Friday, March 02, 2007

Get Ready: Here Come The 2008 Oscars!

USA Today gives a rundown of the movies that - on paper -- look very promising. Martin Grove of Hollywood Reporter offers suggestions for how to improve things, most notably by declaring the move to late February that rushes everyone, hurts the indie films, and makes the Oscars blur so much into all the other award shows that it feels more like an exhausted coda than a finale. I was all for the move -- when the Oscars came in late March, we were already so far into the new year, it seemed like an afterthought. But he makes some good points. Another suggestion of his will never happen: adding a people's choice award for favorite film, which would invariably go to blockbusters like "Pirates of the Caribbean," with voting online or by during the broadcast with vote tallys shown onscreen. They wouldn't get an Oscar, just an acknowledgement and some completely un-Oscar like statue perhaps. That's not a bad idea, though it would make the Oscars seem like the People's Choice Awards. But how sad that the USA Today article doesn't even suggest Spiderman 3 might be an Oscar hoopeful. Spiderman 2 was one of the most acclaimed films of the year and got some Oscar nods. Why not? The Lord of the Rings won Best Picture. So did Titanic? Why a knee-jerk impulse to honor only art films?

I'd already been thinking about the Oscars that might have been: a respectable listing of terrific, notable films that would have drawn on much more popular genres and be far more appealing to people but still honor the best of the industry. Why couldn't the five Best Picture nominees be:

BORAT
CASINO ROYALE
THE DEPARTED
DREAMGIRLS
THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS

These were in fact, five of the most acclaimed films of the year -- certainly "Borat" was a thunderous, remarkable event and it was absurd that the film and the star weren't nominated. "Casino Royale" and Daniel Craig brought a beloved franchise to new heights of box office AND critical praise. You could substitute other movies in and out of the list like Little Miss Sunshine and The Good Shepherd and Happy Feet (another massively acclaimed film that was a technological delight, entertaining and a massive hit) and numerous others. But the point is that the Academy Awards could EASILY have honored some of the best movies of the year but delviered a lineup of genuine popular hits as well. I certainly don't think box office equals quality and I'm glad the Oscars is focused on quality but the two aren't mutually exclusive and the Oscars shouldn't think they are. And the ratings would have jumped tremendously if Borat and Casino Royale were in the mix instead of the (less deserving) Babel and The Queen. Am I right or am I right?

2 comments:

altmike said...

You are right.
About everything...
Except....
Dreamgirls.

W2E said...

Hey fellow bloggers,

Number 1 in this week's Box Office is a sports comedy directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon.
"Blade of Glory" was released last week, on March 30. All the flash lights are on Chazz Michael Michaels, who is the star of the ice skating arena. His only competitor seems to be the former wonder kid, Jimmy MacElroy.

The two "sports heroes" meet each other face to face at the World Championships and their rivalry erupts into a big fight. Three years latter we find Michael skating, dressed as a clown or an evil wizard and drunk almost all the time and MacElroy working into a shoe store. In the end the two rivals join their forces and talent and they compete as the first skating pair in history of sports composed by two men.

Also released on March 30, "Meet the Robinsons" is a 3D animation fantasy directed by Stephen J. Anderson. The animation also known as "A Day with Wilbur Robinson" is a relaxing movie based on a science fiction story. A twelve-year-old, Lewis, meets Wilbur Robinson, a boy from the future, who takes him forward in the future by means of a time machine.

Traveling into the future, Lewis finds out the big secret of the Robinson family. Lewis is not an ordinary kid, instead of playing like most children of his age, he prefers reading and studying, having already a large number of inventions. His latest research was focused on creating a Memory Scanner device in order to recover his mother's thoughts when she gave him for adoption. Unfortunately, Bowler Hat Guy and his evil hat, Doris, are stealing Lewis' invention. Lewis discovers a new mysterious world with floating cities and manages to save the future and to help his future family.

The movie "300" lies on the 3rd place in this week's Box Office. Released on March 9, and directed by Zack Snyder with a $129,165,656 budget, the historical drama had a great impact on the audience. The filming location was Montreal, Canada and the movie is based on the legendary story of the Battle of Thermopylae, which took place in 480 B.C., when King Leonidas, his 300 Spartans and some other Greeks entered the war against the huge invading Persian army. The story is simple but intense and the film is great to watch and to listen to. Gerard Butler stars as King Leonidas, who runs an insignificant army from a numerical point of view. Rodrigo Santoro plays the Persian invasion leader, Xerxes.

The main actors were required to work out a lot for this movie, as the personages had to look strong, healthy, with sculpted bodies. The film special effects look great, the chromatics tend to impress more due to the sepia tones, or the violent red of the blood. Reviewers agree that "300" is a great movie based on a legendary moment and stylized with a lot of visual work. Taking into consideration the positive impact of the movie, perhaps "300" fans will get the chance in the future to play video games based on this movie.

Michael S.
For more new movie reviews and old movies like 100 Girls or Along Came Polly please visit my blog.