credit my wife Donna for this pearl of wisdom, "She looks like the Good Witch Glinda from THE WIZARD OF OZ."

And Freida Pinto was thoroughly charming on the Red Carpet show. This woman just radiates charm. She has a huge future ahead of her.

Jeff said...

Do old farts still produce the Academy Awards show? Why no attempt to lure younger viewers to the show with texting, live blogs or streaming video of the press room? It's 2009, not the '50s. Bill Maher really disappointed me. He looked and sounded like a sore loser last night. Also...too much time was eaten up by film montages and pieces that looked and sounded like industrial videos. Plus, why the long setups to awards that, let's be honest, most people don't care about (makeup, art, costumes)? You could cut that show to two hours and it would rock. Hire the guys who wrote and directed Slumdog. They know something about forward momentum.

benson said...

Ken, you and the radio folks on this board probably appreciated this more than normal people. Queen Latifah sang it up, tight....(she finished just as Paul Newman's audio started). And I just realized it was sort of bizarro world- usually it's jocks who would try and talk up the intro, and this is just the opposite.
And yes, it was beautiful and touching.

wv: hyledef (better than 720p and probably better than 1080p)

D. McEwan said...

"Jeff said...
Do old farts still produce the Academy Awards show?"

Bill Condon produced the show. He's 53. Is that an old fart to you? (I'm 58 and Ken is 59, so be careful how you answer.)

You mean they should have texting (Illiteracy for the idiotic)or live blogging on the TV screen? God no. If you want live blogging (Why anyone would want such a distraction during the show, I can not imagine) it was live-blogged on The Huffington Post, and proably on EW.com also.

I was actually offerred the chance to live-blog it on Huffington, but turned it down, as:

1. It would make the show impossible for me to enjoy.

2. Why would I want to shoot out my stream of consciousness reactions and have my off-the-cuff spelling going out to the world? Ew.

I preferred to do my usual write-it-up afterwards, when I have the whole show in mind, and have some hindsight and perspective.

They pandered to the kids just plenty as it was, by sticking Robert Pattison and Zac Efron into it.

The producers have plenty to do without taking up their time organizing gimmicky irrelevancies for attention-deficit kids with crap like live-blogging, which others will be doing anyway.

Streaming videos of the press room? Ye Gods. I can't think of anything I would want to see less. No interesting question has ever or will ever be asked in the press room.

gottacook said...

The trouble with the In Memoriam segment was that the camera swooped around, and almost never gave TV viewers a full screen shot of the people being honored (and their names). People with no expertise whatever in TV directing could sit at home and see that horrible decisions were being made. And yet the Oscar show will probably be nominated again for an Emmy.

I also liked the tributes to the current actor nominees by groups of five former winners in the category, although in a few cases they sounded rather scripted. But this was at the expense of clips of the actual performances. In most years you can count on seeing 10 or 15 seconds, at least, of a movie you'd otherwise never see any of, and that was gone this year - not a good tradeoff.

wordnerd said...

I knew they had shown Heath Ledger in last year's tribute to the deceased, but I was kind of hoping they'd show him again, since that seemed so tacked on. Then again, we might not have seen him this year, since the directors apparently thought it was more important to see Queen Latifah singing than for us to see the people who were being honored.

Who looked at Goldie Hawn's face? I was mesmerized by her armpit cleavage. Yeah, I know we all have it, but wasn't there someone there who could have tucked it in and taped it for her?

Ken, your daughter Annie was right on with her comment about Benjamin Button and editing. Looks like she's definitely inherited her old man's talent. :-)

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

Make money taking bets on the outcome of something you already knew the results of?! Shameful!

(For you M.A.S.H. fans, that was the plotline of Ken and David's first accepted M.A.S.H. script, I seem to remember...)

Be Boss,


Ox

zeppo said...

Did anyone else notice John C Reilly's head was twice the size (at least) of Claire Dane's. Ted Kennedy biopic?

Also, I am not exactly culturally literate, but how is it OK for Sean Penn to make homo remarks, and actually get big laughs?

Does this mean Robert Downey Jr. can start doing Richard Pryor's act?

Jay said...

I didn't watch the whole OSCARcast, but I don't remember seeing Don LaFontaine in the Deadroll.

WV: hyllo - a town on the other side of the island Ken is on

VP81955 said...

To all the critics of Heidi Klum: Has everyone forgotten she was the biggest thing about "Ella Enchanted"? (Literally -- she played a giantess.)

One person they apparently forgot for the "in memoriam" segment was Anita Page, who died in September at age 98. Her career wasn't that long, but she did star in 1929's "The Broadway Melody," the first talking film to win Best Picture.

wv: "gralo" -- The tabloids' nickname for Jennifer Lopez 25 years hence (assuming both still exist).

Brian Scully said...

Personally, I thought the show was awful... on a par with a Whoopi Goldberg year. I can't remember one decent laugh in the show, at least that was scripted. The comedy set pieces were an embarassment. And I thought the Queen Latifah performance during the Death Reel was the worst of the worst. Thanks to the many shots of Queen singing, I missed a good portion of the names and faces, at least in the first 3rd of the song... and the multiple screens used to project the images didn't allow a moment to focus on the person they were supposedly honoring. My guess is that the tune-out nationally on this Oscar's will be HUGE, once the final numbers are in. Maybe next time they'll choose someone to run it who loves and respects movies. Not people who want to do a version of The Tony's, along with the most on-the-nose jokes and clips that you could possibly imagine.

Great Big Radio Guy said...

If you're feeling good about America, do NOT go the the message boards at Oscars.com. Lots of Sean Penn bashing over his views of Prop 8. Ay yi yi.

Hurry home, Ken!

Dan said...

I really enjoyed the show. It can never be perfect.
I really appreciate the fact that Ken was funny and still stayed polite.
One of the industry's "top blogs" did a live and bitter blog during the telecast.

