Last of the Monster Kids

Last of the Monster Kids
"LAST OF THE MONSTER KIDS" - Available Now on the Amazon Kindle Marketplace!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Director's Report Card: Alexandre Aja (2006-2008)

3. The Hills Have Eyes
Casual horror fans might not have even seen Wes Craven’s original “The Hill Have Eyes” and therefore probably don’t understand the level of anxiety that accompanied serious fright fanatics at the news of this remake. Serious fans can get touchy when a favorite of their’s is being redone, especially after the many subpar adaptations a lot of classic have received recently. Even a talented filmmaker would have trouble meeting the skill of Craven’s best film. Though Aja had one impressive horror behind him at this point, his mettle was still fully unproven.

Luckily, all in all, the new take on “The Hills Have Eyes” is pretty good. The story is faithful to the original and really only makes two serious changes to the tale. My biggest bone of contention would be with the changes made to the family of cannibalistic madman. Originally, the murderous clan was equal in numbers to the Carter folks and many deliberate comparisons were made between the two, suggesting that environment has more to do with the vast difference then anything else. In this rendition, the hill dwellers are a small colony and have become grotesquely deformed nuclear mutants. The main villain of the original piece, Papa Jupiter, is barely in this telling at all.

The social subtext of Wes Craven’s vision, the critique of the American family and proper society, has instead been transformed into a metaphor for America’s involvement in Iraq. Hear me out: A strictly conservative father leads his family into a desert area where the technologically advanced group is picked off easily by the primitive native inhabitants. Its only when the liberally minded man takes charge does things turn around for our victims. Reading too much into it? Perhaps. But the presence of an American flag in a key scene surely isn’t by accident.

As just a scare flick, the new “Hills” is successful, too. Aja continues to show a knack for creating intense attack sequences. His mobile home invasion is, dare I say, more suspenseful then Craven’s original. The final confrontation between Doug and Pluto is also a great moment.

The cast is solid and filled with several familiar faces, such as Ted Levine, Robert Joy, and Billy Drago. I might have preferred a more subtle take, the atomic mutants do push believability, but the monsters are created by cool old school make-up and I can’t complain about that. Aja’s visual style adapts well to the flatness of the Nevadan desert and though some say the remake lacks the grindhouse grittiness of the first, the director has create a new sort of grit, empathizing the heat and dirt. There’s plenty of blood too, even in today’s climate of ultra-gory torture horror, this is still one of the bloodiest films I’ve ever seen in a theater, but it’s never used needlessly and always has a point. Perhaps it’s his European roots, but Aja never befalls to the obnoxious trend of rock video shots prevalent in so much horror today. (Except briefly during the opening credits. Yeah, I noticed.) Unlike a lot of remakes, this one is respectful of its originator and was obviously made by fans. As another fan, I approve of the effort. [Grade: B+]

4. Mirrors
I had really hoped that “Mirrors” would be able to overcome its silly concept. I mean, the movie wants to do for reflective surfaces what “Psycho” did for showers. But I trusted the talent involved. So I’m sad to report that “Mirrors” is, to sum it up, dumb. My biggest disappointment is that almost all of Aja’s trademark style seems to be absent. Only twice does anything resembling his typical style rear its head at all.

The red-band trailer gave me hope that, even if the movie sucked, we’d at least get some crazy gore. Not really. There are only two moments and, while both are quite impressive, it amounts to about six minutes of a 110 minute movie. (And we saw most of the action in the R-rated trailer anyway.) The first act is composed mostly of what I call “stock-and-shock” segments. Basically the scare is pitched so far in advance that when it comes, we don’t even get a little jump. Besides, the scare is usually nothing more then something jumping at us or something “spooky” passing by the camera. The overzealous musical score helps none at all and often I was more irritated by the blast of loud cords then anything else.

Kiefer’s character starts out as morose but mildly compelling, but his ex-wife and kids that figure into the subplot are as boring as can be, in particular the kids, who are terrible actors. And what was with Paula Patton’s gratuitous cleavage? Her boobs are always falling out of her shirt and are framed prominently in every scene she’s in. I mean, its distracting.

