23 February 2009

Boy the Oscars were bad

It is amazing how the entertainment capital of the world can make such a bad Oscar telecast. Hugh Jackman was okay and brought a certain kind of old fashion charm to the show, but the rest of it was terrible. The worst part about any Oscar show is when talented (and not so talented) actors are asked to read banal introductions to awards. They are almost universally insipid, saccharine and cringe-worthy. Well this year they seemingly decided to increase those hideously little intros ten-fold. Instead of showing us clips of the nominees' performances they had five previous winners in each category recite some treacle that is worthy of a eulogy and seemed downright creepy with the still live honoree on camera having to listen to these lengthy monologues. Just bloody awful.

And anytime they showed any kind of montage, they seemed unwilling to actually show us a full screen version. When they did their little tribute to film scores they showed more of the stage orchestra than they did of the films they accompanied. In some cases it was hard to even tell what movie they were referring to. At one point John commented on how it seemed as if the director and producers hate the movies. What else would explain there unwillingness to let the work speak for itself.

Overall, I think the awards went to the right folks. Although I liked Slumdogs a lot, I think The Reader may have been a better pick for Best Picture. However, I am pleased as punch that Kate Winslet won for the same movie. She gave a great performance and she has gone too long, and given too many other great performances to not have won one.

In terms of Best Picture, I liked The Reader much more than I thought I would and I disagree with those who think that the movie did too much to exonerate Winslet's characters. I don't think the film let anyone off the hook. Not Hanna, not the German people, not Ralph Fiennes character, no one comes out smelling like roses. It did an effective job portraying a situation that can have no happy ending or even meaningful resolution.

I thought Slumdog Millionaire probably placed second. I sobbed like a baby at the end. Not because the hero gets his true love, but because of the intense depictions of conditions in the slums of India. To think that people live in such dire circumstance all around the world and even to a certain degree in the U.S. is truly overwhelming.

Milk and Frost/Nixon were both excellent movies and were well executed, but as bio-pics I have a hard time thinking they are Oscar-worthy as films. Sean Penn definitely deserved his Best Actor win for the role of Harvey Milk and Frank Langella certainly deserved one for his portrayal as Nixon.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Eh. I enjoyed much more than I thought I would, but then again I was dreading having to go see it. The more I think about it the less I like the film. It had some redeeming qualities but overall it was a little too Forest Gumpy for my tastes.

Roland Burris Should Resign

Even if he didn't break the law he should step down or the Senate should expel him. For public officials perception is everything and if, especially through your own comments or actions, you have fuzzied your own integrity then you need to accept responsibility and take the consequences. And shame on Rep. Bobby Rush for crying racism before Burris was seated in the Senate in the first place. It is a crying shame that without Obama there was no longer an African American in the Senate, but freaking the liberals into submission by calling them racist is so cynical it is sleazy. The Democrats didn't want Burris because of the ethical baggage he carried. Now events are proving that they were right to be wary of Blagoevich's pick for the President's former seat in the Senate.

13 February 2009

Hey Republicans

1. Remember when George W. Bush got less than the majority vote in 2000 and came into office acting as if he had a mandate to swing the country to the far right?

2. Remember when George W. Bush said virtually nothing about Social Security in the 2004 campaign, but then came into office and acted like the only reason he was elected was to privatize Social Security?

So why now, when we have a President who is following through on promises and a philosophy that got him elected by a very healthy margin and who picked up at least 6 red states, do you all act like he owes something to Republican ideology? And why do you take such pride in rejecting his attempts to include you and your ideas? Perhaps more importantly why do you think that bipartisanship means you get everything you want? I guess just like George W. Bush, you believe that your positions are so correct and righteous that it doesn't matter what the electorate believes and who they vote into office. You are just right, all the time. Never an ounce of doubt or humility. Just right. Always right, never wrong. Right, right, right.

07 February 2009

I'm Pro-Family

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

Andrew Card is an Idiot

In his infinite stupidity Andrew Card has decided that the most pressing issue of the moment is that President Obama has been working in the Oval Office without a suit jacket. Apparently in Bush's time NO ONE was EVER allowed in the Oval Office without a jacket. I really don't need to comment further. Any sane individual will realize that the decisions made in the Oval Office are of far greater impact to all of us than what the President was wearing when when the decision was made.

Plus which of you out there reading this actually works with a suit jacket on? Isn't it almost universally the case that you get into your office, take your jacket off, and get down to work. You may put it on again for a meeting in the conference room, or out to lunch with clients, or when giving a speech, or...you get the picture.

You may remember idiot Card being loudly and enthusiastically booed at UMass Amherst. For those you who haven't seen the video you can check it out here or in the YouTube clip below.