So what the heck did that opening musical number have to do with the movies? I like Neil Patrick Harris and he's done well with musicals (Dr. Horrible's Sin-Along Blog) in the past, but this number really didn't serve any purpose other than to kill the first 5 minutes of the show.
I'm not Alec Baldwin's biggest fan by any means,but I thought the duo of Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin worked ok. They had some good moments and some, not so funny. I still would have rather had just Steve Martin as the host.
I'm going to try and not say too many bad things in this note about Avatar, but I have a feeling I might fail at that. It's a good flick, but really nothing more than a popcorn movie.
Avatar won for Best Cinematography. Okay, Can anyone tell me why? What exactly did the cinematographer have to do in this film? The film is 90% CG and thus created digitally on a computer. All that is created in that respect should fall under the guidance of the Art Director or Visual Effects Supervisor and not a cinematographer. I'll compare it to nominating an actor for their motion capture performance. So far, we aren't seeing the Academy or any other major awards program recognizing these actors, which I believe is wrong. But since we aren't recognizing these types of performance, I don't see how we are awarding people for a job that Cameron has basically made obsolete.
Am I the one person who laughed out loud when Tarantino got beat out for Best Original Screenplay? I honestly don't see the appeal of Inglorious Bastards. That said, Christoph Waltz's performance was good enough to win the Best Supporting Actor award. I also enjoyed the titular Bastards...when they actually appeared in the film. I'd really like to see a film that's actually about said Bastards instead of what we got which was a long, boring movie that only included its Bastards in about 20-30 minutes of its 2 and a half hour run time.
The John Hughes tribute was well done and quite enjoyable. I wish I could say the same about the In Memoriam segment. James Taylor is a great musician, but what the hell was he doing there other than taking attention away from the purpose of the tribute? They also left out a number of noted celebrity deaths including Farrah Fawcett, Bea Arthur and Ed McMahon.
In regards to the introducing of clips for the Best Picture nominees, do we need that extended intro for each film (especially now that there are 10 nominees)? For a program that is notorious for going long (more on this later), this seems pointless.
I have to wonder if the producers/writers or even Kathy Bates herself actually watched Avatar. Maybe I saw different movie, but a film advocating peace Avatar is not. Are the Navi a peaceful people? I suppose for the most part, but with all the different tribes on Pandora, I'd think they are only peaceful to the planet itself or as long as another tribe doesn't piss them off. There's a lot of different messages in Avatar most prominently the "Green" (or being one with nature) message of the film. Still, it's a heavy action/war oriented film and I thought it was ridiculous for Kathy Bates to say it advocated for peace.
Now back to the length of year's Oscars program. I said it last year and I'll reiterate it here...Who thought the extremely long and boring butt-kissing segment prior to announcing the awards for Best Actor and Actress? JUST READ THE FREAKIN' NOMINEES!!! I don't give a damn how great Oprah thinks the woman who played Precious is, just like I don't need to know about Colin Farrell and Jeremy Renner's wild trip to Mexico (though that was a funny story). I actually timed the segment for Best Actress. It took 13 minutes from the time that the actors were paraded out onto the stage until after Sandra Bullock's speech was over. If the same held true for the Best Actor segment (and it certainly felt that way), then that nearly 30 minutes of time wasted. The same 30 minutes that the show ran-over. That's an extra 30 minutes of sleep that those of us who go to work at 3am really wished we could have had.
Now on to the big two...Best Director and Best Picture.
Kathryn Bigelow took home the top Directing honor over her ex-husband James Cameron and I am glad for that. Avatar was good, but highly over-rated. Some of the effects were cool and so was the 3D, but the story has been told and retold and told again (and much better too). The acting was almost as weak as the script too. Maybe I expected too much but I thought the visuals would be much better than slightly better than average after Cameron had been working on this thing for the better part of a decade.
Back to Bigelow, man, she is WAY hotter than Cameron's current wife. What the hell was he thinking? But where was I, oh yes, Bigelow.
I finally watched The Hurt Locker this afternoon. It was good and from what some of my Armed Forces friends have said, very, very realistic. Bigelow did a good job in her role as director. Some will fault her for continuity errors like one of the main characters playing an XBOX 360 when this story took place a few years before that version of the XBOX was available. Technically, that error would fall to the people charged with continuity and not the director, but Bigelow should have been knowledgeable enough herself to spot the error.
As far as the directing category goes, I didn't really have a problem with Bigelow taking the honor. I did have a problem with the rather over-the-top choice of music following her win. Really? Did they just play I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar? Seriously? Just play her out using the score to her film. Instead, I think it kind of belittled her achievement.
One more than with the Best Director category. What's with the hate the Academy is showing toward Clint Eastwood the last couple of years? Gran Torino was FANTASTIC and yet no Director or Picture nods for the legend last year and again this year with his film Invictus.
And this year's Best Picture is...The Hurt Locker. After finally seeing it, I can say it shouldn't have won. It was a good watch, but like Avatar and Inglorious Bastards, it has no business even being nominated for Best Picture. Why do I think this about Hurt Locker? It's pretty simple really. It just didn't feel like a movie. It was basically a series of bomb-diffusing vignettes. There really wasn't any basic story arc throughout the film, other than the fact that Jeremy Renner's Sgt. James is crazy and only truly lives alive when he's risking his life on what are basically suicide missions.
Now why do I say this about Avatar? Well, I think I already talked about but to recap...The story has been done again and again and done better than it was in Avatar. The script was weak as was the acting. Yes, the effects were cool and the 3D was neat, but they just struck me as slightly better than average. I think the effects in the Lord of the Rings films were heads above the one featured in Avatar. After seeing Avatar, I never had the feeling like "Man, I gotta see that again!" Which is disappointing given Cameron's track record. Terminator, T2, Aliens, The Abyss, True Lies...all almost endlessly re-watchable and very quotable.
And why the hate for Inglorious Bastards? Well, simply put it's a bad movie. Tarantino is one of the most over-rated filmmakers in Hollywood. He's done some great films, but he's not nearly has awesome as he obviously thinks he is. Reservoir Dogs was great as was Pulp Fiction. Kill Bill was fun, but should've been one film. Is Inglorious Bastards, Tarantino's worst film? No, It falls slightly better than Jackie Brown and it's a masterpiece compared to the steaming pile of crap that was Death Proof.
Again, I'd love to see a film that's actually about the Inglorious Bastards. All we got here was a film that did everything it could to get 2 people to sit down at a table and talk for 15 minutes at a time, and a story about a wimpy, German soldier who falls in love with an unappealing French cinema owner and only about 20 -30 minutes of actually good stuff with said Bastards.
Now, I still admit that I haven't seen all the films nominated for Best Picture, most notably, Up. I do want to see it and has heard by many that it was the Best Picture of 2009.
So what do I think should have won Best Picture...
District 9. That's the Best Picture that I saw in 2009. The film was great in very important aspect. A good story, a solid script, good acting, amazing CG (so amazing, that they looked as though they were shot live in camera, on the set), good cinematography, good editing, sound design, etc.
And now, I leave it to you leave me your thoughts and comments on the 2010 Academy Awards.