Mike Thomas said...

The tribute to the dead people is usually my favorite part of the Oscar telecast, but they completely screwed it up this year. Not because of Queen Latifah's singing, which was actually a good touch, but because of the horrible directing - repeatedly panning away from the video montage and flipping camera angles to the point where I was getting a headache and couldn't read half the names of the folks being honored. It was a HUGE disappointment and I can't believe so many people are now saying it was the "highlight".
The director of that sequence should be tarred and feathered.

tb said...

Having all the various previous winners give a big speech about each nominee, I'm sorry, but it was excruciating. Turned ten minutes into a half hour. Three and a half hours is "streamlined?"

Tom Quigley said...

I really haven't been able to get into the Oscar telecast the last few years... And God knows I've tried -- several times -- seriously.... But I've found out that security is too damn tight there at the Kodak... The bastards just won't let me in!!!... (BTW, can anyone comp me a ticket for next year -- before the restraining order kicks in?)...

ED said...

Queen Latifah singing was fabulous. The direction and camera work on the "In Memorium" was inexcusable. Who sat there thinking that was a good idea? Half the time you couldn't even read what it was they did as part of the academy. And I'm sorry, but Paul Newman should not have his "In Memorium" be shown on a TV screen inside my TV screen that only fills up half of it. That was ridiculous. I mean, HE'S PAUL FREAKIN' NEWMAN!

Also, let's not forget the fact that there is something pardoxical about trying to make a segment honoring those who have passed away more flashy and stylish. Simple and reverent was the way to go. I really thought it was atrocious, and I'm shocked there are some people out there who weren't bothered by it.

I will allow for one possibility; is it possible that it came across better on an HDTV as opposed to standard? (I watched in standard) Anybody out there watch in HD who thought it came across ok?

John said...

I understand for a nominal fee, Bill Maher will speak Truth to Power at weddings, funerals or bar mitzvahs. And for a few extra dollars at the latter, he'll do it in Hebrew.

It gets boring when you know someone's going to come out and say something "edgy" and "shocking" more because he gets a thrill out of it than for any other reason (Now if they had a giant Heidi Klum step on Bill Maher in mid-rant, like the 16-ton weight in the old Monty Python skits, that would have been entertainment...)

Anonymous said...

Opening disclaimer: I missed a lot because I was watching NASCAR pm Fox. Now, with all your readers hating me:

1- The thrust stage didn't work. It made the theatre seem small, even tiny. It looked like the size of Jay Leno's set in Burbank.

2-The idea of former winnners coming out in a semicircle to say nice things about the nominees did not work. This bloviated, industry self-indulgence was Hollywood at its worst. Adrian Brody trying to congrat Richard Jenkins was painful. What he should have said was: "Bro, if you win this thing, you and I are going across the street to the liquor store and buy some lotto tickets. If you beat these Mickey and Sean, 43 million to 1 is nothing for you."

3- Death to Bill Maher.

4- The only time I've ever seen Sean Penn smile was when he was playing a gay guy.

5- Death to Larry Mark for sticking in a clip of men fervently kissing. It's fine in the right time and setting; it's another to ambush your audience with your own agenda and no warning.

6-Hugh Jackman seemed fine in an impossible task, but I only saw the opening number.

7-Death to the show's director for pointless, annoying, hamhanded cuts to the audience and away from the speakers

8-Matt Kenseth beat Jeff Gordon in a boring race. Fontana is always a boring race.

9-The pizza got to the house in 22 minutes

Anonymous said...

The above was pretty much what I would expect from a NASCAR viewer, the polar opposite of mine.

Mike Bell said...

The producers continue to play to the house and not to the television audience. And that's fine, if they'd only fess up to that. The thing is, I'm 50 and the shows feels wooden and stodgy and old fashioned. Even an episode of Matlock would have been better because at least the Producers of Matlock know they're doing a television show. The Apatow film with Rogen and Franco was one of the few inspired things on last night's telecast.

Anonymous said...

Death to Larry Mark for sticking in too many shots of heterosexual affection and women's cleavage. It's fine in the right time and setting; it's another to ambush your audience with your own agenda without warning. Death to Nascar viewers, too.

Laughing Gravy said...

Funny stuff, thanks for the recap. I thought the comedy bits were flat except for Steve Martin and Jennifer Aniston, with a particular wince for Ben Stiller, but then, why should he be any less funny at the Oscars than he is in his movies? I am working, BTW, on my new children's animated show, SLUMDOG SQUAREPANTS.

Debby G. said...

The Oscars are so staid and serious that this year I really missed having a comedian emcee to lighten things up.

I noticed that not only did Sean Penn not thank his wife, he didn't acknowledge Harvey Milk! I did love his speech overall, almost as much as Milk's screenwriter's speech.

I loved having the five actors present the nominations BUT under the old adage of Show Don't Tell, showing clips of the nominees' performances would reveal a lot more than hearing someone tell us the performances were great.

Some plastic surgeon has a nice home in Beverly Hills thanks to Sophia Loren. I told my husband, "I hope you like wrinkles because I'm not doing that to my face."

I enjoyed your blog post, Ken!

I started blogging five years ago in order to help promote my books. The vast majority of people who read my blog are other blogging authors hoping to promote their books, but really I now blog for fun.

-bee said...

I thought Jack Black had the best joke of the night:

That he takes his generous fees for his Dreamworks voiceover gigs and then bets all that money on Pixar to win the academy awards.

Desmond said...

Bill Maher is not a documentarian. (Neither is Michael Moore.) A documentarian documents an external event or series of events. Hence the name. A film that consists of two hours of the filmmaker smirking at people he doesn't like is not a documentary. Such films are as scripted as any of the films in any of the other categories.

Brian Phillips said...

