The Oscar telecast
Figured I'd start the thread ahead of time. :-)
-- Yet another reason I love my wife: she describes this as the only sacred day of the year. My brother-in-law invited us to do something or other and she IM'd back "On Oscar Sunday? Are you on crack?"
-- I'm not a particular fan of any of the million shows Seth Macfarlane does all the voices for LOL but I respect him a lot. He's an especially interesting choice because unlike any of the other "hip, young" hosts they've brought in, he has deep roots in old stuff. He did an album of straight-faced big-band swing, picking some 40s and 50s songs you haven't heard before that are really wonderful. These Amazon samples will be a good start, but feel free to look for him on YouTube. He's got the goods.
This old-new mix, and yes, young hipness, could make for an interesting ride. I suspect that his real skills as a singer are part of the reason that the show's theme is a salute to musicals.
-- Although jeez louise, is there any show that handles music more poorly than the Oscars? NO, there's not. I'm calling it now: the musical parts of the show are going to be awful...although MacFarlane will probably do great, as will Adele....but all the salute stuff? Hideous. take this to the bank.
-- Great article from my peeps at Grantland.com, regularly featuring the web's best writing (on a lot of things, even though I mostly just post pop culture links): The Screaming Aural Nightmare That Is the 'Best Song' Category (and a Humbl....
-- That said, one of my all-time favorite moments from the 2008 telecast, during the acceptance speech for Falling Slowly. After Glen Hansard spoke, just as Marketa Irglova steps up to the microphone, she gets shut down. Then right after the commercial break, Jon Stewart CALLS HER BACK OUT to give her speech. He steps in around the 2 minute mark.
Enjoy this clip fast. As quickly as people post clips like this, Oscar makes 'em take 'em down.
-- For the love of TV, why do the Oscars bury clips of acceptance speeches? There are NONE at the Oscars website. Not one. Even if they don't want to post them, why not sell them on DVDs or something? Or make a TV special, ANYTHING to underscore the special moments in the telecast's history. I find this absolutely stupefying.
-- My fondest wish for this year's Oscars, that they not explain what anybody does. I think that people get the gist of what an editor does, and the drawings of costumes, people having prosthetic ears or whatever applied when the nominations are read - that's plenty of explanation.
And please, please, please, no explanations of what documentaries are.
I'd love it if the producers took for granted that the TV audience for the Oscars know enough about the movies to follow along.
-- After over 50 years as a hardcore, and I assumed til-death-do-I-part east coaster - the absolute best part about living on the west coast is that the Oscar telecast starts at 5PM. Score!
See ya after the show. :-)
"She IM'd back"
LOL, I love it.
You pretty well covered all the important pre-show junk. I won't be watching from my usual spot with the movie nerds, so I hope the nerds in this thread can make up the deficit.
The music will be awful and DDL will win an Oscar.
I wonder if the VFX protest will get a telecast mention? Especially if Pi wins. Hm. Doubt it.
And all you west coasters and your time zone? Meh.
My thoughts on the Oscar telecast, now that it's over.
-Took forever to get to the first award, and I wasn't all that entertained by MacFarlane's bits. Not a big fan of William Shatner as a person.
-The "Boobs" song seemed about the right level of low brow entertainment I was expecting.
-Brave beating Wreck It Ralph ended up being the worst choice of the night. I do not like Brave.
-Jaws music was a funny choice for playoff music, but they shouldn't have cut that dude who won for Life of Pi off, he was just about to get to the best part!
-I guess Les Miserables goofy wigs and dirt make-up was better than every character in The Hobbit wearing prosthetic make up? I GUESS?
-Bond montage was kind of cool, but having someone sing the Goldfinger song in its entirety is why the show ran 30 minutes longer than it was supposed to. I WAS NOT ENTERTAINED.
-Seth MacFarlane's joke about being a mediocre host early in the show was pretty accurate. Then again, how many hosts really ever do something worthwhile?
-Way too many musical numbers. I don't know why we needed to hear songs from Chicago and Dreamgirls? And I'm not sure what that Scarlett Jo song was, it sounded unbearably depressing. And I'm not sure why the song from Ted got nominated, it was pretty terrible. TOO MANY SONGS.
-A TIE?! Alright, whatever. I don't think it's that big of a deal to have a tie in sound editing. Good for both of them.
-Anne Hathaway gave probably her least obnoxious speech of awards season.
-Haha, John Travolta can't pronounce Les Miserables.
