Hollywood’s Super Bowl: Could It Possibly Be Better Than The Real Thing?

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My, how fast a monthlong writing hiatus goes by.

When I last left you, I was picking the Denver Broncos to win the Super Bowl. A fitting end to a season of football picks that hit rock bottom about five times and never hovered much above it.

Since my last post was about the real Super Bowl, I figure I’ll kick off my comeback tour with a running timeline of the Super Bowl of Entertainment…The Oscars of course.

And who wouldn’t want to read all about Hollywood’s favorite self-congratulatory night from someone who’s actually in the industry?

As with any Super Bowl viewing, the action doesn’t begin at kickoff. It starts with an unforgettable pregame show to get the juices flowing. Let’s see what went on during ABC’s 90-minute Red Carpet broadcast:

  • 4:02-4:06pm (PST): We begin with three interviews that all land on the bizarre scale: Sidney Poitier can’t hear a damn thing the interviewer is asking so he vaguely tells us how “things are different than they used to be;” then Viola Davis and her husband tell ABC that they don’t do date night at the movies…they do date night by getting freaky in the hot tub (paraphrasing); and finally, June Squibb, the 84-year-old Best Supporting Actress nominee, tells us about her days as a stripper…or her days playing the role of a stripper. I can’t remember which it was. All I know is this event is giving off a strong elderly sex vibe already.
  • 4:12-4:14pm: ABC apparently gets the ship back on course as they do back-to-back interviews with people we’d much rather associate with a hot tub, Amy Adams and Anna Kendrick. Adams made the crucial mistake of not continuing her side boob dominance over the rest of the female population, opting instead for a dress that shows off only the standard top boob.
  • 4:15pm: Sally Hawkins, a nominee I’ve never heard of, shows up in what I’m guessing is the same dress my grandmother wore at her wedding in the late 1940s. You couldn’t cover more skin with ugly lace if you were trying to win a bet.
  • 4:20pm: A very pregnant Kerry Washington reminds me that as luck would have it, roughly 27 of mine and my girlfriend’s friends are currently expecting a baby. This is particularly insane and if it’s this year’s version of “everyone’s getting married,” consider me not on board. It’s just difficult to keep up with. So I’m proposing that from now own, my friends whose last name begins with A-M are allowed to have a baby only on even years, and my friends whose last name begins with N-Z have dibs on the odd years.
  • 4:23pm: You know why DVR exists? So I can skip over a taped piece called “how a handbag became such an important character in the movie Blue Jasmine.” Seriously.
  • 4:30pm: ABC runs a slow motion replay/montage of all the people who have been interviewed over the first 30 minutes of the broadcast. Why? We already need to be reminded of those four atrocious Q&A’s?
  • 4:31pm: Ahh, and finally we’ve reached the portion of the show titled “People I’ve told my girlfriend I’d leave her for.” Enter Jennifer Lawrence.
  • 4:33pm: ABC shows a clip of actors talking about their first time getting nominated. Wait, thee only explanation for Christopher Walken’s appearance is that the producers literally just dug him out of a grave, slightly brushed him off and stuck him in front of a camera. Don’t believe me? See for yourself:

Christopher Walken

  • 4:51pm: Thank god, I thought the awkward interviews were over after the first half hour. But here’s Jamie Foxx telling the world that his daughter, who he’s here with, is 20 years old and showing a lot of leg. Thanks for pointing that out, Jamie.
  • 4:53pm: Jared Leto is maybe the most naturally beautiful woman to walk the red carpet so far tonight (I just want everyone to know I made this joke roughly 40 minutes before Ellen did).
  • 4:55pm: I’m pretty sure Tyson Beckford is doing a horrible job as ABC’s fashion correspondent, and it’s confirmed when my girlfriend finally starts paying attention to the broadcast and rips him to shreds. Can’t blame her considering Beckford’s most insightful statement so far is “We’ve got Matthew McConaughey’s wife in a nice pink dress, and we’ve got Sandra Bullock in nice blue dress.” Groundbreaking work.
  • 5:17pm: This is so boring. Why would anyone watch this? Now they’re showing a montage of how this area of Hollywood was made ready during the rainy LA weekend. Which reminds me, I’d be willing to bet my prize-winning dog on Ellen’s opening joke being a poke at how everyone in LA is reacting to this rare monsoon.
  • 5:19pm: Here’s a good idea, let’s interview the guy who’s singlehandedly responsible for tonight’s ceremony about five minutes before it starts. I’m sure he’ll be nice & relaxed, casual, natural…as a single stream of urine slowly drips down his leg.

So basically, this pregame show was just as compelling as every sports pregame show. What a waste.

Let’s blast through the timeline during the three-hour broadcast of the actual awards ceremony:

