Monday, February 25, 2008

80th Annual Academy Awards

by The Joneses

First and foremost, it takes a unique individual to stomach every detail of the Academy. For instance, it is our belief that there should be a threshold of box office earnings that would qualify a movie for consideration. This way, you, me, everyone would at least be familiar with the movies being nominated. Have you seen Atonement? Or La Vie En Rose? Into The Wild? Or I’m Not There? Didn’t think so. The biggest issue we have with the Oscars is that it doesn’t award movies that anyone gives a s*** about. If we cared about Atonement, the box office number would be drastically larger. That is our vote, paying to see the movie. Take for example, 300, Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, or Knocked Up. These are four movies that are extremely entertaining, and we saw each of them multiple times at the theater. If no one aside from the Academy members went to see it, it clearly was not worthy of the viewing public’s time, and thus, is not worthy of a nomination for the industry’s greatest honor. We will attempt to navigate through the night’s categories, nominees, winners, and losers. We will also be giving our own editorial commentary on the validity or correctness of the results. Note to reader: Not all categories deserve your attention, so we will save you the time and conveniently omit them.

Jason in Blue

Samm in Red


Costume Design-Presented by Jennifer Garner

Across The Universe

Atonement

Elizabeth: The Golden Age


Aside from the fact that I believe Jennifer Garner is a tool and puts a damper on this category just by reading it, Elizabeth: The Golden Age is probably worthy of this award. Just look at Cate Blanchett’s dress whites as queen. One could make the argument that they deserve this particular Oscar on that outfit alone. To be honest, I was pulling for Across the Universe. Since it is the movie I have most recently seen, and I also sing its praises…it was the nominee that had my rooting interest.

First off, Jennifer Garner has a man face. At least she tried to cover it up with her hair. Now, I have only seen one of the three nominees. But, just from the previews, this was a great pick. Just the beading alone on the costumes is Oscar worthy. And, like Jason mentioned above, Across the Universe is the movie we have most recently watched and enjoyed, so naturally, we were both rooting for it. The designers needed to come up with new ideas, not just copy things from history books. It’s not that hard to copy a 1940’s army uniform. My mother could do it. Oh yeah, and if you win the Oscar for Best Costume Design, shouldn’t you know how to dress yourself? Who dressed these people tonight?

Best Animated Feature Film-Presented by Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway

Persepolis

Ratatouille

Surf’s Up

Having these two presenters coming out to the Get Smart theme (foreshadowing one of the summer’s big blockbusters) was great. Steve Carell began as if it thought he was presenting Best Documentary-Classic Michael Scott. For anyone who has children of almost any age or enjoys animated movies and hasn’t seen this film…you should be ashamed of yourself. Especially if you have kids, go out and buy this for them now…if not yourself. Patten Oswalt as a gifted young cook/mouse is priceless. Animated films are not meant for all adults, but this one works. I used it as a “date movie”, suck it!

I LOVE Steve Carell. He could read the phone book and make it funny. Ratatouille is the obvious pick for this category. How dare anyone defy the almighty Pixar! They shall smite you! Besides, it’s one of my favorite movies of the year. Seeing a cute, innocent mouse voiced by a swearing atheist like Patton Oswalt is just…..well, as Jason put it…..priceless. Patton Oswalt is one of my favorite comedians and I love that he can put aside the adult material and bow down to Mickey Mouse. It made for a great kids movie that adults could enjoy as well. Yes, Jason used it as a date movie…..and yes, he got some for it.

Best Achievement in Makeup-Presented by the stunning Katherine Heigl

La Vie En Rose

Norbit

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End


Katherine Heigl is attractive, but in presenting this award she was GOOD GOD…you can fill in the rest. This is generally a category I don’t really care about. Unless it goes to the wrong nominee. Like instant replay, it is important to get the correct result. Norbit is a no-brainer, with its latex and hours in the makeup chair-so throw it out. With what’s left, La Vie En Rose-replicate a previous era (something that resembles the 1940’s in France) or create an entire world filled with thousands of Pirates, Colonial Soldiers, witch craft women, etc. Which one sounds more impressive? That’s right, the one that did not win. Remember, especially for this post, “the right team doesn’t always win”.