-This was a big year for old guys with long white hair.
-I'm still angry that Flight got a screenplay nomination. My BIGGEST criticism of that film was the terrible writing.
-I got the feeling from the crowd reaction that not many people in that room care for Tarantino's personality. To be fair, it did feel like he basically thanked himself.
-Jennifer Lawrence was the only win for Silver Linings Playbook. She deserved it. And they dominated at the Independent Spirit Awards yesterday. Kind of an embarassing faceplant up the stairs, but she covered up for it well.
-Lincoln only got two awards, for DDL, who had a pretty funny speech, and production design. GOOD, it didn't deserve any more.
-All of the Best Picture montages seemed a little sloppy and dull to me. At least they did them three at a time to get them over with faster.
-I'm EXTREMELY happy that during the acting awards being listed off, they went back to showing clips from the movie, instead of having the camera awkwardly shoot a close-up of the actor doing absolutely nothing in their seat. What a dumb, uninteresting shot. Clips from the movies are 100x better.
-I was wrong about Spielberg winning, but I'm happy Ang Lee did. I thought Life of Pi was decent, and you know what, Lee seems like one of the nicest guys on the planet, so I wish him all the best. Just don't make another Hulk, buddy.
-Argo won best picture as expected, and all of the telecasts momentum got destroyed by the terrible "Loser" song played during the credits. I don't know, I guess I like the 'SNL' approach to ending awards shows, just show people on stage shaking hands while the credits play and then fade to black.
-I went 19 out of 24 in my Oscar picks. Not too shabby! Nothing upset me at all outside of Brave beating Wreck It Ralph. Overall, I'd rank this somewhere in the middle out of all the Oscar telecasts I've seen. If I try to think of a good telecast... maybe the Jon Stewart one? If I think of a bad one... probably the James Franco one? This one was OK.
One final thought... I have no idea who Kristin Chenoweth is, but I don't like her. She was really annoying during the 30 minutes of red carpet coverage that I saw, and again, her song at the end was stupid. Also, Eat a sandwich, lady!
First, an apology to the music director. I dreaded the salute to musicals theme because of Oscar's hideous history with performances, but this show was the best music EVER. The Les Miz piece by itself might have been the best performed, best staged musical number I've ever seen anywhere on TV. Hey, and thanks again for not making me go see the movie to get the good stuff! Awesome!
(Speaking of awesome - Hugh Jackman: hubba hubba.)
The biggest issue I had with the theme is that it simply didn't carry through. I don't mind Chicago in the sense that it was the one to kick off the current age of the movie musical...but where was the video montage that swung through the whole history of movie musicals? Starting with Al Jolson is obvious, but dang man, take your pick. The Oscars used to do the short film thing amazingly well. They were often the best parts of the show - but nada this time.
So I'll give the execution of the actual songs a solid A-, execution of the theme a B-, but rounding up to a B because they didn't perform all the best song nominees live -- this was frequently the momentum-killer in the past. A brave departure from tradition that really worked.
Bond salute gets a C-. Pathetic. Video montage was awful. Shirley Bassey was a nice touch, but she exemplified the problem with ALL Bond songs, including Skyfall - they go on for freaking EVER. They're almost never actual SONGS, either. They're cheesy musical filler to go with the cheesy visual filler of Bond credits. I HATE those things.
But if your show's big themes are musicals and Bond, where the heck were McCartney and Carly Simon? Carly's wasn't nominated for an Oscar, McCartney was, but lost to...The Way We Were. Not sure we needed to see Streisand singing it...but any excuse to get her on stage to sing is fine by me. I think they might have taken it easy on her in the focus department, but still looking good...and she's about to turn 71!!!
Of course Carly is notoriously stage-shy, and who the hell knows if Macca had a hole in his schedule - he's touring as hard as ever has...at 70!!! Like Streisand, just a few months shy of 71!!! But still, I bet Axl was free. LOL
-- I'll give Tarantino this: he said this was a writer's year, and I couldn't agree more. There were a couple of soft choices in the original screenplay category, but the rest were WAY strong, and adapted screenplay was the only one of the night that could have been a 5-way tie.
Glad he won, though. He shoulda. He was also right that people will remember his characters even longer than they'll remember him...although I think his stature will grow even bigger over time. Sam Jackson was robbed for an Oscar for Pulp Fiction. Martin Landau for Ed Wood? No.
