Here’s a true story. When The Witches came out in 1990, it scared the crap out of me, and I don’t think I have seen it since. That might be something I should rectify now, as Robert Zemeckis has directed a new adaptation of the Roald Dahl story.Continue reading “‘The Witches’ trailer remakes a classic”
I haven’t had a lot of time this weekend but here are some quick thoughts on two movies you can see this week. There’ll be more detailed analysis in the next episode of the podcast.
Chris Evans leads a revolution on the train holding the last of humanity on a world ruined by a new ice age. Yup, I’m on board (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?)
Oscar night and I’m going to live blog the show. I was having trouble deciding where to start writing for the site and this seems like a golden opportunity really, just up and said “hey write about me!” So that is what I am doing. I will of course time stamp my thoughts as I have them, and hopefully provide you with enough context that you can read them without needing the show to be on in the background for you to understand what the hell I am talking about.
17:22: just getting set up with a place to write and record. Red carpet stuff is almost over, the show is about to start! Is a good thing we’re doing this without a screaming baby around. Oh, wait…
17:30: Aaaaaaaand show starting. Morgan Freeman on stage. He’s welcoming us to the show, and also Billy Crystals parody montage.
17:35: Montage over. "Say ‘I’m Batman, it’ll help me!’" was hilarious, but all the jokes are pretty …. Uh… Safe. I have a feeling this will be indicative of the rest of the show as well.
17:37: "Nothing takes your mind off these economic times like watching millionaires give each other golden statues.". Awesome, if a little obvious. Now the singing. Oh the singing. If only Billy Crystal could sing.
17:41: I should probably point out how cynical I am about the Oscars this year, in case it hasn’t come through yet. I have a bad feeling there’ll be no risks taken tonight, and the jokes aren’t that funny so far.
17:43: First award is the cinematography. Hugo wins. Second up is art direction. Hugo wins again. I haven’t seen this yet, but from what I have seen the film is gorgeous so this makes sense. I have no strong opinions about this either way really.
17:47: WTF is the band doing up in the box seats? Going back to Billy Crystal for a second my question is this: why the hell don’t they just get Hugh Jackman back again? Seriously; his song was way better and unlike Billy Crystal, he can actually sing.
17:52: And now a montage of iconic moments in film. Brett from Flight of the Conchords is in the audience and I blew Simons’s mind by telling him that Brett is nominated for the songs in The Muppets.
17:55: The Artist wins Best Costume Design. Not surprised. Everyone looked great in it. The Iron Lady wins for Makeup. They did do a. Good job of turning Meryl Streep into Mrs Thatcher and then ageing the crap out of her.
18:03: Montage of actors talking about their first movie-going experience. Mostly boring except that Brad Pitt dropped "War of the Gargantuas" which is kind of amazing. This is a movie which you need to see if you haven’t.
18:05: Sandra Bullock takes the stage. She’s about to speak Chinese. In German.
18:07: A Separation wins best foreign film. Iranian Film is meant to be gorgeous. We wonder if it’s a political decision at all, but it is meant to be an amazing film. Is that too cynical? I can’t tell anymore.
18:09: Christian Bale on stage to give away the Best Supporting Actress trophy. Still hoping for Jessica Chastain. Simon and Wife taking the piss out of Christian Bale’s accent. Funny, most Brits I know do this, take the piss out of every other Brits’ accent.
18:12: Octavia Spencer wins for The Help. Everyone is on their feet. Kind of brilliant. She was amazing after all. I maintain that the Octavia Spencer/Jessica Chastain storyline in The Help was the best part of the movie.
18:17: So far Sandra Bullock speaking Chinese in German, Iranian Director giving a political speech for his acceptance, and Octavia Spencer winning are the best moments of the show.
18:18: Ooooh Billy Crystal makes a joke that’s actually funny. "45-minute drive indeed."
18:20: Christopher Guest and co doing what appears to be ad lib focus group for Wizard of Oz. Kind of right up my alley. "I didn’t like it until the flying monkeys." Fred Willard FTW.
18:25: Girl With The Dragon Tattoo picks one up for best editing. Hugo for Sound Editing and Sound mixing. I really wanted Drive to win for sound editing, if only so that it could have an Oscar. I kind of wish that Transformers won for sound editing just to see everyone’s reaction and also the DVD cover a Transformers film that reads "Oscar Winner."
18:32: Can we have more Fred Willard, please?
18:34: Muppets on camera. It’s a good thing.
18:35: Cirque du Soleil interprets "going to the movies" in dance. This could actually be pretty interesting.
18:39: I wish that at some point in my life, I could be half as athletic as someone from Cirque. Seriously.
18:41: Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow presenting for documentaries. Not being very funny. Fuck I didn’t see any documentaries this year at all. Undefeated wins. Yay?