After Amy Smart, who does nothing by the way, exits the film and the second act starts, things pick up. We basically have Kiefer Jack Bauer-ing every mirror he encounters. Sure, it’s goofy, but at least it’s entertaining. It should be a rule somewhere that the crazier Kiefer becomes, the better the movie gets. If the whole thing was just him punching glass, I would have liked it better. The mystery here is swiped pretty heavily from “The Ring” but didn’t completely bore me.

It wasn’t until the third act, when Busty Mom and Annoying Kids are locked in the house with the evil-mirror bound spirits, that things become uninteresting again. After another neat moment of gore, the movie takes a bizarre hard turn in its last minutes. We get a climatic fight scene that feels like something out of a video game and is tonally unlike anything else before. And then there’s a dumb twist.

Aja does get some atmosphere out of the creepy abandoned mall but any mood is soon crushed by a goofy plot point or a loud blast of music. I think it would be best if Aja stayed away from supernatural horror in the future as its obvious he doesn’t have any wings for it. Oh well. [Grade: C]

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Director's Report Card: Alexandre Aja (1999-2003)

When Alexandre Aja first busted onto the horror scene in 2003, it seemed a blessing. "Haute Tension" was a fanboy friendly homage to slasherdom of yore and opened the floodgates for similarly visceral French horror. His mastery of color, mood, and artful, intense gore set pieces set him up as the heir to Dario Argento. Similarly, his remake of "The Hills Have Eyes" launched him into the mainstream, was easily the best of the still on-going wave of remakes of '70s classics, and positioned him as the most skilled of the so-called "Splat Pack" directors. And then he got stuck doing a bunch of shitty remakes. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's go back to the beginning.

1. Furia
Let’s face it, Orwellian, dystopian sci-fi has become a bad cliché. Like the religious zealot or corrupt politician, it’s a concept that seems really daring when you’re thirteen but, after you’ve seen it used to cheap effect over and over again through the years, becomes considerably less so. “Furia” doesn’t rise above these central problems. Its plot of two lovers torn apart by the state is right out of “1984.”

But let’s give credit where it’s due. It would certainly develop over the next film but the roots of Aja’s style are evident here. The color palette here is intentionally drab which makes the occasional burst of color even stronger. And you’ll notice Aja has always included acrobatic blood spill in his stories. I’m not sure where “Furia” was filmed but it’s dilapidated, desert location adds a great deal to the film’s effect. It’s definitely a convincing dystopian future, if nothing else. The actors are capable with Marion Cotillard being appropriately enchanting.

The story is hardly anything new. The oppressive state is drawn in broad terms and never made particularly threatening, even in the middle of torture scenes that stink of been-there, done-that. The love story is pulled off convincing, mostly thanks to the strong acting, but falls away to the background after the first half-hour. All the interesting ideas are pretty much used up by then making the remaining 69 minutes increasingly tiresome. Characters fade away (literally) far too often and the finale is a little overdone.

The music is a big problem. The score is from Brian May (Yes, the guitarist from Queen, not the veteran Australian composers with the same name.) and, with its electronic chirping and raging guitar solos, more then a little melodramatic. Ultimately, the music needs up robbing many scenes of any potential power. A chase comes off especially badly. This could have been easily improved with a more subtle score.

The biggest problem with the movie is that, despite the talent of everyone involved, nobody can bring much of anything new to this often told tale. It was a determined feature debut but maybe the filmmaker should have waited for his skill to catch up with his ambitions. Ultimately, “Furia” is a stylish but unimpressive production. [Grade: C+]

2. High Tension
“High Tension” is ultimately an exercise in style. The film’s plotting, especially the final revelation, gets criticized a lot. That’s not what’s important. Aja and his team were creating a homage to splatter flicks of old but with a decidedly European slant.

Visually, the film is gorgeous. Blues, greens, and especially reds fill out the rich color palate. Despite the intense violence of what happens onscreen, the French countryside is still beautiful and incredibly inviting. The music further enhances the moody atmosphere create by the visual style.

Alexandre Aja’s direction is very impressive. He reminds me a great deal of a young Argento in several ways. First off, both directors treat every act of violence like a grand operatic set-piece. It’s not just the amount of blood sprayed, it’s how it's sprayed. Viscera is their canvas. They understand the anticipation of violence and spread things out accordingly. Another similarity is the incredible way the audience is drawn into each attack, how they are made to feel at the center of things, which leads to a hugely intense effect.