-- Director was a close second in the 5-way tie category for me. I don't mind Affleck and past winners Hooper and Bigelow being passed over in the sense that there were fewer director slots than picture slots -- although I think all awards that Affleck rightly got during the season were evidence that he should have been in there. But the people who WERE in there all deserved to be.
-- I've said a lot of nice things about Pi, which I really do think is a magnificent achievement, but I don't think I've ever mentioned that I walked out. LOL It drove me insane. But Ang Lee winning was one of my five locks for the night - Amour, Adele, Sugar Man and DDL were the others.
-- I didn't need to know what the movie was to know that Day-Lewis + Kushner = Oscar. Could have been playing PT Barnum or John McClane. Doesn't matter. I'm a little surprised that he didn't win for his adaptation of Lincoln, but I suspect that people not actually liking the movie may have played into it. LOL
I really could have seen any of the 5 winning. I picked Beasts in the end, but my wife reminded me that immediately after we saw it, I said Argo would win Adapted Screenplay...but not win Best Picture. I changed my Best Picture vote, but clearly should have trusted my first instinct on screenplay.
-- Who knew that D-L would give the funniest speech of the night? He'd actually been building this over a number of awards shows, adding a little more humor every time. This was killer stuff to me. Meryl certainly didn't see it coming. I don't know how much time he had to figure out that bit in advance -- when did he find out that Meryl was presenting? -- but he stuck the landing.
I love what he said about Rebecca (daughter of playwright Arthur Miller, who DDL met when he was doing The Crucible), and I love her reaction. And glasses. :-) Very well received in our house.
-- I know that Jennifer got a little rattled by the fall, and Adele was overcome by emotion, but I'd had higher hopes for entertaining speeches from them based on past performances.
-- Remember when it seemed like JLaw was only getting awards because of the comedy/drama split in a bunch of shows? Turns out that Jessica might have been the one sneaking in because of the drama-only categories! Although I think there was a genuine shift that you could see plain as day at the Broadcast Film Critics Association awards. It was actually quite striking. At that point, JLaw seemed like a lock.
(You kids should really put that on your must-see list next year. Definitely among the cheesiest of the lot, but canny choices.)
-- I'll give Seth this: he went deep into the game. I loved Jon Stewart, but you could tell when (or at least it felt like) he ran out of material when shows ran long. Poehler and Fey (ESPECIALLY Amy) were fine at the Golden Globes, but they might as well have gone home at the midway point. There were a lot of strange choices throughout the night, but Seth clearly came to play.
-- The boy has pipes too. I knew he could sing, but I thought he killed.
-- When you could hear him. Both he and Adele were completely lost in the mix, which was TERRIBLE. Among the worst I can remember on any awards show.
-- Agreed that Chenoweth could not possibly have been more annoying. Scott, she's a Broadway fixture with a Tony win and Drama Desk win among a pile of nominations for both, and others. She won an Emmy for her very good, not at all annoying work on Pushing Daisies. She had a run on West Wing and is currently on Good Wife...but yeah, a value minus for the night. Sandwich-lessness was also a little scary.
-- A detour into the Independent Spirit awards: not the strongest year, and I preferred when they aired it live, but it was nice to see SLP clean up there.
-- I lowered my Oscar average with a couple of sentimental picks for SLP, but still came out 15 of 20. I'll take it.
[Tim Wilson] "I really could have seen any of the 5 winning. I picked Beasts in the end"
Did you hear the applause for Beasts any time it was mentioned? Thunderous. It didn't win but you could hear the love for it. And the awkward cut away to the actor after their nominee is named and the emotional clip - where normally they are looking surprised or nervously clapping or whatever - Quvenzhané Wallis was doing her muscle pose. Heart of an entertainer.
[Jeff Breuer] "Heart of an entertainer."
I especially appreciated the muscle pose after the "I'm the man!" clip. Did you catch the animal-shaped purse? Had a different one for the Independent Spirit award - looked like My Little Pony. :-) Adorable without compromising her endearing toughness.
Yeah, she's not a professional actor, but neither are a bunch of other obnoxious kids we see on TV and in real life, who haven't had to deal with more than a fraction of the attention she's gotten. She really appears to have her head on straight.
Speaking of which, was Kristen Stewart up past her bedtime or her drug time? I'm a fan of the Twilight movies (no shock by now I hope), but wow, looking just a lip-plumping shy of a full-on LiLo for sure.
