Sunday, March 05, 2006

A cranky observation 13 minutes into the Academy Awards

Wow, Jon Stewart is rotten so far. It's like someone transplanted Jay Leno's soul into Stewart's body. He hasn't uttered a funny line yet.

He's much too good to be hosting this crap. Next, Richard Posner will judge the Westminster Dog Show. I wonder if Stewart was so chastened by critiques of his iconoclastic sensibility that he's overcompensated by being safe and boring.

This is what we have to look forward to when he gets an 11:30 p.m. talk show on ABC. What a waste.

Additional thought: It's got to be tough to host this garbage. On the one hand, you have a younger audience -- the type that watches Entourage and reads Defamer -- and therefore fancies itself as being up on the inside jokes. On the other, you have Marge and Carl living in Florida, who feel nervous even with the lame Brokeback jokes.

Oh, and Ben Stiller's schtick just made Stewart's lame opening routine seem hi-larious in comparison. And it strikes me that George Clooney saying he's glad to be out of touch may have set things back a bit.

More thoughts: Christ, this is turning into live-blogging, which is pathetic. I was watching this for Jon Stewart, but when he fell flat, I've kept watching for the Robert Altman tribute. I'd say that the reason I'm a filmmaker is that I love Robert Altman, but I'm not a filmmaker, so that's a lie. Short Cuts and The Player are two of the great movies -- he's made a lot of failures, too, but his failure are still more interesting than most good movies. I thought his remarks would be a little more bombastic, but who cares. He doesn't need to impress anybody -- he craps bigger than Jon Stewart.

Last thought: Larry McMurtry comes up wearing jeans with his tux. That's how I'd want to do it. Larry McMurtry has written some excellent books -- not just Lonesome Dove, but The Last Picture Show, Texasville, All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers. They're not the kinds of books that get taught in seminars, but more like beach reads if you're more interested in characters than thrillers. I love that he talked about "the culture of the book" and plugged bookstores as an institution. That, along with Robert Altman, made this silly night worthwhile. How come everybody I like is in their seventies?


evil girl said...

let me see if i have this right, somehow you failed to be amused by john stewart's stitck, and yet you found ben stiller's idiotic unitard routine funny? you're shitting on straightforward mocking in favor of craptasticly unfunny physical humor designed to amuse retards? i am deeply, disappointed. even when stewart wasn't all that great, and in moderate portions he wasn't, at least he acknowledged the show for the self-fellatiating montage that it is.

and apologies for the pointless outrage, but this is what happens when i'm forced to watch awards shows in the company of too many do-gooders who make a living, and stroke their own egos, in the name of bettering third world nations, but fail to become the least bit entertaining in the process.

spinachdip said...

Actually, I'm pretty sure that's the direct opposite of what he said.

winston said...

jon had exactly one good line last night, after george clooney won: "that's the kind of thing that could really get a guy laid."


and "crash," in my opinion, was an utter and complete piece of shit. i hated it. hamhanded preachiness with all the subtlety of a fucking polo mallet.

Crunk Raconteur said...

Crash was the only one of the best picture nominees I saw, and I have to agree with Winston. If I had to describe it in one word, that word would be "sucked". If I had to describe it in 3 words, they would be "really, really sucked".

Of course, I've seen Crash, so I know that that's just the sort of thing a racist like me WOULD say!

CrimeNotes said...

I didn't see either "Crash" or "Brokeback" so I didn't have a horse. My favorite was "The Squid and the Whale," which might have benefited from more recognition. But then again, a really good movie is still a really good movie, so isn't this all kind of nuts? For the people who care about and support the message of a movie like "Brokeback," I think it's done a lot to foster discussion and humanize the issue. An award might have been nice recognition but in the end it doesn't change much.

Here's a question, though: Why was Jon Stewart so terrible? Was he as bad as I think he was or were my expectations too high? George W. Bush has been funnier at White House correspondants' dinners. I don't think he was starstruck -- I think he was scared of alienating someone.

(And E.G., as noted by 'Dip, my statement attempted to assert that Ben Stiller was way, way lamer than Jon Stewart.)

winston said...

i actually saw all the best picture nominees this year, and in my opinion, "capote" was the best of the bunch. i'd have been satisfied with anything but "crash" winning. i was pulling for "brokeback" because it would piss off the fundies, and that would have been fun.

yeah, i do think jon stewart was trying to play it safe. he's too smart and funny for something as trite and banal as the oscars.

Crunk Raconteur said...

It looked to me like Stewart misjudged the situation up until about 3 minutes into the show, when he realized his big mistake: We may all love him, and the Daily Show audience may laugh hilariously at his jokes, but the Oscar audience is terrified of laughing at the wrong thing and being caught by the cameras doing so.

Stewart seemed to sense that they weren't going to laugh at a lot of the jokes, and it totally threw him off his game. Then the awkwardness just fed on itself until it was all-consuming.

I kind of liked the fake attack ads, though.

Question on the songs (no, not whether or not it is, in fact, hard out here for a pimp, or, in the same vein, whether pimping is or is not easy): Aren't there usually 5 nominated songs? They couldn't find 2 more songs to put in there with those three, ludicrously bad songs?

Once again, the song performances made me miss Elliott Smith, who, some will remember, came on immediately after the Celine Dion smoke and lights and fake Titanic spectacle with just a chair and acoustic guitar and did a great version of Miss Misery, which was so much better than Celine's song or any of the swill from last night.

CrimeNotes said...

I too liked the fake attack ads.

I hadn't heard "It's Hard Out There For a Pimp" before. It'll be in my head for days, yet the hook sounds like it belongs in a song by Heart.

The awards made me wish I'd seen "Brokeback," which looks more serious than the grown-up After School Special that I thought it was.

"Capote," however, put me in a deep sleep, even though it was about subjects that interest me. I don't know what my problem was there.

I continue to cling to "The Squid and the Whale," which was maybe too dark and smug to build much popular affection.