The cast is small and the acting is really limited to just two roles. Cecile DeFrance manages to bring a great deal of emotion to a primarily physical role. She carries the whole movie and does it with ease. It’s a star-making role. Philipee Nonan plays the Killer and is an expert in sleazy bastard roles like these by now. His role is largely physical too and Nonan’s looming frame is well suited to the part.

The tension spoken off in the title is maintained throughout almost the whole run time. The early home invasion scene is a terrifying set piece and the game of running and hiding between the protagonist and antagonist that follows builds upon those feelings.

Things go quite well up until the infamous twist late into the third act. In retrospect, things make sense, once the viewer realizes the whole thing isn’t meant to be a literal telling of this tale but from the prospective of lead character, Marie. On first viewing, the twist is asinine and breaks up the elegant simplicity that made everything before work so well. Still, if you can ignore this one oversight, “High Tension” is a grand horror picture and well on its way to becoming a modern fright classic. [Grade: A-]

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oscars 2010 Live Blog

8:25: - So, here it is, my first attempt, and first failure, at a live blog. Bare with me. Be gentle. It's my first time.

I know the Oscars are increasing irrelevant in today's world. And each year, it's a sad display to see how the Academy will hip up the ceremonies in order to revive the flagging ratings. This year they tried ten Best Picture nods, a backstage "Thank you" cam, Alec Baldwin and... Steve Martin?

I enjoy the pomp and circumstances and am just OCD enough to care enough about that shit. So, here we go.

8:28: - In case you missed it in my nominations write-up, I have an official bet going this year. If Sandra Bullock, the Satan-Goat herself, wins Best Actress for that horrible piece-of-shit "The Blind Side," I'm going to eat my hat. For serious.

In other words, I better get ready to eat my fucking hat.

8:30: - Ooh, sparkly set. Jeff Brides looks really fucking happy to be here.

What is Helen Mirren nominated for again?

Carey Mulligan is adorable. Morgan Freeman is nominated?

8:31: - Hey, they invited Robin Williams!

Was that sudden drop in the music intentional? Did the orchestra fart?

Why the fuck isn't Neil Patrick Harris hosting?

8:32: - FUCK! Another musical number? That didn't work last years, guys. Oh nice, prison rape joke.

Apparently James Cameron is sitting in the dark somewhere. Who invited the "Twilight" twats?

8:34: - Really weak opening number. Glad NPH showed up for no reason.

8:35: - Woody Harrelson's teeth really creep me out.

Tabulated. Heh.

8:36: - Don't applaud Streep. Seriously, nobody cares.

"Why?" That's what I was thinking, Mr. Martin.

Hey, Peter O'Toole is playing Christopher Plummer!

8:37: - Alec Baldwin is going over like a lead fucking balloon. Shut up, The Shadow.

This is by far the worse vaudeville routine ever. Jon Stewert was busy?

8:38: - Video game, Steve? What the fuck? Oh this is going to be a long night.

8:39: - Hey, he referenced "The Jerk." Why remind us that you were once funny, Steve?

Woody probably should been nominated for "Zombieland" instead. He's shaking his head thinking, "Oh, pot joke. Yeah, I've never heard those before."

Nothing says comedy like props!

8:40: - Oh god that "Avatar" skit was bad. I mean, "MadTV" bad.

8:41: - Kathryn Bigelow sure looks classy.

Alec Baldwin is trying really hard. Why does Clooney look so surely?

8:42: - Okay, the Jew quip made me laugh.

Who doesn't love Sandra Bullock? Me!

8:43: - My mom always confuses Damon and Affleck. Why is Baldwin doing a British accent?

What the fuck? What's up with Clooney's angry face?

Oh, fuck you, Martin. I have a life.

8:44: - Is it possible for Cruz not to be super classy?


Nice reuse of last year's graphics, Academy.

8:45: - Did Damon really talk like that in "Invictus?" Oy.

I didn't see "The Messenger." Was it as depressing as it looks?