Thank you, Mr. Levine for a great entry and giving me my early morning laughs with a USA network Becker rerun.

Tilda Swinton can be seen posing in her dress some time before the Oscars here:
http://tinyurl.com/autno8

Being musically inclined, I had a love-hate affair with the music. I thought that the orchestra sounded hipper than usual, thanks to Michael Giacchino, whose soundtrack to the Incredibles won an ASCAP award but was not even nominated for an Oscar. Bill Conti is undoubtedly talented, but I didn't miss him.

The interstitial music still has the frisson of oy vey about it, especially when Freida Pinto came onstage they played, "Around the World in 80 Days". Sakes. Not inappropriate but about as original as playing Sinatra on a movie soundtrack.

As for hosting, well, having not been in front of a worldwide audience except for this blog, which...everyone...sees...YAAAAAAAH!

*ahem*

Jack Lemmon was a genius, a fine actor, by all accounts I have seen, a great man, but he seemed as if he was doing a Carson impersonation when he hosted.

I am a big fan of Jerry Lewis' work and I hope he feels better. He looked as if he was in a lot of pain.

As for Will Teullive's (great monicker) WV, Nomor, is, of course, the Sub-Moroner. Someone didn't read their comics.

As for the Oscars being unhip, well, all I know is one of the better-grossing pictures was a musical based on ABBA* songs. How hip is the country in general?

Brian Phillips

*I don't care whether Nirvana liked 'em. They were wrong, too!

WV: feashme - Audrey II's drunken demand of Seymour in "Little Shop of Horrors"

Anonymous said...

Heath Ledger was not included in last year's death montage. He was eligible as he had died before the broadcast, but was left out, causing a rather large controversy.

Dave said...

I thought it was a decent enough show, but seemed to be designed with for the people in the room more than the people watching at home. I thought the camerawork in the death reel and the best score medley sucked eggs. And if they have to have a song, pick one with more than one verse -- or let the singer shut up for a chorus.

The whole storyline of "this is how a movie is made" utterly fell apart when I realized that, if they're taking these in that order, we're building up to those big post-production awards.

I can only hope Will Smith never wins an Oscar. I just think he's a terrific phony -- and not that much of an actor.

The "Let's have past winners salute the nominees" came off as a tee-ball awards ceremony for me. "You're great and you're great and you're great and you're great and you're great."

Sarah Jessica Parker as Carole King? Nonsense. Seabiscuit, I can see, but not Carole. (Next year, let her and Hillary Swank duke it out for a bucket of oats.)

Judd Apatow is not funny and the biggest threat to American comedy since Blake Edwards.

Steve Martin is the luckiest man in America. He hasn't made a decent movie -- let alone a funny one -- in over a decade (some would say more [I'm not a fan of "Bowfinger"]), yet is still beloved.

Any reaction shots should be banned. Who gives a rat's ass what Brad Pitt thinks about a particular joke. Thank god Jack Nicholson wasn't there this year.

Paul Newman should have gotten his own death reel.

RAB said...

"...although the sex wasn’t as good as THE READER, I’d still rather watch robots make love than Nazis."

Hear hear! But given how much money Hollywood has made over the past seventy years on WWII movies, Holocaust movies, concentration camp movies, war criminal movies, and Nazis thinly disguised as aliens or wizards...do they owe Adolf Hitler a lifetime achievement award?

Nell Scovell said...

You know who was left out? Irving Brecher, a great screenwriter and wit who died in November.

On a year when they saluted the Hollywood Musical, how could they disregard the man who wrote the script for "Bye, Bye Birdie" and was NOMINATED FOR AN OSCAR for "Meet Me in St. Louis."

He was also the only writer of a Marx Brothers movie to get sole credit ("At The Circus" and "Go West.")

Manny Farber, a film critic I've never heard of, the Finnish actress who played Vampira, and a publicist made the cut. But an Academy Award nominated writer isn't worthy of recognition. I call foul.

Tim W. said...

I don't think I was surprised by one winner, and unfortunately, most of the time my favourite didn't. I enjoyed Slumdog Millionaire but, for the life of me, I don't see what the big deal about it is. I do think it's hilarious that it almost went straight to DVD, though. It tells you something about the industry right there.

Kate Winslet was one of the few winners I was happy for. Not just because she might do more movies like the first half hour of the Reader, but we now don't have to go through any Susan Lucci comparisons after another loss or two.

"I’d still rather watch robots make love than Nazis."
Not when one of those Nazis is Kate Winslet. Yes, I have a bit of a thing for Kate Winslet.

The former winners coming out and talking to the nominees was excruciating to watch. I liked the idea, but it came off as SOOOO sentimental and fake. My wife walked in, watched for about 30 seconds, dry heaved and walked out. These people were just nominated for possibly the biggest award of their lives. Do they really need more ego stroking by former winners who were only up there because they didn't do anything to get nominated this year.

I used the quote about a no movie being three hours long should be nominated for Best Editing, but I couldn't remember where I'd heard it. I'll give credit where credit is due, next time.

Why didn't, during the nominations this year, they just admit that there weren't any good songs, so they are going to skip that category this year?

Will Teullive, when Tina Fey has a resume of films like The Jerk, Roxanne, Planes Trains & Automobiles and Parenthood, then you can talk about her in the same sentence. Baby Momma was amusing, but it would be in the middle of the pack for Martin.

Let me add my name to the list of people who thought they completely botched the In Memoriam bit. Apparently the director felt that he needed to keep the camera moving so people would stay interested. I look forward to him being on the list next year.

When people criticize films by Michael Moore and such as not really being documentaries, it's obvious that that person has never made a documentary. ALL documentaries are scripted and biased. Moore's films are just a little more open about it.

benson said...

Well, as the late great Don LaFontaine might have intoned so mellifluously....

