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I’d Like to Thank….

23 Feb

I’m writing this as I finish watching last night’s Academy Awards ceremony. Old friends might wonder how this is possible–the Oscars used to be my thing. I’d have a big party (dress up as a nominated character! Themed food! Prizes!) and see as many movies as I could. This year, I thought, Oh yeah, it’s Oscar night. How many movies have I seen again? Two? 

Sure, people change–and I simply don’t make the same time for movies that I used to (in part thanks to being really turned off of the movies by “Gangs of New York,”), but every year I still get some form of the Fever. This year I was able to watch a good chunk of the ceremony before I compromised with the Boy and taped the rest so that we could continue catching up with the rest of the country by watching another episode of “Breaking Bad” (we’re on season 3).

Now that means that I’m quickly trying to finish watching it so that I can look at the rest of the Internet. And then quickly get some work done because now I really, really want to see a movie. I know some are on demand, others are on Netflix, or I could figure out how to download them; however I still love the theater, the experience of being enveloped by a movie, and the slow coming out of it once the lights come back up. That’s the magic of movies.

Still, like anyone who sits at home watching the big show, during the lower moments (technical awards previously given, odd Lady Gaga tributes to “The Sound of Music”), I do spend a fair amount of time crafting my own acceptance speech, so I thought I’d share that with you this year.

The Oscar viewer knows that acceptance speech strategy is key, particularly in any category I might win. You get your 30 seconds (if that), and you are quickly played off. Heaven forbid I be nominated with somebody–it always stinks to be the second (or third or fourth) person who doesn’t get more than two seconds to try to yell their thank you’s over the strings (or if the conductor’s pissed, the brass).

The key part of my strategy would be preparation, and for that I have one word: Intervals. Hustle to the stage, and you could get an extra five or six seconds. This whole “let’s move slowly and gracefully because this is a big deal” is bunk because we know the show runs long for no good reason, and people have to get up in the morning (which is hell on the East Coast). So practice those sprints and wear something pretty, yet moveable.

Next is to say something different. Acceptances shouldn’t be 100% thank you. Say something unique, something they’ll remember. This year was great–Patricia Arquette talking about equality for women; Graham Moore, the screenwriter for “The Imitation Game” talking about being weird; John Legend mentioning the fact that there are more incarcerated black men than there were slaves; Eddie Redmayne talking about ALS; Julianne Moore pumping the cause of Alzheimer’s research; the guy who thanked his dog. What a great year!

Me? I’d thank the people who hired me, of course; the Boy for believing in me; but honestly, I’d also give a shout out to all of the Oscar partiers, the ones who truly make the awards what they are. Sure, it’s Hollywood’s big party for itself, but it wouldn’t be as big of a spectacle if people at home didn’t celebrate, so really, I’d celebrate them. And hope to hell they’ve got me picked in their Oscar bingo or drinking games.

Dueling Fevers

24 Jan

Every four years, a horrible thing happens: The Winter Olympics collide with Oscar Season.

This used to be a more dire situation for me. I used to be a movie junkie, and I’d have a huge Oscar party every year. Attendees dress up like nominated movie characters, and I’d have themed food, games, and champagne. When I had it at my apartment, I’d rent a big screen TV. Then I started having it in a private room of a bar, which allowed for more people and fun.

Martin Scorsese changed all of that. I don’t know how I sat through all of “Gangs of New York.” Perhaps it was trying to see if Cameron Diaz’ accent ever got better. Maybe it was wishful thinking, but after that dreadful experience–luckily at a cheap movie theatre–I stopped going to the movies so much. Every time I wanted to go, it had to be something I really wanted to see because not much was worth the $10 price of admission.

That hasn’t really changed today, and ticket prices have gotten a little bit higher, lessening my desire to see many movies. I’ve only seen a few this year; however, that general malaise I have about the movie industry goes out the window when the Academy Award nominations are announced. I’m excited for the nominees, and these are the movies that have been deemed to be good. This is my short list of what to bother with.

Of course, if that short list is pretty long, I have a bit of movie viewing to cram in during the nomination season. This year is no exception. I’d like to see at least eight of the nominated pictures, and on paper, that’s not such a daunting task….until you realize that the Olympics are on as well.

We’re in the run up to Sochi, and I’m so excited to watch–and become an instant expert on–obscure winter sports. I want to see how Sochi does as a host, how it deals with security threats, and how all the money it’s put toward these Games is actually spent. I want to spend hours watching television, looking for obscure glimpses of judges and officials, wondering how they get to that level. It’s been a while since I threw a big party, so a few friends are helping put together an epic one for the Opening Ceremonies. I’ve got Olympic Fever to the max.

When Olympic Fever collides with Oscar Fever, it’s tough. Real tough. While I still love the movies, they may continue to sit on the back burner. Double the Fever can be double the fun, but we’ll see if I test that theory.

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