Oscars Preview 2014

Here are some late-night, off-hand, Inside Baseball thoughts about the Gold Naked Guys and 2014 at the movies in general. Some of these references are so inside, I’m not even sure if I get them. Anyway, enjoy, this demented snark-fest that was written with my tongue tearing the shit out of my cheek. Onward!

To violently begin with, my fist remains cocked, ready to punch Eddie Redmayne right in the face. I have no motive. It’s just that ever since Les Miz, I want his face to feel at least 50% pain. As for his rendition of Stephen Hawking, well, it wouldn’t be the first time a slug wins an Oscar for achieving about 9% of the potential in what should have been a fascinating character (who’s also probably the smartest human on the planet). Way to scratch that surface and go no further, Ed! And who made the decision at the script level to spend 2 hours on Steve’s love life? “Hawking is an unqualified genius, but you know what will interest people? His penis!” Dull as fuck. I feel bad the real S.H. got ALS. I just wish somebody would Ice Bucket Challenge the guy who played him…during a snowstorm in the rapidly melting Antarctic.

Wild. Highly watchable. Reese hasn’t been this good in a while. Just once, though, I want to see a movie where a character goes on an impossible journey and doesn’t find herself. “Went for a long walk. Learned nothing. I’m still an asshole and the first person to give me some drugs is going to get the best blow job of his life. The end.”

Selma will not be make it a repeat for Black Issues Films on Ego-Enabling Night following last year’s Best Picture winner 12 Years A Slave. And that’s not a shame. That David Oyelowo dude is fine as MLK, but the movie needed…something. More fire, more zing, more justifiable anger. Spike Lee already made an above-average flick about Malcolm X. Maybe he should have been some kind of bossy consultant on this one. See the picture, it’s worth your time. But it ain’t no 12 Years A Slave.

(Not really) on that note, 12 Years O’ Filming was quite nice. Had a “do you think this will win Oscars” survey been taken when I walked out of Boyhood back in the summer, I would’ve asked you to leave me alone because I really had to pee. Rick Linklater is a root-for-able dude and I’ve liked many of his movies (including this one), but I will be Lieutenant Irrelevant here and question if we’d care so much about this ‘un if not for the dozen-years-of-production stunt.

If Boyhood does win, maybe another 900 people will see it. Something like 9 trillion people have already seen American Sniper, which I knew nothing about 2 months ago (and I try to keep up with this stuff). Those who bitch that the movie is racist and not thoughtful enough need to remember most soldiers are about 20 years old. They don’t sit around pondering their role in the universe the way they did in The Thin Red Line. Soldiers aren’t Aristotle. The Navy trained Chris Kyle to shoot stuff. He shot stuff. He might have been a shitty shitbag as a person, but he was kinda like Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon. “It’s the only thing I was ever good at.” Kyle’s assholery is not the movie’s fault. The 2 biggest problems are that The Hurt Locker made most of the same points way better 5 years ago and that the misused Sienna Miller spends over 2 hours wringing her hands and whining that this perfect killer needs to take the kids to soccer.

Sidebar: when whichever white people go up there to collect all their Oscars, Kanye should be waiting in the wings so he can jump out and yell that Dr. King is in the best movie of all time! Imma let you finish, Birdhood or American Budapest Hotel Of Snipers, but what about the black man, yo? After the racist-filled year they just had, Kanye done have a point.

The Oscs did get something right by nominating Into The Woods in about 30% of the categories because it’s about 30% of a good movie. Pretty funny, actually, and Emily Blunt has become one of my faves, but what a lousy ending. Maybe they had no more money to build sets or hire some writers to come up with a better climax after Meryl ate all the scenery.