"In a world...where Manny Farber, a film critic I've never heard of, the Finnish actress who played Vampira, and a publicist made the cut. One man...stands alone (along with a few others). Gone! But not forgotten! On at least one comments page! Now! Now! Now!

R.I.P. One and all who were snubbed.

Joey H said...

The "In Memorium" bit was awful in 16:9 HD, as well. Pans and zooms worked on NYPD Blue, not so much for this.

The former winners sounded like they were giving eulogies instead of announcing nominees.

Elizabeth said...

Great recap, Ken. And funny.

Thank goodness Winslet won. Maybe now we won't be tormented by her cloying, heaving and utterly annoying media presence for a while. Then again...

Penn not thanking his wife must have made for some domestic upheaval, I imagine, post-ceremony. (If you look like Sean Penn and are married to a woman who looks like Robin Wright, you should be thanking your lucky stars and *her* each day, on your knees, no less.)

Sarah J. Parker may not be a classic beauty, but is a thoroughly charming woman, with more grace than the 5 top Hollywood female stars combined.

Enough Beyonce already. In any stage of dress/undress.

And last, but not least, Jackman was perfect, debonair and classy. But why would *anyone* think that Steve Martin is funny? No, really?

D. McEwan said...

"Anonymous said...
Opening disclaimer: I missed a lot because I was watching NASCAR pm Fox. Now, with all your readers hating me:"

Not all, just the ones with taste.

"3- Death to Bill Maher."

Wow. That's a little severe penalty for speaking one sentence of Truth. You'd have been yelling "Lynch 'em" if you were on the Scopes jury. Did his reality really threaten you so sevely?

"4- The only time I've ever seen Sean Penn smile was when he was playing a gay guy."

Clearly you never saw him making love to Madonna early in their marriage. (Didn't she film and release it? No? Must have slipped her mind.) And as I recall, his Jeff Spicoli was straight, and had a loopy grin on his fce for the whole picture. But there's nothing like playing gay to cheer one up.

"5- Death to Larry Mark for sticking in a clip of men fervently kissing. It's fine in the right time and setting; it's another to ambush your audience with your own agenda and no warning."

WARNING: MEN WILL BE KISSING EACH OTHER INSTEAD OF SHOOTING EACH OTHER. TAKE CARE! PLACE YOUR HEAD BETWEEN YOUR LEGS AND PRAY!

Did your poor little eyeballs catch fire? Funny. No one ever complained last year at repeated clips of Javier Bardem blowing people's heads off. Gory violence is always okay, but affection is too hideoous to view. Well I've had to watch straight people smooch all my life. Now it's your turn, whoever you are. (Can't remember how to spell your own name?)

"7-Death to the show's director for pointless, annoying, hamhanded cuts to the audience and away from the speakers."

You're really a beiiever in severe penalties. But now you have to kill EVERYONE who has ever directed an Oscar show, because the cutaways to audience members reacting is a staple of the show.

Next time stick to your NASCAR. Watching cars drive around and around sounds like just your level of intellectual challenge.

Mike Bell said...

Here's where you can see the "In Memorium" segment without all of the swoop camera jib moves...

http://movies.popcrunch.com/2009-oscars-in-memoriam-death-tribute-video-queen-latifah-ill-be-seeing-you/

Anonymous said...

you asked about Heath Ledger, they show him last year, remember he passed in January and was the last one.

Tim W. said...

"Atheism is America's greatest remaining taboo."

I have to agree. I think America would elect a gay, religious person before an atheist would be elected president. With a gay person, Middle America can say "Well, at least he's religious." They're not going to say about an Atheist, "Well, at least he's not gay."

tb said...

Now, a year or two back, when Yo Yo Ma played a mournfull tune on the cello during the "In Memorium" segment, that was beautiful

Anonymous said...

is it me or did they just run the show for as long as they needed? I don't even remember them playing the "get off the stage" music at anyone (even heath ledger's family; didn't the dog have a few words prepared too?). that was nice.

Anonymous said...

Big D - I threw that NASCAR line in there especially for you and you rose to the bait as surely as a big mouth bass--another nonurban simile.

People can't disagree with Bill Maher or dislike Bill Maher? Ken did, but that didn't seem to bother you. There is not room in your world for differences of opinion? Surely, I must be a Klansman if I like car racing and dislike Bil Maher.

And I repeat the ambush line. TV shows are invited into the home with certain expectations and people have right to not be suprised by something so radically different than they were expecting. That's just common courtesy. "Fuck" is fine on HBO, not so fine on an 8 o'clock sitcom.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Another fun recap, Ken. Thanks.

But I align myself with those who thought In Memoriam was a mess. If they'd let Queenie sing and showed the pix of the deceased full screen it would have been fine. The way they did it, and the people they left off, made a joke of the whole thing. And did you notice the deafening silence when they showed Charleton Heston? Politics aside, he deserved some recognition. Seemed like half the people remembered were behind-the-camera types.

Am I the only one who thought it poor form to tell Frank Langella that he was the definitive Nixon while Anthony Hopkins, who also played Nixon, was standing right there?

Whoopie Goldberg said something stupid? What are the odds?

I wish Mickey Roarke had won. Sean Penn's speechifying would have been better served if he'd sent Sacheen Littlefeather up to reject the award.

Good for The Academy for giving Ledger the award.

The Crutnacker said...

Okay... my thoughts, as if anyone cared.

The show sucked. Even though it lasted three and a half hours, it seemed like 8. You know you're in trouble when the funniest guy on the show is Bobby DeNiro.

Hugh Jackman was a bit like a straighter, better looking Nathan Lane, and that opening number looked like something we'd have seen on the Donny and Marie show.

Watching Goldie Hawn present, all I could think was that she became the botoxed woman she played in First Wives Club. Stephen Hawking has more facial movement.