8:46: - Great beard, Mr. Plummer.

8:47: - "The Lovely Bones" should've been better. But Tucci was awesome. And that abduction scene was fantastically intense.

You know Ah-nuld was suppose to play Christoph Waltz' part years ago? Can you friggin' imagine that?

8:48: - Well, we're off to a good start as far as the wins go.

Uber-bingo. Nice.

8:49: - Was that one of the Weinsteins? He looked uncomfortable.

8:50: - Nice rambling speech. Christoph. Seriously, I enjoy that.

Ryan Reynolds? Are they just giving out presenters positions now?

Yes, Deadpool, we don't need you to explain the plot of "The Blind Side" to us. We've all seen the movie a thousand times before.

8:51: - If you'll allow me to digress... How do you think "Green Lantern" is going to turn out? I'm really excited, despite not being a huge fan of the character. I'm pleased that WB/DC is actually making a movie about someone other then Batman or Superman. Makes that Aquaman movie even closer to reality.

8:52: - "I'm a member of the NRA?" Seriously, movie? Fuck, I so don't hate myself enough to see that. Best picture and actress, huh? Motherfuck.

8:53: - "The Bounty Hunter" looks absolutely god awful. Why is Gerald Butler wasting his god given badass by appearing in that shit? Make another movie where you kill somebody. You're practically this era's Kurt Russell. You can sport a beard and make it work. Go for it.

8:55: - That Jimmy Kimmal ad was fucking creepy. What the hell happened to Affleck?

8:56: - Cameron Diaz is looking pretty. And she's presenting the Best Animated Picture award again, right? I still remember her walking away with Miyazaki's Oscar in '06.

Pre-taped segments are usually pretty bad but I'm happy to see Coraline again.

8:57: - "The Secrets of the Kells" looks neat.

8:58: - Doug the Dog is awesome.

I liked "Coraline" so much I actually kind of want it to win even though "Up" is the obvious choice.

8:59: - Yeah, that was a foregone conclusion. Thanks for showing up, other movies.

9:00: - Nice speech, Pixar guy. He did his thank yous on stage.

Alec Baldwin is agonizingly unfunny.

I wanna' have sex with Amanda Seyfried.

9:01: - Nice push-up bra, Miley. Does your dad approve of that? And, hey, nice stumble too. You suck.

9:02: - Haven't heard of "Paris 36." Why can they present the songs in their entirety? That's disappointing.

9:03: - How are people who haven't heard of the songs going to know what they sound like? Geez, Academy, get a grip. One of my favorite parts about the show has always been hearing the nominated songs. Really big mistake on your behalf, people who make these decisions.

9:04: - So far all of my predictions have been correct. I should bet money on these things.


9:05: - Tall Guy in Sunglasses is creepy. And Robert Duvall is old.

Hey, it's Captain Kirk!

9:06: - It's a cool world were living in that a flick like "District 9" can get a Best Picture nod. I'll give the ten nominations rule that much. It allows recognition for films that would have otherwise been overlooked.

9:12: - I bet Robert Downey Jr. and Tina Fey would be cool parents. She looks fantastic. And nice bow-tie RDJ.

Aw man, these two should have hosted instead.

9:13: - Repeated fact: These two are awesome.

9:14: - I'm really curious to see who will win Best Original Screenplay. Kind of open to any of them, really.

I wish the script appearing on screen with the movie was a standard DVD feature.

9:15: - Oh, "The Hurt Locker" just got the writing award. "Avatar's" chances for Best Picture just increased. I really wanted QT to get it.

9:16: - YOU'RE DOING YOUR THANK YOUS ON-STAGE, GUY! The Academy isn't going to be pleased.

9:17: - Please let Tina Fey and Robert Downey Jr. host next year.

Wow, that's Molly Ringwald? She looks different.

9:19: - Gonna' sound like a dick here, but whatever. I've never been a John Hughes fan. "The Breakfest Club" is good because of the cast. He was an insanely overrated writer/director. The stuff that was awesome about the eighties had nothing to do with him.

So, montages, that's the cutting edge thing you're doing this year, Oscars? Fantastic.

9:21: - What makes John Hughes so fucking special that he gets his own montage but David Carradine or Dom DeLuise didn't?

