Friday, February 28, 2014

It's time for Oscar: Let the Madness begin!

Hollywood is 'bracing' for the annual bout of industrial-strength self-love. But aside from the promised riches of Ellen Degeneres' schtick and the value of presenters' 'swag bags',  the field of 'the art' this year is somehat formless and void.  Aside from piracy suits and a nudge from Netflix/rentals, there is no more 'boffo' to be gained from any of the 'winners'.

An unreamrkable field of best' film should be dominated by a cartoon. But it's not. Nor is the 'best' film, in my estimation, even mentioned. Instead we have another realistic-imaginary space film, a realistic Sgt. Rock star-spangled  war story about a freighter , a 'scam' movie - two actually - one almost legal, a peter-pull to Sari,  another AIDS saga  and a historical fiction a la  Civil war renactment movies - this one featuring a new, 'hot' back actress - topless and being whipped - all well-seen before and none outstanding - for anything - except perhaps the latter and the Wall Street 'blow jobs'.   'The Dallas Buyers Club' is the most interesting of those nominated. But even absent the much needed (I imagine) hi-tech biffy in Gravity, or those whipped ta-tas in '12 Years a Slave', the best film, unnominated,  was 'The Book Thief' -  but it has no 'cast' and it's about the literal redemption of a little Nazi, sooo.. it's not going to fly.

The female leads; Judy Dench in a 'tribute' nomination for the non-starter 'Philomena', Sandra Bullock for Gravity (more notice taken of her under-suit outfit than her acting), Streep and blanchett for ttheir 'craft' and the winsome 'newby' Amy Adams as a scam artiste, are run-of-the-mill this year. Adams should win it for her 'class'.

Male lead Christian  Bale stands out if only for the most elaborate comb-over in cinetomatographic history. Bruce Dern os nominated as an octogenarian  in 'Nebraska' - probably reprising the cxharacter of the dead biker he  played in the breakthrough 'The Wild Angels' long, long ago. Leonardo does Leonardo, again, in the 'Wolf of Wall Street' - a role nnotable only for its proffered 'suck offs' and a thespiation of the greed motive. McConaughey shows to what efforts artists will go for their craft and plays the thin man as if he was the only fixture in a changing world.  Chiwetel Ejiufor is ok in his role as a kidnapped slave, but his slavery is as meningful to modern audiences as 'Lincoln' was to the  moderns last year - mind you that effort won Day Lewis an award, didn't iit?

While on 'biographies. what happened tto "Jobs?  Maybe it was made-for -TV  but these days a movie is a movie isn't it? And the normally one-dimensional Aston Kucher actually tried acting like someone else, even to mimicking a walk! It deserved a look.

This year's  documentaries featured another look at the Afghanistan experince, or at least an examination of some of its dirty undergarments. In 'Dirty Wars' the muffed special forces raid on an Afghan  compound, that resulted in the deaths of a number of Afghans - two policemen and their wives,  during a misinformed 'night raid' is examined, without much result. This was the case in which the 'good guys' initially claimed to have almost saved two women from an honot killing. Turns out no such thing happened and tthe SF involved used their K-Bars to retrieve the bullets from tthe women thay shot. Even Addmiral McRaven, head honcho of all things special, makes a cameo as an apologist for the misdirected cause of freedom.

A better documentary  effort is "This is What Winning Looks Like' - like a night raid, it doesn't leave many loose ends. Maybe next year?

The count-down is oin to red carpet central. Ellen Degeneres is the hostess with the mostess and bets are being laid that a skirt may replace her  periennial pants. But how could she be as funny as Fey and Pollard in a skrt? I'm just wondering if she'll wear sneakers?

I really think somebody ought to talk about internet piracy, after all, if  Hollywood's net is actually 'up' this year, as iit us reputed to be, then it would hve been 'up' a lot more if culture thieves had had to lay oout $9 a pop to see the 'work'. Maybe Jodie Foster could replay the earnestneess with which she importanced her exit from the closet.

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