The death montage is also one of my favorite parts. I realize that Queen Latifah was in Chicago, but that doesn't mean that the death montage should be choreographed like a Bob Fosse number.

When I saw Jennifer Aniston and Jack Black present, all I could think was, "there are two people who didn't get enough attention as children."

It seemed unnecessarily cruel to give Sarah Jessica Parker a line about a "full face-lift".

I was amused for about 10 seconds by Ben Stiller, but then I thought it would have much funnier if they had Christian Bale present the cinematography award. Anyone notice he's in a movie called Public Enemies?

The Pineapple Express "comedies of 2008" sketch was like a Cheech and Chong movie without the funny and like most Apatow bits, ran on far too long. My understanding is the director's cut of the sketch will be five hours.

Anyone else shocked that with his busy career, Cuba Gooding Jr. was able to present? Did you catch Heath Ledger's family being played off by the "Beef Song"?

When did Nicole Kidman get Michael Jackson's nose?

I'm no Blackwell, but any designer who completely eliminates Halle Berry's breasts with his/her dress design deserves to have to design sweatsuits for Rosie O'Donnell for eternity.

And finally, when I saw Reese Witherspoon, all I could think of was using her chin to open up a safe. Thank you Family Guy!

Here's to next year, when Oscar hosts Tom Bergeron and Mario Lopez REALLY change things up.

Word Verification: swarry -- An Elmer Fudd apology.

Stage Hound said...

I loved your take Ken, and I agree with you. I liked the show as did the group I was with (our own 11th annual Oscar party). It was nice to have an entertainer hosting.

Tilda Swinton's dress reminded me of the "I Love Lucy" episode in Paris where Ricky and Fred make dresses for Lucy & Ethyl out of burlap sacks.

I agree get rid of "Best Song". My suggestion is replace it with that category in the Spirit Awards: Best First Screenplay.

Anonymous said...

No Oscar comment here, Ken, just a Friday question.

Why are sit com and sit com scripts never produced a second time? Old movies are remade; plays are produced more than once; songs have diffent singers. But never TV scripts. Is the humor so of-the-moment, so specific to the cast or is a joke just not funny when you've heard it already? Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I thought Queen L's singing over the dearly departed was a terrible idea. It seemed more about her than them. Like somebody's kid performer wailing, "Look at me!" I think she "died" enough out there to belong in the tribute reel, herself.

Rob S. said...

Nascarnonymous,

One of the best picture nominees was Milk. You were hardly ambushed.

Stick to NASCAR -- it's tougher for men to kiss each other when they're moving at 120 m.p.h. ... although you can tell some of them totally want to.

Anonymous said...

I felt totally ambushed by all those shots of heterosexual people kissing during the "romance" segment. That damn straight agenda!

D. McEwan, the fact that you reject anything new (and completely misunderstand the concept of live blogging) does make you kinda old. But don't worry, you're also irrelevant.

D. McEwan said...

"Anonymous said...
People can't disagree with Bill Maher or dislike Bill Maher? Ken did, but that didn't seem to bother you."

Ken didn't decree death for him.

"I repeat the ambush line. TV shows are invited into the home with certain expectations and people have right to not be surprised by something so radically different than they were expecting."

No they don't. And I repeat that a shot of men kissing isn't an ambush; it's a natural part of life. You turn on your TV and channel surf, you're going to see men wreak a hell of a lot of violence on each other, but you freak over kissing. There's nothing wrong with people, of any gender combo, kissing. That it offends you so horribly merely tells me what a bigoted jerk you are. And as another poster pointed out, in a show honoring among others, a movie about a major gay rights figure, a little bit of men kissing is to be expected, and is not an ambush. And men kissing is not the equivalent of exploding the F-Bomb on an 9 PM sitcom. It's no different from men kissing women, except it gets rid of the yucky women. I've been watching straight couples neck on TV and movies for over 50 years, and it has yet to make my eyes bleed.

Suck it up, dickwad, because you're going to see more and more men kissing in the years to come, as we become more and more mainstream. If you can't bear the sight of it, you're welcome to gouge your eyes out. The problem is with you, not with the expression of affection.

"The Crutnacker said...
Hugh Jackman was a bit like a straighter, better looking Nathan Lane, and that opening number looked like something we'd have seen on the Donny and Marie show."

If I could have seen Nathan Lane or Hugh Jackman singing and dancing on the Donny & Marie Show, I would have watched it. But then gay performers like Lane, and majorly-gay-friendly performers like Jackman, would hardly be found on the Mormon homophobe-fest that is the World of The Osmonds. Donny & Marie SUPPORTED Prop 8. Fuck them.

I thought Goldie Hawn looked like Catherine O'Hara in the last reel of FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION, botoxed to the point where she looked like her face might explode.

"The Crutnacker also said...
I thought it would have much funnier if they had Christian Bale present the cinematography award."

Great idea. Sadly, Bale lacks the sense of humor to appreciate it. He's a poster child for the "Takes Himself Too Seriously" school of humorless acting.

"Anonymous said...
D. McEwan, the fact that you reject anything new (and completely misunderstand the concept of live blogging) does make you kinda old. But don't worry, you're also irrelevant."

Okay, are you the same "Anonymous" as the NASCAR boob? You people unable to type your own names (are names too "old" for you?) are confusing.

I do not "reject anything new," or I wouldn't be blogging both on my blog and over on Huffington. I completely understand live blogging, and it's fine for those who want it. But I prefer to present material under my name (I don't do the "Anonymous" thing) that I've had the opportunity to polish and give thought to. One of the Huffington Post Oscar live bloggers who took the gig I turned down is an old friend of mine for 30 years, and he is over 50 also. He is fine with working that way. I am not. I certainly wouldn't want to read a live blog while I was watching the show, because I'm busy watching the show. I don't need to be distracted by someone instantly interpreting it for me. I can interpret it for myself.