9:23: - Macaulay Caulkin looks exactly the same now as he did then.

This has been a really weak show so far.

9:24: - I love the score for "Up." Such a fantastic film in every way.

9:25: - Don't kid around, Disembodied Voice. "Avatar" will win every technical award it's nominated for.

9:27: - So what famous people are going to die this year? George Kennedy? Kirk Douglas? Eli Wallach? My arch-enemy, MICKEY ROONEY? Surely any one of them can drop any moment now. Please not Ernest Borgnine. We need as much awesome as we can get these days.

9:28: - The part of Zoe Saldana will be played by a ten-foot tall CGI blue cat monster.

The actresses are all very pretty this year. Hannah Montana has been the only unpleasant sight so far.

9:30: - I do like the idea of bringing back the past winners for Best Short Film category. Those guys tend to be overlooked

9:32: - How does the selection process for the Shorts work, exactly? Especially nowadays when media is so widely open for short filmmakers. Does shit that's on YouTube get considered? Stuff at festivals? How do you narrow it down to six choices? How much money does it cost to get into the Academy's random grab-bag?

9:33: - I could look at these two ladies for a while longer.

9:34: - How many more years before the Powers That Be just cut out the Short categories and the Technical awards out of the show?

Whoa, who the fuck is this lady? Everyone looks as surprised and confused as I do.

9:35: - Very subtle way to play the family of a disabled girl off the stage, assholes.

9:36: - Anyway, getting back to my point. I don't want them to cut these categories out of the broadcast, because I feel the filmmakers deserve recognition, but I suspect it's these parts that cause most people to tune out. They haven't heard about these films and they don't care. It's going to happen eventually. Don't be shocked if, eventually, we just get people reading a bunch of winners off a list. That thought depresses me a great deal.

9:37: - The music is stepping on everybody's toes tonight. Assholes.

9:38: - Oh, what the fuck is Ben Stiller doing? He looks like Rob Zombie.

"Hitler heavy." That was funny.

9:39: - Okay, I take it back. Ben Stiller is very entertaining.

9:41: - I was just thinking that, Mr. Stiller. Don't demean their triumph with your pratfalls.

I'm glad "Star Trek" won something.

9:42: - "I don't want to step on your tail."

I thought she said, "I want to thank that robot?"

9:43: - And yet another group of not-famous people are unceremoniously pushed off stage by the obnoxious music. You know, if it's not this damn mean-spirited, give me the fucking backstage thank-you camera.

9:44: - I haven't seen "A Serious Man" yet but it looks incredible.

9:48: - I had forgotten that Donnie Darko was nominated for an Oscar. The actor, not the movie.

I hope "In the Loop" wins.

9:50: - "Precious," huh? Figures. It's the kind of smaller not-really-an-indie-film-but-is-called-one-because-there's-nobody-famous-in-it that the Academy loves to pretend it cares about.

9:51: - What's with the intimate close-ups on that guy?

9:52: - Oh, hey, we need black people. Quick, cut to Morgan Freeman! THAT'S RACIST!

9:53: - It's the coolest thing in the world that Roger Cormon won an Oscar. He's one of my heroes.

9:55: - I like Lauren Bacall too, by the way.

Mo'Nique is going to win an Oscar and I still can't get over it.

9:56: - Was Penelope Cruz just nominated for her cleavage?

9:57: - You know, I just rewatched "Juno" the other day. The cast is still as good as they were then but the dialogue sounds even worse today. The point of this is, how the fuck did Diablo Cody fuck her way to an Oscar but not Jason Reitman? That kid's got a bright future ahead of him.

9:58: - Hey, both Gyllenhalls have nods now.

9:59: - Told you so. Me and two hundred other bloggers, right?

10:00: - The star of "Phat Chickz" is now an Oscar winner.

Tyler Perry?

10:01: - Good speech, Mo'Nique.

10:02: - A salute to horror films? Hello, what's this.

10:04: - Pam Anderson is going to be on "Dancing with the Stars?" How many people are going to tune in just to be disappointed when her giant plastic tits don't bounce? Worse "Let's Dance" remix ever.

