Monday, February 28, 2011

Notes on the 83rd Oscars

I often rant about the Academy Awards, which is why I'm doing so now. Don't get me wrong, it's my favorite awards show and the only one I try to watch every year (of any art industry awards). On to the show...

The opening number was lame. Alec Baldwin and Morgan Freeman were the highlights. Hell, they should've hosted the show. Which brings me to...

Anne Hathaway is an excellent actress. Excellent. She is complete shit as a hostess. Tried way too hard.

James Franco is an excellent actor. Excellent. Was it just me, or did he seem totally bored?

As you can tell, I am screaming for Billy Crystal to return. At least give Hugh Jackman another shot. Or, wait, Alec Baldwin and Morgan Freeman.

Kirk Douglas was a delight to see, not much fun to watch. It was a little sad and more than a bit awkward to see such a prominent Hollywood icon in that state of health. That stated, he was infinitely funnier than either host.

Melissa Leo's speech, the first acceptance speech of the evening, started off great (it's about time we get the f-bomb on the show!) but ended stupidly. Please don't preach. It's the Academy Awards, not a political forum.

The Academy's bordering on disrespectful with their "In Memoriam" sequences lately. This year was no exception. You telling me they can't give another five minutes (at least one extra minute) for their dead friends and colleagues? Really?

I love the new Governor's Awards format. Seriously. More honorees and on a separate night, at that. Good call, Academy (for once).

The ten movies for Best Motion Picture is now officially a sham. Here's what I wrote last year: "Experimenting with a return to ten Best Picture nominations was both a success and a failure. It was a success in that it undoubtedly provided much-needed exposure to films that would not have otherwise garnered that exposure (and allowed Up to be nominated!), but it was a failure in that it provided nothing to help the telecast's ratings. Sure, you'll point out the overnights, but wait a few years. Ratings will drop. Again."

Now here's what I'm saying this year: given the complete lack of airtime devoted to the Best Motion Picture nominees in general, the proclaimed goal of "increasing interest" in the Academy Awards is bunk. They blew right through them. It's just a marketing gimmick for studio DVD covers. Lame.

I do like how they combined most of the "lesser categories" (I use quotations to reflect the public's perception, not my own) into groups of two. Made for a more efficient broadcast, even though it still ran over three hours.

Not sure how I feel about Best Director not being the penultimate award given. I guess I don't really care, but it seemed odd. Especially concerning my feelings that the award should be eliminated and combined with Best Motion Picture.

Love Natalie Portman's subtle dig at spoiled Hollywood starlets. Right on. Hated all of the pro-union props (ostensibly in support of Wisconsin). I'm not necessarily anti-union, but see my above comment about Melissa Leo's speech. Loved James Franco's rip of Charlie Sheen.

I'm with Randy Newman: prepared lists are lame. As are prepared speeches. Next time I see an award-winner pull out a 3x5, I'm taking a bathroom break.

What else was lame? Oh, yeah, the finale. I'm not against public school choirs by any means... but it's not Hollywood. And there's nothing worse than Hollywood pretending it's "just like everyone else." It's not just like everyone else. It's a world apart. That's why it's so friggin' popular.

Other than that, not the worst show I've seen. Definitely not the best. Might have been the worst hosts, though.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Insomniac Olympics


No, I'm not back. Merely burning the midnight oil for the sake of burning the midnight oil. A nicotine relapse combined with a sleep-schedule almost normalized gone to complete shit and I find myself jotting down words about nothing at all and everything in particular. Funny how that works, eh?

No, I'm not drunk. Haven't had a drop of alcohol since before last Thanksgiving. Who knew? Well... that's not accurate. Everyone knew. Rather, everyone who would know knew. I'm not making much sense, am I? Don't know. Don't care.

At any rate, a few days ago I finished my submission for the 2nd Annual River of Mnemosyne Challenge. Another science fiction story borne of many years of being bored. How many years? Hmm... all of them, I think. Don't know. Don't care. But, I will say this... as far as prose goes, it's the longest story I've ever completed. 30k+ words for the submission, plus another 30k words or so left out of the submission. And all in two weeks, give or take.

I'm not being very exact, am I? Don't know. Don't care.

The other entries, so far, are pretty good. Intriguing, at the very least. I'm reading them as they finish and, even though it's safe to claim that mine is the longest, a few of the others are pretty long, themselves.

In about six weeks, I hop on a plane for Australia, where I will spend nearly four weeks blowing off steam in a place almost as far away as I can get from here. Can't wait.

Against my better judgement, I turned down a job analyzing comic books. I know, I know. I must have taken ill. Talk about a dream job. Ah, well... I'm sure the opportunity will come around again. I've got other fish to fry, other birds to kill, other (insert fauna) to (insert heinous act).

Set some arbitrary self-imposed deadlines and restrictions for myself this year. We'll see if anything pans out.

Can't sleep. But I feel oddly good. One of my cats is eying some flowers a friend of mine gave me. They're on top of the bookshelf. I should probably move them somewhere safer. Not that they'll live very long (the flowers, not the cats).

Escape is a state of mind. Except when it's a state opposite of incarceration. Just thought I'd point that out.

I've been a shit friend as of late. To pretty much everyone. Even my dog, Starbuck. He's a champ, though. He misses the other dogs, but he makes do. I need to be more like him. Except for the neutered part.

House, despite the addition of the "super-genius" kid character (okay, not quite a kid, but awfully young to be on a diagnostic staff), is still one of the best shows on television. Chuck still has its charm, but isn't as good as it was before all the cancellation drama a while back. Which means it'll probably be canceled. Southland still rocks. Sure, the gradual elimination of its ensemble cast is painfully noticeable and has fundamentally changed the show, but it still rocks.

There's a backlog of prepared posts here. I'm considering re-scheduling them just to get them out of the way. This doesn't mean I'm back.

Where was I? Don't know. Don't care. Where am I? Guess what the answer to that one is.

A shitload of cat hair just went flying around the living room. Cats sure are entertaining.

I think I might have another cigarette. I know it'd go well with coffee. I've recently fallen in love with Earl Grey tea. I wonder how well cigarettes go with that. Perhaps I shouldn't find out.