She was a gamer with the limp, though. When I looked up why she was limping (stop laughing), turns out that she has a long history of foot injuries. Wha...?? Best tweet on the subject from Joel McHale, though: "Kristen Stewart is limping because she sprained her ankle from being excessively disinterested."
Even painkillers shouldn't have kept her from fighting off the stylist who was surely chasing her with a comb.
Thanks Scott, here are my thoughts.
- I had reservations about Seth MacFarlane, but I liked him.
- Loved seeing a tie! It makes me feel like the actually count the ballot. I guess it has happened six times, most famously between Katharine Hepburn for “The Lion in Winter” and Barbra Streisand for “Funny Girl” in 1968.
- Kristin Stewart is the new Lindsey Lohan.
- Opposite Scott, I would have liked to have seen more love Lincoln. But I should watch Life of Pie now before getting upset.
- I didn't get the memo that all of the Bonds were not going to be on the show. I applauded loudly after the montage thinking all of the Bonds were coming up in the big entrance, but instead I was disappointed (Note: I originally thought myself to be very clever and wrote, "I was Goldfingered" but this is the Oscars and I thought I would keep it classy...oh wait...They did a song about boobs during the show...nevermind)
- Inocente won best doc short?! Big surprise for me. Then I remembered that the voters are a bunch of old, rich white guys living in LA. I was very happy to see Curfew win Live Action Short though. I'm sure it's up on iTunes or somewhere, it's worth watching. All of the nominees in all of the Shorts categories are worth it in my opinion though.
- I thought the Jaws music was funny. But it is more funny when rich snobby actors get their mics cut off than it is seeing the technical folks. It just feels rude like, "Go back to your dark room and shut up! The people want to see Anne Hathaway!"
- I appreciated the condensed Best Picture shout-outs and tossing out the big intros and explanations and such, but they used that extra time for way too many musical numbers. Remember the Cirque du Soliel act? Remember when Ellen hosted way back and they had the performers behind a scrim doing shadows of things that represented the nominees? The Oscars should keep this stuff more creative.
[Scott Roberts] "-This was a big year for old guys with long white hair."
Not even noon in the east and you've covered all the good stuff. I'll toss in my thoughts anyway.
I thought this was one of the least entertaining Oscars telecasts that I can remember.
I rarely hold award-show-hosting against anyone because I think the producers of the show usually murder it. I hoped Seth would be able to do better because he's very talented, but the bit at the beginning went on for my entire life. I think I might be dead now. Except the dancing with JGL. More of that. Otherwise, I can't remember the point of any of it.
The direction on this show was pretty fudged up and annoyed me. This stuff is a formula, how do you screw it up?
Melissa McCarthy and Paul Rudd, just…no.
Joaquin Phoenix really put on the most insane performance to not get an award. DDL being Lincoln is great, but it does come down to the fact he's a dude impersonating Lincoln. Phoenix is creating an entire person and selling the hell out of it. But meh, awards shows, blah blah whatever.
I thought the musical theme was a complete mess. I didn't understand what they were doing with it at first, and I didn't get why it was relevant, and I didn't think think it was worth the screen time. If you're going to commit to a theme for the Oscars, do it all the way. I loved Chicago, but okay, I don't need to see Catherine Zeta Jones lip sync more. I'd much rather see everyone nominated for best original song THIS YEAR performing at least PART of their thing. Let's celebrate the artists by not showing them. Yay! Screw that.
And speaking of screwing the artists, what a complete lack of disrespect for the VFX guys. I still cannot believe that happened. I can kind of believe that Ang Lee didn't thank the VFX department. But the bit leading into the VFX award (so awkward), cutting him off with the Jaws theme? Kind of threw more fuel on the fire. If you don't know the full story behind this, I strongly encourage you to check out FXGuide's coverage. It's messed up and complicated, but it also comes down to the fact people who worked on an Academy-award winning film aren't being paid for their work. This may have left a bad taste in my mouth for the rest of the telecast.
Sandra Bullock kind of explained editing. But it was in sort of a classy way so it was okay.
Adele's performance was horrible. Why can't awards shows have a decent audio mix? Every single year, the mix is awful. I thought the Les Miz performance got really muddled too (though way to go Russell Crowe, I like your voice but I love your enthusiasm). Shirley Bassey, legit, but god, so boring. The whole Bond tribute was pointless and boring.
Kristen Stewart was a highlight to me. She really looks like somebody just pulled her out of a dumpster.
