Sunday, February 24, 2013

Weekly Review/Preview - Oscar Night

Last week, we wrapped up Test of Freedom with a "credit cookie" last episode, talked about typography and using line spacing to make your book cover look better.  On Wednesday, we talked about the interesting ways Richard Lockridge used Omniscient Voice in his cozy mysteries.  On Thursday I shared some thoughts on writing the online novel and my future plans.  On Friday, a review of Phroso, another Ruritanian adventure by Anthony Hope (author of Prisoner of Zenda).

Next week is also a full week, but before I get to that, I'll be spending Sunday having a Peking Duck feast, and then....

Oscar Night

They say that the Oscars is the Superbowl for movie buffs.

I suppose it's ironic, me being such a big movie buff, tjat I haven't watched an Oscar telecast in years.  I can't. I don't have cable and since the switch to digital, I can't get any ABC stations on the TV.

However, Oscar Night is still a big night for me, and I DO follow it -- but I follow via Twitter, and live-blogging on various sites, including IMDb and various fan sites.

I seriously do not miss the Oscar telecast.

One of the reasons I don't miss it is because the show sucks.  And the more they try to jazz it up, the more it sucks.  I only want to see two things in an Oscar telecast: Clips of the movies in question, and the speeches of the winners.  I don't want to see a monologue or cute banter, and I sure don't want to see musical extravaganza tributes to Hollywood.  (I do like hearing the nominated songs, though.)

I don't mind the red carpet coverage of the fashions -- that's a separate event -- but I really hate that Oscars don't seem to be about the movies or the nominees at all. It seems like it's all about the egos of the Hollywood Press, and the egos of the Hollywood power elite.  It's like everyone is there to be seen, and not to see anything.

So watching the Oscars on Twitter and live blogs is perfect... or would be if the speeches weren't being cut short at the source.  If they winners were allowed to go on a little longer, and then you could find them on YouTube.

It's true, I could probably do with a little less snark  than you get on Twitter, but at least Twitter commenters are clever as opposed to TV commenters and critics, who are just mindless egos.  And the Twitter folks can be wonderfully snarky about the TV commenters and critics, who deserve it.

My favorites?

Best Picture: Lincoln, though I think Argo is going to get it, and in some ways it should get it because they snubbed Affleck, who deserves recognition.  Lincoln likely won't get it for the reason I loved it: it's a drama about political procedure, and it doesn't try to cover that up -- it lets the drama of real legislating shine through.

Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis, duh.  I thought Denzel also did a fabulous job in Flight.

Best Actress: I didn't see enough of the pictures to know, and I wasn't excited about the ones I did see.  The kid from Beasts of the Southern Wild was pretty amazing, but the movie: I hated that movie.  And I usually love that kind of experimental artsy stuff.

Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones, though I didn't see Django Unchained, and what I saw of the clips made me really like Christopher Waltz.  I've heard great things about Philip Seymour Hoffman's performance, but The Master not a movie I necessarily want to see.

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway. But I've got to tell Sally Field, I do really really like you!

Best Animated Feature:

I don't really have opinions on the other categories this year, but I would like to see Moonrise Kingdom get some recognition.  I believe it's up for screenplay, and it's amazing, as all Wes Andersen flicks are.

Coming on the Blog this week:

Monday: "Flat Crossing" a flash fiction story in which a young girl wonders at why the trains run continuously along the tracks at the edge of her neighborhood.

Tuesday: There was an interesting illustration technique in Phroso, the book I reviewed on Friday.  (One of those pictures was not like the others.) I'll talk about that, and maybe talk a little about interesting covers I've seen lately.

Wednesday: Story Notes for "Flat Crossing."

Thursday: "The Golf Joke" My favorite joke -- it's a dull day in heaven and some heavenly figures decide to go down and have a game of golf.

Friday: The Prisoner of Zenda and meanings behind the fairytales.  Zenda is a story which has be adapted and made into movies and comic books and stolen into new plots.... perhaps because it has this really wonderful, almost mythic, underlying structure of mirrors and contrasts.

See you in the funny papers.

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