Monday, February 27, 2017

My Oscar review

Normally in this space I post my annual snarky bitchy Oscar review.  But this year I'm trying something different.  I'm doing the review exclusively on my podcast.   That way you can hear the jokes as drippingly sarcastic as they were meant to be.   And what a truly BIZARRE ending to that ceremony.  Yikes!  I talk all about it. 

To listen, just click on the podcast arrow above or right here.   Enjoy. 

51 comments :

norm said...

Well that sure was a surprise!

Like you LA LA land singers could NOT sing and I am tone deaf.

So they criticize Pres. Trump and they can't do a Grand Show correct LOL.

Pot calling the kettle __________!

Anonymous said...

I keep looking back for your take on the Homer at the Bat getting honoured at the BBHOF - did I somehow miss something?
Cheers,
Rob in Canada

VincentS said...

Great review, Ken. And I wish Halle Barry all the best as she stars in the lead in THE HARPO MARX STORY.

Jahn Ghalt said...

Goldberg and Fischmann!! LOL!!

Bruce Paulson said...

Two things Hollywood is best known for is feeling guilty and overreacting. Even though the categories are "Best (insert word or phrase)", some people in the press last year got their noses out of joint because they thought the categories should have been "Best (insert) but Make Sure you Have Minorities Regardless".

I'm probably one of the few people who knew they called out the wrong movie for Best Picture. To alleviate their guilt, it had to be one of three -- "Fences" "Hidden Figures" and "Moonlight". Personally I saw all the nominated films except two. I was hoping that they'd open the envelope and state "None of these are worthy of Best Picture". They were either very predictable ("La La Land"), too preachy ("Hidden Figures", "Arrival") or dreadfully dull ("Moonlight", "Lion", et al).

The biggest surprise of the night was that Denzel Washington didn't win. You would have thought that Hollywood would have went for the grand slam of guilt absolution.

Michael said...


Most deserved : Viola Davis.

Worst Speech: Also Viola Davis.

Happiest moment: Emma Stone's win.

Graciously handled awkward moment: Warren Beatty.

Worst presenter: Jennifer Aniston (over acting the crying part).

Best Host ever: Jimmy Kimmel.

Decent speech: Kenneth Lonergan.

Worst number: All of them especially sleaze bag Justin's.

Ungracious star: Denzel (acting like an asshole when someone praises you).

Undeserved award: That Iranian movie award - he got it because of boycott not for merit.

Worst hairstyle: Scarlett's crew cut and her raised eyebrow arrogant look was horrible.

Absolute Morons: Those tourists with cameras.

Worst standing ovation: The one for Syria, the moron asking for one when all were tired.

Cadaver lookalike: Nicole Kidman.

Time to Deport: Salma Hayek.

Unemployed bums who should not be invited back: Jennifer, Halle, Kristen Dunst.

Debut of the podcast: Sam Rubin.

Best takedown of the podcast: Viola Davis's speech.

Worst takedown of the podcast: Faye Dunaway. She screwed but Warren shouldn't have given her the envelope in the first place after seeing the wrong name.


Most conceited BITCH: Janelle MonĂ¡e talking of the movie/song being a gift to humanity (learn humility from Octavia Spencer, you bitch).

Podcast or written review? Anyday the written review......

Brian Phillips said...

The Beatty-Dunaway goof wasn't the only one. How would you like it if you saw your own picture come up in the "In Memoriam" section?

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/oscars-memoriam-video-mentions-australian-costume-designer-but-uses-photo-friend-whos-alive-980

Stephen Marks said...

Excellent Ken! Expected nothing less. "Old lady from NASA", LOL, damn that's cold! That Fake Dunaway/Warren Beatty "cluster fuck" was indeed priceless Waterhouse. Would have been even better had they brought out Faye and Ned Beatty by mistake. Ken, I love ya. The reason? You don't pander, you don't sell out, you don't commercialize and you're willing to die on the hill of free speech....while wearing a blue apron.

Dear Black Community:

You did it! The fighting, the tears, the calls for awareness, the decades-long march while holding that lack of diversity mantle, it has all paid off. Last night was truly one of the greatest for a community that too often has been neglected and forgotten this time of year, and having it occur during Black History Month was incredibly inspiring. The impassioned Viola Davis speech moved me like nothing I have ever heard before, truly Shakespearian.

