Pop Culture Gadabout
Monday, March 06, 2006
      ( 3/06/2006 10:02:00 AM ) Bill S.  

"I KID BECAUSE I ENVY!" – With plenty of smart bloggers doing the live (or "time-lag") blogging thing for the 78th Annual Oscars, yours truly basically recorded the whole she-bang and sped-viewed it this a.m. while I got ready for work. As a result, I was spared the whole feel-bad spectacle that was Lauren Bacall stumbling through her presentation speech (caught five seconds – already started to feel awful for her – then zipped through the noir montage), the excess montages (loved Jon Stewart's jokes about 'em, though) and most of the acceptance speeches (liked Clooney, who I thought handled his mildly political statement with wit, and made two Batman jokes besides). As a freshman Oscar host, Stewart acquitted himself admirably, though regular Daily Show viewers could see that Death to Smoochy reference comin' a mile away. (It's something he pulls out nearly every time he has to interview a for-real actor.) Some of the filmed sequences could've easily appeared on the Show – the Stephen Colbert narrated actress campaign "ads," in particular – and were fun for it. They were certainly more successful than, say, David Letterman's attempts at squeezing his style of teevee comedy into the proceedings.

I had no strong leanings toward any of the big nominations because I haven't seen any of 'em yet. While politically vested writers may decry the year's weak box office and attempt to connect it to the moral values that Hollywood is supposedly promoting, I have to wonder if the bigger answer doesn't lie in simple economics. In a year when gas and utility prices have gone up while income for middle-class families hasn't kept up with COLA, movie theatre-going is a luxury that's harder and harder for the financially strapped to afford. I'd still like to see Brokeback Mountain in a movie theater, though, since I suspect that it's the kind of fil-lum that benefits from a big-screen vista. But if I don't, there's always Video-on-Demand . . .
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Pop cultural criticism - plus the occasional egocentric socio/political commentary by Bill Sherman (popculturegadabout AT yahoo.com).

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