Monday, March 8, 2010

Random thoughts about Oscar night

A few tids and bits from last night's Academy Awards:

1. The best way to watch the Oscars, I've found out, is to watch the first 30 to 40 minutes, and then catch the last 30 minutes. You get to see the opening monologue, all the major categories, and miss a lot of the dull middle. There's always the risk of missing something, like Ben Stiller as one of those little "Avatar" dudes, but at least it keeps things fresh and I can do other things.

2. "Avatar" and "Hurt Locker" were both nomined for nine Oscars. "Locker" won six, and "Avatar" just three. Could it be the Academy wanted to award old-fashioned film making and a taut storyline over a computer-generated production? Or just wanted to contrary as it often is by ignoring the obvious fans choice?

3. Here's a nice consolation prize for Avatar -- $2.5 billion. It's the highest-grossing movie of all time. Hurt Locker is the lowest grossing movie ever to win Best Picture -- less than $20 million. That $20 million represents the 9:05 showing of Avatar around Christmas.

4. The Hurt Locker must have been in Amarillo for maybe a week, about the same length as in most places. I don't understand it either. After having rented it, it's got action, intensity, some bomb explosions -- in short, everything a guy would want in a movie. Well, just about everything.

5. I'm sure Jeff Bridges was good in "Crazy Heart." That's another one to rent.

6. Sandra Bullock looks way better with that short blonde hair in "The Blind Side" than long black hair last night. Either way, though, not bad for a 45-year-old. Interestingly, Bullock also won a Razzie Award for worst actress this year in "All About Steve." But obviously a good sport, she showed up for that satirical award ceremony too. "You have to take the good with the bad," she told reporters backstage.

7. The best acting performance, though, might have been Christoph Waltz as the Jew-hunting Nazi in "Inglorious Basterds." He won for Supporting Actor, but he stole that show.

8. Are Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren nominated for every movie they make?

9. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were OK as co-hosts. They pulled it off. Maybe it wasn't Billy Crystal, but at least it wasn't Whoopi Goldberg either. They got a few laughs. For those under 40, Martin was the hottest stand-up comedian in the known world in the 1970s. I remember seeing him in concert in Lubbock around 1978 at the height of his comedic career. So last night was not his first rodeo.

10. Still like everyman's actor, good ol' Tom Hanks, who presented the Best Picture without any lame jokes or fanfare. He knew the moment wasn't about him.

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