Ms. Davis's win, along with that of Moonlight and Denzil Washington's recognition as one of the finest actors today leads me to believe we have finally moved on from this "lack of diversity", at least in respect to the black community. Having said that, I'm wondering if the members of your community could do me a small favor...........SHUT THE FUCK UP! I get it, okay? Please, don't continue to shove it down my pie hole and up my ass. You did it, you succeeded last night and now you need to continue to succeed on talent alone, which your community has in abundance. Denzil, Viola, Octavia Spencer, "old lady from NASA", Cicely Tyson, David Olelowo. You have the murderers row of talent, you are the '26 Yankees of Hollywood. Continue to do great work! You can run with this, and run alot faster without that heavy burden on your backs, now that it's been lifted.

Please, please just enjoy this time for your community, at least until next year, and give it a rest. Actors over 40, women, gays, lesbians, Asians, Canadians, out of work envelope guy, Warren Beatty's "Rules Don't Apply, Mel Gibson's children, these are next in line for our attention. These are the causes that need to be championed now. So Black Community, grab your swag bag, take a seat and enjoy merely being a cog in the wheel of arts and commerce just like everybody else.

Tim said...

Mel Gibson was gracious in saying that nomination by peers itself was an award. He knew beforehand they won't give him an award.

Linda said...

They gave rapists Polanaski and Woody the award, but they can't give Mel? Jews rule.

Anonymous said...

Casey Affleck is a schlub. Looked and acted like he just climbed out of a dumpster. Other wise a great Oscar cast, including the fuck up at the end...

angel said...

I think only having it as a podcast is a mistake and an inconvenience to your longtime readers...many of who can't or won't listen to podcasts. Love your Blog and read it every day.

Anne said...

I could not LOVE this episode any more if it showed up on my doorstep with Free Botox Coupons and a long-stemmed rose. A snarkilicious feast.

YEKIMI said...

I think if Miss [Mrs? Mz?] Thomas had announced you as the winner of an Academy Award there wouldn't have been cheering and clapping....maybe some audible gasps, Samuel L. Jackson screaming "That's bullshit!", possibly some agonized moaning, a few gunshots [probably of other writers thinking THEY should have won committing suicide or trying to take you out].

If the tape, band, industrial strength skin clip or whatever it was that was keeping Fay Dunaway's face so tight had snapped it would have killed about the first 5 rows of people sitting there and registered at least a 3.5 on the Richter Scale. Also during the big snafu at the end, I didn't see her after they realized the mistake. Seems she disappeared like a fart in a hurricane. At least Warren and Fay didn't announce "Bonnie & Clyde" as Best Picture. Maybe they should have done an Alzheimer's test on both of them before letting them in front of the camera. Bet if he's handed any envelopes from now on, he's checking the front of the envelope to see what's written on it before opening it. There was a rumor that Matt Damon was seen lurking near the envelope table and heard muttering "Take THAT, Kimmel!"

Started to watch the Red Carpet crap but turned it off when it basically was turning into a non-paid ad [or maybe they are slipped a few bucks] for the designers and the actors thanking everyone down to the person that filed and painted their toenails.

From looking at her hairdo, I assume Halle Berry must have spent the day before the show licking electric sockets.

Glad Jennifer Aniston gave a shout out to Bill Paxton at the beginning of the "In Memoriam". segment. I'd watch any movie he was in. I bet Bill Pullman is wondering why he's getting so many flower arrangements delivered to his place. He'll probably be standing at the end of his drive for the next three days yelling "It's Bill PAXTON that died! PAXTON, people, NOT Pullman!" and telling his agent "Fix this NOW!"

And the "accountants" at the show probably needed an underwear change at the end and are changing the name of the company to "Price Waterhouse Poopers"

And as I said in a tweet after Mahershala Ali, Viola Davis and "Moonlight" won Oscars, Trump was probably up at 3 AM tweeting and complaining with the hashtag #OSCARSTOOBLACK".

YEKIMI said...

Also, too bad that alcohol doesn't flow as freely at the Academy Awards as it does at the Golden Globes. Bet a fist fight would have broken out at the end between the "La La Land" and "Moonlight" groups.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Best. Finish. Ever.

More people onstage than the end of the Tonys, where every musical has 74 producers, pompous acceptance speech, and then word filters through that they named the wrong movie. Whole different group of people comes up. Hilarious.