I thought for sure makeup and hair was a lock for The Hobbit. Has it won any awards at all? Bummer for them.
The bit with Ted on stage was odd and useless, but wow that teddy bear looked awesome.
Tarantino is my hero in so many ways.
Jennifer Lawrence is adorable. Nice save on falling down on stage. And while her acceptance speech was nothing special, the backstage stuff with her is completely classic JLaw. I love it. Especially the d bag at the end.
Beasts of the Southern Wild is really one of my favorite films of all time now, but it not winning best picture is ya know, whatevs. People might be less willing to check it out if it swept every major award. Still Sundance-winnin' Cannes-winnin' Oscar-nominated, not bad at all. What a great year for all of them. I'm looking forward to buying this on Blu-ray and seeing what other goodies are on it.
Ben Affleck getting his Oscar moment to shine was nice. I liked Argo well enough. I'm not sure I'll ever personally revisit it unless it's on TV or something, but it's pretty much what I'd expect out of an Oscar film, I like Ben, and I think it's a well-assembled movie. Can't argue with that, right? Definitely a better choice than The Artist.
Combining the best picture montages and stuff was a good idea in theory I guess, but why did they choose to show clips from the end or turning point of every film? Seriously, the last scene or even the last shot. WTF.
The musical number at the end of the show was atrocious. Just let it die already.
I came up 14/24. Not one of my finer years. I think I got 19 last year. I tend to do better when I haven't seen most of the films. Of the best picture nominees, I just haven't seen Amour and Life of Pi and Lincoln. I'll probably only end up seeing Life of Pi.
Spielberg getting played off to the tacky Jaws theme was such a missed opportunity, Academy.
Basically, most things played out as expected and otherwise the show seemed like a typical Oscars award show run by old people. And yet I'll always watch.
[Kylee Wall] "And speaking of screwing the artists, what a complete lack of disrespect for the VFX guys. I still cannot believe that happened."
I heard a funny comment about this in the latest /Filmcast about how the VFX team got played off so quickly: "So, Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy get to do whatever they want for 2 minutes in what was the worst bit of the night, and then they play off the award winning special effects team after 30 seconds during what was essentially the most important moment of their careers?"
[Kylee Wall] "I'm looking forward to buying this on Blu-ray and seeing what other goodies are on it."
Beasts of the Southern Wild is already out on Blu-ray, I own it!
[Kylee Wall] "Combining the best picture montages and stuff was a good idea in theory I guess, but why did they choose to show clips from the end or turning point of every film? Seriously, the last scene or even the last shot. WTF. "
Luckily, I had already seen 8 out of the 9 best picture films, so the spoilers didn't bother me, but I did think they were weird. Most notably, they showed basically the entire climax of Django Unchained, and during the best actor clips, they played the ENTIRE revelation of Flight in full. The entire 2+ hour movie leads up to hearing that part, and they ruined it. But then again, Flight kinda sucked, so whatever. Still, I guess the producers assumed ruining things were alright for some reason. I muted the TV during the Amour montage, because it's the only one I haven't seen and didn't want it ruined.
SPEAKING OF PRODUCERS, one of the telecast's producers also produced the movie Chicago. Kind of interesting that we saw so many tributes and homages to Chicago, huh...?
[Tim Wilson] "There were a lot of strange choices throughout the night, but Seth clearly came to play."
Ya know what, I will give him that. During basically every other awards show ever, the host tends to sink into the green room for the second half of the show, and some random woman's voice over the PA system starts to introduce the presenters. But MacFarlane kept coming back out after every single break in the show. It's like he actually wanted to host!
[Tim Wilson] Joel McHale, though: "Kristen Stewart is limping because she sprained her ankle from being excessively disinterested."
Kylee - Thanks for sharing the Jennifer Lawrence video, I wish THAT was a part of the actual show.
On another note, the montages for the Best Films, we all seem to agree that the editing was lame on all of them. Does anybody know for sure that the Academy puts those together? I suppose my assumption has always been that the Producer of that particular movie got to choose the edit.
They cut Andy Griffith out of the "In Memoriam" reel.
Star of "No Time For Sergeants" and the seminal " A Face In The Crowd".
That's a frackin' crime, leaving that out.
And no Alex Karras for Mongo. Only pawn in gane of life.
I'll make this quick as I feel like it took me 17 hours to get through the show even with skipping the commercials.
Renee Zellwegger always looks like she just smelled a sour carton of milk.
