Tuesday, March 07, 2006

My Oscar rant continues

No wonder everyone turns down hosting the Oscars. It’s like walking into a propeller. Jon Stewart did as well as could be expected for any rookie. And yet, I see he’s getting a shitload of criticism.

First complaint: He was nervous at the start. Well, DUH!!!

He was playing to an audience of 5000 clenched sphincters.

He was totally out of his element.

Half the viewing audience was Red State idiots who would have only been happy if the cast of HEE HAW hosted the event.

A billion people who can’t speak English were judging him worldwide.

And the blood of big name past hosts who bombed is what gives the red carpet its color.

Second: He caused the ratings to be down this year. This only reinforces Hollywood’s total disconnect with the public. The ratings were down because no one saw the nominated movies or gave a shit! The Oscars have become the Tonys (except if they were the Tonys BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN would have won).

Third: He’s being blasted for his best line of the night – “Number of Oscars…Three 6 Mafia 1, Martin Scorcese 0”. It’s a racial slur, shows a lack of respect, yada yada.

Gosh, have we learned nothing from our vaunted Best Picture CRASH??? Why can’t we all just learn to get along, people???

Here’s the truth: “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” is a horrible song. Maybe the worst Oscar winning song EVER. And as for not receiving their proper respect, Three 6 Mafia are the same wordsmiths that gave us such timeless gems as “Slob On My Knob”, “Pussy Got You Hooked”, and “Sippin on Sizzurp”.


I hope Jon Stewart is asked back. Next year he’ll be less nervous, maybe a movie that isn’t a big lesson will be up for awards, and Martin Scorcese will at least tie the score.

Oh, and one other thing while I’m ranting. All through the show the Academy’s message was bludgeonly clear – see movies on the big screen not on DVD’s. So what do they do? Show montages all night long of classic movies that are ONLY available on DVD. When was the last time you saw KEY LARGO at your local Cineplex?


doggans said...

I agree with basically everything you just said. Everybody I've talked to who watched the show (basically my family and a few film major friends) thought Stewart was excellent.

I say most of the criticism is because Stewart's humor involves wit and intelligence. Can't have any of that in Hollywood.

Alex Epstein said...

C'mon, Ken, it's not a billion people. That's an old bit of misinformation. It was what, 36 million families in the US? And in those families, how many of the kids were bothering to watch? They were in their rooms playing PS2. It's still a huge audience -- but figure maybe a hundred mil worldwide, tops.

Now if I can just get "It's Hard Out Here fo a Pimp" out of my head...

By Ken Levine said...

Nope Alex,

One billion people. I counted them personally.

Anonymous said...

I thought the plugging of seeing movies in theaters was obsurd, and will probably completely ineffective. We have already witnessed what happens when a major entertainment industry (music) tries to ignore the future and stick to the past business model (iTunes is now the sixth largest seller of music, I think, selling over a billion songs) What have movie theaters done to improve the movie going experience? Added more commercials... And William Goldman's axiom on Hollywood just gets stronger - Noboby knows anything.

Kevin K. said...

The people in the industry are so disconnected from real life that they have no idea how terrible an experience it is to go to the movies. Commercials, cell phones, rude people, more commercials, thin walls in octoplexes, still more commercials... Not everyone can get a pass to Academy screeners at Grauman's or wherever the hell they're run. DVDs are the way to go.

We tuned out after an hour, but from what we saw, Jon Stewart was pretty funny. The big difference between him and, say, Billy Crystal and Steve Martin, is that they begin jokes with "we" -- as in "We voted for the winners for a change." Whereas Stewart, being an outsider, began jokes with "You" -- perhaps not literally, but the point was made. He was laughing at them rather than with them -- just like 99% of the public does.

Mary Lewys said...

I completely agree. He was too hip for the room and Hollywood needs to grow a sense of humor about itself. If Clooney can joke about the horribleness of Batman and Robin, then John can make a joke about the rappers winning the Oscar.

Anonymous said...

Was Eminem's song nominated for Eight Mile?

Yes, "Lose Yourself" was nominated--and won!--the Oscar for Best Song. But Eminem wasn't present at the awards and didn't perform the song, so some folks think of "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp" as the first time a rap group has performed their rap song on the telecast. Which may or may not be a first worth recognizing, depending on what you think is important

Cunningham said...

First off the Three 6 Mafia / martin Scorcese joke was hilarious...it's not a racial slur. It's not disrespectful (to whom might I ask?). It's funny and takes to task the voting habits of the academy.

Those voting methodologies are being called into question as we speak - at least if Yari has his way.

The "subliminal" we have to see movies in theaters is simply desperate people clinging onto a past that never really existed. The same fight they had in the fifties when television came round, and look how that turned out.

They don't want to know what I would do to boost Oscar ratings...

Hmmm... that's a post isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I'm confused... even if half the country is Red State idiots, the folks picking on Jon are media critics, and media critics usually live in Blue states... How could absolute stereotypes have steered me so, so wrong???


Anonymous said...

Not for nothing, but the Scorcese line was used by Entertainment Weekly after Eminem won his Oscar. I mean, seriously, with at least 2 major musicals out this year, one Disney film and dozens of movies with soundtracks, they could only come up with those songs...and the winner was about how difficult the occupation of flesh peddler is? Where's Randy Newman when you need him?

Anonymous said...

Let Lauren Bacall host next year - who wouldn't watch every second of that show?

Anonymous said...

I think the Oscar winning song isn't just about the song, but how well it fits into the movie, and if you have seen HUSTLE AND FLOW, it is a perfect song for THAT movie.

If you haven't seen HUSTLE AND FLOW, you should, because it was awesome.

Anonymous said...

The "Lettermanization" of Stewart -- beating up on a witty, slightly offbeat performance until it's burned into our collective memory as an abject failure -- was pretty much predictable, given the schizophrenic nature of Hollywood. They want the Oscars to be a warm and fuzzy family reunion-type celebration of their "noblest" qualities -- yet, year after year, they keep hiring as hosts these cool, sardonic comedians whose very stock in trade is mocking that kind of empty sentimentality. Where's George Jessel when you need him?

Anonymous said...

Loved the blood on the red carpet line but have to disagree on the song. Pimp was the best song of the year, and you just must be ancient, dawg!

Anonymous said...

I thought Stewart was great, and hey...It is hard out here for a pimp...I actually like the song, have been humming it as I go about the day.

Anonymous said...

they should get stephen colbert to host next year.

if you can't beat 'em, mock 'em.

Anonymous said...

I disagree that "Pimp" is the worst Oscar winning song ever. I'd toss that anvil of honor to "You Light up my Life".

At this point, the whole thing feels like a redux of 1972 when David Raskin quit the Academy after "Shaft" won for best score. So you know what's going to happen now? David Raskin is going to rise from the dead and reak revenge. Watch your backs, three 6 Mafia. Here comes ZOMBIE DAVID RASKIN!!

VP81955 said...

At this point, the whole thing feels like a redux of 1972 when David Raskin quit the Academy after "Shaft" won for best score. So you know what's going to happen now? David Raskin is going to rise from the dead and reak revenge. Watch your backs, three 6 Mafia. Here comes ZOMBIE DAVID RASKIN!!

Personally, I'd be more fearful of the zombie David Raksin, because that's the correct spelling of the man who wrote the melody to "Laura," which Johnny Mercer later gave lyrics to.