Was the candy drop a reference to the Berlin Airlift of 1947, when pilots dropped candy to kids with parachutes fashioned from handkerchiefs? Were the bus tourists some kind of Andy Kaufman homage? Am I reading too much into this?

Kimmel's funniest line: "Viola Davis just won an Emmy for her acceptance speech."

In Memoriam omitted Miguel Ferrer.

Ralph said...

You got one thing wrong Ken.

Shirley's 250,000 years old joke was a dig at Billy Crystal who called her that during one of his hosting duties - something like as old as Earth.

Ralph said...

Buttermilk Sky: It was the same joke Chris Rock made the first time he hosted and said that to Nicole Kidman's acting happy for Halle Berry winning. See YouTube.

Jamie said...

Diversity Diversity Diversity ................

In the end,

To all Black people Brown people, Black kids Brown Kids, Black Brown Black Brown Black Brown Black Brown Black Brown Black Brown.......

Thank You White trash :)

VP81955 said...

With her big hair, is Halle Berry auditioning to join a girl group?

suesea7 said...

Wow, people love to criticize, no? I thought Viola Davis was great, understood what she meant by the line in her speech that is getting lots of blowback. Will take her as a winner over Kate Winslet "gosh I'm so surprised" any day.

Saw La La Land not expecting to like it much, and was pleasantly surprised. I thought it was very funny, which seems to get lost. The singing and dancing was fine, charming. But then I'm not a fan of over the top musicals, unless they're genius, like Les Miz and Hamilton.

As for the mixup - you'd think that Warren Beatty would have the presence of mind to say, wait a minute - or look at the front of the envelope - or something. But it all worked out, and I suppose we'll all remember it.

Sue in Seattle

Lansing said...

Good podcast, as usual. However, I was taken aback by the Blue Apron product insertion. I don’t care about the fact that you have commercialized your podcast. I do care that it was done in a manner that I think hurt the content.

I understand the desire to make a product plug part of the humor in a comic podcast. However, it came across as a WTF moment when you said your second thought on seeing Fay Dunaway at the Oscars was to wonder if she uses Blue Apron.

Who thinks like that? Since the most likely answer is no-one, it makes the rest of the segued commercial hackneyed and unfunny. More significantly, it takes the listener out of the storytelling in a jarring manner. From that point on, trust is broken and the listener questions – are you being straight with me or am I being pitched? What could have been a 30 second straight commercial ends up as a cringeworthy two and a half minute failed bit.

Anonymous said...

Is the Matt Damon / Jimmy Kimmel feud real and not a stunt?! (Orleanas)

Jahn Ghalt said...

Maybe they should have done an Alzheimer's test (on Beatty and Dunway)

That's mean and not justified, anyway.

Beatty made one mistake - which was to hand the card to Dunway who "saved the day" by decisively reading 'Emma Stone' and reading "LA LA Land".

(someone - check me on this - I don't think the film name was on that card - based on a youtube glance)

As is was, Beatty did exactly the right thing with grace under pressure. He held fast to the correct card - and handed it to the producer to let him set it aright. The producer also performed with grace - kudos to him.

FWIW - Kimmel did well - even if he made it a joke - to "interview" Beatty to explain things before the twitter-verse rumor-mill really got going.

I once dated a newly-graduated accounting "Bachelorette of Arts" who signed one with one of the "Big Eight" - now a "Big Smaller-Number" with consolidation and other corporate-matrimony (Casey Stengel might say "you could look it up").

The Academy of Motion Picture (etc.) account is not so big by itself - more valued for "prestige" than anything else. The real fallout will be which accounts will not be picked up due to this gaffe (and which lost).

I actually LOVE the idea that a small firm down the street (Goldberg and Fischmann!!) should get the job going forward.

Jamie said...

OMG!!!!!!!

Wow Ken you gotta look at net and many sites like flavorwire where Nicole Kidman's clapping has gone viral. Her fingers are longgggg and curved, looks like an alien and fingers of both hands don't touch. Weirdddddd. Ha Ha Ha................

Anonymous said...

@Michael:
Ungracious star: Denzel (acting like an asshole when someone praises you).

Perhaps Denzel did not want a man accused of repeatedly sexually harassing two women on the set of Joaquin Phoenix' I'M STILL HERE (2010) and who settled out of court for said harassment (which resurfaced during his Oscar run) to give him a shout out? I would argue Denzel's "ungracious" response is warranted / acceptable.

