Monday, February 29, 2016

Reaction to the 2016 Oscars

This year's Oscars was a magnificent triumph over the last year's debacle but really overall, it was a fine and entertaining show. Too bad the rest of America wouldn't really care due to the lack of interesting or popular fare.

15-9. One point less than my usual average of 16-8. I just had to change my mind on the Film Editing, avoided the signs when it came for the Supporting awards, and dismissed the obvious with Best Picture.

The show opens with a "Hey, remember 2015?" montage, filled with such classic films as Fifty Shades of Grey and Ted 2. Young people still like Seth MacFarlane, right? And how interesting of it to be overflowing with images from Straight Outta Compton and Beasts of No Nation.

Chris Rock did really have one whooper of an opening monologue, damning the Hollywood industry and establishment for their backtracking on racial diversity and the #OscarsSoWhite movement for their short-sighted anger at a popularity contest and not focusing on more damning issues. He did a great job throwing live dynamite throughout the night, including plugging "Black Lives Matter" at the very end, but it did get a bit stale when every video gag he later pulled kept repeating the same joke.

The apparent theme of the night was to chronicle the way a movie gets made, awarding first the screenwriters, the production team, and then a supporting actress?

Pop Up Video! I abhorred the little on-screen boxes describing who these celebrities and actors were. Of course I know who Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are!

This Is CNN! The attempted new change for the ceremony was for the nominees to pre-write all of their thanks, which would then scroll on the bottom of the screen. This was to limit the thank you speeches, which the Academy keeps thinking is the worst part of the evening. Oh yeah, it's certainly not when you have the extended comedy gags or people stretching out their presenting time, or the fact that ABC repeats the same five commercials for cars, Kohls, and a Samsung phone. And guess what: The winners just said their thank you anyway! I pray this doesn't happen again; I want to watch a celebration of film, not a live-action Playbill.

The Danish Girl would have been better with Tracy Morgan. That montage of black comedians being injected into acclaimed films completely outshone the old green-screen videos Billy Crystal used to do.

Sam Smith didn't win me over with his Jude Law haircut and creepy beard. His less-than-stellar performance further didn't help.

Cool sequined Mad Max leather jacket you got there, Jenny Beavan.

As expected, Mad Max: Fury Road got all of the tech awards. The producers knew this advance, hence why they were all put in the same slot.

The Minions are coming. Cue the Ghostbusters theme?!

Angela Bassett needs to be in more Oscar stuff.

The hell was with that cue for the sound editing and mixing awards? Everybody was utterly perplexed.

Really, Stacey Dash?

Bear Story?!!! Well, at least it's nice for Chile to have their first ever Oscar, and to defeat two favorites in the Animated Short category.

Mark Rylance?!!! I guess the Academy still didn't see Rocky 2 and think that Rocky Balboa keeps losing in all of his sequels.

Louis CK with a nice bit about the limitations and low popularity of short subject Documentarians.

Dev Patel is scaring me with his Alejandro G. Iñárritu cosplay.

Lou Gossett Jr. starting the standing ovation love with surprise presenter Vice President Joe Biden.

So are we going to have another "Glory" on our hands, where the rousing political song is played last by a famous pop singer, causes the crowd to weep and stand up, and ultimately win? Nope! Diane Warren can't catch a break.

Seriously, Ali G in 2016? Did Grimsby already fail around the world that you had to recycle an outdated character, Sacha Baron Cohen?

Just great, now Iñárritu is in the record books.

Brie Larson was the night's MVP. Her constant interactions with co-star Jacob Tremblay, her kind demeanor, her hugging the rape survivors, and her win for Best Actress made her even more lovable.

Wow, now I really, really don't want to see Trumbo. The lone Oscar clip they could muster up was of Bryan Cranston avoiding his daughter's birthday party?

And hooray, that newspaper movie no one saw but has a message dammit won in the end. Enjoy being relevant in two months!

Mad Max: Fury Road getting six awards made my night. Chris Rock made it better, though I am sick of Girls Scout cookies.

An entertaining show but besides Rock's antics, it will fade quickly, just the overall cinematic year of 2015.

Oh, and we now have our annual "In Memoriam" snub: Abe Vigoda.

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