The Led Miz number was nice. Really good to see A listers letting their guard down and performing live. For the record I saw the touring show twice earlier in life and could probably sing most of the songs on command.
Note to Don Michener.. when you win an Emmy for directing the Oscars I hope they cut off your speech with music. Seriously this is insulting.
Please hire a sound mixer. I think Adele was singing but we only heard her voice in the last measure where she is screaming.
I realize publicists book the presenters but please avoid people like Kristen Stewart. She has talent but her public appearances are always dismal.
One fewer song and dance numbers will open up enough time to give all winners an extra 20 seconds to speak.
No Family Guy appearance? Bah.
OK. Yeah Argo.
I think there is more interest in watching clips of the show, but for anybody interested, ABC posted the entire Academy Awards show in its entirety online.
Wow, that's a first! There are also clips at oscar.com....also a first. For many years, that site has set a very high standard for stupidity. As of late yesterday, it still invited us to watch the ABC telecast Sunday, and while the winners were listed, you had to go to the third screen on the front page, click to go to the "Winners" page...where the link to the actual winners was in the very lower right corner.
It has always amazed me that they've never posted any of the literally hundreds of iconic clips from the telecasts over the years. That should be a site where you spend a very long time soaking in the heritage of what most years is the second-most watched show in the world. World Cup and Olympics throw things off of course, but it's generally right there behind the Super Bowl. And even when the show wasn't quite as popular, there were some great, great moments - I'm sure most of us could rattle a dozen or two off the top of our heads.
This has always been a major pet peeve of mine, so hopefully this will be the first of many steps in the right direction...because it's gonna take a lot of steps.
In this Oscars broadcast we are celebrating 50 years of James Bond, said the presenter....
It is now two days later. Have we seen a celebration yet? We had a clip reel that seemed to be an iMovie template with orchestral versions of like two Bond songs and few if any classic lines. It is almost as if Barbara Broccoli did not authorize any SOT clips or actual music samples.
You expected the screen to slide open and see Connery, Moore, Dalton Brosnan and Craig walk out to lots of applause. Do it in reverse order an Connery, recluse that he is, would get the standing o. He was spotted at the US Open back in Sept 2012 so he does leave the house.
Nope they have Shirley Bassey, which is cool, but then that's it. Maybe have some current pop bands like Maroon 5, For Fighters, Kelly Clarkson or whoever they could afford do covers of Live and Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me, etc. Maybe don't pay Streisand $350,000 and get 5 other artists and some Bond clips with sound.
It would have made sense to have Adele perform next and have some Daniel Craig clips instead of the puffs of smoke and the men's choir behind a beaded curtain.
Now as far as the Chicago tribute, while seeing actors actually perform instead of simply wearing fancy gowns and reading a teleprompter is nice, it did feel like Zeta Jones was being given special treatment.
Seth's songs were a waste of airtime. He comes across as a showman and seems to embrace that so good for him. The Ted bit was cute but a waste of Seth. Should have had Peter, Brian and Stewie Griffin.
Finally the clips for non acting nominations were so short as to be useless.
Time for a new director and producer methinks. How about Rob Melick or Hamish Hamilton for director and Tom Hanks as producer.
[Mike Cohen] "You expected the screen to slide open and see Connery, Moore, Dalton Brosnan and Craig walk out to lots of applause."
They apparently worked on this, and it fell apart. I would think that the holdout would be Lazenby, who basically left the business after that one and only part -- that was his film debut, remember -- to spend the rest of his days womanizing in Australia. More power to him.
But who knows? Maybe they ALL held out. Turns out that Daniel Craig wasn't even at the Oscars. As I noted in an a clip on another thread, his high-five with Adele at the Golden Globes was one of the best couple of moments in the show.
[Mike Cohen] "The Ted bit was cute but a waste of Seth. Should have had Peter, Brian and Stewie Griffin."
I'm kind of glad they didn't do this. Remember when Letterman did his Top 10 and so many of the other bits from his show? It felt completely out of place.
It's also easy to forget that Ted was very, very highly regarded around town. Seth was a pleasure to work with as a rookie director, and I suspect THAT, rather than TV, was a big reason why people were willing to take such a big risk on him, just 2 shows after their "young, hip" experiment with Franco and Hathaway blew up in their faces.
Note too that after the studio risked $50 million on a first-time director, he returned nearly $540 million. It's been a long, long time since Hollywood has seen that kind of success.
For anyone who cares:
#1 R-rated comedy all time
#7 R-rated MOVIE all time (?!?)