18:44: Huh, first instance of someone being played off. Even cut off the mic on the guys who won Best Documentary. Not really fair considering there were six of them.
18:46: Best Animated film is Rango. Fucking amazing since it’s clearly the best-animated film from 2011 and Gore Verbinski is overdue. Maybe a bit surprising that the film that was the best was chosen.
18:50: Any voice actors in the audience? I’d like to hear what you have to say about Chris Rock’s little description of your job. I’d be willing to bet that you’re maybe wanting to go all Hulk SMASH right now.
18:54: Emma Stone is amazing. That is all.
18:55: Lots of good choices for visual effects but Hugo wins. Seems like Hugo is going to win all the technical awards. I wonder how that bodes for the beat picture/director awards… No, I don’t, it bodes poorly.
18:59: Best Supporting Actor award. Christopher Plummer wins! Yes! About time. He’s generally speaking always great.
19:10: You know, I think they should just let the hosts of these shows run wild. When these jokes are so blatantly scripted they aren’t funny. If they’d just let them ad-lib and make fun of the audience it might actually be good. So far Billy Crystal’s best jokes have all been off-the-cuff remarks, like the one to the president of the academy, "mister excitement."
19:13: The Artist is totally going to win Best Score.
19:14: The Artist won Best Score. I mean, how could it not? The film is all music. On top of that, the score is really good, too. Also, John Williams had two nominations for the same score. YEAH, I SAID IT.
19:18: Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis presenting for best song. Muppets to win, right?
19:19: Bret Harrison of Flight of the Conchords is now an Oscar-winning musician. Fuck Yes. Muppets FTW.
19:25: is it just me or is Angelina Jolie not looking super healthy? She looks like a stick figure. Either way, The Descendants just won best-adapted screenplay. I’m sure it’s great but I was really pulling for Moneyball.
19:29: I really hope Woody Allen wins for best original.
19:30: Woody Allen wins. Fucking A. I’d really like to see him win best picture as well but don’t see it happening.
19:37: You know, the technical awards should get more than just a 2-minute recap. But maybe I’m a huge nerd.
19:39: Maya Rudolph and Kristin Wiig making innuendo about short vs long films should be cliche but somehow is just funny.
19:42: Are all the best documentary nominees seated in the nose bleeds? Do they get to give their speech after the next awards when they finally get to the stage?
19:45: That’s a capitol hat the guy who won for best animated short is wearing. Jaunty angle as well.
19:50: Michael Douglas is a clone of Kirk Douglas right? Time for the best director. Thinking that The Artist will likely win. If something I don’t want to win is going to win though, let it be Hugo. If something I want to win wins let it be Midnight in Paris.
19:53: aaaand The Artist wins for best director. Le sigh.
19:57: Governors awards. Again, wish they weren’t given such a brief recap. Just make it part of the show. Or, better yet, replace the red carpet BS with them.
20:00: Only best actor, actress, and film are left. Not hopeful for anyone involved in films that don’t rhyme with "de smartest."
20:03: Time for the in memoriam. Usually, this is when we get to hear how famous people were by how loud the crowd claps, but no one is clapping. Fucking finally.
20:13: ok the show is starting to feel dragged out. But at least Natalie Portman is on stage to give ay the best actor award. I’m sure Rene Dujardin will win, but we’ll see. Nice little unspoken exchange between her and Gary Oldman as she talked about his performance in Tinker Tailor.
20:18: Jean Dujardin wins. Not surprised in the slightest. Don’t get me wrong, while I didn’t think the movie was worth all the awards it’s winning or even like his character? He did a brilliant job. That said, GARY OLDMAN WAS NOMINATED.
20:24: Here’s Colin Firth to give the best actress award. No idea who it will be. Meryl Streep won the BAFTA but that’s British isn’t it. Viola Davis needs to win, Rooney Mara I want to win, but I have a feeling it’ll be Bernice Bejo.
20:29: Oh wait Bernice Bejo wasn’t nominated. Fuck. I had kind of assumed that she was. Either way, Meryl just won and it’s about fucking time. Even if Viola Davis should have. But seriously, about time. 13 nominations between wins?? Too many.
20:32: Tom Cruise to present best picture. With a montage. It’ll be The Artist, but I really want it to be … Well, they’re all good, but Midnight in Paris. Or Moneyball.
20:36: And The Artist wins. Quel surprise. Between Hugo cleaning up the technical awards and The Artist cleaning up everything else it doesn’t seem like anything else won much of anything.
You know, this ceremony wasn’t very exciting. I hope next year there’s some risks, some more varied choices, and that the theme is a little more specific than "we like movies.". I’m going to sleep on it and recap in a day or two with more feelings on who won and who didn’t but long story short: boring, Emma Stone hot, Angelina Jolie not hot, and very few surprises.