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Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Oscars and Movies

This year I had the opportunity to get sick last week and watched a lot of the Oscar nominated movies on pay per view.  Plus, I have the advantage that my husband loves movies as much as I do.  I use my Amex points exclusively for movie tickets, in fact.  It makes for a cheap date night.  We also don't feel ripped off if a movie sucks.

I was excited this year to watch the Academy Awards because I had seen so many of the films.  Unfortunately, yet again, the program sucked.

I think I'll just follow it online from now on.

Here's the thing- it's too long.  Way too long.  The comedy isn't remotely funny (some of it seems sorta nasty, in fact).  It's slowly becoming a parody of itself.

So here's my thought-

Do a cute little bit at the beginning.  Then shut up.  Hand out the awards.  Show longer clips so I can actually see what the big deal about the performance/production is.

Then call it a night.

I like the hoopla before- the dresses are pretty.  It's fun to watch.

But let the people get their awards, do their press bits and celebrate.

I didn't need the comedy (?) bits.  I didn't need the past winners discussing how much movies mean to them.  I didn't need Cirque du Soleil.

Two hours is more than enough.  It's bad enough they've banished half of them to the week before.  They didn't need to "fill the time" with strained banter between actors who aren't particularly good at improv.

On a more positive note, I was very happy to see "The Artist" and "Hugo" win so many awards.  They were both phenomenal films in the truest sense.  I think Viola Davis got screwed out of the best actress, but I have to be honest, I didn't see "Iron Lady" and I just expect Meryl Streep to knock it out of the park.  She's like the kid who when the teacher is grading papers, writes the "A" on it without needing to read it.  So maybe she was amazing?  I don't know- they all were pretty darn good.

I am confused about "Bridesmaids," however.  I love Melissa McCarthy and she was hilarious, but the movie sucked.  It was all over the place.  It tried to be serious, then slapstick- I thought it was one of the worst movies I'd seen all year.  And I go to the movies with my kids, so I've seen some serious crap.

"The Descendants" also had me baffled.  Not a bad film, but not in the category of the others.  "Moneyball" about put me to sleep.  I thought both movies glossed over the original stories.  After I saw them, I read "The Descendants" and did a little research on the main character in "Moneyball."  Then they made sense.  I found it odd that "The Descendants" won for best adaptation- I thought it left a few key parts out of the story that pulled it together.  "The Help" was a fantastic adaptation.  No clue why it wasn't nominated.

And "The Tree of Life"- well, maybe it's my midwestern background, but what in the hell was that movie about?  It was the 1950's, computer generated dinosaurs, then clouds-- it was like a bad dream after eating Mexican food and falling asleep with "Leave it to Beaver" on the TV in the background.

But "The Artist"- a beautiful, fun movie.  Something unique.  You can't munch on popcorn during a silent movie, please note, but I left the theater with a smile on my face.

I really wish they made more movies like that.  My favorite last year was "The King's Speech."  It made me laugh, cry and feel a little bit better about the world. 

Sometimes smaller is better.  Sometimes a nice story about people relating to each other is all that I want to see.

No explosions (not that "Mission Impossible: 132 (?)" wasn't fun), but sometimes thoughtful dialogue (ala "Juno") is nice.

Or in the case of "The Artist", not even that is necessary.

I've said this before- times are tough.  I just want Hollywood to make me smile and forget.  

So that's my thoughts tonight.  Nothing earth shattering.  I just thought I'd answer that mysterious questions that the studios had after last year's disappointing box office numbers- make movies that are enjoyable,  and people will go.  And keep in mind, if I can watch it for $4 at home instead of $20 at the movie theater, I'm probably going to stay home.  You don't need the Rosetta Stone to figure that one out!

For fun, because I have no idea how to close this out-- what are your favorite movies of all time and from last year?


Kimberly Coats said...

I agree with you on the Oscar show, excruciating at times to watch. Since I've been in Africa for so long with no access to movies or a movie theater (yes, Rwanda still has a looonnnnggg way to go in the development arena) I have no idea what is even out there. I did see Bridesmaids when I was home this summer and LOVED it! So I respectfully disagree. Melissa McCarthy was hilarious! Did she win? Maybe I'm spending way too much time with boys so I embraced the potty humor? Could be....

Best movies of all time...Shawshank Redemption and Forest Gump. I cry every time I hear the speech from Shawshank...Get busy living or get busy dying. Now those are REAL movies!

Anonymous said...

I loved The Help-both book and movie. My 8th graders read the book and watched the movie-compare, contrast, character analysis. They loved it!