February 28, 2004



...uh, that would be me.

After all, it's tough to get worked up when you haven't seen any of the best picture nominees, or most of the best actor and actress or supporting actor and actress or director or screenplay or score or costume or... well, you get the point.

I did see Johnny Depp in "Pirates of the Carribean," and I really liked his portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow, but I fell asleep halfway through the tape because the plot emitted a strong odor of suck. The only other major film I saw was "Finding Nemo." That's was about as brilliant as it got for me this year - and to be clear, "Nemo" was beyond brilliant. But that it for me. That's as depe as I dive into the movie kiddie pool.

Oh, sure, I wanted to see "Master and Commander" and "Mystic River" and "Seabiscuit," but, you know, I have a life and an 8-year-old and not a lot of time to see flicks that aren't showing on the plasma in my home.

But I have an appreciation for the artistry and I understand that some people can get pretty worked up over this stuff. I will say that of all the awards shows, I like the Academy Awards second best (After the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards). And it's fun to watch an idiot like Michael Moore or a goober like Roberto Bennini or an emotional cripple like Halle Berry have a public meltdown in front of 3 billion viewers. It was great theater to watch Julia Roberts essentially dry hump Denzel Washington while he was trying to give his acceptance speech two years ago. I loved watching Al Pacino accept his statuette not for "The Godfather" or "The Godfather, Part II" or "Dog Day Afternoon" but for the hunk of burning ass that was "Scent of a Woman." I enjoy the uncomfortable squirming I have to perform to feel comfortable in my skin after the show's producers insist on trotting out infirmed and impaired geezers to accept Talberg awards as if they were a ticket to get on the Death Bus. I mean does it get any better than Kirk Douglas being forced to slurp through a thank-you speech after a debilitating stroke almost killed him? Or Christopher Reeve almost popping a wheelie in order to receive a standing ovation from people who so didn't like his work 20 years ago that he was forced to swap spit with Michael Caine in "Deathtrap"? I can't resist that kind of artificial drama on almost-live TV.

That said, there are plenty of places online that celebrate the Academy Awards, and they hold the interest of even bitter and sarcastic bastards like me. Here are a few:

*The New Yorker offers an online portfolio of black and white portraits of nominees. A brief registration is required to reach the URL, which takes you to a story that has a side link to the portfolio and audio commentary by photographer Lynne Hirschberg.

*The annual Golden Raspberry Awards - better known as the "Razzies" - are in. It was a bad year for Ben and J. Lo, but perhaps no one personified cinematic ass more than Worst Supporting Actor winner Sylvester Stallone, who played five roles in "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over.'' That's five - count 'em - five doses of ass. I saw that film and can attest to its assy badness. Tough to beat a shitty performance like that.

*There's lots of trivia and stuff at Little Golden Guy. That's all I have to say about that.

*Former FoxSports.com compadre Paul Katcher was able to put down the porn long enough to devise his very own all-time Oscars. Paul's has a pretty eclectic taste in films. "I continue to protest the Motion Picture Academy's snub of Hamburger: The Motion Picture in 1986,'' he confesses. He offered an off-the-beaten-path group of nominees and asked blog readers to vote. I don't want to spoil all the surprises, but Randy Quaid's portrayal of Cousin Eddie in "National Lampoon's Vacation" is a tour de force.

*While not technically an Oscars page, The Onion's A.V. Club honors Films that Time Forgot, including "The Check Is In The Mail" starring Brian Dennehy. In the film, Dennehy plays an angry, paranoid, demon-possessed manic-depressive yet affable husband and father who is driven half-mad by the relentless pace, superficiality, and absurdity of American life circa 1986. A pharmacist prone to dispensing paternal counsel along with condoms and diaphragms, Dennehy is looking forward to a much-needed family vacation in Hawaii, where he plans to escape both the workaday grind and the swarthy goons intent on collecting his gambling debts. But his family's plans go predictably awry when their flight is delayed. Is it any wonder that time has forgotten this film?

*Fametracker, my favorite entertainment site, does what it calls a Fame Audit in which it compares the position of temporarily hot movie stars to the relative sun in the Hollywood Universe: Harrison Ford. They have a "Special Speculative Edition: What If They Win Their Academy Awards?" My favorite is their take on Johnny Depp, which they write as if he is speaking to the reader:
Thank you for this honour, which I care nothing about, acknowledging my effortless achievement in a film that was entirely beneath me. Please know that I take this award as a mandate to give up making entertaining movies people like to watch. Just to be contrary, as is my wont, I am to report tomorrow to the set of The Man Who Cried 2: Cry Harder."

*The prize for Dishiest And Swishiest Oscar-Related Site goes to Ted Casablanca's Awful Truth gossip column. There are numerous juicy tidbits, including one item on an actress who may be leaving her closeted gay husband.

*Want to know what's in the gift bag given to A-list stars at the Oscars? Only about 100,000 large in loot and booty. Because, you know, celebrities need a hand up (out of the limousine) and a hand out.

*Slate offers a faux e-mail correspondence volley between Lynda Obst and David Edelstein. Who? Exactly.

Posted by Jeff at February 28, 2004 11:49 PM | TrackBack