On a similar note: Shout out to Brie Larson (who gave him his award) and who refused to applaud Casey Affleck when he won. Pics of Affeck with the other acting recipients show he was on the outs.

(Orleanas)

Jenny said...

Hi Ken, nice podcast. But reading it again and again would have been nicer.

I am sure you will go over it tomorrow too especially the end mix-up.

One question to you and all readers: can anyone tell me what Vince Vaughn said? He compared Jimmy to some bearded person. And some slander word. I missed out on it.....

Thanks in advance for the reply.

gottacook said...

Most of the above comments are the nastiest I've ever read here - nasty without being funny, I mean - and I've been a daily visitor to this site for many years.

YEKIMI said...

Jahn Ghalt said...
Maybe they should have done an Alzheimer's test (on Beatty and Dunway)

Oh please! I had already forgotten I had made the joke about 2 hours after. My dad had it [Alzheimer's] and if his wife at the time [not my mother] basically refused to acknowledge it all while I was screaming that he needed checked out for it. If they had, he may have lived about 10 years longer than he did because they could have given him medicine to slow it down. My mother appears to be getting it. And I was told several years ago after a genetic test that I have an 80% chance of getting it. So yeah, I'm going to make jokes about it, it's the way I handle depressing news as it relates to me. As far as Warren & Fay goes, if I actually thought they were coming down with it or had it, I would have never made the joke. After he explained what happened I knew he was OK. Sorry you got butt hurt.

Honeycutt Powell said...

I tried to listen to your podcast for the first time, but I had to stop after 5 minutes. Who has over 20 minutes to listen to something I could read in less than 5? Your sarcasm comes along just fine in print.

MikeN said...

Not just Best Picture- Jan Chapman was watching and saw her face in the In Memoriam segment.
They left out Doris Roberts and Florence Henderson.

Jahn Ghalt said...

Ok, YEKIMI, sorry to have pressed that button. I'd intended to praise Beatty anyway and your comment triggered a quicker comment - I could have done that without reference to yours.

(sorry, again)

And sorry to about your folks - my own mother was suffering dementia - repeating herself at two-minute intervals before dying fast of septic shock (a mercy, all things considered). I suppose I should get tested myself (thanks for the warning).

I still think Beatty recovered very well for Dunaway's smug error (which was to not read the card - but making, perhaps, a "valid inference").

(I forgot to suggest that Dunaway ought to apologize for her part)

FWIW, I liked your drunken fist fight joke a lot better!





Jahn Ghalt said...

And one more cultural observation 40 years after the fact:

This morning I saw a less-than-2-minute clip of Dunaway's speech for the 1977 Best Actress Oscar for Network. Short, sweet, thanked a few folks, and done within one-minute on stage. None of that overblown significance-of-art-and-its-impact stuff.

Quite the contrast.

Oh, WTH, here's another:

I'd love to hear at least one presenter say "the winner is".

Breadbaker said...

Does anyone know what music was playing when Beatty and Dunaway came out? It was most definitely not the theme to Bonnie & Clyde, which seemed odd.

VP81955 said...

To Jahn Ghalt: A few years ago, the Academy changed the phrase from "And the winner is..." to "And the Oscar goes to..." Which I understand -- heck, merely being nominated for an Academy Award makes one a winner in my book!

suek2001 said...

I have never listened to podcasts...but I listened to this one. The sarcasm and delivery took a bit to build up in your presentation but once it did, I laughed several times.
The product placement threw me for a bit but bills are bills.

I will say that I loved Viola's speech at first but the more I thought about it, the more I hated it..her part of saying artists give life to the dead may be true...but the grandiose vision that Hollywood has of itself falls flat.

I loved that some thought someone should be FIRED for the screw up. I actually don't think anyone should be fired. Screw ups happen..no one died..no one was injured...the biggest apology should go to the people who put that Memorial thing together with a LIVE person in the montage....on some level they did "kill" someone...

Overall, it was sluggish in spots but Kimmell was great...and my Mom is a Trump supporter(still love her anyway" and she laughed at all the Trump jokes...as she put it "we all need a sense of humor"..

I am still steamed that Denzel lost...and was hoping Hidden Figures would pull an upset...I guess Hollywood hates the feel good movies nowadays...

Charles H. Bryan said...

Enjoyed the podcast! It was great to hear you deliver your material. Well done!

