Monday, March 8, 2010

The Academy Awards Show Review

Let's review last night's Academy Awards Show. Using a title from a famous Clint Eastwood spaghetti western, here we go.

1. The Good. Even though the show went a half hour longer than scheduled, it did have a nice, brisk pace. Let's face it, the commercials make this show too long. The decision not to have the best song nominees was a great idea. Songs performed in past shows usually killed the program with boredom.

And while I hate having ten best picture nominees, the voting system that calculates a majority of having more than fifty per cent worked. The Hurt Locker rightfully won. I preferred Up but The Hurt Locker is the type of film excellence that deserves the award. Thankfully, the Academy avoided giving best picture to Avatar.

2. The Bad. Hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. Martin's jokes were flat. In fact, Tim Robbins jokes during his introduction of Morgan Freeman were better. And Alec Baldwin was awful as Martin's straight man. Next year, bring back Billy Crystal. He can sing. He can dance. He's a funnier guy than Martin. Or have Robin Williams host the show. He's unpredictable.

Who wrote the cliched introduction for Matt Damon before announcing Best Documentary? The reason why I'm complaining here is that all the films from the category had a message. Were they afraid of a Michael Moore moment? Sorry, that's why they made the films. You can agree or disagree with their message, but you don't' honor this category by making it vanilla. None of these filmmakers were afraid of controversy and neither should the Academy. When The Cove won, thankfully, one of the honorees unfurled a banner to support dolphins which is what the movie was about.

The John Hughes tribute. Really? Look, I liked Ferris Bueller too but his movies are not going to stand for excellence in filmmaking. He was no greater than some of the others in the industry that died just more popular. And don't call me a hypocrite for agreeing with the honorary award to "B" movie king, Roger Corman. Corman gave many of today's top directors their start.

3. The Ugly. Okay, this one is easy. It was the chubby, geek dancer with Legion of Extraordinary Dancers. Brought out to dance to snippets of the best score nominees, a geeky dancer was the main focus during the Hurt Locker section. He did what could be best described as a hip hop routine and it looked so bad that it was funny. Next time, just show clips.

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