Friday, March 03, 2006

An Oscar Flashback Weekend

Aloha from Hawaii. Oscar weekend is here, and so to get you in the mood, here are a couple of my past bitchy Oscar reviews. Today’s is from 2004. Another tomorrow. Mahalo.


Welcome to my seventh annual bitchy Oscar review. I didn't get a chance to actually see all the movies this year. For some reason Carmine Caridi didn't loan me his screener tapes.

The Academy Awards were early this year so ABC could finish higher in the February Sweeps than MSNBC.

But earlier Oscars meant fewer full page ads in the trades begging Academy members for nominations. As if these work. My favorite was a few years ago. A full page ad in both Variety and Hollywood Reporter. "For your consideration for BEST ACTOR: DeForrest Kelley, Doc, STAR TREK:THE WRATH OF KAHN".

Always a highlight for me is the pre-Oscar show with Channel 5's dashboard bobblehead, Sam Rubin and new co-host this year, somebody named Emily Frances. Picture any Hooters waitress in a gown. But she fit right in asking questions stupid enough to rival Sam's. Emily to Phil Collins: "Was winning an Oscar an out-of-body experience?" followed by "When you present an award are you allowed to have a favorite?"

As usual I never watch a second of Joan and Melissa Rivers, the Jewish answer to trailer trash.

Angelina Jolie was resplendent in her elegant gown and tattoos.

Yes, Catherine Zeta-Jones looked spectacular but mark my words, she's only three years away from Haddassah arms.

Samantha Morton wore a MacArthur Park looked like the cake that was left out in the rain.

I'm sorry the Giant Eye from LORD OF THE RINGS didn't win best supporting actor. The horse from SEABISCUIT wasn't even nominated but did land the starring role in the great new Fox pilot, MR. ED.

Billy Crystal hosted again in a desperate attempt to make us all think he still has a feature career.

Jon Stewart, who has as much of a feature career, should be the emcee.

Crystal did a nice job however although his song parodies stopped being funny and fresh six Oscarcasts ago. It's been three years since he last hosted. He couldn't come up with something new in three years? Again, it's not like he's been off making movies.

Why are the Academy Awards classier than the Golden Globes? Sean Connery gives the welcome speech for the Oscars and someone like Rob Schneider does the honor for the Globes.

Since I'm tired of not being nominated I am writing and producing the can't-miss Oscar candidate for next year. Done in the Pixar style, Tim Robbins and Judi Dench play two retards in Middle Earth, directed by Clint Eastwood. Sweeping battle scenes and a dreary Sting song. And Rene Zellwegger as their best friend, "Squint". Total running time: 5 hours 32 minutes.

Has there ever been an Oscar show with LESS suspense??? I found myself rooting for movies I hated just to see an upset.

The set looked like a giant waffle iron.

Congratulations to Tim Robbins. Glad that he won on ABC, the same network that once fired him from the SHAPING UP sitcom pilot.

Rene Zellwegger is the Academy's new darling. She can do accents and never has dated Billy Bob Thornton.

I love how they showed Nichole Kidman when Rene thanked Tom Cruise. Meow.

The Bob Hope tribute was nice. Now that Tom Hanks has starred in and produced movies about World War II he is the Hollywood representative when it comes to the Army (which is why he introduced the Hope tribute I suppose). I remember when that representative used to be an actor who had actually served in the military.

I see the hip hop revolution lasted all of one year. Even Roberto Bernigni lasted two.

Liv Tyler's hair off to one side was interesting. Who was her designer, Picasso?

I'm still humming that catchy COLD MOUNTAIN theme.

After seeing Johnny Depp's haircut I now know why he wore a hat to the Golden Globes. Is he joining Flock of Seagulls?

My son was surprised the winners for the tech awards didn't have pocket protectors in their tuxedos.

Designer Vera Wang wore a dead raccoon. Which looked good on her, by the way.

Every time I hear Jim Carrey being introduced at one of these events I positively cringe. He is unfunny on a par with Whoopi Goldberg and Joe Lieberman.

I enjoyed the Blake Edwards salute. Nice to see a comedy director honored...even if he did ROUGH CUT, SWITCH, BLIND DATE, A FINE MESS, and S.O.B.

Scarlett Johansson wore the mermaid costume from SPLASH but it still looked fabulous on her.

LORD OF THE RINGS might have won 11 Oscars but MASTER & COMMANDER got the big one -- Sound Editing. Expect a big spike in boxoffice receipts this weekend.

The following women looked beautiful: Diane Lane, Jennifer Garner, Holly Hunter (boy, she didn't look that good at my friend's briss), Naomi Watts, and Susan Sarandon (whose push up bra served as her dress).

