Thursday, June 25, 2009

This Week in Film

1. This year, the Oscars will double the Best Picture category to 10 nominees.

I think this is the biggest crock of shit. The number one biggest gripe about the Oscar telecast is that it is too damn long. Part of the reason for that is that they show a little extended preview for each nominee. Someone will come out and give a little speech about how the director transformed the world and effortlessly took us back to whatever era (1930's Chicago, Victorian England, Middle Earth, etc.), and then they show a clip. Now they have to do it for 10 films! And why have they decided this? My hunch is that most Best Picture nominees now are little indie films. Last year, there was not a big movie in the bunch. Expanding the field all of a sudden brings the fan favorites like the Dark Knight and WALL-E into the fold. This year, don't be surprised to see 6 or 7 solid contestants and a few eye-catchers like Up or Star Trek.


2. Transformers has biggest Wednesday opening ever

Last summer, the stars aligned and we were given the second biggest movie in history that all the critics loved. It almost seemed like a turning point. Fans were going to start rewarding good movies with their money. Yeah right. Right after Sandra Bullock recorded her most successful opening weekend, the 22% fresh Transformers sequel is on pace to break a lot of records and perhaps go down as the 3rd biggest movie in history. Everyone at work today was talking about it like it was something they had to do. The fanboys love to hit the boards and blast it as a poorly written, poorly developed, noisy popcorn flick, but then quickly say that they'll check it out this weekend. That's absurd. Well, I didn't see the first movie and have no plans to see this stinker, either.


3. OOOOoo Hollywood deaths come in THREES!!!!!

We could technically go back and include David Carradine, but the immediate deaths of Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson have the news outlets hysterical. Websites like Entertainment Weekly couldn't get the tributes up fast enough. I'm reminded of the mass panic that went with Heath Ledger, and quickly scribbled a list of the Top 5 Most Shocking Celeb Deaths in my Lifetime.

5. JFK Jr. - As a kid, my mom only ever forced me to sit down for the big news stories like Columbine, whoever we bombed in the late 90s, and JFK Jr's disappearance.
4. Phil Hartman - iconic voice, and even though he played scoundrels like Troy McClure and Bill in News Radio, you could tell he was a nice guy. His wife pulled the ol murder-suicide routine and left us stunned.
3. Heath Ledger - The media loved the combination of a suicide plus a big movie coming out.
2. Anna Nicole Smith - Lots of drugs, lots of money, and a custody battle = jackpot
1. Princess Di - Probably the first huge death of the paparazzi/internet era, right?

Anyway, the inevitable media circus about Michael Jackson, his music, his scandals, his children, and his family will be suffocating, sad, and annoying, so it gets 10 THUMBS DOWN!

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