The Blue Apron ad was fine. You were funny and brought your personality to it. Many podcasts include this type of ad, so it was not obtrusive, to me, at least. And glad that you've got a sponsor.

Cap'n Bob said...

The image of a gift wrapped vacuum cleaner still makes me chuckle.

Mike Barer said...

And the Oscar for the best podcast goes to
KEN LEVINE!

cd1515 said...

One obvious problem with the Oscar review as a podcast is when you're referencing what someone wore or looked like, we can't see them.

Jabroniville said...

Very nice, Ken.

I love how "diversity" just means "more blacks". Asian? Get the hell out.

Amy Adams continues to be adorable, while trying to be a sexpot. I don't think she could play a seductress if she tried- she was gifted with too adorable a face.

Scarlett Johanssen looked miserable. I often wonder if she's capable of joy- she always comes off as this robotic super-actress that only goes through pretend emotions.

Jenny said...


Still no answer on what Vince Vaughn said about Jimmy Kimmel in retort to Jimmy ridiculing about Vince acting in Mel Gibson movie?

Anybody?

Unkystan said...

MIA in the "In Memorium" Hugh O'Brian. Burt Kwouk. Marvin Kaplan. Michele Morgan. Fritz Weaver. Bernard Fox. William Schallert. Alan Young. Robert Vaughan. Anne Jackson. Gloria deHaven.

Stuart said...

I realize I'm in a minuscule minority... but as a deaf follower of yours for many, many years, no podcasts for me. {sad face emoticon}

Roger Owen Green said...

I agree that some comments on this page were nastier than I recall reading. Maybe Beatty should have called Kimmel (was he in the audience with Damon,, or was that that later?) to get clarification.
I age=ree Casey Affleck was being snubbed, and Denzel wasn't being ungracious.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

The Blue Apron ad seemed really *long* to me.

The one thing I thought was too bad was that it was a review. I know, Ken, that this is what you always do, but I can't help feeling that calling the Oscars play by play ought to be in your wheelhouse, given all those years of baseball radio.

wg

Andrew said...

I am truly shocked that so many people are praising Viola Davis's speech.

"We are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life."

Really? I mean, good Lord!

Do I even have to explain what's wrong with this?

If you take this speech, add it to Meryl Streep's (about football and mixed martial arts), you can begin to figure out why the celebrities' candidate lost the national election.

Mike Doran said...

Advance apologies to Ken and all.

Andrew:

The one and only reason that Trump "beat" Clinton was - is - the continued existence of the Electoral College.

Assuming that my comments are still up at "The March Of Dames" (particularly the final one), you may all check them out there.

And that's all.

Back to Fun! Fun! Fun!

VP81955 said...

No William Schallert in the "in memoriam"? That was unfortunate. True, he was more associated with television (and I'm pretty certain the Emmys acknowledged him last September), but he was the former president of the Screen Actors Guild (and played the mayor in the 1967 Best Picture, "In the Heat of the Night").

To the Emmy awards people: Please acknowledge my late friend Francine York this fall. While never a series regular, she had scores of guest appearances on all sorts of TV episodes for several decades dating back to the '60s, and worked as recently as "The Mindy Project" in 2015.

Jahn Ghalt said...

@ VP81955:

Thanks for the reminder about "the Oscar goes to", to which I object.

No big deal, actually, given that our children and grandkids now "graduate from kindergarten" (grade-school, et al), that we get "certificates of participation" for showing up and respirating, that "everyone is special", etc. etc. etc. ad nauseam.

Given the puerile acceptance speeches these days, it's no big surprise that supposed grownups (with all those automatic-accomplishments under their belts) express themselves like teens.

Anonymous said...

"I was taken aback by the Blue Apron product insertion. I don’t care about the fact that you have commercialized your podcast."

Vermicious Knid writes...

Ken-- HOW DARE YOU write and produce your own podcast when you should be bestowing it upon us simply because our effluent does not stink? I mean, anyone can write, and anyone can talk, so you should not offend our senses with a commercial sponsor. And trying to make it entertaining? You cur! Of all the nerve!

True artists, like Neil Simon and George Bernard Shaw, would never do such a thing. (Check the internet, you know I'm right.) Neither would the great Orson Welles. Imagine the writer/director/star of Citizen Kane doing a commercial!

By the way, I've never heard of most of those old "stars" or "writers" or "athletes" you mention. I don't have to check the internet. I know I'm right.