10:05: - Why the fuck is Ellen Ripley just an Oscar Nominee? She needs to win before she dies.

10:06: - You know, even I don't care about best production design. Sorry, hard-working people.

10:07: - [sarcasm/]Oh, look at that. "Avatar" won something.[/sarcasm]

10:09: - You know, even the show seems to recognize how bad the hosts are this year. Their screen-time has been thankfully brief.

10:11: - Hey, Costume Design Lady, you're kind of a badass. That was an awesome speech.

10:13: - "Plus Sandra Bullock." Sinister...

10:16: - Harold Wheeler looks confused.



10:18: - That was awful.

The fucking "Twilight" pricks are presenting the horror montage? How the dick?

10:22: - The horror montage was pretty awesome, for the most part, even if "New Moon" was featured. I'm pretty sure that's the first, and last, time Chucky, the Leprechaun, and Bruce Campbell are going to be at the Oscars.

10:24: - I've been doing some sound work for something recently. I don't envy these people. It's hard fucking work. The awards are well deserved.

10:25: - It makes a lot of sense that "The Hurt Locker" would win Best Sound Design, considering how important sound is to that movie. Nice hair, Mr. Ottosson.

10:26: - The nods for Sound Design are almost exactly the same as the nods for Sound Mixing. The winner are the same too, apparently.

"The SECOND Academy Award TONIGHT!" I bet that feels good.

10:28: - Elizabeth Banks is pure sex with short hair.

10:29: - "We congratulate all the winners." How big of a kiss-off is that?

10:31: - It's a testament to how awesome Quentin Tarrantino is that even a piece of vulgar pure pulp like "Inglourious Basterds" can get a best picture nod. If it was any other filmmaker, I don't think it would've been nominated. "SEE THESE EYES SO RED!"

Hey, look at that, Eli Roth showed up.

10:35: - I bet you do, fucking Bullock. I despise you.

10:37: - Demi Moore looks nice... from the neck down. Geez.

And here's the star of "Charlie Angels: Full Throttle" to present the Dead People montage...

10:38: - Thanks for slaughtering the Beatles, James Taylor.

10:39: - Dr. No died? Bummer.

10:41: - I'm glad that they immediately cut to the screen instead of keeping it in long-shot. Glad they cut that retarded shit right the fuck out. I missed the first few names. If it wasn't for the guy who sang "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You" drunkenly tap dancing over John Lennon's grave, I would have liked that montage a whole lot more.

10:42: - "Happy Town?" What is that? Looks potentially interesting.

10:46: - Jennifer Lopez and Sam Worthington? Ugh.

"Legion of Extraordinary Dancers?" Wha-what? What the fuck? It's time like this I wish I had TiVo.

10:47: - Can't they just let the music speak for itself? Holy fuck, the interpretive dancing was SO not necessary.

10:48: - Just close your eyes and pretend like the asshats aren't bouncing around. All of the nominated scores are really strong this year.



10:51: - Break dancing?! At the Oscars?! Who the fuck greenlit this disaster?!

10:52: - They took the time to showcase the Goddamned League of Extraordinary Gentle-Dancers, but they couldn't have all the nods for Best Song be showcased?

"Up" won, which I'm pleased about.

10:53: - Great speech. I'm glad the horrible "Thank You" cam idea has encouraged some people to come up with more creative speeches.

10:55: - "Avatar" won best visual effects. Gee, no one saw that coming.

10:57: - George Clooney is really pushing it with those facial expressions.

10:58: - You honestly don't think Cameron's going to get best director, do you? I mean, I like the guy as much as the next person but the populist vote got him the Award once before and there's no reason it has to happen again. Pretty much any of the other nods are more deserving.

11:01: - Okay, the screenwriter line got a chuckle out of me.

11:02: - "The Cove" is arguably the "March of the Penguins" of this year. People love their dolphins.

11:04: - I'm on a roll this year, even in the categories I don't care about.

"TEXT DOLPHIN TO..." Another effort squashed by musical walk-off.

11:05: - You're right, Tyler Perry, it'll never happen again. We can only hope. You fucking hack.


11:07: - Hi Sally!

11:08: - Horror movies, Roger Cormon, Sam Raimi, and the lack of test screenings and studio notes... Nice roll call.

