June 24, 2009

The Oscars: Now Less Than Ever!

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have announced The Oscars will include ten Best Picture nominees this year instead of the usual five.

The end result will be more promotional ammunition for arty Oscar bait that no one wants to see twice, and a dilution of the Oscar brand: a symbol of "quality" for the industry which brings us Transformers 2 and Norbit. Let's be blunt for a moment: the Oscars are the prestige cherry atop a shit sundae.

I find it amazing that they have made this change three months after the weakest Best Picture pool in memory. The contrast is doubly delicious when, in the third paragraph, they invite us to compare today's forgettable fare with the truly epic competition of 1939:

  • "Gone With the Wind"
  • "Dark Victory,"
  • "Goodbye, Mr. Chips,"
  • "Love Affair,"
  • "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,"
  • "Ninotchka,"
  • "Of Mice and Men,"
  • "Stagecoach,"
  • "The Wizard of Oz," and
  • "Wuthering Heights."

June 23, 2009

Marquee Comedy

The marquee of the Lexington Flick last night:


June 19, 2009

They said you was going to put me on the shelf...

Have you ever been totally overexposed to your favorite band, TV show, or movie, that you never want to see them again? I saw the movie Pulp Fiction six times in the theater in 1994 and 1995, and in the 14 years since, I don't think I have seen it once. The same thing has happened to me with classic rock. There was a time about ten years ago when I was tired of classic rock. I had been listening to classic rock as a fan and as a DJ since I was a teenager. Ten years later, I was oversaturated. In 1999, creaky old bands from the 1970s were at the low ebb of coolness. Around that time, I sold a bunch of my CDs at a yard sale. Normally I never get rid of any CDs, but I was at a place in my life where I never thought I would want to listen to these bands again:
  • JOURNEY: Greatest Hits
  • CHICAGO's Greatest Hits
  • The EAGLES Their Greatest Hits 1971-75
  • The EAGLES Greatest Hits, Vol. 2
  • RUSH: Chronicles
Fast-forward to the 21st century. I have spent most of the 2000s NOT listening to classic rock, both on the radio and around the house. I have started to miss these bands. I want to invite "25 or 6 to 4", "Already Gone", and "Limelight" back into my life. Thankfully, I can reclaim these hits collections without giving Don Henley any more of my money. My mother-in-law gave me access to her old records, where I found Chicago's Greatest Hits, Volumes 1 AND 2; I have picked up copies of Journey's Evolution (1979) and Escape (1981); and I found The Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 at a yard sale last weekend. That particular collection has sold 42,000,000 copies worldwide, so I was glad to find a used copy lying around!

I have been reunited with my classic rock roots. Perhaps in a few years I will be ready for Pulp Fiction again too?

The Hangover

I had a great time at this good but not great morning-after comedy, from the director of Old School. The Hangover is much improved by a great audience. Way to go, Somerville Theater crowd! I missed at least half the dialog thanks to the excited and actively engaged audience. When I saw Wedding Crashers at Boston Common in 2005, the sold-out theater was a big bonus to the entertainment value of the movie. I am also reminded of the great crowd at the Somerville Theater for The Simpsons Movie in 2007.

As the credits rolled, I had an epiphany: my Oscar Night costume will be as Best Newcomer nominee Zach Galifianakis's character Allan, complete with beard, dark sunglasses, and baby Carlos!
Big shoutout to our friends, who showed up in force, considering the extremely short notice: my wife sent the initial email to the group at 8:52 a.m. Ten hours and 53 minutes later, we had seven people join us! A wonderful time was had by all. (Somerville Theater [main theater], with Emily, Sarah, Kim, Amy, Mandy, Kathy, Penny, Tom, and two beers)