And of all the movies playing in the past 365 days, ranked #9. No kidding.
This is a real, live hit on a highly unusual scale.
[Mike Cohen] "Time for a new director and producer methinks."
They tried! Remember, they hired Brett Ratner to do the 83rd! Rush Hour, X-Men: Last Stand, Red Dragon, he was 41 at the time. This would have been a huge break with tradition.
He torpedoed himself with publicly flapping his homophobia and misogyny around. Remember his "rehearsal is for f--gs" quote? Even without the f word, I'd have canned him for pissing on the value of rehearsing THE F++CKING OSCARS.
Not sure how Eddie Murphy would have done as host, but he graciously stepped down when the production team changed, which all by itself is a good sign.
The Academy followed up with Brian Grazer, a relative geezer at 59 at the time...which I'm STUPEFIED was roughly the same age (59 and 63) of this year's producers. They seemed at least 10, if not 20 years older. Maybe it's the conservatism of the Broadway culture? Which sounds ridiculous to say, and factually wrong in a lot of ways, so a better word is in order than conservative....but that's also how this year's show felt, specific content notwithstanding.
I understand the reason for choosing these producers though -- Broadway vets who should be able to keep a live show on the rails. Right? Wellllll....
Don Mischer directed for the third year. By all accounts a nice guy with a very impressive resume, the audio alone would keep me from hiring him again. Not that DOING the audio was his job, but that should NOT have happened on his watch.
I like the Hamish Hamilton/Tom Hanks idea, but I think a change in priorities is the biggest issue. Production numbers are the ballast that needs to be jettisoned, not the speeches. Kill the whole Chicago number, or push aside some lesser lights in order to have THOSE people present. Or whatever. These people are all pros. They get it. Make it up to 'em later.
And for fark's sake, do better packages. Like with the Bond thing, even if you can't get all the 007s on stage, get them on film. Get more Bond girls - not speaking stupidly or sexist-ly here, but wouldn't you have loved a clip of the now 87-year old Honor Blackman talking about Pussy Galore? What about Richard Kiel, Yaphet Kotto or some of the other great villains?
Then a pile of people who've been touched or somehow influenced by Bond, some critics to put it in context. Intersperse with clips, 8 minutes, 10 tops, and OUT. Maybe break it out into shorter segments - the Bond girls, the villains, etc. But this was a film MAKERs task that should never have been laid on editors alone. Or maybe there was a director -- in which case, on a scale of 1 to 10, I give it an F.
In any case, your Bond short(s) or whatever else in future years and In Memoriam are your untouchable pieces, gotta keep the opening bit (jeez, though, rehearse enough to tell if it's working or not), and everything else is up for grabs. Running behind? Kill 'em all.
(You think that may be why Fey and Poehler disappeared at the Globes? The show was running late and their bits got axed? Probably nothing that thoughtfully considered. LOL)
I'm always going to love the two pieces that Errol Morris did for the Oscars. Where's the ART to the love of movies?
From 2002, a short film about loving movies, and from 2006, an introduction to the nominees, in reverse order because I like the newer one a little better. LOL Listen for Morris's interruptions. Hilarious.
Ima also mention that I wrote an article on these two short films, and Morris's approach to documentaries called That whole white background thing. One of the better things I've written at the COW, I think.
Apologies to George Lazenby - I assumed he was no longer with us since we have not heard of him since the 70's.
After a project is completed in the business world you sometimes do a post-mortem or SWOT analysis. Do they do things like this for awards shows, or is it just assumed that the audience doesn't really care how it plays out - they just want to see fancy dresses and George Clooney's hair (I have to admit, as a semi-bald middle aged guy, the man has a nice mop for a 50-something).
Given the audience of 2 billion people, it seems they stick to the old timey format, knowing that people in the non-US audience like that stuff. And I admit, the movie musical is a big part of movie history so it does deserve some place in the show. The thing with JGL, Charlize Theron, Channing Tatum and Harry Potter was classy - should have lead with that and left Captain Kirk in the 23rd Century. I can only assume that Shatner has a movie to promote or it was a request by Seth - would have made an ok Family Guy flashback.
I understand Ted was popular and it is on my RedBox list, but they could have done Family Guy style flashbacks throughout the show as a way to get those fake movie clips into play.
Oh well, now we have a whole year to consider next year's nominees which have not been released yet.