Can't say the same for Diane Keaton. What was with the Annie Hall look? She makes a movie celebrating her age then dresses like she did 28 years ago. And looked ridiculous in that outfit THEN.

I hope Alec Baldwin has better luck with his custody battle than he did with the Oscars. Remember when he used to be such a catch? Tonight his companion was one of his brothers, either Billy or Fredo, I don't know them well enough.

Catch phrase of the year: "this was an incredible JOURNEY". No movie was a production, it was a "journey". No one had careers. They were all on "journeys". I'm hoping next year the catch phrase will be "What's Up, Hollywood, what's up? Jump on it! Jump on it!"

No nomination for Russell Crowe this year. Guess he has now slept with and dumped every female member of the Academy.

Was Charlize Theron Jean Harlow or what?

No ribbons this go-round. Causes must be so last year.

Director Peter Jackson looked like Rupert on SURVIVOR. They don't have combs in New Zealand? I pity the poor After-Oscar Party that has a buffet.

Lovely tribute for Kate Hepburn delivered by today's equivalent in talent and stature, Julia Roberts. Seeing that montage you had to marvel. Kate Hepburn had a 70 year career and never once had to do a TV series.

Annie Lennox looked like Peter Pan in drag.

How could LORD OF THE RINGS win for best editing when the movie was 3:30 long? What did they possibly leave out???

Thank God for Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara. I thought the catagory was "Best Original Song" not "Best Original Dirge".

Only surprise: Brian Helgeland didn't win for writing MYSTIC RIVER. He lost out to a movie where a character named Smiegel says "my preciousssssss" forty thousand times.

I was very happy for Sofia Coppola winning the "Best Original Screenplay" award. Just compare LOST IN TRANSLATION with the bogus SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE which explored the same subject matter in a superficial Hollywood way and you appreciate why Sofia won. She featured real people wrestling with real emotions. It's always nice when a fluke wins.

How come Katherine Hepburn got a longer tribute than Gregory Peck? Not that I'm counting lines.

Odd that they gave out the "Best Director" award before the "Best Actor and Actress".

I can't comment on most of the speeches. I Tivoed past them. What does it say when I Tivo through the show but stop at the ABC Natalie Wood biopic promo?

Charlize Theron thanked her mom but not her dad. There's a good reason for this. Her mom shot and killed her dad, who apparently was abusive. (True story) I find it annoying that the announcer spews meaningless Oscar statistics while the winners are walking up to the stage. Wouldn't you love to hear: "Charlize Theron is the first Oscar winner whose mother shot her father"?

Last year Nicole Kidman won for Best Actress with a big nose attached to her face. This year it's Charlize Theron made to look like a skanky whore. How Hollywood is that? Instead of hiring actresses who really are plain or ugly they would rather hire actresses who are gorgeous and load them with make up.

Sean Penn finally won his Oscar. After playing the same meltdown scene in seventeen previous movies they finally gave him one to make him stop.

Bill Murray should have won. It was his best performance since MEATBALLS.

Hope you didn't have any money down on SEABISCUIT.

Until next year, when I'm again at my computer instead of an Oscar party.....

See you at the movies...or at least the video store.

Ken Levine


Andres said...

"today's equivalent in talent and stature, Julia Roberts"

gag...spew...repeat. I hope you were joking. I mean, come on, she's what some might call a female dog. Can I call her that?

(under my breath)
Please don't let Julia Roberts be Ken Levine's best friend. Please please please!

By Ken Levine said...


Yes, I was joking. But if I ever do become Julia Robert's best friend I'll delete this post.

Jenius said...

Video store? That's so 2001.

(Still laughing about how Hollywood it is to not hire actual ugly women.)

Whaledawg said...

What have you got against Jim Cary Ken?

david golbitz said...

You, sir, must be a witch, foreseeing Jon Stewart as host of the Oscars like that. That's incredible. You are truly wise.

Anonymous said...


Hate to get film geek on you but "Rough Cut" wasn't directed by Blake Edwards but Don Seigel. (With a script by an uncredited Larry Gelbart.) (And yes, I have way too much time on my hands.)

By Ken Levine said...

Jim Carrey thinks he's a riot at these things. He's not.


You may be right. But Blake Edwards was slated to direct this. Larry Gelbart did do the original draft and told me that when he turned it in Blake loved everything up to and including the title page. Larry did use a psuedonym -- Francis Burns (as in Frank Burns)

Anonymous said...

Right, I forgot. You used to work for him. That's what I get for trying to sound smug and knowledgable.