  • 5:32pm: Aaaand we’re off…and ChaChing! As expected, the very first thing Ellen jokes about is the rain. We celebrities are a predictable people.
  • 5:39pm: Ellen finishes her seven-minute opening monologue with this killer line: “Possibility #1 is that 12 Years A Slave Wins. Possibility #2 is that you’re all racists.” She might earn herself permanent Oscar hosting duties tonight.
  • 5:41pm: Jared Leto is our first winner (Supporting Actor), and makes every other winner not want to give a speech the rest of the night because he gives the greatest “thank you, Mom “speech ever.
  • 5:43pm: ….And he’s still going, moving over to politics (thanking people in Ukraine & Venezuela) and then to actual thank you’s for his colleagues.
  • 5:44pm: ….And he’s wrapping it up with a political stand on AIDS. He really covered everything he cares about in this world, apparently.
  • 5:48pm: Jim Carrey makes a good LSD joke, the camera catches Bono laughing, he realizes the camera’s on him, he abruptly stops laughing. How dare we think he has a sense of humor.
  • 5:50pm: Brief aside: During the animation montage, there’s a quick clip of Fantasia. Listen, how could you sleep at night if you made that movie? A children’s movie featuring the most famous cartoon character in history and not a single word is uttered the entire time??? I’m still stewing over the time my Mom let me rent this at Blockbuster and I cried for 75 straight minutes while waiting for Minnie Mouse, Goofy and others to show up and start interacting with Mickey. That movie will haunt me for life.
  • 5:58pm: Seeing these celebrities not be able to connect on the single cheek kiss or the double cheek kiss makes me so happy. I thought I was the only one who could never read that situation properly.
  • 6:50pm: That 60-minute gap in my timeline is due to the producers running through 11 categories that no one could possibly care about. Would it kill them to mix in one popular category every 30 minutes or so?
  • 6:52pm: This seems like a good time to clarify my “read about The Oscars from someone who’s in the industry” comment, especially to new readers. I should have written “from someone who lives in the city where the industry is headquartered.”
  • 6:57pm: U2  performs and it’s not very exciting. How could The Oscars get this wrong? You elevate any bad awards show musical performance by planting Taylor Swift in the audience and panning to her overdancing repeatedly.
  • 7:47pm: This installment of The Oscars is dedicated/themed around Heroes In Movies…and by definition, every single movie ever made has a hero. So The Oscars were dedicated to movies? Way to go out on a limb with the theme.
  • 8:30pm: Turns out a run on relevant categories isn’t that much more exciting than the irrelevant categories.
  • 8:58pm: The night ends with 12 Years A Slave winning the coveted Best Picture category.

I think we need to split up the Best Picture category. One award should be for “the movie we enjoyed so much that we’ll probably watch it over & over for the next few years” (That’s my definition of Best Picture, which is why American Hustle got my vote). The other award should be: “The best ‘well done yet difficult to watch’ film.” Pretty self-explanatory. I think most Best Pictures land in this latter category and I hate it.

It turns out Hollywood’s version of the Super Bowl is about as entertaining as watching Peyton Manning compete in the real Super Bowl. Not sure which Super Bowl over this past month was the bigger waste of time.

Oscar Week Movie Review

Don't tell me Brad Pitt can't age 20 years in a movie...

So the Oscars are happening this Sunday.  And as a diehard movie buff, I did what I always do the week leading up to the big event: I watch 1 of the Best Picture nominees and convince myself that it’s the best movie of all the nominees.  This year it was Moneyball.

Though I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, I was disappointed by 3 main things:

1). Scott Hatteberg’s character was played by the same actor who plays Andy Dwyer on Parks & Recreation so I was extremely disappointed when Scott wasn’t saying things like, “If you rearrange the letters in Peru, you get Europe,” or “I hit my head…or, brain helmet.”  By the way, if you don’t watch this TV show, you’re missing out big time.

2). I kept expecting Jonah Hill’s character, the assistant GM of the A’s, to be drawing dicks all over his spreadsheets and documents.  Watching Super Bad again this past Saturday probably played a major role in this particular expectation.

3). This final one really threw me off the whole time: In the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Brad Pitt plays a character ranging in age from 30 to 85 (rough estimate).  The actor–combined with make up and visual effects–is able to play a character over a period of 50-60 years.  In Moneyball, Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, GM of the A’s, at the age of 40 in 2002.  But when the movie does flashbacks to show a younger Billy at ages 18-29, they use a completely different actor.  So in one movie, Brad Pitt can span half a century, but in another movie, they can’t make him play the same character over a 20 year span?  Was this only confusing to me?  Totally bugged me the entire time.  For those of you who watch How I Met Your Mother, this is similar to the weirdness in that show where the main character is an adult, but when they flash forward to him narrating the stories to his kids (presumably 20 years later), it’s Bob Saget’s voice.  At what point in this guy’s adulthood is he going to turn from his current self to Bob Saget?  Why couldn’t the actor who plays the main character in present time also provide the voice for the flash forwards??  Just makes no sense.

And while we’re speaking of the Oscars, I’m begging the Academy not to give the Best Picture to The Artist.  It’s probably a great movie, but you’re setting movies back 75 years by voting for this film.  The Oscars are constantly concerned by lack of viewers, especially younger viewers.  And yet, here we are, days away from seeing a silent movie win the big prize.  Here’s one simple question the voters should ask themselves to decide what is really the Best Picture: “which movie am I likely to watch more than 1 time?”  Or put another way, “which movie will most likely cause me to put the remote control down if I’m channel surfing and stumble upon it playing on HBO?”  Isn’t that the right way to judge the best movie?  Don’t we only watch the best movies multiple times?

For example, last year I saw The King’s Speech in the theaters about 2 weeks before the Oscars.  Good movie for sure, but will I ever stop to watch it if it’s on TV?  Not a chance.  Nominated against The King’s Speech last year was Inception.  Also saw it in the theaters….but also have watched it 15 times over the last year whenever it comes on TV.  That, to me, makes it the better movie.

So there’s my two big opinions on movies leading up to the Oscars: if Brad Pitt can age 50 years in one movie, he can do it in another movie, and the Best Picture Award should be turned into the Most Watchable Movie  Award.