Katherine Heigl – one of MY picks for the “I’d Hit That Draft”. I call shenanigans on this one. Le Vie En Rose – Never heard of it, so it shouldn’t count. Hell, just the makeup on Geoffrey Rush beat out BOTH of the other nominees. I mean come on. Making a guy as smoking hot as Johnny Depp look that nasty (but still hot, somehow) takes some serious skill. French movie – wrong, Pirates – right.

Best Visual Effects-Presented by Duane “the Rock” Johnson

The Golden Compass

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Transformers


The Rock had a bit about how the Visual Effects from Raiders of the Lost Ark gave him nightmares as a kid. Very funny. What’s not SO F***ING FUNNY, is how arguably the best action/childhood adaptation movie of a generation did not get the nod here. Look, I’ve seen two of the three nominees upwards of 15 times. The third only once. Golden Compass is a good movie. Visually, I get it, 80% of the movie is shot on a green screen so that the CG guys can fill in the rest. But creating green screen polar bears and flying machines pale in comparison to creating OPTIMUS PRIME!!! Or MEGATRON OR BUMBLE BEE OR RATCHET OR STARSCREAM OR I COULD GO ON…do you get the picture? A truck transforms into a robot with a ga-gillion moving parts. But, once again the academy gets it wrong and gives it to the movie with green-screened Polar Bears.

The Rock – I love that he can make fun of himself. This category was hard for me. I’m torn between the Pirates and the Transformers. The Golden Compass…yes, good movie (crappy ending, though), nice green screening, bonus points for casting The Marlboro Man. But, it’s just green screen. Transformers used REAL explosions that actually put the actors in real danger. The scene in the desert with the scorpion-looking thing where they’re all running in slow motion – that’s real terror on their face because if they fall, an explosive could go off in their face. With Pirates, there was SO MUCH CG work in it. Creating the maelstrom, the ships, and even Davey Jones himself. The poor guy had to play the role, pretending that he had tentacles on his face. They had to make up a new way to film him to be able to create the character visually. Academy gets it wrong and looses another point.

Best Art Direction-Presented by Cate Blanchett

American Gangster

Atonement

The Golden Compass

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

There Will Be Blood

There is a certain and very specific glow, sound, and cheer that comes over Mrs. Jones when she realizes that someone has adapted any Broadway musical into a feature-length film. It is no secret that I believe that full-on song and dance in movies distracts from said movie. Mrs. Jones believes almost the exact absolute value in the other direction. However, we both agree, this movie is GREAT. Like any other Tim Burton movie, there seems to be a darkness to the movie (which really has no bearing here, but) art direction was imperative to the success of this adaptation.

FINALLY! The Academy got one right. I absolutely LOVE the fact that the movie musical is making a comeback. I also love that we are finding out that many of these actors and actresses can really belt it out. Johnny Depp was an obvious choice for this…who else could play an Edward Scissorhands meets Jack Sparrow other than the man who brought both characters to life? Anyway, back on the subject…Sweeney Todd needed a certain darkness about it. It’s a VERY dark musical. The way it was designed and shot really got the point across to me. Bravo. Can’t wait for the movie adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde (just as long as David Hasselhoff does NOT reprise his role as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. I’ll take Johnny Depp again, please!).

Best Supporting Actor-Presented by Jennifer Hudson

Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford)

Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)

Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson’s War)

Hal Halbrook (Into the Wild)

Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton)


One note on fashion. Jennifer Hudson looked like a burrito left in the microwave too long. Certain people weren’t meant to be stuffed into certain garments. In a nutshell, if there is ever a “Supporting Actor” award and Philip Seymour Hoffman is in the building, he gets it…period. P.S. Hoffman is the quintessential supporting actor. This has been true since Scent of a Woman. Casey Affleck also looked convincing. No disrespect to Javier Bardem, but his role just wasn’t all that demanding.

Jennifer, honey, we’re bigger girls. We need to wear whole dresses. Cutouts are not for everyone. Javier Bardem is a good looking man if you like that whole rugged, Spanish thing he’s got going. I always like Casey Affleck (I actually like him better than his brother). Tom Wilkinson has a great line in Michael Clayton (I am Shiva the God of Death!). Javier Bardem is wrong, Philip Seymour Hoffman is right. Next.