[Mike Cohen] "Apologies to George Lazenby - I assumed he was no longer with us since we have not heard of him since the 70's."
They should add an In Memorian section for actors who you thought were dead, but really aren't.
In this Oscars broadcast we are celebrating 50 years of James Bond, said the presenter....
It is now two days later. Have we seen a celebration yet? We had a clip reel that seemed to be an iMovie template with orchestral versions of like two Bond songs and few if any classic lines. It is almost as if Barbara Broccoli did not authorize any SOT clips or actual music samples.
I didn't watch the Oscars since I was boycotting it, because Boys of Bonneville never got nominated :-)
They could have always edited something awesome like this where they united all of the bonds together in a clever edit.
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[Jeff Breuer] "They should add an In Memorian section for actors who you thought were dead, but really aren't."
You kids are probably too young (or smart) to remember Remote Control, an MTV game show that ran from 1987 to 1990. It was hosted by Ken Ober, with the premise that he wanted to host a game show, but couldn't afford to, so it was something he made in his basement. It was the TV launchpad for Colin Quinn, Adam Sandler, and Denis Leary among others.
(Denis actually first got "famous" for a series of MTV promo rants, which you've got to dig to find. But they were a big enough deal that they got covered in other media because Denis was so outrageous, and totally killing with a kind of comedy nobody had seen before outside of a small circle of cocaine-fueled Boston clubs in the 80s. Unless. uhm. you knew Bill Hicks. Anyway great documentary about that cocaine-fueled Boston comedy scene, When Stand-up Stood Out. Highly recommended.)
Remote Control was mostly TV trivia, and one of my favorite categories was "Dead Or Canadian," in which contestants identified celebs as...dead or Canadian. It later became something of a meme, but as far as I know, got its start here.
(You remember that Jon Stewart's first TV gig was on MTV, right?
When they first started doing non-music programming, it was really, really good...and is actually still better than its rep...but late 80s, early 90s, MTV was where it was at.)
So anyway, Dead Or Canadian gameshow skit at the Oscars. I'm there.
[Stephen Smith] "They could have always edited something awesome like this where they united all of the bonds together in a clever edit."
Y'know, part of the problem was that they had 2 themes, neither of which amounted to a complete half-ass each. Maybe put them together and you've got one entire half-assed execution.
WTF were they doing with 2 themes? PICK ONE. We're kvetching about the less-than-half-baked Bond video -- but where was the musicals video? They could have just stuck with 1964, when Sound of Music won 5 Oscars including Best Picture, plus My Fair Lady (not nominated?!?), Mary Poppins (Best Actress Oscar for this but not SoM?? Well, okay...), Viva Las Vegas, HARD DAY'S NIGHT, just off the top of my head. I'm sure there are more, plus bunches of great songs(Shadow of Your Smile, Goldfinger - iconic enough to not need the Bond tribute - theme from Fistful of Dollars, Zorba, etc etc).
But a musical "theme" without a clip from a single musical movie? Singin' In The Rain? I mentioned Jazz Singer - either version would do. LOL Even just the Oscar-WINNING musicals would have made a tremendous package.
They shouldn't have said that there was a salute to musicals. There wasn't. The music was better than usual though - just a little too much, and NOT A SALUTE.
Pick one. Do it right. No matter what, focus on the awards and strong clips for this year's movies.
[Stephen Smith] "I didn't watch the Oscars since I was boycotting it, because Boys of Bonneville never got nominated."
An outrage that doesn't get talked about often enough. Far more offensive than anything Seth McFarlane did that night, for sure.
It almost seemed like the wrote the teleprompter scripts two months ago, before they had all the clip reels and surprise guests booked, and they decided just to go with what they had.
As I said before, "Now here comes a tribute to 50 years of James Bond, but in case you are wondering, we had our intern edit the clip montage, and we just got word that all former James Bond actors are oddly enough already booked for a Bar Mitzvah tonight and they can't get out of it. Oh, and Paul McCartney wanted too much money, and we already promised Babs her full rate. Oh and one more thing, we will not be playing clips of any actual Bond music - we'll just have our orchestra up the street play Muzak versions."
Did anyone think it was odd that the orchestra was playing remotely from the Capitol Records building? I'm sure they had a direct fiber connection or whatever, but they seemed to have a different cue sheet than the presenters.
Ok this is fun.
Just read that Seth will not be back, which prompted a press release from Zeta-Jones that she will be performing the entire soundtrack to Guys and Dolls next year.