As for me being "irrelevant," to what?

But don't worry, you'll be old, and maybe even wiser, and certainly "irrelevant," yourself one day, if you're lucky.

gottacook said...

With respect to the Friday question about TV sitcom scripts not being reused: They were, in at least one case I know of. The early-1980s black-cast version of The Odd Couple used repurposed scripts from the early seasons (perhaps just the first season) of the 1970-75 version.

Buttermilk Sky said...

I only caught the last quarter hour because I was watching something else (a doc about Billy Strayhorn, NOT Nascar, OK?) but between Ken's report and the comments, I feel like I was there. So a few comments: if they want a standing ovation every five minutes, why not rip out the seats in the Kodak Theater? Zeppo, are you implying that John C. Reilly is using steroids? The method of presenting the Best Actor/Actress was excruciating to watch, but at least the ten nominees all showed up. No one should every try to produce an awards show without Ricky Gervais, whatever they have to do to get him. Who paid to fly the entire population of Mumbai over here?

Oh, and I can't stand Hugh Jasshole.

Terry Collier said...

Wow, I have to agree with most of your comments. I am surprised that I have not seen anyone else mention the fact that Sean Penn thanked everyone BUT his wife. Perhaps they have not fully reconciled?

Also, they seems to completely get away with the Tom Cruise smack about made up religions.

Lastly, I thought the most brilliant moment was "Domo Arigato, Mr Roboto" - priceless!!!!

Thanks for a great wrap up.

Dhppy said...

I maintain that swinging naked around a pole in one's 40s is courageous and inspiring.

(I'm still getting the hang of twitter).

A_Homer said...

"I'll Be Seeing You" was by any normal standard completed, there was a pause, then QL started singing it AGAIN. That sort of sums up Oscar Ceremony. The acceptance speeches were shorter than those little praises for EACH actor who won't win.

Jackman was natural, that's a plus. The best bit was pulling Anne Hathaway out of the audience to help with Frost/Nixon - and her line that the actor who did play Nixon was sitting right next to her. She can sing. She should try musicals, on Broadway, get a well-rounded career. I don't think the close-up shot is going to do her justice in the future.

I am surprised no one mentioned the music that was OBVIOUSLY throwing off the presenters, because it was sometimes pitched so high-tempo, or just too loud in the mix, and when it came abruptly in, it could only remind them of the music to play people off.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, Maybe if Robin Wright had been on her knees earlier that day, Sean would have REALLY remembered to have thanked her on the show.

YEKIMI said...

A few more they forgot to include "In Memorium" were Robert Prosky who died in December, Alexander Courage, composer; he died in May, Harvey Korman, George Carlin, Dody Goodman, Jerry Reed, Estelle Reiner, Forrest J Ackerman, Sam Bottoms, Majel Barrett [Star Trek movies, among others]. Sure, most of them did a lot of TV but they were also in a lot of movies. I guess the Academy's excuse could have been "Well, we would have included them and others but the montage would have lasted 2 1/2 hours and Queen LaBeefy would have lost her voice singing the same song over and over again" when their actual thinking is probably "We didn't think they were important enough to be included and we figured no one would notice they were missing"

Derek said...

Was it just me, or was the script excerpt from Benjamin Button the most pretentious, clumsy bit of ham-fisted writing in script writing history? I'm paraphrasing now "She enters the room. There is an inept quiet?" An inept quiet??!! How can silence be inept? "Oops, sorry, just knocked over a tray. Sorry." Inept writing would have been more accurate.

Anonymous said...

D. McEwan
>As for me being "irrelevant," to what?

It just means we don't have to wait for you to die to keep texting and blogging and all that other stuff us illiterate idiots like to do. Which is sad, because even the NASCAR guy has us thinking twice before kissing our partners in public. Can't wait till THAT guy dies.

zeppo said...

Geez, I am enjoying these comments almost as much as Mr. Levine's commentary.

For those of you who are pumping up the faux outrage over the Oscars being a platform for 'non-entertainment' messages, I would observe 1) this is hardly a new or surprising development, and 2) what on earth is so sancrosanct about an awards show anyway?

For a more thoughtful analysis of this topic, you should check out Mark Evanier's website.

Change of subject, I did not realize the leggy starlet in the front row was Robin Penn Wright, who forgive me for saying this, may have had her own agenda for the evening. At least I was transfixed while waiting for the Sharon Stone moment.

Elizabeth said...

Anon 1:27 am, you've got a point there, but, let's face it, for what exactly should Robin thank Sean, knees or not?

The guy is an unfaithful husband, looks like a mountain troll, and has an honorary lifetime membership in the Unqualified Pompous Asses League. His self-importance... er, pardon, his in-your-face activism is mightily nauseating by now -- and that's to outside observers. Imagine if he carries on like that at home. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with activism; but there is a time and place for (touting) everything and Penn does not seem to know it.

He did not make his faux pas any better during his post-Oscar interview with Oprah, who asked him directly why he did not thank Robin. His response? He did not do it, he said, because then he'd have to thank his mother, his children and everyone else close to him -- and he just wanted to keep it "professional." Eeww.

Now how charming -- or honest -- is that? He is either lying or (pathologically?) stingy with praise and affection, as narcissists tend to be -- in either case, no reason for Robin to, er, thank him.

Brian Phillips said...

My inner schoolmarm says, it's "In Memoriam"

jenniferbest said...

Was anyone else amused by the fact that half of India got up to accept the award for Slumdog Letdown? What a bore. Should have gone straight to dvd.

SJP's balloon tits scared the hell out of me. Constantly waiting for them to pop. Still love her though.

I loved how awkward Jennifer Aniston was on stage trying to secretly steal looks at Fish Lips and Brad Pitt. Did they really need to cut to FishLips three times to see a reacton, though?