11:10: - "...and some special guests." Oh boy, that's ominous.

11:14: -Tarrantino is awesome. Even at an event as uncool as the Oscars. Yes, I am an unabashed fanboy. Bite me.

11:17: - I won't deny that I'm kind of pleased that Michael Hanake didn't win the Oscar. He's so pretentious.

"...for not considering Na'vi a foreign language." Nice.

11:18: - That was awesome. Why don't they just let people say their piece and maybe let the show run a little long instead of cutting everyone off like a total fucking douchebag?

11:22: - How did James Cameron manage to become the director of the highest grossing film in the world, twice? Both "Titanic" and "Avatar" were the most expensive films made at the time and both basically had to become enormous hits in order to get their money back. How did he do it? "Titanic" makes more sense to me because it had action and romance and manage to catch a handful of multiple demographics. But "Avatar?" Did people really just love the special effects that much? Or does James have his finger directly on the pulse of the American, nah, the WORLD'S entertainment wants and needs? Can he do it a third time, I wonder, with whatever the heck his next flick is? (Hopefully, "Battle Angel Alita." That would be cool.)

11:25: - Michele Phiffer has not aged well. Catwoman was a long time ago now.

Her speech sounds just like it's being read directly from a teleprompter.

11:29: - Who the fuck is Ted?

11:30: - I've forgotten how amusing Colin Farrell can be. Talking about "SWAT." At the Oscars!

11:32: - It would be pretty cool if The Dude wins an Oscar.

See? That was pretty cool.

11:34: - Nice speech, Jeff. What do you think Beau's odds of ever winning one are?

11:35: - The Backstage Thank You Cam has manage to backfire spectacularly. I told you it wouldn't work.

11:40: - Oh boy. Here comes the hat-eating.

11:41: - Forrest, get your tongue out of Sandra Bullock's demon-cunt. Nobody likes her.

11:42: - I'm torn. Is it a good thing that Academy honors obscure films some times? This is ultimately a populist venture but, at the same time, I personally always hold up obscure films to be honored. I can't decide.

11:44: - I hate Oprah too.

11:46: - I know Stanley Tucci is kidding but I agree. There should be a limited on how many times someone can be nominated. Because they just get lazy after a while.

11:47: - Oh God, I'm going to have to eat my hat, aren't I? Oh god.

Oh God, here it comes.

11:49: - *heavy sigh* I hate the world



"Do something different..." Make an even bigger fucking joke of yourself then usual?

She's not going to cry, is she?

"The moms." See, she's a humanitarian too, in addition to being a terrible fucking actress.




11:53: - "...for the first time, A WOMAN." Which you aren't, yes Babs?

11:54: - If James Cameron wins, I'm going to spit in rage.

Heh, they made her say the whole title. "Based on the novel "Push" by Sapphire."

11:55: - The director of "Near Dark" just won an Oscar. That almost makes up for the whole hat eating business.

11:57: - James Cameron jumped up and whooped when the winner was announced. I suspect he's a much cooler guy then most think.

11:58: - "Academy Governor?" I didn't vote for you, Tom Hanks.

Well, shit, that was fast. They didn't even list the nominees again.

11:59: - Cameron, however, seemed kind of pissed this time. Did his unauthorized free gifts (bribes) not get through?

12:00: - Told you a sci-fi film would never win Best Pictures.

You know, I think this is one of the rare times when I've actually seen the Best Picture winner. I liked "The Hurt Locker." It was a pretty solid flick. But I wasn't all that impressed with it. However, I think this probably one of the few times when Oscar's taste are in line with the public's.

12:01: - And the show still ran long.

12:04: - So out of my official predictions, only two of them were off. And, honestly, predicting someone else would win Best Actress was just me trying to hold off the inevitable.

It was a mixed show for me. The hosts were awful, the big dance number was absolutely painful, and the way they kicked so many people off stage was bogus. The lack of musical performances was pretty unforgivable. Generally speaking, most everything else was very straight-forward and to the point. So aside from some major, very large shits, this show was mostly shit free.

Thanks for reading folks. I apologize for nothing.

Now, excuse me, I have to find a way to eat my hat without dying.