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Author Topic: The oscars are dumb and should be ignored or replaced
Samprimary
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There's two serious issues with the golden globes. And no, let's leave those thinly veiled ideological screeds out of it, because seething at hollywood because they are liberal or anti-family or anti-true-for-reals-american-values or whatever is old, dumb, and a waste of time. Well, I guess I don't need to make this disclaimer now that malanthrop isn't around anymore, but seriously. If you know people who still do that, tell them to let it go. There's better (as in, real) fish to fry when it comes to the golden globes. Here's two of them!

NUMBER ONE: quid pro dumb movie with big names

quote:
Film critics will always disagree over whether a movie is good, bad or simply indifferent. It comes with the territory, and usually nobody makes a big deal of it.

Today I'm going to make a big deal of it. Because what I see happening with the latest slate of Golden Globe nominations bothers me.

"The Tourist" was nominated for best picture comedy/musical, and the film's stars, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, were nominated for best actor and actress, comedy/musical.

So what? Well, you wouldn't say that if you'd sat through "The Tourist." Here's a film that should have been a joy but that was described by a friend as keeping him "on the edge of my sleep." This stillborn comedy/thriller features two of our most charismatic and talented stars and still managed to be dreadful.

It was directed and co-written by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, whose excellent "The Lives of Others" won the Oscar for foreign language film in 2007. Among its screenwriters were Julian Fellowes ("Gosford Park") and Christopher McQuarrie ("The Usual Suspects"). In other words, this flick had a pedigree a mile long. It should have been terrific.

The reviews were scathing. According to the critics poll on RottenTomatoes.com, the film scored 4.3 out of 10, a flunking grade. Does that sound like one of the year's best films to you? But "The Tourist" is great stuff if you're to take seriously the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, whose 80-some members award the Globes.

My charitable side wants to write it off to cultural differences (these are foreigners, after all). That might explain why the Globes shut out the Coen brothers' "True Grit," a hugely enjoyable Western that brilliantly toys with the American vernacular.

Actually, I don't think the answer is that benign. As in so many things, when looking for ulterior motives, you have only to follow the money.

Fact: Selling broadcast rights to the Golden Globes ceremony (airing Jan. 16) is how the Hollywood Foreign Press Association pays its bills (NBC is ponying up $6 million a year).
Fact: The Globes are regarded as the industry's most enjoyable awards gala, in large part because the stars sit at tables and can imbibe all evening.

Fact: The more major stars the Golden Globes can deliver on awards night, the more viewers will watch and the more advertisers will clamor for a piece of the broadcast.

Depp and Jolie are among the world's biggest movie stars. Both are fairly private people who try to avoid the limelight, so having them show up for the Globes would be a coup.

Am I being too hard on the Globe folk? Am I impugning their honesty? Uh, yes.

The group's reputation for being ethically challenged goes back at least to 1982, when the group named Pia Zadora the best new star for her work in the repulsive "Butterfly." Later it was revealed that Zadora's millionaire husband paid for a Las Vegas vacation for Globe voters.
Hollywood is abuzz over the revelation that before the announcement of this year's nominations, Sony Pictures flew association members to Las Vegas for a show by Cher, followed by a meet-and-greet with her.

Sony was the distributor for Cher's so-so "Burlesque" and "The Tourist." Lo and behold, the Globes nominated both "Burlesque" and "The Tourist" for best picture comedy/musical.

http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_16977093

The Tourist has utterly no place earning even a nomination, and it being given them while True Grit gets a shutout is damning evidence of massive spoilage of the system. The Tourist only deserves a Razzie nomination. They don't even deserve a razzie, just the nomination. 1. a razzie has some intrinsic value, and that's more than they deserve for simply making a boring movie that actually manages to squander Depp's talent (okay, that part is impressive), and 2. all the razzies of the year should absolutely go to The Last Airbender on principle.

NUMBER TWO: the entire format is dumb to begin with

This one's pretty simple. Some years, there's only one or two movies/actors/etc that should really be in competition for a lot of the awards. Other years, there's movies that completely blow other years out of the water and lead to a much more crowded field. The system should really just reward each and every worthy movie, actor, and technological/cinematographic feat that comes out that year. Anybody remember Master and Commander? It's a perfect example. It's a bloody brilliant movie. It got nominated for something like 10³² oscars. But that just happened to be a Lord of the Rings year, so they got nothing. Other years — like, maybe the Crash brainfart of 2006 — they would have swept the awards. There's too many ways to pick apart the flaws.