David O'Hara said...

Bill Mahar rocks!!!

Finally somebody with the balls to ask people questions they don't want to even consider.

Questions they obviously did not consider when signing up for their particular mythology.

"You gotta have faith" = " We don't want you thinking things out. How would we control you if you did? How else could we get you to strap on that exploding vest, hang that black man, drop the gas in the chamber, burn that witch, screw over the natives, beat the women who showed some skin? Come here, little boy, I want you to do God's work....ah, feels good. Truly blessed are the little children....and a church who will cover for me."

Mary Stella said...

Men kissing each other, gunfire and violence -- it's all so Godfather II. ("I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!")

I thought Hugh Jackman was a great host. I also liked Australia, Someone Like You (Check out the scene where he slurps down low mein. What a tongue!), Kate and Leopold and Van Helsing. Yes. I'm shallow. He's hot.

After the opening number of the Oscars, his best performance of the night was the beginnings of the lap dance he did in the pre-Oscar interview show. I nearly swooned at his suggestive hip swivel and wished I could have been Barbara Walters.

Marcmarc said...

Hi-larious from Hawaii

Brad said...

I don't know if anyone has pointed this out, but Ledger wasn't in the "death montage" because he died in 2007, not 2008.

Having seen both Ledger and Robert Downey Jr. I feel that giving ledger the nod was the correct call. (RDJ should have won for Chaplin)

45 is the new 30 said...

D. McEwen posted: "I do not "reject anything new," or I wouldn't be blogging both on my blog and over on Huffington. I completely understand live blogging, and it's fine for those who want it. But I prefer to present material under my name (I don't do the "Anonymous" thing) that I've had the opportunity to polish and give thought to. One of the Huffington Post Oscar live bloggers who took the gig I turned down is an old friend of mine for 30 years, and he is over 50 also. He is fine with working that way. I am not. I certainly wouldn't want to read a live blog while I was watching the show, because I'm busy watching the show. I don't need to be distracted by someone instantly interpreting it for me. I can interpret it for myself.

As for me being "irrelevant," to what?"

Eh, Douglas ... don't waste your breath. (Or, in this case, I guess "don't wear out your fingers" is a bit more apropos.) In the considerable time I've been coming to Ken's blog, it's evident that you are extremely well-spoken (and ditto well-informed), have a great sense of humor, and know more about most subjects (okay, with the exception of sports) than most people can claim to know. Your comments here, and your posts on HuffPo, are entertaining and thought-provoking to (literate and thinking) people of ANY age or level of technical savvy.

More important, though ... Although you don't suffer fools gladly, you are also a compassionate, open-minded individual with a lot of passion about the things you care about, and an abundant sense of humor about yourself.

Don't waste your time responding to the dross posted by anonymous posters and various other assorted miscreants who seem to be coming out of the woodwork lately around here (was there amnesty declared at the 'Home for Idiot Incarceration'???) Frankly, they ain't worth the effort. You have NOTHING in need of refuting or defending.

Mike Bell said...

Your inner schoolmarm would be correct.

Dag nabbit con sarn it!

D. McEwan said...

"Anonymous said...
D. McEwan
As for me being 'irrelevant,' to what?
It just means we don't have to wait for you to die to keep texting and blogging and all that other stuff us illiterate idiots like to do."

Whoever said you DID have to wait? And, as I pointied out in that reply, I blog on both my own blog and on Huffington, so I didn't wait for me to die either. Why in fact, THIS is a blog! Nor do I know of anyone illiterate who blogs, as being able to read and write is sort of a requirement.

Texting I will grant you is subliterate. And you will need to wait for me to die to do it in a theater where I'm watching a movie.

However, a part of literacy is reading for comprehension, and I'm going to have to give a D in that area, for missing the above blogging point in my earlier reply, and for using "irrelevant" as a catch-phrase instead of for it's meaning, which you have gotten wrong.

And you never know. I may outlive you. People die young all the time: disease, war, driving into a tree because they were texting instead of watching the road. Lots of stuff can happen. I just neglected to die young myself. God knows I tried.

Still haven't learned how to type your own name, I see.

D. McEwan said...

"David O'Hara said...
Bill Mahar rocks!!!
Finally somebody with the balls to ask people questions they don't want to even consider. Questions they obviously did not consider when signing up for their particular mythology."

Right on, my brother not-in-Christ. Actually, RELIGULOUS is in my DVD player at this moment, so I need to finish up here, so I can watch it. But most people don't "sign up" for their various relgious delusions. They are generally a gift from their parents. Even into my 40s my mother would still sometimes say idiot stuff like "I just keep praying you'll come back to your religion." To which I had to keep replying, "It isn't MY religion! It is YOUR religion. I do not have a religion." She'd then make that sour face that had stopped having any effect on me at around age 15.

"Mary Stella said...
I thought Hugh Jackman was a great host. I also liked Australia, Someone Like You (Check out the scene where he slurps down low mein. What a tongue!), Kate and Leopold and Van Helsing. Yes. I'm shallow. He's hot."

He is hot, Mary, and hands off, because he's MY future-ex-husband. He just doesn't know it yet, on account of our never having met.

But While I adore Hugh, and LOVE monster movies so much I wrote a whole book about them (THE Q GUIDE TO CLASSIC MONSTER MOVIES. Available where ever small books are sold.), even I could not stand VAN HELSING. That is a really excuciatingly bad movie. Just utter dreck. And Hugh only has his shirt off for about 15 seconds, right at the end, so you have to sit through the whole terrible picture to get to it.

Thanks for the love, 45 is the. But be careful, as I undestand that "45 is the new Irrelevant." (I know this because I am "Cutting Edge," and "Ahead of the Curve," and "Think Outside the Box," and other old cliches.)

WV: dennamm, blue jeans in hell.