Best Supporting Actress-Presented by Alan Arkin

Cate Blanchett (I’m Not There)

Ruby Dee (American Gangster)

Sarah Sheronin (Atonement)

Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)

Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)


Clearly, Alan Arkin only has one meter of speaking-boring. When Cate Blanchett is not dressed for a part in a movie, she’s actually nice on the eyes. Ruby Dee is only in American Gangster for a short while. Atonement sucked something awful and all involved should offer to give the patrons their money back. Still haven’t seen Gone Baby Gone. With the exception of Atonement, any of the other 3 would be better than seeing Tilda Swinton. If someone walked by and said, “you look nice today” on any day…let God strike them down immediately. Whoa! She’s bad, and not really a stellar actress to boot.

I really couldn’t care less about anyone in this category. Cate Blanchett is a leading lady, not freaking Bob Dylan (who is probably one of the most BORING singer/singwriters ever. He’s so overrated). From what I saw of Ruby Dee, I probably would have gone with her. Tilda Swinton was only good as Gabriel in Constantine. And what in the ever-loving hell was she wearing? I looked like someone just draped some velour over her and said “It’s gorgeous! You’re ready!”…Kill me. This category sucked. Next, please.

Best Adapted Screenplay-Josh Brolin and James McAvoy

Atonement

Away From Her

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

No Country For Old Men

There Will Be Blood


“With My Brains And Your Looks, We Could Go Places”, that was Josh Brolin’s Jack impression. Which he immediately apologized to Jack for and offered to buy him a drink for making him suffer through the worst Jack Nicholson impression ever. I really have no particular rooting interest in this one, as long as Atonement doesn’t win. I am so tired of the boring sappy and strictly made for the academy movies…so F*** ‘EM.

Josh Brolin – boring, James McAvoy – hot as hell. I’m a sucker for anyone with an accent. As for the category – don’t care. Next.

Best Actress In A Leading Role – Presented By Forest Whitaker

Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth: The Golden Age)

Julie Christy (Away From Her)

Marion Cotillard (Le Vie En Rose)

Laura Linney (Savages)

Ellen Page (Juno)


Dear the Academy, F*** YOU!!!! Why is it that the Academy often are taken by movies that are, for a lack of a more descriptive word, SH***Y. There is a clear cut #1 option for this award, and even a clear #2. After that, its all garbage and can get thrown out with last night compost. The winner should have been Ellen Page by a landslide. I would have accepted Cate Blanchett. Blanchett’s role as Queen Elizabeth is a career defining one. If you haven’t seen JUNO, then you just don’t understand. Ellen Page was BRILLIANT. It wasn’t just some girl playing some pregnant girl.

I mainly like two kinds of movies – huge, epic movies and funny movies with snarky, quotable lines. But, the academy sees this differently. I mean, why should movies be entertaining? Why should we honor the movies that make us happy and feel good? We can’t because the academy likes to be depressed. I would have preferred Ellen Page to win this one because she is absolutely adorable, a fantastic actress, and if they were to make a movie about my life, I would want someone as cute as her to play me. But, I thought Cate Blanchett had this one. With lines the likes of “I, too, can command the winds, sir! I have a hurricane in me that will strip Spain bare if you dare to try me!”, how could she lose? (I’m a sucker for epic yelling). But, NOOOOO….we had to have the boring French chick. Pile. Of. Suck.

Best Song – Presented by John Travolta

Falling Slowly (Once)

Happy Working Song (Enchanted)

Raise It Up (August Rush)

So Close (Enchanted)

How Do You Know (Enchanted)


What can I say, it’s not The Final Countdown, so I couldn’t give a S***.

This category was like when Elton John wrote all those Disney songs. It’s just unfair. Raise It Up SHOULD have won, but the academy always has to go with the weird indy type things. F them. And where was my Hairspray nominations? You Can’t Stop The Beat, Good Morning Baltimore, and Run and Tell That would SMITE all these other songs. Shenanigans! Shenanigans, I say!

Best Original Score – Presented by Amy Adams (she’s from Castle Rock, Colorado! Woo!)

Atonement

The Kite Runner

Michael Clayton

Ratatouille

3:10 To Yuma


Generally, again, I don’t care about this. Unless there is a movie nominated that uses the score to reinforce the details of the movie. I did not gather that with these nominees. I could almost suggest 3:10 to Yuma or Michael Clayton. As much as I love Ratatouille, I am not pressed to push it and it’s score. So, whatever, no sweat off my back either way.