Still Alice. Very good stuff. Julie has been brilliant her whole career. She’s overdue and…wait, what are we talking about again? I forget. (rim shot, mean joke, I’m a bad person)

Well, I won’t soon forget Whiplash. Saw it twice, liked it lots. But why is Full Metal Jacket so hard on Little Drummer Boy? Leave him alone, Juno’s dad! All the little Mark Zuckerberg-esque prick wants to do is obsess about percussing. I remain torn on Whip’s premise though. That ferocious drill instructor should probably just go BE a ferocious drill instructor, but I’m with him that our recent “everybody gets a ribbon” mentality needs to go away. Still, helluva movie about 2 insane people who dig tunes that most people never listen to.

In other “thinly disguised plots that are really about filmmaking”, we have Batman. Hold the Keaton, do I have that wrong? Oh, Birdman. Yeah, loved it. Really did. Gimmicky as all hell with that handsome director who can’t spell (see “Biutiful”) at the helm. Hollywood has rewarded movies about the the-A-tre before (see All About Eve ie. the black-and-white Showgirls), so there’s that. And it’s fun. Not enough fun movies win the big prizes on Back-Patting Night.

Oh, but perhaps Harvey “The Gentle Touch” Weinstein bulldozed enough terrified old voters into check-marking The Imitation Game. I actually turned to my bored wife during one sequence where (spoiler coming) they solve the enigma machine thingy and said “this is exciting!” (true story) Ol’ Ben Batch has proven he can act his skinny ass off and closeted gays are always welcome in Hollywood, especially if such people are punished harshly for not properly closeting themselves. Points off for setting up Keira Knightley to be a cool-ass character (a lady nerd who’s smarter than any of the boy nerds), then just make her worry about the tortured genius for the rest of the movie.

Did I miss anything? Grand Buda-pesht (say it properly, people) Hotel? Yeah, I had a whale of a time watching this picture. Ralph Fiennes oughta be up for Best Funniest Actor because he peeled back more layers to show what he can do comedically in 14 seconds than Redmayne did in 2 hours of Shtickish Hawking. But back to Buda-pesht. Good stuff. I’ll see it again. Too bad Wes Anderson’s first-ever trophy win (maybe for more than just his script, if things go in his favour…which is not gonna happen) will be 2 or 3 or 4 movies too late. He’s this year’s Marty Scorsese!

Other thoughts: I love PTA so much that I want to have Maya Rudolph killed so I can have him to myself, but I started forgetting about Inherent Vice DURING THE MOVIE.

Overlooked for Back-Patting Night Of Champions: Essie Davis in The BaddabingbadabangBabadook. Also, LIfe Itself and Jodorowsky’s Dune should’ve been up for Best Doc because they’re about movies (and Hollywood normally can’t resist honouring Hollywood, kinda like the media loves talking about the media).

Special Oscars due for: Vin Diesel for giving more life to a repetitive fucking tree than Bitchslapneedy Redmanye; Shia Lebeef (both because he was pretty damn solid in Fury and because at his current rate, he might be dead in 6 months and could really use the recognition now); Kevin Smith should get the Jean Hersholt Humitarian Award for spending approximately 8493 hours giving Tusk free promotion on his podcast, but also spending approximately zero hours making his ending remotely believable; and finally it’s a shame and a half that the putrid Hawking movie is even invited to this ceremony, let alone probably winning an award that Old Batman or Grand Ralph Fiennes Hotel should be winning. Or even Davey Oyelowo, who oughta get the chance to play Dr. King again in a movie that gives him more to do. Like bang chicks. I hear the real Doc King liked to do that. Oh, MLK. Way to take the edge off when you’re paving the way for Barack Obama!

Finally, considering the themes of this year’s movies, how appropriate Doogie Howser is hosting the show. He grew up in front of us for about 12 years and he’s spent a lot of time backstage on Broadway. He might have studied black holes, Nazi code-breaking, and jazz drumming too, but I do have doubts that he ever fired bullets at people with a high-powered rifle. Unless that’s the plot of Harold & Kumar 4: ‘Roldy Goes Rogue. Trademark Ryan Ellis!

And finally finally, about The Lego Movie’s snub. If this helps, Lord & Miller, I will watch the 5 Animated Feature nominees once each (if that). I will watch your movie many, many times. Cuz it’s awesome.

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