I can not believe that there is actual controversy on whether or not the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science should nominate The Dark Knight for best picture. Apparently it comes down to ratings. Last year had the worst ratings in Academy Awards history. The Oscars have found that it isn ‘t the host that determines whether or not people will watch but if there is a popular movie in contention, like Titanic or Lord of the Rings. This is leading some to feel that they are being pressured into nominating a specific film, not for it’s artistic merit but just because it was popular and will ensure good ratings. My take on the whole thing is that if it is only about worthy films and not popularity, then ratings shouldn’t matter, in fact you don’t even need a broadcast of the ceremony. Just have the awards and speeches and then release a list of the winners to the press. Ah, but Hollywood wants to have the broadcast so that they can all appear on camera and be seen and admired by everyone, which is why we now have this lame controversy about whether or not The Dark Knight should be nominated. What irks me about the whole thing is the snobbish belief that something that appeals to everyone is unworthy of accolades, which has plagued movies from the beginning. This is why Hitchcock only won a special life time achievement award instead of a best director Oscar. That and the fact that Batman is a Comic Book character really has the Academy gnashing their teeth in frustration. Hollywood doesn’t mind raking in tons of money from it, but when it comes to saying it was actually a good movie, no way, better to go with Slumdog Millionaire because the Oscars aren’t the People’s Choice Awards. Personally it doesn’t matter, I’m not planning on watching anyway, regardless of what films are in the running. I’ll do what I did last year, get the results the day after. Why? Because, like a lot of movie fans these days, I don’t care. Whether or not someone wins an Oacar doesn’t make me want to run out and see the movie. I like what I like and no amount of pompous promotion about how many awards a film garnered is going to encourage me to plunk down ten bucks. Money’s too tight these days and I would rather wait and spend it on The Watchmen and Star Trek rather than Gran Torino or The Wrestler, no matter how artistically worthy they may be.
January 25, 2009
January 19, 2009
So finally after scaring and angering every fan boy in the world, Fox and Warner’s have come to an agreement and The Watchmen is going to make it’s expected release date. What was most ludicrous to me was when spokesmen for both companies made statements about how the other guy had acted in good faith ans the problems were really nobody’s fault. See, they’re both good guys who are working together to make the fans happy. Of course what no one mentions are two glaring facts. Fact one, Warner’s never checked to make sure they actually had the rights to make the movie (and don’t start talking about how Warner’s owns DC who has the rights to the book, we’re not talking about the book, we’re talking about the movie which is a completely different thing). They could have avoided this whole thing by making sure they could actually make the movie, gone to Fox and made a deal. But they didn’t and got called on it by the holder of the movie rights. Fact two, Fox didn’t come forward when the film was announced, shown they still had the film rights and made a deal. No what happened was Warner’s tried to do an end run and think no one would notice, and then Fox waited until the movie was ready for release before bringing up a lawsuit to put the most pressure on a rival company. The real result of this wrangling isn’t that these two film companies came to an understanding and are getting out the film. No, the real result is that the publicity has made The Watchmen an even more anticipated film as now even non-comic book fans are going to see it, if for nothing else than to see what all of the fuss was about. The real winners aren’t the fans so much as Fox and Warner’s bottom lines.
January 10, 2009
I have suffered a personal tragedy this week and all I can think of is that people who have criticized Marley & Me, especially those who can’t understand why the family would keep such a bothersome, out of control animal as a pet, have never really owned a pet. Earlier this week, I had to have my tortoise shell cat Patches put down, she had been suffering from a hyperthyroid problem for the last six months, which my wife and I had worked very hard at getting under control, but Wednesday, Patches started suffering from heart failure. My wife and I were with her at the end.
Looking back over the past fifteen years with Patches, I should never have kept her. She was anti-social, agoraphobic and distrustful of everyone. What do you do with an animal that likes to stick her head under lamp shades to stare at lit light bulbs, thinks carpeting is the perfect substitute for litter and the best place to sleep is in a shoe box in a closet. The first time we moved she hid under a blanket for two weeks, only coming out at night when everyone else was asleep to eat and go the bathroom.
And yet I loved her. She was born under my bed and had mental issues and medical problems from day one, but she was a member of the family and I took care of her. Towards the end she would come up and cuddle with me on the couch and I cherish the thought that when things were going down hill for her and she felt miserable, that she finally trusted me enough to seek the comfort of my presence. I will miss her terribly and perfectly understand why the Gorman’s have immortalized Marley in a book and now a film.