Engaging in a revolutionary 'we can give out more than one type of award per year! yay!' system also solves the problem of animated movies having their own cute little side-award jsut for Pixar, despite animated features often being worthy contenders for best picture these years. Oh, and it breaks the necessity for other categories, like best film where people talk in funny other languages. perhaps they are all worthy in the same general sense.

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theamazeeaz
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Awards, top lists, they are all like that. It's someone's (or a collective's) opinion, and motivated by politics, or current events or faddish popularity. Time mutes advertising. Though I must say I was surprised that people have just now figured out that Revenge of the Sith was a lousy movie. The real best movies are the ones that have been out for a while, but people who have seen the best movies sit through them again with their friends who haven't.

The opposite of love isn't hate, Samp, it's indifference. You don't have to care what the Academy thinks.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
The oscars are dumb and should be ignored or...
You're doing it wrong. [Wink]
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Raymond Arnold
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An argument I heard that I like is that Oscars (or, basically, a new thing to replace them) should honor films from 10 years ago, so current politics are no longer relevant and all that matters is what could stand the tests of time.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
Awards, top lists, they are all like that.

quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
You don't have to care what the Academy thinks.

Bingo!
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
An argument I heard that I like is that Oscars (or, basically, a new thing to replace them) should honor films from 10 years ago, so current politics are no longer relevant and all that matters is what could stand the tests of time.

I don't pay attention to the Oscars or other awards, but I very well might be interested in such retroactive awards.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
The opposite of love isn't hate, Samp, it's indifference. You don't have to care what the Academy thinks.

Sorry, I don't think this makes any sense at all. The opposite of indifference, to me, would be obsession. And of course you don't have to care what the academy thinks, which is far, far different from deciding to care. Even if, in this case, caring is exactly one thread's worth of on-a-whim commentary!
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TomDavidson
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The idea of retroactive awards is a great one, but studios -- which can profit quite heavily from the Oscars -- would see little reason to support it, especially now that DVD sales are declining.
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Samprimary
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I think we kind of have a retroactive award. of sorts, anyway: films selected for inclusion to the national film registry of the library of congress, for having lasting significance.
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Stephan
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The only awards shows I watch are the music ones, strictly to watch the live performances.

Sugarland and Beyonce singing together was the award show highlight of 2010 for me.

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Nighthawk
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Les Grossman and Jennifer Lopez at the MTV Movie Awards was my highlight.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
I think we kind of have a retroactive award. of sorts, anyway: films selected for inclusion to the national film registry of the library of congress, for having lasting significance.

That's too retroactive (and small) to be very interesting, I'm afraid.
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Kwea
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Are you talking about the Golden Globes or the Oscars as the title of this thread states?
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Xavier
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quote:
I think we kind of have a retroactive award. of sorts, anyway: films selected for inclusion to the national film registry of the library of congress, for having lasting significance.
I've always known of the list, but never paid much attention to it.

Looking over the list of movies that have come out since I was born (1981), it's an interesting list.

Movies I think should be included from this time frame (off the top of my head):
Ghostbusters, Shawshank Redemption, Karate Kid, Aliens, Terminator 2, Full Metal Jacket, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Silence of the Lambs, Forrest Gump, Jurassic Park, The Matrix.

Now I know the list is pretty sparse, but I just can't see "Groundhog's Day" being selected before any of the above movies. Don't get me wrong, I love that movie, but WTF.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
Are you talking about the Golden Globes or the Oscars as the title of this thread states?

both, I just forgot to make them all inclusive in the title!
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
I just can't see "Groundhog's Day" being selected before any of the above movies.
I would select it before the majority of those movies.
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Samprimary
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groundhog day is awesome like that, yes
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Papa Moose
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Interesting story. Many movies were selected for the list, and originally Groundhog Day didn't make the cut. Then they were selected again. Then they were selected again. Kept going until Groundhog Day was chosen.
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Ginol_Enam
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
The opposite of love isn't hate, Samp, it's indifference. You don't have to care what the Academy thinks.