Mary Stella said...

D. McEwan Said:
He is hot, Mary, and hands off, because he's MY future-ex-husband. He just doesn't know it yet, on account of our never having met.

Back off of my Hugh, Doug, or I will take you down in a bigger catfight than even the tabloids could hope for with Angelina and Jenn. *g*

wv= humbe = Very flexible blow job

Jerry said...

Apparently NO ONE realizes that Sean Penn's very first thank-you was to his wife - he just used their affectionate nickname. It was sweet - the very opposite of what so many of you (Ken included) are accusing Sean of.

And, btw - Heath was ON the death-roll at the 2008 Oscars. The snub you all are referring to is Brad Renfro, who died just after the 2008 event's deadline and who, we were told, would be honored in 2009's. Which didn't happen.

Elizabeth said...

What sweet nickname was that, Jerry -- "you homo-loving commie"? :)

Alright, apparently you have heard something no one else heard, including Penn himself, since he "explained" later (on Oprah) why he did not thank his wife.

But let's move on, who cares, really.

D. McEwan said...

"Elizabeth said...
What sweet nickname was that, Jerry -- "you homo-loving commie"? :)"

Well of course that was what he ment. He was making what we like to call "a joke."

Elizabeth said...

He was making what we like to call "a joke."

Ah.

Author X said...

Ken don't be silly, Will Smith is black thus eliminating himself from any and all Woody Allen movies.

gottacook said...

Mike Bell: Thank you for posting a full-frame In Memoriam sequence - I've bookmarked it for my wife to see.

Otis "The Write Stuff" Levine said...

Heath died in 2007. That's why he wasn't in the montage.

TCinLA said...

Too bad when they did the "In Memoriam" segment that the USC film brat flunkouts directing that trainwreck you call "the best ever" (perhaps we wre watching different shows in alternate universes?) could have kept the camera on the dead people close enough we could have figured out who the non-movie stars were and read their names and what they did?? Just a thought.

The only good part of the show was that Mickey Dork didn't win - some people realize they owe the world a lot of apologies waaaaay too late. He's still MeanAsshole Crazy - and I say that from having known that bipedal car wreck personally 20 years ago.

The "musical" numbers set a low by even Oscar telecast standards. At least the old ones used to make some sort of demented sense. Demented sense being better than no sense whatsoever.

As for all the public verbal blowjobs handed out from actors to actors - further proof that actors should never be let out in public. Yyyyyyeeeeeeccccccchhhhhh! Closest I have come to throwing up in the middle of an Oscarcast ever.

I did however immensely like that SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE proved all the Ever-so-Smarts who think they run Okeefenokee West that William Goldman was right about the three rules of Hollywood:

Nobody. Knows. Anything.

jbryant said...

The very first post in this thread (Tallulah's) explained Heath Ledger's absence from the death montage. Her info is correct. He was in last year's montage, and he didn't die in 2007.

Now with any luck no one else will weigh in on this (well, except maybe a few more folks who can't be assed to glance at the existing responses before adding their own. Nothing you can do about those).

Nothing against Robert DoQui, a fine actor (RIP), but he gets in the montage and the much better known Patrick McGoohan doesn't? That's the kind of head-scratcher that I'd like someone from the Academy to explain. (And yes, Irving Brecher and many others should've been mentioned as well.)

The inclusion of Manny Farber was a pleasant surprise, even if he's known only to cinephiles.

Jerry said...

Well, Elizabeth, you silly, before we 'move along' from a topic you're cleary interested in, having harped upon it repeatedly, please allow me to clear myself up.

Penn's very first 'thank-you' was made - aloud, and heard by me and every other sentient being, but not once mentioned above - was to "my best friend, Sata Matsuzawa". At the Oscar party I attended, an assistant at an agency 'explained' that this was Sean's 'inside joke' reference to Robin. This person was likely f.o.s., I now think - but, otoh, the interwebs are full of speculation through today, and no one had identified "Sata Matsuzawa" yet. (Its entirely possible that the assistant was correct, and that the Oscar-winner forgot his opening remark when hounded later that evening with questions - it may be a mistake, it may also be entirely plausible.)

HOWEVER - this was posted online even before Ken's commenters began piling on:

"When asked at one of the Oscar parties, both Sean and wife Robin explained that her 'omission' from the speech was planned.

We can all un-bunch our panties now!

Robin said they both knew there wouldn't be "enough time".

And when asked if his wife knows his feelings for her he simply replied, “She knows.”

Short and to the point.

Robin's a generous soul. In giving up some of 'her' time, Sean was able to speak more fully about the injustices the gay community still faces."

That certainly makes sense, too. I mean, one thing every single adult who's been in a relationship before surely understands is that you simply cannot judge what goes on and is communicated between partners in a relationship. Right?

"Penn not thanking his wife must have made for some domestic upheaval, I imagine, post-ceremony. (If you look like Sean Penn and are married to a woman who looks like Robin Wright, you should be thanking your lucky stars and *her* each day, on your knees, no less.)" - Elizabeth

Stop wallowing in the assumed adventures of celebrities' lives behind closed doors. You're the reason that the director felt the need to repeatedly cut to Brangelina's reactions while Aniston presented. That's less relevant than D. McElwan, with apologies to D. McElwan.

D. McEwan said...

D. McElwan is utterly irrelevant, certainly to me. The only "L" in my name is the one in Douglas.

I'm incompetent and immaterial as well. In fact, I'm making a circus of this courtroom. But Mr. Burger opened the door himself in his direct examination.

Anonymous said...

Author X said:

"Ken don't be silly, Will Smith is black thus eliminating himself from any and all Woody Allen movies."

Author X, that's not fair. What about the chain gang in TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN?

Joseph Aubele said...

A Tawny Little reference in the twenty-first century ~ you *are* the man!