We ALMOST made it through the whole show without Atonement winning an Oscar. No such luck. I was pushing for Ratatouille, but then again I’m biased towards Pixar. Suckage. Next

Best Original Screenplay – Presented by Harrison Ford

Juno

Lars and the Real Girl

Michael Clayton

Ratatouille

Savages


For vintage Harrison Ford fans, his entrance to the Indiana Jones Theme song was not coincidental. If you haven’t heard a fourth Indiana Jones movie is set to run in theaters this summer. On the surface, Juno may seem like just some random comedy that could have been cast by the Steve Carell/Seth Rogan crews. It's much more than that, very witty and smart. The greatness of the movie is found in the unique delivery by most of the actors combined with the “what” that they are saying. It is also an interesting story that the screenwriter not that long ago was a stripper. Juno was most likely her first legitimate break. Can’t wait to see what “Diablo Cody” has in store for us in the future.

HOORAY FOR JUNO! God, I love the snarky-ness of it all. The way that Juno and her friend talk on the phone was UNCANNY to the way one of my best friends and I talk. Yes. People actually talk like that. And I love it. I also love that the lady’s name is Diablo Cody. My friend’s boyfriend’s name is Cody. I think he’ll be getting a new nickname in the future.

Best Actor In A Leading Role – Presented by Helen Mirren

George Clooney (Michael Clayton)

Daniel Day Lewis (There Will Be Blood)

Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)

Tommy Lee Jones (In The Valley Of Ella)

Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)

This is the closest to a hard category to decide. Viggo Mortensen plays a very convincing Russian mob member complete with omitting articles from his English translation. Tommy Lee is great, but like Denzel Washington, he is always Tommy Lee Jones in every role he takes on. Johnny Depp was the S***! He was absolutely the only actor who could have pulled this off. Furthermore, it is my belief that when you compare his entire body of work, focusing on his range (Crybaby, Secret Window, Edward Scissorhands, Pirates of the Caribbean), Johnny Depp is the best actor of the current generation at the very least. George Clooney is George Clooney. Daniel Day Lewis is awesome when he plays a character that is required to yell and get animated. The funny thing is, his characters and his real life voice are polar opposites. He should speak in his acting voice.

I am completely biased towards Johnny Depp. It takes a lot of balls to get up in front of people and sing. Viggo Mortensen had an extremely convincing Russian accent (the man could act his way out of ANYTHING), but it went to Daniel Day-Lewis. I really am not that big of a fan, but I guess this is okay. I would have preferred my EdwardJack ScissorSparrow, but the academy thought differently.

Best Director-Presented by Martin Scorcese

Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and The Butterfly)

Jason Reitman (Juno)

Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton)

The Coen Brothers (No Country For Old Men)

Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)


I really want to say Jason Reitman for Juno. Almost more for Reitman than Juno. Juno is a great flick. However, for the award of direction, I think it would have to go to There Will Be Blood. No Country for Old Men is a good movie, but I think more was achieved in There Will Be Blood.

I was pushing for Juno throughout the entire show, but I also like the Coen Brothers. Good on them.

Best Picture – Presented by Denzel Washington

Atonement

Juno

Michael Clayton

No Country For Old Men

There Will Be Blood


Atonement is a joke. It is a movie that was specifically made to tickle the fancies of the Academy. Juno is a GREAT movie. Juno is a complete movie that runs the emotional gamut. Great acting, plot, development, etc. Michael Clayton is good, but it's still just a decent lawyer flick starring George Clooney. No Country for Old Men was even better than Michael Clayton, but I don’t know. There Will Be Blood is a small movie with big acting. Point being, there are no Shawshank Redemptions, Forrest Gumps, Schindler’s Lists. There is no real true Best Picture Nominee, so I go with Juno just to shake things up a bit. If our grossing minimum idea was applied, this would be populated by Transformers, Knocked Up, 300, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, and Juno. So there it is, like most presidential elections best of the evils…JUNO.

I really need to actually see There Will Be Blood. It’s a Miramax film, so I’m bound to like it. And I always enjoy the Coen Brothers. Again, I would have liked to see Juno win, but fun movies never win. How dare we have fun at the movies. Poo on them! I can’t wait to see what next year’s Oscars disappoint us with. Down with boring “deep” movies! I want to be entertained, not given a history lesson! Go Juno!

1 comment:

Rick Morris/FantasyDrafthelp.com said...

Being the mark I am, I wonder how you guys could have left out the most relevant piece of info on Amy Adams: Purse Girl on The Office!

Great, great review and looking forward to more entertainment reviews from you guys here.

--Rick