Sorry, I don't think this makes any sense at all. The opposite of indifference, to me, would be obsession. And of course you don't have to care what the academy thinks, which is far, far different from deciding to care. Even if, in this case, caring is exactly one thread's worth of on-a-whim commentary!
Aren't love and hate both different forms of obsession? So indifference would be the opposite of love (but also the opposite of hate)?

Anyway, I did the Oscars, but they are pretty silly. I just view it as a nice review over the past year's movies. An awards show would never be perfect, so I don't worry about it.

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Lyrhawn
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I'd call obsession a measurement of love and hate, rather than the other two being derived from it.
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Teshi
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quote:
It's a perfect example. It's a bloody brilliant movie.
Well, so say you. I found it relatively predictable and pedestrian and, while good, not astonishingly good. On top of that, this is a problem common to all awards ever given. If you're in a strong year, you have to be the best. If you'e in a weak year, just being good will do.

On a more positive note, I saw the King's Speech when it came out last night and it was excellent so I'm not surprised it's been nominated.

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SoaPiNuReYe
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Whenever I think of Oscar tragedies, I'm reminded of how The Thin Red Line and Saving Private Ryan came out in the same year. Both deserved to win every category they were nominated for, but Saving Private Ryan was the crowd pleaser.
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Samprimary
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I was profoundly bored by the thin red line but upon recollection I have to say it was a great movie. I just wasn't in a good place to appreciate what it did. I mean, I think SPR was a better movie, but both of them deserved awards.

As for M&C being predictable and pedestrian? No, it's really a wonderful movie. The cinematography, in particular, is absolutely masterful. The opening scene in particular should be a study in how opening scenes and the setting of a movie's tone should be done.

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Teshi
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I don't really notice cinematography, as a rule, unless it's awful, so I rarely judge a movie by its cinematography.

For me, while I found the movie pleasant and watchable, and it has excellent music, I actually didn't like it as much as I do say other historical war films such as the Sharpe series or even the apparently more fluffy Horatio Hornblower series.

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Samprimary
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I use the opening of M&C as a pinnacle example of the setting of tone. It establishes attentionality to naval authenticity and detail (important, given this is from a Patrick O'Brian novels), and it works hard to open with a predominant mood of station onboard a british warship. Everything in terms of sound and color works towards this, including the way the movie crawls seamlessly from the opening blackness and notes and silence to the gradual, initially duochromatic blue evoking a mood and a portrait of a ship during the bell of the watch.

Normally I don't care that much about seeing a movie in theater v. seeing it on a regular tv screen, but in a dark and immersive environment with no distraction, sitting down and really following along with the whole opening up to the ship listing and limping away into the fog is a great way to spontaneously discover why people like me care so much about cinematography and the visual art and mastery of movies.

In this case, at least, the oscars did right. While Lord of the Rings rampaged over nearly everything else, veteran cinematographer Russell Boyd rightfully topped over them and won best cinematography that year for this movie.

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The Black Pearl
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Uh, its pretty hard not to notice the cinematography in Master & Commander. I love the movie because I just love the concept of being the commander of a ship and stuff.

Same with Jesse James or The New World (meh movie)

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Raymond Arnold
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Honestly, I didn't think M&C was particularly amazing. It did have good cinematography... but so did Lord of the Rings.
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The Black Pearl
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Other than ROTK (which is cg city, but still close), they're really close. Though because of MVC's concept there's a lot of fresh presentation gimmicks, editing, and camera angles.

Hey watching a ship get mutulated by cannon balls is totally awesome.

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Teshi
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Nevertheless, I don't notice cinematography.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by umberhulk:
Hey watching a ship get mutulated by cannon balls is totally awesome.

then limp off, then slowly get crafted back. The ship's practically the main character.

*gets a cell phone thrown at his head by r. crowe*

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Danlo the Wild
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99.9% of all award shows are garbage.

The Oscars are super garbage.

...but nothing is more garbage than the BCS.

I avoid them all.

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Lyrhawn
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I was sort of meh on M&C, but I loved the soundtrack.
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